Thursday, August 11, 2016

Lamb Meatballs with Feta, Olives, and Lemon + 30 Days of Dinner!

I can hardly believe I waited so long to work lamb in to our dinner rotation at home. Everyone was completely gaga over these meatballs from Smitten Kitchen—Cam asks for them at nearly every meal (no matter where we are). They are absolutely delish, so I get it. Next time I'll be making a double batch!

The rest of these 30 Days are also a mix of clean and not-exactly-clean eating. I was about 12 days in to my Whole 30 when the storm from hell hit and required a bunch of work at home. Hence, pizza and beer. Plus since we're on vacation it just seemed silly to try another stint before we're back. So, everything here is still healthy, just not 100% clean. I'm psyched for all we have planned for August, but also looking forward to getting the kids back in school and everyone on a more consistent schedule. Till then!!

Lamb Meatballs with Feta, Olives, and Lemon
(slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

- 8 tbsp water
- 2 lbs ground lamb
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 2 small garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tbsp chopped parsley
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- zest of half a lemon
- 2 tbsp olive oil

- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- a few slugs of red wine
- 1 28-ounce can of crushed or pureed tomatoes
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- zest of half a lemon
- 3/4 to 1 tsp table salt
- pinches of red pepper flakes (to taste)
- 1/3 cup pitted, chopped kalamata olives
- 1 tbsp thinly sliced mint leaves, plus more for garnish
- 2 tbsp roughly chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
- juice of one lemon
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta, for garnish

1. Make meatballs: in a large bowl, combine all meatball ingredients except oil. Using wet hands, form mixture into small meatballs (1 1/2 - 2-inch diameter).

2. Brown meatballs: heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and heat it through. Evenly space meatballs in pan and very carefully turn and roll them so that all sides become brown. Don't worry if they don't stay perfectly round or if some pieces stick to the pain. Drain meatballs on a paper towel-lined plate.

3. Make sauce and finish cooking meatballs: pour all but 1 tablespoon fat out from skillet and return to medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add onion and garlic and cook until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add wine and scape up any bits stuck to the pan. Cook until the liquid almost disappears. Add tomatoes, oregano, lemon zest, salt, pepper flakes, olives, mint, and parsley. Bring mixture to a simmer and return meatballs to the pan. Cover with a lid and cook at the lowest simmer for 20 - 24 minutes, until meatballs are cooked through. Squeeze lemon juice over meatballs and sauce.

Sprinkle with additional olives, feta, and herbs. We had ours over orzo pasta.

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30 Days of Dinner

Day 1 (W) -- Brinner of omelets, bacon, and our new favorite Breakfast Potatoes.
Day 2 (Th) -- dinner out
Day 3 (F) -- grilled barbecue chicken on strawberry salad.
Day 4 (Sat) -- leftovers/kids pizza 
Day 5 (Sun) -- dinner out 

Day 6 (M) -- Chicken Fajita Cheeseburgers; sweet potato french fries
Day 7 (T) -- Paleo Buffalo Chicken Casserole 
Day 8 (W) -- post storm pizza + beer night
Day 9 (Th) -- grilled flank steak, Breakfast Potatoes, salad
Day 10 (F) -- Lemon Chicken with Red Onion; cauliflower rice
Day 11 (Sat) -- dinner out at a friends -- we brought this Chinatown Sling cocktail and ordered in Chinese food
Day 12 (Sun) -- BBQ at friends -- we brought this deeelish Classic Potato Salad and Pineapple Sangria 

Day 13 (M) -- Nectarine Mustard Glazed Salmon with Grilled Stone Fruit; Easy Lemon Roasted Potatoes; green beans
Day 14 (T) -- Moroccan Pita Sandwiches; leftover potatoes
Day 15 (W) -- leftovers 
Day 16 (Th) -- Lamb Meatballs with Feta, Olives + Lemon; orzo pasta
Day 17 (F) -- dinner out
Day 18 (Sat) -- dinner out 
Day 19 (Sun) -- Paleo Crockpot Chili (STILL a huge fam favorite) 
Day 26 (Sun) -- BBQ at friends

Day 27 (M) -- Lemon Chicken with Red Onion (also added spinach -- cleaning out fridge before vacaye!); leftover breakfast potatoes; green beans
Day 28 (T) -- brinner 
Day 29 (W) -- dinner out while traveling
Day 30 (Th) -- dinner out tonight in Scotland!! 

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