Recipe: Sweet and Spicy Greek Meatballs {Eat. Live. Be.}

by Cate on April 25, 2012

sweet and spicy greek meatballs
It seems we’re on a “new meatball recipe” kick in the O’Malley household lately.  Purely by happenstance.  Last week, it was these Asian-inspired meatballs.  Last night?  It was a batch of Sweet and Spicy Greek Meatballs.

“Is there cinnamon in the meatballs?” Nick asked me after a few bites.

Um, yes.

I was honestly surprised that he was able to pick out the flavor.  You could tell there was a hint of something different, but I don’t think the flavor was so pronounced that you could put your finger on it.

Someone has pretty good taste buds.

I found the recipe in the May 2012 issue of Redbook Magazine (follow them on Twitter right here > @redbookmag).  It is from Food Network chef Giada De Laurentiis, and is also featured in her newest cookbook, Giada’s Weeknight Meals.  Which coincidentally ended up in my Easter basket last month (thanks, Mom!).

I was intrigued in the recipe, not by a new take on the meatball because we have several that we like already, but by the marinara sauce being paired with the couscous, and the couscous being used as a binder for the meatballs.

And I kind of loved that idea.

It’s something I hadn’t seen before, and it totally worked.

On both counts.

Nick loved the couscous part with the marinara.  He didn’t so much love the meatballs, but ate them.

Madeline ate everything.

Now my caveat for the recipe… couscous is used as the binder for the meatballs, and the finished dish is also plated on top of the couscous.  Which kind of means that the couscous that you’re using for plating gets a little dry and clumped while you’re busy rolling, making, and cooking the meatballs.  Not a huge deal, but worth noting.  A little drizzle of olive oil into the couscous fixed that right up.

It wasn’t a wow, but it was a solid weeknight meal that was eaten by all at the table, and made without guilt.  So that’s a plus or three.

Now, if it’s Wednesday, it must be Eat. Live. Be.  And I’m feeling really good.  In March, I set a goal of walking 25 miles.  I walked 18.  And I don’t consider that a failure at all.  Sure, I failed to meet the goal.  But here’s what I know.

I wouldn’t have walked that 18 miles if the goal hadn’t been set to begin with.

So that is a success.

That’s why I kinda think it’s important to set the mini-goals.

Whether or not you reach them, you have something to strive for.

This month, I didn’t set a walking goal.  But we have done two 5ks already.

And I walked another five or six miles in addition, so far.

And I am super proud of that.

And three more 5ks already on the calendar between now and September.

The take-away?

Sometimes “losing fifty pounds” is a huge goal.

And “meeting your future husband.”

And “cooking five nights a week, every week.”

I think you can better set yourself up for success if you make them small, bite-size (read: attainable) goals.

Why set yourself up for failure?

Instead of “lose 50 pounds,” why not “work out once a week?”  And then progress it from there…

Instead of “meet your future husband,” why not join a new group and just expand your social horizons?  Take a no-partner-needed dance class.  Learn pottery.  A cooking class at your local grocery store.  The photography group in town.  Meet-Up is a great site for finding people with like-minded interests.  Like Royal Caribbean‘s slogan used to be, “Get out there.”

The key is to start small, build your foundation, and continue to add the supporting blocks from there.

Go get ’em.

do what is necessary

Thursday? A March 2012 goal met.
Friday?  Details on a NYC exhibit we recently visited.
Saturday?  Restaurant review on a Middle Eastern place.
Sunday?  Weekend Photos in Review.
Monday?  BUILT NY lunch tote review and announcement of giveaway winner.

April 25, 2012 – Bonus Photos
earth day art
A little hard to tell what it is from the picture, but Madeline made a bouquet of “flowers” from recycled egg cartons as part of an Earth Day school project this week.

I’m a sucker for fun cocktail toys. Even if it’s in a co-worker’s iced tea.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah April 25, 2012 at 10:27 pm

Interesting. Couscous in meatballs? Hmm. Might be worth trying.


Joanne April 26, 2012 at 6:27 am

I’m a cinnamon FANATIC so a little extra cinnamon in unexpected places always makes me happy. When I made Michael Symon’s keftedes a few years ago, they had cinnamon and they were one of the most delicious meatballs I’ve ever made!

18 miles of walking is an AWESOME accomplishment! I love your mentality towards setting mini goals. I think one of my biggest problems is that I always strive for perfection and when I don’t achieve it, I go haywire. I need to learn to be more flexible.


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