dinner recipes

Lamb Meatballs with Dill Dip

lambdinner

 

It’s about time I post this recipe. I must have made these meatballs about 4 times in the past month alone.  My sister made these Aromatic Lamb Meatballs by Nigella Lawson while I was visiting her one day and they were the bomb. So, of course, I decided to change up the recipe and make my own Paleo version with an optional side of dairy goodness. This whole meal pictured above took me about 1 hour and 15 minutes to make, veggies, dip, and all included. If it was just the dip and meatballs it would have taken me under an hour. I served it with cooked frozen spinach (quick and cheap) mixed with grass-fed butter, s&p. And asparagus that was on sale at Weis, rubbed in oil, granulated garlic, s&p, then broiled on high for 8-10 minutes.

Switching gears here, I’m going to share a short, sweet, and random story. I recently went to one of my best friends birthday dinners and one of the ladies in the dinner group told me she’s a fan of my food blog and asked about how I got into the Paleo diet, how I got into cooking, and so on. Let me just say, I LOVE when anyone asks me this. I will save the whole story of how I started the Paleo diet for another post. But I must say, instances like this remind me of why I started this blog and why I’m sharing my recipes. So, this is a big thank you to that person. It’s a great motivation to keep posting and keep up with this blog. Thank you! 🙂

 

Ingredients:

Makes about 15-17, 1.5 inch meatballs

1lb ground lamb

1/4 cup finely diced yellow onion

3 tablespoons almond flour (optional)

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon salt

1 egg

 

Yogurt Dip:

2% or whole Fage Greek Yogurt-Whole is best

lemon juice

fresh dill, chopped

Granulated garlic

salt & pepper

*all of these ingredients don’t have measurements because I taste as I add them until I get the right balance. I advise starting by adding 1/2 teaspoon of s&p and garlic, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of chopped dill. Then taste and add more of each as you feel it needs. Taste as you go, only add a little at a time. I have extra pics below to give a better idea of what the final dip looked like.

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Combine all meatball ingredients in a bowl. Mix well. Form mixture into 1.5 inch balls (about the size of golf balls) The mixture will be pretty sticky.

2. Bake meatballs for 25-28 minutes, or until no longer pink in the middle.

3. While the meatballs cook, make your dip. Grab your container of Fage (I had a medium size tub, refer to pics below) and mix it up with a spoon until smooth. Add salt, pepper, garlic, lemon juice, and chopped dill. Mix well, taste, add whatever you think it needs. Only add a little at a time.

photo 3 photo 1photo 4 photo 5

4. Serve with the dip and some broiled veggies or chopped spinach and enjoy!

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Paleo Meat Sauce/Pasta Sauce

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It’s been almost a week since I last posted a recipe. We had this big snow storm and our roof ended up leaking through to our ceiling 😦 Since I have to be here while it’s being repaired today, I should post a recipe. I wanted to make several servings of something really easy, so what’s easier (and cheaper) than spaghetti sauce? The vegetables in this recipe can be cooked in a different order than I do in my directions. Some like to saute their veggies separately. Also, the order/time will depend on what vegetables you use. I used mushrooms in this one and I didn’t saute them separately because I like my mushrooms tougher than most. I like to bite into a mushroom, not cook it until it’s flimsy. That’s just a personal preference. There are so many possibilities with this sauce. You can add several diced peppers, add broiled broccoli, add double the mushrooms, add fresh basil, add riced cauliflower…you could even use turkey or italian sausage rather than beef, or all three! It’s a great way to use up whatever you have leftover in your fridge and not let good ingredients go to waste. So, here we go!

 

Ingredients:

1 14 oz can diced tomatoes, drained

1 lb ground beef, or turkey, or italian sausage

1/2-1 28 oz can tomato sauce (depending on what texture you want your sauce to have)

Half of a 25 oz jar of your favorite pasta sauce

2 tablespoon of honey, to balance out the acidity of the tomatoes

1-2 green peppers (get any color you want), diced

1 package of sliced mushrooms

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

1 small onion, diced

1/2-1 tablespoon italian seasoning

1/4-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (depending on how spicy you want it)

Optional-small can of tomato paste for thickness and/or 1/2 cup of fresh basil, freshly grated parmesan cheese also optional

Salt and pepper to taste

1-2 tablespoons olive oil or butter, or whatever fat you want to use

For the ‘pasta’ either use spaghetti squash (look at buffalo chicken pasta recipe for instructions) or spiralized zucchini and/or squash like in my photo. I microwave the spirals, covered for 1 minute before serving.

 

Directions:

1. In a large pot or sauce pan, saute garlic and onion in the olive oil for a few minutes over medium/medium-high heat. Once the onions are translucent, add the ground beef and cook until browned, chopping into chunks and stirring here and there while it cooks.

2.Once it’s browned, add your diced peppers and sliced mushrooms and spices. Saute until softened. Add some more olive oil if you think it needs it.

3. Now it’s time to add your tomatoes. Start by adding the diced, drained tomatoes, half of the tomato sauce, and the half jar of pasta sauce. Then add the honey. Make sure it’s all well combined and taste it. If it is too sweet, add more salt. If it’s too acidic/salty add more honey to balance it. If you want more thickness, add tomato paste. If it’s too chunky and you prefer it to be more runny, add the rest of the tomato sauce. Always taste your food!

Paleo Peri-Peri Chicken

periperichickenpic

My apologies for not posting in a few days. Had some kitchen disasters/Superbowl recipes crisis. I planned on making spinach and artichoke dip, wings, cheesecake mousse stuffed strawberries, and brownies. Brownies were an epic fail (one didn’t cook all the way through in time, and the other wasn’t sweet enough), didn’t have time to make the dip, and the wings weren’t spicy enough. However, the cheesecake mousse stuffed strawberries worked out well 🙂 They were a hit with the family and I will definitely be posting that recipe soon.

