Books like Deceptively Delicious have popularized “hiding” fruits and vegetables in foods to get your picky kids to eat healthy foods. These techniques are no surprise to me – I’ve been doing them for years. Not for picky children, but for myself.
As a supertaster, there are a lot of foods whose flavors and textures are very difficult for me to eat. Onions? Broccoli? Alcohol? Grapefruit? Kiwi? Can’t go near ‘em. However, I know how important it is to incorporate as wide a variety of healthy foods into my diet as possible, so I’m master sneak-artist.
Here’s one of my favorite (and easy!) sneaky recipes: Meatballs with Secret Vegetables
- 1lb ground beef (I use the super-lean 93/07)
- 1 large grated carrot
- 2C chopped spinach
- 1/2C chopped parsley
- 1 bulb roasted garlic
- 1/4C Parmesan
- 1/2C crumbled cornbread (optional)
- Ground pepper
- The chopped spinach and grated carrot provide enough moisture to balance using extra-lean beef, and I’ve never needed milk or egg to help bind the mixture or keep it from drying out
- If I have a grain, like bread crumbs, cornbread or even rice I’ll throw it in, but this recipe doesn’t need a starch as a binder
- The measurements are really just approximations. I tend to throw in whatever amounts of ingredients I have and it hasn’t failed me yet
- Mix all the ingredients together
- Roll out golf ball-sized meatballs (or what people have told me is golf ball-sized. I wouldn’t know. I have a life and that life does not include golf)
- Place on a foil-covered baking sheet (you may want to spray the foil with some oil first, as these meatballs like to stick)
- Bake in a 400° oven for approximately 20 minutes
I ate these meatballs with this soup and a side salad. The carrots add a nice sweetness that balances out the sharpness of the roasted garlic and Parmesan, and the greens stay fresh and crisp, even after cooking. Although I suspect I’ll cave and have some Swedish meatballs when The Rocket Scientist visit the new Ikea, these are still my favorites.