Lately I’ve been having trouble getting my youngest son to eat enough vegetables. Don’t get me wrong, this 15 year old can eat. A lot. An immense amount. But somehow he fills his plate with all the meat, or all the pasta or all the piles of bacon, eggs, and avocado and leaves absolutely no room for the stuff that grows in the ground. Nevermind fruit. There’s no fruit being consumed by the youngster at all. But that’s for another day.
Today we’re discussing how I’ve completely lost THE POWER to decree YOU’RE NOT GETTING UP FROM THE TABLE UNTIL YOU EAT YOUR BROCCOLI. Grrrr..
I’ve had to become a food sneak. And what better place to hide veggies than IN the meat? Yes, it’s brilliant. I’m sure you’re nodding. Most of you have practiced this deceit before. But I’ve never had to. Until now. Third kid, I’m almost hosting an empty nest, and it’s just now that I’ve had to start playing hide & seek with the zucchini.
Yo, THAT sounded way dirty. Especially because I hid the zucchini in the balls.
Hide-the-Zucchini in the Giant (Meat) Balls
What You’ll Need:
2-3 cups of your favourite chunky tomato sauce (homemade or jarred)
1 lb extra lean ground beef
1 lb lean ground veal or chicken
2 cloves of garlic, very finely minced
1 large zucchini, grated with a box grater
1/2 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp each salt & freshly ground black pepper
What You’ll Do:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a large bowl, mix the meat with all the ingredients. Start with a spoon, then complete with your hands. Don’t overmix, but make sure it’s well combined.
- Cover a large baking sheet with tinfoil. Spray with non-stick spray or brush with olive oil. Using your hands, form large balls (about 1/2 cup meat mixture). Place on baking sheet in rows. Bake in preheated oven for about 30 minutes.
- In the meantime, heat the sauce to simmering in a large skillet with a lid. Once they’re almost done, place the meatballs in the sauce and simmer about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with more parmesan before serving with crusty bread or over pasta.