Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Greek Meatball Stuffed Pita Pockets

By Stacie Morgan, August 27, 2015, Recipes

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Greek Meatball Stuffed Pita PocketsWelcome to Cooking with Less Kilowatts. There is nothing better than sitting down in the evening to enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal. But did you know that changing what you do in the kitchen can make an impact on your monthly electricity bill? Each week, I will help you find ways to cook using less energy while still getting a satisfying, flavorful meal. Trust me – I won’t just tell you to do everything in the microwave –  I’ll help you cut down on your energy consumption.

Get ready to send your taste buds to the Mediterranean with these Greek-inspired meatballs.  The combination of flavors from beef and lamb along with seasonings and fresh herbs is irresistible.

A few years ago, I started to play around with these ingredients at home and created my gyro-inspired meatloaf.  I mixed ground lamb and beef, and then added seasonings, egg, milk, some breadcrumbs, lemon zest, and fresh herbs.  The only downside to this delicious meatloaf is its long baking time (at least one hour).

Today’s recipe stays true to the original, but I’ve reduced cooking time by two thirds (thus saving energy!) by using a nonstick mini-muffin pan to cook the meatballs. Step up your gyro inspired meatball game by quickly hand mixing together a delicious, zesty lemon-garlic tahini mayonnaise!

These meatballs go perfectly in pita pockets and will make a dinner your family will love!

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Greek Meatball Stuffed Pita PocketsThe Meatballs

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. Ground lamb
  • 1 lb. Ground beef (80/20)
  • 1/3 c. Plain breadcrumbs
  • 3 tbsp. Half and Half
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 1 tbsp. Fresh mint, finely diced
  • ½ tbsp. Fresh dill, finely diced
  • ½ tsp. Paprika
  • ¼ tsp. Ground oregano
  • 1 tsp. Sea salt
  • ½ tsp. Black pepper
  • 1 tsp. Lemon zest

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Greek Meatball Stuffed Pita PocketsDirections:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the ground beef and ground lamb. Add in the paprika, oregano, salt, pepper, lemon zest, fresh mint, and fresh dill. Combine by hand.
  3. Crack the eggs into the bowl and combine them with the meat by hand.
  4. In a small separate bowl, mix together the half and half and breadcrumbs to make a slurry. Add this to the meat mixture and combine all together to form finished meat mixture ready to become balls.
  5. Roll the finished mixture into small meatballs and place in each empty spot in the nonstick mini-muffin pan.
  6. Bake for 18 minutes until cooked through. Optional: Turn broiler on high for last 2 minutes to make the tops crispier.

The Pockets

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Greek Meatball Stuffed Pita PocketsIngredients:

  • Meatballs (from recipe above)
  • 6 Pita breads (Pocket style)
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, sliced and halved
  • ½ c. Feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 Medium cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • Chopped romaine lettuce
  • ¼ c. Mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp. Tahini
  • ½ tbsp. Chopped garlic (from jar in water)
  • 1 tbsp. Lemon juice
  • Store bought hummus (optional)

Directions:Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Greek Meatball Stuffed Pita Pockets

  1. In a small bowl, make the sauce by combining the mayonnaise, tahini, lemon juice, and chopped garlic from jar (this is desensitized garlic meaning it is much less harsh than fresh garlic giving flavor without the punch of raw garlic).
  2. Warm pita breads in the microwave for a few seconds.  If you did not buy the already split pockets, split them in half using a knife.
  3.  Spread a layer of the zesty lemon garlic tahini mayonnaise inside the pocket and proceed to stuff with your choice of fillings: the meatballs, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, and feta.  Top with more sauce, hummus, or squeeze a little extra lemon juice! Enjoy!

Stay tuned next week for an energy-saving recipe perfect for Labor Day!

Recipe and Images by Stacie Morgan

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