Bacon-Wrapped Spinach and Pancetta Stuffed Portobello Caps (Keto and Primal)

Bacon-Wrapped Creamy Spinach and Pancetta Stuffed Portobellos

I love portobello mushrooms.  Like, when I was younger and used to hang out at the sheet music store pretty much every day (don’t judge–I’m a nerd), I would order a portobello burger from the restaurant next door pretty much every day.  They’re perfect.  They’re even more perfect when they’re stuffed with delicious creamy things.  But what would make it even better?  Wrapping it in bacon, duh.

These were something that I just sort of conceptualized this past weekend while I was sitting at the San Antonio Stars game with my son and a friend.  Magically, they were PERFECT on the first try.  Do you know how often that happens?  I can count on one hand the amount of times that has happened and not needed any tweaking.  Side bar: they are perfect as is; however, I really want to try these next time with pine nuts.

Bacon-Wrapped Spinach and Pancetta Stuffed Portobello Caps

Makes 4 caps

Nutrition per cap: Calories (165), Total Fat (12.3 g), Saturated Fat (4.7 g), Cholesterol (24.6 mg), Sodium (420.3 mg), Total Carbs (3.6 g), Fiber (1.2 g), Sugars (0.7 g), Net Carbs (2.4 g), Protein (8.5 g)

4 portobello caps

5 oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained

2 Tbsp cream cheese, room temp

1 Tbsp sour cream

1/4 C grated Parmesan

1 oz pancetta

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 C chopped pecans, walnuts, or pine nuts

Salt and pepper, to taste

8 pieces of bacon

Olive oil

1.- Clean out portobello caps (scrape out gills and cut out stem) and brush them lightly with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt on both sides.  Place on foil-lined baking sheet and broil for 5 minutes on each side.

2.- Drain and squeeze spinach to remove excess water.  Lightly saute chopped pancetta over medium heat until heated through.  In medium bowl, mix cream cheese and sour cream until smooth.  Stir in spinach, pancetta, garlic, Parmesan, nuts, salt, and pepper.  Spoon about 1/4 C into each portobello cap.

3.- Place two bacon slices side-by-side on a cutting board or piece of plastic film.  Set the cap down and pull the bacon edges over, wrapping the cap.  Wrap each cap individually in plastic film and place on plate.  When all caps are wrapped and on the plate, chill for at least an hour.

4.- Heat oven to 400.  Place caps on foil-lined baking sheet.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, until bacon is starting to crisp around the edges.

 

 

Lamb Kafta and Tzatziki (Keto and Primal–the Meatballs are Whole30 Compliant)

Lamb Kafta Meatballs

You all know how much I love Middle Eastern food.  There is no other set of flavors in the world that come close to competing.  The only thing about that is…Middle Eastern cuisine can be heavy on the bread.  I mean, many of the countries don’t even use utensils.  They just use pita.  And really, who wouldn’t rather use bread as a utensil?

I messed around with a few of my kafta recipes and found a good mixture of them that doesn’t use bread crumbs, nuts. or any other starch as filler, and they turned out perfectly!  They were so perfectly tender, juicy, and delicious!  The most important part is to use a food processor of some sort when making the meat mixture.  That way, everything was mixed (and further minced) really well.  The tzatziki lends itself well to the meatballs, as well as the lamb shawarma I made tonight (recipe to follow soon).  I might even eat it like yogurt–it has just under 1 g carbs per tablespoon (it’s about 0.7 g per tablespoon), but it’s not something you’ll eat huge quantities of.  Raw garlic can get spicy!

You can likely make these with any meat mince, but traditionally, they would be lamb.  Unless you REALLY don’t like lamb, try it out before you change up the meat.  It’s to die for!

Lamb Kafta

18 servings (1 meatball per serving)

Nutrition per serving: Calories (50), Fat (3.1 g), Saturated Fat (1.1 g), Cholesterol (15.7 mg), Sodium (15), Carbs (0.1 g), Protein (5.1 g)

1# ground lamb

1 Tbsp chopped mint

1 Tbsp chopped cilantro

2 Tbsp fresh thyme

2 cloves minced garlic

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp allspice

1/4 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp curry powder

1/4 tsp ground pepper

1.- Heat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Finely chop mint, cilantro, and time.

