Saturday, July 9, 2016

Cooking with Kids: Meatballs with Strawberry Balsamic Glaze


My nephew helped me make these meatballs, but even if you don't have an adorable sous chef these meatballs are still a great idea. My dad even requested them a second time during my visit last month. It's the strawberry balsamic glaze really sets these apart. 

Without a little helper, you can get dinner on the table in about 20 minutes....with your helper it might take a few more minutes, but remember those minutes are investments in the future. :)




I'm not going to lie and tell you that cooking with kids is a breeze and you'll get things done in less time with no mess. Cooking with kids can be (almost always is) difficult, but it's one of those things that's so worth it in the end. 

My inspiration for getting kids involved in the kitchen is Katie from "Kitchen Stewardship" Here are 2 posts where she talks about cooking with kids and talks about her kids cooking ecourse. I watched her knife skills course and learned a lot myself and pick up some tricks for teaching my nephew how to use a knife. It should be noted that her recipes aren't AIP, but the skills she encourages in kids can be used in any recipe.

If you have kids you want to get in the kitchen with (or need some kitchen skills yourself), I would encourage you to check out this ecourse. 

Let's get on to the meatballs and my tips for getting kids involved in the kitchen.
  1. Safety First
    Clear your cooking area of hazards (sharp knives, hot pans, etc.).
  2. Prep all of your ingredients
    This is especially true if you have a young helper who might get impatient with the measuring and counting. Older kids can do this prep work for you. To get my nephew started I measured all the spices into little bowls and washed/ removed the stems from the strawberries.
  3. Have a game plan 
    Make sure you know the steps and are ready to give instructions, or your little chef will get ahead of you.
  4. Make sure your helper can reach the counter
    Get a stool your helper can stand on, or move the cooking to a table/ counter they can reach.



Our first step was making the sauce. For this part of the recipe, my sous chef cut the strawberries in quarters (with a table knife). This step can be skipped, but I wanted to give him some knife practice using the methods I learned from kitchen stewardship. After cutting the strawberries, my helper counted as I added the strawberries and seasonings (many of which were pre-measured) to the food processor and then he pushed the buttons for me.

 

The next step was making the meatballs. My sous chef added the pre-measured spices to the bowl of ground meat and then got in there with both hands to get it all mixed together. 

Once the meat was well mixed, the meatball forming began. I showed him how much meat for each meatball and he happily (and with a lot of focus) rolled the balls and put them in a bowl to the side.



After the meatballs were formed, his job was done and he sat at the kitchen table and chatted with me while I browned the meatballs, added the sauce and let them simmer for a few minutes. He was thrilled with the final product and enjoyed eating them with roasted veggies for dinner (or supper as he prefers to call it). 


Meatballs with Strawberry Balsamic Glaze
{AIP, Paleo}
Serves: 4
Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:
(meatballs)
1 pound grass fed beef
2 t garlic powder
1/2 t cinnamon
3/4 t pink himalayan salt
1 T olive oil

(sauce)
1/2 cup chopped strawberries
3 T balsamic vinegar
1/4 t pink himalayan salt
1/4 t garlic powder
1/2 T dried oregano
2 T olive oil

Method:
- place all sauce ingredients in a small food processor and blend until smooth
- mix meat and all meatball seasonings in a large bowl with your hands
- form into 1 inch meatballs
- heat olive oil in a large skillet over a medium heat
- add meatballs to the skillet and cook for 4 minutes, flip over and cook 3 minutes
- add sauce to the skillet and simmer for 3 minutes

** See below for print friendly recipe









** Recipe is shared on this week's Phoenix Helix Recipe Roundtable