Saturday, April 29, 2006

Special Treats - Visitors & Moroccan Style Meatballs

Last weekend we had a special treat - my daughter S (whose in Chile and has been since November) - no, she didn't come for a visit but her best friend from Montreal, Dana did with her 8 year old son Jacob. It was great to have them. We watched a million kid movies (mom deliberately doesn't own a TV) and played Headbanz, a crazy game where you a wear a card sticking out of a headband. Everyone knows who you are except YOU and you can only ask everyone else questions to help you guess who or what you are. The catch is the questions can only be answered with a "yes" or a "no". It was hysterical.

Dana and Jacob went off exploring Toronto and made it to the Ontario Science Center where the highlight seems to have been the elephant's heart that was HUGE, and the Royal Ontario Museum (or ROM as we know it) where the Bat Cave continues to be a big hit. So when they got back we heard all about it over a delicious dinner.

Now I've been talking about lamb and serving it up in a variety of ways. So far I've only got as far as the merguez pasta, so I was really ready for more and found this gorgeous looking Moroccan inspired tagine in Olive, one of my favorite magazines from the UK. The recipe calls for cooking the meatballs in a tagine (Moroccan clay cooker) and it's not something I own so I made do with my big Dutch oven. The thing is, you need a wide bottom, so the tagine isn't totally necessary, just cool. A deep skillet will do just fine. Make sure you have a tight fitting cover or use foil to seal it during the simmering. The other variation came because Dana, who used to be a vegetarian, now eats fish and chicken but no red meat....needless to say lamb was out, so I substituted ground chicken for the lamb (you can be sure I'll try it again with the lamb!) and it was very tasty.

I served it with sauteed baby spinach and some steamed quinoa, which I've been meaning to try since I read a post written by Shauna on Glutenfree Girl back in the Fall. How silly of me to wait so long to try it! It's really flavorful. Of course now we're doing the South Beach Diet, Phase Two, I'm always looking for alternative carbs. This time I mixed some red and some white quinoa. It was delicious. So whether you're dieting or not, allergic to wheat or not, you should check it out.

And because it is the weekend, and there's spinach, and cilantro and parsley in this meal it's also perfect for my favorite event - Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by Kalyn.


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Kalyn Denny said...

All these dishes sound so good. I'm with you, I love lamb. The red and white Quinoa looks so pretty mixed. Sounds like you had fun.r

Anonymous said...

That looks wonderful. I love meatbalss, they always seem like a celebration.