Sunday, May 3, 2015

Meatball Taste Test

Monday Meal Fun

My biggest boys went to the movies, my littlest is taking a nap, and I'm just chilling on the porch, enjoying a rare moment of peace.  Life is good...

So, while I have this moment, I want to share with you a little experiment I did last week.  For years I have been making the meatball recipe on the back of the parmesan cheese container.  It's a pretty standard recipe: ground beef, egg, parmesan cheese, parsley, and garlic.  Shape the mixture into balls and bake at 350 for about 25 minutes.

While I was making meatloaf muffins and adding my regular pureed veggies it occurred to me that I could hide veggies in our meatballs as well!  And then I devised this little plan.  It started as a search for the tastiest meatball, but it ended with my kids eating several servings of vegetables in one sitting, and having fun while doing it!!!

Here's what I did.

I came up with a plan.

Then I made my "add-ins..."

{By the way, this was a great way to use up leftover homemade baby food I had frozen in 
ice cube trays.}

I combined the ingredients of my regular meatballs (see above), divided the mixture into 12 meatballs, and added the "add-ins" to every two.  So, I took the meatballs marked with the 1s, added the zucchini, cinnamon, and apple (top left in above pic), mixed it all together, and divided the meatball mix into two meatballs again.  So when I was finished, I had 12 meatballs, six different flavors.  Make sense?

I baked the meatballs for 25 minutes at 350.  

And the taste test commenced.

I gave the boys a bite of each meatball, one at a time.   Then I asked the boys to rate each meatball from 1-10, and I laid out descriptions for each rating.    

The boys were so willing to try each meatball, and I was excited they were eating lots of veggies as they tasted them.  
At the end of the taste test, they had to pick a meatball that was their favorite.

Carson's fav was the zucchini, cinnamon, and apple, and Jonah's was the acorn squash and apple.  I have some ideas on how to combine the two to make a delicious meatball they will both eat.  As for Camden, he seems to be a vegetarian lately.  

Do you have a favorite meatball recipe?  Do you hide veggies in yours?

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