Happy Monday Guys!
Well with this gloomy weather we are having, I figured the easiest way I could warm up your Monday was with a super kick ass recipe!
Speaking of this weather, it’s January but with this rain, fog, misty weather it feels more like April – which I AM complaining about because my hair hates it and it’s confusing my current wardrobe! Luckily, this recipe will keep your core warm because if you’re like me, despite all the layers (in rain or snow) I literally shiver like it’s my job.
Today’s recipe combines two of my favourite cuisines: Italian (obviously, my roots yo!) and Indian. I have always liked Indian food, however it wasn’t until my studies in New York, that I fell in love with the food, the preparation and the flavours. This recipe is dedicated and inspired by one of my culinary teachers and mentors, Chef Richard La Marita, who has a very impressive culinary history. He not only is a master at Italian Cuisine but after working in India he became very fluent with these flavours. It was such a joy learning from him and watching the way he would combine flavours to create really beautiful dishes. In one of our Ayurveda Cook Tech classes, he put a Sicilian flare on Ayurvedic dishes and methods which I thought was totally genius! That class always struck a cord with me, and even to this day, whenever I eat Indian food I always think of ways to collaborate these flavours into other dishes.
This Meatball Masala is a perfect make ahead recipe, as it reheats really well so you have something nourishing, flavourful, and hearty to enjoy throughout the week which makes your meal prep so much easier. You can serve this with steamed vegetable or a grain of your choice – I personally love a little basmati and steamed green beans with this dish! (Two other things, easy enough to meal prep in large batches). There is no searing in this recipe, so it comes together really quick : form meatballs, cook sauce and toss meatballs in – PRESTO!
Yields: 31 mini meat balls, 8 – 10 Portions
For the Meatballs
2lbs ground beef
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
¼ cup almond flour
For the Sauce
1 lb 5 oz Eggplant (1 large or 2 small), medium diced and salted **(SEE notes below)
4 Tbsp olive oil
1 white onion, thinly sliced
6 Cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp dried chili flakes
1 Tbsp ground turmeric
2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp cumin
2 Tbsp minced fresh oregano
¼ cup minced fresh basil
2 tsp sea salt
1 can tomato paste
1 x28oz can whole tomatoes
1 can coconut milk, full fat
Oregano leaves for topping
For the salted eggplant: we do this to draw out excess moisture and bitterness. Take the diced eggplant and scatter 1 tsp of salt over top and toss together. Let sit for 15 minutes over a colander. Then use all your days’ stress, and squeeze the water out of the eggplant dices – then you are ready to use!
- For the Meatballs: Gently mix all the meatball ingredients together, then roll into 31 mini balls – just smaller then a golf ball. Then wrap/cover and place in the fridge until ready to use while you make your sauce.
- For the Sauce: You will need a large deep sauté pan (5L), IF your pan is not deep enough, then use a pot for this recipe. Otherwise everything will bubble over after you add in the meatballs.
- Bring the pan up to low medium heat and add the olive oil, onions, garlic, spices, herbs and salt, then sweat together until fragrant, approximately 5 minutes.
- Add the squeezed eggplant and tomato paste, using a wooden spoon here, stir everything together and cook for another 5 minutes on low medium heat.
- Then add the whole tomatoes and their juices, along with the coconut milk. Using your wooden spoon, roughly break up the tomatoes as you stir through. Add the meatballs, then cover with a lid and simmer for 25 minutes.
- Then remove lid and simmer uncovered for a final 15 minutes.
- Serving size: I recommend 3 meatballs per ½ cup sauce, over your favourite steamed veg or if you wish, grain of choice.
I hope you enjoy this recipe guys, it’s such a favourite of mine!
Have a good Monday, I’ll be back later this week with an oatmeal recipe and sharing my tips, on how I eat this grain and the preparation steps I take to ensure easy digestion