Tag Archives: mint

Greek Meatball Pitas with Mint Yogurt Sauce

I was reading an article the other day that said “Studies show that kids who eat the same meals as their parents are healthier”. It makes sense. Generally, when we prepare typical “kid-friendly” foods we sacrifice nutrition (chicken strips, hot dogs, macaroni and cheese), unless you’re making everything from scratch, which can be really time-consuming. I’m lucky in that my oldest child has always been a very open minded eater. He’ll try almost anything at least once, although he has a very specific list of three things he doesn’t like; tomatoes (unless in sauce or pizza), avocado and raisins. This is really unfortunate for his younger sister, who happens to be a wee bit pickier. Because my son is such a great eater, I’ve never really gotten in the habit of making “kid-friendly” meals. If I am making something that I feel might be a tough sell to the kids, I usually just make them the “broken down” version. A great example is Thai chicken curry. It’s super easy to set aside some cooked chicken, red peppers and rice for the kids without any effort. There are exceptions to this, of course. If we’re having friends or family over, I’ll make something super easy that all the kids will enjoy. After all, when it comes to food we all have a guilty pleasure or two (Or too many to count, in my case).

One of the more “kid-friendly” meals we do have fairly often is stuffed pitas (or wraps). I set out several different bowls of stuffing ideas and let them pick what they like. The only rule is that they have to choose at least three veggies.  We usually have chicken or chickpeas for some protein and I’ll make tzatziki (super easy). I think the kids like that they get to be in control a bit, it makes it sort of like Subway and my kids love Subway. This week, I decided that I wanted to try something a bit different, Greek meatballs. It worked out really well, except for my daughter, the youngest. With a bit of convincing, though (I stuck a toothpick in her meatballs and told her they were just like lollipops) I was able to get her to try a bite. She ultimately (with some bribery, I’m only human) ate two full meatballs. I’m calling it a great success!

Greek Meatballs

 

Meatballs:

1 Lbs ground beef

1 Lbs ground pork

1 egg

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp oregano

2 tsp cinnamon

1 lemon, zest only, juice reserved

salt and pepper to season

 

Sauce:

1 Cup plain greek yogurt

1 tbsp lemon juice (from above)

1/3 C mint leaves, chopped finely

 

Extras:

Pita bread

assorted veggies; I used lettuce, cucumbers, olives, tomatoes, bell peppers

feta cheese

 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Farenheit.

First make the sauce. Combine the yogurt, lemon juice and mint. Mix well and set in the fridge until ready to serve.

In a small bowl, mix together the oregano, cinnamon, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Lightly beat the egg until the yolk and white are combined. In a large mixing bowl combine the beef, pork, egg, garlic and oregano mixture. Using your hands, mix it all together until well combined. Roll the mixture  into 1″ balls. Bake for 20 minutes.

Once the meatballs are cooked fill or top your pita with veggies, a few meatballs, sauce and some feta. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Strawberry Brie Tarts

Every once in a while a recipe idea pops into my head that I can’t seem to let go of. This one all started with the strawberry mint smoothie I was having for breakfast. I love the flavour of strawberry and mint together and somehow my mind had me putting those flavours on top of brie cheese. It just seemed like something that would be amazing together. From there the idea evolved into the recipe below.

The idea of working with phyllo dough can be intimidating. It certainly makes the recipe seem more complicated, but it’s really not that difficult to work with. Phyllo dough is quite delicate and it can dry out quickly, so be gentle with it and it helps to lay a damp cloth over the sheets you’re not working with. This recipe only uses 4 sheets, so if you’ve never worked with phyllo before this is a good introduction.

The Maple syrup in the recipe is optional. It all depends on how sweet the strawberries are. The ones I was using were a little tart, so I needed to sweeten them up a bit. If you have really sweet strawberries, you can get away without it.

I hope you enjoy the tarts as much as I did!

Strawberry Brie Tarts with mint and balsamic vinegar

Strawberry Brie Tarts with mint and balsamic vinegar

 

3 Tbsp Butter

1 Onion, diced

1 Cup Strawberries, diced

2 Tbsp Maple Syrup (optional)

1/2 Cup Mint, chopped

4″ Round Brie

4 sheets Phyllo dough

1/4 Cup Balsamic reduction

 

Preheat oven to 35o degrees farenheit.

Melt 1 Tbsp of butter in a small saucepan. Add onions and saute until softened and beginning to brown. Add in strawberries and maple syrup. Stir. Saute for another 5 minutes until strawberries are softened. Remove from heat and stir in the mint. Set aside.

Melt remaining 2 tbsp of butter. Working quickly lay 1 sheet of phyllo dough on work surface and brush with melted butter. Repeat with remaining 3 layers. Cut into 24 squares. Gently form the squares into a mini muffin pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes until lightly golden.

While the pastry is cooking, cut the brie into 1/2″ cubes. Place a cube of brie in each cooked pastry shell, top with strawberry mixture and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Garnish with Balsamic Reduction.

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