2.- In the bowl of a food processor, break up the ground lamb into a few chunks.  Add spices, chopped herbs, and garlic.  Pulse for a minute or two until the meat is well-mixed and becoming smooth.

3.- Roll into 15-20 meatballs (I made 18, so the nutrition is based on 18 meatballs) and place on baking sheet.  Cook in oven for 18-20 minutes.  Serve with tzatziki.

Tzatziki

Makes about 3 C.  Serving size is 1 Tbsp.

Nutrition: Calories (20), Fat (1.6 g), Saturated Fat (0.5 g), Cholesterol (1.6 mg), Sodium (3.4 mg), Total Carbs (0.7 g), Sugar (0.5 g), Protein (0.9 g)

16 oz full-fat Greek yogurt (2 C)

2 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and diced (set back 1/2 cucumber’s worth of fine dice in a bowl and save)

1 tsp basil

1 tsp tarragon

2 tsp chopped mint

2 tsp chopped dill

5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1/4 C extra virgin olive oil

juice of 1 lemon

salt and pepper to taste

1.- Put everything except the reserved cucumber mince in a food processor or blender.  Pulse until mixed well.

2.- Pour into bowl, stir in reserved cucumber, and season with salt and pepper to taste.  I added about a tsp of Lebanese seven-spice as well, but that’s just a personal preference.

3.- Chill at least 30 minutes before serving.  This goes well with pretty much every meat on the planet.

 

 

Artichoke Dip Chicken (Keto and Primal)

Keto Artichoke Chicken

One of my favorite things in the world is artichoke dip…but a specific artichoke dip from a local place here called Cerroni’s Purple Garlic.  I don’t know what it is about it (though I think they may have recently changed their recipe), but it has this great flavor, texture, and the way they serve it is great!  First, it is generally still bubbling when they bring it out.  Like…for 10 minutes after it gets to your table.  They serve it with a basket of toasted bread.  It’s all I want to eat when we go there.  If I could, I would make it my entire meal.  Alas, I found out they use flour in it, so I can’t even get it and eat it without the bread (yes, it’s good enough to just eat with a spoon).  At one point a few weeks ago, I started trying to replicate it, and though I’ve gotten close, I’m not a dead ringer yet.  That being said, artichoke dip with fried chicken is DELIGHTFUL.

There are two ways that I cook this, and I’ll let you decide which way you make it: chicken on top, or chicken on bottom.  If you cook the chicken on top, the skin retains that great crisp that you work hard to get in the pan, prior to baking.  BUT…if you pile the artichoke dip on top of the chicken, it really keeps the chicken moist and the flavor soaks in.  It’s good both ways, so try it both ways and see how you like it.  This is also one of those meals that usually holds me over for 15-20 hours before I eat again, depending on what I ate prior to this.

Artichoke Dip Chicken

Serves 4

4 chicken thighs (bone-in, skin-on)

1/2 C sour cream

1/2 C mayonnaise (homemade is the best)

8 oz soft cream cheese

1 C grated Parmesan

2 cloves garlic, minced

8 oz can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

1.- Heat iron skillet to medium.  Salt and pepper the skin of the chicken.  Put chicken in the pan and fry it for 10-15 minutes per side (until they are almost cooked through and the skin is crisp).

2.- In medium bowl, use mixer to mix sour cream, mayonnaise, cream cheese, garlic, and Parmesan until smooth.  Add in salt and pepper to taste.  Fold in the artichoke hearts.

3.- Heat oven to 350.  If cooking chicken on bottom, place chicken in the bottom of am 8×8 glass baking dish.  Cover with artichoke dip.  If cooking chicken on top, spread the artichoke dip on bottom of 8×8 glass baking dish and place the chicken on top.  I grated a little Parmesan over the chicken skin at this point.

4.- Put dish in oven, uncovered, and bake for 30-40 minutes (until dip is starting to bubble).  Take out and enjoy!

