The Recipes

Turkey Meatballs with Lentils

If there's one thing I hate about cooking at home, it's the prospect that I waste food.  Produce, things that have an expiration date, you name it... the whole point is to have really great food that you know where everything came from... and have it be affordable.  When you waste food, that really doesn't work.

So, I had a container of Greek yogurt that was about to go south as well as some ground turkey that was taking THAT turn in the freezer.  Hence, turkey meatballs with a take on tzatziki.



Turkey Meatballs with Lentils

Ingredients:

- 1/2 lb. ground turkey
- 1 T. coriander seeds
- 1 T. cumin seeds
- 1 T. cayenne pepper
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/3 c. bread crumbs
- handful of cilantro, chopped
- 1 T. olive oil
- 1/4 c. Greek yogurt
- 1 lime, zested and juiced
- 1 in. cucumber, grated
- 1/4 jalapeno, grated
- 1/4 c. lentils
- 1 carrot, roughly chopped
- 1 celery rib, roughly chopped
- 1/6 onion, cut into a few pieces
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 bay leaf
- salt
- pepper
- 1 c. vegetable stock

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Heat a dry skillet.  Toast the coriander and cumin for 2-3 minutes.  Transfer to a spice grinder or mortar and pestle and grind them.  Combine with the cayenne.

Mix together the turkey, bread crumbs, egg, coriander, cumin, cayenne and cilantro.  Season with salt and pepper and combine using your hands.  Set a wire rack on top of a baking sheet.  Spray the rack with cooking spray.  Roll 1-in. meatballs and lay them on the wire rack.  Drizzle them with a little bit of olive oil.  Bake for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring the lentils, carrot celery, onion, cinnamon stick, bay leaf and stock to a rolling boil.  Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes.

Combine the yogurt, lime juice, lime zest, cucumber and jalapeno.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

When the lentils are done, discard the vegetables, cinnamon and bay leaf.  Plate the lentils and top with the meatballs.  Drizzle some of the yogurt sauce over the meatballs.