Today my co-worker and I woke up really early and hit the road to Victoria. To make early morning conversation and awaken our senses, I brought up the topic of food. Specifically I wanted to discuss what we cooked typically cooked for dinner. (I’m so nosy.) As it turns out my colleague is a regular comfort food chef. Cooooooool. And me, well I am practically the opposite. My response to her dinner menus was something along the lines of, “I think my boyfriend would prefer to eat at your house” and although it may not seem like it, this was a high compliment.

The one thing my boyfriend loves is meatballs and wouldn’t you know it Arlene, my co-worker, makes several kinds of meatballs. From Costco pre-mades to homemade, she has them down. Her secret is to throw meatballs into a tomato sauce with chopped onions and vegetables, and then throw it all in the oven for about an hour. Yum. Of course this got me thinking.

Hmmmm, I went to the trouble of buying an ancient rice mix from Costco the other day and I even bothered to soak it up and cook it. Afterwards I took a whiff and realized that even I would have a hard time getting it down. It looked beautiful, but seemed kind of heavy and that it would be one of those foods that you end up rolling around a lot in your mouth, because it’s so grainy. It reminded me of the time my sister ordered a veggie burger and it was more like a lump of suet between two halves of a bun. She couldn’t keep up with the texture and eventually abandoned it after a few bites. Ugh, did I really want to eat this ancient mix? I really wasn’t sure to be honest.

However, I hadn’t thought of BIG MEATBALLS at part of the solution! Arlene is so smart.

Here’s what I did…

Preheated the oven to 400 degrees

In a bowl I mixed:

All the ancient rice mix I cooked (about 2 cups)
A package of ground turkey
A big scoop of pesto
A bit of chopped onion
3 garlic cloves chopped
A handful of grated parmesan

I formed biggish meatballs by hand and organised them on an oven pan. I threw them into the oven for about 15 min or something, turning them a couple of times. I just left them long enough so that they were browned and could hold their shape.

In a dutch oven, I mixed a jar of organic tomato sauce with chopped peppers, more garlic and onions, and a handful of chopped spinach. Then I added the meatballs, put the lid on and put the pot in the oven for about an hour. I turned the oven down to 350.

In the last 5 minutes or so, I grated aged cheddar and sprinkled that over the meatballs.

Voila! Delicious, healthy, and filling meatballs. Happy Tuesday!