• Brianna Rhodes, RD, CD

Greek Meatballs & Couscous

Fresh and flavorful, these Greek meatballs and couscous will be a unique addition to your dinner recipe collection. This is a quick and simple meal that will excite your taste buds and make you feel cultured in the best way!

Greek food is definitely outside of my normal menu selections. I typically do a lot more Mexican, Italian or Asian style food if I’m going for a “cultural meal”. But I have to say, I was definitely impressed with this dish.

I’ll admit when I told my husband I was going to test out a Greek recipe, he was not too excited. However when I served this up for him, he was pleasantly surprised, and said it was “pretty good, actually.”

If you are familiar with Greek food, you will know they really enjoy their garlic. I modified the original recipe to make it more subtle. The resulting meal was well received. Another option to make it more authentic is to top with Feta Cheese. I opted to leave this out due to personal preference—Feta is a bit strong for me. But if you like it, it would be a great addition.

The kids did enjoy the meatballs—they cut up well and were easy for them to eat. They also loved the cucumbers, although they preferred ranch over the tzatziki sauce. My little guy really enjoyed his couscous too.

If you’ve never tried couscous before, you should. It’s a really fine, instant pasta. You bring the water to a boil, dump in the couscous and pull it off the burner. Put a lid on and let it sit for about 3-5 minutes and it’s done. Add any flavorings you like. This recipe calls for garlic and lemon juice which gives it a very fresh flavor.

The meatballs were also very easy. The most tedious part is chopping up the Italian parsley, but honestly that wasn’t too bad. It makes them look pretty too with a splash of deep green. The secret to meatballs is using a cookie scoop to shape them. I liked my #50 scoop. It made ¾ oz meatballs which was just right.

I have served this meal with breadsticks, and without. It’s light enough that you can easily fit a breadstick in without over-doing the calories. But it’s also filling enough you can easily skip it and not miss it. In fact, this one is light enough, you can easily serve with dessert, and not feel guilty at all!

The Meal:

  • ¾ cup couscous

  • 4 meatballs (¾ oz each)

  • 1 ½ cups of cucumber & tomato salad

  • 2 Tbsp Tzatziki sauce

  • 1 bread stick (optional)

Recipe Used in this meal:

Greek Meatballs & Couscous

Serving size: 4 meatballs, ¾ cup couscous

6 Servings

Meatballs

  • 1 ¼ lbs ground beef

  • ¼ cup dry Italian breadcrumbs

  • 1 eggs

  • 3 Tbsp fresh Italian parsley (large, flat leaf)

  • 1 tsp minced garlic

  • ½ tsp cumin

  • ½ tsp salt

  • ¼ tsp pepper

Couscous

  • 1 ½ cups water

  • 1 ½ tsp butter

  • 1 ½ cups couscous

  • 1 ½ Tbsp lemon juice

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 425°. Wash and chop the Italian parsley.

  2. In a large bowl, combine ground beef, breadcrumbs, eggs, parsley, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper. Mix well to combine.

  3. Form into meat balls using a #50 scoop (about ¾ oz per meat ball). Place on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes. Internal temperature should be at least 155°.

  4. Remove from oven and allow to rest at room temperature for 10-15 minutes.

  5. For the Couscous—bring water and butter to a boil in a medium saucepan.

  6. Remove from heat, add couscous and cover with a lid. Allow to sit for about 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and stir in lemon juice. Serve warm.

Cucumber Tomato Salad & Tzatziki Sauce

Serving size: 1 ½ cup salad, 2 Tbsp sauce

6 Servings

Cucumber Tomato Salad

  • 2 cups diced cucumbers

  • 2 cups diced tomatoes

  • 1 cup diced red onion

  • 2 ½ Tbsp Italian parsley (chopped)

  • Salt/pepper to taste

Tzatziki Sauce

  • 1 cups Greek yogurt

  • ¼ cup grated cucumber

  • ½ tsp minced garlic

  • 1 tsp olive oil

  • ½ tsp dill

  • ¼ tsp salt

  • ¼ tsp pepper

  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Dice the tomatoes, cucumbers and onion. Chop the parsley and toss to combine. Salt and pepper to taste.

  2. For the sauce, combine Greek yogurt, grated cucumber, minced garlic, olive oil, dill, salt and pepper, and lemon juice. Stir to combine.

  3. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Nutrition Facts Label for the Entire Meal (no bread stick):

Nutrition Facts Label for Greek Meatballs:

Nutrition Facts Label for Couscous:

Nutrition Facts Label for Tzatziki sauce:

RD and Me

Brianna Rhodes, RD, CD

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© 2016 RD and Me Nutrition Consulting, LLC