Feeling hungry? I’m back today with more inspiration as part of my partnership with the ‘Lamb. Try It, Love It‘ campaign, so if you need a bit of meaty inspiration read on…
One of the things I desperately wanted to do this year was find myself some new office space. When I moved back to Taunton, (five years ago this June, can you believe??), I started sharing a lovely room with a couple of guys in the centre of town. Last spring I moved with one of them to share with new people, but then there was a change of circumstances, and as the summer holidays rolled around I found myself back at my kitchen table, between the fridge freezer and the cat litter tray.
I was not really living the aspirational freelance life.
It’s not that I don’t enjoy working at home, it’s just that when it’s just you and a teenager and three cats in the house, you really do need to leave it from time to time, for everyone’s sake. Also when I’m at home I get easily distracted watching old episodes of First Dates and roasting random vegetables I find in the bottom of the fridge*, so it’s good to have somewhere to go where you can’t do this.
This week then I started a bit of casual office sharing somewhere new, away from the lure of the limp cauliflower. Starting a new office, a bit like the first day back at school, is an excellent excuse to buy a new lunchbox, so I bought this cat bento box:
Honestly, I am LIVING for it.
My new office has a little kitchen with a fridge and a microwave, so I can make myself lunch at home and bring it in with me. As part of my mission to get more people eating lamb, I thought I’d make myself a fancy Greek lamb meatball lunch. My cat bento box is absolutely perfect for this as I can keep the lamb meatballs in one section and then pop them easily into the microwave if I want them hot. The salad and the dip stay in their own little cat compartments, all neat and tidy.
How to make a Greek lamb meatball lunch
To make your own Greek lamb meatballs, you will need:
- 500g lamb mince
- a small red onion, grated
- juice of half a lemon
- a handful of mint leaves, chopped
- a handful of breadcrumbs*
- salt and pepper
*I used about half a slice of bread. I reckon you could get away with leaving these out, it just felt like a ‘professional’ thing to include.
It might not seem like many ingredients, but I get so sick of recipes where you need about 14 different things just to make beans on toast. It really doesn’t have to be that complicated, and it’s just off-putting, especially if you’re trying to get into cooking more. I know a lot of meatball recipes also use an egg, but I don’t think you really need this either, not if you really work the mixture together well. Lamb is already nice and moist.
Form your Greek lamb meatballs by combining all of the ingredients in a large ball, or whizzing up in a food processor, and then rolling into smooth, individual balls. Heat the oil in a pan and cook them for around 8-10 minutes, depending on the size of your meatball, until brown all over and cooked just through. Be careful not to crowd the pan.
These quantities made 20 lamb meatballs for me, but it means you use up the whole pack of mince. If you’re making meatballs you might as well go all in right? The great thing about meatballs though is that they are really easy to freeze, so you can save the extra ones for a family dinner, or freeze them in lunch sized batches and just pop them into the fridge the night before you want them, ready to eat the next day.
My meatballs fit neatly into a dessert spoon and I would think five would be about right for lunch, so you could make four lunches out of this. I know I’m normally SUPER modest, but my meatballs were delicious. Juicy and succulent, and the mint and lemon juice really enhanced the flavour of the lamb without overpowering it.
How to make an easy Greek salad
The salad I made to go with my lamb meatballs is just a mixture of baby plum tomatoes, chopped cucumber, black olives and feta cheese, dressed with a sprinkle of dried oregano and a drizzle of olive oil. Most Greek salads have red onion in, but honestly, if I eat raw onion I can taste it for WEEKS, so I’ve left that out of mine. Nobody needs to be around me after raw onion.
This took about 90 seconds to make so seriously, no excuses for another limp sandwich meal deal. Plus, how cute is it to have your lunch smile at you and wave?
I made the yogurt dip by adding a handful of fresh, chopped mint, a dash of lemon juice and some salt and pepper to a generous serving of Greek yogurt. You could add some crushed garlic too if you fancied, but not for me. Not if I want to socialise. (See onion info above.)
This lunch has loads of protein, so should fill you up nicely, but you could always add in a wholemeal pitta bread if you wanted some extra carbs. Fun lamb fact: as well as having lots of protein in, lamb is rich in niacin and vitamin B12 and a fantastic source of protein, zinc, potassium and phosphorus.
I used a cute cake fork to eat mine – just right for skewering a meatball and dunking in the mint yogurt dip.
Yum yum yum.
What do you reckon? Could you see yourself whipping up some easy Greek lamb meatballs and salad for a lunch al desko? You won’t regret it – 10/10 would recommend.
*I really don’t know what this is about, but it just makes me feel kind of wholesome and in control of life??