It's meatballs again! Actually tonight in our house it's fish, which means I'll have a revolt on my hands, so I really wish it was meatballs again.
Meatballs will come up a lot on this blog because they are little lifesavers. Meatballs are what we have when I've forgotten to think about dinner, they're what the dogs eat when they've run out of food (you'd think of all people I shouldn't ever run out of dog food but I frequently do) and they're what I make when I want a complaint-free dinner time.
There's a meatball for any type of mince you have lurking in your freezer, any spices you have hidden in your pantry and whatever salad and veg you have in the fridge. They don't need a recipe - you can just wing it!
Advantages/Uses of meatballs....
*Kids love them hot or cold (think leftovers in lunchboxes).
*Dogs love them
*Doesn't matter if you are doing BLW or just regular finger food - they are great for weaning and are a great way to introduce different spices/flavours to babies/toddlers/any kid (adult) who only eats 'plain' food (start with a tiny pinch of mild spices obviously!)
*They can be grain-free (for allergy reasons or just because making breadcrumbs is a pain)
*They can be egg free (you might miss the egg more than the breadcrumbs but it isn't actually essential to hold them together, they just have a better texture. You can get round this with coconut milk - think Asian inspired chicken/pork meatballs or an extra squirt of something ketchupy)
*They can be dairy-free, leave out any cheese in a recipe, just add a bit more seasoning.
*You can healthify them with as much veg/herbage as you like.
*Not enough meat to go round - add even more grated veg!
*Stick them on a platter and they can actually look pretty good
*Even if you can't cook you can make meatballs
*There are never enough (especially for lunchboxes see above)
*Children who usually eat a sparrow's dinner suddenly eat a horse-size portion (this is only really a disadvantage as far as planning goes)
*They aren't veggie/vegan friendly (but I'm working on that as even my lentil-phobic children love Ikea's veggie balls so veggie ones are in the planning stage i.e. I think I should think about making some but have yet to get as far as purchasing the ingredients)
Meatball Idea #1 - We are going kind of Greek
500g Beef/ Lamb/ Beef & Lamb mince
Pepper, oregano, mint, parsley (dried/fresh, any/all) to taste
Grated garlic to taste (fresh or from a squeezy tube - whatever you have)
1 lemon - grate zest and squeeze juice of half the lemon and cut the other half into wedges for serving (or just splash of bottled lemon juice if you don't have a lemon)
any grated/finely diced veg you want to hide (think carrot, zucchini, capsicum)
Mix Ingredients with hands/fork/get kids to do it...
All of the above is dog-friendly...
Make a few balls for your dog and fry/feed raw/feed with dinner or as dinner (my dogs are small!) - entirely up to you. I fry them in coconut oil/Golden Paws for the dogs. I serve with any Superfood Pesto I have leftover or a splash of Apple Cider Vinegar...and maybe an egg if they need a bit more to eat.
I then add a bit of salt you can also add red onion if you want
And now you have 'People' meatball mixture :)
Either fry the balls in batches in a pan (I use olive oil because I don't actually like coconut oil haha) or put balls on skewers and BBQ (think Kofta).
Serve with any kind of salad/wraps/pitta bread/cous cous, dips (plain yoghurt/ hummus/ avocado/tzatziki), jarred/deli veg (olives, capsicum, artichoke) - homemade/store bought/whatever you have to hand, a bit of feta and a drizzle of olive oil and you're done!