Toddler Eats : Cheesy Chicken & Veggies Meatballs

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Now that Lochlan has turned one (where did time go??), I’m trying to wean him from purees and introduce chunkier food, to encourage him to chew. Don’t get me wrong, he knows how to chew. But just prefers the purees cause he could finish it much quicker. haha So this marks the start to my new series of Toddler Eats! Hopefully it will be helpful to mummies out there who also want to try different foods and make them from their kitchen when time permits!

I decided to try making something I thought he might like! I mean, who doesn’t enjoy a good meatball? Especially with the addition of cheeeeese! These are quick and easy and you could have it on its own or mix it with pasta and some homemade tomato sauce and viola! Meatball pasta!

Meatball pasta

Lochlan’s Verdict : 2 1/2 meatballs (together with other food for dinner and strawberries for dessert hehe). I think thats a not too bad start!

 With the addition of cheese, you don’t even need to add salt to it. So it’s perfect even for babies from 10 months! Especially if you wanna do Baby-Led-Weaning. hehe Perfect finger food! These are not just for your little ones at home, the mr and I enjoyed it too!

So here’s the recipe, do give it a shot and let me know what u or your kiddos think!

Cheesy Chicken & Veggies Meatballs (A Food Made With Love Original Recipe)

Ingredients : Makes 24-26 meatballs

250g mince chicken (or meat of your choice)

2 stalks of spring onions, finely sliced

1 small carrot, grated

1/4 apple, grated

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1/2 zucchini, grated

2-3 florets of broccoli, finely chopped

50g cheddar cheese, grated

1 egg

Ground black pepper, to season

Ingredients

(I’ve got a double yolk! Lucky me! hehe)

Steps :

1) Preheat your oven to 170 degrees celcius. Spray/Oil a baking tray/ casserole dish and set it one side.

2) Mix all the ingredients in a big bowl until well combined.

Mixed till well combined

3) Using a tablespoon, roll the mixture into balls. Do note that the mixture will be a bit wet and sticky. Wetting your hands might help in the rolling process.

Rolled out

4) Place the meatballs onto the baking dish, and bake for 12-15 mins, until the meatballs are cooked through and/or slightly browned.

All baked

5) Serve as is or you could cook it in a homemade tomato sauce and toss it through some cooked pasta for a variety!

Enjoy!

P.S : You don’t have to grate the vegetables if you’re cooking for yourself or older kids and want more texture. Just finely diced them and it would be as delicious! Also you could always change the types of vegetables in the meatballs, find a combination that wins the most votes in your house! (:

Have a lovely weekend everyone! Remember to always cook and bake with love!

Till the next post, xx !

Tagine Magic : Moroccan Meatballs & Baba Ganoush

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I haven’t had much Moroccan food, but I can distinctly remember the first time I had it while we were still living in Brunswick many years back. On Sydney Road sits a small little Spanish/Moroccan restaurant, LaPaella, that sells really delicious Moroccan food and it was from this experience where I drew my inspiration from! I was really lucky to receive an Emile Henry tagine from Kitchenware Superstore, so it was perfect for me to make something Moroccan for dinner!

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(photo credits : The Kitchenware Superstore)

The 32cm tagine came in a beautiful dark red and the best thing was it was made using the new flame top tecnologyan innovation in ceramics, with the development of a new glazed clay, exceptionally resistant to heat. So it didn’t even need a flame diffuser if you’re using the stovetop! How good and convenient is that?

Moroccan meatballs with baba ganoush

It also keeps the food warm for a longer time! So you’ll still get hot food after all the photo taking! haha (: Definitely perfect for me! hehe

Moroccan meatballs with baba ganoush and turkish bread

I am all for having a balanced meal, so besides the Moroccan meatball, I charred some vegetables, added some okra and also made baba ganoush to go with as a side! This combination, I have to admit, is addictive! hehe You can’t stop having it. I assure you!

So here is the recipe and if you don’t have a tagine, I encourage u to get one, if not, you could always make it in a shallow frying pan. But a tagine is recommended! hehe

Moroccan Meatballs with Baba Ganoush (Recipes adapted from Baltic Maid & David Lebovitz)

For the meatballs :

300g mince pork

300g mince beef

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp salt

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 tbs of olive oil, for frying

For the spicy tomato sauce : 

1 can of chopped tinned tomatoes

1/2 cup passata

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp chilli flakes

1/2 cup of beef stock

1 packet of okra (about 200g)

1 red capsicum

1 yellow capsicum

1 green capsicum

1 tsp salt

For the baba ganoush :

2 medium size eggplant

2 heap tbs tahini

Juice of 1 lemon

2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

1/4 tsp chilli power

1 tbs olive oil, and extra to serve

1 tsp salt, or more to season

chopped parsley & chilli flakes, to garnish

Steps :

1) Under a hot grill, grill the capsicums and egg plant till they are tender and charred. Place them in a metal bowl and cover with cling wrap for about 10 mins. The charred skin would peel off easily. Slice the capsicum lengthwise and place in a bowl. Put the grilled eggplants (let whole) aside.

2) Place the tagine on the stove over medium heat. Add the tinned chopped tomatoes, passata, garlic, beef stock and allow it to come to a simmer for 10 mins. Add the okra and cover, allowing the okra to soften (about 10 mins). Add the chilli flakes.

making the spicy tomato sauce

3) Add the sliced roasted capsicum into the sauce and allow it to simmer for another 10 mins. Stirring to make sure the bottom is not sticking. Then switch it off, leaving the cover on.

Add the roasted capsicum into the sauce

4) For the meatballs : Add all the ingredients into a large meta bowl and mix till well combined.

Ingredients for the meatballs

5) Form the meatballs according to the size you fancy and place them on a plate. Heat a heavy based frying pan on medium heat then add the olive oil. Brown the meatballs on both sides then add them into the spicy tomato sauce (in the tagine). Cover and allow it to simmer on low heat for 20 minutes.

Frying the meatballs

6) While the meatballs are simmering away, slice the roasted eggplant into half, lengthwise, and scrape all the flesh into a food processor. Add the garlic, tahini, chilli powder and blend till quite smooth. Add the lemon juice, salt and olive oil. Blend till well combined. Place in a bowl, drizzle with more olive oil and garnish with chilli flakes and chopped parsley.

Moroccan meatballs

7) Garnish the meatballs with fresh parsley and serve with baba ganoush and warm turkish bread!

Moroccan meatballs with baba ganoush and turkish bread

Enjoy! (:

Hope you all had a great weekend and here’s to an awesome week ahead! Remember to always cook and bake with love! Till the next post, xx!

Disclaimer : I was given the tagine by Kitchenware Superstore to test and write a review, but all opinions and experience are based on my time of use! Thanks so much for this amazing tagine!