What's For Dinner?

Couscous and roasted carrots with spiced meatballs.

This was soooo good and surprisingly easy for 3 dishes.  
It's from the Everyday Food by Martha Stewart magazine, which I love, but I do have one thing to say about it.  The magazine is designed to be fast and easy for any skill level of cook.  But if you know anything about cooking, there are many little tricks you can use to add depth of flavor to these dishes.  For instance, in this recipe I used chicken stock & lemon zest to punch up the couscous, added extra spices to the meatballs, and the carrots could definitely be improved with some herbs or butter.  But even as is, this was a winning combo. 
Perfect for a quick but flavorful weeknight dinner!


1 pound carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
3/4 pound ground beef chuck (85% lean)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 bunch scallions thinly sliced
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup couscous
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
lemon wedges, for serving

Preheat oven to 450.  On a rimmed baking sheet, toss carrots with 2 tsp oil and season with salt and pepper.  Roast until tender and golden, 20 minutes, tossing halfway through.

In a medium bowl, combine beef, spices, cilantro, half of sliced scallions, and egg; season with salt.  With hands, gently mix to combine and form into 16 meatballs.  In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp oil over medium-high.  Cook meatballs until browned on all sides.  Add 1/2 cup water, cover, and reduce heat to low.  Cook until meatballs are just cooked through, 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat 1 tsp oil over medium-high.  Add remaining scallions and cook, stirring until softened, 3 minutes.  Add 1 cup water, cover, and bring to boil.  Stir in couscous and season with salt and pepper.  Cover, remove pan from heat, and let stand 5 minutes.  Fluff couscous with a fork and stir in almonds.  Serve meatballs and pan juices with couscous, carrots, and lemon wedges. 

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