Recipe- Pretty in Pink

Paul W. Pellow

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My whole cooking ethos is to ‘invest in your tum’. Like my temperament, my tummy is exceptionally sensitive and as such I avoid all dairy, gluten and wheat. To punish myself further, I also generally avoid eggs. Needless to say, I have the tendency to stray. The usual brands of ‘eat pray love’ cooking often leave me rumbling - there’s only so much spiralized carrot a chap can eat! 

Beetroot Buckwheat with Lemon Sumac Meatballs (3 servings - £2.79 a portion)

Shopping List:

Buckwheat (375g bag, £1.99 Waitrose)
Beetroot - a bunch of around 5-6 bulbs (£1.80 Waitrose)
Coconut Cream – 160ml Tin (99p Waitrose)
Organic 10% Fat Pork Mince, 454g pack (£3 Sainsbury’s)     
Lemons x2 (30p each, Sainsbury’s)

From the Cupboard: 

Dried Thyme 1tsp
Sumac 1tbsp
Sesame Seeds

This recipe is an absolute winner for me; it’s filling but feels fresh, it appeases my tummy-trinity and looks pretty-in-pink. Buckwheat, a staple of mine, isn’t actually wheat but an edible seed of a rhubarb-like plant. It’s got a subtle nutty taste and is full of magnesium and vitamin B. 

Firstly, trim the leaves from the beetroot, whack them on a baking sheet and into the oven at 190c for an hour. No need for oil, they’ll soften in their own skins. Baked is best but if you’re feeling lazy, the vacuum packed cooked beetroot will do - never use the stuff in the jar! Once your beetroot is done and cool enough to touch, peel it and blend it up with the coconut cream, juice from a lemon and seasoning. 

As we’re not using any binding agent (such as egg or breadcrumbs) in our meatballs, you need give your pork a good pummel to bring it together. Add your dried thyme, sumac and seasoning along with the juice and zest of the other lemon. Give it a good squish or go one step further and blitz it in the food processor. Divide into 9 balls, brush lightly with olive oil and top with sesame seeds. Pop your meatballs into the oven at 180c and set the timer for 15 minutes.

Rinse your buckwheat in cold water and add to the pan with plenty of boiling water. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 10 minutes until tender but not too soft. Drain and stir in your prickly-pink sauce to warm through.

Serve with your meatballs, top with some more sumac and any leftover zest. 

Enjoy and be sure to be that preachy friend who ‘discovered’ buckwheat.