Saturday, April 23, 2011

Curry Meatballs in Coconut-Tomato Sauce

After cooking for Superman all of last week, my own fridge was pretty empty.  Because my life is rushed and busy, I dashed off to the store without a list (VERY unusual for me -- in fact, I can't remember if I've ever done that before).  But I knew I needed a few basics:

coconut milk

And I had shrimp, ground turkey, leftover pulled pork, and cauliflower in the freezer.  I felt like I was flying by the seat of my pants every night as we hurriedly put dinner together, but it always turned out delectable:

Monday - Pulled Pork over Colorful Cauliflower Rice (aka B.I.G. Shreds), Zucchini, Spinach Salad
Tuesday - Coconut Curry Shrimp and zucchini over spaghetti squash
Wednesday - Sesame Tilapia, Curry Cabbage/Zucchini/Onion, steamed Ginger Carrots
Thursday - Sausage & Cabbage "Noodles" with Fried Apples
Friday - Cinnamon Spaghetti Squash "Custard" (baked with egg, coconut milk and raisins)
Saturday - Curry Meatballs in Coconut-Tomato Sauce over Cauliflower, pears

Honestly, I can't remember loving food this much in the past, and I've always loved food.  But the flavors!  Wow!  It's as if I never really enjoyed food before.  Paleo, my tongue thanks you.  And so does my waistline. :)

The "custard" was an experiment, and I'll be honest, it didn't turn out quite like I hoped it would.  I'm still fumbling around with making some sort of sweet squash-and-egg-and-fruit dinner/breakfast thingie.  But see, it takes time to experiment in the kitchen, and that's something I don't have a lot of right now.

This was my dinner tonight.  After curling Valedictorian's hair for prom, I decided to try a new recipe.  And I sat and ate alone since all three of my daughters had made plans.  And I didn't regret a single solitary mouthful.  Feel free to re-create it...

Curry Meatballs in Creamy Tomato Sauce
Inspired by this recipe from Mark's Daily Apple

Makes 24 meatballs

3 tablespoons coconut oil
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons roughly chopped ginger
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 1/2 pounds tomatoes, roughly chopped (about 8 Romas or 2 cans tomatoes)
1 can of coconut milk
3 carrots, cut into 1/4-inch rounds

2 pounds ground meat
1 egg
3 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon curry powder
1-2 teaspoons salt
large handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
small handful fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

1 cauliflower head, grated

Melt coconut oil in a deep saucepan. Add onion, garlic and ginger. Saute a few minutes until the onion is just beginning to soften then add spices.  Add tomatoes and simmer on medium-high for five minutes. Add coconut milk and carrots and simmer on medium, stirring occasionally, while you make the meatballs.

Combine all the meatball ingredients until well blended. Use a large cookie scoop to make 24 meatballs. In a hot skillet over medium-high heat, brown meatballs for three minutes on each side.
Place the meatballs in the coconut sauce and continue to simmer at least 15 minutes more, or until the sauce has thickened and the meatballs are cooked through.

You may choose to "glaze" the meatball pan at this point.  Turn off the heat.  Drizzle some white wine over the meat drippings and stir, scraping up whatever bits of meat are stuck to the pan.  Turn the heat back on, and while the meatballs and sauce are simmering, stir fry grated cauliflower in the meatball pan.  Serve the meatballs and sauce over the cauliflower and garnish with fresh mint.

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