I have a dinner recipe for a true family favourite today…I loved this as a kid and i can truthfully say it is one that both the Toddler Twosome and Miss Teen love too! What is this astounding dinner i hear you ask?
I'm sure many Aussie families grew up with this family favourite so perhaps you have your own recipe…i have tweaked mine a little over the years and this is what i now cook and the recipe i will pass onto my girls so that they can keep the classics alive! It really is such an easy and tasty dish that is a great alternative to those nights you want to opt for takeaway instead!
Porcupine Balls in Tomato Sauce
For the balls you will need…
(i usually use 1kg now that the twins are eating too…it also leaves me a little to freeze in toddler portions for other nights…if you use more mince just add a little more liquid to the sauce)
3/4 cup dry rice
1/2 zucchini grated
1/2 carrot grated
1Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1Tbsp tomato sauce or chutney
1 tsp allspice
1tsp soy sauce
1tsp crushed/minced garlic or 2 cloves
1 egg lightly beaten
sprinkle of basil (or any herbs your family likes!
For the sauce you will need….
1 large jar of tomato passata/homemade pasta sauce or 2 tins of tomatoes
MUM'S TIP…If you have really fussy eaters i find a can of salt reduced tomato soup can entice them to begin eating this recipe and you can lessen this over time adding more passata to the recipe instead!
1 Tbsp of mixed herbs (or your favourites)
1Tsp brown sugar (to bring out the sweetness of the tomatoes and entice those toddler tastebuds!)
Mix all together and pour into a large casserole dish.
Now combine all the ingredients together for the porcupine balls …i find it easier to just use my hands but a fork does the job too!
Roll into bite size balls (i like to do some mini ones for the toddler twosome) and then place into the sauce. If you like more sauce add a little water or stock or perhaps a little more passata or some tin tomatoes. I modify as i go along depending on how much mince i am using.
Sprinkle with a little Parmesan cheese, cover and bake on a moderate heat for 45min to 1 hour depending on your oven.
Serve with creamy mashed potato and some greens or with spaghetti . You can't see it in the pic but the dish is called porcupines because the rice pokes out of the balls and they look all spiky…you could run with this theme a little when plating up for the littilies!
For the toddler twosome i do mini balls and some cubed sweet potato for Tara and fork mash the balls, sauce and some sweet potato or pumpkin for Ruby as she still won't pick up any meat *sigh* But at least with this recipe i know i am guaranteed to get some meat and iron into her! I'd love to share a photo with you but i am usually too
stressed busy concentrating on getting the food into bellies and not on the floor/walls/furniture.
I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does….a simple recipe but sometimes they are the best in a busy week!
Here is another version of this recipe from the wonderful resource that is Kidspot! They really do have some great family and toddler recipes…just allow yourself some time as you will want to wander for awhile!
Here are a few more sites i think you might find useful if cooking for bubs, toddlers or a young family…i get a little caught up looking for new ideas to entice the toddler twosome so i shall try to share a little inspiration from my wanderings with you each week…please let me know if you have a blog or site to share with us that you think i would enjoy visiting!
Super Healthy Kids has some wonderful recipes, printables and meal plans to share. So much to see there!
Weelicious has some fantastic, fast, fresh and easy recipes for baby and toddler (not to mention the rest of the family!)
Food For Tots has some lovely food and recipes for toddlers with really easy instructions and clear pics!
And finally ….Little Gastronomy has some beautiful basics for babies and toddlers. I couldn't see any recent posts but she has recipes categorised under age groups and many have a real multicultural flavour. I haven't made my way through all of them yet but they look so interesting!
What have you been cooking for dinner this week? Do you have a family favourite?
Miss Sofia says
Have discovered your blog through Pinterest and will definitely try your porcupine balls. I’ve just started my own blog to help me remember the meals my munchkin liked especially for those days when I have no idea what to cook! Thanks for the inspiration.
Thanks so much for dropping by Anne…i shall have to drop by your blog…i love new ideas!
Ooh, yum. I think my girls would enjoy this!
I haven’t had these in ages Jode thanks for the reminder. I know my girls would just love this recipe:) Tonight I made Lamb, Risoni and Sundried tomato bake with a salad. It was a huge hit, no leftovers in our fridge tonight, I love it when that happens:) xx
Happy Whimsical Hearts says
This sounds delicious and how is it that I have never heard of this dish before?! I bet my kids will enjoy this 🙂
By the way, I followed your link through and got to your latest post rather than this one – feel free to pop back over and link this one up too! x
This is actually one of my favorite dishes! We actually take the meat mixture and stuff it inside hollowed out sweet peppers, top them with the sauce and bake them up. So tasty!