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:

Photo (1)

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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Spaghetti Squash with Spaghetti Sauce – Kirkwood Style!

Now you may be wondering why I did not simply call this “Spaghetti Squash.” Or “Spaghetti with Squash.” Or something along those lines. There is a very specific reason.

You see, when you start eating healthy, or trying to eliminate things such as carbs or gluten…people will tell you about all these great substitutions…that you won’t be able to tell a difference, blah blah blah.  Here’s my take.  There are indeed tons of great substitutions.  I am passionate about discovering them.  However…you are going to be able to taste a difference, and that is okay.  Because when you change your diet, you aren’t trying to trick yourself, you are trying to change your life.  So trying new things is going to have to be part of your every day most likely.

Also…dear, sweet Mr. Rodgers.  The first time I made spaghetti squash I told him that it was supposed to be like noodles, so he expected noodles.  Because of that, he was disappointed when there were no noodles to be found, then declared that he “hates Spaghetti Squash.”  Unwilling to lose this amazing ingredient to cook with, I wisened up.  Instead of claiming to make pasta dishes with healthy noodles…I now claim to make squash dishes with yummy sauces.  So this is NOT Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti!  It is simply Spaghetti Squash with my mom’s Spaghetti Sauce on top.  And now, Mr. Rodgers is coming around to the wonderful squash, and all is well.  I seriously LOVED this recipe!  So without further ado…here it is!!

Here is what you need:

  • 1 Lg Spaghetti Squash, Baked, Microwaved, or cooked in a crock pot
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper, Diced
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, Diced (Optional)
  • 1 Onion, Diced
  • 3-5 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 3-4 Stalks Celery, Diced
  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Italian Seasoning (and/or Oregano and Basil)
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1/4 C – 2 C Cheddar, Shredded (Originally my mom uses like 2 C, I was trying to make it more healthy so I cut it back to 1/4 C)
  • About 2 Cans Tomato Sauce (To preference…I like mine super thick and chunky…you can add more to stretch it if you desire)

And here is how you do it:

photo 3 (4)

First, get your squash cooking because it will most likely take a while.  If I remember right, mine baked for almost 2 hours!

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Now to start your sauce!  I would first get all of your ingredients together and prep your veggies.  (Normally I would have another color of pepper in there too but we were out of groceries haha!)

photo 4 (3)

Now brown your beef and drain, then set aside!

photo 1 (4)

Put butter or coconut oil in the bottom of a pan, add your veggies, and saute until tender.  Add beef, stir together, and cook another minute or so.

photo 2 (4)

Add in enough tomato paste to get it to your desired consistency.  Add seasonings to taste, stir in, and adjust.  Let simmer, even for hours, until ready.  The longer it simmers, the better it tastes.

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Remove squash from heat, and when cool enough to handle without burning yourself, cut in half.

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Scoop out seeds with a large spoon and discard.  Fluff out the noodles with a fork and scoop them out of the squash into your serving dish of choice (or just leave it in the half so it looks fancy!)

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Right before you serve, stir cheese into sauce.

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Pour sauce on top of squash, sprinkle some parm, and devour this wonderfully meaty, satisfying, low carb, healthy meal!!

Mediterranean Steak Rolls

As you can imagine…this was a man pleaser.  I liked them.  Mr. Rodgers LOVED them.  But I guess…what man DOESN’T love steak?!  Especially when you stuff it with Mediterranean goodness.  So I suppose I can’t blame him.  They were like little rolls of flavor that were healthy, but also satisfying because it had that meatiness that you can just sink your teeth into.

You can’t go wrong with ingredients like these:

So, here’s what you need:

(adapted from familycircle.com)

  • 1 1/2 – 2 lbs thinly cut steak
  • 1 Package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1/2 C Feta Cheese
  • 1 Small Jar Roasted Red Peppers, Chopped (I used about 2/3 of a 12 oz Jar 0f Marinated Roasted Red Peppers with Garlic Cloves, which I recommend.  You can chop the garlic up with the red pepper)
  • 2 Tbsp Dry Quinoa (I used this for a crunch, since I didn’t want to use bread crumbs)
  • 1 Egg Yolk (Thinking back, I’m pretty sure I forgot the egg in mine and it still worked haha.)
  • 3/4 tsp Garlic Salt, Divided (Or to taste.  I used extra in my stuffing)
  • 3/4 tsp Pepper, Divided (Or to taste.  I used extra in my stuffing)
  • Tbsp Olive Oil

