Moroccan-Spiced Meatball Tagine with Butternut Squash+

Meatballs:

  • 1 slice bread (trim crust perhaps)
  • (you might need additional bread crumbs – 1/2 c or so)
  • 1/3 c low fat milk
  • 1 lb ground lamb (original recipe was for beef)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided

Stew:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 c low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 3 c (1″) cubed butternut squash
  • 1 (5 oz) pkg baby spinach leaves

2 c cooked couscous (or quinoa)

Preheat oven to 400.  In a large bowl, soak the bread in the milk for 5 minutes.  Add the meat, egg, cilantro, garlic, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, ginger, 1/4 tsp pepper and 1/4 tsp salt; gently mix to combine.  Add bread crumbs if the mixture is too moist to handle.

Using moistened hands and 2 Tbsp for each, roll meat mixture into meatballs.  Arrange meatballs on a baking sheet.  Place in oven and bake until browned and just cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.  Remove and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat.  Add onions; saute until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.  Add garlic, cinnamon and turmeric and continue to cook, stirring, for another minute.

Add broth and tomatoes with juice, butternut squash and remaining 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper.  Bring to a simmer and cook until squash is just tender, about 20 minutes.

Add meatballs and spinach and gently stir into the stew.  Cook for another few minutes to rewarm meatballs and wilt spinach.  Remove cinnamon sticks.

Divide couscous or quinoa among 4 warm serving plates and top with the stew.

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