To be honest, I’ve been in a bit of a dinner rut. I spend most of my times prepping my lunches, and then neglect any recipe I’ll make for dinner. Actually, “recipe” should be loosely used there, since most of the time I’m throwing things together.
Throwing together something sometimes works, and other times leaves me wanting a bit more. So my pre-New Years resolution is to put a bit more effort into my dinners. I’ve tried a few recipes, teetering back and forth between “pretty good” and “needs improvement” (like a deliciously promising quiche with a grain-free crust that was edible, but wayyyyy too much butter). Nothing that’s really blown my socks off or post-worthy.
Finally, I stumbled across this recipe in the NY Times and adapted it to what I already had in the kitchen and my diet. It’s a show stopper for sure. I can already tell this will be a recipe I will make many times, for myself, as well as friends and family, so get ready for variations on this in the future.
North African Stew with Meatballs & Roasted Vegetables
Adapted from The New York Times.
Garlic Tomato Sauce
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon paprika + 1 tablespoon coconut sugar or brown sugar
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Spiced Bison Meatballs
- 1/4 cup almond meal
- 1 pound ground bison
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- spice mix (see below)
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- optional: cayenne for some heat.
- 4 carrots, sliced
- 2 large handfuls of spinach
- cooked brown basmati rice
To make the sauce, heat a skillet over medium heat. Add in olive oil and once hot, add in the chopped onions and crushed garlic. Saute until onions are starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add in tomato paste, all purpose spice, chicken stock, and sea salt. Stir tomato paste in well until fully incorporated. Turn up heat until it boils, and then simmer at a low heat until for 5 minutes. Set aside.
Meanwhile, make the bison meatballs. In a large bowl, add bison, almond meal, egg, sea salt, and spice mix. Mix well with hands. Then, using a 1/4 cup scooper (or an ice cream scooper), mold into about 10 small ball-sized portions.
In a large deep skillet, add in 2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil. The oil should generously cover the bottom of the pan. Heat to a medium-high heat. When you add in a meatball, the oil should immediately sizzle. Cook meatballs in batches (I did 2 batches). There should be a decent amount of space between each meatball- no crowding here, or it’ll result in something less than perfect!
Add in meatballs and let cook until bottom is brown, about 2 minutes. Flip over and brown other side. The inside will not be fully cooked. Don’t worry! Set aside on a paper towel to absorb any extra oil.
Quickly rinse out pan. Add in enough olive oil to coat the pan, and add in carrots and spinach. Season and saute until the carrots are beginning to soften and spinach is slightly wilted. Add in tomato sauce and meatballs, and turn up heat until it begins to boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and simmer for about 15 minutes, until meatballs are fully cooked. Serve immediately over rice.