Spring Shish Kabobs!

This is a recipe I cooked in defiance.  Defiance to winter.  Defiance to cold and snow.  No, I’m not complaining.  I love where I live.  However.  I am ready for sun.  The day I made these, it was a whopping 39 degrees, and the sound of the snow melting from the roof literally sounded like a waterfall.  I knew that snow was forecasted for the next day.  But in my defiance I declared it the first day of grilling season.  I mean, it IS Spring for goodness sake!  The weather seems to have missed that memo.  And just so you know…we did get like 5-6 inches of snow the next day.  BUT.  Our glimpses of sunshine are coming more often now.  So I think I spoke it into existence.  Grilling season is here, haha!!

These were SO tasty.  My man was really sick and had laid in bed for three days straight slurping on soup from a can (I don’t know why he loves it so, but whenever he is sick, it’s all he wants!) and nibbling on oyster crackers.  He hadn’t eaten “real” food in days.  So I was making them for myself, and for lunches the next day.  However, when he saw them, he decided that trying to eat may not be such a bad idea.  And when I gave him a plate with two of these bad boys on them…and when they had disappeared in a matter of minutes…he gently asked if there was any more.  Hehe!  Good sign!

The funny thing is…I actually made a mistake with these, but it worked out beautifully!  I knew I wanted a somewhat thin cut steak.  I must have been in a hurry at the grocery store, and grabbed the first good looking “thin cut steak” I found that looked about the right thickness.  Well when I went to open it, I noticed that it said “carne asada.”  I LOVE carne asada but was nervous, because I didn’t know if it would grill well.  Then when I took it out of the package, I realized that it was folded in half, and was a lot thinner than I was planning.  I got real nervous then.  But it ended up working PERFECTLY and be so so so so so so tasty!

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1 – 1 1/2 lb thin-ish cut steaks (Like I said, I used carne asada), sliced into inch-wide strips
  • 2 Bell Peppers, preferably of different colors, Cut into approximately inch chunks
  • 2 Sm White Onions, Cut into approximately inch chunks
  • 1 Lg Zucchini, sliced into rounds, 1/2 inch thick
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Coconut Aminos
  • 1 Clove Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Tbsp Sesame Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Mrs. Dash
  • Organic Quinoa for serving
  • Bamboo Skewers, soaked

 

And here’s how you do it!

  1. Place skewers in water an hour before grilling.  This helps keep them from burning up!
  2. Whisk together lemon juice, coconut aminos, sesame oil, garlic, and a glug of olive oil.  Place steak in a Ziploc baggie and dump marinade over.  Put in your fridge and marinate at least half an hour while you prep everything else.
  3. Cut all your veggies and toss in a large bowl.  Dump just enough olive oil over the veggies to coat them.  Toss.  Season generously with salt, pepper, and Mrs. Dash.  This made them SO tasty!
  4. Take your skewers and rotate stabbing on veggies and meat.  Because the meat is in strips, you can skewer one end, then fold it back and skewer again if that makes sense.  You’ll see on the pictures.  😉
  5. Place skewers on a medium heat grill and cook about 10 minutes, turning often…until you get a little char on everything, veggies are tender crisp, and steak is cooked to your liking.  Serve over a nice pile of hot quinoa and enjoy!

 

Peectures:

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Whisk together lemon juice, coconut aminos, sesame oil, garlic, and a glug of olive oil.  Pour over the meat in a Ziploc and marinate while you prepare everything else.

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Chop your veggies…

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Give a nice coating of olive oil, then season generously with Mrs. Dash, Salt, and Pepper (This is before I tossed it…but I did use a good amount!)

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Now you are ready to create your food art!  Skewer the ingredients, alternating meat and veggies…

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Like so!  Yummy!  I’m starving and these pictures aren’t helping!

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Spring is in the aiiiiiiiir!

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Turn your grill on to medium heat…

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Toss on your skewers and cook about 10 minutes, turning often.  Or until meat is done to your liking, everything has a little char, and veggies are tender crisp.

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Throw on top of a hot pile of quinoa…

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And enjoy!  SO good!

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And don’t forget your little “helpers” outside!  These two were SO excited about the sun shine!  Though you can see the blinding white in the yard…which is our pile of snow that is still there.  But Candy seems quite interested in the stream of water flowing from the roof.  Frizz, as always, is more interested in the food, haha!

 

Hope you guys love this recipe!!! What are your favorite shish kabob ingredients?!

 

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Apple Dijon Burgers

Holy cow.  For real…these were probably the best burgers I have ever made!  I was so incredibly surprised and pleased by the outcome!  I wish I could describe it to you better…but it was seriously beyond words.  I do, however, have a story that helps display the beauty of these patties!!

