Oh my. So many of my favorite flavors all harmonizing on one plate. This was one of those dishes inspired by mega-hunger after a recent hike. I usually do my best cooking on an empty stomach, and this came together just as I had hoped. The licorice sweetness of fennel, bejeweling succulent curried lamb meatballs, adds only good things to the tomato sauce in which they’re simmered. Flavor-rich, satisfying, and easy. Nobody at my house complains about meatballs, and these were a particular hit.
I’ve been working late to get this recipe to you lickety-split after my recent post on Turmeric and Hypothyroidism. I know you’ve been waiting for more recipes, and I thank you in advance, for your continued patience. The reason why is that we are embarking on a full-blown remodel of our 1979 kitchen, so things have gotten a little chaotic around here. When I gaze into my crystal ball I see a lot of grilling recipes in our future, and food photo’s styled on our melamine outdoor dishes.
You may have read my recent post about turmeric’s amazing health and healing potential, and are as inspired to cook with it as I am. I predict this recipe will be the first of many featuring turmeric here on Hypothyroid Chef. It’s also built on my #1 favorite red meat: lamb, which provides us with key thyroid-supporting nutrients like selenium, zinc, iron, and tyrosine. Fennel adds fiber, loads of nutrients, and a sweet licorice flavor that makes it one of my favorite not-so-secret ingredients. If you haven’t come around to cooking with fresh fennel I highly recommend doing so, especially with any kind of tomato sauce, seafood, or roast chicken. Yum.
And of course, it never hurts our thyroid health to scatter cilantro leaves about our plates with wild abandon– you can read more about Cilantro and Hypothyroidism here. Finally, the whole, luscious mess is adorned with a cape of whole milk yogurt, supporting our bellies and bodies with the probiotic goodness that is so important to healing the gut imbalances associated with Hashimoto’s. I’ll bullet point the hypothyroid highlights for you in The Breakdown, below.
One final recipe note, pine nuts are goitrogenic, so best to enjoy in moderation. If you wish to completely avoid goitrogens you can substitute toasted sliced almonds.
Real quick, let’s break it down:
- In addition to selenium, zinc, and iron, a 4 oz. portion of ground lamb provides 91% RDI of the essential amino acid Tyrosine, which the thyroid gland combines with iodine to make thyroid hormone.
- Whole milk yogurt, in addition to providing the thyroid with selenium, iodine, vitamin D, and tyrosine, is an animal source of vitamin A, which does not have to be converted by the body like plant sources of vitamin A (beta carotene). Deficiencies in vitamin A have been associated with the onset of hypothyroidism.
- Yogurt is a source of live and active probiotic cultures, which are key in recovering from intestinal permeability, aka “leaky gut” that accompanies Hashimoto’s.
- Tomato sauce is a very good source of key thyroid nutrients like vitamin A, and Iron. It’s also a very good source of fiber which can help relieve constipation associated with hypothyroidism.
- The turmeric found in curry powder can relieve multiple issues associated with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s, including inflammation, leaky gut, depression, brain fog, high cholesterol, and heavy metal toxicity.
- Cilantro is prized for it’s ability to help the body excrete heavy metals like mercury and lead. Studies have shown a direct link between mercury exposure and an increase in thyroid antibodies.
I have been reducing my intake of grains altogether, and loved these saucy beauties on their own, but if you’d like to add a side dish I recommend a golden rice pilaf like this one, which adds another dose of turmeric. My gluten-loving husband used a slice or two of baguette to wipe his plate clean; however, as you probably know, gluten tops the list of foods to avoid for those of us with hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s. Better skip the bread. However you serve these, I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.
Wishing You a Most Delicious Day,