Mediterranean Mini-kebabs with Carmelized Onions and Pecan-Tomato Tahini

Y’all. Srsly. Low-carb can be totes delish.

That’s also probably the longest recipe name I’ve ever posted, so I’m pretty sure I worked off some extra calories just typing it. Word bonus : ) I mean, like, word. Bonus.

So I have this super fancy-schmancy Ninja kitchen system that I got for free because I had all these omgyou’resoawesome points at my last job, and it was just sitting there on the gift website so … snag. Best thing ever. It has the food processor part where you can chopify or mincify or pureeify things, or you can change the blades to plastic for making doughy things, or you can attach the blender for frozen drinky like things, orrrrr … you can plug the bullet dude into it to make a single serve smoothie, but I don’t use it for smoothies.

I use it for pulverizing spices and making tahini. (After reading that last paragraph, I should probably use it for dissecting run-on sentences, but whatevs.)

aladin

Phenomenal flavor!

Itty bitty carb content.

Ingredients:

Kebabs

  • 1-1/2 lbs ground beef, pork, lamb, turkey … you choose! I used a combo of beef and pork because I procrastinated going to the grocery until there was only one tiny thing of ground beef left except for the super expensive organic grass fed stuff that probably isn’t so I mushed them together and that probably isn’t something one discusses in an ingredient list but this is my blog, so deal : )
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp freshly minced ginger
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp coarse grind black pepper
  • 2 tsp sea salt (I used smoked oak from this amazing set of salts I found at Trader Joe’s as a gift for someone who never got it because seven salts of the world, y’all.)
  • A handful of freshly chopped basil
  • olive oil

Grind all the spices except the ginger together (see why I dig the ninja bullet thingy?) Throw the meat  in a medium bowl, add the ginger, the basil and the spice mix and work it. Use your hands. I mean, unless you don’t want to. But do it anyway. It’s just best.

Shape them into kebabs about 3 inches long and an inch or so around. You should end up with around 12 kebabs … about 3 per serving. Fry them in a cast iron skillet in olive oil over a medium high heat, making sure they brown on all sides. Once you’ve got a good sear, lower the heat and continue cooking about 10-15 minutes to cook them through. Remove from the skillet.

Carmelized Onions:

  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 3 medium onions, cut in half and sliced (not too thin…you’re going to carmelize the hell out of them.)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Melt the butter in the same pan you used for the kebabs. Throw in the onions and the salt and pepper. Sautee until golden brown and nicely carmelized. Don’t take them off too soon! Live on the edge.

Pecan-Tomato Tahini

(omg, i love this stuff sooooo much)

  • 7 oz ripe red tomatoes, diced 
  • 2 oz toasted pecans (I’m dead serious about the toasting. )
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds (throw them in with the pecans.)
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar (I used a Pinot Grigio vinegar)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil

Yo. Remember that bullet thingy? It probs has some spice powder from the kebabs all up in it unless you’re one of those people who cleans everything as they cook. Which would be a shame, because you should totally use that.

Pat the tomatoes dry-ish and throw them in the blender or bullet thingy. Or whatever thing you have that makes good tahini or other pasty spreads. Add all the rest of the stuff except the olive oil and blend into a paste. Add the olive oil a little at a time until it reaches a nice dipping consistency.

Plate the kebabs on the onions and serve with the tahini.

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Chimichurri Shrimp with Zoodles

Okay. So here’s the deal. You don’t have to use shrimp. I mean, it’s delicious that way and I highly recommend it, but, much like politicians, you have alternatives. You don’t have to follow the rules : )

So skewer some veggies if you’re all veganastic. Have a shellfish allergy? Boneless, skinless chicken breasticles. Just don’t like shrimp? The ways of your people are strange to me, but shove some veggies on some skewers and go on with your shrimpless self.

The second best thing about this dish is zoodles. Zoooooodles … (it’s super fun to say.) I have a spiralizer, and you should, too, but I have to admit I tend to buy these already zoodlized from the grocery store. Some would say I’m lazy. I prefer the term “efficient.”

Whatevs. Get ready for delicious : )

Ingredients:

Chimichurri:

  • 1 small lemon, seeds removed
  • 1 red chili pepper, seeds removed (give it away, give it away, give it away now)
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeds removed
  • A handful of fresh parsley (I mean, it doesn’t need to be a gigantic handful… just a good grasp and rip)
  • 2 garlic cloves (or more. I’m not saying I use more … but I do.)
  • 2/3 cup olive oil (did you know that you should only get olive oil in tins or in dark dark bottles. It’s totally a thing.)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Give the lemon a good squeeze into a food processor. I like to do it through a mesh thingy-dooly (I’m sure it has an official name) because no matter how hard I try, I miss a seed, and then I reach in to try to get it and stupidly don’t remove the blade and then … well, you get the picture.) Throw in all the other stuff, too. Blend until the sauce has a coarse but smooth appearance.

Shrimp (or chicken or veggie skewers) and zoodles

  • 2 lbs peeled raw shrimp
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • A dollop of the chimichurri
  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 2 lbs zucchini (unless you did what I do, in which case, you can probs get by with a pound and a half. Or so.)