Nutrition (per serving):  Calories: 596; Carbs: 12 g; Fiber: 3 g; Net Carbs: 9 g; Fat: 48 g; Protein: 32 g; Sugar: 4 g

 

Keto Chicken and Waffles

IMG_9328

…Because sometimes you need some comfort food…especially when you haven’t had bread in over a month.  Am I right?  These waffles are a recipe I made out of a few different recipes.  I didn’t want to use 400 types of paleo flours.  I didn’t want it to be high-carb, but I DID want it to be high fiber.  I wanted it to be similar to regular waffles, but not *so* identical that I would start trolling for syrup.

And fried chicken.  Everything is made better with fried chicken.  For the love of all things holy, use the dark meat cuts too!  I know too many people who only eat the white meat.  I’ll break it down for you: white meat is only protein (and a little fat, but mostly protein).  Dark meat has protein, fat, and a whole lineup of vitamins!  It’s important to get vitamins when partaking in a keto diet, especially if you aren’t getting your daily allotment of carbs from berries and vegetables.

So go drag out these ingredients and get out the waffle maker!  (Tip: use a high heat setting on your waffle iron…I used “medium” and as you can see, they are blonde.  They are only browned in the center, where the iron really hit the batter)

Side bar: These are most definitely kid-friendly.  I’m pretty sure Isak ate a stack of these (okay, three) in a few seconds, then started picking pieces off my plate to eat.

Waffles

Makes 10 small waffles

8 eggs

1/4 C butter melted + 1 Tbsp cold butter, divided

1/2 C canned coconut milk

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 C sifted coconut flour

Heaping 1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp pink Himalayan sea salt

  • If you want to make these more dessert waffles, add any mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, orange peel, lemon zest, or poppy seeds.
  • I suspect you could bake this in a muffin pan and use it like a base for strawberry shortcake, but I haven’t tried it yet.  I’m planning on doing that this weekend

1.- Whisk eggs 3-4 minutes, until bubbly and starting to pale in color.  Whisk in the butter at a slow drizzle.  Add vanilla and coconut milk and whisk until well-combined.

2.- In small bowl, mix sifted coconut flour, baking soda, and salt until combined.  Slowly whisk dry ingredients into the egg mixture until starting to thicken.  Let it rest about 10-15 minutes, so the coconut flour can absorb more liquid.  It will get thicker.  If it gets too thick (like, if you let it sit for an hour), add a little more coconut milk.

3.- Cook according to the directions on your waffle iron.

 

For this particular recipe, I fried chicken thighs and set one thigh on top of two waffles.  I sprinkled the skin on the thighs with salt and pepper, and friend them for about 10-12 minutes on each side in a seasoned cast iron skillet.

 

Nutritional Content per Waffle: Calories (96), Total Fat (7g), Saturated Fat (3.3g), Cholesterol (155.7 mg), Sodium (58 mg), Total Carbs (3.4g), Fiber (2.4g), Net Carbs (1g), Sugars (0.8g), Protein (6.3g)

 

Seriously Amazing Pizza (Primal and Keto)

Keto Pizza

Okay, even though pizza is not my favorite food (I’m blaming my mom–she ate pizza all the time when she was pregnant with me), I still occasionally miss it.  Plus, I can put anything on a pizza and Isak will suck it down.  Spinach, liver, tin cans, whatever.  But now that we’ve gone beyond a basic primal diet and moved into a fully keto diet (we are both now fully fat adapted–woohoo!), pizza is pretty much off the table.

That is, until I found a recipe for this crust.  You know how any sort of gluten-free pizza crust is basically just full of sadness and despair?  Am I the only one who thinks that?  They typically use rice flour, which is just gross, and nowhere near the consistency of real flour.  They always just…fall apart.  I’m not going to lie: this is not the same consistency of a regular filled-with-delicious-gluten crust.  It is, however, practically the consistency of a thin crust, AND you can hold it just like a slice of pizza.  It doesn’t turn into pizza-flavored baby food (that’s a conversation I had at Isak’s dance school today about trying multiple types of cauliflower crust).

