Middle Eastern meatballs with herbed couscous takes just 15 minutes to make. (Linda Gassenheimer)

Middle Eastern meatballs with herbed couscous takes just 15 minutes to make. (Linda Gassenheimer)

Meatballs, couscous meal offers subtle Middle Eastern flavors

Cinnamon, cumin and raisins flavor the meatballs. A cucumber and yogurt sauce adds a refreshing finish.

Capture delicate flavors of the Middle East with this 15-minute meal. The mixture of cinnamon, cumin and raisins flavors the meatballs. A cucumber and yogurt sauce adds a cool and refreshing finish.

Israeli couscous is larger than regular couscous. It is a type of pasta and adds a crunchy texture to the Herbed Couscous side dish. Fresh mint and tomatoes add more flavor and color.

Helpful hints:

■ Israeli couscous is also called pearl or Jerusalem couscous.

■ An easy way to turn the meatballs over while cooking, is with a tong or two spoons.


■ Start couscous.

■ While couscous cooks, make meatballs.

■ Finish couscous.

Shopping list:

To buy: ¾ pound ground sirloin, 1 package raisins, 1 package frozen chopped onion, 1 bottle ground cinnamon, 1 bottle ground cumin, 1 bunch parsley (optional), 1 bunch fresh mint, 1 carton plain yogurt, 1 cucumber, 1 tomato and 1 package Israeli couscous.

Staples: olive oil, egg, salt and black peppercorns.

Middle Eastern meatballs

¼ cup raisins

¾ pound lean ground sirloin

1 cup frozen chopped onion

1 egg white

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 tablespoons non-fat, plain yogurt

1 tablespoon chopped cucumber

½ cup chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Preheat broiler. Mix raisins, ground sirloin, diced onion, egg white, cinnamon and cumin together. Roll mixture into meatballs about 2 inches in diameter and place on a foil-lined tray. Makes 10 meatballs. Broil 5 inches from heat for 5 minutes, turn over and broil for another 3 minutes. A meat thermometer should read 155 degrees.

Divide into two portions and serve over couscous. Mix the yogurt and cucumber together and spoon evenly over the meatballs. Sprinkle the parsley on top, (if using).

Makes 2 servings. Nutrition per serving: 420 calories (37% from fat), 17.3 grams fat (6.9 grams saturated, 7.6 grams monounsaturated), 113 milligrams cholesterol, 37.7 grams protein, 27 grams carbohydrates, 4.1 grams fiber, 166 milligrams sodium.

Herbed couscous

1 cup water

½ cup Israeli couscous

1 cup tomato cubes, (about ½-inch)

½ cup fresh mint torn into bite-size pieces

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring water to a boil. Add the couscous, cover and simmer 10 minutes. Drain. Add tomatoes, mint, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 2 servings. Nutrition per serving: 244 calories (27% from fat), 7.3 grams fat (1.1 grams saturated, 3.3 grams monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 6.7 grams protein, 38 grams carbohydrates, 4.1 grams fiber, 12 milligrams sodium.

Linda Gassenheimer is the author of over 30 cookbooks, including her newest, “The 12-Week Diabetes Cookbook.” Listen to Linda on www.wdna.org and all major podcast sites. Email her at linda@dinnerinminutes.com.

Talk to us

More in Life

Mountlake Terrace's Marina Christopher fronts the jazz-pop band Marina and the Dreamboats. (David McGraw)
Marina and the Dreamboats kick off holidays with jazz-pop show

Terrace’s Marina Christopher and her band will conclude the Northwest Performing Arts Foundation’s series of shows on Facebook.

Top (L-R): Jennifer Pena, Shane Koyczan and Jericho Brown. Center: Andrea Gibson. Bottom (L-R): Kealoha, Robin Sanders and PJ Sorem.
We Speak: A virtual festival of poetry and storytelling

The winners of the Youth Poetry Slam Competition will perform live at the Edmonds Center for the Arts on Dec. 3.

Kristen Stewart, left, and Mackenzie Davis in Hulu's 'Happiest Season.' ¬ù(Jojo Whilden/Hulu/TNS)
Cast makes spirits bright in LGBT holiday romantic comedy

“Happiest Season” is a well-made take on a familiar genre, with fine work by Kristen Stewart, Daniel Levy and others.

Biscuit and Bean offers buttermilk and cheddar onion biscuits along with a handful of spreads including bacon jam (left), Mama’s Lil’ Pepper aioli (center) and apple butter. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Fall essential: Make Biscuit & Bean’s apple butter at home

The Lake Stevens shop’s Ben Libay likes to slather the cinnamon-y spread on a cheddar onion biscuit.

Ryan Harms and his blue heeler, Luke, walk the rows at historic Amity Vineyard. Harms and Union Wine Co., purchased the property from Oregon iconoclast Myron Redford in 2014. Redford made his first wine — which he dubbed Pinot Noir Nouveau — in 1976. (Union Wine Co.)
Add these Northwest wines to your holiday dinner table

Buy a few bottles during “cyber week” and have them shipped to loved ones as a delicious seasonal greeting.

Toasted Turkey and Cranberry Sandwich with Green Bean Salad. (Linda Gassenheimer/TNS)
Twist on turkey sandwich is perfect for Thanksgiving leftovers

Prepare yourself a toasted Turkey Day cranberry sandwich and green bean salad for lunch on Nov. 27.

Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" fame will perform improv in "Stream of Consciousness" via Zoom on Oct. 18, 24 and 30. The live-stream show is presented by the Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett. (Jonas Public Relations)
Theater, dance and comedy shows around Snohomish County

The listings include Historic Everett Theatre, Edmonds Center for the Arts and Thumbnail Theater shows.

Darlene Love, Steven Van Zandt and Paul Shaffer  performed in concert at the Paramount Theater in Asbury Park on Sept. 12, 2015.
All about music: Schedule of concerts around Snohomish County

The listings include Historic Everett Theatre, Edmonds Center for the Arts and Thumbnail Theater shows.

The documentary, “Amazing Grace,” presenting the live recording of Aretha Franklin’s best-selling gospel album at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in 1972, is screening Jan. 21 at the Edmonds Center for the Arts. (Neon)
Schedule of special film screenings around Snohomish County

The listings include Edmonds Center for the Arts, Historic Everett Theatre and Whidbey Island Center for the Arts showings.

Most Read