Mediterranean Salad And Oat Meatballs

My summer meal prep staple.

If you still are not convinced how easy it is to prepare delicious veggies in batch and how to apply Stefan’s wonderful veggie guide, I have taken the theory to practice and created my own Ottolenghi-style Mediterranean Salad. It is, again, not really a recipe as you can mix and match everything to your taste and there are no rules. The result is a colorful, tasty side dish which will make you happy at every meal. I’ve added the meatballs to make a complete meal so you do not have to struggle with the protein neither 😉 .

It all began with a package of vacuum-sealed, pre-cooked and pealed organic beetroots. It was alone in the fridge as I thought it could be a nice side for its own if I did not want to cook. But to be honest beetroot alone is not really sexy to me. It remembers me to the betroot salad my mum made, which was the only thing she couldn’t make tasty. I remember it smelling like wet earth. No thanks.

As I went to the supermarket I was somehow inspired to add some herbs to it… Well, the fanciest thing I could get here in the small supermarket in the countryside was parsley. But I can’t wait to try mint or cilantro too, if I can get my hands on. Basil, vervain, thyme… I think everything goes.

And that was the moment where I remembered the big plates of salad at Ottolenghi’s in London. Ottolenghi is a Jewish-Italian cook, famous for his creative Mediterranean cuisine with an Oriental touch. In London you can have his gorgeous, colorful salads and main dishes either to go or to sit in, if you have the chance to find a free spot. Now I needed some kind of legumes to go with it. What about some canned lentils? Chickpeas, all kind of beans, or corn would fit well too.

Then I spotted some delicious-looking pearl onions in balsamic vinegar: you do not need to peel them, they give a nice sweet-sour taste and the you can use the vinegar for the dressing too. I decided to roast some carrots to add some smokeyness to it, but if you do not want to turn on the oven, you can buy ready roasted bell peppers or eggplants in the jar. I’ve already done it and it tastes delicious.

The meatballs were a no-brainer: I just mixed minced beef with a lot of spices, salt, peppers and some oats. Do not add too much oats as they tend to dry out the mixture. Of course you can use a leaner or fatter meat cut, depending to your needs. Enough said, let’s go meal prepping

Ingredients

Salad

  • 500g beetroot, cooked, peeled
  • 1kg carrots, chopped
  • 240g canned lentils , drained weight
  • 1oml olive oil
  • 180g pearled onions in balsamico vinegar, drained weight + some of the vingear (approx. 20ml)
  • bunch of parsley (approx. 60g)
  • 10ml olive oil
  • spices and herbs to your liking: cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, chili, thyme
  • ev. some sweetener

Meatballs

  • 500g minced beef
  • 50g oats
  • salt, pepper, spices to your liking

Instructions

Salad

  1. Roast the chopped carrots in the preheated oven at 220°C with oils, salt and spices for approximately 30 min or until well roasted.
  2. In the meantime chop the beetroots and the parsley, add the drained lentils and pearl onions and season everything to your likings.
  3. Add the carrots and season with some of the balsamico vinegar and eventually some extra vinegar and/or sweetener.
  4. Mix everything throughouly.
  5. Adjust spices, salt and pepper, sourness and sweetness.
  6. Enjoy immediately or store in the fridge for 4-6 days.

Meatballs

  1. Mix everything together and season well.
  2. Make 12 meatballs approximately of the size of a (small) golf ball.
  3. Place on a ovenproofed tray and cook them in the preheated oven at 180°C for 20min.
  4. Enjoy immediately or store in the fridge for 4-6 days.

Macros

100g of the salad have following macros:

  • 53kcal
  • 1,9g protein
  • 6,8g carbs
  • 0,7g fat

4 meatballs have approximately following macros

  • 398kcal
  • 32,2 protein
  • 9,8g carbs
  • 31,2g fat

The whole dish is a bit low on the protein side and high on the fat side because I’ve chosen a fatter beef cut. You can easily increase protein and lower fat with a leaner meat. Still, even with my macros, you have a whole very satiating and satisfying meal for under 600kcal if you take 300g salad. This dish is also perfect if you do not track macros because you have all what you need on a plate: veggies and protein. Carbs are easily added with a slice of bread, some rice or oats as a dessert. I hope you feel inspired and give this recipe a try with your own twist.

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