Garam Masala Meatballs with Turmeric rice

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Imagine my evenings (I’m sure for some it’s not hard…)

Tired mom drives close to the speed of light down the highway, racing to her destination… day care. Upon arrival, some polite chatter with the person entrusted to mold and meld my babes, inquiring about their their day. Hopefully no apologies required, (a few F bombs have dropped).

I then try to quickly and calmly stuff them into the car as they run around appearing like a cross between squealing hyenas and an octopus (hyocs, octayenas…???).

Fortunately, this often involves lots of hugs. Unfortunately, they seem to grow thousands of arms competing for body area to hug. I’ve fallen when not braced properly.

The ride home is half filled with happy chatter and half filled with a chorus of “mom, we’re hungry”, “can we watch ponies?”, “mom, she keeps touching me”.20140723-224702-82022154.jpg

We arrive, I unlock the door, the dog charges us and the octyenas sort of quickly make their way inside as I herd the dog and the cat, carrying bags, my purse and backpacks.  I then either try to be super woman getting snacks and lovely brain enriching activities out and on the go, or I say f*@k it and put on the bloody ponies…again.

Sashay  into the kitchen, ready to prepare yet another perfectly balanced meal of both flavour and health.

I manage to get supper organized with only 6 interruptions, one involving food, two settling disputes, at least one accident and one boo boo that needs kissing, (of course something else happened too). Finally  presenting my masterpiece to the adoring family and pretending that a bomb hasn’t exploded in the kitchen.

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Miraculously all is well. The kids come to the table and happily shove nourishment into their little pieholes,  babbling about Pokemon cards and colouring. I breathe for the first time since I got in the car and we settle into the rest of our nightly routine.

For obvious reasons I need food to be quick, easy and tasty. I also want to enjoy my dinner so it needs to be kid friendly and manageable by little hands. Hence my love of tacos and meatballs. However, combining the two could be weird or boring or both.

But, I have been blessed to live in a country that has given me global inspiration and grocery stores that stock spices and flavours to play with. Even in the small town I live in I can still created ethnically inspired dishes that open up my kids experience of the world through food. Giving me hundreds of ways to create new versions of a meal that fits my families needs.

This dinner is such a perfect example of that. I have been making  chicken meatballs for my family as a staple meal for years. Recently I started using them in tacos and then somehow that morphed into trying different ethnic variations, including spices like curry powder, ginger and turmeric. I’ve never eaten a lot of meat so I also  have what my husband calls ‘filler’ to go along with the meatballs. In this case it became a rice dish that I actually think almost steals the show and makes an amazing side or a great vegetarian option for your tacos :). I love it. The raisins are a bit sweet and the rice is so fragrant. Plus the turmeric makes it an absolutely gorgeous colour.

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I can have everything ready in about 45 minutes too. And part of that is in the oven cooking time so I don’t feel tied to the kitchen or like I’m missing out on my family.

For my tacos I make the meatballs and rice then slice up tomatoes and cucumbers. Plain yogurt mixed with cilantro, mint or even basil, plus a bit of salt and olive oil make a super easy sauce to top it all with. For a salad just toss that all in one bowl.

And if the idea of tacos is just too weird, ixnay (say no to) the tortillas and serve your meatballs on the rice with the salad instead. That was my lunch today… People were jealous.

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Garam Masala Meatballs

2 packages ground chicken thigh or ground turkey (around 900 g)
1/4 cup panko
1/4 chopped fresh herbs (cilantro, parsley, basil, oregano, chives)
1/4 chopped feta
1 Tbsp garam masala
1 Tsp curry powder
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat your oven to 350
Mix all the ingredients gently together and form into small balls. About a tbsp scoop.
Place the meatballs in a baking dish and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes and cooked through .

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Turmeric Rice

1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 an onion finely diced
1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 Tbsp curry powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp salt (omit if you are not using a salt free stock)
1/4 cup raisins
1 cup Basmati rice
2 cups veggie stock or 1 cube salt free veggie bouillon and 2 cups water

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

In a medium sized pot add the olive oil and heat over medium low heat. Add the onions and sauté until they soften. Add all the ingredients down to and including the salt, cooking for only a few moments. Add the rice, stirring regularly cook for a minute or two. Toss in the raisins and then pour in either the bouillon or stock and bring to a boil.
Once boiling reduce to low heat, cover and cook for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow it to sit another 5 minutes. Fold in the cilantro and serve

 

 

 

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What can I say. We’re a family that likes our food and when hubby’s ashore he makes sure to get his fill 🙂

I hope you all enjoy these as much as I do and please let me know what you think. I also have a Facebook page where I post nightly meal ideas, photos and meal prep www.facebook.com/myweeklydish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Vegetarian Chickpea Tacos

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One of my goals this year has been to eat less meat and since I’m the cook in the house, my husband’s right on board with me. I’ve used chickpeas for a healthy protein source and upped the veggie ante with a base of tomatoes, bell peppers and corn. This makes for a super flavourful, fresh tasting taco. The recipe has become a multi-purpose base for lots of dishes. I’ve made taco salads and quesadillas using these delicious chickpeas and I’m hoping you can find your own uses.

I love tacos for their versatility and all the yummy toppings and this recipe has become a favourite. It’s also easy and quick, my non-cooking husband made this for his sister. She was suitably impressed and so was I.

For those that like it a little more spicy I would add jalapeño. I’m cooking with a two-year old in mind and he’ll have more spice then I expect but I like to start mild and add heat with my toppings.

chickpea tacos

Chickpea tacos

1 diced onion
1 clove garlic minced
1 diced tomato
½ diced red pepper
¼ cup frozen corn
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
½ lime
1 large can chick peas
¼-1/2 cup vegetable stock or water
¼ cup cilantro
Hot sauce to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

Over medium heat sauté the onion until soft. Add garlic, cumin, chili powder and lime. Once the onions and spices have had a few minutes together stir in tomatoes and red peppers, and corn, cooking for a few minutes. Rinse and drain the chick peas and stir into vegetable mixture. Start by adding ¼ cup of stock, allow to cook for about five minutes and then mash some of the chickpeas. I find at this point I often need to add more stock to keep the mixture from getting too dry.

Season with salt and pepper and hot sauce to taste. Remove the mixture from heat and stir in cilantro. We love cilantro so if it’s not your favourite feel free to cut back.

We like to top our tacos with shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, salsa, hot sauce, plain greek yogurt and shredded cheese. For those with food sensitivities or allergies these tacos are vegan, dairy and gluten-free without the toppings we use.

Here’s how this recipe fits into my families dinners for this week, Weekly Meal Plan