Gyro Tzatziki Salad (Whole 30 Compliant)

Gyro Tzatziki Salad

I can’t remember where I found the recipe that gave me the idea for this.  I think it might have been the book Primal Cravings, but don’t quote me on that.  I made a few changes to it, just to closer suit my taste preferences.  It ended up being tasty!  If you like gyros and you like salad, you’ll like this.  The guacamole has a different texture than traditional guacamole because of the addition of cucumber…but personally, I still enjoyed it.

A note on greens: you should choose your favorite greens for this.  The original recipe called for chopped romaine.  I don’t usually have romaine around (unless it’s for something specific), I used whatever we had around, which I believe was a blend of spinach, arugula, and some herbs.  The slightly more bitter greens really complemented the meat.  Next time, I might toss some feta on top of everything, but it was yummy even without it.

Gyro Tzatziki Salad

Serves 4

For the meat

1 pound ground lamb

1 pound ground beef

1 large onion, chopped

5 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp dried dill

2 tsp ground coriander

juice of 1 lemon

salt and pepper

For the guacamole

2 avocados

1/2 cucumber, shredded

2 Tbsp fresh mint

2 Tbsp fresh dill

juice of 1 lemon

salt

 

MEAT

1.- In large skillet, brown lamb and beef over medium-high heat.  When halfway cooked, add onions and garlic.  Cook until onion is soft.  Add oregano, thyme, dill, coriander, and lemon juice.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.  Cook 5-6 minutes (until juices reduce by about 50% and spices are well-combined).

2.- Chop greens and serve with gyro meat, topped with guacamole.

GUACAMOLE

1.- Shred cucumber and press with towels.  Squeeze all the moisture you can from the cucumber (this will reduce the texture difference).

2.- In blender or food processor, mix avocados, drained cucumber, mint, dill, lemon juice, and salt until smooth.  Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.

 

Teriyaki Beef Stir Fry (Whole 30 Compliant)

Beef Teriyaki

I’m down to the slim pickings of my meat.  I need to place an order with our farmer soon so I can get some more stuff in!  Although I’m excited for something up on this week’s menu (possibly tomorrow): Gyro Taco Salad with Tzatziki Guacamole (I can’t remember where I got that recipe, but it must have sounded really good because I actually wrote the whole thing down).  Most of the time when I see a recipe that looks interesting, I don’t really write it down (unless it looks REALLY good).  I’ll write down the basic flavor profile and then take it home to figure out how I can make something with those flavors.  It usually turns out pretty well; however, occasionally it bombs.  We usually go out to eat on those nights.

Today I just threw something together with what I had.  I had some beef kabob meat, some pineapple, and I scored some great looking zucchini at the farmer’s market this morning…so, voila!  Teriyaki stir fry!

Teriyaki Beef Stir Fry (Whole 30)

Serves 2-4

1 pound beef kabob meat

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp ginger, minced

1 tsp toasted sesame oil

1/3 C coconut aminos

1/4 C fresh-squeezed orange juice (this was one large orange for me)

1/4 C water

2 Tbsp raw honey

1 zucchini, roughly chopped

1 C chopped pineapple

1/4 C green onion, thinly sliced

 

1.- In a small bowl, whisk garlic, ginger, sesame oil, coconut aminos, orange juice, water, and honey.  Put beef in resealable plastic bag and pour sauce in.  Seal bag and flip it around to coat the meat.

2.- Place in refrigerator, turning occasionally, and marinate for at least 8 hours.

3.- Heat large skillet over medium-high heat.  When hot, cook meat until desired doneness is reached (or slightly under, you’ll be putting it back in the pan for a minute or two at the end).  Put meat in bowl and set aside.

4.- Turn heat down to medium and add zucchini.  Saute until soft, but not mushy.  Add pineapple and cook just 30 second to a minute to give it some color.  Add the beef back into the pan and toss everything to combine.  Serve immediately, topped with sliced green onions.

 

Grilled Leg of Lamb Steak (Whole 30 Compliant) and Parsnip Carrot Puree (Primal)

Grilled Leg of Lamb Steak

 

We are finally about to go grocery shopping!  I’m feeling a bit better–but more importantly, the only vegetables we have left are one carrot, 2 onions, a bag of frozen spinach, and an acorn squash.  We have a bunch of soup bones left and a few cuts of meat, but I need some greens!  The lamb we had tonight is Whole 30 compliant; however, the puree is not.  If you want to make the puree and are on a Whole 30, replace the cream with coconut milk.  You’ll need to tinker with the amount of seasonings a bit, just to make sure it doesn’t get *too* terribly sweet, but it will work!

I’ll just go straight to the recipe now so I can finish up quickly and start making our grocery list for this week!

Grilled Leg of Lamb Steak

Serves 2-4

1 pound leg of lamb steak

1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

2 Tbsp mustard

2 large garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp rosemary, coarsely ground (or 1 Tbsp fresh, chopped)

1/2 tsp thyme (or 2 tsp fresh)

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

 

1.- In a small bowl, whisk olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard (I used Dijon), minced garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper.

2.- Pat lamb steak dry with paper towel and place in a resealable plastic bag.  Pour marinade in bag with the lamb, press most of the air out of the bag, seal it, and rub the marinade onto both sides of the steak.  Place in refrigerator for at least eight hours and up to 24.