So what’s it made out of?  Cheese.  Yep, the base of it is cheese.  I got this from EAT FAT LOSE FAT and played around with it until I found a flavor that I liked.  Side bar: If you just make the crust of the pizza, you can cut it into rectangles with a pizza wheel and make lovely bread sticks.  Game changer.

Seriously Amazing Pizza (Primal and Keto)

Serves 2-3

6 oz shredded mozzarella (you can also mix in cheddar)

2 T full-fat cream cheese (for those of you who aren’t doing keto, the full-fat part is important)

4 Tbsp grated Parmesan (Fresh grated–come on, people.  We aren’t animals)

1/3 C + 1T cashew (or almond) flour

2 Tbsp psyllium husk powder (you can get this in most “health food” stores, and some regular grocery stores–this gives it the texture of bread)

1 egg

1 Tbsp Italian seasoning

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1.- Heat oven to 450 (the original says to heat to “broil.”  Our broiler isn’t super reliable, so 450 is fine).  Put the shredded mozz into a medium bowl and heat in microwave until melted, but not browned.  This took me about three or four 30-second zaps.  It will be like cheese-flavored Gak when you get done.

2.- Let it cool for a minute or two and then dump everything else in the bowl.  Sprinkle the psyllium evenly or it gets clumpy.  Put on your gloves (you guys all have cooking gloves, right?) and start doing your Mixing Dough dance.  You don’t have one?  Maybe that’s just me.  Weird.  It will be super mushy and sticky.

3.- Get out your silpat (or greased parchment paper, whatever) and flatten it with your hands until it’s the size you want.  It’ll make a 10-12″ round.  Don’t make it so thin that there are holes.

4.- Cook in the oven for about 5-10 minutes.  You want it to be browned.  Take it out, flip the crust over, and cook another 5 minutes.  Take it out and put on your toppings.  I used about 2 Tbsp of plain tomato sauce, more mozz, pepperoni, mushrooms, basil, and oregano.  Put whatever you want.  Cook it another 5-10 minutes.  Let it cool about 5-ish minutes before cutting it.

Seriously, you will not regret making this pizza.  Go buy the stuff now.

 

BLT and then Some (Primal and Keto)

BLT

On Saturday, it will be eight months since I quit smoking.  In those eight months, my food choices went to hell and I gained almost 30 pounds.  The obvious fix to that is to hit another few months of strict primal, right?  Well this time, I’m also integrating a close-to-keto component.  Technically, keto is considered, what, under 20 grams of net carbs per day?  My carbs have been in the 20-35 range most days…so I’m close, but not in it to the letter.  Anyway, it’s hard, but I’ve lost almost 20 pounds in not-quite three weeks.

I felt like a BLT today.  I’m not big on sandwiches, but I love BLTs and club sandwiches.  Obviously bread is out (even most of the paleo versions of “bread”), so I chose to put everything in a romaine heart boat.  Really, the possibilities are limitless, but today it was all about the BLT.  For reference: to make this Whole30 compliant, eliminate the cheese.

BLT and then Some (Primal and Keto)

Serves 2-3

1 romaine heart, washed and leaves separated

1 pound of bacon

2 roma tomatoes

1 avocado, sliced

Extra sharp white cheddar, cut in small chunks

 

1.- Cook the bacon to your liking.

2.- Layer everything in the lettuce.

3.- Stuff your face.

Squashy Enchiladas (Primal)

Enchilada Bowl

I love enchiladas.  Technically, my favorite enchiladas to get are just plain cheese enchiladas.  I kinda hate the ones with meat in them.  One of my best friends and I used to go down to Little Mexico in Kansas City and eat at this place called EL PUEBLITO.  I have ONLY ever ordered one thing there.  I tend to do that with Mexican restaurants.  I find one thing and never order anything else.  At El Pueblito, I would order Enchiladas Mexicanas con Queso.  Never anything else.  My friend would occasionally mix it up and get flautas, but I never strayed.  The thing that made it AMAZING was their sauce, the chihuahua cheese, and the heaps of queso fresco on top.  It was like crack.  Oh, and did I tell you that seemed to have never-ending hours?  I can’t tell you how many times we went there in the middle of the night.

