Like a lot of health food bloggers, I really enjoy cooking, and sharing the fruits of my labour with my lovely readers. For me it is a creative and therapeutic outlet (and baking up a batch of healthy cookies is also way cheaper than seeing a therapist too!). Whether I’m experimenting with new-to-me ingredients, putting a healthy spin on a classic dish, or just baking some comforting cookies, the kitchen is my ‘zen’ zone.
But to be honest, a lot of the stuff I cook doesn’t get to grace the pages of my blog. Half of the time I will make something really yummy, only to realise halfway through eating that I never took a picture! Pretty sure nobody wants to see a half eaten plate of food, so I usually just continue chowing down instead. The other half of the time, I make something really yummy and take a picture only to realise….it doesn’t look all that sexy. Which brings me to this post: Tasty not sexy.
I think seeing so much media around food photography and food styling has made me really critical of my abilities as a home cook. Sure I want my food to look good, but the more important thing is how it tastes!!! So I decided to stop being Miss Judgy Pants about the quality of my photography and just share the recipe instead.
Tasty not Sexy Recipe #1: Mediterranean Meatballs
Gluten free (Grain free option), dairy free, Low FODMAP
Seriously how do you make a ball of meat in tomato sauce look appetising? But who cares anyway. These balls are filled with the goodness from shredded broccoli, chopped celery, baby eggplant, and even pureed parnsips! My brother is like the ultimate vegetable hater, so I take every opportunity to sneak in extra veggie nutrition where I can. He didn’t detect any flecks of green so gobbled them down happily (and then proceeded to eat the leftovers too). I made close to 50 meatballs from this recipe so feel free to freeze the leftovers for a quick dinner mid-week.
Prep time: 25 mins Cooking time: 45 mins
Makes about 45 meatballs
- 2 tbsp garlic infused olive oil, divided
- 1 large stalk celery, finely diced
- 1 stalk of broccoli, grated
- 2 finger eggplant, finely diced
- 1 medium parnsip, peeled, boiled & pureed (about 1/4 cup puree)
- 1/4 cup gluten free rolled oats, ground into flour**
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried chives
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, cut chiffonade
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp Worcester sauce
- 1 whole egg + 1 egg white
- 500g lean beef mince
- 250g lean pork mince
- 500ml tomato & basil pasta sauce
- Gluten free spaghetti or veggie spaghetti to serve
- Green salad
- Heat 1 tbsp garlic oil in non-stick pan. Saute celery, shredded broccoli, and eggplant for 8 – 10 mins until soft. Add water one tablespoon at a time to prevent vegetables from sticking to pan.
- Combine cooked celery mixture with remaining ingredients, excluding tomato sauce. Mix thoroughly using clean hands.
- Using your measuring spoons, scoop out a tablespoon of meat mixture and form into a balls. Mixture should make about 40 – 50 meatballs.
- Cover meatballs loosely with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 10 mins to firm up.
- Heat remaining 1 tbsp garlic oil in non-stick pan. Saute meatballs in batches, for several minutes until browned on both sides. Once all meatballs are browned return them to the pan and add tomato pasta sauce. Season with salt and pepper if desired.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 25 – 30 mins.
- Serve with gluten free pasta, vegetable spaghetti and a green salad.
You will probably see a few more entries in the tasty not sexy series over the coming weeks and I do hope that you try some of the recipes. While they might not look as appealing as pictures from a magazine I can assure you they taste terrific. And if you are being super judgemental about your own abilities I urge you to stop! You are only human and don’t need to do everything perfectly. So make your food tasty and nutritious, snap a quick pic and eat!