Hey guys! I wanted to share this recipe with you today because it’s officially grilling season here- the weather has been just gorgeous- and these are AMAZING.
We love Middle Eastern food in my house and these are labor intensive but easy! and so delicious.
Before I get going let me just say: This isn’t for the faint of heart. It is heavily spiced and aromatic. If you are new to food from this region of the world, I suggest halving the spices and going with beef. For someone who LOVES food like this and has had it often, you’ll probably appreciate the full spices with ground lamb more.
This recipe serves 4-5!
What you will need:
15-20 BBQ skewers
FOR THE MEAT:
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 pounds ground lamb or lean ground beef
2/3 cup minced FRESH parsley
1/2 cup of onion, minced OR 1 tbsp. onion powder (I like to add a little of both)
1 1/2 tbsp. cumin
1 1/2 tbsp. coriander
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
*FOR THE VEGETABLES:
1 yellow, 1 red and 1 orange pepper
2 small zucchini
a dozen mushrooms
1 large red (or yellow) onion
1 large eggplant
*all cut into large, bite size, impale-able pieces 🙂
seasoning of your choice- for the veg, we like to toss with middle eastern kabob spice, which is found at most Asian specialty and halal markets. No salt seasoning works great too. Feel free to keep it simple with plain ‘ol salt and pepper.
What you need to do:
-Mix all meat ingredients together well in a large mixing bowl, using a few dashes of olive oil to moisten.
-Chill mixture in the refrigerator for at least a half hour. While it’s chilling, soak skewers in a few inches of water and prep your vegetables.
-place all chopped vegetables in a large mixing bowl with sealable lid, add oil and seasonings, put on the lid and shake to toss, coating the vegetables evenly.
-when meat mixture is ready, break off pieces and roll into a ball. Skewer and then flatten slightly, making kind of an egg/oval shape that is roughly 2 inches long and an inch thick. Alternate these with the vegetables.
(Usually, I find that since this meat is heartier than a simple piece of steak on a kabob, no more than 2 pieces of meat are needed per stick. )
-coat grill generously with non-stick BBQ spray.
-On medium-high heat, grill skewers 6 to 10 minutes on each side, depending on how well done you like them.
Serve with your choice: Rice (Jasmine, Basmati or Pilaf are all wonderful) or flat bread (we like naan)
Thought I’d share this quick, easy and WONDERFUL recipe…we love it with Channa Masala and Basmati Rice.
Vegetables, six cups roughly chopped of-
-place all in large sealable tupperware container. In a separate large mixing bowl, add-
3 TBSP canola or olive oil
1 TBSP dried parsley flakes
3 TSP curry powder
3 TSP turmeric
2 TSP salt
2 TSP black pepper
2 TSP garlic powder
2 TSP onion powder
2 TSP sesame oil
Mix well and pour over vegetables. Reseal the tupperware container and shake well to distribute the mixture evenly.
Pour into a greased or sprayed baking dish and add whole, fresh thai basil leaves.
Cook in a 400 degree oven for 25-35 minutes, depending on how well done you like it.
Have a great day everybody!
Hey all, My husband had been bugging me the last few days to make red beans and rice for dinner-
I put this recipe together after looking for one online and failing to find a recipe that met all of our needs. Here they are : 1. Healthy 2. Strong Flavor/spicy and 3. Lots of vegetables!
Bear in mind- If you are looking for the classic, down-home Red Beans & Rice recipe, this is NOT IT! It’s not authentic in any way…it IS easy and delicious though!
– 12 ounce bag of dried red beans (rinsed, sorted and set to soak overnight for at least 6 hours)
-1 lb. sausage of your choice, sliced into bite sized pieces (I used Johnsonville Reduced Fat Smoked Turkey Sausage)
-2 celery stalks, chopped
-1 onion, chopped
-2-3 carrots, peeled and chopped
-2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
-3 tsp. Creole seasoning
-1/2 tsp. black pepper
-1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
-2 bay leaves
-3 cups of water
-Extra Virgin Olive Oil
(and of course, rice- any grain will do though, we had ours with brown rice.)
1. Rinse and sort your bag of beans- remove all residue and toss out any that are extremely discolored or wrinkled.
2. In 8 cups of cold water, set beans out to soak overnight in room temp. for at least 6 hours.
3. The next morning, drain the water, rinse the beans again and put in slowcooker set to high, adding just a dash of oil.
4. add all the ingredients and pour the water on top.
