Lamb, mint, and tzatziki is a flavor combo conceived in the heavens. Oh so delish! For me, this dish is perfect for this time of year when spring teases occasionally, but winter pulls us back. We are in transition. With a foot in both seasons, we can have the warm, hearty tastes of winter, embellished with the tantalizing freshness of spring – all in one mouthful!
Traditional tzatziki uses Greek yogurt as a base. Well, you know that’s not in the cards for people on the AIP, or who are choosing to eat Paleo. There are two things we’ll need for the sauce to be thick: coconut cream and cucumber that has had the livin’ daylights squeezed out of it. (See instructions below.) Choose a coconut cream void of additives like gums, which are difficult to digest. I use Arroy-D, Savoy, or Kati. I’ve not had much luck with Trader Joe’s brand. It’s too thin for the recipes I have here.
These meatballs are wonderful as an appetizer, or a meal. They can be made ahead and reheated. The sauce can be made the same day, but you might need to give it a stir. (A small amount of separation may occur. Overall, it behaves very well.) Keep it refrigerated right up until you serve it.
If you are sensitive to coconut, you might enjoy the meatballs with the Blackberry Balsamic Sauce from this recipe.
Your non-AIP loved ones will appreciate some fresh, warm pita to go with it. Maybe one day, I will invent an AIP version of pita. 🤔 One day…
P.S. Something special is coming next week, which, for now, must remain under wraps. 😉 Just keep an eye out for it… 👀
Lamb Mint Meatballs w/Tzatziki Sauce By http://www.wendisaipkitchen.com
For the sauce:
- 14-oz. can coconut cream, refrigerated overnight
- 1 C. shredded cucumber (Peel and seed before shredding.)
- 1 t. lemon zest
- 2 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 4 t. minced garlic (about 3 large cloves)
- 1 T. chopped fresh dill
- 1/2 t. apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 – 1 t. sea salt, depending on amount of cream you get
- Scoop into a small bowl the solid cream that has risen overnight to the top of the can of coconut cream. (This will be most of the can.) Reserve the rest of the can for another use.
- Place the grated cucumber in a clean dish towel. Twist the towel around the cucumber, making a ball of dripping cuke. Squeeze the water out of that cuke. (We don’t want soggy tzatziki.) Add cucumber to the bowl.
- Add the rest of the ingredients (start with 3/4 teaspoon salt), and stir well to combine. Taste. Trust your instincts. More salt? Yes or no? Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
For the meatballs: (Makes 2 dozen)
- 1 lb. ground lamb
- 2 T. minced onion
- 1 t. sea salt
- 1/2 t. garlic powder
- 1/2 t. black pepper (omit for elimination phase of AIP)
- 2 T. finely chopped mint leaves, no stems
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl with your hands.
- Scoop with a cookie scoop (1 T.) (👈🏼I use that one) or with a spoon, and place meatballs on a parchment- or silicone-lined baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes.
- Serve hot meatballs with cold tzatziki sauce.
- Enjoy this seasonal transition. It’s an opportunity to cultivate flexibility! 😄
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