My theme for this week’s Blogging Marathon is “Lunchbox Recipes for Kids”. Now this is a very challenging theme for me because of 2 reasons: One: my 5 year old has become a very picky eater and packing his lunch is quite a challenge most of the times. Two: Schools don’t have microwaves to reheat the lunch, so whatever we pack has to taste good even at room temperature.
When my son was in kindergarten, his daycare had a very good lunch program. He had a vegetarian option everyday and the food was served hot. But now in kindergarten, school lunch menu has hot food everyday, but there are hardly any vegetarian options and so we have to pack him lunch. One thing we figured out is rice gets too cold and is tough to eat by lunch time, especially in winter.
My son loves meatless meatballs and after buying the store bought ones for couple of times, I decided to make them myself. They are pretty easy to make and they freeze beautifully for later meals.
I used MorningStar Farms Soy Crumbles. Reconstituted soy granules/ TVP can be used instead. I added oats to make the meatballs hold together and improve the nutritional value. Also I used flaxseed meal for binding. I shallow fried the meatballs this time, but the next time I want to bake them.
1tbspFlaxseedMeal (mixed in 3tbsp water and set aside for 2 minutes)
Milk bread- to soak the slices
2tspsChoice of herbs (I used 1tsp each of thyme and oregano)
to tasteSalt Pepper&
Soak bread slices in 2-3tbsp milk and squeeze out the extra milk and crumble the bread.
In a large bowl, combine soy crumbles, soaked and squeezed bread and oats. Grate the onion and garlic right into the bowl, so as to catch all the juices. Next add the herbs, salt and pepper. Gently mix to combine all the ingredients. Add more oats if the mixture seems too wet.
Take about a tablespoon of the mixture and roll into a small ball. Shallow fry in hot oil until golden brown on all sides.
Remove onto a paper towel lined plate. Cool and use as desired.
For my son's lunchbox, I add these meatballs to pasta along with some tomato sauce. They can also be eaten as is or added to curries or rice dishes.