There’s a couple ways you can do this. I don’t grill out very often, but I have a cast iron grilling pan I use for things that should be grilled. You can also just saute the shrimp or chicken.

If you go the outside grill route, you’re on your own. (You can do it!) If you grill inside, throw down the olive oil and put your skewers of whatever you went with on the grill, then brush with some of the chimichurri. When it’s done on both sides, throw the asparagus on with some salt and pepper and let it get delicious. If you go the saute route (this is the way I always go) throw the shrimp in a lovely skillet with the olive oil and the chimichurri, cook it until it’s pink, then remove and cook the asparagus.

(By the way, asparagus was never actually in the recipe until the last time I made it. You’re welcome.)

Finally, the zoodles. I’m assuming you zoodlized and they’re amazing. Mine are super amazing too. (I almost broke a nail opening the container. Cooking is dangerous.) Some people like to quickly saute the zoodles, but I keep them raw. You’re going to put hot stuff on them anyhoo, right? Toss them with most of the chimichurri. (Reserve a couple spoonfuls to spoon over the top.)

Serve the shrimp and the asparagus over the zoodles. Enjoy : )

Nana’s Potato Soup

This. Soup. Is. Perfect.

Buttery, peppery and delicious, this is a thinner soup than you likely imagine potato soup should be. It is also incredibly simple and very Pennsylvania Dutch. Sadly, I cannot eat it anymore … but YOU can : )

I’ve always had trouble with the rivels. Mine either come out too dense, which makes them super hard, or they just fall apart in the soup. My daughter, Amanda, definitely has the making of this soup down, though.

Pepper is the key to this soup. Coarsely ground black pepper. Mos def have that on the table.

Ingredients:

Soup:

  • 2-3 large potatoes, peeled
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, minced (I added that. I’m pretty sure celery was never a part of Nana’s recipe.)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 cup butter

Rivels:

  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Salt

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. While it is coming to a boil, “chip” the potatoes into the pot. (I don’t really know if that’s a technique. I just know I watched Nana and Mama stand over the pot with a potato in one hand, a paring knife in the other, chipping pieces of potato into the pot.)

Saute the onions and celery in a little bit of butter or bacon grease, if you have it. (This is a step I added, too. Pretty sure they just tossed the raw onions on in there.) Once the onions have begun to carmelize a bit, add them to the soup.

Make the rivels. Put the flour and a bit of salt in a bowl and make a well in the center. Pour in the egg and stir with a fork until all the flour is moistened and it begins to stick together. Pull off small pieces of the mixture and drop into the boiling soup.

Add the butter, salt and pepper. Let the soup simmer for another 15 minutes or so.

Italian Wedding Soup

As a child, I would stare distrustfully into the steaming liquid Mama set before me. There were things floating in it…green things, eggy things.

And then there were meatballs. Those … I could trust.

Now, the entire bowl appeals to me. This seems like a special occasion soup, though it shouldn’t be. The word wedding is in the name and perhaps that is why it has always seemed rather elegant to me.

I think I’ll make it on a Tuesday.

Ingredients:

Balls of Meat:

  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs (these days, I skip this ingredient cuz I’m all low-carby)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp freshly grated romano cheese (I cannot stress loudly enough or in a bold enough font…it is imperative that you use romano. Preferably Pecorino. And don’t grate it until you’re about to use it.)
  • Salt (eh, I don’t measure)
  • Oregano (sames)
  • Pepper (yup)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced

Soup:

  • 3 quarts fresh chicken stock (or veggie stock)
  • A nice handful of chopped fresh spinach
  • 2 eggs

Mix all the ingredients for the meatballs. Really mush it all together. Use your hands, not a spoon. Shape into 1 inch balls and pop them on a baking sheet. Stick them in a 325° oven while you’re getting the soup all soupy.

In a hugical pot, bring the stock to a boil. Add the meatballs and cook for 30 minutes or so, then add the spinach. Let that cook for about 10 minutes. While you’re waiting, beat the eggs in a large measuring cup with a pour spout. Or just in a bowl if you don’t have something large with a pour spout. (But seriously, the pour spout’s where it’s at.) When they seem sufficiently chastised, drizzle them verrrryyy sloowwwly into the soup, stirring constantly.

Serve immediately with more freshly grated romano.

 

Spicy Horseradish Sauce

Ahhh, condiments. I adore condiments. Especially when they can be twisted and tweaked and turned into dips and such.

This one fits nicely into my keto world, so I whip it up every now and then to brighten up my raw veggie consumption.

As you can see, this packs a bit of a punch. Not for the faint of heart, as they say. However, if you’re having some allergy issues or you feel a sinus headache coming on, this could clear it right up : ) Toss some ginger in there and you can go all anti-inflammatory, too.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 3 Tbsp horseradish
  • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp dry mustard (I use Coleman’s.)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground red pepper

Mix all that shiz together. Cover it. Let it chill. Then use it. Sandwhich spread, with cooked meats, as a dip. Whatevs. You do you, boo boo.