I have to find ways to incorporate vegetables into those foods that my daughter likes. Since she’s a meatball and peas lover but carrot, leafy greens, broccoli and mixed peppers hater, my solution has always been to ‘marry the loved and the hated or despised’. The result has never failed and someone eats her meatballs with relish. So I’m sharing with you how to make vegetable meatballs to entice the ‘veggie hater-meat lover’ in the house.
What I did before was to blend the veggies into a purée before adding into the minced meat, so that she won’t even know that they are there. That was when she was younger and you can do same at the start or if you are making the meatballs for kids probably between 10-12 months old.
I used 1 cup of breadcrumbs and 1 egg white (you can use both yolk and white if you like) to 1000g of minced/ground beef. Also I used seasoning cube and a sprinkling of all purpose seasoning and takes care of the salt too. I added some ground basil and ginger spice, you can add them if you like, or you can use other herbs or spice or none…its entirely up to you.
So, use any vegetables that you have at hand; Carrot, Peas, Green Beans, Broccoli, Sugar Snap Peas, Sweet Peppers etc. I normally don’t use the leafy greens but nothing stops you from doing so.
Coarsely chop or blend the veggies in a food processor to your desired texture. Using a normal blender might entail adding some water especially if making a purée. So try and chop the veggies into small bits to make blending easier and add a little water.
Put minced meat in a bowl, add the veggies, breadcrumbs, seasoning cube or powder and egg white, then with your hands combine and ensure you mix together properly.
Roll into balls by scooping small quantities in one palm and then roll in between your two palms to shape it well. Once you finish all, you can use it to cook any dish of your choice. So rather than adding just peas in the potato and plantain pottage, more vegetables in the meatballs will be another healthy alternative.
Also, you can fry the meatballs or bake it in the oven too. This way, they can just be eaten alone as a snack or packed in the lunchboxes for school or even be taken as part of a picnic pack.
Put oil in a pan and when hot, fry the meatballs on medium heat for about 7- 10 minutes or until done. Make sure you keep stirring it around to ensure it doesn’t burn and be gentle because the meatballs are delicate. Once done, drain the oil from the pan and if you like, scoop in some tomato sauce, stir to combine and remove from heat. Otherwise, you can serve vegetable meatballs plain with ketchup, tomato sauce, mayonnaise or any other dip by the side.
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