Looking to incorporate more veggies into your family food?
One of our favourite ways to do this is to use them to make meat go further. Add a handful of cooked lentils or finely chopped mushrooms to bolognese, bulk out a burger with pulses or finely grate carrot or courgette into meatballs. We don’t really believe in sneaking in vegetables, but if you can help your child learn to love an ingredient by mixing it with one they already know and love, you’re onto a winner.
Variations on these meatballs are a Veggienaut family favourite. We often make them with courgette, but here we've used grated carrot for sweetness and some finely chopped fennel because it works beautifully with pork. Fennel might not be something your children are wolfing down raw or roasted - both preparations have a fairly strong flavour - but adding a little to these tasty meatballs might just begin their journey towards enjoying it as an ingredient.
1 red onion, peeled & diced
1/2 small bulb fennel, finely diced
1 large carrot, grated
500g pork mince
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp fennel seeds (optional)
handful finely chopped parsley
2 tbsp oats
Cook the onion, fennel and carrot in a little olive oil til soft but not brown. Allow to cool then combine with the pork, herbs, oats and egg in a blender and blitz until just combined.
Shape the mixture into walnut sized balls and place on a lightly oiled baking tray. Bake at 200C for 15 - 20 minutes until golden and cooked through. You can also cook them in a frying pan if you prefer, or make into larger patties to cook on the BBQ.
A lot of kids like these best in tomato sauce with spaghetti but they also work well with rice, couscous, and mash or stuffed into a pitta.