Springtime Kebabs

Springtime Kebabs

SPRING IS FINALLY HERE!

Dust off those barbecues people… it is time to get outside and grill!

Shish kebabs are one of my favorite meals to eat and make when the weather warms up.

They’re basically the spring and summer equivalent of a one-pot dinner- with minimal preparation and cleanup, and a super easy cooking process, these guys are a cinch to make with pantry ingredients for the marinade and delicious fresh vegetables and chicken. You can substitute any protein for the chicken… steak would be fantastic here!

Springtime Kebabs

I recommend marinating and grilling the vegetables and meat separately, for two reasons: You can use any leftover marinade for the vegetables for brushing on the kebabs during grilling, and you can remove the vegetable kebabs earlier than the chicken ones so that they don’t burn, since the vegetables will cook through much quicker than the chicken.

5.0 from 1 reviews

Springtime Kebabs
 
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Serves: 4

Ingredients
For the marinade:
  • 2 tbsp grainy dijon mustard
  • ½ cup white wine
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup white worcestershire sauce (optional, add more white wine if you don’t have)
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
For the kebabs:
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-2 inch chunks
  • 1 green pepper, cut into 1 inch square pieces
  • 1 red pepper, cut into 1 inch square pieces
  • 2 zucchinis, sliced into ½ inch discs
  • 1 red onion, cut into 6 pieces
For garnish:
  • 1 lemon, cut in half
  • kosher salt and pepper

Instructions
  1. Soak about 6-8 wooden skewers in water before starting. Soaking the sticks reduces the risk of them burning while grilling.
  2. In a bowl, combine the mustard, white wine, lemon juice, red pepper flakes and white worcestershire sauce. Whisk in the olive oil to make a thick dressing that will act as our marinade.
  3. In a large freezer bag, add all the vegetables and half of the marinade. In another large freezer bag, add the chicken. Let marinate in the refrigerator for an hour, more if possible, turning the bags frequently.
  4. When ready to grill, turn on the grill to medium high heat. Using your soaked skewers, make skewers with all vegetables and separate skewers with all meat. This allows you to be able to remove the vegetable skewers earlier than the meat ones if needed, to prevent burning.
  5. Add the skewers to the grill and cook, turning every few minutes or so to prevent burning. You’ll want to cook the vegetables for about 5-7 minutes until crispy and charred on the edges but not burnt, and the chicken for about 10-15 minutes until cooked through.
  6. Remove meat and vegetable skewers to a platter, and immediately squeeze a half a lemon over everything. Dust with kosher salt and any herbs if desired. Let sit for a few minutes, remove everything from the skewers, serve and enjoy!

These kebabs have so much flavor, and there’s nothing like a great char to make a meal truly special. I love grilling outdoors, and I am so excited barbecue season has officially begun!

Springtime Kebabs

Want some other great grilling ideas? Check out the following recipes from my Grilling section:

Grilled Corn Salad

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Grilled Zucchini Salad

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Herb-Crusted Steaks with Cherry Tomatoes and Olives

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Happy grilling 🙂
mally

Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup

Mmmmm. Soup in the wintertime… a match made in heaven if you ask me.

It’s really getting cold around here, and it’s easy to fall into the rut of eating heavy, rich foods that may satisfy your craving for some warmth and comfort. The problem with a lot of these foods is that they will often leave you comatose on the couch, watching another 8-hour Say Yes to the Dress marathon.

Which got me thinking… is it possible to create a meal that is both filling, warming and delicious, that doesn’t make you want to curl into the fetal position and never put on a pair of skinny jeans again?

What if I told you that it IS possible, and that this hearty meal is also gluten-free, completely vegetarian, and even… woah… vegan??

Lentil Soup

It’s no secret lentils are my new obsession. I’ve made several different lentil dishes during my cleanse, including this lentil salad I posted about earlier, along with seriously bomb.com red curry lentils from Pinch of Yum. There is something so yummy about this little legume that I am totally down with, plus they are so good for you and low in fat.

This soup combines a ton of healthy ingredients in one delicious package. I got this recipe from the back of the Standard Process Cleanse handbook, and I will definitely be making it again!

Lentil Soup
 
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Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups dry lentils
  • 8 cups water
  • ½ cup spinach, rinsed and thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
  1. In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery; cook and stir until onion is tender.
  2. Stir in garlic, bay leaf, oregano, and basil; cook for 2 minutes. Stir in lentils, and add water and tomatoes. Bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer for at least 1 hour.
  4. When ready to serve, stir in spinach, and cook until it wilts.
  5. Stir in vinegar, and season to taste with salt and pepper, and more vinegar if desired.

