This colourful meal comes together in just 20 minutes! Lemon rice with baby peas are the base of these flavourful and moist mini meatballs mixed with ricotta.
"Well, hello there...." she says poking her head out of her cave after which has obviously been a long winter. It feels good to be back here writing again. And while the blog has been neglected, there has been a flurry of activity in the kitchen with some fun opportunities simmering nicely. I'm super excited to share them with you over the next short while.
One of the projects I have enjoyed most these past few months is called On Board in 20. In partnership with Food Bloggers of Canada, I am creating nourishing, family style meals that you can prepare in about 20 minutes. The recipes always contain whole food ingredients and are intended to be brought to the table on one large board for family members to build and construct their individual plates as their senses guide them.
I am blessed with a Little who has a pretty good palate. Meal time battles are rare (but still present!) and for the most part he is willingly to try anything. Except lettuce. Anything too bunny-like gets met with much protest. Regardless, I found myself dishing up everyones plates at the counter to their known preferences and then bringing them to the table.
We were starting to look like the family straight out of the The Three Little Bears....
A little plastic plate for baby bear.
A medium plate for mama bear.
And a big plate for papa bear.
All seasoned and doctored up as each prefers.
The irony was that I was not serving my family, family style.
So we made some changes.
I am huge fan of food on natural surfaces. Some people collect shoes; I collect boards. It maaaay be teetering on intervention-worthy but I am trying to keep it in check.
I took a page out of the amazing Jamie Oliver playbook and started dishing out our family dinner directly onto boards. Potatoes, salad, meat... you name it. It saved time both on plating and on cleaning up extra bowls and servings platters after supper. Sometimes I will put a grain in a smaller bowl or lay some parchment down but most things can be transported with a good flipper, spoon or set of tongs.
An unexpected benefit to this style of dinner was it meant more time around the table actually talking about & enjoying the meal. Little gets to construct his plate (with some guidance of course) to his taste buds and hunger level and it brought a little fun back to the table.
This recipe was the first in the series: Mini Ricotta Meatballs over Lemon Rice & Peas. The three keys to making this dinner in 20 minutes:
1. Anything mini cooks faster (and lets be honest - is more fun to eat)
2. Ground meat does not need eggs and breadcrumbs. A bit of seasoning and start rolling.
3. Never boil water on the stove if time is of the essence. Use a kettle. People smarter than me figured this out in 1891.