12 ounces lean ground beef
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs (1 slice)
1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1/4 cup shredded carrot
2 tablespoons minced parsley
2 tablespoons low-fat (1% milkfat) milk
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground sage
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 large egg white (lightly beaten)
18 water chestnut halves, pecan halves, pineapple tidbits, and/or small sweet green pepper squares
For the Sauce
1/2 cup apple juice
1/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar or cider vinegar
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon lower-sodium soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Makes 18 meatballs.
Preparation time: 20 minutes.
Cooking time: 23 minutes.
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350°. To prepare the meatballs, in a large bowl, mix the beef, bread crumbs, onion, carrot, parsley, milk, marjoram, salt, sage, pepper, and egg white. Divide into 18 pieces (tip, below). Wrap each piece around a water chestnut half. Place the meatballs in a 13- x 9- x 2-inch baking pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the meatballs are no longer pink. Transfer to paper towels and drain well.
Step 2: Meanwhile, to prepare the sauce, in a medium-size saucepan, whisk together the apple juice, brown sugar, vinegar, cornstarch, soy sauce, and garlic powder. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes or until thickened, stirring often. Stir the meatballs into the apple juice mixture and simmer for 3 minutes or until the meatballs are heated through. Place in a small chafing dish or shallow serving dish. Use cocktail forks or toothpicks to serve.
Pat the meat mixture into a 6- x 3-inch rectangle. Then, with a knife, cut the meat into 18 1-inch squares. Separate the squares and flatten each square slightly.Wrap each square around a water chestnut half or one of the other fillings. Be sure the meat is completely sealed around the filling so it doesn’t poke out during baking.