Veggie Packed Meatballs

Over the last few months I have created a new habit of thinking around plants. Each meal I prepare I ask myself, “What plants can I ADD to our family meal?” To learn more about how I created this habit and why, check out my recent post, “Looking to Optimize your Family’s Health? Try this challenge!”

Shredded carrots and zucchini, mushrooms, garlic, onions, and flaxseeds are plants I love to have on hand now because I can easily add them to many different dishes. I add the above plants to our burgers now and they are delicious! Chia seeds and hemp seeds are also great to have on hand. I often added hemp seed to my girls’ oatmeal, ground flaxseeds to their nut butter and jam sandwiches or chia seeds to power balls.

We recently made these Veggie Packed Meatballs in my Kids in the Kitchen virtual cooking class and they were well loved! I know spaghetti and meatballs are a staple meal in many homes and a popular dinner, many kids enjoy. I’m so happy to come up with a recipe that tastes good and is nutritious, packing in 5 to 6 plant points, if you include in the spinach.

If you give this recipe a try, I’d love to hear what you think. We love to rate new foods together in class, using our popular Taste-O-Meter. This turns trying foods into a game and takes the pressure off, that some kids experience when they are asked to try something new. Instead of saying “Please take a bite.” I recommend saying “What do you rate this?” This simple shift in language can make a big difference. To grab a copy of the Taste-O-Meter, you can click here and a pop up will appear where you can input your email. I recommend printing it out and keeping it on your fridge as a nice reminder to make trying new foods FUN!

INGREDIENTS:

1 pound ground beef (grass fed beef is best)

¼ cup ground flaxseed

1 egg

½ cup carrots, grated

½ cup zucchini, grated

½ cup mushrooms, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon sea salt

Pasta sauce

Pasta of choice (I like Jovial for an organic brown rice pasta or Tolerant for an organic bean pasta)

Shredded cheese (optional)

spinach (optional)

TOOLS NEEDED:

Large bowl

Grater

Knife

Garlic press (optional)

Coffee grinder to grind flaxseeds (optional)- Alternatively buy pre-ground seeds

Small bowl

Cookie sheet

Large sautee pan

Large pot

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Add all ingredients into a large bowl.
  3. Form small bowls using the palm of your hand.
  4. Spread out the meatballs on a cookie sheet.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes.
  6. Cut one open to make sure they are no longer pink.
  7. Once cooked, add to a large sautee pan with pasta sauce.  Add chopped baby spinach, if desired. Cook for 5 minutes or until sauce is warm.  Serve over your favorite pasta with shredded cheese.

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