Saturday, May 10, 2014

Bento for Baby Recipe: Turkey and Veggie Meatballs

I adapted a recipe from Martha Stewart's website that appears to be from Jessica Alba.  I followed the cooking method of her recipe, but crammed it with more veggies and used some applesauce, in addition to egg, to bind them.  These are fantastic for young babies starting out with baby led weaning, the applesauce and cooking method makes them nice and soft, but my 14 month old still loves them, and I find them quite tasty too.  They freeze fantastically.  This recipe makes a ton of meatballs, just freeze them on a sheet tray then pop them in a freezer bag so that they're ready to grab for easy lunches.  


2 pounds lean ground turkey - preferably organic
1 cup breadcrumbs, wholewheat
1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
1/2 cup defrosted frozen spinach
1/2 cup finely chopped onion, about one half a large onion
1 large egg
1/2 cup apple sauce
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken broth


Finely chop onion and carrot, pulse briefly in food processor, if you have one. Defrost frozen spinach, press in sieve or small strainer to get rid of excess water. In a large bowl, mix turkey, bread crumbs, carrots, spinach, onion, egg, apple sauce, Italian seasoning, and salt until well combined; chill for half an hour or more, form into 1-inch balls.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add meatballs and cook, turning, until browned, about 7 minutes.

Add 1/2 cup chicken broth; cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until liquid is almost completely absorbed, about 7 minutes. Add remaining 1/4 cup broth and increase heat to medium; cook, uncovered, until liquid is absorbed.

These freeze exceptionally well. Spread them out on a sheet pan and stick in the freezer until they are hard. Pop them off the tray and put them in a ziplock bag. I put them in my daughter's lunch frozen, they defrost in time for lunch.

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