Summer Greek Pitas w/ Lamb Meatballs & Marinated Vegetables

Yesterday was the first day of fall which means it’s officially time to share my final summer recipe!

I’ve been sitting on this one for a while. It’s freakin’ good, don’t get me wrong, but every time I’ve sat down to write lately I’ve just ended up watching an episode of Jane the Virgin. Call it writers block? Or maybe I’m just burnt out from writing essay after essay of how I’d be a good candidate for vet school.

IMG_3854-2.jpg

Anyway, this summer I craved mediterranean food a lot. I found myself stopping by my local CAVA pretty often for lunch breaks. If you don’t know, CAVA is basically the mediterranean sweetgreen/chipotle. They do a pretty bang up job and their spicy lamb meatballs are totally worth the $1.50 extra. But after I noticed my tenth CAVA charge on my card this summer, I figured it was time to figure out how to recreate my order at home.

And then I saw this recipe on Bon Appétit. Those guys always save the day!

IMG_3860-2.jpg

So here’s the breakdown of this dish: You take a warm flatbread, spread some herby tzatziki on top, add fresh marinated vegetables, and top with lamb meatballs. It’s a great lunch and even better option for an al fresco dinner. You know, for those of us who are still getting summer weather.

IMG_3838-2.jpg

IMG_3866-2.jpg

Summer Greek Pitas w/ Lamb Meatballs & Marinated Vegetables

for the lamb meatballs

ingredients: 

1 large egg
½ cup panko crumbs
½ tsp cumin
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
¼ tsp turmeric
¼ cup finely chopped parsley
2 tbsp olive oil
1½ tsp salt
1 garlic clove, minced
1 lb. ground lamb

 

directions:

preheat the oven to 425.

combine the egg, panko crumbs, cumin, red pepper flakes, turmeric, parsley, olive oil, salt, and garlic into a large bowl. add the lamb and mix everything together.

gently roll the lamb mixture into small balls. then place them on a rimmed baking sheet. bake the meatballs for 9 minutes.

for the tzatziki sauce

ingredients:

3 persian cucumbers, sliced and quartered
2 pinches of salt
1 cup of plain greek yogurt
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 garlic clove, lightly crushed
1/4 cup chopped mint

 

directions:

toss cucumber slices with salt and let rest in a bowl for ~5 minutes. drain the excess liquid.

mix cucumbers, yogurt, oil, lemon juice, and garlic in a fresh bowl. let this mixture sit at room temp for 15 minutes, then discard the crushed garlic piece. stir in mint.

for the vegetables

ingredients:

2 persian cucumbers, sliced
1 large cucumber, sliced and quartered
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4th red onion, thinly sliced
handful of chopped parsley
2 tbsp chopped dill

4 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard

directions:

combine cucumber, tomatoes, onion, and herbs in a bowl.

in a separate bowl, whisk the olive oil, red wine vinegar, and dijon mustard together. pour the dressing on top of the vegetables and toss to combine. let this sit for about 30 minutes.

to assemble, toast the flatbread. spread a heaping spoonful of tzatziki sauce on the bread. add the vegetables, then a few meatballs. enjoy immediately!

IMG_3882-2.jpg

Whole30 Shakshuka

In previous whole30s, my go-to breakfast was always a beloved breakfast bowl of mine: a couple of roasted potato cubes, some fried eggs, bacon, arugula, and avocado verde. I love that breakfast bowl. But this round, I challenged myself to try and branch out a bit in the breakfast department. Enter Whole30 Shakshuka!

IMG_1909-2.jpg

I know, I know. It’s February 1st. Whole30 is over (we did it!). I’ve had this post sitting here for 10 days because life got away from me. I also have two more recipes I’m sharing that are both Whole30. Good news is they’re perfect for any upcoming Super Bowl parties!

Would it have been ideal to share these while #JanuaryWhole30 was still going on? Yes. But honestly, if I learn anything from my Whole30 rounds (and I hope you realize this too), it’s how easy it is to incorporate compliant recipes into my everyday eating habits. The point of sharing these recipes is to showcase how you don’t have to give up flavor, variety, or even aesthetics to eat clean.

If you’re still over it, don’t fret. Valentine’s day is coming up so you know I have some sweet treats coming your way. 😉

IMG_1906-2.jpg

Anyyyway, here are the details.

Whole30 Shakshuka

ingredients:

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1/2 white onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp olive oil

1 28 oz can of fire roasted tomatoes (make sure to check your labels)

2 tbsp mina harissa

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp salt

6 eggs

chopped parsley, for garnish

directions:

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and onion, and cook for 2 minutes until onions are softened. Add the pepper and garlic cloves, cook for 4 minutes more.

Add the fire roasted tomatoes, harissa, cumin, and salt. Mix everything together and let simmer for about 10-15 minutes, until sauce has thickened.

With the back of a wooden spoon, make 6 small wells/pockets for the eggs. Crack an egg into each pocket. Cover the skillet and let sit for 5 minutes, until yolks are cooked through.

Remove from heat, garnish with parsley, and serve immediately!

IMG_1918-2.jpg

Whole30 Poke Bowl

When I left L.A, one of the hardest things to say goodbye to was the high quality sushi and poke I had grown so accustomed to. Part of me was a little (ok, a lot) worried about how I would adjust to the raw fish scene in Raleigh.

…good thing I’m comfortable in a kitchen, am I right?!

IMG_1704-2.jpg

My first couple of months in Raleigh I went on a wild hunt for poke. I found a few great options like Raleigh Raw and Poke Burri! But I won’t lie – they were more expensive than I was used to.

Also, I don’t like that sushi (or most rice-based and sauce-heavy poke bowls) are off limits when I’m doing a whole30.

So I figured knowing how to make an at-home version of my favorite poke bowl would be smart. This way, I might save some money and I could control the ingredients a bit more. Turns out, a whole30 version is totally possible and completely delicious.

IMG_1636-2.jpg

IMG_1662-2.jpg

IMG_1718-2.jpg

Whole30 Poke Bowl

makes 2 poke bowls

ingredients:

4 cups spring mix lettuce

1 cup riced cauliflower

1/2 lb sashimi tuna, cubed

1/2 lb sashimi salmon, cubed

1 mango, cubed

1/2 avocado, sliced

1 english cucumber, sliced thinly

1 medium carrot, cut into matchsticks

2 tbsp green onions, chopped

black & white sesame seeds for garnish

1/4 c coconut aminos

1 tbsp toasted sesame oil

2 tbsp rice vinegar

pinch of red pepper flakes

directions:

Divide the spring mix evenly between two bowls. On top of the spring mix, divide the cauliflower rice and fish cubes between the two bowls. Next, add the mango cubes, cucumber slices, avocado slices, and carrots to the top of each bowl. Garnish with the sesame seeds and green onions.

In a smaller bowl, mix the coconut aminos, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and red pepper flakes. Pour half of this dressing over each of the poke bowls.

Enjoy immediately!

IMG_1688-2.jpg

IMG_1664-2.jpg

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen another L.A themed whole30 recipe I made this week! 😉 I can’t wait to share more details on it. Can you believe week 2 of January whole30 is almost over?! I’m eating so well over here I haven’t even been sweatin’ the days.