I’m really excited because today I just pre-ordered a blu-ray copy of ‘Cloudy with a chance of meatballs 2’!! Ever since we took Aaliyah to the cinema to watch it, she’s been totally obsessed with it. And so have I! I think most of the appeal comes from the fact that the movie is about food, and my little one LOVES food! She loves the foodimals in the movie – burger spiders, tacodiles, flamangoes… it’s great!
So this got me thinking about meatball recipes in general. Seeing as Aaliyah loves the movie, I should probably think about making her some yummy meatballs. So this yummy family meal recipe is partly inspired by the movie, and the other part inspired by Valentine’s day next week.
Our Valentine’s days aren’t quite as impressive as they used to be. So for those of you in the same boat, you can use the spaghetti and meatballs to re-enact the famous scene from the Lady and the Tramp.
This definitely isn’t a new idea, but it’s a smooth move! Just light a few candles, play some music and you’re done. Well, that’s about as romantic as it’s going to get I’m afraid…
Anyway, back to my meatball recipe – it’s suitable for the whole family including children from the age of two (or one if you wish).
SuperFoods included – onion, garlic, tomatoes
SuperSpices included – black pepper, garam masala, coriander, oregano
This meal is a really well rounded, wholesome meal for the family. It’s protein-rich, abundant in lycopene – a powerful antioxidant containing anti-cancer properties, and is carb-rich too so great for providing energy.
Total cooking and preparation time: 35-40mins
Serves a family of four
Suitable for freezing
1 onion – peeled, roughly chopped
2 white slices of bread – broken into pieces
450g (1lb) chicken or lamb mince
¼ tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp ground garam masala
1 tsp ground coriander
5 Minute Marinara sauce:
50ml (2fl oz/ ¼ cup) olive oil
1 onion – peeled, finely sliced
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp dried oregano (or fresh If you have some)
2 x 400g cans of chopped tinned tomatoes
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt to taste
Red chilli powder to taste
Place the onion and bread into a food processor and blitz well. These two ingredients will help bind the meatballs together so they don’t break when cooked.
Then place the onion and bread in a bowl along with the mince, salt, black pepper, garam masala and coriander. Combine everything really well for 2-3mins with your hands. Alternatively if you don’t want to add salt to your little ones meatballs, simply remove a portion of minced meat before the salt is added. Roll and fry separately.
With wet hands, take some mince and roll into ping pong sized (2cm) balls. Apply a little pressure when rolling the meatballs to smooth out the cracks and to ensure they stick together.
Place on a plate, brush with a little olive oil, and add a little more olive oil to a frying pan to lightly fry the meatballs (medium heat) for 8-10mins until golden and thoroughly cooked. If they are pink inside, place them back in the frying pan.
Alternatively you can place them in the fridge until needed or freeze them.
Heat the oil in a pot on high heat and add the onions stir-frying continuously for 2mins. Then turn to low heat and add the garlic and oregano. Continue to stir-fry for a few seconds then add the tomatoes and balsamic vinegar. Simmer on low heat until the sauce thickens.
Finally add the cooked meatballs to the sauce and simmer together for 2-3mins. Then remove a serving for your little one and add salt and chillies to the main pot and stir. Serve with freshly cooked spaghetti and top with a cheese of your choice.
Ahmed, ZJ. 2012. Indian SuperMeals: Baby & Toddler Cookbook. London: Autharium