Hawaiian Meatballs

We’re thinking about going to Hawaii for a family vacation this summer. Tony and I used to travel to there a lot before we had kids. He works for an airline so we get standby passes for pretty cheap. We were young and adventurous with no parental responsibilities, so it was easy to take a spur-of-the-moment trip somewhere. Honolulu was a popular choice for us because there are several flights a week so we had better odds of getting on a flight, plus it’s a relatively short flight (about 5 hours). We could relax on the beach, shop or sight-see during the day, and once the sun set we could enjoy the Honolulu nightlife.

Us at Waikiki Beach, pre-kids!

Now with three children our trips require a bit more planning, but it will still be somewhat “spur-of-the-moment” because it all depends on how open the flights are looking. Flying standby with a family of five isn’t as easy as it was with just the two of us. Still, I’d like to try it because I really miss Hawaii. We haven’t been there since I was newly pregnant with our first child, Cole. That was 7 years ago. 7 YEARS!! How did that happen? I want our children to experience beaches with soft sand and warm water, I want to teach them how to haggle at the marketplace, I want to go to a Luau with them, and I want to take them on a dinner cruise where we can spot turtles swimming in the clear blue ocean. I have so many great memories of that place and I want to include my children in those memories. I think that one of the joys of having children is watching them experience something for the first time and seeing that look of wonder on their faces. We sometimes take things for granted until we see them again through our children’s eyes.

Hopefully we’ll get to go to Hawaii this summer, but if not, at least we can enjoy some Hawaiian flavours at home with these meatballs. This recipe is an adaptation of Wowie Maui Meatballs from Eat, Shrink and Be Merry, except the meatballs aren’t on skewers, they’re served on a bed of rice instead. My mom had made them when she was staying with us after Ayla’s birth and everyone loved them, so I made them again.


Tony got in on this photo too because he liked the meatballs so much! Bennett gave them two thumbs up so he must have really loved them. And Cole…not so much. That’s funny, because when Grandma made the exact same thing he gobbled them up. Huh.

I really liked them, and I especially liked that they were quick and easy to make. As much as I like making things from scratch, sometimes frozen meatballs are the way to go.

Hawaiian Meatballs

Adapted from Eat, Shrink and Be Merry

1/2 of a 20 oz package of frozen Swedish meatballs
1/3 cup BBQ sauce
5 tsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp grated gingerroot
2 tsp liquid honey
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 tsp olive oil
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup onion, diced
2 carrots, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 can pineapple tidbits, drained
2 cups cooked rice

Cook meatballs according to package directions. While they’re cooking, prepare the sauce by mixing BBQ sauce, soy sauce, ginger, honey and sesame oil in a small bowl. Set aside. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, peppers and garlic. Cook until vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes. Add pineapple tidbits, prepared sauce, and prepared meatballs. Cook for another few minutes until heated through. Serve over rice.

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Welcome! I’m Megan.

My kids like to whine, especially when it comes to the food they eat, but that doesn’t stop me from trying to make tasty and healthy meals for them. Follow along as I share family-friendly recipes and reviews from my picky family members, who I lovingly call “The Whine Critics.” Read More…

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