Greek Layered Dip With Ground Lamb2013-03-01
- Cuisine: American, Greek
- Course: Dressing or Condiment, Side Dish, Snack
- Recipe Type: Comfort Food, Easy Entertaining, Gluten Free, Lamb
- Ingredients: Artichoke Hearts, Basil, Black Olives, Cayenne Pepper, Feta Cheese, Greek Yogurt, Hummus, Lamb, Mint, Parsley, Red Bell Pepper, Spinach, Tomato, Yellow Bell Pepper
I’ve said it before: not everything I make and eat is Paleo. A little Greek yogurt and feta cheese are just necessary sometimes. Can I blame it on being Greek? Happily. 🙂 This dip could certainly be altered slightly to make it Paleo friendly, but I will say that there is no good replacement (as far as I know) for feta cheese. I have made a delicious Paleo Avocado Tzatziki that would work well with the combination of lamb and fresh veggies, so perhaps a Paleo Greek lamb dip will be coming soon!
Another ingredient that is not Paleo in this dish is hummus. Made from chickpeas, it is a great complement to the Greek flavors. There are so many layers of ingredients and flavors, and I encourage you to use mine simply as a guideline! An ingredient like black olives may not excite you or your family, and that is okay! I don’t always use them in this dip, and the feta cheese certainly adds enough salt! I also enjoy using a feta cheese that has been spiced with basil and sun dried tomatoes. That gives me a lot of depth of flavor without needing fresh basil or sun dried tomatoes in my pantry/fridge.
Not all these ingredients are necessarily things that I have available in my pantry and fridge at all times, but they are worth planning for when the craving hits! This dip is insanely easy to make and a healthy balance of fresh veggies and protein. It made a great meal paired with my Paleo Roasted Greek Cauliflower! It is also great on its own with fresh veggies to dip, or pita chips.
If you want to make this dish vegetarian or just don’t have ground lamb – omit it! Without meat, the dip is still hearty and yummy. If you are using meat, just make sure to let it get closer to room temperature before adding it to the other ingredients. If you add it straight out of the pan, you will have a soupy mess instead of defined layers! You can also substitute the lamb for ground beef or turkey.
A tip about plating and serving: use a rectangular or squared casserole dish with sides. I used a bowl, and it looked really nice, but it was difficult to serve. You don’t want the ingredients to be so stacked up that people find it difficult to make it to the bottom. Also, try to layer the ingredients thinly and evenly. You want to be able to taste a bunch of delicious flavors in each bite!
- 1 lb ground lamb
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp dried mint leaves
- 1 pinch saffron
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 (8-16 oz) container of hummus (I used Sabra brand)
- 1 (8-16 oz) container of Greek Yogurt (I used half of a 2% Fage Greek Yogurt)
- 1 cup baby spinach leaves, torn into small pieces
- 1 yellow bell pepper, finely diced
- 1 (6 oz) container feta cheese (I used a Basil and Sun Dried Tomato Feta)
- 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, sliced or diced
- 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
- 1 cup artichoke hearts, diced (in salt water or marinated)
- 2 medium roma tomatoes, diced and seeds removed
- optional: 1/4 cup black olives, pitted and diced
- dried parsley, to garnish
- 1. Heat coconut oil in large nonstick pan on medium/med-high heat
- 2. Add ground lamb, and cook thoroughly (10 minutes)
- 3. Add paprika, slat, mint, oregano, saffron to meat, stirring well
- 4. Remove meat mixture from heat and set aside to come closer to room temperature
- 5. In a large dish with sides layer the rest of the ingredients: hummus, yellow bell pepper, ground lamb, greek yogurt, red bell pepper, spinach, roasted red peppers, artichokes, feta, tomatoes, black olives
- 6. Top the layers with fresh or dried parsley, if desired
- 7. Enjoy!