5. set slow cooker, covered, for 8 hours- what seems to work best for mine is the first 5 hours on high and the last 3 on low. This gets the beans cooked through in the first half and lets the flavors meld and the water evaporate in the second half. I also take the lid off for the last half hour.
We like our beans on the very tender and on the smoother side. If you’re into a creamier sauce, I recommend using a mesh strainer to scoop out 1/2 of the mixture, mash it on a plate with a fork and mix it back in…
ALL DONE. Enjoy.
My husband and I decided to go out for Valentine’s Day on the night of the 13th instead of the 14th, because we cherish our lazy sundays 🙂
Here are a few photos from our Valentine’s date…my makeup look, dinner at Shigezo Izakaya in Portland, and seeing Bill Maher @ Arlene Schnitzer Hall.
My Makeup Look….
Base: Benefit The Pore Fessional Primer
Foundation: MAC Studio Fix Liquid in NW 13, mixed with a healthy dose of Buxom Luminizer in Venus to create a glowy, less matte finish.
Concealer: Coastal Scents Eclipse 15 Shade Concealer Palette (Don’t let the super low price of this product fool you! The quality is pretty good!)
Contour: Diorskin Nude Tan in 002
Highlighter and powder finish: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette in Incandescent and Radiant Light
Blush: Too Faced Sweethearts Perfect Flush Blush in Peach Beach
Eyes: Giorgio Armani Eye Tint in 7 and Chanel Les 4 Ombres in 232 Tisse Venitien, Illumine Highlight. Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Liner, Benefit They’re Real! Mascara and Starlooks Eye Pencil in Ultra Orchid.
Hope you have a great Valentine’s Day!!
This morning I was up early because of a dentist appointment, so my honey and I loaded the little one into the car and headed out for some brunch. We ended up going to the fabulous Delta Cafe & Bar in SE Portland. Love, love, love this place.
The drinks are wonderful and totally unique, the Cajun food they serve is delicious and the price is very reasonable.
One of the best things about Delta is the atmosphere- it’s 50’s diner meets violent Mardi Gras celebration- my daughter was so fascinated by the decor that she was unusually well behaved 🙂
Hope you had a lovely, lazy Saturday! 🙂
Stop #1 : Vincente’s Gourmet Pizza, 1935 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, Ore. My husband had been here a few times and says the pizza is fantastic, but we were just stopping in for a drink before dinner down the street and a bit of pre-season NFL. The place is cute, clean and bright- perfect for families or a sports bar oriented crowd.
Stop #2 : Bombay Cricket Club, 1925 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, Ore. Again, my husband had been here before, but I hadn’t. I am a huge fan of Middle Eastern and Indian food and I’d been dying to go to this place. It is tiny, but there wasn’t a super long wait, the service was wonderful and so was the food. We shared chicken masala, lamb curry and hummus with naan. I definitely want to go back sometime. I’d heard people say that the folks at Bombay Cricket could be uppity and rude, but I didn’t experience that at all.
Stop #3 : A little after dinner relaxation and drinks at Dig A Pony, 736 SE Grand Ave, Portland. Ore.
On a Friday night, this place was super loud with a relatively obnoxious DJ, (who was NOT playing Beatles, btw) but the signature cocktails are unique and tasty, the service is good and the architecture of the place is beautiful…a little spendy though.
My husband and I are big taco and burrito fans, but we get bored easily, so we are always looking for variations in ingredients and seasonings. This is an easy, fun and delicious way I change up our typical taco flavoring.
What you’ll need:
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup of sherry
2 1/2 TBSP. cornstarch
2 TSP. sugar
2 LBS. ground beef
vegetable or olive oil
white or brown rice/ lettuce leaves for cups/tortillas
seasoning For meat:
6 TBSP. chopped, fresh ginger
4 TBSP. chopped garlic
1-2 TSP. red pepper flakes, depending on how spicy you like it
3/4 cup chopped green onion
2 TBSP. sesame oil
First, combine all ingredients in the sauce list and whisk in a large bowl until cornstarch is fully dissolved. Set aside.
Next, place 2 LBS. ground beef in a large bowl and all ingredients in the “seasoning for meat list”. As you mixed these together thoroughly, add about half of the sauce. Once fully mixed, chill in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.
Last, heat a large wok with vegetable or olive oil and cook meat mixture on high, stirring constantly and adding the rest of the sauce as you go. This should take 15 to 20 minutes- make sure meat has a crumbly consistency and green onion and ginger are very soft.
