There’s a whole lot less of the Hairy Bikers to love these days, as the boys have transformed themselves into the Hairy Dieters! Passionate believers that healthy food doesn’t have to mean compromising on taste, the boys are here with their mouthwatering lamb and lentil meatballs - quick, tasty and easy on both your wallet and your waistline.
Prep & cook times: 15 minutes prep time & 1 hour cooking time
100g brown lentils
½ tsp salt
1 tsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated
1 tbsp ras-el-hanout
1 tbsp dried mint
500g lean lamb mince
30g panko breadcrumbs
Sea salt and black pepper
200ml low-fat yogurt
1 tbsp dried mint
1 tsp ground cumin
Small bunch of parsley, chopped, a few leaves reserved for garnish
4 large pitta breads
¼ red cabbage, shredded
¼ cucumber, sliced
½ red onion, finely sliced
Pickled chillies or hot sauce (optional)
Rinse the lentils thoroughly under cold running water and put them in a pan. Cover them with plenty of cold water and season with the salt. Bring to the boil, then simmer the lentils, uncovered, for 25–30 minutes. They should be soft but not collapsing. Drain well, then put them in a bowl and leave to cool.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onion and cook it until soft, then add the garlic. Continue to cook for another minute or so, then add the onion and garlic to the lentils. Add the remaining meatball ingredients and season with salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly – the mixture may feel soft at first but will firm up as you mix.
Form the mixture into 40g torpedo-shaped balls – you should have 24. If you are cooking them all straight away, spread them over a couple of baking trays. If you are just cooking half, they should fit on one tray.
Roast the meatballs in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or until well browned. They may remain slightly pink in the middle, but if you want them cooked through completely, cook for a further 5 minutes.
Blitz the sauce ingredients in a small food processor. Season with salt and pepper and tip it into a serving bowl. Toast the pittas slightly to soften them, then split them down the sides. Slice the meatballs in half and divide them between the pittas.
Add cabbage, cucumber, red onion and the reserved parsley leaves to each one, then drizzle over some of the green sauce. Serve with pickled chillies or some hot sauce if you like.