This Mediterranean-ish bake is the ideal low carb dinner after a busy late summer day outside. As we all try to enjoy the last days to catch warm evening rays of sunshine, this meal is perfect for an alfresco dinner on the terrace. Put this delicious and hearty bake into your oven and then sit outside enjoying the slowly setting sun while waiting for your it to get ready by itself. I love doing just that, and therefore really appreciate dinners I can make in my oven! Serve the bake alongside a bowl of herb-infused Greek yogurt.
How does that sound to you?
To me, this bake and yogurt combo is perfect as it is. But if you’d like to add some “staples”, serve cauliflower rice or low carb crisps alongside your bake and yogurt.
vegetarian and plant-based options 🍅
Moreover, this bake is easily turned into an equally yummy vegetarian dish by replacing the minced meat with some store-bought vegan minced “meat” – something I also stock in my fridge regularly. You prepare it in the same way as you would the minced beef – just check the recipe card below.
See? The vegetarian version looks just the same before going into the oven. It tastes really similar, not last thanks to the generous use of Mediterranean spices!
Leave out the feta and it is even wholly plant-based. For the plant-based version, you may want to add a few nuts. Either roast some walnuts by adding them 10-15 minutes before the bake is ready. Or serve some salted peanuts on the side. For making plain vegan yogurt, check out this basic two-ingredient recipe. Just add some salt and parsley to your bowl. Store-bought vegan yogurt of course does the trick as well.
Many of you may have the ingredients at hand in the fridge or the freezer. So may be able to make your bake spontaneously after a busy day outdoors.
We always have some frozen minced beef, tomatoes and tomato paste to be able to make bolognese pasta for the boys (one of their favourite meals) without having to head to the grocery store. In early September, we can still source our tomatoes locally from an organic farm, so they are ultra delicious. That’s why we actually have to re-stock them all the time! And as I love bell peppers, we always have these versatile vegetables in the fridge, too.
Similarly, always stocking some feta is a no-brainer for lowcarbies, since it goes well with and adds extra zing and fat to just about anything. Right?
As for your minced meat, use beef or lamb. Pork would be too fatty, and its taste unsuitable for the Mediterranean style. Vegan mince is available in many supermarkets.
The garlic, cumin seeds and the Ras al Hanut spice mix add the distinct Mediterranean flavour to this dish that I love so much. If you do not have Ras al Hanut, use coriander powder instead. And even if you cannot get that either, even the cumin alone will go a long way to create a unique flavour.
This bake needs just a little prep work before entering the oven. Preheat the oven and start the chopping! Shallots and garlic need to be chopped finely, bell peppers striped and tomatoes diced.
The herb-infused Greek yogurt takes only a few minutes to make. I have used parsley leaves in this recipe, but you can add basically any fresh herbs you have at hand, the more the merrier. Make it first if you’d like to enjoy your spare time during the baking process!
For the bake itself, tomatoes and onions are fried quickly together with the meat/vegan mince. After that quick round of frying, all ingredients are placed into a baking dish and go into the oven. There is no more need for you to stick around – especially if you have already prepared your yogurt. If not, quickly mix ingredients now, and then it’s all done. Everyone can gather outside, have a chat or a glass of white, or both, and enjoy waiting for your dinner under the setting sun. Just check your oven every once in a while. Once it’s ready, sprinkle your bake with parsley leaves and serve immediately.
Another great thing is that this dish is super easy to scale? So if you have a large baking dish, this meal is ideal for hosting guests on your terrace as well.
Easy Mediterranean-ish dinner on the terrace: A bake of minced beef, tomatoes, peppers and feta. Accompanied by a bowl of Greek yogurt with fresh herbs
For the bake:
350g beef or lamb mince (or roughly 2 cups for recipe as originally written)
1 red bell pepper, cut in stripes
1 green bell pepper, cut in stripes
4 midsize tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup feta cheese, diced
3 shallots, finely chopped (use red onion if you cannot find any shallots – one onion per three shallots)
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp tomato paste
1 tsp whole cumin seeds
1 tsp Ras al Hanut spice mix (if not available, use coriander powder)
sea salt & pepper to taste
For the yogurt:
1 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
1 handful of chopped parsley leaves
sea salt to taste
- Season the beef well with salt before starting to cook and put it aside. Marinate the pepper stripes in olive oil, salt and pepper. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (355 degrees Fahrenheit). For the vegan meat, please see the note below.
- Heat olive oil in a pan, and briefly roast the cumin until it starts to emit some scent. Add Ras al Hanut (or coriander powder), stir briefly, and throw in the shallots and garlic to roast until golden.
- Add the meat and stir constantly to prevent the spices from sticking to the pan. After the meat starts browning, add black pepper from the mill.
- When you feel that your meat is done, shift it to the side and make a small hole in the middle where you enter a drop of oil and the tomato paste. Stir a little for the paste to develop flavour, and then mix it into the meat. Add the diced tomatoes, and fry the mix for a few more minutes. Season more with salt and/or pepper to taste.
- Pour the meat-tomato mix into an oven pan and add the marinated peppers. Mix a bit and sprinkle the feta cubes on top.
- Now, the bake can go into the oven and remain there for 30 to 40 minutes. It is ready once the feta starts to brown a little.
- Pour the yogurt into a bowl, add a little sea salt to taste. Finely chop parsley leaves or other herbs and add them to the yogurt. Mix well and serve with the bake.
For vegetarian/vegan version replace minced meat with the same amount of vegan mince. You do not have to pre-salt the vegan mince – just add the salt when you are frying it during the prep work.
Leave out the feta and it is even wholly plant-based. For the plant-based version, you may want to add a few nuts. Either roast some walnuts by adding them 10-15 minutes before the bake is ready. Or serve some salted peanuts on the side.
- Category: meals
- Method: bake
- Cuisine: mediterranean