These Middle Eastern meatballs combine chickpeas and lamb mince with a handful of fragrant spices.
Buttery cauliflower purée and baby spinach provide the perfect low carb base to nestle the meatballs into.
Creamy eggplant gets baked with the meatballs, for ease and flavour. Add a generous dollop of chunky sundried tomato dip or pesto to round out the meal nicely.
PRINT RECIPE PDF
These Middle Eastern meatballs combine chickpeas and lamb mince with fragrant spices. Creamy cauliflower purée and plenty of veggies help to bulk up this lower carb meal.
Preheat oven to 180ºC (360ºF) fan bake and line a large oven tray with baking paper. Dice eggplant into approximately 1cm / 0.4in pieces and season with salt and pepper. Finely dice onion and crush garlic. Finely chop parsley. Roughly chop cauliflower into florets.
COOK EGGPLANT AND MEATBALLS
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large frying pan on medium. Add onion and garlic and cook until just soft (3-4 minutes). Stir in cumin, coriander, paprika and cinnamon. Cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
Drain chickpeas, rinse and place in a large bowl. Use a stick blender to process until you have a mixture of smooth and chunky bits (this can also be done in a food processor). Add onion mixture, parsley, lamb mince, tomato paste, egg, salt and pepper. Using a spoon or your hands, mix until well combined.
Shape heaped tablespoons of mixture into approximately 24 meatballs and place on prepared tray. Scatter eggplant all around the meatballs, sprinkle cumin seeds on top (if using) and drizzle with remaining 3 teaspoons oil. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through.
MAKE CAULIFLOWER PURÉE
Place cauliflower in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, stir in stock powder and cook for 12 minutes. Drain well, then add parmesan and butter. Use a stick blender or food processor to purée until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Spread cauliflower purée on warmed serving plates. Top with spinach, eggplant and meatballs. Spoon the dip on top and garnish with parsley, if using.
WINE MATCH: Go for a Shiraz.
GLUTEN-FREE OPTION: Use gluten-free stock powder and make sure dip is gluten-free.
INGREDIENT SWAPS / NOTES: You could use beef mince instead of lamb mince. Half of the cauliflower can be swapped for 400g / 14oz peeled, diced potatoes - increase boiling time to 20 minutes. You might need to add a little milk when puréeing.
STORING AND REHEATING: Store individual portions in containers in the fridge and reheat in the microwave.