Note to self – do not experiment with new recipes 3 hours before the super bowl.

This recipe however, I’m well acquainted with. It’s from the blog The Iron You. Check it out. Good, healthy, Paleo recipes. Their recipes are more strict with the Paleo diet than the recipes I post.

Also, this chicken was awesome on salad with balsamic dressing, crumbled feta cheese, banana pepper rings, and cherry tomatoes.

periperichicksaladpic

I should also add, if you haven’t been to a Nandos yet, go. Good prices, the peri peri chicken cesar salad is delicious and their tasty sangria is half off before 6. Oh, and get the french fries because their dip is really good too.

Okay…I think that’s all…Enjoy this recipe!
 
 

Ingredients:

Bamboo Skewers, soaked in water for 5 minutes

2 lbs chicken breasts, cut into 1-1½-inch chunks. I cut them 1 inch so they cook faster. Impatience strikes again.

½ cup white vinegar

Juice of 2 lemons

Âź cup olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, crushed or minced. Whatever you got on hand. Crushed is better though.

1 small onion, thinly sliced

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 teaspoons paprika

1 teaspoon oregano or italian seasoning

2 to 3 teaspoons chili powder

1 ½ teaspoons salt

Ground black pepper to taste

Optional: 1/4-1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes for heat
 
 

Directions:

1. In a small bowl combine white vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, cayenne pepper, sea salt, garlic, shallot, paprika, oregano, chili powder, black pepper, and the red pepper flakes (optional)

2. In a shallow sealable container or in a large Ziplock bag, combine chicken chunks and marinade.
Cover or seal and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. The time you allow for marination makes a significant difference in this recipe. I marinate mine for 3-8 hours. Overnight would be best if you’re able to do that.

3. Remove the chicken from the marinade and skewer onto bamboo sticks that have been soaked in water for 5 minutes. I try to stick some of the onion slices on there too.

4. Heat a grill or a grill pan to medium heat. If you’re using an outdoor grill lightly oil the grill grates. I personally used a baking sheet, foiled it, then put a greased wire rack on top. Broiled on high 10-12 minutes, on the middle oven rack ( time depending on how small you cubed the chicken) turning them half way through.

5. Cook the chicken kebabs, until golden brown and cooked through, about  10 minutes turning regularly, until juices run clear.

6. Serve on salad or with your favorite grilled/broiled veggies.

Italian Stuffed Peppers

stuffedpeppers

This recipe includes my touches to the recipe found on the blog Barbells and Bellinis. Really, you need to take a look at that blog. Anyway, I’m always looking for new paleo friendly recipes to try. The man friend works crazy off hours in his line of work and usually doesn’t have time to cook. I’m always doubling recipes and making sure there is a good amount leftover for him to take to work. This one is a favorite and fairly easy to make. Although, there’s a lot of chopping/prep involved. Also, keep in mind, if you follow this recipe you will probably have leftover filling mixture. Either grab some more peppers and another casserole dish or eat the leftover filling like chili, or on top of spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles…whatever…Enjoy and let me know what you think!

 

Ingredients:

1.5 lbs ground beef or ground turkey. They both work well in this recipe. A mix of both works well too.

3 carrots, diced and/or half of a cauliflower, chopped. I use cauliflower every time because the man friend hates cooked carrots.

3 celery stalks, diced

1/2 yellow onion, diced

1 large zucchini, diced

1 10 oz box of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained. I squeezed the water out of it by hand.

1 bunch of basil, chopped. If I don’t have fresh basil, I add more Italian seasoning or dried basil.

1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

1 tablespoon of dried oregano (I substituted this with another tablespoon of Italian seasoning)

1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning

1 tablespoon of salt. Be careful and check if your canned tomatoes have salt added to them already. If they do, only add ½ tablespoon or none at all.

1/4-1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Depending on how spicy you like it. 

3 cloves of garlic, minced 

1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes. Save a little less than a third of it to put in the bottom of the casserole dish.

1 16 ounce can of diced tomatoes, drained

1 8 ounce can of tomato sauce, saving some for bottom of the dish

8-10 assorted bell peppers, tops and seeds removed. I also slice a little off the bottoms so they sit upright in the baking dish. You could also cut the peppers in half and stuff them that way too.

1 cup Peccorino Romano or Parmesan cheese, shredded

2-4 tablespoons of olive oil. I added a little more when I used ground turkey, since turkey tends to be a little more dry than beef.

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 F.

2. In a large pot, heat olive oil over high heat.  Add celery, carrots and/or chopped cauliflower, garlic, and onion and cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. I also diced the tops of the peppers and threw that in too. Why waste it?

3. Add zucchini, thawed and drained spinach, basil, nutmeg, oregano, Italian seasoning, salt, red pepper flakes and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  These veggies are going to be cooking again in the oven, so make sure they don’t get too soft. Add ground beef or ground turkey or mix of both and cook until browned, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Add crushed tomatoes (saving a little for the bottom of the dish), drained diced tomatoes, and tomato sauce (reserving 1/4 for bottom of casserole dish) and stir to combine.  Pour remainder of tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes in the bottom of a casserole dish with raised edges large enough to accommodate the peppers.

5. Fill bell peppers with meat and veggie filling (reeeaally pack the filling into each pepper) and place in the casserole dish.  Bake for 35 minutes.  In last 5 minutes of cooking, top peppers with the shredded Peccorino Romano or Parmesan cheese.

Like they say in the original post, this is a great recipe to double the portions and freeze. I’m the most impatient person ever, so I eat the leftover filling like a bowl of chili before the peppers finish cooking.