Chicken and Apple Meatballs

These meatballs are a tasty alternative to the traditional.  Whilst it is great to follow the recipe, I definitely recommend adding in your own favorite flavours to change it up a little bit each time.  Use different herbs and spices, add nuts and seeds, oats instead of breadcrumbs etc.  This is the beauty of cooking from scratch, you get to make recipes your own just by tweaking a few ingredients.  My suggestions are included in the instructions.

Originally I made this for my wee boy who was just starting to discover different foods and flavours, as they make great finger food and can be kept really simple to begin with.  However, now that he is older it’s also another way to add different textures and flavours.  It’s a great family food when teamed with a homemade tomato sauce and spaghetti, and also good in the lunchbox the next day.

When putting together a food for an infant, keep in mind not to add salt to their meals if they are under 1 years of age (sodium can overload their kidneys), so leave out the stock until they are older than this.

Whilst I think cashew nuts are the perfect addition to this recipe (plus fresh coriander!), hold off on adding larger sized nuts until they are older, and stay vigilant when you introduce a new nut to their diet, to keep an eye on any adverse reactions.  After a few taste tests with no side effects cashew nuts are a perfect healthy source of protein and good oils, and soft enough for them to cope with (unlike whole peanuts which can be a too hard for a little one to bite, and are considered a choking hazard until 4-5 years).

Chicken and Apple Meatballs

Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts (cut into chunks)
  • 1 Large granny smith apple (roughly chopped)
  • 1 onion (roughly chopped)
  • 1 Small sprig of fresh parsley
  • 1 pinch dried mixed herbs
  • 1 cube chicken stock (for over 1 year olds)
  • 50g fresh breadcrumbs
  • plain flour (for rolling)

Note

A great addition to this recipe is to include cashew nuts, which can be processed to a coarse breadcrumb-like consistency prior to mincing the chicken.  Fresh or ground coriander also works really well, as does adding a vegetable by grating them in before mixing (eg. carrot or zucchini).

Goes well with a tomato sauce and spaghetti!

Directions

1. Place the chicken breasts in a food processor and blitz until they turn into mince. Remove and place in a separate bowl.
2. Process the apple, onion, parsley, dried herbs and chicken stock until they resemble a paste. Transfer to the chicken mince.
3. Add the fresh breadcrumbs and thoroughly combine.
4. Roll the mixture into large tablespoon size balls, using the flour to prevent any overt stickiness.
5. Spray a non-stick pan with oil and cook the balls until firm (around 15 minutes), moving them around the pan occasionally. Alternatively you can bake them in the oven.

Sweet Spiced Christmas Quiona salad

This is a lovely recipe to start the festive feeling! It has the sweet spiced flavours of christmas and is a fun and different take on the classic fruit salad.

Sweet Spiced Christmas Quiona salad

Serves 4
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 12 minutes
Total time 22 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 orange (juice and zest of two plus 1 whole)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 carton strawberries
  • 1 handful fresh mint
  • 1 handful flaked almonds
  • greek yoghurt

Directions

1. Rinse the quinoa under cold water in a sieve and add along with the 3/4 cup of water to a pot.
2. Add in the spices, juice and zest of one orange and honey, then cover, and simmer for 12 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it sit with the lid on for another 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and then add the juice of one more orange.
3. Whilst the quinoa is cooking slice strawberries into quarters and cut up one more orange.
4. Mix together the quinoa and fruit and sprinkle over mint leaves and sliced almonds. It is delicious by itself or served with greek yoghurt.