When I was in college and drinking far too many nights during the week, those nights often included 2am gyros at a gyro stand near the bars. Who knows if I would still think it was very good since I’m not a 21 year old in a body con dress, dancing on the bar like a ho fo sho, but from what I remember…those gyros were the best tasting food of my life.
Why does alcohol lie to us?
Anywho, this recipe was inspired by my drunk, gluten eating days when hangovers were far and few and fast food was a regular occurrence. But this is a recipe you can eat and not feel like sh*t afterwards. It’s lovely. Hopefully when you eat this, you’ll be reminded of my bar dancing days. I don’t know why, but I sure hope so.
Funny I’m bringing up my 21 year old days because I turn 30 this Sunday! No more 20’s for me! I wanted to celebrate my 30th birthday in the best way possible and that’s definitely about to happen. My husband and I leave this Friday for the island of Guadeloupe to sail for a week straight with Trade Winds! I sailed with them back in August and fell in love with that kind of travel. It was such an amazing experience and I’m so pumped to turn 30 in one of those most beautiful places.
BUT I was still a tad bummed that I wasn’t going to get to spend my birthday with some of my closest friends. My husband took me on a date night this past Saturday and I asked him if we could get a birthday cake for me when we get back from the Caribbean trip. He stared at me with sort of blank eyes and said that we can’t just celebrate my birthday for a month straight. I was slightly offended because, well, I don’t give a sh*t about birthdays usually. I don’t normally want to do anything unless I’m traveling, so for me to force my husband on a long vacation for my birthday then request cake a few weeks after my birthday, well I see where he thinks that I’m blowing it out of proportion.
But actually, he’s a liar. In that same night after we had dinner, my husband drove me to my best friends apartment to visit her new pup and I was insanely surprised when around 30 of my closest friends screamed SURPRISE when I turned the corner. I’ve never had a surprise birthday party until this past Saturday and it was freaking awesome! Not only did I get to see people I care about so much, but I got to eat a crap ton of gluten free chocolate cake. I was trying to be good with my diet before the Caribbean, but hey, you only get a 30th birthday cake once! Amiright?!
This surprise birthday party was a good reminder of what a sh*tty friend I am. I would never think to do something like that for someone. Why? I have no idea. Probably because I’m an only child. Or because I’m just a sh*tty friend! Balls. My goal for my thirties before this surprise party was to get so many laser treatments done that I look better than when I was 25, but now it’s to be less of an assh*le and to do nicer things for my friends. If they can show up to a last minute 30th birthday party when I haven’t even turned 30 yet, I can put more time into being a better friend.
Time to step it up, Juli. New goal for my 30’s – be a better friend, a better wife, AND a better daughter…and get lots of laser treatments done, too. I can do both right?! Right.
For the tzatziki
- 5-6 ounces almond milk greek yogurt
- 1/3 grated english cucumber
- juice of 1 lemon
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh dill
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- hefty pinch of salt and pepper, to taste
For the fries
- 4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in fries (I used white sweet potatoes)
- 2-3 tablespoons high heat avocado oil
- hefty pinch of salt
For the meatballs
- 1 pound ground lamb
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 1 egg
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander
- salt and pepper, to taste
For the salad
- 1/2 cup diced english cucumber
- 1/2 cup diced plum tomatoes
- 1/3 cup pitted and halved kalamata olives
- 1/4 red onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Place all ingredients for the tzaziki sauce in a bowl, mix until combined, cover and set in the fridge.
- Toss sweet potatoes in oil and sprinkle with salt on top. Place on a baking sheet and into the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes, until tender.
- While the sweet potatoes roast, place all ingredients for the meatballs in a bowl and mix until completely combined. Use a cookie scoop to create 20 or so meatballs. Place a large pan over medium heat, add a bit of oil then once hot, add all the meatballs to the pan to brown. Cook for about 5 minutes then flip to cook on the other side another 5 minutes.
- While the meatballs cook, place all ingredients for the salad in a bowl and toss until combined.
- Once meatballs are done cooking on both sides, turn oven down to 350F, remove sheet pan from the oven and place meatballs throughout. Add back to the oven to cook for 5 minutes.
- When everything is done cooking, top the meatballs and fries with the salad and serve with tzaziki sauce on the side or on top and garnish with extra parsley.
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