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Turkey and Tomato Tagine

January 1, 2010

I went to bed at 8:15 last night.  This behavior isn’t all together out of the ordinary for me, though, as my closest comrades probably know.  There’s nothing wrong with liking your sleep, right?  And it is perfect because the Omnivore likes his shut-eye, too.  The thing about last night, though, was that it was New Year’s Eve. Yeah.

The one day of the year that even the most adamant sleepers stay up extra late to ring in the new year.  And, in the case of last night, a new decade.

I guess that shows you how much New Year’s means to me.  I find the event and hooplah, in and of itself, mostly optional.  Many years I opt-in.  Most years I opt-out.  I do, however, cherish the mentality that comes with the New Year.

Starting afresh.  Self betterment.  Goodbye to your vices.  Hello to good habits.  Reflection.  Retrospection.  That’s all healthy.  And I believe, very important.  I started the annual bout of end-of-year analysis a few weeks before Thanksgiving in November.

It was then that I decided to try eating meat.  Just for a little while.  Not very often.  Just to see how it felt.  I had been a vegetarian for a solid 5 years by that time, and I think it is healthy to revisit my reasons for avoiding something that many people consider a staple.

Most days I don’t feel like eating meat.  That’s a weird feeling to describe.  Most days I continue to cook one meal for the Omnivore and a different version for myself.  The day I made the following recipe, I really didn’t feel like eating meat.  Especially ground meat.

The thought of rolling these turkey meatballs just annoyed me.  And cooking them in a tomato sauce.  Bored.to.tears.  But it is what had been planned for dinner.  And I had no other options.  And so I followed the plan.  Made the meatballs.  And choked down the meal.

Well…I scarfed down the meal.  I don’t know if it was so delicious because I literally think the last time I had a meatball was 10 years ago, or because this recipe is *that* good.  I think it is the recipe, though, because the Omnivore went crazy over the food as well.  I never new balls of meat could be so light and tender!  I expected chewy beef-jerky type balls in an Italian flavored tomato-y paste.

This meal was nothing like that.  The cumin and cinnamon adds such a Mediterranean and exotic feel.  This dish tasted nothing like Italy.  The combination of both parsley and cilantro took me by surprise but they did not compete with one another.  It was absolutely perfect.

Turkey and Tomato Tagine (the Healthy cookbook)
For the meatballs
1 lb fresh ground turkey
1 small onion, peeled and minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 T freshly chopped cilantro
1 tsp ground cumin
black pepper

For the sauce
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2/3 cup veggie stock or chicken stock
14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
freshly chopped parsley

hot cooked brown rice

Preheat oven to 375*.  Combine all ingredients for the meatballs and shape into 20 walnut sized balls.  In a nonstick skillet, lightly cook the meatballs on 2-3 sides and then place into a 9×13″ baking pan.  Bake the meatballs while making the sauce.

Put onion and garlic in a pan with 1/2 cup liquid.  Cook over low heat until the liquid has evaporated and onions turn brown.  Add remaining liquid to the pan with the remaining ingredients.  Simmer 5 minutes; add parsley.  Add salt to taste.  Add meatballs from oven (after draining away fat) to the sauce.  Simmer 5-10 minutes.  Serve over hot cooked rice or cous cous with plenty of cilantro and parsley.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. January 1, 2010 4:45 pm

    Yes, there’s a huge difference between homemade meatballs with lots of herbs and those mini frozen hockey pucks that come in a huge plastic bag. 🙂

  2. themilkmanswife permalink
    January 1, 2010 11:23 pm

    Ooo! This sounds SO good! Sign me up for any savory dish that includes cinnamon. I just love the kick it adds. I’ve got this one bookmarked. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    PS…you didn’t miss much last night! I’m all for opting-out on the NYE celebrations too!

  3. January 2, 2010 12:21 am

    Mmm, this looks good! I’ve been on a meatball kick lately, especially after seeing all the meatball recipes in the new Bon Appetit!

  4. January 2, 2010 11:54 am

    Wow, so you’re not the herbivore any more! That’s a big change! Happy New Year!

  5. Lauren permalink
    January 3, 2010 10:55 am

    Oh no! Where will I get all of my best veggie recipe’s now?!?! I hope you still post some.

    • brannyboilsover permalink*
      January 3, 2010 10:57 am

      Thanks for the compliment! I still eat vegetarian most of the time. Rest assured, the vegetarian posts will be in the majority 🙂

  6. Becca :-) permalink
    January 4, 2010 9:54 pm

    YUM!!! I am totally going to try this!!!! My family never met a ball of meat they didn’t like!!!…a ball of bean was slightly different…

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