If you’ve ever been to an Ikea, or even heard of Ikea, you’ve probably heard that among the desks, couches, and other “furniture for college kids and divorced men,” (thank Jonathan Coulton for that one), are Swedish meatballs. Ikea serves 150 million of these meatballs every year worldwide. They really are quite good, and they’re also available for sale, frozen, so that you can make them at home. I swear, I have in no way been reimbursed by Ikea for this post. Seriously, not even a free meatball.
The meatballs, while delicious, aren’t exactly the highlight of a healthy diet. I really have been making an effort to eat a more properly balanced diet but had a Swedish meatball craving. I was glad to find a lighter version of Swedish meatballs that was very easy to make, and quite tasty. The genius to these is that the meatballs cook in the broth that’s later used as a base for the sauce. I initially thought celery was an odd ingredient to add to meatballs, but the celery lends them some moisture and you really don’t taste it, so don’t skip the celery! I served these with some egg noodles, and it was a really great meal.
1 tsp. olive oil
1 small onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 celery stalk, minced
1/4 C. minced parsley
1 lb. 93% lean ground beef
1/4 C. breadcrumbs
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp. allspice
2 C. reduced sodium beef stock
2 oz. light cream cheese
In a large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.
Add onions and garlic, and saute 4-5 minutes, until onions are translucent.
Add celery and parsley and cook another 3-4 minutes until soft.
Let the mixture cool for a few minutes.
In a large bowl, combine beef, egg, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper, allspice, and onion mixture. Mix well.
Take 1/4 C. of the mixture, divide it in half, and use your hands to form into meatballs that are 1/8 C. each.
Put the beef stock in the pan and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and carefully drop the meatballs into the broth.
Cover and cook for 20 minutes, until meatballs are cooked through.
Remove the meatballs using a slotted spoon and set aside.
Strain the stock and put it in a blender.
Add the cream cheese to the blender and pulse until smooth.
Put the broth mixture into the pan, and simmer for a few minutes to thicken.
Pour the sauce over the meatballs.
Makes 4 servings.