Hey guys! Here we go, my first formal recipe. When I was deciding what to post first, I agonized over what I thought people would want to make. Insert: a vote on Instagram stories, and now you’ve all decided for me! Thanks for that.
These meatballs are everything you need them to be during a quarantine- healthy, versatile, and delicious. The ones pictured here use ground chicken, but they would truly be great with any ground protein. I considered using a combination of ground beef and ground lamb, but unfortunately my local store was out. Use what you have, and don’t sweat it!
The meatballs are herb HEAVY, and I like them that way. If you’re not a fan of fresh herbs, just omit them or use less. Don’t like dill but love parsley? Just sub extra. But, they are called ‘Green Goddess’ for a reason people, and the herbs really do add to their flavor.
I absolutely love oven-baked fries, particularly sweet potato. However, I don’t love the work that goes into chopping all those sweet potatoes. It’s actually the worst. Your knife always gets stuck, you risk losing a finger, and the pieces never seem to turn out the shape or size you want. These carrot fries are the perfect alternative and require far less intense chopping, so you can spend more time eating them than you did prepping them. The carrots mimic the sweet-yet-earthy taste of the sweet potatoes, and the high roasting temperature allows them to get crispy and slightly caramelized on the ends.
Finally, we have the Lemony Herb Sauce, which is a non-negotiable for me. It comes together in about 3 minutes start-to-finish, and uses one bowl (or blender cup, if you want to get technical). The nuttiness of the tahini is balanced by the sharp flavors of the lemon and fresh herbs, and because we’re making it in a blender, you don’t get the big leaves of the herbs stuck in your teeth. This sauce is perfect for dipping, or you could use it as a salad dressing. Bonus: if you like the vibe of this dip, try doubling the recipe and adding a can of rinsed, drained chickpeas to the blender along with it for a flavorful, lemony hummus situation. What could be better?
If you make this recipe, don’t forget to post your photos and tag me @theardentcook on instagram. It would truly mean the world to me. Enjoy!
For the Meatballs:
1lb ground chicken (or other ground protein of choice)
3 small cloves garlic, minced
⅛ cup finely chopped parsley
⅛ cup finely chopped cilantro
⅛ cup finely chopped dill
1 TBSP dried oregano
1.5 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt, plus more to taste
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 egg or scant ¼ cup plain greek yogurt
½ cup homemade breadcrumbs*
1 TBSP avocado oil, or other high temperature cooking fat, for coating the pan
For the Carrot Fries:
1lb whole carrots
2 TBSP avocado oil, or other high-temperature cooking fat
Salt and pepper, to taste
For the Lemony Herb Sauce
⅛ cup tahini
Juice and zest of 1 whole lemon
1 TBSP dijon mustard
⅛ cup finely chopped herbs (cilantro and parsley work best)
3 TBSP water, or more if thinner consistency is desired
Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place a large rimmed cookie sheet inside the oven and allow it to get hot as the oven preheats.
- Wash and dry carrots. Cut into ¼ inch sticks, resembling french fries. Coat in oil, salt, and pepper.
- Carefully remove the preheated cookie sheet from the oven, using mitts. Use a spatula or tongs to spread carrot fries in an even layer on the cookie sheet, being careful to avoid crowding. Carrots should audibly sizzle when placed on the hot tray. Bake for 20-25 minutes, tossing halfway through.
- Meanwhile, combine ground chicken, egg, breadcrumbs*, parsley, cilantro, dill, garlic, oregano, smoked paprika, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper, in a large mixing bowl.
- Using your hands, work chicken mixture together until just combined.
- Roll into 1.5 inch balls and place in an oiled 9×12 glass baking dish, leaving some room in between. Use a second baking dish if needed to avoid crowding. Recipe should yield about 15 meatballs.
- Bake meatballs for 10-12 minutes, until firm to the touch and lightly golden around the edges.
- To make the Lemony Herb Sauce, combine tahini, lemon juice and zest, mustard, and water in a medium sized mixing bowl. Whisk together until emulsified. If the mixture appears to be “breaking” or separating, add a small amount of hot water and continue whisking until cohesive. Add parsley, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. To thin sauce, add an additional 1-2 TBSP water. Use as a dipping sauce, sandwich spread, salad dressing, or drizzle on grilled vegetables or protein
- To serve, add meatballs and carrot fries to a plate. This meal pairs well with a side salad, or grilled/roasted vegetables such as broccoli, zucchini, or asparagus. Drizzle Lemony Herb Sauce over the top, or serve on the side for dipping. Enjoy!
*for the Homemade Breadcrumbs
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees Farenheit.
- Bake bread slices directly on rack, flipping over halfway, for 10 minutes. Bread should feel warm and slightly toasted, but not overly browned or hard.
- Break bread into smaller pieces and add to a food processor or high speed blender with nothing else. Pulse repeatedly in 3-second increments until desired particle size is achieved. 2 slices of bread will yield approximately ½ cup of breadcrumbs.