Lamb meatballs with herbed Quinoa and home made Moroccan seasoning...yummy, healthy...

Posted April 27th, 2015 by Mimi

The cooler weather always means comfort food, doesn't it?

It's suddenly chilly in our part of the world, and that usually means lots of mash or rice, and gravy laden slow cooker meals.

We're trying hard to be healthy this Winter though, so that we don't exit August looking like bears waking from hibernation, so I'm keen to find alternatives to butter soaked mashed potato, steamed white rice, and gravy....sigh...I know. It's not easy. We all love that stuff.

I'm finding Quinoa is a great alternative, as is polenta. DH has eaten polenta when we've been out and thought it WAS And Quinoa is just a great nutty flavoured grainy choice, that's a little healthier than white rice.

We'd had this meal three times in the last fortnight, so I guess that makes it a winner. So I thought I'd share it here.

For four servings, you'll need:

Make the Moroccan seasoning first:

2 teaspoons each Ground Cumin, Ground Ginger, Turmeric, Salt and White Pepper

1 teaspoon each Ground Coriander, Cayenne Pepper, Allspice and the crushed thorny bits off two Clove heads. Don't use the whole clove!

Combine these well in a small container with a lid. You'll have enough for two or three meals.

For the Quinoa:

1 cup Quinoa

1/4 cup currants (or any dried fruit really)

1/4 cup orange juice or water

1/2 cup each of chopped herbs of your choice....I like Mint, Coriander and Italian Parsley

2 shallots (the long green things) finely sliced

1 Lebanese cucumber, chopped roughly

2 teaspoons home made Moroccan seasoning

For the meatballs:

500gms lamb mince

1 egg

2 tablespoons finely chopped Mint

2 shallots, finely sliced

2 teaspoons home made Moroccan seasoning

Tzatziki to serve if you like it. I make my own by combining Greek yoghurt with finely diced Lebanese cucumber, half a teaspoon of grated onion, a teaspoon of lemon zest, and some mint.

Then just:

Put the currants into a small microwave safe bowl or cup, add the orange juice, and heat to steaming in the microwave. This just hastens the plumping of the currants. Allow the currants and the OJ to sit while you prepare the rest of the meal.

Combine the meatball ingredients well, and roll the mixture into balls, refrigerating them for about ten minutes.

Put one cup of Quinoa in a medium saucepan with two cups of water. Bring it to the boil, and simmer for about 15 minutes. If you have time, you can also cook it using my easy peasy rice method, of bringing to the boil, covering it with a tight fitting lid, and turning the hotplate off. Leave it sit for about half an hour, and it's done. Fluff it with a fork.

Line up the ingredients to add to the Quinoa, so that you can quickly add them prior to serving.

While the Quinoa steams, pan fry the meatballs. I actually squash them flatter so they're like mini burger patties. They cook more quickly.

While they're cooking, drain the currants, reserving the orange juice.

When you're ready to serve, toss the cooked Quinoa with the currants, cucumber, shallots and chopped fresh herbs. Add the Moroccan seasoning and as much of the reserved orange juice as you like for flavour.

Scoop the quinoa mixture into bowls, top with the meatballs/patties, and spoon Tzatziki over them

Utterly delicious, and so healthy :)

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