This cold weather (in Brisbane) has got me in a serious fit of comfort seeking. First stop - this Chicken Meatballs dish with mung bean fettuccine. The best thing? It only took 35 minutes from start to finish which meant I could get back under my doonah quick smart. If you're not from Brisbane you're probably thinking I'm a big woose because surely it doesn't get cold in Brisbane? But it does my friend, it does. And worst of all, we're never prepared for it. Mainly because winter lasts for all of 1 week in Brisbane so when it does get cold we go into hibernation mode.
Despite being freezing, today was one of those miraculous days where I achieved exactly what I set out to achieve (despite ridiculous jet lag feels). These chicken meat balls were first (and last) on the list. I find myself getting overwhelmed a lot because I tend to set myself waaaay too many tasks (almost always resulting in me getting absolutely NOTHING achieved). BUT after taking some sage advice I decided to stop doing that and set only one task. And guess what, I got it done. Amazing.
Keep it Simple
These Chicken Meat Balls were so quick and easy to make, which is a serious win for me. I'm committed to creating delicious but quick meals that will help to make your life a little easier come dinner time. The dinner rush is always pretty hectic in most households but I definitely find cooking quick and simple dishes helps to ease the load. Even more so if the meal is prepped ahead of time (which this one was). Dylan has footy training a few nights a week and on those nights I like to have eeeeeassssy as pie meals that I can preferably cook earlier that day. Having dinner already made on these nights means that one, I don't have to try and cook one handed while holding a hungry baby in the other, and two, I get to spend some time cuddling my girls on the couch.
Adding some steamed veg on the side of a pasta dish helps to balance it out. Though, you never know when it's going to be one of THOSE nights/afternoons where everyone is tired/cranky/hungry/screaming/all of the above. If I don't have the time to put some steamed veg on, then at least I know there is some in the dish. If it is one of those nights, you could always add some grated zucchini to the sauce as its cooking to boost the veg content.
Mung Bean Fettuccine
If you haven't used mung bean fettuccine before then I really recommend that you do. You can definitely use a different spaghetti or pasta to go with this dish if you like. There is, however, a few reasons why I love this one so much. Mung bean fettuccine is made from, you guessed it, mung beans. This means that it is really high in protein and fibre. It actually contains 40% protein, which is amazing! The high protein and fibre content will make you feel fuller for longer and provide you with necessary amino acids. It is also gluten and grain free so easy for most to digest. Black bean spaghetti is also great and similarly high in protein and fibre. I buy mine from an online organic grocer but I have seen it in smaller supermarkets like IGA and specialty stores like Flannery's.
Well, that's enough out of me. Jet lag is starting to kick back in, which means my brain is in shut down mode.
P.S. I've used Australian Natural Food Co organic chicken mince in this recipe. If you're Brisbane based go and check them out because they're produce is AMAAAAZING.
- 500 grams chicken breast mince
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp dried coriander ground
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 brown onion finely chopped
- 1 litre passata
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- salt and pepper to season
- 1 ½ cups frozen peas
- 2 cups baby spinach
- grated parmesan cheese to serve
- steamed green beans to serve
- Make chicken meat balls by adding chicken mince, paprika, ground coriander, dried oregano plus a pinch of salt and pepper to a bowl and mixing by hand until well combined.
- In a casserole pan, bring about 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil to a medium heat. Using a spoon, roll chicken mixture into balls, adding them to the pan straight away to seal.
- Turn chicken balls approximately every 30 seconds or so to evenly seal the outsides, moving each ball to the side of the pan once sealed to make room for more.
- Once all of the chicken balls are in the pan and sealed, add the chopped onion to sauté.
- Once onions are tender, add garlic and stir through.
- Add the passata to the pan as well as the frozen peas, baby spinach and salt and pepper to season.
- Allow to simmer so that the peas cook through and the spinach wilts.
- While the chicken balls and sauce are simmering, bring a medium pot of water to the boil.
- Once boiling add the mung bean fettuccine and boil until fettuccine is tender. Strain fettuccine using a colander before returning to the pot and tossing through some olive oil to prevent from sticking together.
- To serve, add desired amount of fettuccine, chicken balls, sauce and steamed beans to each bowl and top with parmesan. Omit parmesan if dairy intolerant.