Healthy Options: Mediterranean Inspired Turkey Lentil Meatballs

turkey lentil meatballs

Everyone needs a dish every once in a while that just makes you feel healthy.  The problem is, many times those dishes leave you feeling hungry as well.

I had some lentils that had been sitting in my pantry for quite some time and had to use them up.  I just happened to come across a post that used cooked lentils as a filler for some turkey meatballs and they seemed right up my alley.  Of course, I had to put my own spin on things and make my own Sriracha hummus, but you do whatever you feel like doing.  I also added some freshly ground cumin and coriander to the meatballs during the mixing process.

I warmed up some whole wheat flatbread on my Baking Steel that I keep in my oven.  It was already warm from baking the lentil meatballs, so that was easy.  Spread some hummus on the bread after quartering it up, top with a meatball, then some yogurt sauce, place some greens and garnish with a bit of really good extra virgin olive oil.

It is a very satisfying dish and I’m sure you will feel good about yourself after eating it.  Look there’s even greens!  Hell you’ll feel so good, go ahead and enjoy a beer with your meal like I did.  Cheers!

White Oak Jai Alai


Turkey Lentil Meatball Recipe

turkey lentil meatballs-2



DFH Chicory Stout Brownies, BBA Ice Cream, BBA Caramel Sauce

I know some of you are wondering what the fuck are all these initials in front of a dessert recipe.  It’s okay if you don’t know and totally okay for you to catch some bourbon barrel-aged fever.

A few months ago I created a menu for a beer infusion and pairing dinner party to be held at my house.  It was probably my most elaborate dinner party I have ever thrown and I loved throwing it so much that I instantly wanted to create a second menu for the next go round.

While there were many highlights to the evening, my personal favorite was piecing together my Dogfish Head Chicory Stout brownie, Kentucky Bourbon Beer ice cream with bourbon pecan pie chunks, topped with Kentucky Bourbon Beer Ale caramel sauce.

Dogfish Head Chicory Stout is a great pair with infusing brownies
Dogfish Head Chicory Stout is a great pair with infusing brownies

I wanted a beer that would complement the chocolate and espresso that go in my brownies, slightly adapted from David Lebovitz.  This is a great beer for that.  The chicory and chocolate notes in the beer fuse seamlessly in to these delicious brownies.

For the ice cream, I use the vanilla bean base from Jeni’s where the creaminess, body, and texture are represented by the cream cheese, corn syrup, and corn starch.  From there it’s add in whatever the Hell you fancy.  I thought a bourbon barrel aged beer would fit the bill nicely, and it did just that.  It actually left some nice subtle notes of banana which was quite unexpected as this was the first time I created a beer flavored ice cream.  The little sumpin’ sumpin’ I threw in there was a recipe of leftover pecan crack pie from my Momofuku Milk Bar cook book.  Here is an online version from Bon Appetite.  I threw in some pecans and a bit of bourbon too because I can.

Next came the topping.  What is a sundae without toppings.  I didn’t want to go overboard and I wanted it to stand be something special and noticeable, yet meld right in with the other cast of characters.  Naturally, Kentucky Bourbon Beer caramel sauce was going to have to be created.  I used this caramel sauce, adapted from one of the best bloggers and O.G. David Lebovitz.  There are great tips in here and to create this sauce you will be stopping the caramel with cream and the bba beer. Here is another recipe from Simply Recipes with actual measurements to try.  I added about 1/4 C of bba to the recipe.  If it is too thin, simply cook it longer over medium heat until it thickens a bit more.  The darker and longer you cook your caramel sauce, the stronger flavor it will produce.  Be careful not to go too far though as it may get too bitter for your liking.

I hope, if you are a beer lover like I am, that you will try to create your own beer pairing party and give these recipes a shot.  Remember when pairing with sweets, desserts, etc. you want an equally sweet beer.  If you use an IPA or something not sweet enough, the beer will taste way too bitter and throw everything off.  I paired this with Southern Tier’s Creme Brûlée Stout and it was a great choice.  Another awesome pairing would be a collaboration between my hometown brewery Cigar City Brewing and Terrapin Brewing, Southern Slice.  This is a Doppelbock brewed with 900lbs of Vanilla Beans and Pecans.  Cheers!

dogfish head chicory stout brownie, bourbon beer ice cream with bourbon pecan pie chunks, kentucky bourbon beer caramel sauce
dogfish head chicory stout brownie, bourbon beer ice cream with bourbon pecan pie chunks, kentucky bourbon beer caramel sauce