Last week, was a very long week. Work, parenting and life had all left me exhausted and uninspired, both in the kitchen and beyond. I sat down several times to write a post and found it impossible to put down anything even remotely significant and worth sharing. I was burnt out and feeling the effects of a very long July. So, despite my worry that I wasn’t being ‘productive’ or ‘following through’ on a commitment I had made to myself, in the end I decided to follow the advice I give my three year old when she has pushed herself too far. I took a break. And though part of me felt guilty for it, I knew that I needed it and I did it anyway.
Stuck in what seemed like an endless cycle of sweet potato and pesto variations I opened up an old binder of recipes from work at a previous cookery school, sat down with a cup of coffee and sought inspiration. And you know what? I freaking found it. Lots of it. I’ve got a queue of at least five new successful recipes I’ve made to share now. Stella got her groove back (I did not just write that).
This recipe was born out of this much needed break I gave myself. The flavour combinations were new for my children, though inspired by things they like. It felt nice to expose them to something different. Although it stunned them a bit at first, the dish ended up being a huge hit with both girls and my in-laws who were visiting from China. It felt like a real win all around and reminded me just how much I love to feed the people I love. It brings me more joy and satisfaction than I can possibly explain.
I served the meatballs over steamed jasmine rice and alongside blanched green beans seasoned with salt and lemon. The turkey mince could easily be subbed for lamb mince for even more inspired flavours- turkey was just what I had on hand.
Next time I drive myself into the ground with pressure, I will do my best to remember that recipes, wonderful shared meals and other beautiful things are created when I allow myself to step away, rest and recharge. My three-year-old advice is pretty spot on sometimes 🙂
Moroccan-Inspired Turkey & Carrot Meatballs
3 medium sized carrots, finely grated
500g turkey mince
1 handful raisins, chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 clove garlic, finely diced
generous amount of salt & pepper
1 cup of roasted pepper, tomato sauce (see recipe here)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Combine together grated carrot, turkey mince and raisins along with the cumin, garlic and salt and pepper. Roll into balls, placing the raw meatballs on a plate, then put in the fridge for 30 minutes or so. This will help the mixture set and stay together when it’s time to cook.
Heat 1-2tbsp oil in a heavy bottom casserole dish or pot on a medium high heat. Add your meatballs in few at a time, taking care to gently roll them around until they have started to cook on all sides before adding more meatballs to the pot. Once all meatballs have been added and browned add tomato sauce, along with the cinnamon. Gently stir to coat your meatballs on all sides with sauce. Then turn to a low heat and cover. Simmer for 30-45 minutes.
Serve over rice, giant couscous, bulgar wheat, or any other grain of your choice.