Thursday, November 21, 2013

back to basics: meatballs

Yesterday it was loss and grief, today a quick bowl of meatballs. That's real life though isn't it? Unpredictable and through all the big stuff it is the simple stuff that steadies us. Like meatballs.

Earlier in the week I wanted to prepare a quick dinner. I went to our local fruit and veg shop that sells a limited range of organic meat, mince was all there was so mince for dinner it was. What to do with the mince? Spag bol seemed a bit obvious, so I decided on meatballs because we don't have them very often and the boys enjoy them when we do.

This meal is simple and quick I promise. I took a shortcut and used a jar of Spiral Foods basil and garlic pasta sauce, it is a good one because it is 100% real food.


500g organic beef mince
1 jar Spiral Foods basil and garlic pasta sauce
1 tin organic crushed tomatoes
1 small carrot, finely grated
1 small zucchini, finely grated
1/2 small onion, finely grated
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
a pinch of ground cinnamon
a pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
finely grated rind of a small lemon (optional)

To make

Wash your hands well and use them to mix all of the above ingredients together well in a bowl.

Roll mixture into balls just a bit smaller than a golf ball.

Put pasta sauce and tomatoes in a large pot, bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer then add the meatballs and cook on a low heat uncovered for 25-30 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through.

I served the meatballs and sauce as is in a bowl, with a side of mixed lettuce and a piece of buttered millet sourdough for mopping up sauce. You could of course serve with spaghetti or a side of steamed veggies.

Simple and delicious. I hope your family likes this too!


  1. I just popped over to your blog and saw the meatballs however the words "loss and grief" stuck me and I read your post from the day before. Unfortunately I can say that "I know how you feel losing a brother" however losing your mother 5 months before OMG what your life must have felt like that year and years to come.....when you hear the news you are just numb and no bad day, scales that don't give you the right number when you step on them, traffic whatever, nothing compares to when someone tells you suddenly you have lost a family member. My brother was not drunk when he died however he was crossing a road late at night and a drunk driver (hit and run mind you) hit him and he never survived. He had just graduated from Grade 12 and the graduation day was the last time I saw him. That was in 1989 and next Monday is the anniversary (exactly one month before Christmas) and life is never the same. One thing I do know that men in general mask their problems and/or grief instead of trying to get help for them. As you say his best friend was looking after him the best way he knew how and even though your brother made a choice to go back to the pub, the burden and guilt that his best friend would have felt would have been horrible for him along the fact that he lost his best mate. For you to lose your mother when you were 21 and then your brother makes me losing my brother feel like I got off easy. No amount of wishing brings them back and that is the sad part. Women in general do cope a lot better with lots of things in life because we share stuff to relieve the pressure. Men just drink or gamble or other addictive type behaviour so they don't have to face whatever it is that's worrying them. Grief is so difficult and to this day I can remember the feeling in my stomach when I received that phone call from my mother.........indescribable. I'm so sorry you have experienced such a loss at such a young is everything....they can't be replaced that's for sure. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

    1. Dear Kathy, thank you so much for your heartfelt comment and for sharing your experience of losing your brother, I am sorry that you too know what it feels like and such terrible circumstances being a hit and run. There is something about sharing common experience that I do find helpful, to know we are not alone in our experience. Thanks again, Nikki x

  2. We had meatballs too! Love them, this time with rice. Delish...! Kate x

    1. Have you ever put 1/2 cup of rice into the meatball mixture and then when you simmer them the rice cooks and sticks out of the meatballs, my aunty used to make them when I was a child and called them porcupines! X

  3. I adore meatballs. Sometimes I use my mum's recipe (which I love because they have pine nuts in them) or if I'm in a rush I use a really simple Jamie Oliver recipe. I'll be making meatballs tonight, it is cold and grey here and they are so warming. I'll try incorporating some of your ingredients for a variation. I love them with peas and rice. Im x

    1. Oh I love the sound of your mum's recipe with pine nuts, do a post on them please! I am allowing my boys a very unwholefood request tonight - some hot chips from the local fish and chip shop! Pete is working and it's been a long week so even me the wholefood mama feels like 'giving in'. I am though making a salad from our garden too and am looking forward to eating that. Happy weekend to you x


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