MEATBALLS! I just can’t type the word without “screaming” it. There is something fun about MEAT-A-BALLS!!!
A big delicious bowl of balled meat filled with cheese, I love you but I might have to chill out on you for a few weeks.
If you missed my little announcement on Facebook and Google + on Friday, this genius right here stubbed her toe and broke it. Smooth move, right? Now I’m out of commission for the next 4-6 weeks and that means time to chill on the diet too.
No working out = time to cut back on indulgent eating.
It’s time to get real. I may not discuss diet and exercise much on the blog, but it’s important and a part of life. Some people can eat what they want, never exercise and not gain and ounce. Me? Not a chance, it’s a balancing act of eating healthy, exercising on a regular basis and getting my indulgences in that lead to a happy life.
For the next few weeks we will switch gears and take a look at more plant based meals – which oddly enough I had a good amount written down in my to-make list. That’s not to say I won’t have an indulgence here or there. Some stuff has been cooked already, and others were previously scheduled. Most will be on Sunday, because if we are going to cheat one day a week it might as well be the day before Monday, right?
For now back to our lovely balls ‘o meat (where I completely contradict myself). I used my favorite Greek seasonings, lemon juice, zest and za’atar for the meatballs and stuffed them with briny, salty Bulgarian feta cheese. A few meatballs opened up when baking, but it just meant my cheese ended up with a golden brown crust.
Served over a bed of sweet sautéed onions and tzatziki sauce all you need is a couple of fluffy pitas to round out the meal!
- 1 cup low-fat Greek yogurt (such as Fage 2%)
- 1 English cucumber, peeled and grated
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large garlic clove, finely minced
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1lb ground lamb
- juice and zest from ½ lemon
- 1 teaspoon za'atar seasoning
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup plain breadcrumbs
- 2-3ozs Bulgarian Feta (or similar), cut into ¼inch cubes
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- Whisk together the Greek yogurt, grated cucumber, lemon juice, olive oil, minced garlic and salt in a small bowl. Transfer the sauce to a small colander and let drain over a bowl in the refrigerator while you prepare the meatballs.
- In a medium non-stick pan over medium low heat, drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sauté the onions until they are soft and a golden caramel color, about 20-25 minutes. Stir often to avoid over cooking the onions.
- Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the ground lamb, lemon zest, juice, za'atar, salt, black pepper, egg and breadcrumbs until well combined.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and roll the meat into 2 tablespoon sized balls.
- Continue with all the meat mixture, until all the meatballs are formed and then with your thumb press down in the center to form an indent. Place a cube of feta in the middle and form back into a ball making sure it closes completely around the feta cheese.
- Bake for 20 minutes and then transfer to your broiler set on high to brown for an additional 2-3 minutes.
- Serve on a bed of onions with the tzatziki sauce on the side.