Rockin' Moroccan Meatballs with Vegetable Orzo
Updated: Jan 7, 2022
A World of Flavor
By: Pam Smith, RDN
Take the guess-work out of cooking and add in the fun, all from your own kitchen! Grab your recipe, grocery list, prep sheet, and wine pairing below, and then cook along with Pam using the video at the bottom of this post! Come join others who are making this meal and many more in the P.S. Flavor!™ Cooking Club group on Facebook at facebook.com/groups/psflavorclub. (This meal is from the August 2018 cooking class.)
Want to get the flavors that make this meal magical? They’re all available at psflavor.com!
A colorful meal is not only visually appealing, but it also contains a variety of nutrients and is flavorful and satisfying. - Pam Smith, RDN
Rockin' Moroccan Meatballs
Yields: 4-6 Servings
1 pound ground lamb
1 cup roasted mushroom base, recipe follows
1 cup cooked quinoa, tightly packed (use about 1/3 cup dry)
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons P.S. Flavor!™ Moroccan Spice
4 garlic cloves
1 small red onion, large diced
1 cup cooked chickpeas (rinsed, if using canned)
1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Summer Vegetable Orzo, recipe follows
Juice from one lemon, optional
Fresh basil leaves, to garnish
In a large bowl, combine the ground lamb, mushroom base, cooked quinoa, herbs and P.S. Flavor!™ Moroccan Spice.
In a blender or food processor fitted with the steel blade, finely chop the onion and garlic. Add to lamb and mushroom mixture. Add the chickpeas and egg to the blender or processor container and blend till smooth. Scrape into the bowl with the lamb mixture and mix everything together well. Shape into meatballs, about 2 tablespoons each (or golf ball size). We suggest preparing 5-6 meatballs per person that you are serving. For remaining mixture, you can make meatballs for leftovers or to freeze, make patties, or a Rockin’ Moroccan lamb meatloaf!
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Heat 1 or 2 large, heavy skillets over medium-high heat and add enough oil to lightly coat the bottom. When the pans are hot, add the meatballs you wish to cook and brown them in oil. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast for an additional 8-9 minutes.
Remove from the oven and serve over Vegetable Orzo.
Squeeze fresh lemon over meatballs and garnish with fresh basil.
Roasted Mushroom Base
1 pound whole cremini or white button mushrooms
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon P.S. Flavor!™ Creole Kitchen
Thoroughly wash mushrooms and pat dry. Toss in olive oil and then sprinkle with Creole Kitchen. Place on a sheet pan, stem up, and bake in a 400 degree F oven for 25-30 minutes until all the water is removed from the pan and the mushrooms begin to brown slightly. Let cool.
Using a food processor, chop mushrooms in small batches at a time until the mixture resembles coarse ground beef. The roasted mushroom base will keep for three days in the refrigerator.
“The blend is a mushroom and meat mash-up, created as a means to boost flavor, yet reduce calories, sodium, and saturated fat in the iconic hamburger. Because mushrooms contain a chemical cocktail that yields a meaty taste called umami (Japanese for “delicious”), 'The Blend' brings cravability to any dish."
1 red bell pepper, large diced
1 yellow bell pepper, large diced
1 large red onion, peeled and large diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large eggplant, large diced, optional
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons P.S. Flavor!™ Creole Kitchen
1 pound orzo (2 1/2 cups uncooked), preferably whole wheat
4 scallions, minced (white and green parts)
1/4 cup pignolis (pine nuts), toasted
3/4 pound good feta, 1/2-inch diced (not crumbled)
4 sweet cherry peppers, seeded and cut into slivers, optional
15 fresh basil leaves, cut into julienne
Preheat the oven and a large sheet pan to 400 degrees F.
Toss the bell peppers, onion, garlic and eggplant (if using) with 1 Tbsp. olive oil and 1 tsp. Creole Kitchen in a large bowl. Add to heated sheet pan and roast for 15-17 minutes, until browned, turning once with a spatula.
For the dressing, combine the lemon juice, 1/4 cup olive oil and 1 tsp. Creole Kitchen.
Meanwhile, cook the orzo in boiling salted water for 7 to 9 minutes, until tender. Drain and transfer to a large serving bowl, and immediately add the roasted vegetables to the pasta, scraping all the liquid and seasonings from the roasting pan into the pasta bowl and then the dressing. Let cool.
When ready to serve, add the scallions, pine nuts, feta, cherry peppers and basil to the orzo. Check and adjust the seasonings. Garnish with additional basil, if desired.
MEAT 1 pound ground lamb
PRODUCE 1 pound whole cremini or white button mushrooms Fresh flat leaf parsley Fresh basil Fresh mint 6 cloves fresh garlic 2 red onions 1 large eggplant 1 red bell pepper 1 yellow bell pepper 2-3 lemons 4 scallions
MISCELLANEOUS 1 can chickpeas 1 egg 1 pound orzo, preferably whole wheat 1/4 cup pignolis (pine nuts) 3/4 pound feta cheese sweet cherry peppers (in a jar) CHECK YOUR PANTRY FOR 1/3 cup dry quinoa Extra virgin olive oil
P.S. FLAVOR!™ SPICES Moroccan Spice Creole Kitchen
EQUIPMENT 2 large bowls Food processor (fitted with the steel blade) Cutting board Chef’s knife 1-2 heavy sheet pans 1-2 large ovenproof nonstick sauté pans (or Cast Iron Skillets) Large pot Wooden spoon or silicon spatula Pot holder Meat thermometer Tasting spoons Serving plates
PRE-PREPPED INGREDIENTS 1 cup roasted mushroom base (or 1 pound cremini mushroom, cleaned and ready for use) 1 cup cooked quinoa (or 1/2 cup dry, ready to cook) 1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley 1/2 cup chopped basil, plus whole leaves for garnish 2 tablespoons chopped mint 1 small red onion (about 1/2 cup, large dice) 1 red bell pepper (large dice) 1 yellow bell pepper (large dice) 4 garlic cloves (minced) 1 large eggplant (unpeeled, large dice) 1 cup red peppers (cut into 1/2 inch dice) 4 scallions (sliced) 1/4 cup pine nuts (lightly toasted) 3/4 lb. good quality feta cheese (cut into cubes) 4 sweet Italian cherry peppers (cut into slivers)
INGREDIENTS TO HAVE READY 1 pound ground lamb (love Aussie grass-fed!) 2 1/2 tablespoons P.S. Flavor!™ Moroccan Spice blend 2 teaspoons P.S. Flavor!™ Creole Kitchen 1 pound orzo (preferablywhole wheat) 1 egg Nonstick olive oil spray 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil 3 lemons Your favorite Rosé, Côte de Rhône or Tempernillo (optional, but suggested)
Watch this meal come to life here: