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Tzatziki Lamb Meatballs & Spiralized Beets

This dish is BOMB. Something about the combination of savory lamb meatballs baked with fresh mint from the garden and crunchy warm beets all topped with a creamy homemade cilantro tzatziki sauce make this dish so freaking delicious. It’s incredibly different and unique, and so tasty that I could honestly eat this for dinner at least once a week. Patrick and I found this recipe in our Inspiralize Everything Cookbook, and we fell in love with the idea of spiralized beets immediately. We made a few tweaks to the recipe to give it more flavor, and I think we’ve finally perfected the ingredients and quantities to our liking. I know it’s a weird combination of ingredients, but seriously – try it. You won’t regret.

Estimated Time: 1 hour

Ingredients (serves 4):

Meatballs:

  • Minced Ground lamb: 1 lb
  • Ground Cumin: 1.5 tbsp
  • Ground Coriander: 2 tsp
  • Paprika: 1/2 tsp
  • Garlic Cloves: 4 large, minced
  • Fresh Mint: 1/4 cup, minced
  • Breadcrumbs: 1/4 cup
  • Salt: 3 cranks
  • Pepper: 2 cranks

Beets:

  • Red Beets: 2 large, peeled and spiralized
  • Salt: to taste
  • Pepper: to taste

Yogurt Sauce:

  • Non-Fat Plain Greek Yogurt: 1/2 cup
  • Shallot: 1/2 shallot, minced
  • Fresh Cilantro: 2 tbsp, minced
  • Lemon Juice: 1/2 lemon, squeezed
  • Paprika: 1/2 tsp
  • Salt: 1 crank
  • Pepper: 1 crank
  • Water: 2 tbsp

Garnish:

  • Raw cashews: 1/4 cup, chopped or halved
  • Cilantro: 2 tbsp

Preheat the oven to 425. Prep two baking sheets with parchment paper. Separately, prep a third baking pan or sheet with cooking spray. Peel the beets, spiralize them, and distribute over the 2 parchment paper baking sheets. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and then set aside.

Next start working on the meatballs. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mix with hands, form 2″ meatballs and place on the baking sheet that’s been been sprayed with cooking spray. Place beets and meatballs in the oven and then set two timers. For the beets, bake for 10-12 minutes (or until al dente). For the meatballs, bake for 17-18 minutes. While those bad boys are baking, prepare the tzatziki sauce. You’ll see I added 2 tbsp water into this sauce, only because I like a more runny consistency. But if you like the sauce on the thicker side, you can omit the water.

Beets should be close to done by now, so take those out when the timer goes off and then distribute the noodles amongst 4 plates. Last but not least, chop up your cashews and place on a baking sheet (I just reused the baking sheet from the beets).

Once the meatballs are done, take them out and then switch the oven to broil. Broil the cashews for 1-2 minutes (watch closely! They will burn fast!). Add the meatballs and tzatziki sauce to the plated dishes, and garnish with cashews and cilantro. Yum yum yum!

Bang For Your Buck: Cheap Fruits & Vegetables

Chinatown Fruits & Vegetables

Yes, it sure is possible to get cheap fruits and vegetables in San Francisco! When I first moved here, I was shocked at how high grocery costs were, and anyone who knows me knows that I’m always on the hunt for a good deal. Don’t these fruits look delicious? They are. You’ll never guess where I got them…Chinatown on Stockston Street!

  • 7 Bananas: $1.43 at $.39/lb
  • Large Papaya: $1.19 at $.49/lb
  • 4 Mangos: $2.00 at 2 for $1
  • Chinese Broccoli: $0.61 at $1.68/lb
  • 7 Fuji Apples: $2.40 at $.69/lb

Can you say STEAL?! You’re probably thinking, “But, Rebecca, the produce is so much fresher and healthier at the Farmers’ Markets.” FALSE. The vendors in Chinatown actually receive most or all of their produce daily from the Salinas Valley distributors (doesn’t get more local than that). Here’s what they basically do: every morning, the Chinese vendors wake up early to purchase any extra large bulk quantities from the same distributors that sell to Safeway, Whole Foods & other major retailers. To get your creme of the crop pickin’s, go to Chinatown early in the morning. If you care more about price, here’s a final secret: prices go down after 5pm.

If Chinatown produce still has you spooked, Costco is another great, cheap place to get fresh fruits & vegetables.