There's really something to be said for the spiralizer - the device that helps turn everyday vegetables into twirls and strands of noodles that delight the culinary senses. Especially loved by celiacs around the world, being able to enjoy a veggie noodle in place of a white-flour number is a welcome treat. If you haven't tried a naturally gluten-free noodle yet, what ya waitin' for?!
I personally adore sweet potato noodles - they're creamy and sweet, and make a perfect pairing with a savory protein like lamb. The combo, especially with a touch of lemon, is quite nice and feels like comfort food without being too comforting to your waistline.
Per usual, I loosely came up with the recipe while wandering the aisles of the grocery. I don't plan meals ahead a ton and am often inspired by what looks best when I see it, piece-mealing together what I plan to make as I make my way through the produce section and by the butcher. That's what happened with this gluten-free Lamb Meatballs, Sweet Potato Noodles, and Lemon Yogurt Sauce dish. Felt inspired and took a chance - and it paid off! I also made a bowl without the meatballs for a quick vegetarian version for a friend.
This recipe is perfect for anyone on a diet, those who need to avoid gluten, and generally for people that like their delicious food to be healthy as well. It provides a good serving of protein and good carbohydrates and is totally satisfying.
Let's get to the recipe!
- 1 lb. freshly ground lamb
- 1/2 red onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- juice from 1 lemon
- 3/4 cup whole greek yogurt (you can use whatever fat content you want)
- 3 tablespoons cumin
- 2 tablespoons coriander
- 2 tablespoons dried cilantro
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground cinnamon
- salt and pepper to taste
- ghee for cooking
Sweet Potato Noodles
- 4 cups peeled sweet potato noodles (raw)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 red onion, minced
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- micro arugula for some green color at the end
Lemon Yogurt Sauce
- 1/2 cup whole greek yogurt
- juice from 1/2 a lemon (or more)
- 1 tablespoon cilantro
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- pinch salt
Some notes on procedure before starting. First, prepare all your ingredients before you start cooking this meal. It can come together fairly quickly and I find that when you're juggling 3 things at once it's easy to get messed up. Measure, chop, and be prepared.
Next, DON'T BOIL your sweet potato noodles. Only sauté or roast them. They'll disintegrate into nothing if you boil them and your dinner will be a sad puddle of watery goo. I made my meatballs first, noodles second, and the yogurt sauce while my meatballs finished cooking.
- In a food processor, combine red onion, lemon, and onion and pulse into fine. Mix that into a bowl with your lamb and the rest of your ingredients (except for the ghee). Don't combine everything together to death - you want light, fluffy meatballs so try not to make everything too compact.
- Before you form your mixture into balls, do a taste-tester in a pan to check for seasoning. Over medium heat, add a bit of ghee and just a tiny meat of meat and cook through (it should only take a minute, so don't skip this step). If they taste great, you're good to shape your balls. If not, season and taste again.
- Shape your balls and place them on a sheet of parchment paper or alum foil. Once you get your ghee going into a pan over medium-high heat you'll want to get them in quickly for even cooking so having them shaped before is important.
- Cook the balls on all sides, flipping once each side gets brown. They should take about 10 minutes and don't be afraid to reduce the heat to avoid burning.
- When done, let some fat drain off by placing them on a cooling rack over a piece of fresh parchment paper. If you're great at getting things timed, your meatballs may be done when your noodles finish and in that case serve immediately. If not, turn on your oven to 450 so you can re-heat your meatballs quickly when your noodles are ready.
- In a bowl combine all your ingredients and taste. You'll add a scoop or 2 of this to your dish when complete and it will melt into your noodles.
Sweet Potato Noodles
- In a large sauce pan, quickly sauté your minced onion and garlic in olive oil. These will brown quickly so be very careful with the heat. Add your noodles and additional olive oil if necessary, and season with salt and pepper.
- Using tongs, sauté the noodles. They'll cook through in about 5-7 minutes depending on how thick they are. They should be fairly tender when done, but still feel a little al dente like a real noodle. You want them to have some body.
To serve, add noodles to a bowl, add a dollop of yogurt sauce and the meatballs, and then finish with a sprinkling of micro-greens like arugula for a bit of color and flavor.
I hope you enjoy this gluten-free meal as much as my friends and I did! Satisfied taste-buds and tummies for sure. Leave me your comments below on what you'd like to see me make for dinner next!