Thursday, August 18, 2011

Good Enough to Eat : Mediterranean Dinner

Tabbouleh. Hummus. Kabobs. Gyros.

These foods are devoured in our house. We love Greek/Turkish/Mediterranean food so much that I was even flying huge containers of tabbouleh home in my suitcase from our favorite place in San Diego.

Even the kiddo LOVES him some "boolie" and "peeeta".

The only problem is, since having move up here to Norcal, we haven't really found a great place that makes exactly what we want for the price we really want to pay. I found a pretty good place called Affendis down the street, but it certainly gets expensive if you try to eat there every week.

With that in mind, I figured I should try to make this stuff at home. Kabobs with steak and grilled veggies, hummus and tabbouleh. I had the stew beef from the farm, made an amazing marinade recipe but was perplexed about the "boolie" because it's traditionally made out of bulgur wheat... which is decidedly not gluten free. Since we have taken the monster GF these days, I was sad that he wouldn't get his "boolie"... Until I found out you can use QUINOA!

Quinoa is a super food. People normally think of it as a grain, but it's actually a relative of leafy greens, like swiss chard and spinach. It has tons of protein, no gluten, and just pretty much rocks in place of rice or cous cous. It's as easy to make as either of those two things and has a really wonderful texture and taste. So quinoa it was and last night's feast was truly a-mazing. Everyone should make it if you like Mediterranean...

I give you, the Mediterranean FEAST! And you'll notice that you can now print out the individual recipes if you want to avoid my ramblings. I'm so high tech. 

The Marinade - print this recipe here

Absolutely stupid proof, but as I found out later? Soy sauce has gluten in it. Damn. But it still tasted amazing! 

1 cup oil
3/4 cup Soy Sauce
1/2 cup Lemon Juice
1/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 Dijon Mustard
1.5 tsp Cracked Black Pepper
2-3 Cloves Garlic (I say the more the better)

So I used stew meat that I got from the farm, but you can use this on any grilled meat... even lamb would rock! I put all of these ingredients into a bag with the stew meat and let it sit for about 5-6 hours. You could even go overnight if you were feeling really bold. It's freakin' delish people.

The Kabobs

Fresh Tomatoes

Use whatever veggie that you like that will stand up to grilling. I like to mix the veggies up on the skewers, but as the hubby says, they don't all cook for the same amount of time, so it might be helpful to keep all of the same kind on each skewer.

Don't forget to soak the skewers in water for about 15 minutes so they don't burn!

Skewer the meat, then the veggies. Once the veggies are skewered drizzle them with olive oil and a little bit of salt and pepper and go to town on a medium/medium high heat grill. Enjoy with some pita, hummus and the quinoa that is coming next!

The Quinoa Taboulleh print this recipe here
This makes enough to feed a small army but it only gets better as it sits. 

1 cup Quinoa
1-2 tsp of Salt  - To TASTE. Add in a 1/2 tsp to start with and add more after it sits for a while. Quinoa soaks up salt SUPER fast.
1 tsp Pepper - See above
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
4-6 TB of Olive Oil - Again, quinoa will soak that sh** up really fast. Start by adding 2 TB and see what it needs after you have all of the ingredients together. 
Lemon Juice - So I used the juice of 4 lemons, but it will depend on how juicy your lemons are and how lemony you want your taboulleh to be.  Start by adding in a few TB and then again, adjust accordingly after it sits for a while.
2 bunches of Italian Flat Leaf Parsley - minced
1 bunch of Mint - minced
1 small tomato, chopped
1/2 red onion, minced
1/2 of a English Cucumber, chopped (or use a regular cucumber, peeled and seeded... the English Cuke is easier obviously) 


Cook the quinoa according to package instructions. As a note, I always cook it in chicken broth to make it more flavorful. Let it cool slightly, but mix it in while it's still slightly warm... it soaks up all the goodness that way. 
Put your herbs in the food processor to make the mincing easier and then add all of your ingredients together. Mix it thoroughly and then let it sit for a while. After about 10 minutes, taste it again and adjust the seasoning.
Taste it a few more times just for good measure and to make sure that you are completely stuffed before dinnertime.

Put all of these recipes together for the most AMAZEBALZ dinner ever. Your family will love you for it.


The How To Mommy said...

The hop was set to close at midnight, but I reopened it till Sunday. Link away at Tasty Thursdays!

Wendy said...

This sounds amazing! I have some veggie kabobs -pre-skewered- from Trader Joes in the fridge. So I guess this morning I'll jam out and get some meat and whip this up for Saturday din! Thanks!

The How To Mommy said...

Thanks for linking up!

Stay At Home Babe said...

I always have quinoa in the house and use it instead of rice and cous cous almost all the time now. So strange that it's a seed, right?!

That sounds decicious and I would give you a dollar for a picture! :)

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