{The Nest Can Cook} Stuff my kids ate: Meatballs

I find that feeding little birdies has two extremes, firstly there is the I-can’t-get-enough-and-cannot-seem-to-fill-up. This usually occurs with fun, bland food like Vegemite sandwiches, biscuits and cheese.

Then on the other end of the spectrum is the mum-you-may-have-spent-five-hours-in-the-kitchen-but-I-am-not-going-to-eat-it-anyway situations.

As a secretive dictator (well, I tell myself I am in charge) I am always on the search for secret ways to hide nutrition in food that my birdies will actually eat. An imaginary gold star is also added to my chart if it is food that the hubby-bird and I enjoy as well.

Earlier this week the toddler-bird and I made Meatballs. Surprisingly enough, they were tasty, nutritious and devoured by both of the birdies.

Here is the recipe (p.s I use the word recipe VERY lightly, we did kind of make it up as we went along)


  • 500g mince (beef, chicken, turkey, pigeon whatever tickles your fancy really)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 zucchini grated
  • 1 carrot grated
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1/4 cup rosemary (or to your taste)
  • 1 chilli, finely chopped (or not, depending on your family)
  • 1 egg
  • splash of barbecue sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • several cherry tomatoes (we used the lonely few leftover in the bottom of the vege drawer)
  • Splash of olive oil


1. Mix mince, onion, parsley, rosemary, chilli, zucchini, carrot, egg, barbecue sauce and tomato paste together in a large bowl.

2. Heat olive oil in frypan on medium heat and cook garlic until fragrant.

3. Roll mince mixture into small balls (well, it’s up to you if you like big balls make them big!)

4. Brown the balls in the frypan until sealed

5. Add cherry tomatoes and stir around. Season with pepper and salt.

6. Once cherry tomatoes start breaking down and meatballs are nearly cooked, pour in canned tomatoes and bring to a boil, before lowing temperature to a simmer.

7. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until tomatoes have reduced.

8. Pour a glass of wine (or full sugar lemonade if you are really feeling dangerous)

9. Give yourself a high-five for being so awesome.

10. Serve with rice, or wholemeal pasta with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese on top. Cheers!meatballs copy

Both my birdies demolished it, as did the hubby-bird. Best of all the kiddies kept asking for more and they didn’t even realise they were eating vegies!

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