Cooking from scratch: one meal two ways – meatballs #motivationalmonday

I love motivational Monday – it’s such a great way to start my week, and really reminds me to hit the ground running (so to speak) after the weekend.  This time last week I posted about my appalling eating habits heading to lethargy and thickness in the waist (and in the head most days), so this week I have really been making an effort to eat better, and eat more regularly.

When my kids were smaller, I often batch-cooked meals on a Sunday and froze them for the week.  Now I am battling a disability rather than two toddlers, but I thought that what was a great help to me then could be a great help to me now.  I wasn’t quite up to half a day in the kitchen making cottage pies and casseroles, but I did manage batch cooking in the week, and concocted one meal, two ways.

I started with the humble meatball.  I am more of improvisational cook than someone who follows a recipe, so please forgive me the lack of measurements.  If I manage to get this cooking and eating thing a little more established, I shall endevour to post recipes at that point.

I started off with a very large (800g-1kg) of lean beef mince.  Simply seasoned with salt and pepper, I formed into mini meatballs.  I made around 50 from this amount of mince.

I dry fried them in a pan, drained and set to one side.  I then fried onions and mushrooms with some low calorie cooking spray.  When they were cooked, I split the onion and mushroom mix, and the meatballs between two pans.  This is where the dishes started to differ.

To one pan I added two tablespoons of curry paste, and a teaspoon each of coriander and cumin.  After cooking off the spices, I added a tin of chopped tomatoes, and enough water to cover.  I simmered for around 30 mins and set to one side to reheat the following day.  If you’re doing a reduction in advance, it’s important not to reduce it to the consistency you want it at first cook, or it will catch when you reheat.  It would go just as well in a slow cooker, which is one of my favourite tools too, but I put in the fridge, and then continued reducing on the day we ate the meal.

Curried kofte meatballs served with brown rice

To the second pan I added garlic puree (one of my favourite time savers), basil, oregano and black pepper. Then a can of chopped tomatoes.  I added water to cover, reduced down and served.
Italian meatballs served with pasta

So there you have it – one meal two ways.  The only problem with batch cooking, or making a big batch of casserole or chunky soup is that you can get a little bored with it after two or three days.  It’s well received, especially in winter, but I like the idea of putting in more or less the effort for one from scratch meal, and getting two.  It’s especially satisfying to know that you have a meal more or less ready in the fridge at the end of a long and busy day.    Hoping that my current enthusiasm carries forward, and I can establish better routines, cook more wholesome food, and have more energy!

Motivational Monday

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39 thoughts on “Cooking from scratch: one meal two ways – meatballs #motivationalmonday

  1. Excellent idea, Vicky. I love batch cooking too. Some days when I feel too tired or lazy, it feels good to know there is something in the freezer that I can use directly. Definitely useful.

    1. Thank you Dee – yes very useful. I'm going to do a few more of these type of posts too – where I take he same basic ingredients and make more than one dish out of it. I find it such a time saver, and as you say, great for the freezer! 🙂

  2. It is great to see you joining in with Motivational Monday each week and you really help to inspire me. I have never heard of curried meatballs but I think my boys would really like this idea and we need some new ideas – thank you for sharing. Although batch cooking never works here as they just eat it all lol.

    1. Thank you Joy – I really can't emphasise enough what a difference getting my week started the right way and in a better frame of mind is making to my sense of wellbeing. Looking forward to treating and treasuring my family for february too 🙂 PS. I can't imagine you'd have any leftovers with your large brood 🙂

  3. I'm the same with my cooking, a dash of this and a sprinkle of that. Meatballs are great and something my little boy will actually eat and I can chuck extras in like grated courgette or carrot. OH would love this too.

    1. Totally – I am the master of hidden veg, but didn't do my famous veg based tomato sauce with these. Will keep for another day. It is mu OH that is fussy – if I tried to hide veg in his food he wouldn't eat it lol x

  4. Batch cooking helps so much during the week. But it has two main problems for me – the first is standing in the kitchen for a whole day, and on the weekend no less, and it always makes me eat more, because it's there 🙂

  5. Sounds and looks great both ways. My kids love both veggie and real meatballs so I'll be taking inspiration from this post! Thanks so much for joining in with #recipeoftheweek. I've pinned and tweeted this post and there's a fresh linky live now. I hope you'll pop over and join in again this week, if you haven't already!

  6. Hummm, nice recipe! Italian pasta and meatball, very tasty. I think it is easy to cook, how about adding some tomato sauce and cheese on its surface. That sound so perfect!

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