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Let’s start with meatballs!

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All ground up: fitness expert Catherine Burns reminds readers that using ground raw chicken requires a good awareness of food safety

Right! Last week I was on an unusually angry rant about the prolific nature of processed food and the powers-that-be who allow it dominate our society. It’s seems very strange to me that we have laws in place for seatbelts and helmets to prevent fatal traffic accidents and yet we don’t have laws in place to prevent obesity, which ultimately, kills far more people.

I’m not suggesting we police what people put in their mouths, rather the companies who profit from deliberately marketing junk to vulnerable populations (especially children.)

I could go on for ever about this topic! But don’t worry, I won’t. Let’s march on with some sideways solutions instead!

Teaching kids to cook is an amazing way to empower the next generation and encourage healthy eating in later life.

Even if children have their fair share of junk layered on top, research shows that those who grow up eating healthy meals, come back to healthy eating as their norm in adulthood. And cooking brings friends together around the table, another way to enrich your children from a social perspective.

Last week I promised to begin sharing a series of economical, healthy recipes that are easy for teens to prepare. This means we have to avoid too many different ingredients and nothing tediously complicated!

This recipe for Japanese chicken meatballs is based on one from Gwyneth Paltrow.

Whatever you think of her movies, retail antics or the fact she called her daughter Apple, her recipes are delicious. I just adjusted the seasoning a little and have given you tons of options for how to enjoy them.

All ground up: fitness expert Catherine Burns reminds readers that using ground raw chicken requires a good awareness of food safety

Heads up! Using ground raw chicken requires a good awareness of food safety. Making these is messy (fun!) but the chicken will get down the sides and under their nails too.

So it’s important you show kids how to was their hands afterwards without contaminating taps or soap dispensers.

I just nudge the tap on with my elbow – and pump the soap dispenser with my wrist/forearm – but whatever works for you! Equipment needs to be washed well too.

It’s a brilliant opportunity for a lesson in “how to prevent food poisoning!” (Don’t let that put you off, these are delicious and the safety part is easy.)

This recipe tends to be popular with kids because it’s well seasoned but slightly sweet too. It’s quick and easy so pop on some music in the kitchen and get cooking!


(makes approximately 24 small meatballs)

1 pound ground chicken

1/2 cup breadcrumbs (gluten free if need be)

1 inch ginger, peeled and minced (can omit if need be)

¼ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. white pepper (black will do)

1 small garlic clove, finely minced

1 tbs low sodium soy sauce (gluten free if need be)

2 tsp good quality maple syrup

1 tsp sesame seeds, garnish

1 tbsp fresh chives, chopped, garnish (optional)


Thoroughly mix the raw chicken with the ginger, salt, pepper, garlic, soy sauce and maple syrup. Roll the mixture into small golf ball sized meatballs.

You can use a spoon but nothing works so well as getting your hands in there and getting messy.

Grill, bake or pan-fry the meatballs until they’re cooked through – try baking at 375 for 15 mins.

Garnish: sesame seeds and chopped chives.

Note: if your chicken was previously frozen it may be a bit more moist. If your mixture is too wet, just add more breadcrumbs.

Serve: these are amazing with some shredded romaine in a pita, with rice, quinoa or mashed potatoes.

You can also slide three or four onto a skewer for a fun kebab and serve with some raw veggies or a salad on the side.

They are great cold afterwards too for lunch boxes (if you have a cool-pack). If you reheat them, please be thorough and make sure they are piping hot in the middle.

*he advice given in this article is not intended to replace medical advice, but to complement it. Always consult your GP if you have any health concerns. Catherine Burns BA Hons, Dip ION, BNTA is a fully qualified Nutritional Therapist trained by the Institute for Optimum Nutrition in the UK She works at Waterfront Wellness in Bermuda. Join Catherine on Facebook: www.facebook.com/nutrifitandnaturalnutritionbermuda or instagram @naturalbda

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Published April 26, 2024 at 8:00 am (Updated April 25, 2024 at 7:54 pm)

Let’s start with meatballs!

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