Posts tagged meatballs

I could have eaten Kermit…

G’day. I’ve been out in the bush. Super tops out there in the real Australia. Lots of drivin’, visitin’ stuff and good wholesome country fare…

Well actually the driving bit is true, about 1000 kms which in a country this size is nothing, but with two kids under 6 in the back it can be a challenge. I didn’t quite reach the stage of needing to place a wooden spoon on the dashboard, but it did get close. The travelling CDs I’d made worked quite well at keeping them entertained. I’ve been training the kid’s ears at the same time as I’ve been training their pallettes. They like everything from Steve Aoki to the Beach Boys. Although most of the time is spent clarifying song lyrics. “No mate, he’s actually singing ‘message in a bottle’, not ‘message in a bottom’ and, no, Johnny Cash walks the line, not a lion.

And visiting stuff, well lordy, did we what! We rode bikes at a zoo, saw model trains, visited massive adventure playgrounds and slipped into quite a few wineries for mummy and daddy’s sanity. And we spent a full day at a farm field day, learning about straw bale houses, composting, fencing systems and butchering entire animals. It was GREAT! Super-good fun for us city slickers.

But the good wholesome country fare… well, some good, some great, some bad. But SO much meat. Out and about it’s all meat with chips, or meat with potatoes, or meat with pastry. Obviously my little Mr Meat and Potatoes was pretty thrilled with the whole arrangement, but me? I would have killed for something green to munch on.

Perhaps getting roadside kiosks and bakeries to love lettuce is asking too much, but what about next time they whip up a meat and bread option, they try these little rissoles? Just so that we can sneak a few vitamins in while we’re devouring half a sheep.

Rissoles with yummy stuff smuggled inside!

Come home to these when you realise the grass isn\’t always greener.

Spicy lamb & bean rissoles

1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, diced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 cloves garlic, crushed
2 slices multigrain bread
400g can four bean mix, rinsed, drained
1 carrot, peeled, roughly chopped
500g lamb mince
1 egg
2 tbsp vegetable oil, for frying

To serve
Flatbread or burger buns
Cream cheese
Tomato chutney
Cucumber, sliced

Dig out the big food processor to make this recipe quick and easy.

Heat the olive oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 4-5 minutes until softened. Add the cumin, coriander and garlic and fry another minute. Set aside.

Blitz the bread in the food processor into breadcrumbs. Remove and set aside.

Add the four bean mix and carrot to the food processor and whizz well. Add the onion mixture and lamb and blitz. Add the egg and breadcrumbs and blitz further until combined.

Use wet hands to form 5-6cm rissoles (warning – remove the processor blade before you handle the mixture!). Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Cook the rissoles for 4-5 minutes each side until cooked through.

Spread flatbread with cream cheese and chutney. Top with rissoles, cucumber and lettuce.


Toddler Recipes: What (and how) to feed fussy eaters

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Taste and nutrition the two most important cooking factors for ‘mom’

Deep in the internet’s bowels you can find statistics to back up just about any argument or theory. has collected a bizarre range of survey results on a huge range of parenting subjects. Access them here. There’s facts about everything from brands of breast pumps to life insurance policies, but of course it’s the nutrition and food topics that pique my interest.

One survey asked 4000 moms to rate the importance of several factors when cooking for their families. The two most important factors were taste and nutrition. Yay! Congratulations to all of you mums who don’t want to compromise on flavour, even when faced with fussy feeders.

Another interesting result was that 51% of mothers were prepared to cook two dinners each night just to keep the peace. I understand how this situation evolves, but I just refuse to do it! I try to make all my recipes healthy and packed with vegetables, so we feel good about feeding them to the kids but with the addition of a couple of ingredients, the adults can enjoy a delicious meal too.

A good example is these lamb meatballs – the feta makes them very more-ish and they can be adapted to suit everyone. Plus, they cook in the oven, avoiding a big revolting mess, because cleaning up more than I have to is also something I refuse to do.

Lastly from the surveys, 39% of mothers find going online to be the most peaceful part of their day…

Lamb and feta meatballs

Don\’t cook two dinners, these lamb & feta meatballs will please everyone.

Lamb & feta meatballs with pasta salad

Both the cooked meatballs and salad can be kept in the fridge for up to two days

500g lamb mince
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 egg, whisked
2 tbsp chopped parsley, basil or oregano
100g feta, crumbled
1 carrot, peeled, grated
1 small zucchini, grated
Canola oil cooking spray

Pasta salad
200g wholemeal pasta spirals
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 vine tomato, finely diced (or ½ punnet cherry tomatoes, halved)
½ cup basil leaves, chopped (optional but recommended)

Preheat oven to 200C. Line a large oven tray with baking paper.

For the meatballs, combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Use your hands to mix well, then roll into bite-sized balls and place on an oven tray. Spray meatballs lightly with cooking spray and bake for 10 minutes. Use tongs to carefully turn over, spray with more cooking spray and bake for another 5-10 minutes until cooked through.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling water according to packet directions, then drain. While still warm, toss through the remaining ingredients.
Serve the pasta in bowls, topped with meatballs. Sprinkle with basil leaves.


FOR THE ADULTS Add extra ingredients to the pasta salad. Try olives, chopped anchovies, spinach leaves, toasted pine nuts and dried chilli.



Like this recipe? Check out my cookbooks to find a bunch more meals that your family will love.

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