Culinista Kitchen®

Hide Your Veggies!

by The Culinistas

The Culinistas is always in a veggie forward state of mind. That means sometimes hiding extra greens in dishes for your kids. Meatballs are the perfect vehicle for hiding legumes and to incorporate vegetables with high nutrients and vitamins for your child in a familiar way.  We have put together three meatball variations that are kid-friendly yet adult-delicious. 

Meatballs Marinara

Try a combination of ground beef, shredded zucchini and cooked lentils. Lentils are full of iron and Polyphenols. Polyphenols are active compounds that fight against harmful agents in the body: everything from ultraviolet rays and radiation to heart disease and cancer.  Zucchini lightens the dish & makes it a little green. After you sear off these super-powered meatballs, make a quick sauce with your remaining shredded zucchini and tomatoes. 

Ground Chicken Meatballs

Mix together ground chicken, brown rice, chopped spinach and grated squash for a fall inspired healthy option. Squash lends moisture to the chicken meatballs but also is a source of Vitamin C & magnesium. These vitamins and minerals are important antioxidants that help neutralize free radicals in your body. Free radicals have been linked to cancer, heart disease and premature aging – so any help we can get to defend ourselves against these bullies is a win! 

Turkey Meatballs

Combine ground turkey, minced scallions, chopped apricots and quinoa for a lean and delicious lunch or dinner option. Quinoa is a wheat-free alternative to a starch and adds a light binding to these meatballs. This is a great way to sneak in more protein – quinoa is considered a “complete protein” since it has all nine essential amino acids, even including the hard to find lysine and isoleucine acids. Add these protein fueled meatballs to a salad, or throw together a quick sauce of blended up roasted carrots and cumin to convert this to entree status!

A special thanks to Sylvie Rosokoff for the beautiful photograph.