Made in Minutes, Meatballs

Meatballs are a childhood favourite of mine and they always remind me of home. I grew up loving homemade beef meatballs, but then branched into other kinds such as turkey meatballs and various vegetarian versions, but I’m always dragged back to enjoying these ones. This was a very impromptu recipe, but it came out amazing; I had no egg left, so I used chia egg as a binder, there was no fresh bread around, so I used Rye Crackers instead, and I had leftovers from the Mexican the night before which ended up suiting this recipe perfectly. I know red meat gets a bad rap in the media, but enjoyed in moderation, beef contains an easily absorbable version of iron, as well as being a good source of Vitamin B12, Zinc and protein.

This recipe is egg free and serves 9 meatballs or 3 servings.

Ingredients:

  • Beef mince, 450 g
  • Rye crackers, 10 slices, blended
  • Couscous (or any base of choice), 2 cups
  • Chia seeds, milled, 1 tbsp ( and 2 tbsp water)
  • Jalapeños, 4, chopped
  • Coriander, 50 g, chopped
  • Red onion, 1/4, chopped
  • Oregano, 1 tbsp
  • Cumin powder, 1/2 tbsp
  • Cheddar cheese, 2 tbsp
  • Chopped tomatoes, 800 g
  • Honey, 1 tbsp
  • Salt and pepper, 1/2 tbsp each
  • Spinach, 50 g
  • Red wine, 1/2 of a glass (optional)
  • Olive oil

Method:

  1. Before you prepare the rest of the ingredients, add 1 tbsp of milled chia seeds and 3 tbsps of water to a glass and stir well. Leave aside for now (this will coagulate to form a nice egg substitute), otherwise, just include 1 egg in the recipe instead.
  2. Into a mixing bowl, add the mince, coriander, onion, jalapeños, oregano, cheese, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Mix well with a spoon.
  3. Blend 10 rye crackers together until ground into a fine powder, then add them into the mixing bowl, followed by the chia egg. Stir well with a spoon before mixing the ingredients together with your knuckles and fingers. separate the mixture into 9 parts and roll gently onto a clean dish into 9 balls.
  4. Place a large pan over medium heat and drizzle with olive oil. After the oil has heated, reduce to low heat and place all of the meatballs onto the pan. Toss them regularly for 10 mins.
  5. Preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius.
  6. Into a baking dish, add the chopped tomatoes, spinach, honey, salt, a touch of oregano (or any spices you prefer), salt and pepper and the wine (completely optional). Stir well.
  7. Place the meatballs into the baking dish with the sauce, drizzle the top surface with olive oil, cover with a lid and place the dish in the oven for 35 mins.
  8. 10 mins before the meatballs are ready, prepare your couscous (or any base of choice) according to the instructions on the package.

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