My boyfriend, who doesn’t generally cook that much, decided to make dinner for us the other night. I was pretty happy about this given it’s such a rare occurrence. But when he said he was making lamb kofta my happiness waned a little. While I love Lebanese food, kofta is not up on there on the list of things I generally order. I love the cabbage rolls, tabbouleh, sautéed eggplant, and beans with tomato…not the kofta, which I find to be a bit dry or just oily. BUT, I was not going to pass up a free home cooked dinner. I decided to make a salad to go with it and tried let him do his thing without giving him any ‘help’. I have a tendency be a little controlling in the kitchen. Shock horror. And what do you know, we sat down to dinner and bit into the kofta and it was delicious. It was super moist and super tasty and not like the ones you find in most Lebanese restaurants. It was exploding with flavour and I had to bite my tongue a little because he’d succeeded in making me think differently about a dish I would have never attempted at home.
Anyway, it got me thinking about other ways to make kofta and how I could play around with them a bit. I’m always struggling to think of yummy lunchbox friendly recipes I can take to class. So, I decided to put a healthy twist on the Lebanese kofta and make chicken mince variation and sneak in a few veggies as well! The new version was just as yummy, especially when I paired it with a fresh tomato salsa. I also had mine with some tzatziki, which you can make yourself or just use the store-bought kind. And of course – the main tick, they are super easy to transport with you. So, if you want a healthy desk lunch to liven up a dismal office day, or something to nibble on in between uni lectures, then these are perfect. Have a go and let me know what you think :) Have a great weekend everyone! Izzy.
Chicken Meatballs with Tomato and Capsicum Salsa
500g chicken mince
1 spanish onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, diced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon za’atar
½ teaspoon ground chilli
1 handful coriander leaves, diced
1 cup kale leaves, diced
½ red capsicum, diced
1 egg, lightly whisked
½ cup breadcrumbs (I used panko, but normal are just fine)
Salt and pepper to season
Flour for dusting
2 tbs olive oil
Tomato and Capsicum Salsa:
250g red and yellow cherry tomatoes
½ red capsicum, diced
Large handful coriander, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
½ tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt and pepper to season
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and, then using a dessert spoon scoop out some mix and roll it into a ball. Combine with the remaining mix, it should make about 16 balls. Dust each of the balls in flour and shake off the excess.
Heat about one tablespoon of the oil in a medium sized non-stick pan over a medium heat. Divide half the meatballs around the pan and cook for about 8 minutes or until cooked through, using tongs to turn throughout. Place the cooked meatballs on a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Heat the reaming oil and repeat the process with the remaining meatballs. Serve with the tomato capsicum salsa. Also works well with some tzatziki.
For the salsa: combine all the ingredients in a bowl and toss together.