Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Moroccan Meatballs & Chickpeas

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Multicultural Cuisine of... Morocco

As I've mentioned before, I haven't always been the most adventurous eater. In fact, I've been called a "fussy" eater more than a handful of times. One of the things in the great land of food I'm most frightened of is anything spicy. I am terrified of spice. I was scarred for life a few years ago when Sous-Jeff and I went to Nandos. Sous-Jeff is my polar opposite - the more spice, the better. In fact, if all of his taste buds are dead by the end of the meal and he can't actually taste a thing, that's a win for him. So when our grilled chicken wraps came out and the little flags were switched, with Sous-Jeff receiving my Lemon Herb with avocado wrap, and me accidentally biting into his Extra Hot wrap, it was a disaster. I literally couldn't speak for the next 15 minutes. I couldn't taste anything for the next 3 hours (pity, seeing as our next stop was a movie and I was really looking forward to my popcorn!), and I didn't speak to him for the next day. Since then, I've even be frightened of sweet chilli sauce.

In a bizarre turn of events, I decided to make a Moroccan spiced dish for dinner. Sous-Jeff was intrigued and confused. Why in heaven's name did a spice-a-phobe decide to cook this meal? Because, I say, I'm trying some new things and I want to branch out. And besides, I'm not putting that much spice in it.

This is my recipe for a super quick, easy and yummy dinner, travels well to work with me when I need to re-heat and eat on the run too. I didn't actually pull this recipe from any book or magazine, I just had a look in the fridge and pantry to see what I had to work with, from there an idea was born, and I just ran with it!

The ingredients you'll need to make this meal for two are:
  • 300g beef mince
  • 25g finely diced onion
  • 1 tsp Moroccan mixed spice
  • spray olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely diced
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 150g diced red capsicum
  • 150g diced zucchini
  • 150g halved cherry tomatoes
  • 300g chickpeas
  • 1 tsp Moroccan mixed spice
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 50g low fat fetta

First up, put the mince, onion, Moroccan spice, and a little sea salt in a bowl, and combine with your hands. Shape into little, tablespoon sized meatballs. Heat some spray oil in a large fry pan over medium heat and cook the meatballs until browned and almost completely cooked inside.

Next, add in the garlic and lemon zest, and cook for a minute.

Turn the heat up to high and add in the capsicum and zucchini and cook for 3 - 5 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, or until the veggies start to soften.

In with the tomatoes and chickpeas next and the other little bit of Moroccan spice, again stirring with the wooden spoon, for another 3 - 5 minutes, or until the tomatoes start to fall apart a little.

Lastly, add in the lemon juice, a little more sea salt and parsley, stirring for a minute. Take the pan off the heat and divide up into two bowls. Top with some fetta, and enjoy! 

See mum, I can cook something other than dessert!

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