I think that the inspiration for tonight’s meal came from seeing so many brightly coloured, foil-wrapped egg-shaped balls just calling out to be devoured by young and old alike over the last few weeks! Having said that, I did not feed the children their remaining Easter egg stash for dinner, (not that there would have been any complaints if I did!) but instead, I dished up baked beef and spinach meatballs. Just as tasty in my opinion!
I used beef mince but if you beat me to trying the recipe with chicken mince, please let me – and the rest of the Sassy Mamas – know what you thought in the comments section below. The spinach is a very sneaky addition of another vegetable into the meal and when cooked, barely noticeable, but if you have children that are not so easily fooled by those flecks of green in their meal, you can either omit the spinach entirely, or try introducing tiny amounts and increase the quantity very gradually. Worth a try? I served up the beef balls with some very easily prepared peas, and quick pasta of fettuccine with a stir-through tomato pesto sauce.
300g of Australian minced beef (mine, of course, came from Wellcome)
½ small brown onion, grated
2 Weetabix, crushed
1 egg lightly whisked
2 tablespoons of tomato ketchup
50 grams of frozen spinach, defrosted and moisture squeezed out
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 180°c
This is the easy part – mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. (To explain the Weetabix further – meatballs need an egg to bind them together and some sort of bread or fibre to keep them firm and from falling apart. Breadcrumbs made from day-old bread, rehydrated couscous or crushed up Weetabix all do this job really well. And being a good Aussie means I always have Weetabix in the pantry!)
Roll the meatballs into serving sizes of your choice, I tend to make them on the smaller size as they cook faster and the kids think they are getting more. Mama psychology, there. So I use tablespoon-sized quantities of beef. Once rolled out, it is better if you have time to refrigerate them for 15 minutes or so to firm up.
Bake for around 20mins for this size and adjust the cooking time up or down as needed.
Serve with your choice of sides.
Clean Plate Rating:
The MKM guinea pigs loved them, and did not leave me anywhere near as many leftovers as I was expecting. They also suggested that next time the meatballs would go nicely mixed into the pasta. I think they are hinting that it is time for spaghetti and meatballs again…
Originally from Australia, Chanelle Jackson was a Critical Care Nurse living in Sydney when she met and married her husband. Now a mum to three kids aged 4, 5 and 7, she has a home full of willing guinea pigs ready to try out her family-friendly recipes! Although cooking was always a hobby, Chanelle noticed spaghetti Bolognese was creeping onto the menu a little too regularly for comfort. Taking a stand against dull dinners, Chanelle was motivated to create and road-test exciting, yummy meals that the whole family can enjoy, and she’s sharing them with Sassy Mama! Check out her ‘clean plate rating’ for guaranteed dinner winners, and she’dlove to hear your recipe feedback and suggestions!