The day I made these was one of the many days I had to work till late.  My manager/friend was there as well.  When it came time for my break, I popped one of these bad boys on a plate and was telling her how good they are.  However, when I told her that I had put apple in them, she simply told me “you’re weird!”  And yes, yes that does sound weird.  Apple in beef?  But THEN I put that plate in the microwave and started warming it up.  And the smell started filling the store.  And she started sniffing…and finally exclaimed “WHAT IS THAT SMELL?!”  I replied simply with “that is the food you just called weird.”  Then for several minutes I could not hush her up about how amazing it smelled.  I think secretly she wanted some.  😉  But I was a bad…starving…friend and gobbled it all up in 2.3 seconds.  😉  I just couldn’t help it, cause they were so jealous.  Somehow the mixture of the apple and onion give it a sweet barbecue sort of flavor, which is absolutely my favorite!  Alright, let’s get down to it!

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1 lb Grass Fed Beef
  • 1/2 to whole apple, depending on the size.  I used about 3/4 of a standard sized apple.  🙂
  • 1/2 to 1/2 Red Onion, depending on size.
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • Slat and Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Flax Meal
  • 2-4 Eggs

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Chop the Apple and Red Onion into chunks.  Smoosh and peel the garlic cloves.  Place them all in a food processor (in batches if necessary), and pulse until minced.
  2. In a bowl, mix together everything but the eggs.
  3. Form into 4 patties and place on a wax paper-covered plate.  Make a little dent in the middle of the patties, and place in the freezer for about 10 minutes…just to firm them up a bit.
  4. Heat your grill or grill pan to medium, and grill burgers for 5-6 minutes per side.
  5. Meanwhile, fry your eggs to your liking.  I like them a little runny in the middle!
  6. Top your burgers with an egg and anything else you desire!  Now devour!!  What you think?!

Peectures:

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Place garlic cloves and chopped apples and onion in a food processor

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Pulse until everything is minced and blended.

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Combine everything but the eggs in a bowl.

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Form into 4 even patties, and make a small indent in the middle of each.  Toss in the freezer for 10 minutes or so, just to get them firmed up a bit.

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Toss onto a medium heat grill or pan.

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Cook about 6 minutes and flip, cook another 5 to 6 minutes.  Fry eggs how you please.

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Present how you please!

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I was rushed for time (I feel like I always say that haha), so I just did a nice leaf of romaine and topped with the egg.  Abel James, the originator of this idea, used sautéed onions, which is a WONDERFUL idea!  I think bacon would be a good idea too!!  Yummy!

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I was afraid I over cooked my egg, but it turned out just how I like it!

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How yummy is that?!

My Monster Green Smoothie

Yes, I have finally jumped on the green smoothie boat!  I used to just do fruit smoothies, sweetened with orange juice and a little coconut.  But I had to come back down to earth and be honest with myself.  They just didn’t make me feel good.  I would legitimately get acid reflux from the insane amount of fruit I would ingest, and we all know that orange juice really isn’t that great for us!  So in our journey with Abel James I decided to try out the green ones.  And I decided…I like them!  I thought they would freak me out because of the texture…I am more into juicing veggies.  But it makes it so much more filling and I really do love it!  And I feel GREAT afterwards.  It’s so hard to explain, but I usually tell Mr. Rodgers this way: “My insides feel clean!!”  Haha, can anyone relate?!

Also…I felt the need to post a healthy drink to balance out my last post…the delicious but not so nutritious Fireball Apple Cider.  We all need treats now and then.  😉

I have tweaked this smoothie quite a lot, and I think I am finally at the place where it is ready to share!  And PLEASE!  I would love to try your recipes too, so feel free to share!!

 

So, here’s what you need:  (This will make enough for 2 people for a light breakfast…or if you are like me and don’t have a chance stop and eat at work…it will be good to fill up your cup a few times and sip on as you are running hither and to like a mad woman trying to get things done ;))

  • 8 oz Coconut Milk (Or Almond, or the 50/50 mix.  I’ve used them all!)
  • 2-3 Good handfuls Spinach
  • 2-3 Good handfuls Kale Leaves (you don’t want big stems…they’re pretty bitter)
  • 1/2 Cucumber, Thickly Sliced
  • 1 Small Banana
  • 1/4 C Blueberries (Frozen)
  • 1/2 C Strawberries (Frozen)
  • 1 Scoop Whey Protein (Optional…if you can find some without added crap!)

