September 7, 2010

A Few Words on Meatballs

Spaghetti and Meatballs is probably the most-requested meal in my house.  With this recipe from Cooking Light, I always feel pretty good about making them for my family.  They're healthy, and this is one of the few dishes that gets my son to clean his plate.  He's a good eater, but he's not a big eater, and he's a skinny little thing.  This recipe is great, because it is doable for a weeknight - meatballs don't have to take forever to cook, and cooking them together with the sauce aids in clean-up.  It also makes a lot, so I am guaranteed to have leftovers for a second dinner that week.
I ran across this recipe on Heart of Light a couple weeks ago, and I love the idea of adding veggies to cut down on the meat.  This one uses grated carrots and zucchini.  I also love the idea of baking the meatballs, because it gives you the flexibility to make a bunch and then freeze some for later.  It's not a weeknight dish, but that's okay.  I made a batch with the listed herbs, and they were yummy.  If you're going to serve them with spaghetti, I'd steer clear of rosemary and stick to basil, oregano, perhaps garlic powder, but if you're going to have them on their own, use whatever herbs you happen to have on hand. My son adored these.  I made enough to freeze a bunch, and I am now using them in my son's lunches.  Awesome.

Another lunch idea for the little ones (or for you!) - Chicken and Apple Bites.  It's another way of getting healthy items into your kids' lunch, and you can eat them hot or cold.  Great little finger-foods, and my son approved.  I don't have the recipe online - it came from a cookbook called "Healthy Cooking for your Kids".

1 apple, peeled cored and grated
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
1/2 red onion, minced
1 tbsp minced fresh parsley
scant 1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1 tbsp chicken stock
whole wheat flour, for coating
oil, for pan-frying

Spread the apple out on a clean dish towel and press out all the excess moisture.

Put the chicken, apple, onion, parsley, bread crumbs, and stock in a food processor and pulse briefly until well combined.

Spread the flour out on a plate.  Divide the mixture into 20 mini portions, shape each portion into a ball and roll in the flour.

Heat a little oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat and cook the balls for 5-8 minutes, or until golden brown all over and cooked through.  Remove and drain on paper towels.  Serve hot, or cold for a lunchbox.


  1. The meatballs with veggies sound really good...I love eating them:)
    Those chicken and apple bits sound great! I will have to save this one:)
    Thanks my dear

  2. Meatballs with veggies...WIN! Meat balls with chicken and apple...interesting. I'd have to try these. I'm apprehensive though. Meat and fruit together doesn't appeal to me as much as meat and veggies. I'd try just about anything least once!


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