The Meal Planner


So what happens when you love Asian food, have a buttload of ground beef to use up, and don't want a recipe high in fat or calories?

...I give you the bizarro, alternate-universe version of spaghetti and meatballs.

It looks like spaghetti and meatballs only thinner and whiter and gravier and peanuttier. Instead of hangin' out in a pool of tomato sauce these little guys have a decadent combination of peanut butter and coconut milk making them a tad bit irresistible.

And the fact that they are lower in fat and calories makes this one-month post partum baby belly very happy. Any means of keeping the muffin tops at bay is fine by me...especially if peanut sauce is involved.

Recipe from Eat, Shrink and Be Merry

Serves 4
1 lb lean ground beef
2 tbsp hoisin sauce or Korean BBQ sauce
2 tbsp breadcrumbs
3 green onions, finely chopped
1/2 tbsp cilantro, minced
1 egg
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp sesame oil

1 cup light coconut milk
1/3 cup hoisin sauce or Korean BBQ sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp light peanut butter
2 tbsp fresh basil or cilantro, minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
2 tsp lemon zest
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover the bottom of a baking sheet with foil and a light coating of cooking spray. Combine all meatball ingredients in a bowl and roll into 1 to 1 1/2 inch balls. That should be about 16-20 balls. Place meatballs on prepared baking sheet and bake 18-20 minutes until golden brown.

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat combine all sauce ingredients and whisk to combine. Be liberal with the lemon adds great freshness to the sauce. Continue to stir until sauce comes to a bowl, then turn the heat down to medium and let cook 3-4 minutes. Turn to low simmer until meatballs are done. When the meatballs are done baking, remove them from the pan and add to the coconut-peanut sauce. Serve over vermicelli noodles (rice noodles) and garnish with a little more chopped basil or cilantro.

Click here for printable version of Thai-Inspired Meatballs in Coconut-Peanut Sauce.

Mmmmm...these were really good. When coconut milk is added to dishes, sometimes it can have an overpowering rich coconut flavor, but this sauce has great balance. The lemon zest really goes a long way to brighten and freshen the flavor. Even a little squeeze of lemon juice right at the end is nice.  If you had some, adding chopped peanuts over top would be awesome.

The last time I made these I doubled the meatballs and baked them on my day off.  I put one batch in a plastic container in the fridge and one batch in the freezer for later in the month.  On a busy weeknight, I just had to put all the sauce ingredients in a large saucepan and put the meatballs from the fridge in the sauce to heat up.  Fantastic and easy!  I also didn't have any hoisin sauce on hand, but did have some Korean BBQ sauce.  Both are soy based, rich and sweet so I thought it was a good substitute.  Dare I say I liked it even better?  These meatballs are awesome.  Definitely try them.

Meal Ideas:
  • Thai-Inspired Meatballs in Coconut Peanut Sauce + Rice Noodles (vermicelli) + Edamame
  • Thai-Inspired Meatballs in Coconut Peanut Sauce + Rice + Mixed Stir-Fried Veggies

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8 Responses
  1. Kelly Says:

    It's good, right? Glad you loved it. We have always had it over rice but rice noodles would be an awesome, yummy variation.

  2. Oh I like your new layout!

    And this sounds delicious...I might have to try it :)

  3. Me Says:

    Hmmm, I have that cook book and love everything I've made from it, but how did I miss this recipe? It seems that I must remedy that.

  4. heidi Says:

    Love the clean new look. Those look yummy!

    I love how you post a recipe AND your results. I've the Madras Vegetable Curry multiple times now. Love it!

  5. Vanessa Says:

    This was an instant hit at our house. Such a refreshing change from the regular meatballs and rice we have. Soooo much flavour in this dish! Liam, 2, said "You made a good supper, Mommy" and even Ada, 11 months, gobbled down her share.

    I love how you can print out the recipes now too! Thanks Kindra!

  6. Awesome, I'm glad you guys liked it Vanessa! And thanks for giving me feedback on the printable recipes option...I thought it would make it easier, so I'm really glad you like it :)

  7. Tara Says:

    We've made this dish so many times and I can't believe I've never commented on it! We absolutely love it! Both my very picky little boys love it! We've even changed it up and instead of the meatballs served it with black cod seasoned with Chinese 5 spice. So good! I really love this recipe :-)