Association for Dietetics in South Africa (ADSA) spokesperson Cheryl Meyer loves this chicken meatball harvest bowl recipe.

Chicken meatball harvest bowls

How do you stick to a healthy diet in winter? Have a meal plan, says dietitian and Association for Dietetics in South Africa (ADSA) spokesperson Cheryl Meyer.

“Having a meal plan – even a rough/flexible one, not only saves you time and money but helps make you less likely to have to resort to eating out, ordering takeaways or buying a processed ready-made meal at the last minute.”

One of the meals Meyer includes in her winter meal plan is a NutritionConfidence recipe for chicken meatball harvest bowls.

“These harvest bowls pack in cooler-weather seasonal veggies – Brussels sprouts, zucchini, cauliflower and carrots – for a fibre boost and lovely variety of colour, vitamins and minerals,” says Meyer.

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Serves 4

Ingredients

  • ½ cup raw brown & wild rice 

Chicken meatballs

  • 250 g chicken mince
  • 1 cup coarsely grated zucchini
  • ¼ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup fresh wholewheat or low GI bread crumbs
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • ½ tablespoon fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon chicken stock powder
  • vegetable oil – for frying

Roasted veggies

  • 300g Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 300g cauliflower florets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic 

Dressing

  • 1 cup fat-free plain yoghurt
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to season

Carrot

1 large or 2 medium (200 g) carrots, coarsely grated

Method

  1. Cook the rice as per the package instructions.
  2. Meatballs: Combine the chicken meatball ingredients. Using a tablespoon to measure, divide the mixture into 20, roll each meatball between your hands to form 20 small balls. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. When ready to cook, heat a frying pan with a shallow coating of vegetable oil and cook the meatballs in batches until lightly golden on all sides and cooked through. Once cooked, place on paper towel to soak up any excess oil.
  3. Roasted veggies: Line a baking tray with baking paper or foil. Add the Brussels sprouts and cauliflower to the tray, drizzle with olive oil, thyme and crushed garlic and toss to combine. Roast at 200°C for 15-20 minutes, tossing mid-way.
  4. Dressing: Combine the dressing ingredients.
  5. Assemble: Enjoy your bowls warm or cold. Divide the rice, roasted veggies and grated carrot into four bowls, add five meatballs to each bowl and top with a generous drizzle of dressing.

What about dessert?

Meyer says a nice hot drink in the evening is a lovely way to satisfy a sweet tooth (and a nice way to wind down too).

Try a homemade cocoa: Combine one tablespoon cocoa powder and sugar or sweetener (optional – to taste) in a mug.  Stir one cup steaming milk (go for skim/fat-free for a lower-cal option) and spice it up with one of these add-ins: orange peel & ground cloves or ground cardamom & vanilla or chilli powder & cinnamon.

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