3.- Heat cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.  When pan is hot (and starting to smoke and look ashy), add lamb steak.  Grill for 3-4 minutes on each side, until internal temp reaches 145.  Slice or cut in large pieces to serve.

 

Parsnip and Carrot Puree

3/4 pound parsnips, peeled and sliced

1/4 pound carrots, peeled and sliced

3 cloves garlic, peeled and gently smashed

3/4 C heavy cream

1/4 C broth

1 bay leaf

1 tsp thyme

4 Tbsp Kerrygold

salt and pepper to taste

 

1.- Place carrots, parsnips, and garlic in a saucepan.  Salt liberally.  Add liquid, bay leaf, and thyme.  Cover with lid and cook on medium until carrots and parsnips are soft enough to easily pierce with a fork or paring knife.

2.- Remove bay leaf.  Put butter in blender.  Cover butter with carrots, parsnips, and garlic.  Puree until smooth, adding in a little of the liquid at a time, until the puree is silky smooth.  Taste and adjust salt and pepper to liking.

 

Seasoned Goat Burgers (Primal)

Goat Burger

You read correctly…  GOAT BURGERS!  Don’t pay attention to the steamed broccoli I paired with these (though it was tasty).  We just got back from vacation a couple days ago, I’ve been sick, and we haven’t gone grocery shopping yet.  I would probably do these next time wrapped in butter lettuce with some salsa or guacamole, but you can do whatever you want!

I have this fantastic ground goat from our favorite farmer that I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with.  How good is the goat?  Well, JR didn’t even know it was goat until I told him.  Good goat should be…well, it tastes like goat.  It’s a relatively mild, quite delicate flavor.  It doesn’t taste like chicken, pork, lamb, or beef.  It tastes like goat.  I’ve had goat before that was pretty gamey and honestly tasted like some sort of super gamey lamb.  But this…this is another story altogether.  A word of warning: goat fat solidifies at a pretty warm temp, so if you cook these on the stove, pour the fat off the pan immediately after pulling the burgers out.  That is, if you want to clean the pan within the week.

Seasoned Goat Burgers

Serves 4

1 pound ground goat

1 small onion, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium carrot, grated

1/2 C shredded white cheese (I used a mixture of sharp cheddar and Havarti, both from the Amish village near here)

1 tsp lemon juice

2 tsp Sriracha

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp paprika

salt and pepper to taste

1-2 tsp bacon fat

 

1.- Mix everything except the bacon fat in a large bowl.  Use hands to combine well, working all vegetables and spices into the meat.  Form into four or five burger patties.

2.- Melt bacon fat in a large skillet over medium-high heat (you could also do these on a grill over medium-high heat if wanted).  When hot, add burgers and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side (ground goat should reach an internal temperature of 160).

A Primal Vacation

Okay…I managed to go on a 10-day vacation and stay compliant.  Yes, even in drive-thrus (that part involves a lot of boring, naked, grilled chicken and salad without dressing or fruit…but it can be done).  I didn’t take pictures of the fast food meals though.  They were too boring.  I took pictures of the food that I got at regular restaurants.

A caveat: if you are strictly Whole 30 or strictly Paleo, eating out will be harder.  Not impossible…but definitely harder than someone on a Primal diet.  So keep that in mind.

Texas Roadhouse

This was a meal from Texas Roadhouse (in Plano, TX).  It’s their 6 oz (I think it was 6) steak, medium rare, with steamed vegetables and a baked sweet potato.  I even managed to sit there in front of a basket of their rolls and homemade cinnamon butter without caving!

Pressroom

Breakfast at The Pressroom in Bentonville, AR.  Basically, deconstructed breakfast tacos.  Scrambled eggs, salsa, cilantro, sliced avocado, and a bowl of chorizo (I normally don’t like chorizo; however, this was delicious).  Breakfast seems to be the easiest meal to find while at a restaurant.  Every place that serves breakfast has eggs, meat, and vegetables.  Done.

Taziki

A lamb salad plate from Taziki’s in Bentonville, AR.  The lamb on this salad was DELICIOUS.  The nuts were a great addition, as was the feta.  Even if I weren’t eating a primal diet, I would eat this salad for every meal of every day.

El Charro

A Mexican salad from El Charro’s in Joplin, MO.  I have been to this restaurant probably 500 times between when I was 12 and now.  I have only ever gotten one thing here: the chimichanga.  It is a delicious deep-fried, tortilla-wrapped, meaty piece of goodness, covered in a white cheese sauce and served with beans and rice.  This is the first time I got anything else.  It was really good!

Applebees

This is one of the sizzling Bourbon Street something-or-others from Applebees in KC, MO.  It was decent.  It wasn’t the most delicious thing I’ve ever eaten, but it got the job done.  Protein + fat + veg = a happy person.

Tassos

Finally, the Gyro Salad from Tasso’s in KC, MO.  I usually get the gyros here (we visit Tasso’s every time we visit KC…but it’s because of the belly dancer, not because of the food), but the salad was actually quite good.  It definitely made for a very happy tummy (more happy than when I used to have the regular gyros).

So that’s my 10 days in a very small nutshell.  We didn’t eat every meal out, so these pictures are most of the restaurant meals that I had.  We just got home tonight, and I’m super excited to get back to cooking at home.  This week has a lineup of things like goat, lamb, and beef!  Can’t wait!