Sunday evening, after a nippy but sunny morning at the park, I grilled hot dogs, zucchini, asparagus, and corn-on-the-cob for our gang. The wind was blisteringly cold, but the kids were totally psyched about the dogs so I braved the icy breeze and prepared the charcoal. I’m glad I did because they could not have been more excited! They chomped through an entire package of Herman’s franks, six ears of corn and even tried a little zucchini and asparagus. Again, I am so ready for warm weather, especially now!
The following day, with a grilled zucchini leftover and a bag of spinach still being worked through, I decided to puree up the two green vegetables with a bit of sweet onion and see if I could get away with sneaking ’em into the meatballs I’d planned for dinner. Feeling completely confident that I was gonna get busted and have another “yuck” struggle at the table, I nervously made dinner plates and set the table. To my utter astonishment, they absolutely DEVOURED the meatballs! No leftovers! Happy, happy hidden veggie dance! Apparently, I just gotta’ get more creative and I am up for the challenge.
Well, mostly. The fog of not sleeping through the night has set in bigly. The wifey and I both find ourselves standing in the middle of a room, dumbfoundedly looking at each other with our eyes pleading, “Help me! I can’t remember what I came in here for!” Just yesterday I stood with the fridge door open for a full two minutes blinking blankly around at its contents until I remembered I was after the apple juice. Holy moly Foster Mommas! This just got real!
Pork Veggie Meatballs
1 lb ground Pork
1 leftover grilled Zucchini
1/2 cup fresh Spinach, loosely packed
1/2 Sweet Onion, quartered
1/2 to 3/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup shredded Romano cheese
2 cloves Garlic
2 tsp Spanish Paprika
1 tsp Garlic Powder
2 tsp Worcesershire Sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 jar or can Fresh Tomatoes
1/4 cup shredded Mozzarella
2 tbsp EVOO
Cooked Pasta of Choice
Garnish: Parmesan, Basil, Red Pepper Flakes
In a food processor, puree the leftover grilled zucchini, spinach, garlic cloves, and onion until a smooth paste is formed. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add in the seasonings, egg, and bread crumbs. Next add in the ground pork and mix until just incorporated, adding additional bread crumbs, if needed. Set aside.
Prepare a roasting pan by lightly oiling it. Add in the jar of fresh tomatoes plus equal part water. Set aside.
In a cast iron skillet over med flame, heat the EVOO until shimmering. Make one very small meatball and sear up to taste. If needed, adjust the meatball seasoning. Roll out the pork mixture in your hand to form evenly sized meatballs, about 1 to 2 heaping spoonfuls of pork mixture each. Sear the meatballs in batches and transfer to roasting pan. Set the meatballs in the fridge until ready to cook.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Remove the seared meatballs from the fridge and top with the shredded mozzarella. Roast in the oven until the meatballs are cooked through, and the mozzarella is bubbly. Allow to cool at least 5 minutes. Serve with cooked pasta of choice and additional Parmesan, Basil & Red Pepper Flakes, if desired.