Dreamy Mediterranean Lamb Meatball Dinner (With Vegan Alternative)

When you’re longing to be whisked off to a romantic getaway overlooking turquoise Mediterranean waters, this lovely dinner recipe might almost make you believe that a balmy sea breeze is blowing through your hair. Warm lamb (or eggplant), delicate herbs and spices, tangy lemon, healthy olive oil, and refreshing cucumber combine to create an exotic taste experience with a distinct Mediterranean vibe.

Since the sauce needs to be made the night before, you’ll have to plan ahead—but the result is well worth it! We’ve even included a vegan eggplant “meatball” alternative for a completely plant-based version of this delicious meal.

So put on your favorite bouzouki music, light some candles, spread a checkered cloth, and grab your most beautiful sparkling wine glasses. Your kitchen table is about to become one of the best vacation spots around!

Cashew “Yogurt” Sauce Ingredients

• ½ cup organic raw cashews
• 6 ½ tablespoons water
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
• Mint leaves and/or fresh parsley for garnish

The night before:

Blend cashews, lemon juice, and water in a high speed blender until creamy. If mixture is too thick, gradually add more water as needed. Let mixture stand in a covered glass container overnight for eight to 12 hours.

The next morning:

Refrigerate sauce until cold. Just before serving, stir in nutritional yeast and top with fresh mint and/or parsley.

To give this sauce a gut-healthy boost, stir in a scoop of our organic prebiotic powder!

Lamb Meatball Ingredients

• Extra-virgin olive oil for pan
• 1 pound ground lamb
• ⅔ cup fresh chopped parsley
• ¼ cup fresh chopped mint leaves
• ½ teaspoon oregano
• ⅛ teaspoon rosemary
• 4 garlic cloves, minced
• ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Combine all ingredients thoroughly in a medium sized bowl.
3. Form mixture into 12 balls and place them in an oiled 9 x 13 baking dish.
4. Bake until firm, about 10 to 12 minutes.
5. Serve hot, drizzled lightly with chilled cashew “yogurt” sauce.

Or:

Alternate Vegan Eggplant “Meatball” Ingredients:

• 1 medium eggplant cut in small cubes
• 3 cloves garlic
• ¼ teaspoon sea salt
• Fresh ground black pepper to taste
• 1 ½ tablespoons of cold-pressed, extra-virgin olive oil
• ¾ cup whole grain bread crumbs (can be gluten-free)
• ¾ teaspoon oregano
• ½ teaspoon parsley
• ⅛ teaspoon tarragon
• 1 tablespoon hemp seeds

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Roast eggplant, garlic, salt, pepper and oil on a cookie sheet for 30 to 40 minutes, until edges of the eggplant are lightly browned.
3. Remove eggplant from oven and lower temperature to 350°.
4. Combine eggplant mixture with ½ cup of the breadcrumbs and all the remaining ingredients and pulse in a food processor until lightly blended.
5. Add the remaining breadcrumbs and pulse briefly until combined, being careful to avoid over-mixing.
6. Form mixture into 12 balls and place on an oiled cookie sheet.
7. Bake for about 30 minutes, turning balls after the first 15 minutes so they’ll brown evenly.
8. Serve hot, drizzled lightly with chilled cashew “yogurt” sauce.

Cucumber Salad Ingredients:

• 2 large cucumbers, sliced thinly
• 1 14-oz can stuffed grape leaves
• ½ pint grape tomatoes
• Sea salt and pepper to taste
• ¼ teaspoon basil
• ¼ teaspoon oregano
• ¼ teaspoon dill
• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Instructions:

Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl and serve.

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