Supported Ad

Follow Me on Pinterest

Follow Me on Pinterest

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Moroccan Lentils with Turkey Meatballs

Moroccan Lentils with Turkey Meatballs_menumusings
So let's face it, it's almost time for pumpkins and Thanksgiving.  Wow!  How did that happen?  I mean, you can't walk down the isles of the grocery store without seeing your favorite products in the pumpkin spiced variety.  That's a sure sign that the holidays are on the way, no matter what part of the country you live in or what the temperature is.  And that means it's time to pull out your recipes for chili, soup, and warmly spiced comfort meals.  But if you are anything like me and have no desire to eat "the same old thing" all the time, it's much more fun to cook NEW stuff! 
#healthy #glutenfree #dairyfree #kidfriendly #turkey #moroccan #cleaneating #meatballs #african #lentils #highprotein #easy
Supposedly, one of the fastest-growing food trends of the year is Moroccan Cuisine.  Now that's something I can get behind!  Being located on the northern tip of Africa, and having coastlines on both the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, the country of Morocco is perfectly located to be a culinary melting pot of cultures from around the world.  The ancient spice trade routes have blended the cuisine of this crossroads civilization with that of its neighbors resulting in influences from its European and Mediterranean neighbors, Arabian, Moorish, Iberian, North African, Jewish, and Indian alike!  When you talk about Moroccan cuisine, you have to start with the spices, which were known for their medicinal value in addition to being essential to cooking.  The spices used are sweet and savory, earthy and bright, and just a bit on the floral side.  The dishes are beautifully textured and use a combinations of fruits, nuts and spices in unexpected combinations.  The Moroccan cuisine uses similar spice combinations as Indian food, but perhaps not the same intensity.  So it can be argued that the Moroccan food tastes like a milder version of Indian food.  
Oh by the way, my kiddos both gave this a thumbs up and one even said how "cool" it was to come in and be able to eat "neat" stuff from around the world.  That's a Mom Win for sure!!!  😁👌 
Don't let this long list scare you.  It's just dumping spices together. 
Print this Page
Ingredients:  (serves 4-6) 
Turkey Meatballs - 
Moroccan Lentils with Turkey Meatballs_menumusings
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp garlic paste (or equivalent amount) 
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Lentils - 
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 Tbsp garlic paste (3 lg cloves) 
  • 1 cup chopped onion (medium onion)
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne* (may leave out if heat sensitive)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 cup lentils 
    • I used a trio of lentils (red, black, green) 
  • 4 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 1 (14.5oz) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup peeled and finely diced red potatoes
  • 3 Tbsp parsley chopped, plus more for garnish 
Step-by-Step:
Let's make the meatballs first.  These are very easy.  Dump - roll - bake.  
Preheat oven to 350F and let's get started.  Combine the ground turkey with all the ingredients in the "meatball" list and combine gently, taking care not to overwork them.  
1 pound ground turkey
1 large egg
1 cup oatmeal
* I use oatmeal so that my recipe remains gluten free and also to add texture to my turkey meatballs, since turkey can be very smooth and bland feeling.  Oatmeal also stabilizes blood sugar and lowers cholesterol.  Feel free to use bread crumbs if you prefer. 
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 Tbsp garlic paste (3 large cloves garlic, finely minced)
1 Tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
 Take care not to overwork the mixture.
16 formed meatballs on parchment
 Pop them into the oven for 10 minutes.  Remember, they will NOT be fully cooked yet.
350F x 10 minutes.
Begin working on the lentils.
Add olive oil to a large, heavy bottomed pan.  Saute onions, garlic and sliced carrots in the olive oil for 8 - 10 minutes over medium heat until softened. 
2 Tbsp EVOO
1 Tbsp garlic paste
1 cup chopped onions
3 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
Add all the spices listed for lentils once the vegetables are softened:
1/4 cinnamon, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/4 tsp cayenne, 1/4 tsp ground cloves, 1/2 tsp kosher salt, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper.   Stir to incorporate.
Sauteed vegetables with added spices
Add the lentils then the chicken stock.
1 cup lentils
4 cups chicken stock
*These are the lentils I used.  Feel free to choose the kind you prefer. 
Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes uncovered.  Add in diced potatoes and continue to cook an additional 10 minutes uncovered. 
1 cup peeled and finely diced red potatoes (about three small potatoes)
Add in diced tomatoes, parsley, baked meatballs, and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
1 (14.5oz can) petite diced tomatoes
3 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
baked meatballs
Moroccan Lentils with Turkey Meatballs_menumusings
Simmer in sauce until done.
Garnish with more chopped parsley and serve immediately.   I served mine with a Citrus Spiced Couscous, as this is one of the major dishes of Morocco.  I personally think it would also be wonderful over basmati rice, although maybe not as authentic. 
Moroccan Lentils with Turkey Meatballs_menumusings
Bonus Recipes:
Maple Mustard Glazed Chicken - easy, gluten free, low fat, family friendly, dairy free
maple mustard glazed chicken_menumusings
Korean BBQ Shish Kabobs - gluten free, kid friendly, dairy free
korean bbq shish kabobs_menumusings
Happy Hour Pizza Rolls - super fun and easy appetizer, kid friendly, party food
happy hour pizza rolls_menumusings
Ritzy Cheddar Baked Chicken - easy, kid friendly, weeknight
Ritzy cheddar baked chicken_menumusings
Brady's Brussels Sprouts Hash - healthy, flavorful, clean, side dish
brussels sprouts hash_menumusings
Frankenstein Pudding Cups
frankenstein pudding cups_menumusings
Pumpkin Pie Spiced Martini
pumpkin pie spiced martini_menumusings
Food Nerd Notes:
Lentils are an edible legume.  They resemble a flat baby pea. They are widely cultivated through Europe, Asia and Northern Africa.  These small "pea cousins" have been used as a meat substitute for millennia and have been found in Egyptian tombs for over 5,000 years.  Although very small, lentils pack a huge nutritional punch!  They are terrific for your digestive health as they contain high amounts of both soluble and insoluble fiber.  This helps prevent colon cancer, reduces chances of heart disease, and helps stabilize blood sugar levels.  The high levels of folate and magnesium are heart healthy and help keep arterial walls strong.  If you are a diabetic or hypoglycemic, the complex carbohydrates in lentils can help stabilize blood sugar levels, curb your appetite and control your cholesterol.  Other than soybeans, lentils are the vegetable with the highest amount of protein (a whopping 25%)!  Also, lentils contain the antioxidants Vitamins A and C and cancer fighting phytochemicals, tannins.  So overall these make a fantastic addition to your diet unless you have kidney problems or gout. 

Written Method: 
Let's make the meatballs first.  These are very easy.  Dump - roll - bake.  
Preheat oven to 350F and let's get started.  Combine the ground turkey with all the ingredients in the "meatball" list and combine gently, taking care not to overwork them.  Divide into sixteen meatballs and place them on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.  Bake in the preheated 350F oven for 10 minutes.  Caution - they will NOT be fully cooked at this point.  They will finish cooking in the sauce.  

Begin working on the lentils.
Add olive oil to a large, heavy bottomed pan.  Saute onions, garlic and sliced carrots in the olive oil for 8 - 10 minutes over medium heat until softened.  Stir in the lentil spices onto the vegetables, stirring to incorporate.  Add the lentils then the chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes uncovered.  Add in diced potatoes and continue to cook an additional 10 minutes uncovered.  Add in diced tomatoes, parsley, baked meatballs, and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.  Garnish with more chopped parsley and serve immediately.  

3 comments:

Follow me on Pinterest

Follow Me on Pinterest