Middle Eastern/North African (MENA) Meal

Middle Eastern/North African (MENA) Meal

The fam has been fighting a cold/allergies the past couple of day. My friend Helen at Mami Comio told me about and suggested an amazing sounding Egyptian Spinach soup. We got spinach in this week’s WGG box so I was SUPER pumped to try the soup. However, Husband demands a protein at all meals, so I had to think of something to go with it. What better than kefta kebabs! Kefta is essentially a Middle Eastern/North African meatball. I took my inspiration from Moroccan kefta brochettes that I had while studying abroad in Montpellier. Serve these bad boys up with some pita and tzatziki and you’re good to go. As Husband said tonight when I asked him if he liked the kefta, “Yes, but, pretty much anything is good if you put tzatziki on it.” Me, “Even poop?”‘ Husband, “Yes, even poop.” Me, “But, for real, do you like it?” Husband, “Uh, yeah. It’s a meatball on a stick.” Husband is so good with words.

Healthy Turkey Kefta Kebabs
Makes approximately 15 meatballs (Baby approved finger food!)
1 lb ground turkey (Traditionally kefta is made with ground lamb, beef or a combo. I don’t eat lamb or ground beef, so I used turkey.)
1/2 onion, grated
1/2 cup of minced mint and flat leaf parsley
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. all spice
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl. Cover with plastic and let it sit in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.

    Mmmm…raw meat….

  2. Form the meat into egg-sized sausage-like shapes around a skewer. There should be two per skewer. Ideally, you should use rectangular metal skewers, but I don’t have those so I used regular old bamboo skewers that I soaked in water while the meat was resting. This will prevent the skewers from going up in flames.

    Throw another kefta on the barbie!

  3. Cook on a grill until there is no pink visible. I used an indoor grill because I was too lazy to go outside.You should flip part way through. Again, this is why the metal skewers are good because it will cook the meat from the inside out and shorten cook time.

    Grilled meat on a stick. Husband’s life was complete.

While the meat is resting in the refrigerator, you can prepare the rest of the meal.

Egyptian Spinach Soup
1 Tb olive oil
1 onion, diced
1/2 cup Basmati rice, rinsed
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp curry
salt and pepper to taste
4 cups chicken stock (you can substitute vegetable stock if you want to make it vegetarian)
1 lbs of spinach, chiffonaded
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup Greek yogurt

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, saute the onion for approximately 1 minute and add the turmeric and curry. Saute for an additional 30 seconds.
  2. Add in the rice and chicken stock and gently simmer until rice is cooked (approximately 15 minutes).
  3. Add in the spinach and cook for an additional 5 or so minutes until the spinach is wilted.
  4. Remove from the heat and garlic press in the garlic.
  5. Once soup has cooled slightly, stir in the yogurt so it does not separate
  6. You can either serve lukewarm or slowly reheated to prevent the yogurt-soup separation.

    Yummy soup that is gluten-free and can easily become vegetarian or vegan

3/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cucumber, seeded, peeled and diced
1 tsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup minced mint
Salt, to taste
juice of 1/2 lemon

1. Mix everything in a bowl and serve.

Slice up some tomatoes and slather a pita in tzatziki and voila! Dinner in a pocket.


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