Eat Evolved


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Middle-Eastern Meatballs with Saffron Cauliflower Rice

May 15th, 2012 at 20:20

I just got back from an awesome vacation in Seattle. I spent five days walking at least three miles every day, and ruining that by eating piles and piles of the best seafood in the world. One of my walks involved the obligatory trip to the Pike Place Market, where I stumbled into a spice store, and bought (among many other things) a small bottle of saffron salt. My brain spun a bit as I imagined what I’d do with it, and I came up with an adaptation of a recipe I used to make when I did not eat Paleo.

For the meatballs, first heat 1/4 cup of olive oil over medium high heat in a Dutch oven. While your pan is heating up, in a small bowl, mix 4 tablespoons of almond flour with a tablespoon of cumin, a teaspoon of turmeric, a half-teaspoon of cayenne, a teaspoon of salt, two thirds of a cup of finely minced onion, and 8 cloves of garlic. In a larger bowl, mix that spice mixture with two pounds of ground beef, ground lamb, or a mixture. Roll into small meatballs (you should get 25-30 of them) and brown on all sides in the olive oil. You’ll probably need to do this in batches.

When the meatballs are browned, put them all back into the pan and add two 15-ounce cans of tomato sauce and a cup of water. Stir, bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 20-30 minutes.

While the meatballs are browning, you’ll want to get started on the rice. For this, you’ll want two heads of cauliflower. Remove the stem and core, and shred the florets with either a box grater or the grater attachment to your food processor. Heat two tablespoons of coconut oil in a large frying pan. While your oil is heating, heat up a cup of chicken stock until it’s boiling (I use the microwave so as not to dirty yet another dish) and add 1/4 tsp of crushed saffron threads to it. Let that sit for five minutes, while you fry the grated cauliflower in the coconut oil. After five minutes, add the saffron-infused broth and a half-teaspoon of turmeric (that’s how you get the nice yellow color). Cook until all the liquid is absorbed, about 10-20 minutes, stirring frequently. When the liquid is almost all absorbed, salt to taste. I used that saffron salt here, but you can use regular salt if that’s all you have.

This recipe is more filling than it looks! I got four meatballs, thinking I’d get seconds, and I didn’t need them at all.


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