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Picture it: Brooklyn, 2015. Obama is in the White House, Congress is ineffectual, the whole Northeast is tottering between Spring and Summer, and I forgot how to change gears rapidly when the grocery store is out of the ingredients I want for dinner.

This dinner was basically me playing Chopped the home game one night, when a Thursday hit and I realized I had only about half of the required items for the dinner I had planned on making, but had not really come up with a solid B plan. So I played. And it worked! Go, hours of watching cooking shows on television!

Gluten-free, paleo

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Spring Greens & Meatballs

1 lb. grass fed ground beef
1/2 tsp. fresh thyme
1.5 tsp. fresh rosemary
1 clove garlic
Kosher salt & black pepper
1 wedge preserved lemon
2 tsp. aged balsamic vinegar
1.5 tsp. curry powder
1.5 tsp. baking soda mixed with 1 tsp. warm water
2 ounces double smoked bacon
1 leek
1 clove garlic
1 tsp. thyme
2 tsp. rosemary
1 c. frozen peas
1 Tbsp. unsalted grass fed butter
6 ounces baby spinach

First, make your meatballs. Add the ground beef to a large bowl. Pick and chop 1/2 tsp. thyme and 1/5 tsp. rosemary. Add to the meat. Grate 1 clove garlic and add. Add 1 big pinch of Kosher salt and a few grinds black pepper. Dice the preserved lemon and add 2 tsp., reserving the rest. Add the balsamic vinegar, curry powder and baking soda slurry. Mix and form into ping pong ball sized meatballs. Add to a large pan over medium heat and brown on all sides.

While your meatballs are cooking, cook your greens. First, chop your bacon and add to a pan over medium heat. While the bacon is working, wash and halve the leek and cut into thin half moons. Slice the second clove of garlic and chop the last 1 tsp. thyme and 2 tsp. rosemary. Add to the pan when the bacon is half rendered. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the leek is getting soft and browned in spots. Add the peas and stir, letting cook for a few minutes. Add the butter and stir, letting melt. Add the rest of the preserved lemon (about 1 tsp.) and half the spinach and stir until wilted. Add the rest of the spinach and wilt.

Serves 2 for a light dinner, with meatballs leftover for lunch