Life is uncertain. Eat Dessert first.


Kofta meatballs

This is a fragrant Middle Eastern dish where minced meat is flavoured with spices and formed into balls. This recipe comes from Anthony Worrall Thompson’s GI Diet, a book that’s full of healthy recipes for when you want something simple, yet still satisfying.

Blend 500g beef or lamb mince (I used lamb) with a finely chopped onion, 2 tsps of ground cumin, 1 tsp ground mixed spice, a pinch of cayenne pepper, a handful of chopped coriander leaves and some ground pepper.

Take a small handful of the mixture and, using your hands, roll it into a ball and flatten slightly. Repeat to make 16 meatballs.

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan and fry the meatballs until they are golden brown and cooked through. Drain on absorbent kitchen paper. Serve with a green salad, cous cous and lemon wedges (I added some chopped coriander and lemon juice to the cous cous).

These also freeze really well and make a great lunch-time snack.


Souvlakia with Tzatziki

I had loads of leftover Greek yoghurt and spices from making the curry this week, so I used what I had in the fridge and cupboards to make this really simple and fantastically tasty traditional Greek dish.

Cut 500g of pork (or lamb) into 2cm cubes, cutting off any gristle or fat. Mix a teaspoon of ground coriander seeds, a teaspoon of dried oregano, 75ml of extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, half a grated onion, a torn up bay leaf and salt and pepper together and then pour it over the meat in a bowl. Mix everything up so the meat is well coated, then cover and marinate for at least two hours (overnight if possible). Soak wooden skewers in cold water for an hour or two in the meantime.

To make the tzatziki, peel and finely dice half a cucumber, put in a sieve over a bowl, then sprinkle over a tablespoon of red wine vinegar and some salt. Leave to drain for an hour, then pat dry with a clean tea towel. Put the cucumber in a bowl and mix in 150g of Greek yoghurt, 1 crushed garlic clove, and a tablespoon of freshly chopped mint. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Thread the pork onto the skewers. Leave a gap between each piece of meat, so that the heat can get to all parts of each cube in order to cook the meat evenly. Preheat an oiled griddle pan (or barbecue!), and cook the kebabs until they are crusty and brown and cooked all the way through, turning and brushing occassionally with the leftover marinade.

Serve sizzling hot with the tzatiki, some pitta breads that have been chopped up, drizzled in oil, and cooked in the oven until crisp, and a wedge of lemon.