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Pour your coconut milk into the bottom of the blender.  Add your spinach and kale.  Mine usually fills the blender to the top.
  2. Blend until all the leaves are gone and you have a nice green liquid at the bottom (you will be amazed how the greens shrink!)
  3. Add your cucumber, banana, blueberries, strawberries, and whey if you are using it.  Blend until smooth.  Pour into a cup, drink, and feel how squeaky clean your insides are, haha!

 

Peectures!!

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Measure your coconut milk into the bottom of the blender.

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Add all your greens!  See what I mean?  Filled right to the top!

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Blend till you have nothing but a nice green liquid at the bottom!

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Add in your banana, cucumber, and berries…

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Blend (I tried to get an action shot, it didn’t work as well as I had hoped).

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Pour…admire…drink!  So much healthy going into your body right now!!!

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Yay!!!

 

Cheat Treat! Fireball Apple Cider!

Bam!

This has become a Kirkwood Family Signature.  SUPER simple and easy, but makes you feel like a fancy pants!  Or maybe it just makes me feel like that.  But it’s the closest I have gotten to making a “mixed drink.”  Other than that white wine sangria I made once.  That was the bomb.  But definitely more of a spring/summer drink.  This is a nice, “warm you up and comfort you because you thought spring was here because it was 41 degrees yesterday but there are 6 inches of snow today” drink.  Speaking of…I bet this would be amazing heated up.  I have to try that now.  Man!

So I love this drink not only for the flavor, but also the memory.  When my sweet grandmother passed away, I was on the first plane to Washington and missed her by a few lousy hours.  Though it was definitely a heart-achy reason to be visiting…the memories were beautiful, and through the tears we had so much fun.  It was what grandma would have wanted.  Laughing.  Playing games (I introduced the West Coast to Kan Jam!).  Being together.  Perfect.  And then, they introduced me to this new drink they love.  And I was forever changed 😉

And all you need is two ingredients:

  • Fireball Cinnamon Whisky (1 Shot)
  • Angry Orchard Hard Apple Cider (1 Bottle-ish, any flavor…for this time I used Ginger, because that is what they introduced it to me with.  But I have since heard that they love other flavors just as much, like Crisp Apple!)

And you probably know where to go from here!

  1. Pour your cider into a chilled glass (if you are drinking it cold.)
  2. Measure out one shot, and dump it in.
  3. Stir.  Sip.  Enjoy!

What you think?!

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Bacon Bison Butternut Chili!

That’s a lot of B’s! And they all add up to something crazy delicious!  In fact, my husband was quite in love with this meal.  I had to bring it to him at work as I was on MY way to work (oh how crazy life is!)…but he was texting me before long about how much he loved it.  🙂  Funny thing is, I didn’t think he was going to like it very much, because it has a bit of a “twang” to it.  See, my husband is not a huge fan of apple cider vinegar, solely because of the smell.  He always uses different kinds of vinegar in his salad dressings…and he absolutely hates it when I use it to clean!  (It is a great natural cleaner!)  This recipe has apple cider vinegar in it.  And he LOVED it.  I kept asking “it isn’t too tart for you?!”  and he would reply along the lines of “no I love that!”  Maybe this chili will help make a believer out of him.  😉

I have never cooked with bison before.  It was fun…I felt like I was a brave prairie woman making a feast from the land!  Did any of you ever want to be Laura Ingles Wilder?!  Or was that just me?!

Anywho…here’s what you need:

  • 1 lb Ground Bison (Grass Fed)
  • 1 Butternut Squash (About 1 1/2 lb)
  • 1 Package Turkey Bacon
  • 4-5 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Red Onion, Diced
  • 2 Serrano Peppers, Diced
  • 14 oz Diced Tomatoes (Organic)
  • 1/2 C Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Butter (Grass fed is best…we found a brand called Kerrygold)
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • Pinch Cayenne Powder
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

 

And here’s how you do it!

  1. Preheat your oven to 400*.  Peel your butternut squash and dice into cubes.  Melt your coconut oil and pour over squash, toss to coat, and season with salt and pepper.  Roast until tender…30-45 minutes.
  2. In a large pan, melt your butter.  Add your bacon and cook until done and crispy.  Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. Add bison to the same pan with bacon grease.  Cook until browned.
  4. Add onion, garlic, and jalapenos.  Cook until onions are translucent, then add the spices.  Stir and cook an additional minute or so.
  5. Crumble the bacon into the pan, add the vinegar and tomatoes with juices.  Let this mixture simmer for about 30 minutes, or until it has cooked down a bit and thickened.
  6. When ready to serve, spoon some of the bison mixture into a bowl, top with a handful of butternut cubes, and sprinkle with some cinnamon if desired!  We love cooking with cinnamon so we tried it.  And it was beautiful!!

