This is a great Meatball Recipe suitable, as always, for a gluten free diet and Paleo diet. Delicious and nutritious and great for picky kids as it's sneakily packed with lots of vegetables. This is a firm family favourite in our house. You could serve the meatballs dry, but we like to braise them in a rich and tasty meatball sauce.
Adding roughly chopped fresh basil to the sauce right before you serve it really makes this into something a bit special.
This ground beef recipe is a really easy (and sneaky) way of getting your kids to eat the vegetables they so often turn their noses up at. My son hates mushrooms with a vengeance, but he absolutely adores these meatballs which use finely chopped mushrooms to help them bind together. I've also found that if you throw in some defrosted frozen spinach cubes they have no idea!
You can make the vegetables chunkier if you're not trying to be sneaky, but if you are, you're going to need a food processor (we have a little hand operated multi purpose gadget that works great).
Meatball Ingredients (serves 6)
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 carrot
- 4 largish mushrooms
- 1 red pepper
- 1 kg ground beef
- 4 frozen spinach cubes
- 1 tbsp chives
- 1 egg
- salt and pepper
- First of all you'll need to defrost your spinach (I pop mine in a bowl of just boiled water for about 10 minutes then sieve it)
- Preheat the oven to 200° C/400° F/gas mark 6.
- Add the onion, garlic, carrot, red bell pepper, mushrooms and spinach to your food processor and whizz up until it is finely ground.
- Place the ground vegetables into a large bowl.
- Stir in the ground beef, the egg, chives and salt and pepper.
- Combine thoroughly.
- Lightly grease a large baking dish.
- Using a dessertspoon, take a spoonful of the meatball mixture and shape into a ball with your hands.
- Place on the baking dish and continue creating the meatballs until all the mixture has been used up.
- Place the baking dish into the oven and cook for approximately 20 minutes.
- If you are going to cook the meatballs in the sauce you need to make that whilst the balls are in the oven.
- If you are serving the meatballs dry, then check that they are cooked through properly - I love my meat thermometer for this. Ground beef wants to have reached 71° C / 160° F. If it hasn't pop them back in for a few minutes and check again. (If you are going to do what we do and bake them in the oven with the sauce, then you don't need to worry about this.)
- So we'll now assume you're cooking the balls in the meatball sauce which you have already prepared by following the instructions here.
- Remove the meatballs from the baking dish and place carefully in the pan with the sauce.
- Simmer for 10 - 15 minutes.
- Serve - we like them on a bed of baked spaghetti squash, cauliflower rice, mashed sweet potato or with a salad and some steamed green veg depending on what we have available or how the mood takes us!
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