Self-Care Challenge (Day 250): Making Moroccan Meatballs

fresh ingredients for meatballs

On day 250 of my 366-day self-care challenge, I made Moroccan meatballs. (I’m a meat eater…I’ll just get that out of the way now.)

And while I may be a registered dietitian nutritionist who has a deep love for vegetables, I also believe there is a wealth of nutritional value to be found in animal-based foods, like meat and dairy. That’s probably not surprising when you consider that my family raised livestock on a small farm in Ohio, though 16 years of experience in health care has also brought me to that same conclusion.

On average, I would say that meat makes an appearance in about 40% of my meals, but I tend to look for recipes that use lean cuts of meat and include a wide variety of plant-based ingredients as well.

While scrolling through Pinterest for some new and interesting recipes, I came across one for Moroccan Lemon and Cardamom Meatballs. I love experimenting with spices and flavors, and this one caught my eye. I read over the ingredient list: lamb, garlic, cinnamon, cardamom, lemon zest, feta cheese, pine nuts–and the next thing I knew, I was adding it to my menu for the week.

Lamb cookery has always presented a challenge for me. I love it in some dishes, but have an aversion to its flavor in others. Usually it’s the ground lamb that I find dubious, but it’s for that very reason that I’m always looking for ways to challenge my senses and reintroduce new flavor combinations to see if my opinion changes.

If you like lamb, this meatball recipe is out of this world good.

While making meatballs isn’t a radical act of self-care by any means, cooking from scratch does take time–albeit not as much time as restaurants and convenience food manufactures want you to think it does, but it still takes time. To me, cooking is an expression of love and compassion. It tells your family that they are special enough for you to take the time to prepare a nourishing meal for them, and it sends the same message to you.

Although you may or may not eat meatballs, there are plenty of other ingredients to go around.

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