Thank you to Abel James for this fantastic meal that I could adapt Rodgers style!  I am loving discovering fun, delicious, HEALTHY new recipes!  Okay, time for pictures!

 

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Preheat your oven and start prepping your squash!  Start by peeling it!

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Halving it…

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Scooping it…

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And dicing it!

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Now toss it with melted coconut oil, salt, and pepper and roast until tender, about 30-45 minutes!

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Now for the chili portion!  Start by prepping your veggies!

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Melt a pad of butter in a large pan.  (I do this because turkey bacon doesn’t have as much fat to render…but honestly it makes even pork bacon more delicious!)

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Add your bacon and cook until crispy.  Remove from pan and set aside.

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Add your bison to the buttery bacon drippings and brown.

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Add your diced veggies…

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Stir in and cook until your onions are translucent.  Add spices and cook an additional minute or so.

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Stir in your tomatoes and apple cider vinegar.

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Bring to a simmer and cook about 30 minutes, until everything is cooked down and thickened.

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Your yummy butternut squash will have gotten done at some point in that process!!

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When ready to serve, spoon some chili into a bowl and top with squash cubes, then sprinkle with some cinnamon if you so desire!

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You should definitely at least try the cinnamon because it was heavenly!

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Yummmmmmm!  Let me know what you think!

 

Asian Almond Butter Broccoli

Sounds interesting, right?  Well…it was!  Kind of fun and strange and wonderful!  I never would have thought of putting almond butter on a veggie…other than dipping carrots in it, of course.  That is addicting…

But almond butter and broccoli?!  Yes, yes….it works, and I am thankful for the genius of Abel James, The Fat Burning Man, for coming up with the idea!  For this recipe, I left the ingredients alone, just because the recipe was so out of the box for me that I didn’t want to try something and mess it up.  HOWEVER, I did change how I cooked the broccoli!  See…originally it was intended to be grilled!  However, our days around here are struggling to stay above zero degrees.  So I didn’t feel right about asking the man to go outside and grill.  Plus…I have heard in those temperatures that often times grills won’t be able to heat up enough to cook your food anyways!  So I went with my favorite method of cooking veggies.  Oven roasted, crispy, and delicious!

Which reminds me.  We must pause so I can rant.  What.  The.  Heck.  Is the deal with restaurants boiling their veggies?!  SUCH INJUSTICE!  I mean, come on!  Mr. Rodgers and I splurged on a fancy dinner two nights ago.  The steak was delicious.   His chicken parm was bigger than my head and oh so crispy!  The Shamrock martini was amazing.  Atmosphere…awesome.  Candle lit.  Delicious.  And then you get to the pile of veggies.  Tasteless.  Squeaky.  Rubbery.  Boiled.  WHY?!  It makes me want to cry.  THIS IS WHY SO MANY AMERICANS HATE VEGETABLES!  Because people like you mistreat them, fancy restaurant!

Okay.  Rant over.  I’m sure they have their reasons.  Sigh.  Poor little broccoli never had a chance.

Eh hem.  Back to our fun ROASTED broccoli recipe 😀  Let’s get down to it!

 

Here is what you need:

  • 1 Large Head Broccoli
  • 2 Tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar (Mr. Rodgers’ favorite!)
  • 2 Tbsp Tahini (I used my daddy’s home made version)
  • 3 Tbsp Almond Butter
  • 1 Tbsp Raw Honey
  • 1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Aminos
  • 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • Salt and Pepper

 

And here is how you do it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425*
  2. Chop your broccoli into florets.  Toss in a bowl.
  3. Add first 2 Tbsp of Sesame Oil and salt and pepper to taste.  Toss so that broccoli is coated.  Dump on a foil covered cookie sheet and slide into oven.  Roast until crispy on the outside but becoming tender, turning at least once.  Should be 15-20 minutes.
  4. While waiting for broccoli, create your “dressing.”  Combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl.
  5. When broccoli is done, dress it with the almond mixture, and enjoy!  Yay!

 

Peectures!

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Chop your broccoli into florets and place in a bowl.

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Add first 2 Tbsp of sesame oil, salt, and pepper and toss to coat.

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Dump onto a foil lined baking sheet and plop in your 425* oven.  Roast until crispy and tender…15-20 minutes.  Turn at least once for even browning.

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Meanwhile, dump the rest of the ingredients in a bowl.

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Whisk together till creamy!

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Broccoli is done!  (Honestly…this was so good I could have eaten it as-is!)

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Put it on a plate and dress it!!

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Bam!!

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Sweet, tangy, protein-y, delicious!!  Let me know what you think!  What would be another great vegetable to use almond butter with?!