[exceptional-citing quoted=”featured-bento” template=”bubble-gray” date=”” ](grain free) Cheese Stuffed Pizza Meatballs, Cherry Tomatoes and Carrots, Blood Oranges and Mandarins. Stored in a Lunchbots Trio.[/exceptional-citing]
Sometimes, a Mama just has to get sneaky.
Like “hidden vegetables” sneaky.
(Do the kids still say, “Oh, snap.”? Well, I’m bringing it back. Now.)
We’ve talked at great length about how Mr. Boy will not, willingly, eat vegetables. It’s the reason why his healthy school lunches only ever showcase carrots … and even then, if he isn’t in the mood, he won’t eat them.
I’ve decided I’m not above sneaking the nutritional benefit of veggies into his foods. Yes, I still plan on offering vegetables that he can see and taste, but this boy needs more than the occasional carrot!
Mama Bear is out and ready to puree …. MUSHROOMS!
Yes, mushrooms are the hidden ingredient in these (grain free) Cheese Stuffed Pizza Meatballs.
Before agreeing to take part in the Mushroom Makeover Challenge, I honestly wasn’t aware of how many nutrients can be found in the humble, earthy mushroom. People, they are PACKED with minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins … including Vitamin D (in fact, mushrooms are the only produce aisle item that has naturally occurring Vitamin D … a vitamin in which most of us are deficient).
So, the joke is on YOU, Mr. Boy … you said you hated mushrooms. You said you would never eat them. You fussed when you saw them in your spaghetti sauce. But, in your meatballs? You never knew they were there!
(and you LOVED them)
- 8 oz ground beef
- 6 oz mushrooms (I prefer Creminis)
- 1 egg
- ½ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp ground white pepper
- 1 tsp dried basil
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ¼ tsp ground oregano
- 2 tb ground golden flax
- 1-2 tsp coconut flour
- 2 mozzarella cheese sticks, each sliced into 8-10 small slices, or 3-4 mozzarella balls, each cut into fourths
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Finely mince (by hand or in a food processor) the mushrooms and then sauté them over medium -high heat until their moisture has been released and evaporated. Set aside to cool
- In a large bowl, add the ground beef, cooled mushrooms, egg, and spices, stirring to incorporate.
- Add the golden flax seed and stir, and then add the coconut flour, a teaspoon at a time, until the meat mixture holds together and is no longer too wet.
- Divide the meat mixture into 10-12 tablespoon sized portions. Place one portion into the palm of your hand and add a cheese slice into the center. Shape the meat around the cheese, making sure to pat the "seams" shut.
- Place "seam side" down on a foil or parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes.
- Allow to cool 5-10 minutes so the cheese doesn't burn one's mouth! Serve with pizza sauce for dipping, if desired.
Time to share your lunch! What fun lunch boxes have you been packing for your family?
You can link to any kid-lunch/bento or family-friendly recipe on a blog post or via flickr photos — this linky is for any kind of healthy school lunch and kid-food, regardless if it is Bento-style or not. I want to celebrate our efforts to provide good and enjoyable school lunches for our families!
My only request is that you either add a link back to this post or include the Lunch Graphic (which links back) to your post so others can get here to view the linked lunches too!
Link up your school lunches and bentos! Please use a permalink for your post rather than linking your general blog/flickr account URL — this will help people go directly to your fabulous lunch!
disclosure: some affiliate links used in this post. In addition, I am participating in the #MushroomMakeover 30 Day Weight Loss Challenge in which I am a financially compensated blogger ambassador for the Mushroom Council. The opinions are my own and based on my own experience.