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Flavor-Packed Mediterranean Meat Dishes From Kebab To Meatballs

Mediterranean diet is not all about chickpeas, delicate fish dishes and olive oil vinaigrette dressed-salads. Meat lovers can also find a favorite among the list of dishes in the "sunshine cuisine." Even better, Mediterranean meat dishes are usually much healthier than those of other cuisines because lean meats are used, flavored with healthy herbs and spices.

Suzy of The Mediterranean Dish offers a recipe for Kofta Kebab that uses a combination of beef and lamb.  

Kofta Kebab. Courtesy: The Mediterranean Dish

Kofta Kebab from The Mediterranean Dish
1 medium yellow onion, quartered
2 garlic cloves
1 whole bunch parsley, stems removed (about 2 packed cups parsley leaves)
1 lb ground beef
½ lb ground lamb
1 slice of bread, toasted until browned and soaked in water until fully tender
Salt and pepper
1½ tsp ground allspice
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp ground green cardamom
½ tsp ground sumac
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp paprika
Pita bread to serve

Sumac is a spice derived from ground dried berries of a middle eastern plant. Combined with allspice, cayenne pepper, cardamom, nutmeg and paprika, this kebab recipe will never be short in flavor!

Kofta Kebab. Courtesy: The Mediterranean Dish

Another spice-rich meat dish is this meatball recipe from Irvin Lin of Eat The Love. Aside from spices usually used in Tunisian cuisine (garlic, smoked paprika, ginger, tumeric, cumin, cayenne pepper, cloves, coriander, and nutmeg), the recipe also callsfor parsle, cilantro and scallions, so you can just imagine the party of flavors in this dish.

Mediterranean Meatballs from Eat The Love
2 cups fresh cubed crusty whole wheat bread (or whatever you have on hand)
1 cup milk (whole or whatever you have on hand)
1 lb ground lamb (or ground beef if you aren’t a fan of lamb)
1/2 lb ground beef
1 large egg
6 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoon ground tumeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
4 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley, divided
4 tablespoons chopped cilantro, divided
4 tablespoons chopped scallions (green onions), divided
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup olive oil

Mediterranean Meatballs. Courtesy: Eat The Love

If you're worried that the herbs and spices in your spice cabinet don't cover even half of the ingredients required in the above recipes, then you might find these last two dishes more manageable to make at home. This Greek lamb chops recipe only required four herbs namely marjoram, rosemary, oregano and parsley. Best of all, the herbs used in the recipe are all dried, meaning you can keep them in your spice cabinet for months.

Greek Marinated Lamb Chops from Health Starts In The Kitchen
2tablespoons olive oil
2tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
1/2teaspoon dried Marjoram
1/2teaspoon organic dried rosemary
1/2teaspoon organic dried oregano
1/2teaspoon organic dried parsley
1/2teaspoon sea salt (real salt)
1/4teaspoon finely ground black pepper

Greek Marinated Lamb Chops. Courtesy: Health Starts In The Kitchen

This baked chicken recipe requires even less ingredients for the marinade and you'll probably have this around in your kitchen if you're fond of cooking pasta dishes from scratch (dried basil, dried oregano and dried thyme).

Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs With Greek Marinade And Turmeric Rice from Peas and Crayons
1/4 cup + 1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
2 TBSP red wine vinegar
2 TBSP dried basil leaves
1 TBSP dried oregano leaves
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
4 chicken thighs (bone-in + skin-on)
2 cups water or broth
1 cup dry rice
1/2-1 tsp ground turmeric
1/4-1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4-1/2 tsp salt
1 TBSP butter or olive oil

Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs With Greek Marinade And Turmeric Rice. Courtesy: Peas and Crayons

TIP: Use a silicone mat to line the baking sheet to cut cleaning time in half.

Know someone who loves Mediterranean cuisine? Sharing is CARING! :-)

Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs With Greek Marinade And Turmeric Rice. Courtesy: Peas and Crayons

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