Moving along, now that we’ve thoroughly introduced you to the Mediterranean diet, it’s time to funnel this discussion down to the specific Mediterranean recipes and the Mediterranean diet pyramid where the nutrition is based. There are endless mouth-watering and palatable recipes that each country bring to fore and believe you me, we’ll be writing several hundred blog posts about it here in Avalon-Pockets from time to time. From dusk till dawn we have every meal to entertain your taste buds! Light meals that you can nibble during breakfast like the Mediterranean mini frittatas, asparagus and mushroom frittata with goat cheese, and Mediterranean strata.
The Mediterranean Diet Pyramid Can be Seen Throughout Its Popular Dishes
You can also opt for these meals for either lunch or dinner – Mediterranean grilled balsamic chicken with olive tapenade, linguine and zucchini noodles with shrimp, and Greek chicken marinade. Whatever you want there’s a Mediterranean dish that will satisfy your appetite.
And now our Mediterranean recommended diet for today will be:
The Lebanese-Style Cinnamon Meatballs Recipe is Based on the Nutrients Found in the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid
Saucy meatballs recipes are known to have originated in Italy; however, comfort foods such as these are not limited to that region in the Med. There are practically one or more meatball recipes for every country on Earth.
There are meatball variations spanning the length and breadth of the Mediterranean shorelines and among them are the baked koftas and Greek keftedes that we guarantee you will absolutely love.
There was once a prominent governor of Lebanon known as Dawood Basha during the time of the Ottoman Empire, and because this dish was his favorite, it was named after him. It is safe to assume that Governor Basha was unaware of the Mediterranean diet pyramid in his day. Today, however, we took the liberty of adopting this dish and elevate it further with our own style of cooking. Interestingly the Syrians and Egyptians seems to love these Lebanese-style meatballs as you can easily find it in the menu of their restaurants.
How to prepare this meal:
- 1 slice sandwich bread, toasted to a golden brown
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 1/2 lb quality grass-fed ground beef
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup grated yellow onions
- 2 to 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1/2 cup packed fresh chopped parsley
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
- Salt and pepper
- Private Reserve extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup grated yellow onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 carrot, finely grated
- 1 28-oz can quality crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses (optional)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- Salt and pepper
- Crushed red pepper flakes (optional, if you like a spicy sauce)
- Preheat the oven to a high temperature averaging 375° Fahrenheit (190.5° Celsius), and get a clean baking sheet (large) and line it with parchment paper.
- Get a small mixing bowl and toss the toasted bread in it, then pour in the milk to soak it. Let it sit for about 15 minutes until the bread becomes very soft and mushy, then squeeze it hard enough so that all the milk will be extracted from it.
- Get a large mixing bowl this time, add the bread, ground beef, and the other ingredients for the meatballs. Wash your hands before you mix the ingredients in the mixing bowl (mix manually).
- Use your hands once more to form the seasoned meat into meatballs (scoop them with a tablespoon and make that a reference size that every meatball should be made). Lay the meatballs on the baking sheet on top of the covered parchment paper and arrange them into one layer. Set the temperature of the oven to 375° Fahrenheit just like before and bake them for 11 – 14 minutes.
- Take this time to prepare the sauce while waiting for the meatballs to be completely baked. Select between a deep saute pan or a 5-quart braiser to prepare the ingredients for the sauce – first heat 2 tbsp olive oil until it starts to shimmer. Toss in the onions and cook them under medium heat for about 4 – 5 minutes, stir occasionally until the color becomes golden brown. Then toss in the garlic and cook them for another 30 seconds.
- Next is to add the carrots, tomatoes (crushed) as well as the ingredients for the sauce. Allow to cook for 5 minutes or more until the sauce reaches boiling temperature and then lower the heat.
- Finally add the meatballs to the sauce while still being cooked and allow to simmer for another 20 plus minutes until they are thoroughly cooked. Sprinkle freshly chopped parsley (optional).
- Serve the meatballs on top of freshly steamed rice or pita in regular size dinner bowls. If you wish to enjoy this meal even more, then it is recommended that you add a side of fattoush.