Meatballs in a tomato, carrot and spinach sauce with cous cous

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I’ve had a stressful few weeks. Work’s been crazy, and I don’t see it calming down any time soon. I’ve realised I’m handling the stress badly because I’m not looking after myself. I’ve made a pact with Liam (we even made pinky promise) to eat healthier next week.

A few weeks back, I had really bad stomach pains, probably some kind of acid reflux. I couldn’t find time to see a doctor and when I did find some free time, the pain was gone. I made this meatball dish to help my stomach, although it didn’t really help. I think there was too much acid in the sauce, BUT it did taste great and the housemates loved it so I’m chuffed.

It’s a really hearty and homey dish so it’s perfect for the looming Autumn chill.

Meatballs in a tomato, carrot and spinach sauce with cous cous

Serves 5

1kg of beef mince
2 carrots, diced
1 onion, diced
2 tins of chopped tomatoes
250g of baby spinach
2-4 cloves of garlic, minced, or a tablespoon of the minced garlic in jars
2 tsp of dried thyme
2 tsp of dried cumin seeds
2 beef stock cubes
1 cup of water
1 tbsp of powdered garlic
1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
2 tsp of sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine mince, salt, pepper and garlic powder together in a bowl. Once well combined, roll 1 tablespoon of the mince mixture into balls and put them on a plate or in a bowl. Put in fridge when all mince have been turned into balls.

Dice your onion and carrot and set aside.

In a heavy set pot, put 2 tablespoon of oil and heat up. Fry the meatballs in batches until they are brown. Set aside and keep warm with foil.

Discard the oil and add a 2 tablespoons of oil to the same pot. Saute the onion, carrot, garlic, thyme and cumin until onion and carrot soften.

Add the meatballs, tomatoes, water, stock, balsamic vinegar and sugar to the pot. Stir and slowly bring to boil.

As the mixture boils, make the cous cous. I like to put dried cous cous in a bowl and pour boiling water over it, enough water to cover the cous cous (a bit more is OK too). Cover with a plate or cling wrap, wait 3 minutes.

While the cous cous is soaking, taste the meatball mix. Add salt, pepper and sugar to taste. Turn off heat and stir in the spinach.

Serve the meatballs on top of a bed of cous cous.

Variations:
– Add zucchini and eggplant if you want more veggies.
– Add chilli and paprika to the sauce to give it more of a kick.
– Add a handful of sultanas or raisins to the meatball mixture if you want some more sweetness.
– If you love herbs, add basil when you stir through the spinach or garnish the meatballs with some coriander and spring onion.

What’s your favourite meatball recipe?

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