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat oven to 425*
  2. Lay your steak pieces out on a clean work surface.  Now you may have one long piece of thin cut steak.  I thought I had about 3 pieces, only to unwrap it and realize I had 6-8 long VERY thin cut pieces, but it still worked great!
  3. Season your steak with 1/4 tsp each of the garlic salt and pepper.
  4. Mix all the stuffing ingredients together: Spinach (with all the moisture squeezed out first), Feta, Red Pepper, Quinoa, Egg, and another 1/4 tsp each of the garlic salt and pepper…
  5. Press the filling onto the steak, leaving an inch border.
  6. Roll steak up carefully and lay on a baking sheet seam side down.
  7. Rub the outside with oil and season with the last 1/4 tsp of garlic salt and pepper.
  8. Slide into your heated oven and cook until your desired amount of doneness…obviously this will depend on the thickness of your steak.  The original says 35 minutes, but that would have been way too long for the thinness of the steak I ended up with.  If you have a very thin meat, start checking around 15 minutes, if more of a medium thickness, go for 25-30.  🙂
  9. Remove, let rest for a few minutes, then serve, slicing if you have one long roll.

 

Peectures!

Steak Rolls .5

Here are the Roasted Red Peppers I used!  Definitely a great flavor!

Steak Rolls 3

Lay out your steak and season with garlic salt and pepper.

Steak Rolls 1

Throw all your stuffing ingredients into a bowl…

Steak Rolls 2

Mix up together…

Steak Rolls 4

Lay out on your steaks with a border…

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Roll up and rub with olive oil, season with garlic salt and pepper again…

Steak Rolls 7

Roast in 425* oven until they reach your desired amount of doneness!!

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Here it is accompanied by a lovely curry carrot soup!

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Browned, meaty, stuffed, and delicious!!

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Yum.

Steak Rolls 10

Quinoa Stuffed Omelet!

Did you read my last post?  The Quinoa Stuffed Bell Pepper post?  Well if you didn’t, you should…cause it may rock your world.  And if you did…then you may remember me mentioning that you will have left over stuffing for other recipes.

What I didn’t tell you is that I would be providing you with one of said recipes!!  This was delicious and I was so glad I thought of it!!  And super easy.  I’m usually not a huge fan of omelets, but the heartiness and flavor of this one won me over.

 

So, here’s what you need!

  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Tbs Greek Yogurt
  • About 1/4 C Quinoa Stuffed Bell Pepper Filling
  • Small amount of butter or oil for cooking
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Small amount of parmesan or cheddar
  • Toppings of choice: sour cream, Frank’s Hot Sauce (Mr. Rodgers’), Sriracha (Mrs. Rodgers’), green onions, salsa, more cheese…whatever!

 

And here’s how you do it!

  1. Whisk eggs together with Greek Yogurt.
  2. Heat butter or oil in a pan and dump in your eggs.
  3. When eggs are starting to solidify and you have a little color on the underside, spread half with the quinoa mixture.
  4. Fold over and top with cheese, allow to melt a bit.
  5. Gently slide out of the pan onto your plate and top however you please!  Easy as that!!

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Whisk eggs together with greek yogurt (this makes them a little extra creamy!)

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Melt butter or oil in a pan over medium heat and pour in your eggs.

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Grab your leftovers…

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When beginning to solidify and under side is starting to brown, spread quinoa mixture over half the eggs

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Fold over (you don’t have to get yours as brown as mine…I like the crispy flakiness it gives but this is totally up to you!  It’s also cause my butter browned before I dumped the egg in there haha!)

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Sprinkle lightly with some cheese of your choice and let it melt slightly…

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Gently slide out of the pan onto your plate and top however you choose…obviously this is mine, cause it has Sriracha on it 😀

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And here is Mr. Rodgers’ with sour cream and Frank’s, next to a lovely cup of Lemon Blueberry Oat Bran I also mixed up.  This was his breakfast in bed.  Such a lucky man ;P  Haha just kidding.  He spoils me more often than I do him.  I just love him with all my little heart.

ANYWAYS!  Food!  Omelets!!  Let me know how you like it!

 

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

To all my friends doing a Daniel Fast this month…if you leave out the eggs and cheese, this is a PERFECT recipe for you!!  Quinoa is full of protein so it will help you function, and it is crammed so full of good stuff that it will fill up your tummy.  Plus, it just looks like a normal, delicious meal.  So you will be thinking “meal” instead of “pile of veggies.”  And it will still work great and taste fantastic without the eggs and cheese…they’re both optional anyways!!

For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about and have never heard of a Daniel Fast…this is just a great meal either way!!  Great for the body, tasty, and a wonderful way to sneak in veggies!  Really, you can use whatever veggies you want, but I will explain what I used just for an example.  I kind of went with the “more is better” philosophy with this one. 🙂

Adapted from the lovely joandsue.BlogSpot.com

So, here’s what you need:

  • 6 Large Bell Peppers of all Colors (Note: YOU WILL HAVE FILLING LEFT OVER! It is perfect to work into other recipes, or if you have picky eaters in your house that don’t like bell peppers.  If you don’t want left overs, then use a few more bell peppers.)
  • 1 C Uncooked Quinoa
  • 1 C Cooked Black Beans (or canned)
  • 1 Sm Onion, Diced
  • 2 Stalks Celery, Diced
  • 2 Carrots, Diced
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1/2 C Peas, Frozen or Fresh
  • 1/2 C Corn, Frozen or Fresh
  • 1 Can Water Chestnuts, Sliced
  • 1 Sm Can Mushrooms, Sliced (My fresh ones went bad so I used a can!  Feel free to substitute with fresh.)
  • 2-3 Eggs (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 15 oz Tomato Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Seasoning Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Chili Powder
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Cheddar Cheese to top (optional)

 

And here’s how you do it!!

  1. Preheat your oven to 350*.
  2.  Rinse your peppers, trim off the top, and cut around the inside so all the seeds and white parts are removed.
  3. Now prep everything else so once you start, you don’t have to stop.  It’s much less stressful that way.  Chop veggies, open and drain cans, and cook your quinoa while you do it.  (Quinoa package should have directions…but if all else fails, simmer it in water for about 12 minutes covered!)
  4. Melt your coconut oil over medium high heat in a wok or large pan! Add carrot, celery, onion, peas, and corn.  Stir and cook until veggies are just starting to get tender, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the rest of the veggies and stir, cooking another 5 minutes.
  6. Add black beans and quinoa and stir in.  Add seasonings and tomato sauce; stir.
  7. Make a well in the bottom of the pan and crack in your eggs.  Whisk and scramble until cooked, fried rice style!! Break into bits and stir throughout mixture.
  8. Fill each pepper generously.  Top with cheese if desired.
  9. Slide into preheated oven and cook until peppers are browned, cheese is melted, and everything is heated; about 35-45 minutes for tender-crisp peppers.

 

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First, preheat your oven to 350*.  Then, rinse your peppers, trim off the top, and cut around the inside so all the seeds and white parts are removed.

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers 1

Repeat with all your peppers.

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Now prep everything else so once you start, you don’t have to stop.  It’s much less stressful that way.  Chop veggies, open and drain cans, and cook your quinoa while you do it.

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers 2

Melt your coconut oil over medium high heat in a wok or large pan!

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers 3

Add carrot, celery, onion, peas, and corn.  Stir and heat until veggies are just starting to get tender, about 5 minutes.

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers 4

Add the rest of the veggies and stir, cooking another 5 minutes.

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Add black beans and quinoa and stir in.

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Add seasonings and tomato sauce; stir.

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Create a well in the middle.

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Crack in your eggs…

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Scramble until cooked…

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Break up the bits of egg and stir it alllll up.  Cook until heated through.

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Fill each pepper generously with the mixture…top with cheese if desired.  Obviously I started shredding my cheese, then decided it would work just as well with slices and would take less time, haha.

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Bake in 350* oven for 35-45 minutes, until peppers are starting to brown and cheese is melty!

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Now pick your color, dive in, and enjoy!!  Mr. Rodgers LOVED these!!  He even texted me the next day when he was eating one for lunch just to tell me how good “those peppers” are.  😀  Which, if you are reading this and you are a wife…you know how good that made me feel!

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Look at that warm, overflowing goodness!

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Don’t you just want to dive in?!  Make them so you can!!  And let me know how you like it, and how you adapt it yourself!  Next time, I’m thinking…hot sauce!!!  You know me and Sriracha.  Well maybe you don’t.  Here’s a hint.  I LOVE SRIRACHA!!  Okay, there you go…this is Mrs. Rodgers, over and out!!

