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I had some ground lamb in the refrigerator to thaw and make meatballs with. I also had some parsnips patiently awaiting their fate, and planned on making creamy parsnip soup to go with the meatballs. It's been a while since I really cooked though, and I didn't realize I had no onions. I couldn't make keema either, because I had no onions. I was at a loss, and running out of time.
So I pulled out a great cookbook (I have many, and rarely use them). This time it was the Cook's Illustrated Perfect Vegetable cookbook. Parsnips... they recommend steaming and pureeing (with a few other ingredients, including cream), or roasting them (with just olive oil, salt, and fresh parsley). I chose the easier recipe that would require no substitutions (other than having no fresh parsley on hand, so I substituted curry and ginger powder for that). Chop them a uniform size, somewhere between 1 and 2 cm, after removing the core from the large ones, toss it all together, spread on a cookie sheet, and cook for about 30 minutes at 425 (shake the pan or turn them a couple times to prevent too much browning).
Then I started the meatballs. I usually put onions in those, but the kids always complain, so oh well. I just added salt, puffed millet, a little sweet rice flour, and a bit of curry powder. I started these in a cast iron pan on the stove, then moved them to the hot oven to cook through once they were a bit browned.
The parsnips were almost done, and I still hadn't devised a carb. I pulled out another cookbook for instructions on how to cook quinoa, and that was done 20 minutes later. The whole thing only took me 40 minutes. Now for the taste test...two picky children.
My six year old hates parsnips, so I just told him it was roasted root vegetables. He loved them! Any vegetable is good if it's prepared right, and roasting them really takes out that bit of a flavor zap that they can have. This is good; a potato substitute for a kid who, despite my shielding attempts, always asks for potatoes.
The meatballs were great too, the best lamb meatballs I've made so far. I combined all three together, and it was much like a couscous meal I once had. This was followed by a basic salad with some pine nuts and radished tossed in. (The pine nuts would also be good in the couscous-like combination)
That should fuel my busy day tomorrow, Thursdays are always crazy for us.