Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Eat like a caveman

Mike and I are trying the low carb, Paleo diet. This means no wheat, low carb, meats and certain veggies plus alittle fruit. We've just started experimenting and I've only read alittle so we're still newbies. Tonight I made the spinach salad with bacon and sweet potatoes that I've blogged about previously, leafy green veggies, allowable sweet potatoes and bacon. Yum! I also cooked some chicken to go with it because the bacon is just an accent. I thawed boneless, skinless chicken thighs and made it up as I went along. Here goes...

Za'atar Chicken my way

~1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
~1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled, cored and pressed
~1 tablespoon za'atar seasoning (a spice mix with sumac, thyme, oregano and sesame seeds)
kosher salt and freshly round pepper, to taste
~1 cup dry white wine
~1 cup chicken stock

Cut up the chicken thighs into bite size pieces and season with salt and pepper.  Heat olive oil in large skillet. Add chicken pieces, do not crowd and cook in a single layer. Brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add onions and saute until they begin to soften, about 1-2 minutes. Add garlic and saute with onions about 3 minutes until your family remarks how good it smells (about 2-3 minutes). Add za'atar seasoning and stir to coat the onion and garlic and it is mixed well together. Deglaze pan with white wine, scraping up brown bits and letting the wine reduce slightly.

Add chicken back into pan and cover with chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and cover and cook approximately 30 minutes until tender.

Serve with spinach salad or over brown rice, quinoa or farro.

Here's a link to buy za'atar if your store doesn't carry it. http://www.penzeys.com/cgi-bin/penzeys/p-penzeyszatar.html

The chicken turned out amazing and was great with the salad. It could be very versatile with rice or flat bread and different vegetables like roasted cauliflower with tahini sauce.

We have just begun exploring the Paleo idea of eating and so far so good. Breakfast has been the most difficult for me because I usually had cereal or an English muffin. I will keep you posted if it works for us as far as losing weight and other health benefits. The salad and chicken were a delicious mix and we didn't miss rice or bread (much). Try it you'll like it-enjoy!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Ground lamb patties

I am behind on my posts. I've increased my work hours (the whole working part time because you're a mom kind of gets old when your kid goes back east to college) so I'm getting used to a new schedule. Plus it's baseball season which means Mike and I are going to see the SF Giants and eating sheboygans and garlic fries at the park. I love summer!

I made these lamb patties a week or two ago and we happily scarfed them up. I love lamb, ground lamb and the spices-seasoning combo here with tahini sauce-all favorites. This inspiration is from Food & Wine. Here's the link http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/ground-lamb-kebabs-with-pine-nuts-and-tahini-sauce. As usual I changed this recipe to suit me and the situation so I made lamb patties that I baked rather than kebabs that were grilled. Mike does not have the grill ready (hard to believe, I know).

Ground Lamb Patties with Pine Nuts and Tahini Sauce

~3/4 pound ground lamb
1/3 cup pine nuts
handful of finely chopped mint (reserve some for garnish)
handful of finely chopped flat-leaf parsley (reserve some for garnish)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 garlic clove, peeled,cored and pressed
1/2 red onion, minced
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
extra virgin olive oil, for brushing

1/4 cup tahini
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, peeled,cored and pressed
1/4 cup water

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, mix the lamb with the pine nuts, mint, parsley, cumin, cinnamon, garlic, onion, salt and pepper. Form into patties and place on broiling pan sprayed with vegetable spray. Brush some olive oil for the exposed side and again when you turn the patties over. Cook about 5 minutes per side.

Whisk together tahini, lemon juice, garlic and water heated over low heat. Sprinkle in alittle chopped mint and parsley to garnish.

I served this with roasted sweet potato slices with smoked paprika and cole slaw with lots of hot sauce. I made a mayo based cole slaw dressing and added hot sauce because I did not have horseradish. Yum!
Hit the spot! 

These patties were delicious and easy and would be great as lamb burgers or as the orginal kebabs. They would be delicious grilled and great with eggplant and pita. Mike was happy as usual and hopefully will get that grill going soon. Enjoy!