My husband likes his Szechuan tacos with Asian hot sauce in tortillas with jasmine rice, while I prefer mine over a bit of brown rice in lettuce cups, with some steamed stir fry veggies on the side. It’s a little weird, but it’s super delicious. Seriously.
I love leeks. They are super healthy and super delicious. They also give you that nice, powerful onion/garlic flavor without giving you the dragon breath that straight up garlic or onion will. Leeks are pretty expensive in the stores so it’s awesome that the mild weather in Portland allows us to grow these almost all year round, planting and harvesting whenever we want.
Here’s how I clean and store extra leeks for later use:
1 ) Washing: first, I fill the sink with cool water and allow the leeks to chill out there for a while. This removes most outside dirt and any little critters.
2 ) Trimming: ALL of the leek is edible- even the very tough ends of the green leaves can be used to make broth but I compost those. I slice off the roots (the bottom of the white part, 1/4 to 1/2 inch from the end) and use almost 1/2 of the green part, cutting them off right before the leek really starts to splay out and get dark green. Experiment! Taste test all the little bits and keep what you like best. Leeks are cool like that.
3 ) Splicing: halve the leek vertically, without cutting all the way through the other side. Leeks are in layers, like onions, so cutting almost but not quite all the way through lets you clean out the dirt particles in the layers without the whole damn thing coming apart.
4 ) Rinsing: Run the lovely split leek under cool running water to get them super clean.
5 ) Chopping: At this point, I cut through the splice I’ve made in my leek and chop it up in 1/4 to 1/3 inch pieces. I like them on the small side to puree for baby food and add to soups, stews and stir fry. A larger size will work too, but beware of freezing leeks in large chunks or whole for BBQ grilling later. After thawing, a textural issue with them makes grilling yucky.
6 ) Freezing: Since I have limited space in my upright freezer, this method works great- using a Tupperware bowl and pieces of foil or wax paper, I stack about an inch of chopped leeks with foil between each layer. This keeps the layers thin enough to allow it all to freeze solid, but keeps too many from freezing together in one super huge chunk, making it difficult and annoying to break up into manageable storing sizes. Then I let them freeze for a few hours.
7 ) Storing: I then label my freezer bags, break out the food scale and store , 6 ounces at a time. This seems to be just the right amount to add to dishes for my family of 3.
TAH-DAH! These will be good about 3 months in the freezer.
I usually find that most Beef w/ Peppers recipes fall short- too much saltyness going on from soy sauce and a general lack of…tang? This is my own concoction and it comes out WONDERFUL! sweet and savory and yum. FULL RECIPE ON THE BOTTOM.
Cut all this good stuff up first:
once your beef cut of choice is thinly sliced, mix your oyster sauce, hot chili oil, sesame oil, rice vinegar, water and cornstarch together in a bowl.
Throw your meat slices in and fully coat them in the sauce. Let it marinate in the fridge, we let ours go an hour.
Heat oil of your choice (I recommend canola or peanut) and sear the meat in a super hot pan for one minute. Avoid stirring. After the minute is up, turn the meat over and sear for another minute.
add a bit more oil and allow pan to return to medium heat. Add ginger, onion, garlic and peppers and let that cook for 5 to 8 minutes, stirring often.
Throw meat with any additional sauce back into the pan, reduce heat to low and add your tomato. (I like adding the tomato at the because they stay firm instead of shriveling up into empty skins)
Serve over rice. Bam.
Stir-fry Beef with Onions, Sweet Peppers & Tomato
1 pound of steak (flank or round), thinly sliced strips
3 cups of bell/sweet peppers of your choice
1 tomato, cut into large chunks
1/2 large onion, chopped
1.5 TBSP. minced ginger
1.5 TBSP. minced garlic
2-3 TBSP. of oil, your choice (canola or peanut are my fav)
3 TBSP. oyster sauce
2 TBSP. rice vinegar
2 TBSP. water
1-2 TBSP. cornstarch (whatever thickness you prefer)
2 TSP. hot chili oil
1 TSP. sesame oil
-combine all marinade ingredients into a bowl, mix well.
-Add sliced beef and refrigerate, 15 min. to an hour.
– Heat 1 TBSP. of oil on high heat.
-Add meat and sear strips for 1 min. Turn them once and sear the other side for another min.
-remove from pan and allow pan to cool to med. heat.
-add another TBSP. of oil and cook peppers, onion, ginger and garlic for 5-8 minutes, uncovered, stirring often.
-Add meat back to pan with any remaining sauce and reduce heat to low.
-Add tomato and cook for another 5-8 min.
-Serve over rice.