I’ll be the first to say that not every home has ground lamb ready to go in the freezer. Pastured lamb is not as common in most kitchens as it once was. However, should you have the opportunity to purchase some, consider this recipe as an excellent way to put it to use.
And just because something doesn’t tend to be a regular part of our diet, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be. Each food has its own unique nutrition profile, and consuming a variety of foods helps to keep us balanced and vibrant. Dr. Jack Tips’ book, The Pro Vita Plan, speaks volumes about the importance of this practice.
And including a food as nutritious as pastured lamb in your diet is just a very good idea. Pastured meats tend to be much leaner than their lot-fed, grain-fed pastured counterparts, and the fat they do contain is much higher in Omega-3 fatty acids and much lower in Omega-6’s (fresh grass is over 60% Omega-3’s, and, like us, these animals are what they eat.) Pastured lamb is also rich in Vitamin E and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a nutrient increasingly recognized for its anti-tumor, cardiovascular-supporting actions. (1) US Wellness Meats is an excellent resource for pastured meats, shipped right to your door.
Another nutritional powerhouse in this recipe is soaked and sprouted quinoa, which I’ve cooked in grass-fed lamb bone broth. Although quinoa is a food of the Andeas, and not the Mediterranean, it combines really well with the lamb. If you wanted to be a real traditionalist, however, you could certainly substitute orzo or couscous, though I’d recommend soaking both beforehand. Quinoa is gluten free, has its own healthy protein profile, and when it’s soaked and sprouted, many of the anti-nutrients found in all grains and seeds are broken down into easier to digest, less bothersome components (phytates, tannins and lectins, to name a few.)
I pair this with freshly made, plain yogurt and a bright green salad topped with raw garlic, cucumbers and ripe tomatoes, drizzled with olive oil, lemon juice and sea salt. It’s wonderful reheated in the toaster oven, or broken into steaming bone broth, a la matzo ball soup. The kids love it, and the grown-ups do too, so it’s great as a casserole to serve at a dinner party. And, of course, it makes for a quick lunch later in the week!
Mediterranean Lamb Bake
- 1 pound ground Grass-Fed Lamb
- 2.5 cups soaked Quinoa, cooked (preferably in lamb or chicken broth)
- 2 Eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup Feta Cheese, preferably raw and grass-fed goat or sheep, crumbled
- Prepared Vegetables (I sliced Carrot, 1 sliced Zucchini, 1 diced medium Yellow Onion, 3 minced Garlic Cloves, 4 sliced Celery stalks) sauteed in 1 tablespoon Ghee or Butter until soft
- 2 tablespoons fresh Lemon Juice
- 2 tablespoons White Wine Vinegar
- 1 teaspoon fresh Mint Leaves, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons fresh Rosemary, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon Sea Salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Combine all ingredients and mix well.
Grease an 8″ x 12″ baking dish with butter or ghee and scoop in the mixture. Smooth with a spatula and place, uncovered, on the bottom rack of the oven.
Bake for 20 minutes, then increase oven heat to a high broil. Place dish on a medium-high rack and broil for seven or eight minutes, or until the top gently browns.
Remove from the the oven and allow the dish to rest for ten minutes at room temperature before serving. Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to three days.
(1) Visit www.eatwild.com/healthbenefits.htm for more information.