This recipe has a special place in my heart. On the night I went into labour, my mum had prepared porcupine meatballs in tomato sauce for all of us to enjoy. And as the contractions worsened, all I could think about was missing out on my favourite childhood meal. Since then I have created many delicious meatball recipes to share with my kids and now, we have developed a boosted version to share with you!! What makes this dish so special is that it’s boosted with brown rice and Veggies+, which not only adds more fibre, iron, zinc and folate to every bite, it also adds a delicate sweetness to the sauce.
Family meals, main meals
700g tomato passata
1 tbs (20g) tomato paste
2 cups (500ml) water or vegetable broth
1 carrot (120g), peeled
1 small zucchini (160g), rinsed
500g beef mince
½ cup (120g) brown rice
½ brown onion (50g), peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves (20g), peeled and crushed
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
2-3 tbs Wholesome Child Veggies+, to sprinkle on top
Preheat oven to 175°C.
Place tomato passata, tomato paste and water or stock into a large oven-proved skillet with a lid and stir to combine.
Finely grate carrot and zucchini and squeeze out excess water, using a sieve or a clean tea towel.
In a large bowl, combine beef mince with rice, onion, garlic, carrot, zucchini and seasoning and form about 25 small balls.
Place the meat balls in the tomato sauce, cover and bake in the oven for 2 hours or until rice is soft.
Allow to cool slightly, then sprinkle2-3 tbs of Veggies+ powder evenly over the dish before serving.
Serving and storing leftovers: Serve immediately, store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 4 months.
- Season meatballs with 1 tsp of dried herbs such as oregano.
- Add 1-2 tsp of raw honey to the tomato sauce before baking.
Allergy advice and simple swaps:
- Swap beef mince for chicken or lamb mince.
- Swap carrot for 1 cup of finely grated butternut pumpkin.