May 2012 archive

Lebanese Lamb Loaf

I will never, ever, ever, EVER post a meatloaf recipe on this blog.  NEVER.  For one, it’s not exactly a complicated recipe and I sincerely doubt I’m cheating anyone out of a good meal.  Google it, you’ll be OK.  For another, my very dear husband has refined his mother’s recipe into such Foodgasmic Meatloaf Perfection that I have absolutely zero desire to make anything else.  And zero desire to share it with the general public.  Sorry, guys.

However!!!  This isn’t your typical meatloaf–it’s a LambLoaf.  With all kinds of fun stuff baked in to give it a distinct and exotic flavor…and a sweet carmelized glaze on top…**SWOON**

Way too exotic for Sunday Supper.  In fact, I made it on a Thursday.  Booyah.

This recipe was actually the result of a few botched attempts at making kibbeh, believe it or not…I mean, kibbeh are just mini stuffed meatloaves and I pretty much said f*ck it and made a big one.  Sometimes, you just need a big block of meat.  Whatever, I was tired.


2 lbs Ground Lamb

1 lb Ground Beef

1/2 c Pine Nuts

1/2 c Dates

1 Sweet Onion, diced

3 Eggs

1 t Cinnamon

1 t Cumin

1 t Allspice

Salt and Pepper to taste


In a food processor, pulse the pine nuts until you’ve got a coarse meal–don’t make them too fine, though, because you want a nice textural diversity in the finished product.  Do the same with the dates so that they are finely diced.

In a large bowl, combine the lamb, beef, onion, eggs, dates, pine nuts, and seasonings.  Press into a large, well greased loaf pan.  (You can also form into a loaf in a large baking dish or pan).

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour, 15 minutes or until cooked through.

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Sweet Potato Hummus

This weekend has been unbelievably lonely.  And not only is work going to suck extra hard after a long weekend but the Hubs left yesterday morning to spend the summer in Boston.  Yeah, I cried like a baaaaaaaby.  And ate a LOTTTTTTT of bacon brownies.  If you haven’t made these yet I’m really, really upset with you.

So I’m starting a 21 Day Sugar Detox this week.  I know, I know…after my little fiasco with my New Years Whole30, I’m skeptical, too.  Cut me some slack, OK??  There’s a lot to be said for cutting the crap and resetting your system from time to time, especially if your husband is out of town all summer and you’ve got no one to cook for but yourself.  Except I guess that means I need to kill the rest of this hummus, like, today…

There have been a few variations of this stuff floating around on Pinterest lately–God, I love Pinterest–but they’re all raw and vegan and full of weird sh*t like liquid smoke and stevia and don’t let you bake the sweet potatoes.  I don’t do raw potatoes.  You might as well eat sand.  Nosirrrreeeee, Bob….not gonna happen.


1 Large Sweet Potato

Juice of 1 Lemon

1/4 c Tahini

2 Cloves Garlic

Salt and Pepper to taste


Bake and peel your sweet potato.  You want this sucker to be SOFT–I baked mine in foil at 425 for 90 minutes.  Once it’s done baking, allow to cool slightly and the skin should slide right off.

Toss in a food processor with the remaining ingredients.  Pulse until very smooth.

Serve with veggies, on salad, with these chips, or just spoon into your face.

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Ginger-Lemon Sweet Potato Salad

Soooooo yay for long weekends!  Long weekends mean I actually get to sleep.  And socialize.  I’m such a hermit…that’s what you get when you work 14 hour days.  Except that my hours here are SO much better than in Texas and I live 10 minutes from work instead of 60.  So I guess I’m just a loser.  OH!  Double yay for Ross being home for a few days before heading up to Boston for the summer…no big plans but there will definitely be good food and outdoors time for all.

To kick off the official beginning of summer I wanted to offer up some picnic food.  Seriously, my neighborhood smells like barbeque and charcoal and smoke.  It’s driving me crazy it’s so good.  But I really don’t need to talk about burgers and brats and steaks because everyone does those and cooking out is like, the single most Paleo-friendly social event ever.  But sides…what to do about the sides…I’ve literally been to outdoor parties where all I could eat was meat.  And maybe some crudités.  Which is fine but sometimes you need a little color on your plate so I’ve been working on some good picnic food this week, whether you need something to bring to a potluck or just to have on hand for a summery meal.

I threw together a big batch of this potato salad earlier this week to have as a convenient side and found that it packs up nicely to bring out for a picnic or cookout.  Besides being visually appealing—summer colors!—it’s a fresh and light tasting staple for any Paleo picnic plate.


