Sweet meatballsmeatballs1

I made these sweet meatballs for a local pre-school (many of the children live in homeless shelters.) This is probably one of the most important meals I make every few months with my friend. The warm lunch is so nourishing and we try to offer as many “whole” fresh foods as possible to encourage them to try new things and of course eat their veggies. The school also grows and tends to their own garden during warmer weather, also some volunteers pitch in to help. The entire experience is memorable and we all get to laugh a lot. On this one particularly cold day in January, we made yummy sweet meatballs and mashed potatoes with mashed cauliflower. Here’s the recipes. Sweet Meatball Recipe

 

Sweet meatballs & dipping sauce

Prep time: 20 minutes                  level: moderate

Cook time: 25 minutes                 yields: 50 small meatballs

Ingredients:

85% – 90% lean ground beef – 3-4 lbs
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons of light brown sugar
3 tablespoons of ketchup
2 tablespoons of honey
2 teaspoons of Italian Herbs
(I like McCormick)
½ cup Corn Flakes breadcrumbs (not the cereal)
½ cup Progresso Panko Italian bread crumbs
Three eggs

 

Sweet meatball dipping sauce

Ingredients:
½ cup ketchup
A few tablespoons of light brown sugar
And a few squeezes of honey

Directions:
Start by adding the meat to a big bowl, you need lots of room to mix up everything. Then, start mashing the meat with a fork. Next, add your ingredients: salt, brown sugar, ketchup, and honey, and herbs and mix well. Then, beat your eggs in a separate bowl, just in case you get a bad one, then mix in the eggs and add the breadcrumbs. I sometimes add a few more shakes of the cornflake breadcrumbs to play up the sweetness factor. Mix really well with a fork and then mix with your hands. Make golf ball size meatballs. Be sure you roll them in the balm of your hand and make them compact, so they do not break apart. Put them on a cookie sheet with tin foil that has been greased with olive oil. Heat in the oven at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes. Check one or two to be sure they are evenly cooked and brown all the way through. The bottoms may get a little browned but I like them a bit crispy. You can adjust your cook time.

Then mix together the ketchup, honey and brown sugar and warm in microwave for 20 seconds. Then serve the warmed meatballs with the dipping sauce on the side. These are great to serve at a party as an appetizer. If you make them the day before, which is what I did, you can get the chill out of them by heating them briefly in the microwave and then steaming a little bit of water in a pot and put the meatballs in the pot to steam and stay warm. They also get very moist. Reheating in the oven, may dry them out. This is a crowd pleaser and a kid pleaser! (You can do the same blended ingredients and make a meatloaf.)

Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower

Prep time: 20 minutes              level: easy

Cook time: 20 minutes             yields: 15 servings (I used a large bag of potatoes to feed a large group, so you can adapt)

Ingredients:
1 5lb bag of white potatoes or Russets
1 large Cauliflower
Sharp white cheddar cheese
½ -1 stick margarine

 

Directions:
Wash the cauliflower. Core out the center and put it in a large pot with a little bit of water. You will basically be steaming it until it falls apart, so no need to cut it up. Once the water comes to a boil let it cook about 10-15 minutes. Then, let it sit in the pot for up to one hour, the lid must be on the whole time. It will fall apart.

Wash and scrub the potatoes. Then, dry them. Peel all the skin and dice them up into chunky pieces. Boil the potatoes and poke them with a fork to be sure they are all cooked through and very soft. Then, drain the potatoes. Use a large masher to mash all the potatoes well. Then drain the cauliflower, you could set aside a bit of the water if you need it. Mash the cauliflower as well. Then, mix the potatoes and the cauliflower together and mash. Add the margarine, you will likely need a whole stick but you don’t have to. Add, a cup of grated sharp white cheddar cheese. Salt it to taste. Mix well. Use the leftover water, if they seem a bit dry. The kids won’t even know the cauliflower is in with the potatoes!

 

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