Orange-Scented Meatballs with Sweet-and-Sour Sauce

These make an easy party hors d’oeuvre. Both the meatballs and the sauce can be prepared the day before.

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These make an easy party hors d’oeuvre. Both the meatballs and the sauce can be prepared the day before.




  • 1 large eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (6 cups)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced (2 cups)
  • 2 Tbs. grated orange zest, divided
  • 1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped veggie bacon (6 strips)
  • 4 Tbs. chopped chives


  • 6 oranges
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp.)
  • 1 15-oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce


1. To make Meatballs: Toss eggplant with salt in colander set over bowl. Let sit at room temperature 1 hour. Transfer to large kitchen towel, and gently squeeze out excess moisture.

2. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper, and spray with cooking spray. Combine eggplant, onion, 1 Tbs. orange zest, vinegar, and oil on prepared baking sheet. Roast 25 to 30 minutes, or until mixture is tender but not mushy. Cool.

3. Pulse roasted vegetables with rice and veggie bacon in food processor until combined. Transfer to bowl, and stir in chives and remaining 1 Tbs. orange zest; season with salt and pepper, if desired.

4. Line baking sheet with fresh parchment paper. Roll mixture into 2-Tbs. balls, and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes, or until lightly browned, turning Meatballs halfway through.

5. To make Sauce: Trim orange ends all the way to juicy flesh. Stand fruit upright, and remove peel and pith with paring knife, following curve of fruit from top to bottom. Hold fruit over bowl, and cut sections along membranes to release each wedge into bowl. Squeeze empty membrane over bowl to capture any remaining juice. Set aside.

6. Heat oil in medium saucepan over low heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook 10 minutes, or until onion begins to brown.

7. Increase heat to medium, and add orange segments and juice, tomatoes, vinegar, and brown sugar; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 30 minutes, or until thickened. Remove from heat. Purée mixture with immersion blender until smooth. Stir in soy sauce, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Serve with Meatballs.

Nutrition Information

  • Calories 221
  • Carbohydrate Content 42 g
  • Cholesterol Content 0 mg
  • Fat Content 4 g
  • Fiber Content 8 g
  • Protein Content 6 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 0.5 g
  • Sodium Content 561 mg
  • Sugar Content 18 g

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