I love these meatballs because they’re healthy, delicious, super easy to make and can be stored in the freezer to cook for another day. I also love that there’s grated zucchini and squash in them (which you can hardly taste if you’re not a big fan of veggies) which offer folate, fibre and vitamin C. What’s more, the oats (or you could use almond meal) in this recipe make a great alternative to breadcrumbs that are often used in traditional meatball recipes.
The purple/red cabbage is a nutritional superstar as it’s part of the superfood cruciferous veggie family (which also includes broccoli and brussels sprouts). Aside from offering fibre and vitamin C, it’s great for inflammation thanks to its antioxidant anthocyanin, is rich in vitamin K, which works with vitamin D to keep bones healthy, and is the perfect accompaniment to these meaty balls of goodness.
I usually order The Real Food Connection’s meatballs every week that use a lot of the below ingredients (sans oats and a few other things I’ve put in) which is why I’ve been inspired to recreate a similar version. I hope they become a weekly staple food for you, too!
Serves 4, makes approx. 15 balls
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
500 g chicken mince
1 grated zucchini
1 grated squash
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup rolled oats or almond meal
5 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 brown onion, chopped finely
1/2 cup coriander, chopped finely
1 red chilli, chopped finely
4 tbsp fish sauce
Juice of 1/2 lime
Pinch sea salt
For the salad:
1/4 purple/red cabbage, sliced thinly
1/2 Spanish onion, sliced thinly
1 cup rocket
1 cup baby spinach
1 Granny Smith apple, sliced thinly
1 tbsp olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1. Fry onion and garlic in a little olive oil until slightly brown. Allow to cool.
2. Mix all the other ingredients in a large bowl (except oats) till well combined.
3. Add in the onion and garlic and mix together with the mince mixture.
4. Then gradually add in oats and mix well.
5. Roll the mixture into balls, as small as a ping-pong ball size. (If the balls are too big a batch for what you need, you can store them in the freezer for a couple of days).
6. Fry the balls in olive oil approximately 3-4 minutes and then turn them over for the same amount of time until the surface of the entire ball looks evenly brown and well cooked.
7. Mix together all the ingredients for the salad with a dash of olive oil and lemon juice.
8. Serve meatballs with the crunchy five-ingredients salad for a satisfying lunch or dinner meal.