Lentil Soup

This recipe can be easily halved, or you can store the leftovers in the fridge or freezer.

Happy Eating 🙂
mally

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Woah. It’s Thanksgiving next week. Have you finalized your menu? Luckily, this year I’m only responsible for dessert, but last year when I hosted the whole shebang, these babies were one of my favorite sides.

I know, brussels sprouts, right? Blah. Every child’s worst nightmare. Who goes around doing a dance for brussels sprouts? I don’t even think Belgians love brussels sprouts.

Well, SURPRISE! because these are the best things ever! All thanks to Ina Garten, who likens these to french fries in her recipe on Food Network. French fries. Yes. Something we can all get down with. Or do a dance for. OK fine, I like to dance about vegetables.

This is an amazing side for Thanksgiving or any dinner. I love them with a nice roasted chicken or turkey, alongside a standing rib roast, or even just on their own. They come out with a flavor that is seasoned, caramelized and salty, and are so good that any memory of the dreaded bitter flavor of steamed brussels sprouts is immediately replaced with instant satisfaction and cravings for more.

5.0 from 1 reviews

Roasted Brussels Sprouts
 
Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 1½ lbs Brussels sprouts (whole or halved, your preference)
  • 3 tbsp good olive oil
  • ¾ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400° F.
  2. Trim your sprouts- this means removing any yellow or brown outer leaves, and trimming the stalks off the bottom. Toss in a bowl with olive oil, kosher salt and pepper.
  3. Place seasoned sprouts on a baking sheet, and spread out so that they are in a single layer. Bake for 35-40 minutes, checking in every 15 minutes to either shake the pan or flip the sprouts with a spatula so they don’t burn.
  4. If you’d like, season with more salt once cooked and toss again, then serve immediately. Enjoy!

Recipe from Ina Garten on Food Network.

High in Vitamin C and fiber, and low in calories, these are a great way to “indulge” in a yummy side during the holidays. I’m definitely hoping these are on the table this year, when we head to my parents’ house for prosicutto-wrapped turkey breast. Wait, let me repeat that- Prosciutto. Wrapped. Turkey. Breast.

Pardon me while I go make myself a sandwich- typing that out made me even more hungry than usual!

Happy Eating 🙂
mally

Quickie Quiche + Hurricane Sandy Help

Quiche

As you probably know by now, my area went through a lot these past few days. I wish I could have posted about it earlier to let you all know I have been okay, but we and about 2.2 million other New Jerseyans were without power, heat, cable or Internet for the better part of the week. We had it a lot better than most. The tar on the roof of our building was ripped off, however we only sustained a small leak. I honestly can’t complain. My apartment for the most part is fine, my car is fine, and above all, my friends and family are all safe. So many had it so much worse than we did, and there’s a long road to recovery in so many places nearby in NYC and all along the Jersey Shore.

Quiche

I’m sharing this recipe for quiche with you because it’s quick, simple, delicious, and just the kind of dish you can make for a friend in need. We certainly have a lot of those around here. This is a favorite of my family’s, especially my mom, and I know she’ll be happy to see it here.

5.0 from 2 reviews

Quickie Quiche
 
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Serves: 8

Ingredients
For the crust:
  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 1 stick COLD unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4-5 tbsp ice water
For the filling:
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • ½ cup real mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • ⅓ cup minced onions
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 8 oz shredded Swiss or sharp cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup chopped baby spinach
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 green onion, sliced thinly
  • 3 strips bacon, cooked and chopped coarsely (optional)

Instructions
  1. Make the crust: In a food processor, add flour, salt and butter. Pulse until crumbly. Pour the ice water in to a measuring cup, and with the food processor running, slowly add the ice water through the top until the dough forms into a ball around the blades. Stop the food processor.
  2. Place ball of dough between two sheets of parchment paper. Using a rolling pin (or bottle of wine!) roll out the dough between the parchment paper until ⅛” thick, making quarter turns with the dough until you get a nice flat circle-y shape. Refrigerate the dough until you are ready to use, then press into a 9-inch pie plate.
  3. Make the quiche: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Whip eggs, half-and-half, mayonnaise, and flour in a medium mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients. Pour into the prepared pie crust. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the top is golden brown.

Adapted from Food Network.

Quiche

Please consider donating to the Red Cross’s Hurricane Sandy relief fund if you have the ability to. There are so many families in need right now. If you are in the NY area and have the time and resources, please also consider donating your time to help those on Staten Island. This often over-looked borough of NYC is home to many of my friends, and the damage there has been particularly devastating.

As always, thanks so much for reading. Hope everyone made it through Sandy okay.

Happy Eating
mally