Moroccan meatballs with citrus-glazed carrots and cauliflower/carrot mash

I can’t say enough good things about this meal… the meatballs were chock full of flavor, the citrus glaze really brightened up the carrots, and the herbs in the cauliflower/carrot mash were even more fantastic than expected.

I made a few changes to the original recipes (found here and here) and substituted dried herbs for fresh in both the mash and the meatballs, because fresh herbs can be very expensive and we had the dried already.

I happened to have almond meal on hand (because I grew to like the texture when we were doing the Paleo diet), but you could just as easily use breadcrumbs instead and still be low carb.

Why would anyone want to mash cauliflower, you ask?

To cut down on their carb intake.  Potatoes are not allowed on the Paleo diet, because they are a starchy crop (the very definition of what you’re supposed to avoid), and it’s common to substitute a mashed cauliflower instead.

Years ago, I had heard somewhere that cauliflower could be used as a substitute for mashed potatoes.  With absolutely no clue what I was doing, I bought a package of frozen cauliflower, brought it home, cooked it in the microwave and tried to use my potato masher on it.  Good God, what a disaster!  I threw the mess away and cursed the day I’d fallen for this joke.  Clearly, I had been punked.

As it turns out, you need to steam the cauliflower first until it is fork tender and then use a food processor or blender to get the cauliflower to the correct consistency.  Honestly, mashed cauliflower has very much the same texture as mashed potatoes and, with the right seasoning, you’d never guess it was cauliflower (although I’m sure someone who hates it could tell).  It’s a great substitute for anyone trying to cut back on their carbs.  Try it!

Ingredients (Moroccan Meatballs)

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 egg white
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons almond meal (or breadcrumbs)
  • 1 tablespoon corriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried mint
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients (Cauliflower/Carrot Mash)

  • 1 head cauliflower, washed, cut into florets (I thought the head looked really small, so I used 2)
  • 3-4 small-to-medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients (Citrus-Glazed Carrots)

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3-4 large carrots, cut into matchsticks about 1/2″ wide by 2″ long
  • 1 orange, juiced and zested (need 1 teaspoon zest)

meatball how to

Directions (Moroccan Meatballs)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a bowl, combine beef, egg white, garlic, almond meal (or breadcrumbs), coriander, mint, cumin, cinnamon, salt and pepper.  Mix well to combine, shape into about 15 meatballs and place on a cookie sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.   Bake for about 20 minutes or until done.

Note: You could also fry the meatballs over medium heat until cooked through, working in batches if necessary.

Directions (Cauliflower/Carrot Mash)

Place cauliflower and carrots in a steamer basket in a large pot and steam until soft (about 10 to 12 minutes, test with fork).  Meanwhile, heat olive oil in non-stick skillet on medium heat and saute onion until soft and translucent.  Put cooked onions into food processor and add herbs.  Set aside until vegetables are steamed.

Add steamed cauliflower and carrots to food processor and process until smooth, working in batches if necessary.  Mix thoroughly in bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Directions (Citrus-Glazed Carrots)

In a non-stick skillet, heat oil on medium heat.  Add carrots and saute, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.  Stir in orange juice and 1 teaspoon orange zest.  Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 8 minutes, until carrots are slightly softened.  Remove from heat and keep covered.

Note: The “Print and PDF” button below will allow you to easily delete as much of the text and pictures  as you like prior to printing, so you’ll save on ink and paper.

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