This is as comforting as your favorite meatloaf, but interesting and a little different too. I found this recipe through watching Food Network while at Exercare; the chef for this show cooks French food so it is usually an exercise in irony watching her while on the elliptical. But this recipe is full of healthy fats and plenty of spices, and though the recipe calls for ground beef, I substituted ground turkey and it was completely delicious.  

Fat Free Foodie Note: Ground turkey works almost interchangeably with ground beef, with one caveat: Do not buy ground turkey breast. You need something labeled “ground turkey” so there’s some dark meat in it, or it will be just too dry for use in ground beef recipes. Ground turkey is about 94% fat free, while ground turkey breast is 99% fat free. While the breast seems like the more virtuous choice, that 5% of flavor is really needed to keep you on the heart-healthy eating path. Trust me on this one.

A full dinner menu of meatballs, couscous, and glazed carrots. It looks long, but comes together quickly and easily.
For the sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil 
1/2 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 lemon, zested
1/2 cup pitted and chopped briny olives
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup chicken stock or broth
1 (14-ounce) can crushed or diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
Pinch ground cinnamon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the meatballs:
1 egg (I used 1/4 cup Egg Beaters)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch ground cinnamon
1 pound ground turkey
1/3 cup fine bread crumbs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, for cooking
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Cooked whole wheat couscous

For the carrots:
1/2 cup chicken broth

1/2 cup water

1 tablespoon unsalted butter (I used my I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter)
1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
3/4 pound carrots, cut on the bias into coins
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
First, make the meatballs. Preheat oven to 350. Mix egg and and tomato paste in a medium bowl until smooth. Add the cilantro, ginger, cumin, and cinnamon and mix until well blended. Stir in the turkey and bread crumbs, season with salt and pepper to taste, and combine gently after each addition. Do not overmix. Rolling with your hands, make about 32-36 meatballs, about 1-inch in diameter. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, until browned but not completely cooked through.
Start the carrots. Combine the broth, water, butter/margarine, brown sugar, cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the carrots, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until just tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Uncover the pan and let the liquid cook down until it reduces to a glaze, about 2 to 3 minutes. Toss the carrots to generously coat them with the glaze. Stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. Heat the olive oil over medium heat and saute the onion and garlic until soft but not brown, about 3 minutes. Add the lemon zest and olives and cook for 1 more minute. Add the white wine, deglaze the pan, and let it reduce for a 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the stock, canned tomatoes, sugar, red pepper flakes, and cinnamon, and simmer to blend flavors, about 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Add the partially cooked meatballs to the sauce and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve over the couscous with carrots.

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