Try this exciting Kefta recipe to bring Moroccan inspired flavor to your table, simply! This Whole30 Friendly, gluten free, paleo, low-fat, healthy recipe is ready in about 30 minutes and is so simple to make.
What is kefta? Keft, kofta, kafta, depending on the region it comes from, is essentially seasoned ground meat. The savory, richly seasoned met is often shaped into a patty, or formed into a brochette (cigar-type shape), and sometimes wrapped around a skewer for a kebab. Sometimes the meat has bulgur, eggs, or rice added. With this quick and simple version we are keeping it simple, gluten free, and Whole30/Paleo/ low-carb friendly with just meat, Mesa de Vida Whole30 Approved North African inspired cooking sauce, and lots of fresh herbs.
Our healthy cooking sauce brings Moroccan inspiration to the ground meat and even adds a boost of nutrition! Our flavor base is made with concentrated vegetables, fruit, spices and herbs, ready to add delicious flavor to your meals – simply. The cooking sauce is also very low in sodium, so you can add salt to your own tastes. Our blends are so packed with flavor you’ll likely find you can use a lot less salt, while still achieving big flavor.
Kefta are delicious on their own, but I’ve created a simple and incredibly flavorful cauliflower salad to serve them with. The cauliflower is roasted with a dollop of the same North African cooking sauce, which brings so much flavor, easily! You don’t have to break out a cabinet full of expensive spices, or know how to combine them to achieve great Moroccan flavor – you just get to pour on and enjoy!
The flavorful, golden, tender and caramelized cauliflower is then tossed with a beautiful simple vinaigrette, lots of fresh herbs, and crunchy toasted cashews. This salad is fantastic warm, but the leftovers are just as good served cold the next day.
Other ways to serve kefta is on top of cooked couscous, chickpeas, or rice, (add a dollop of our cooking sauce to the simmering water to add great flavor), on toasted flatbread with a salad of cucumber, onion and tomato, or form the meat around a skewer and cook them on a hot grill during the summer, and serve with grilled vegetables.
If you’re looking for healthy meals for meal-prepping in advance, this is a great option. While you’re making the recipe for dinner, double it and make twice as much. Then, freeze the kefta patties to use another night.
If you’d like to make the kefta with a delicious gravy to pour over the meat, try braising them with a bit more of our cooking sauce. To serve you can drizzle the meat with hummus, or in our case a Paleo-friendly tahini drizzle made with tahini, fresh garlic, fresh lemon juice, and a bit of olive oil.
This is a satisfying, exciting meal that is simple enough for a quick weeknight dinner, but also a wonderful, gluten-free, Paleo, low-carb, healthy dish to make for a casual dinner party or potluck so everyone can enjoy.
I hope I’ve convinced you to try making Moroccan inspired kefta with Mesa de Vida North African inspired healthy cooking sauce – if you do we’d love to see the dish at your table of life! Share your photo on social media, tag us and use the hashtags #MakeItWithMesadeVida and #MesadeVida! We have a monthly winner chosen from those who share!
Moroccan Inspired Kefta with Spiced Roasted Cauliflower Salad Recipe
1 head cauliflower, broken into florets
2 Tb Mesa de Vida North African inspired healthy cooking sauce
Salt to taste
Healthy oil/fat of your choice
2 cups fresh cilantro, minced
2 cups fresh parsley, minced
1 cup fresh mint, minced
*Note – when I chop this mixture I set aside 3/4 or so of it for the salad when it is just chopped, then finish mincing the remaining amount to use for the kefta.
1 1/4 lb ground beef, lamb, chicken, turkey or pork (beef and lamb are traditional, but you can use any meat you prefer)
1/2 cup Mesa de Vida North African inspired healthy cooking sauce
1 cup of the fresh herb mixture (above)
Salt and hot sauce – harissa is fantastic with this – to taste. *Our cooking sauce is mild so everyone can enjoy. Spice it to your liking!
1-2 tb healthy oil/fat of your choice, for cooking
1 cup toasted cashews
2-3 tomatoes, chopped
1/4 red onion, minced
Remaining fresh herb mixture (above)
Juice from 1 lemon
2 Tb olive oil or nut oil of your choice
Salt to taste
Optional: 2 Tb dried apricots or dates, finely diced
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss the cauliflower with 2 Tb of Mesa de Vida North African inspired healthy cooking sauce, salt to taste, and a drizzle of oil. Arrange in an even layer on a baking sheet (covered in parchment paper for ease of cooking if you like) and place in the oven to roast for 10-15 minutes, depending on your oven and the size of the florets. They will be done when the cauliflower is golden brown and caramelized in spots, and just tender enough for a knife to pierce the stem easily.
While the cauliflower roasts you can make the kefta. Combine the meat with the North African cooking sauce, the fresh herb mixture, salt and hot sauce to taste. Combine well. Divide the mixture into approximately 10-12 pieces, and form into either patties, or cigar-like shapes. (Or you can form around skewers if you wish to grill them.)
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, when hot add the oil and swirl to coat. Add the kefta and brown on all sides. Lower the heat to medium-low and continue to cook the meat to your desired degree. *We prefer our beef kefta cooked to medium, so I cooked them on both sides for about 5 minutes, turned the heat off and let the heat from the hot pan continue cooking the small pieces gently to medium.
By the time the kefta is cooked your cauliflower is likely to be done. To make the salad toss the cooked cauliflower with the cashews, chopped tomato and red onion, remaining fresh herb mixture, juice of 1 lemon, oil of your choice, salt to taste, and dried apricots/dates if using. Toss gently to combine.
Serve the kefta with the cauliflower salad and enjoy!
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