Moroccan Meatballs with Saffron Yogurt Dipping Sauce (Paleo, AIP, GAPS, Wahls, Whole30)

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meatballs on a tray with sauce drizzled on top

“The secret of happiness is variety, but the secret of variety, like the secret of all spices, is knowing when to use it.”
~ Daniel Gilbert


Soon To Become Your Favorite Meatball

I love meatballs! There are so many flavor variations, and when you bake them in the oven, they cook quickly and easily. AND they’re fun to eat – ask any kid! Today, I offer you one with the taste of Morocco. Morocco sits on a centuries-old spice trade route, and their cuisine reflects that abundance of flavor. While not all Moroccan herbs and spices are AIP, many of my favorites are, including ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, and saffron. However, I know saffron can be expensive, so the dipping sauce is optional. The meatballs are delicious enough to eat on their own!

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meatballs served on blue and green dish

Moroccan Meatballs with Saffron Yogurt Dipping Sauce (Paleo, AIP, GAPS, Wahls, Whole30)


  • Author: Eileen Laird
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

Meatballs:

  • 1/4 cup dried currants (can substitute raisins)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 pound ground lamb

Dipping Sauce

  • Large pinch saffron (about 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 1 tablespoon boiling water
  • 1/2 cup AIP-friendly unflavored coconut yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 small clove garlic, pressed
  • Sea salt, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. Place 1/4 cup dried currants and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan, heat to a simmer and simmer 5 minutes. Strain the water and set the currants aside for now.
  4. Using a food processor, grate the carrot. Then remove the grating blade and replace it with the chopping blade. Add the 1/2 onion and 2 cloves garlic and pulse a few times to roughly chop. Add the moistened currants and the spices, and pulse a few times to blend. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the lamb, and pulse a few times until evenly blended.
  5. Form 16 meatballs and place them on the cookie sheet, evenly spaced.
  6. Bake 20 minutes.
  7. While meatballs are cooking, prepare the yogurt sauce. In a small bowl, add saffron and 1 tablespoon boiling water. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
  8. In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut yogurt, lemon juice, and pressed garlic. Add the saffron threads and water (no need to strain). Then add a light sprinkle of sea salt, to taste.
  9. Serve the meatballs with dipping sauce on the side.

Notes

  1. The dipping sauce is optional. If you don't have saffron or AIP-compliant yogurt on hand, the meatballs taste delicious on their own.
  2. Most store-bought brands of coconut yogurt contain non-AIP ingredients. Some AIP-friendly brands are CoYo, CocoYo, and Coconut Cult. Always check the labels to be sure. If none are sold in your local stores, here’s a recipe for homemade coconut yogurt.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Main Courses
  • Method: Oven

Keywords: paleo, aip, lamb, moroccan, meatballs

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