Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Lamb Pitas with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

This is a great recipe combo because the next night, you can use up the leftover lamb in pasta.  I actually had a difficult time finding ground lamb this time of year, so we mixed the lamb with beef and turkey.  This also helped in making the lamb a little easier to take for palates that are not used to the lamb flavor.
Tell me that doesn't make your mouth water a little bit.
Lamb Pita
These are so fresh and delicious. The cucumber yogurt sauce really makes it come together.  Kids also love building their own- be prepared for a little bit of mess!  This recipe is enough to feed 4 with leftovers for the pasta the next night. Adapted from thefresh20.com

2 lbs ground meat (lamb, beef, or turkey)
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 c chopped spinach (optional)

Add 1/2 tsp olive oil to large saute pan.  Once heated, add onion and garlic.  Saute until onions are soft. Add meat and spices, and cook until browned. Stir in spinach, and take off the heat once it wilts. Serve in pitas with yogurt sauce, thick sliced tomato, and red pepper strips.

Cucumber Yogurt Sauce
The lemon juice and lemon zest is the secret to making this sauce taste wonderfully fresh.

1 cucumber, peeled and grated
2 small handfuls of finely chopped spinach
1/2 large handful of chopped parsley
1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
salt to taste
1/2 tsp dried mint (or 3-4 leaves of fresh mint if available)
juice and zest of 1/2 lemon

Mix all ingredients together and serve on pita sandwiches.

Greek Pasta with Lamb
This was so easy to make, yet so flavorful. Since the ground lamb mixture was already done, I was able to prepare the veggies while the pasta was boiling, and then just toss everything together in less than 20 minutes.  I served it with a huge fresh salad.

1/2 package of spaghetti noodles (whole wheat if you have it)
ground lamb mixture (precooked from above meal)
2 T balsamic vinegar
juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
1/2 c grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 small zucchini, shredded or zested into noodles (optional)
1 cup chopped spinach (optional)
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Cook pasta as directed, and drain. While the pasta is cooking, reheat the lamb in a large saute pan.  Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and add it to the ground lamb. Add the vegetables, saving the tomatoes and spinach for last. (Consider adding 1/4 cup of chicken stock or pasta water if the pasta seems dry.) Once the zucchini noodles are tender, take the noodles off the heat.  Serve immediately, with feta cheese sprinkled on top.

Please leave any comments or suggestions!

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