recipes for healthy living

Tag: meatballs

Spicy Turkey Meatballs in Masala Sauce

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Protein Packed and full of flavour with a delicious texture, turkey burgers and meatballs are all the rage. Rather than buy ready made, I prefer to make my own, the flavour is much better and I can assure myself as to the origin of the mince used to make them.

For the meatballs
400gr turkey mince – seek out free range or organic if affordable
1 lemongrass
1 red chilli
1 tsp chopped fresh ginger
1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
1 spring onion chopped
1 tbsp mango chutney
2oz breadcrumbs
1 tsp salt

Makes 8 small meatballs- feel free to double and freeze!
Peel the tough outer layers away from the lemongrass and cut off all but the bottom inch. Chop this very finely
Chop the red chilli very finely
Tip the turkey mince into a bowl, add all the other ingredients, mix well and shape into meatballs. Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge for at least 30 minutes for the flavours to develop.

For the Masala Sauce
2 tbsp rapeseed coconut or olive oil
1 medium white onion finely diced
1 tbsp fresh ginger peeled and grated
2 cloves of garlic peeled chopped and mashed
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp mild curry powder
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
1/2 can of chopped tomatoes (about 200gr)
1 400ml tin of coconut
1 tsp sugar (if required on tasting)

Heat the oil and add the onion and sweat for about 2 minutes until it softens.
Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another 3 minutes.
Stir in the spices and salt then cook for a minute or 2 – add a splash of water if it seems too dry.
Add the tomatoes, and coconut milk and stir to combine. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and taste. You may need the tsp of sugar at this point as sometimes tomatoes need a bit of sweetness. If required add, stir and taste. And add the turkey meatballs and cook the meatballs in the sauce over a medium heat for about 8 minutes, then turn them over and cook for about the same until cooked through. Splash the sauce over them occasionally.
Serve with some Basmati rice on the side.

Tex Mex Style Turkey and Pork Burgers with Barbeque Sauce

One of the best way to avoid dry burgers (aside from avoiding overcooking them) is to add some extra moisture in the form of this delicious secret sauce – I love to add some into the mix as well as baste some on top when I am cooking the burgers. It is also amazing with any slow cooked meats such as pork or lamb, it adds an amazing tangy flavour – just add a slaw for food heaven.
This sauce will keep for a few weeks in the fridge – I will be the first to point out that it is packed full of sugar in various forms so just remember it is a condiment not a main meal… 🙂

Tex mex Turkey and Pork Burgers

Grainne's Barbeque sauce

Turkey and Pork Burgers (Can also be used to make Meat balls)
Makes 6

450gr each of minced pork and turkey
4 tbsp chopped coriander
4 tbsp barbeque sauce (below)
1 tsp each salt and pepper
3ox breadcrumbs (I use gluten free)
1/2 white onion peeled and diced

Oven at 180C
Mix all the ingredients well to combine
Shape into patties and chill well before cooking
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a a pan and sear on both sides
Top each with 1 spoon of barbeque sauce
Transfer to an oven proof dish and finish cooking for about
20 minutes. I use a meat thermometer to check.
Serve with choice of veg

Barbeque Sauce

300gr tomatoes chopped and drained free of water
1 white onion peeled and diced
2 cloves of garlic peeled and chopped
20gr spice mix from below
125ml apple juice
125ml cider vinegar
125ml maple syrup
125ml american mustard
125ml molasses
100ml chutney (I used ballymaloe)
250ml ketchup
1 tbsp chipotles in adobo
1 tsp smoked garlic or maldon sea salt

Heat 1 tbsp oil and cook the onion and garlic over a gentle heat until cooked
Add the tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes
Add the spice mix and cook out for a further 5 minutes
Add the apple juice and vinegar and simmer until reduced by about 1/3
Add everything else and bring to a oil, turn right down and simmer for 5 minutes
Blend and pour into sterilised bottles and store in the fridge until needed.

Spice Mix
5gr each of fennel, cumin, coriander, nigella, mustard seed and black peppercorns
Toast the spices and when cool grind to a rough powder

Meatballs with Peppers Capers & Green Olive Sauce


The first thing I ask you to do is forgive the awful photo – I took it at night under glaring light but what is a girl to do when she has to work to earn a crust. The second thing I’m asking is go ahead and make this recipe, you will not be sorry. It is amazing especially the sauce – even for the little ones in the house – I blended it and they gobbled in down, olives capers and all. Now that is success 🙂

For the sauce
2 tbsp Rapeseed oil
2 cloves Garlic minced
1 small onion, diced
2 red Peppers deseeðed and diced
1 can plum tomatoes chopped
2 tbsp capers
1/2 glass white wine
2 tbsp Olives pitted
1 spring of rosemary
salt and pepper
1 tsp sugar

Heat the oil and add the onion garlic and pepper and cook on a medium heat until soft. Add the tomatoes, white wine and the sprig of Rosemary.
Simmer for a few minutes, take out the Rosemary, add the capers, olives. Simmer for a few minutes, season including sugar if required. Add the meatballs and cook on low until they are cooked, about 15 minutes.

