3 meatballs on a bed of quinoa and chickpeas with a parsley garnish

Moroccan Lamb Meatballs and Quinoa

bee's kitchen Jan 23, 2021

Once upon a time, I had a trip planned to Morocco. The flights and lodging were booked, a driver was arranged to get us from one destination to the next, and ferry tickets from Morocco to Spain were purchased.


A Trip Rerouted

And guess what happened? No, it wasn’t a global pandemic. We missed the check-in for our flight from Paris to Marrakesh due to a delayed departure from Denver to Paris. And since we were flying different airlines and the tickets were booked separately we had to quickly come up with plan B. Originally we had only planned to be in Morocco for 4 nights before heading to Spain. Losing 1 night was really going to rush our already tight itinerary so decided to scrap Morocco altogether.

After a quick search to see what flights were available, we were soon boarding a flight the Barcelona, Spain for 2 nights to pick up a rental car and head to Valencia for another 2 nights before heading to Seville to pick up our original itinerary for Spain and Portugal. We literally did a tour of the Iberian Peninsula by car and train for 15 days. We put 1659 miles on the rental car that we picked up in Barcelona before returning it to Madrid. From Madrid, we traveled to Malaga by train for 2 nights before flying home to Denver. It was AMAZING!!!

But back to Morocco, it’s still on the list! And after researching it, I want to go when I can stay for longer. So I think missing our flight was a blessing in disguise. I imagined Morocco to be a place that evokes all of the senses. If you’ve been, please leave me a comment and let me know if my vision of Morocco is accurate!

  • Sight - bright, beautiful colored textiles and ornate architecture.

  • Smell - Both pleasant - the food - and unpleasant - the leather tanning factories.

  • Sound - the hustle and bustle in the medina

  • Taste - the FOOD! I love Moroccan food and cannot wait to experience it first hand! In the meantime, I’ll just make these yummy Moroccan meatballs and pretend I’m there.

Moroccan Lamb Meatballs & Quinoa

Yields 3-4 servings

MEATBALL INGREDIENTS

  • 1lb ground lamb

  • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped

  • 1 1/2 tsp turmeric

  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika

  • 1 tsp coriander

  • 1/2 tsp cayenne

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 tbsp avocado oil

QUINOA INGREDIENTS

  • 1 c quinoa

  • 1 medium onion chopped

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

  • 1 tbsp turmeric

  • 1/2 tbsp cinnamon

  • 1 tbsp coriander

  • 2 handfuls of spinach

  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained

  • 8 dates, chopped

  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted

  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  • Olive oil

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Cook the quinoa according to package directions.

  2. Combine the meatball ingredients except for the avocado oil.

  3. Form into meatballs.

  4. Heat a skillet to medium-high and add the oil.

  5. Sear for 2-4 minutes on 2 sides.

  6. Bake for 10-15 min until cook through.

  7. Meanwhile, saute the onion with seasonings for 5 minutes or until the onion is translucent. Then add 2 handfuls is spinach to wilt.

  8. Mix the cooked quinoa with onions and spinach. Add the chickpeas, dates, cup-slivered almonds, parsley, salt, and pepper.

  9. Drizzle with a little olive oil and top with cooked meatballs

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