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Moroccan lamb meatballs with cauliflower rice

Last week I made a pizza base using cauliflower rice, it was for netmums (I will post it soon, you’ll won’t believe how good it is!). To make it, obviously you have to make cauliflower rice. Well, I couldn’t get over, firstly, how easy it was to make and, secondly, how quick it is to cook. I made a mental note to do it again – but next time to make it as a replacement for cous cous. It is more like cous cous than rice, definitely. Get this – kids eat it!!! They totally accept it, and you look on, thrilled that they are eating a veggie! Yipppppeeeee!

This is one the nicest recipes I’ve posted for ages. The meatballs are easy and really tasty – I’ve tried to capture that lamb tagine flavour. The sauce is just passata warmed through which makes things super easy. And the cauliflower rice accompanies it all perfectly. My cauliflower leaves were so fresh and in such good nick that I stir fried them with garlic and chilli – for the grown ups, not the kids. Wow, they were so good. I use them in cauliflower cheese and soups too, but I’ve never treated them like this before. They really worked with the whole dish.

You may notice that in the piccie above I have shown a little kid’s portion alongside. I want to do this from now on, to show how I actually serve up my recipes to the kids. Arthur liked the crunchy almond flakes, Bea didn’t! Feel free to serve up cauliflower leaves to yours, but I just knew that mine would leave theirs. And to be honest I’m happy enough if they eat the cauliflower rice!

Don’t be put off by the long ingredients list; this is really an easy and fairly quick recipe. If you don’t have all the spices in for the lamb, or even apricots, just use what you’ve got.

Serves: 4
Prep time: 8 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 28 minutes

For the meatballs: 
400g minced lamb
About 8 soft dried apricots, diced
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground coriander (or cumin)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika (or sweet/normal)
1 clove garlic, crushed (or grated on a microplane)
Small handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped
Small handful fresh mint, roughly chopped
1 egg
Salt and pepper

For the sauce: 
500g passata

For the cauliflower rice: 
1 cauliflower
Knob butter
Salt and pepper

For the cauliflower leaves – optional: 
Cauliflower leaves (big stalk left out)
Large punch chilli flakes
1 clove garlic, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper

To serve – optional: 
Fresh coriander
Flaked almonds, toasted
Greek yoghurt


  1. Make your meatballs. Mix all the ingredients with your hands and roll into little balls. Leave to set in the fridge for an hour to make them firmer if you like – I didn’t but they will keep together more easily if you do. 
  2. Get a heavy bottom frying pan very, very hot. Add a little oil and place the meatballs in. Don’t move them, let them get a crust. Once they have, turn them and cook on all sides. Should take about 15 minutes. 
  3. To make the cauliflower rice, blitz the cauliflower in the processor for about 10 seconds. Microwave, covered with cling, for 5 minutes on high. Season and it’s ready. 
  4. Add the passata and let the meatballs cook in the sauce for a few more minutes. 
  5. Fry off the garlic in hot oil (a little colour on the garlic is good, but not too much) and add the leaves. Put a lid on, or something that will allow them to steam a little. Add some chilli flakes and toss. Cook for a few minutes until wilted and softened. 
  6. Toast almonds if using. 
  7. Serve with a dollop of Greek yoghurt and some paprika sprinkled on top. 

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