I’d like to declare that we are officially in the era where meditation is not considered a fringe activity. In the day-to-day busy stressful lives we lead there is seldom time for ‘self-care’ let alone an at the ready tool bag that can help us release from the everyday grind of demands. We are hearing about the benefits of meditative work at the corporate level and even that Western Medicine doctors are prescribing meditation to patients.
Similar to working out a muscle at the gym, it has been scientifically proven that mindfulness and meditation change the brain; 20-40 minutes a day for eight weeks, has shown an increase in grey matter in the prefrontal cortex of the brain. While I can’t tell you that I am capable of this healthful commitment on a daily basis I do try to be mindful and observant of the basics of every day life. Taking a moment to step away from my laptop, to reflect and look up at the cloud formations in the sky. Taking time to myself is often like taking a breath, feeling my own heartbeat.
So during those moments when I feel as if I am a character cast in a movie that I am watching unfold before my eyes, I stop and take stock and try to understand the importance of that moment or episode. There are times when I feel that I can’t decipher things quickly enough, my deep thinking gene compels me to take a step back and THINK about it. Has that ever happened to you? Like meditation, thinking is another scarce commodity of our generation.
Drawing inspiration from food is one of the things that grounds me. I love to take a fresh look at a classic recipe and give it a new spin. This latest recipe draws on my Southern Hemisphere flavors and is anything but my mother’s meatballs >those are undeniably phenomenal< but these are the non-traditional hipster version.
When combined, the spices, herbs and Dijon give this meatball a distinctive flavor. They are delicious on their own, in a pasta or served over rice.
Southern Hemisphere Meatballs
1 piece of sliced bread, crumbled into small pieces
¼ cup wine
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsps fennel seeds
2 tsps sea salt
1 tsp dried chili flakes, less if you are spicy intollerant
1 lb ground beef
1 TBS lemon rind, finely grated
1 egg yolk
1 cup Romano cheese, finely grated
2 TBS TBS dried thyme leaves
2 TBS Dijon mustard
salt and pepper
Place the bread and wine in a large bowl for 5 minutes. In a large pan, add a scant amount of olive oil and lightly sauté the garlic, fennel seeds and chili flakes until fragrant; do not allow garlic to burn. Set aside to cool.
Add the garlic mixture, ground meet, lemon rind, egg, cheese, thyme, mustard, salt and pepper to the breadcrumb mixture and mix until well combined. Form into quarter sized balls. In a large pan, add enough olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan and add meatballs. Cook over medium heat until browned on the outside, turning continuously. Serve on their own, over rice, noodles with butter, or in a sandwich.