 

Chronicles of a Chipotle Pepper; Entry 4: Southwest Style Meatball Skillet

This is a recipe I pinned from cinnamonandspiceandeverythingnice.com, because I thought it looked delicious!  (Spoiler: It was!).  The funny thing is, I had already decided to make this dish before I even realized that it called for a Chipotle Pepper in Adobo Sauce…I originally didn’t plan for it to end up in this series!  How fun is that?!  It was just…meant to be!  😉

I did change it up just a bit, because I was feeling energized and creative that evening, but however you make this its gonna be great.  I just watched a special on travel channel about meatballs.  Apparently it is a revolution.  I unknowingly joined the revolution.  The meatball revolution.  You should join too.  And make this skillet!  All you need is a little quinoa and you have a whole meal.  We both LOVED the flavor of these meatballs.  They were moist and packed with tastiness!  You gotta try!

 

So, here’s what you need for the Meatballs:

  • 1 lb Ground Turkey or Beef (I used turkey because it’s what I had in the freezer)
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4 C Ezekiel Bread Crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp Chile Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Chipotle Chile Powder (Optional)
  • 1 tsp dried Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 Tbsp Dry Cilantro (Note, I used these two because I didn’t have any fresh.  It tasted great, but if you have fresh go for it!)
  • 1/2 Tbsp Dry Parsley (Note, I used these two because I didn’t have any fresh.  It tasted great, but if you have fresh go for it!)
  • 3 Pieces Turkey Bacon
  • Salt and Pepper…of course
  • 1 Tbsp Butter or Coconut Oil

And for the Skillet:

  • 1/2 Large Onion, Diced
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Chipotle Pepper, Minced (With tsp of sauce)
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1 C Corn
  • 1 1/2 C Black Beans
  • 1 (15 oz) Can Diced Tomatoes in juices
  • 1/2 C Broth (Beef or Chicken)
  • Tbsp Lime Juice
  • 8 oz Tomato Sauce
  • 3 Pieces Bacon
  • 1 C Uncooked Quinoa

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. First things first:  Bacon.  We don’t want the bacon to be soggy…but we don’t want it to be too black either since it is going to continue cooking.  So get out your big cast iron skillet and get it cooked (all 6 pieces) until it is just barely starting to get browned.  Just a few minutes!  Now cut it into little strips for both uses: meatballs and skillet.
  2. Grab all of your meat ball ingredients (except the butter or coconut oil) and combine them in a bowl (including half of the bacon you just cut up!).  Form into balls (the original says golf ball sized!)
  3. In same skillet, melt the butter or coconut oil…hopefully you still have some of the bacon grease in there too, even though turkey bacon is lean it still produces a little of that goodness!!  Very carefully add the meat balls and cook for a couple minutes, turning to get a brown around the outside.  Remove from the skillet for now.  If you are using beef, you will need to drain some of the fat off at this point, but leave some to cook the veggies in.  🙂
  4. Add onion and cook until beginning to become transparent.  Add garlic and cook about 30 seconds more.
  5. Add Chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, paprika, and cumin.  Stir and cook about a minute more.
  6. Add corn, beans, tomatoes, broth, lime juice, tomato sauce, salt and pepper and mix well.  Return meat balls to the pan along with the remainder of the turkey bacon.
  7. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, preferably covered.  Serve over a hot steamy pile of quinoa (to cook that, just boil 2 C water, add quinoa, and simmer for 12ish minutes ;))

Yaaaaay yummy!  Seriously super delish, we brought it to the church the next day for lunch cause we were going to be working there all day…and just ate it out of the Tupperware with a fork and enjoyed ourselves immensely.  The Rodgers family has joined the Meat Ball Revolution.  Will you?!

 

After you have partially cooked your bacon to just barely browned status, add all of your meatball ingredients (minus butter) to a bowl and combine.

Photo (8)Form into golf ball sized meat balls…

Photo (9)Heat butter or coconut oil in a large cast iron skillet.

Photo (10)Gently add meat balls…

Photo (11)Cook just a couple minutes, turning to get a browned color on the outside.

Photo (12)Remove from skillet.  If needed, drain some excess grease from the bottom of the skillet, but leaving just enough to cook your veggies in.

Add your onion. and cook a few minutes until beginning to become translucent.  Add garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds.  Stir in Chipotle Pepper, Adobo Sauce, Paprika, and Cumin.  Stir and cook about a minute more.  Add corn, beans, tomatoes, broth, lime juice, tomato sauce, salt and pepper and mix well.

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Add meatballs back to the skillet, along with the turkey bacon.

Photo (16)Bring to a simmer, and let it cook about 10-15 minutes, preferably covered.

Photo (18)Yummy!

Photo (19)Pile on top of hot quinoa and enjoy!  We sure did!