5 Large Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cubed

1/4 c Olive Oil

3 Cloves Garlic, minced

Juice of 3 Lemons

1 t Salt

1 t Fresh Ginger

1/4 t Chinese Five Spice

1 T Coconut Aminos

Chopped Fresh Parsley

1/3 c Pine Nuts


Place the cubed sweet potatoes in a pot of cold water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat slightly and simmer for 10 minutes until potatoes are tender but not mushy.  Drain and cool.

Meanwhile, combine oil, lemon juice, seasonings and coconut aminos in a bowl and whisk until combined.  Pour over cooled potatoes and stir to combine.  Garnish with fresh parsley and pine nuts.

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Triple Fudge Bacon Brownies

Did I get your attention?

Yes, there is TRIPLE fudge. Not single fudge. Not double fudge. And yes, there is BACON.

You see, it’s been too long since I had a good dessert in the house…well, other than plain old dark chocolate. Seriously, is there anything more dangerous than Enjoy Life Chocolate Chunks? OK, these brownies might just be it…but at least they take a little bit of effort to make so they feel a little more “special” than shoving chocolate chunks in face while I’m watching Fashion Police.

I seriously love Joan Rivers. And Kelly Osbourne. I want them to be my Mom and Big Sister…then maybe I could leave the house once in a while without looking like a total disaster. Maybe once I’d leave the house in something other than yoga pants. The last time I attempted to dress up was at my own wedding, which even I will admit is a very inappropriate scenario for yoga pants.

Anyway, the brownies. Don’t get all freaked by the bacon part. It’s highly necessary. It provides not only a nice textural contrast–you get a nice little crunch in the midst of ooey-gooey brownie-ness–but a nice bite of salt to go with the rich sweetness. If you’re really going to get your panties in a knot over it, leave out the bacon but know that I’ll be highly disappointed in you. And yes, I eat my brownies with a fork. Don’t judge.

And trust me, these babies are RICH. They aren’t the least bit cake-y (I mean, aren’t cake-y brownies just chocolate cake??) but just be aware that they’ll still be really gooey when they’re done baking. They need to be COOLED COMPLETELY before serving. OK? Or you can do what I did and just dig into hot gooey chocolate-y goodness. It’s just not nearly as pretty and will inevitably end up all over your face. But I’m OK with that.


1 c Coconut Butter

1/2 c Full Fat Canned Coconut Milk (the light stuff will not work)

2 Eggs, beaten

1 T Vanilla

4 oz Baking Chocolate, melted in 1 T Coconut Oil

1/3 c Raw Honey

1/4 c Cocoa Powder

1/2 t Salt

1 T Arrowroot Powder

2 c Chocolate Chips (yes, I said TWO cups)

3 Thick Slices Bacon


Fry bacon until very crisp (but not burned) and let cool and drain on paper towels. Chop into very small bits and set aside.

Beat the coconut butter, eggs, coconut milk, vanilla, melted chocolate, honey, cocoa, salt, and arrowroot powder with an electric mixer.

(I used my brand-spanking new stand mixer. Thanks, Karin!!).

Stir in the bacon bits and chocolate chips. Pour into a greased 8 x 8 inch pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Remember, they will still be gooey after baking thanks to the massive amount of melted chocolate in them. Cool completely before cutting into squares and serving.


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Lithuanian Kraut

Fermented food is really good for you.  No one is denying it.  But let’s be honest, plain old sauerkraut can get real old, real quick.  Thanks to my Baltic heritage, though, I grew up loving the stuff because we figured out a long time ago how to make it awesome.  I mean…my Mom’s kraut has BACON in it for goodness sake.  If you can’t choke down a bottle of kombucha on a daily basis, this is a great way to get your prebiotics, probiotics, and everything in between.

This is a great side for any meal of the day…I even like it with eggs in the morning!  The apple takes some of the bite out of it and I’m convinced that even people who can’t stand the uber-vinegary flavor would like this version.  And yes, if you’re not in the mood to go crazy with the stuff, it goes great with brats…who doesn’t love brats with sauerkraut?


1 Jar Sauerkraut (28 oz)

2 Granny Smith Apples, chopped

6 Slices Bacon, fried crisp and diced

2 t Fennel Seed

1 t Black Pepper


Combine all ingredients in a suacepan over medium-low heat.  Allow to simmer for at least 3 hours before serving.  More time is better!  This stuff keeps incredibly well and is even good cold.

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