1 lb Pork or beef mince
2oz breadcrumbs
1 egg beaten
1 small onion finely diced
2oz grated Parmesan or pecorino
1 tbsp flat leaf parsley chopped
1/2 tsp dried oregano
Salt and pepper to season

Tip all the ingredients into a bowl. Season as required.
Lightly oil your hands and form into meatballs – dont make them too large as you want to cook them in the sauce.
Brown the meatballs and then add to the sauce to complete the cooking.

Spicy Thai Soup with Meatballs and Pickled Veg

Cold weather, numb fingers, seeing your breath – this is the perfect antidote, hot spicy, the contrast of the sweet & sour crisp vegetables is a perfect balance to the coconut laced spicy soup. A great recipe you could have ready for when you come in from a long cold walk over Christmas. There I finally said the C word…. .

1-IMG_7867 OO&L

Thai Meatballs
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1lb minced beef, lamb or pork
1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp Kecap manis
1 red chilli finely chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
salt and pepper

Tip the meat into a large bowl and add the garlic, chilli, ginger, fish sauce, kecap manis, plenty of salt and pepper and leave to marinate a while. Shape the meat into small balls. Heat a decent amount of oil in a frying pan and cook the meatballs over a medium heat until browned on the underside, flip and cook the other side until browned. You can continue cooking on the pan until just cooked through and set aside until the soup is ready.

Thai Green Veg Soup
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled mashed and chopped
2 Tbsp green curry paste
400ml can coconut milk
1¾ l veg or chicken stock
5 kaffir lime leaves if you can get them – well chopped
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 bunch spring onions, the white sliced on the diagonal and the green finely chopped
2 Bok Choi – the white sliced more finely than the green, and separated.
280g pack fine green beans, trimmed and chopped
juice 2 limes, plus wedges to serve
small bunch Thai Basil if you can get it

Heat the oil, add the onion and fry for a few minutes to soften without colouring.
Add the curry paste, coconut milk, chicken or veg stock, lime leaves and fish sauce, then simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the spring onions bok choi and green beans and cook for 4-6 mins, until the beans are just tender. If you were able to get the basil, blitz it with the lime juice and add to the soup with the sliced spring onion and green top of the bok choi. (Otherwise just add the lime juice without the basil). Give a final taste for seasoning, add the meatballs and heat through.
Serve with lime wedges and pickled vegetables for a delicious filling comforting meal.

Pickled Veg
A selection of thinly sliced carrot, deseeded cucumber, spring onion, very thin slices of cauliflower
Pickling juice
100ml each of water and white wine vinegar heated gently to dissolve 3 tbsp sugar
Take off the heat and let cool. Add your veggies and set aside until needed

Chorizo and Marjoram Ragu with Rigatoni & Meatballs

OO&L Ragu Meatballs II

I’m still thinking about some of the most delicious ragu sauces with slow roast pork shoulder which I love to make but lets face it a busy working life and hungry belly’s mean mid week meals have to be a little speedier. This is my version with rigatoni – let the sauce bubble away as long as you can for the delicious flavours to develop and serve with some meatballs from here or simply with some pasta if it is a meat free day.

2tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions and 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
3 tbsp worcester sauce
3″ piece of chorizo finely chopped
50ml red wine
1 jar passata about 800ml
1½ tbsp (firmly packed)chopped marjoram leaves, plus extra to serve
Handful basil leaves chopped
Up to 2 tsp sugar to taste

Grated Parmesan to serve

Heat the oil and add the onion and celery and sweat till soft.
Add the worcester sauce and cook down for about 5 minutes till sweet and soft
Turn up the heat, add the chorizo and cook stirring until it releases its oil and is golden
Add the splash of wine and stir followed by the passata, marjoram and basil.
Stir and simmer for up to 20 minutes, season to taste including a check for a need for sugar.
Blend until lovely and smooth and ready to serve.
Cook 100gr rigatoni per person in boiling salted water until done and serve with the meatballs.
Sprinkle over the Parmesan to serve

100gm rigatoni per person
To serve: finely grated parmesan

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