Sunday, January 06, 2013

{25 recipes in 2013} My first time making meatballs!

I mentioned briefly in my goals post (haha!) that I want to try 25 new recipes this year.

When I sorted through my stash on Christmas night, I tossed any "ambitious" ones because I'm really not an ambitious cook at all.

I'm a quick and easy cook.

I'm doing well so far - I've made three new recipes.

I'd never made meatballs before - ever.

I know they're easy but it's the part where you have to use your hands to roll the little meatballs. Do you know I don't touch meat at all?

I use a ziplock over my hand if I have to touch anything...

Also, my mother makes the best meatballs ever (Connor's favourite meal is my mother's meatballs)

This recipe is a definite winner - it was amazing - and I was left wondering why I hadn't done this before. 

From the April 2011 ToysRUs magazine :)

500 g lean beef mince (ground beef)
2 rashers rindless bacon, finely chopped - I left this out totally
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chutney/ BBQ sauce (I used sweet chilli sauce)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste
1 small onion, diced (about 80g)
1 cup breadcrumbs (I used oats)
1 egg

Fry bacon and onion, add other ingredients, dust a surface with flour and roll into 20 mini meatballs.
Fry in a small amount of oil.

My way
I used Spray and Cook (Pam) on a baking sheet. Added my mini meatballs without any flour and baked in the oven for about 25 - 30 mins at 180 degrees Celsius.

That's it! Easy-peasy.

We had some with rolls for lunch one day and then I made a tomato and onion sauce and we had the rest with rice and carrots for a main meal.


Let me know if you try it, either the original way or my way.

The Chinese fried rice was okay, but really not great (about a 5 out of 10) so I chucked the recipe straight afterwards.

Mind you, the kids and D ate without complaint so there was some success.

Shayne's sausage and bean stew

I've had this recipe printed for at least a year if not longer!

1 onion
2 cloves garlic
8 pork sausages (I used Renown cheese bangers)
2 tins chopped tomato
1 Tsp brown sugar
1 tin butter beans
1 tin chickpeas
1 tin lentils
salt and pepper to taste
Ina Paarman rosemary and olive spice (I just threw in anything on my spice rack)
1 Tbs paprika (I don't cook with paprika so I left it out too)

1 410 g tin yields about 240 g drained mass of beans so I just cooked up 1 cup white and 1 cup red kidney beans. That was 750 g.

By the way, I must tell you this. Ever since I moaned on the blog about how I can't find red kidney beans (or black beans for that matter), the lovely Mrs FF brings me beans every time I see her. I LOVE IT!!!! I still have not found red kidney beans in the shops. Mrs FF told me last time that I don't have to ration myself with the black beans (I still have half the pack she gave me in Aug last year) - she will be my supplier :) I'm going to take her up on that! But isn't it hilarious?! Like my other friend Kirsten who always buys me lovely vanilla tea (SUCH a treat!).

This is how I did it. Differs a bit from Shayne's method but I don't like fussing with meat (see above!).

I grilled my sausages in the oven til done, cut them each into 5 little pieces and then started the recipe.

Fry onion and garlic, add sausages. Toss in tomatoes, brown sugar and stir. Add the beans, lentils and chickpeas (I only used kidney beans, remember). Season with salt and pepper, and all the other herbs and spices.

Cook over low heat for 45 mins. Serve with crusty bread.

It was very tasty but a little too salty for me (I don't eat very much salt at all) because I think I went too heavy on all the spices. It's also very bean-heavy. I love legumes but if you don't, then maybe only use 2 cans instead of 3.

It would be perfect for winter - of course I made it last night :) - and we had ours with pita bread.

The kids will have some this week. Remind me to tell you if they eat it.

What have you cooked that was new recently?
Do you have any quick and easy, healthy summer recipes?

PS forgot to take any pics so using an old food pic but I'll do my best to be a proper food blogger next time.


  1. Oh I have to try the meatball recipe although I love my MIL recipe with the veggies I often make. The bean stew will not work for us - it will totally not work with my INS tummy

  2. Ugh, that was IBS ( ipad)

  3. Yes, please take me up on it. Just let me know which ones you want. Poor D, will have to be our "courier guy" a few more times.

