Today we have some veggie meatballs.. or veggie LOADED meatballs we should say. As they are made from beef and filled with veggies. I’m all about sneaking in veggies where I can, and not that I need to either. My kids eat vegetables surprisingly well. Bryce loves loves loves any kind of squash. Addison is a great salad and salsa eater. Crew likes things raw and crunchy. I credit this to the fact that I always serve up vegetables. 1-2 with every meal. Even if they don’t like them, they are going to see them, smell them, and at some point taste them. Getting familiar with foods makes them less intimidating and foreign. I don’t blame a kid for not wanting to eat broccoli the first time he encounters it.. I mean really its kinda weird looking! All those little balls on the end of a rubbery trunk. And let’s be honest.. cooked broccoli totally stinks. (Literally it smells)
Anyways.. I’m beginning to ramble here. So! I try an sneak in veggies where possible. The more the better for those growing little bodies! I’m serving up some veggie-loaded meatballs for my kids lunch. No, I did not bake these just for their lunch. I made a double batch of them for dinner one evening and then used them for lunch! (Love it when that can happen) I served them over a few spinach leaves. Even if the kids don’t eat them, at least they see them and over time the leaves are less foreign. And if they do eat them, mom wins! The meatballs have zucchini, onion and bell pepper in them. You could easily add in some chopped spinach or grated carrots. I served the meatballs with some cracks, Laughing Cow Cheese (my kids love the stuff), and ketchup to dip the meatballs in.
One thing I absolutely love about PlanetBox lunch boxes, it the no-leak containers. They are amazing! The larger one pictured above is great for noodles, yogurt, or whatever. It fits in side the large square or in the outside pocket of the case. The smaller one is great for small snack or dipping sauces. Ranch always makes those carrot sticks a little better!
I also served up some dried mango.. one reason I like sending dried fruit is because if they don’t eat it, it can easily be saved for another day. I hate wasting good food but also don’t want to send my kids to school with out enough to eat! Often times they will grab something like this and eat it during recess as a snack or after school. The little white things are yogurt-covered raisins. Just a little sweet for them to enjoy.
The case is amazing.. pockets for water bottles, spoons or whatever they might need in there busy-body day.
Back to the tasty veggie-loaded meatballs.. these make for a great dinner. I doubled up the recipe and served them with recipe and teriyaki sauce. Saved a few in the fridge for lunches and the rest in the freezer an easy spaghetti and meatball dinner in a few weeks. When I send things like chicken nuggets and meatballs for lunch, I nuke them in the microwave for a little so they aren’t cold but just room temp.
You will notice that in the instructions, all the veggies get grated or minced and then sautéed. Don’t skip this step! Mincing them up small and softening them is what makes it so sneaky. The kids have no idea that they are biting in to bell peppers and zucchini. My kids would eat the anyways, but for those picky eaters its a great trick to get the to consume more vegetables.
- 1 lbs lean ground beef
- 1 egg
- 1/2 bread crumbs
- 1/2 small zucchini
- 1/2 bell pepper
- 1/4 brown onion
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
- Salt and Pepper
Combine bell pepper and onion in a food processor and pulse till minced.
In a large shallow pan, sauté onion and bell pepper until soften. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Add all ingredients to a large bowl including softened veggies.
Combine and roll into meatballs.
Bake in a shallow baking pan 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until no longer pink in the middle.
Serve as desired! Tastes great simmered with spaghetti sauce, gravy, teriyaki sauce or just plain. Very versatile!
This is a great recipe to double and freeze left overs!