You know what I loved most about the purée stage? Make-ahead meals. I always had frozen cubes of food on hand for all of Lucas’ meals, they transported easily, and in a pinch, I could just give him a puréed food pouch. Those were the easy days. Then he lost interest in being spoon fed, and I knew it was time to experiment with finger foods. It was fun for sure, and easy at first. Peas, blueberries, avocado, banana. But now it involves real cooking, and sometimes it feels never ending.
Lucas can’t always eat what we are eating, and for that reason I like to have some freezer friendly options that I can pre-make. Below, I’m sharing my recipe for ground beef patties, but these could easily be your standard meatballs as well. Add salt and pepper and you could even freeze some for yourself.
Here’s what you’ll need with the exception of two items not pictured, because listen, I’m no food blogger and sometimes normal people forget shit. Those items are 1 large egg and a teaspoon of garlic powder. Pictured however, is parsley, basil, plain bread crumbs, tomato paste, grated parmesan cheese and 1 lb of lean ground beef. Any ground meet will do though. I often use ground chicken or turkey instead.
If you are making patties, give the can of tomato paste a wash because it will be useful later. If you are making meatballs you can skip this step.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. In a mixing bowl combine 1 lb ground beef with 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, half a cup of plain breadcrumbs, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1 tablespoon of tomato paste and a handful each of chopped parsley and basil.
Begin mixing and then realize you forgot the egg and add it. Continue mixing and then roll mixture into palm size balls.
Arrange the palm sized meatballs onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Now you’re going to make the super easy two ingredient tomato topping.
Take a tablespoon of tomato paste and mix it with some olive oil. Start with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil, mix, and then continue adding small amounts of olive oil until the paste breaks down into a sauce consistency.
If you are making patties, this is when you will use your cleaned tomato paste can to smush down the meat balls into patties. If you’re making meatballs you can obvi skip this step.
Once you’ve let your frustrations out by smashing a tiny can into tiny balls of meat, grab a silicone food brush, and brush your tomato and olive oil mixture onto the tops of the meat patties or meatballs.
Now pop those babies into the over for 18 – 20 minutes and pour yourself a glass of wine. May I recommend Kim Crawford? One of my favourites and a very easy drinking daytime wine. I guess you could also clean up the mess at this point. Your choice.
That’s it. They’re done, and will keep in the fridge for 3 days, at which point I transfer them to the freezer. I honestly don’t remember how many I made, but I think it was 16. I ate 2 (quality control babe!) so that leaves 14 for Lucas, which should last me about 7 days.
Let me know if you make these for your little one, and what their reaction was. Did they gobble them down or throw them on the floor? Lucas does both depending on the day.
Thanks for reading. Summarized recipe below. xo
- 1 lb lean ground beed or ground meat of choice
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 large egg
- handful of chopped basil
- handful of chopped parsley
- 2 tbs tomato paste divided
- 1 tbs olive oil + additional incremental amounts as required
- Preheat oven to 400° Farenheit. Wash tomato paste can before opening. Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl with the exception of 1 tablespoon of tomato paste and olive oil.
- Roll meat mixture into palm sized balls and place on large baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Using the clean tomato paste can, press the meatballs into patties. The tomato paste can gives you the perfect patty size for infant meat serving.
- In a separate small bowl, mix together 1 tablespoon of tomato paste and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Mix with a whisk and continue adding small amounts of olive oil until the paste turns into a saucy consistency.
- Using a silicone food brush, brush tops of meat patties with tomato paste mixture.
- Cook in oven for 18-20 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 160° Fahrenheit.