    I make a no fuss meat balls every time I make a pasta bake (which is not often) just a few spices added to the lean mince meat, rolled up and cooked in tomato sauce!!! I love it but I think I've mentioned before my hubby has told me to leave out mince meat from our diet till we are 80 (LOL)

    Yes, I've "cooked " something new. A spinach and tomato salad with halloumi. I'll blog about it this week. I love it so much I've made it twice this year already and will make it at least once before the week is over!!!

    Hope you had a good weekend? I'm proud to say I worked hard on 2 of my 3 goals this weekend, thanks for the "push"

    PS: I'm currently reading Live Organised

  4. this isn't really a "summer" recipe....but this is one i recently discovered and make at least 2x a month right now:

    we add veggies or a salad on the side. :)

    those recipes look good!!! :) (and i dont LOVE to make meatballs, either)

  5. Well done for making meatballs and I'm super surprised to hear that you've never made meatballs before. This is something we LOVE in our home especially hubby.
    We also use oats to combine the meat.

  6. I've seen red kidney beans - but only in cans. I'll get you some if I see them again (as long as it doesn't interfere with your regular supplier ;-)

    My brother and K bought me a lovely new recipe book for Christmas (it was on my wishlist I sent them, but I really didn't think they would go for it). It is MASSIVE...seriously know it all book, that I now find a bit intimidating to be honest.

    I've decided that I'm going to try one new recipe out of it a week (budget allowing), so tonight I'm going to try my hand at one of the starter recipes (I'll eat it for a snack at work tomorrow). It's for spiced nuts. Have you ever even seen spiced nuts as a starter anywhere - I haven't. Looks easy enough, I'll let you know how it turns out.

    Ps! I made a very yummy paella for the family on Saturday, with no recipe - just shooting from the hip. It was soooo good. I was a bit worried what Nicola would make of the prawns but she didn't seem to mind them at all (I did take her shells off though before she laid eyes on it).

  7. Gonna follow your blog for some easy recipes...I am trying to bake more.

  8. Semi off topic, but hoping you can help because you are the most organized person I know : ) - I'm looking to plan out my meals for the next few months and am looking for a system or software to do this. I want something so I can look at a calendar format and see the dinners, easily program them to repeat every so often, and also access recipes and shopping lists for the week...any ideas? figured if anybody would know, it would be you! thanks for your help and good luck with all the cooking on your end!


  9. I love the 25 new recipes goal! I may have to join you on that. I really branched out in cooking last year, and I would love to do even more this year.

    I have never made homemade meatballs either, but my girls love the pretty-close-to-homemade-tasting frozen ones. ; ) That recipe actually sounds pretty close to my meatloaf recipe...I may just try making that into meatballs next time!

  10. P.S. I cannot--CANNOT--make homemade fried rice that tastes anything like I want it to. So if you ever find a great recipe for that one, let me know!

  11. I have a chicken and chickpea stew on the stove as I type this - recipe on the blog tomorrow :)

    I am definitely going to try the sausage stew - do you think I can use wors?

    My plan is a new recipe a week!

  12. I actually LOVE working with meat! Especially with mince whenever I make meatballs. Clearly I am tactile with all the wrong things? Yet, as much as I LOVE fish, I don’t like touching it if it’s raw, I think because of the smell that it leaves on my hands. I only buy chicken breasts and they are easy to work with, especially when they are still mostly frozen.

    I use that same recipe when I make meatballs (minus the sweet chilli sauce because I LOVE the chutney and the bacon – it has NEVER crossed my mind to add bacon - actually that's expensive!) and I sometimes I grate a small tomato in it was well. I don’t even use salt and pepper because a lot of the spices that I have already have quite a bit of salt in it. I use a barbeque spice or something similar.

    On Sunday night I made a salad to go with our dinner braai and I used all the ingredients that we had in the fridge. Chopped lettuce, chopped cucumber, cherry tomatoes, whole kernel corn, chunks of papaya, cubes of cheese and I sliced two nectarines into it as well.

    In fact, I was thinking that I could have added some nuts that I had as well. Basically you just toss and eat and quite honestly you can add whatever you want! Salad dressing = some low-fat Italian thing – only for those who wanted – we don’t all do salad dressing. Actually, papaya is my new favourite thing! I had forgotten how much I LOVE it.


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