This was a delicious combination of foods that I put together relatively quickly and distractedly on a weekend with Dan and the kiddos…which means I have no idea how much of anything I used. But that’s kind of how I always cook. It’s a bit of a stretch for me to actually measure out ingredients and write them down so that I can create a blog post; but measuring and writing down recipes is a good practice for me and it does help with being able to reproduce meals that we really like. Plus, when I measure out food I get a better carb count for Dan (who has type 1 diabetes). I need to remind myself to slow down and do that.
So here’s a “recipe” that reflects my style of cooking. I’ll often start with a recipe and then just do my own thing. Preparing food in this way can be liberating, but it may also be really scary for people who are new to cooking or apprehensive about experimenting in the kitchen and for those who feel that they need to know the exact calories, carbs, fat, etc in the food that they eat.
If you feel most comfortable precisely following a recipe, then this will be a good challenge for you. See how it feels to intuitively put a meal together. You may be surprised by the tasty sense of accomplishment that you feel.
This meal started with a recipe from Sunset Magazine for Shawarma Lamb with Couscous Salad.
Quinoa-Millet Pilaf with Tomato and Cucumber Salad, Yogurt and Cumin Lamb
I started by getting out a large saute pan and heating a tablespoon or two of organic olive oil over medium high heat.
While the oil was getting warm, I started to chop the veggies for the pilaf. I diced 2 zucchinis, a few organic bell peppers (a few from the garden and one from the store), and chopped 1/2 bunch organic parsley, 1/4 onion and a few cloves garlic, adding each one to the pan when I was done chopping and stirred it all around every once in while.
While the veggies were cooking I got out some cooked quinoa and millet that was in the freezer to defrost in the microwave. If you don’t have some already cooked, you’d want to start by cooking the grain that you are using on a back burner while you are prepping everything else. Use any whole grain or grain combination that you want, brown rice or buckwheat groats would be good too. Lentils or garbanzo beans would also be tasty. When my quinoa-millet was defrosted, I added it to the pan of veggies so that it was roughly 50/50 veggies and grain. Then I mixed it all up and seasoned with cumin, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
For the lamb, start by thinly slicing an onion. In a second saute pan, cook the onion in a bit of olive oil over medium heat until translucent and slightly browned. While the onion cooks, thinly slice a grass-fed lamb steak. If you don’t eat lamb, use grass-fed beef or organic chicken. I suppose you could use cubed extra-firm organic tofu as well. Add your protein to the pan with the onion.
While the lamb and onions cook, make the tomato-cucumber salad. This is a salad that my parents have made for as long as I can remember. Dice a few organic tomatoes, a cucumber and an organic bell pepper. Bell pepper is optional and you could also add chopped organic romaine hearts and/or mint. I had intended on using mint from the garden but things were getting quite hectic in our house and I didn’t make it out there to get it. Season with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Serve it up with plain organic yogurt.
And whew! Dinner was on the table pulling little miss Sara out of her hunger-tantrum.
Gluten-free, modifiable to vegetarian or vegan if tofu is used