When people ask me what my favorite thing to make from lamb is, I have to admit that it takes a while for me to come up with an answer. The reason is simple – there are so many great things to make with lamb! However, I think its really fun to highlight the essence of a type of food but then play with the concept slightly and create unique variations. I love this dish for that very reason. I make these patties in different shapes and sizes, depending on how I want to serve them. My favorite way is to serve them in smaller oval shapes with fresh chopped tomatoes, English or Persian cucumbers, romaine lettuce, tzaziki and warm pita, so everyone can make they own sandwiches. Then we just use a bit of homemade dressing on the rest of the veggies for a delicious and healthy salad.
We have a garden right here in the canyon behind our house here in San Diego where I grow different varieties of tomatoes every year. Despite obsessing about how they are doing and whether the yield will be enough – eventually after two to three months, I get overwhelmed by huge amounts of incredibly delicious tomatoes. Once tomatoes are picked ripe, they have 2-3 days before they become too soft. This salad is a perfect answer to what do with large amounts of these amazing treats. I use all different types of tomatoes and sizes of fresh mozzarella in this simple recipe. If you buy large pieces of mozzarella, just chop them to be smaller then your pieces of tomatoes. You can also skewer these ingredients to create an elegant and very healthy appetizer for entertaining as well. You can also make this salad with basil or capers only. The same recipe can be used to make delicious Caprese sandwiches, just go easier on the dressing.
Mediterranean cuisine is one of my personal favorites. Whether or not you subscribe to the heart and health benefits associated with the Mediterranean diet, preparing Mediterranean food is usually simple, tasty and most of all – FUN! Tzatziki is a wonderful and healthy side dish, which can be used in many different ways. You can use this cooling dish as a side with spicy food, a side with a meat protein, such as lamb patties in pita sandwiches and wraps, or just as a healthy dip. I like to make it as a salad as well. Instead of grating the cucumber, I dice or slice it and add a larger amount to the recipe, so that the Greek yogurt mixture acts more like a dressing-healthy, filling, low calorie and delicious!
Eggplant is one of my favorite vegetables to use in every day cooking – especially as a flavorful yet filling side dish since it’s very low on calories and high on fiber. There is only 130 calories in a whole large eggplant, with an amazing 18.6 grams of fiber.
One of my favorite food memories from childhood is my mom’s tabbouleh. This recipe is inspired by this dish and includes a wider variety of vegetables which are colorful and nutritious. Bulgur – the wheat used in this dish has an incredible amount of healthy fiber and is much less caloric then white, or even brown rice.