Daily Foodie Eats: 20/04/12

Breakfast: Coffee and a stuffed mushroom cap

Lunch: Gyros meatballs on a salad of tomato, red onion and spinach with some chopped veggies on the side

Snack: a mason jar of carrot-ginger soup (recipe coming!).. then I ate a nice big chunk of brie cheese when I arrived home. I was having a bad day. I needed to eat my feelings, ok?

Dinner: Now this is what I call “Paleo junk food”… A giant chicken shawarma salad. Man, it was good. Crispy charred chicken bits, salad, garlic sauce. Sure it’s probably full of nasty canola oils, but a better choice than pizza, no?

Snack: “ice cream” aka banana, almond butter and cocoa in the food processor. yummy.

Gyros Meatballs and Tzatziki sauce

I love Greek food. How could you not? So full of freshness and flavours. Feta cheese, yogurt, tomato, cucumber, dill, garlic.. Oh baby. Sure, a paleo purist would balk at the mention of yogurt and feta, so good thing I’m not one of them! 😉 My mom and I mourned the loss of this wonderful Greek place near the airport here that we would always go to when I picked her up for visits. They had the most delicious gyros. I love gyros. And Shawarma too for that matter. Every time I see that delightful meat spinning around on a spit I exclaim that I really want a giant meat spit for my kitchen. Alas, they are probably expensive, impractical and not to mention dangerous with a wee one around. I did build a custom coffee bar into my home, but a meat roasting station might be a bit excessive. Not to mention not so great for resale, no?

Inspired by ground lamb on markdown sale at the grocery store tonight ($10/lb regular price, and even tonight I paid $8 OMG!) and from the delicious Deconstructed Gyros Salad from The Clothes Make the Girl (do we see a theme here? I may possibly have a foodie crush…), I set out to make some gyros flavours in my own kitchen.

Gyros Meatballs: Makes approximately 4 dozen

  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef
  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 1 Tbsp dried mint leaves
  • 1 tsp dried oregano leaves
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1 Tbsp coarse (granulated) garlic powder
  • 1 tsp tablespoon salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tbsp coconut flour (could probably omit…)

Gather your spices. It seems like a lot, but once you stock your spice cupboard you’ll find so much use for it. Nothing here is overly exotic and should be found at your local grocery store

Add your lamb and beef to a big bowl. Crack your egg over it, toss in your coconut flour and spices.

And mix. Mix mix mix. Use your hands. Pound the crap out of it. Do not be afraid of the slimyness that is raw meat. You will wash your hands later! (sidenote, HOW do food bloggers take photos? I had to pause so many times to wash my hands so I could grab my camera, and I even recruited my husband to take a few of the shots. He thought I was nuts, bien sur).

Use a spoon (or a handy dandy scoop if you have one!) to portion out the meat. Roll gently with your hands to create a ball.

Lay out all your meatballs on a tray. I had initially planned to bake them, but as I was impatiently waiting the oven to heat up I turned on the cast iron pan. Put it on high to heat, but you’ll gradually turn down the heat as it warms up. You’ll want to cook these on medium-ish heat. Turns out, this was a perfect way to cook them and get those nice caramelish crispy bits all over, like a real gyros!

I had quite the little assembly line going to get these babies in and out of the pan. Wear an apron. Not only are they super cute and very underappreciated, they will save your hideously overpriced but oh so cute Lululemon tank top that you had to have clothes from getting splattered with grease. The meatballs will take about 8-10 minutes to cook. Use your trusty thermometer to test them out if you aren’t sure if they are done. Or sacrifice one and cut it open and eat it to find out!

I also made some tzatziki sauce to go on top. This was simple. Greek yogurt, grated cucumber, granulated garlic, and chopped dill. That’s it, that’s all.

Put your cooked meatballs on a slice of lettuce with tzatziki, tomato, and thinly sliced red onion. Or if you’re the gluten-eating type, these would be delicious on a warmed pita. These are delicious hot or cold. I froze most of them for weeknight meals, but there are some packed with a salad for my lunch tomorrow. Can’t wait!

Daily Foodie Eats: 17/04/12

Breakfast: Coffee and cream. The usual, you know.

Lunch: Homemade turkey meatballs (ground turkey, coconut flour, egg, pesto, chopped spinach, and sundried tomato… and yes I did eat them cold. YUM). I took a photo with my blackberry but it was too terrible to share. Embarrassing!  Egg salad in a curry Pure Wrap. These are amazing raw coconut wraps that are a great sandwich wrapper and bread replacement. I first saw these on nomnompaleo.com and went on a mission for a Canadian distributor and found UpayaNaturals.com. Now these puppies don’t come cheap at $5.59 for a four pack (and that’s on sale!), but tell me this – have you ever dropped way too much coin for a fresh bakery croissant? Yes, that’s what I thought… Too rich for lunch every day, but a nice treat. I forgot to take a photo of it until I got to the very last bite. Whoops. I sincerely apologize for this horrible photo!

Also had some chopped cucumbers, red pepper and Smoky Babaganoush, and some Sunshine Sauce. I’m undecided on the sunshine sauce, although I altered the recipe to use almond butter instead of sunbutter because it’s all I had. I think I will play with it some more the next time I make it.

Snack: Piece of cold chicken from the fridge and a Larabar. I needed to get some damned food into me before we went to Costco. Costco on an empty stomach = bad.

Dinner: Shrimp, mango, avocado and salsa. Yummy.

A Very Paleo Easter!

I hosted Easter dinner this year. Good Friday dinner, to be precise. Just a small gathering of DH, Mom, Kiddo, MIL, FIL and SIL. And yours truly, bien sur. My mom was visiting for the weekend so I took advantage of the free labour and we put our heads together and came up with a delicious menu! I tried to make it as paleo-friendly as possible, but did throw in a few non-compliant things for the guests.

  • Prime Rib with caramelized onion and red wine pan sauce
  • Sausage, fig and cranberry stuffed turkey breast roll. Heavily modified from a Barefoot Contessa recipe (used fresh cranberries, 1 cup-ish of coconut flour and almond meal instead of stuffing mix, and no brandy). This was DIVINE. I can not wait to make it again! I had extra stuffing leftover so I made a meatloaf out of it for the freezer
  • Honey roasted butternut squash (I buy it pre-chopped at Costco. It’s wonderful. No nasty icky film on your hands!). I think I added thyme. Or something.
  • Roasted broccoli (added chopped broccoli and plenty of salt and pepper)
  • Roasted root vegetable strudel (“A light butter baked pastry filled with caramelized onion and roasted winter vegetables”… Yeah, this was a locally pre-made meal I had in my freezer. I have a pipe dream of making my own business with this concept!)
  • Apple turnovers with puff pastry and whipped cream. No pics of this. We were too busy stuffing our faces with deliciousness…

Behold the somewhat paleo friendly Easter dinner in all its glory (and for the observant among you, yes, I did serve meat on Good Friday. Two types, even! Cause I’m like that…)