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Mediterranean Diet Healthy Kafta Meatballs Recipe

Mediterranean Diet Healthy Kafta Meatballs Recipe By Registered Dietitian Maya Oueichek, MBA, RDN


This recipe is inspired by a childhood favorite of mine. Kafta holds a special place in the heart of every Middle Eastern family gathering, especially during a vibrant summer BBQ session. While the specific ingredients and variations may vary from region to region, there's one undeniable truth: it's always incredibly delicious. Those delectable Middle Eastern skewers are known for their juicy, flavorful interiors. This recipe takes a healthy twist, harnessing the natural juices of fresh vegetables to create equally mouthwatering, yet leaner, kafta meatballs. These little gems are perfect for a quick and nutritious meal, whether on a bed of fluffy rice, tucked into a whole-wheat pita, or nestled in a vibrant veggie bowl.


Mediterranean Diet Healthy Kafta Meatballs Recipe By Registered Dietitian Maya Oueichek, MBA, RDN

Why you should try this Mediterranean Diet Healthy Kafta Meatballs Recipe?


Source of High-Quality Complete Protein: Not only does it keep you feeling full and energized, but beef also serves as a prime source of high-quality complete protein, essential for supporting muscle health and overall well-being.

Freezer-Friendly: Prepare a double batch and freeze these beauties for a convenient, healthy meal ready to heat and serve whenever you crave them.

Minimal Fuss, Maximum Flavor: Don't be intimidated by fancy recipes! This recipe requires minimal cooking skills and minimal prep time, leaving you more time to rest and enjoy your day.



Ingredients:


Mediterranean Diet Healthy Kafta Meatballs Recipe By Registered Dietitian Maya Oueichek, MBA, RDN

  • 1 lb lean ground beef (I used 93% but feel free to opt for a leaner option)

  • 1 medium tomato

  • 1/2 red onion

  • (Optional) 2 dried hot peppers

  • 1 cup fresh parsley

  • 1 tsp each: cumin, allspice, black pepper, Aleppo pepper, salt, coriander (kafta spice blend)









Total Nutrition:

Calories: Around 718 calories for the entire recipe.

Protein: Approximately 100 grams.

Fat: 28 grams

Carbohydrates: 14 grams

Fiber: 4.5 grams.

*Disclaimer: This analysis provides a rough estimate and may vary slightly based on factors such as specific brands of ingredients and preparation methods.


Directions:

  1. In a blender or food processor, blend the tomato, red onion, and dried hot peppers until finely chopped. Pulse a few times to avoid liquefying.

  2. Combine the ground beef, chopped veggies, and your kafta spice blend in a large bowl. Mix well using your hands until everything is evenly incorporated.

  3. Form the mixture into bite-sized meatballs. Bake at 400°F for 20 minutes.

  4. Broil for an additional 5 minutes for a slightly crispy exterior (optional).

  5. Enjoy your kafta meatballs in pita bread with your favorite toppings, atop a bed of rice, or nestled in a veggie bowl for a complete and satisfying meal.




Mediterranean Diet Healthy Kafta Meatballs Recipe By Registered Dietitian Maya Oueichek, MBA, RDN

Nutrition Benefits of Lean Ground Beef:

Incorporating lean ground beef into your Mediterranean diet brings plenty of nutritional benefits that contribute to your overall health and well-being:


Protein power: Lean ground beef serves as an excellent source of high-quality protein, essential for supporting muscle growth and repair. Protein also helps keep you feeling fuller for longer, making it a valuable component of any balanced meal.


Source of Heme Iron: Lean ground beef provides a rich source of heme iron, a form of iron that is easily absorbed by the body. Heme iron is crucial for oxygen transport in the bloodstream, aiding in the prevention of fatigue and supporting overall energy levels. Additionally, adequate iron intake helps prevent anemia, ensuring that your body functions optimally.


Zinc: Lean ground beef is also a notable source of zinc, a mineral that plays a pivotal role in boosting immunity and supporting a healthy metabolism. Zinc is involved in various enzymatic reactions in the body, contributing to overall immune function and wound healing.


Vitamin B12: Another essential nutrient found in lean ground beef is vitamin B12, which is crucial for nerve function and red blood cell production. Adequate intake of vitamin B12 supports the maintenance of a healthy nervous system, promotes cognitive function, and helps prevent megaloblastic anemia.



Other Mediterranean Diet Beef Recipe:


Mediterranean Diet Healthy Kafta Meatballs Recipe By Registered Dietitian Maya Oueichek, MBA, RDN















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