Tag Archives: beef

Beef Kebabs and Quinoa Tabbouleh

15 Nov

I found a great recipe to use with my grass-fed ground beef and found it on the Wholefoods site of all places.  It’s listed as “Grass-Fed Ground Beef Kebabs” but from reading the comments below, it’s pretty much Beef Kofta, a Middle Eastern meatball – mixture of ground beef and/or lamb with spices and onions – skewered and grilled. So there are other variations, but I stuck with this particular recipe.

For the life of me I cannot cut an onion without tearing up! And in this particular recipe I had to shred it! Goodness, my eyes were so blurred I had to move away from the kitchen not only once but about 3 times! Is there a method to cutting onion without crying?

The rest of the preparation for this recipe was not at all hard to do. The only thing different from the recipe directions was that I put it in the oven versus grilling them. I don’t own a grill so it’s a bit difficult to do without. I do however have an oven with a broil setting.


1 1/3 pounds ground grass-fed beef
1/4 cup grated white onion
3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon fine kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil


In a large bowl, mix the ingredients together, except the olive oil. Use your hands for mixing. Form the beef mixture into 8 oblong patties and thread 2 per skewer. Note: Make sure the beef has come to room temperature before broiling them. Lightly brush the patties with oil and place on top of a wire wrack on a baking pan lined with foil. The pan should be about 6 inches away from the top burner. Let brown for 3 minute then turn them around and broil for another 3 minutes.

I also tinkered with the associated recipe on the Wholefoods website for gluten-free Tabbouleh using quinoa. I used all the ingredients mentioned in this recipe except I handled the preparation a little differently. I blame it on my husband who said that to make good tabbouleh is to chop up all the ingredients to itty-bitty pieces. It’s a lot of work but is only the best way to make it, I say just put it in the food processor and chop-chop…. but alas I chopped everything up by hand (with some assistance from dear husband).

By the way, prepare the quinoa ahead of time to allow for it too cool or reach room temperature. Also, the recipe calls for 1 cup quinoa, that should be cooked quinoa. I prepared 1 cup of uncooked quinoa, I thought it looked like a lot. It’s also probably why my husband, my expert on tabbouleh, mentioned that our dish looked like it didn’t have enough parsley.


1 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
3 green onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup of tomato with seeds removed and finely chopped
1 cucumber, peeled and finely chopped
Juice of 1 to 2 lemons, more to taste
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper and crushed red pepper to taste


Combine all ingredients together in a large serving bowl. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, black pepper, red pepper and lemon juice. Serve room temperature or chilled.

I thought the meal was amazing as did my husband. Mantou was a huge fan of the beef kebabs but not so much for the quinoa. I think it was too flavorful for him and his little tastebuds couldn’t handle it. My husband said we should introduce all kinds of flavors to Mantou now. I think we might as well starve him, Mantou knows what he likes and doesn’t like.

Happy Cows Live in California

15 Nov

Yes, we did it, bought ourselves a quarter cow. Actually since it was our first time doing so, we decided to find 3 other families and split the 1/4 cow so that means my family only gets 1/16th of a cow. With technicality aside, and finally getting the cow from the butcher and putting those cuts into our freezer, we could actually probably fit 1/8th of a cow in our freezer. Good to know!

So we bought our beef from Chileno Valley Ranch in Petaluma, California. The cows are grass-fed (no corn or grain) without antibiotics or hormones. The process was pretty easy, we just filled out a form online and communicated mostly via email. We ordered it early October and we picked it up from a butcher this past weekend. (Redduck drove about 1.5 hours to the butcher to pick it up. He decided it would have been more worth the trip if he had planned a pit stop at one of the breweries out there.)

One thing I’m not sure about is how the flavor will be since I’m so used to getting commercial beef. I’ve read some people say that the beef is tougher since there is less fat. Oh, will have to experiment with that. If anyone knows how “different” to cook grass-fed beef, please let me know!

Just Throw It In

11 Sep

Crock-potting is so easy, why hadn’t I gotten into this before? It frees up a lot of cooking time and lets me spend time with the family. My husband tries his best to make my life easier so I can spend more time with him and Mantou when he comes home from work, rather than finding me in the kitchen. For this particular recipe he even had all the ingredients set out for me with the measuring cups and instructions before he left for work. This recipe is called “Slow Cooked Szechuan Beef, Scallop, and Peppers” and I have no idea how my husband happened to find this recipe. I just remember the post-it notes and gathering of ingredients on the counter.

A 1/4 measuring cup was bunched with a gathered pile:
  • stalks of green onion
  • bottle of Tamari wheat-free soy sauce
  • a carrot (next to a grater)
  • an unopened can of water chestnuts (with the can opener next to it)

“Slice” written on a post-it note with one arrow pointing down to the pile of produce:

  • a red bell pepper
  • a green bell pepper
  • an onion
And one arrow pointing up to the mushrooms
A  measuring cup for 1 cup sat on top of a frozen bag of home-made chicken broth defrosting on a plate
A teaspoon lay next to the white pepper and salt

Lastly a post-it note on the crock pot itself – “Don’t forget the beef and fish in the fridge”

I should have taken a picture of the setup because it just made me laugh out loud when I saw it all arranged in the kitchen like this. But it did save time near dinner time, all I had to prepare was a couple cups of steamed white rice. In the end it was a decent meal but probably not one we will repeat again. How can I explain the reason why… well it was a dish I would find myself eating using Uncle Ben’s instant rice. Does that explain it without getting myself in trouble?