Honesty, I fucking give up, what do I know? Every dinner time I take a deep breath and steel my nerves for the inevitable onslaught of whining, food poking, throwing, spitting and general undisguised revulsion of the wholesome meal I’ve lovingly prepared (or grudgingly, through gritted teeth, same/ same). But some (rare) days I find I’m wrong, I’m caught out, the dinner time gods smile down upon the table, the angels sing, and my darling babes devour every morsel of veggie filled healthfulness I lay before them then sit there staring at me plaintively like two little woeful Oliver Twists asking for more.
Of course then I spend the rest of the night looking anxiously over my shoulder waiting to find out I’ve been punched by the punks because a good mother is always suspicious of her offspring.
These tasty little baked chicken and zucchini meatballs made from – as the name may suggest – chicken and zucchini, and not much else! I’ve seen a few versions of these around that require them to be panfried or shallow fried but honestly, I’m way too fucking lazy to stand at the stovetop buggering around like that, so this is my baked low-admin take that saves the fuss but keeps flavour and goodness. Just mix and whack ’em in the oven tray, it’s that easy, they’re (almost) failsafe to make although no guarantees on the kid consumption front sorry.
On the upside if the sprogs turn their noses up at them they make pretty tasty grown up food too, add to pasta or zoodles with a rich tomato based sauce, top a bowl of cauliflower fried rice with a few, or throw a handful into a salad for an easy lunch at work.
Get this stuff
350 grams chicken breast, minced
250 grams grated zucchini cut into small chunks
1 small red onion finely diced
1 Tbl chia seeds
salt and pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
Optional extra fancy pants flavour tweaks:
- coriander, chilli, lemongrass and lime for a Thai slant
- cumin, paprika, cinnamon and sesame for a Moroccan twist
- parmesan, basil and oregano to make it Italian
Do this with it
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and line an oven tray with non-stick baking paper.
Blitz all the ingredients together in a food processor to form a thick, gloopy paste. Dollop teaspoonful sized ball-ish shaped blobs onto a lined baking tray. Don’t bother trying to roll it into actual uniform round balls, the mixture is too sticky and you’ll just end up with revolting raw chicken caked hands. Gag. And really, kids don’t give a fuck if their balls are symmetrical or not, have you seen the way they do art and craft?! Perfection is not a priority.
Bake at 180 degrees for 15- 20 minutes until golden brown. The end.
I find serving these with a dipping sauce made from a mix of tahini and miso or home made mayo really ups the fun factor and helps sell it to the sprogs and ups the overall taste factor for the big folks.