Anyway, I haven’t had many enchiladas lately because since I’ve gone away from corn, if I try to add it in occasionally, it usually makes my stomach hurt for a few hours after I eat.  This seems to happen more with corn starch than with whole corn, but it’s still not comfortable.  Anyway, I saw one of those videos that was showing you how to make fake “enchiladas,” but in a bowl of spaghetti squash (full disclaimer: this was the first time I tried spaghetti squash–it is delicious, but unlike some people tell you, it is NOT a substitute for spaghetti noodles unless you have never tried spaghetti).  I tweaked the recipe a bit and made it primal…but this is what I came up with.  It’s not a complete replacement for El Pueblito (but that does not matter, because I am living in San Antonio now…so when we go back to KC, I just suck it up and eat the corn tortillas), but the flavor profile is ALL THERE!

Squashy Enchiladas

Serves 2-4

1 spaghetti squash

2 tsp olive oil

Salt, to taste

1+ C enchilada sauce (In small saucepan, add a little olive oil and saute 2 minced garlic cloves for a few seconds.  Add 2 Tbsp chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, 1 1/3 C tomato sauce, 1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder, 1/2 tsp cumin, 3/4 C chicken broth, and salt and pepper.  Simmer 10-ish minutes and set aside until needed)

1 C whatever Mexican cheese blend you want to use (I used a mixture of chihuahua, jack, and cheddar)

Queso Fresco, chopped scallions, olives, avocado, chopped peppers, chopped cilantro, and whatever other toppings you want to put on top

1.- Oven to 400.  Put spaghetti squash on paper towel in microwave and heat for two minutes to soften.  Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and soft part in the middle.  Brush all of the exposed fleshy area (not the outer rind–just the inner part you’ll eat) with olive oil.  Liberally salt.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the squash halves upside down on the pan.  That is, so the fleshy part you’ll eat is facing DOWN.  Bake about 45 minutes.

2.- Let it cool a bit (maybe 5-10 minutes) and then use a fork to flake the squash.  It’ll come away from the sides, easily flaking into strands that look like pasta.  Put about 1/2-3/4 of a cup of enchilada sauce into each bowl, on top of the flaked squash.  Cover with your cheese blend and put them back in the oven for another 15 or so minutes.  When it comes out, top with scallions, cilantro, LOTS of queso fresco, and any other toppings that sound good.  Serve immediately and take pictures of your sauce-covered drunken-on-enchilada-goodness face.  Yep, they’re that good.

 

Roasted Chicken Shawarma with Potatoes, Red Onions, and Garlic Dill Yogurt (Primal)

Roasted Chicken Shawarma

I’ve been meaning to make chicken shawarma for about a week now, but I kept forgetting to put the chicken in the marinade before leaving for the day!  I guess it was okay though–my chicken thighs were so frozen that they took until yesterday to thaw,  I finally remembered to make the marinade this morning and set it up.  Shawarma has one of my favorite flavors–lots of spices, all of which are pretty bold.  Then I decided to set up the potatoes and red onions with Lebanese seven spice.  Totally worth the one-week wait.

When I made THIS last week, I made it with a garlic lemon yogurt sauce.  Today I took the leftovers of that sauce, added a ton of fresh dill, and poured it over top of this chicken.  If you wanted to have this more traditionally, you’d cut it up and serve it over pita with tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions.  Or, just eat it as is.  Yumm-o!

Roasted Chicken Shawarma with Potatoes, Red Onions, and Garlic Dill Yogurt

Serves 4

1/3 C fresh lemon juice (2-3 lemons)

1/3 C olive oil

8 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp salt

2 tsp pepper

2 tsp cumin

2 tsp paprika

1 tsp turmeric

1/4 tsp cinnamon

2 pounds chicken thighs

1 red onion, peeled and cut into large wedges

1.5 pounds yukon gold potatoes, cut in about a 1/2-1″ dice

1 tsp seven spice

For yogurt:

1/2 C plain, full-fat yogurt

zest and juice of one lemon

2 garlic cloves, finely minced

1/4 C fresh dill, chopped

 

1.- In small bowl, whisk lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, turmeric, and cinnamon.  Place chicken in a large resealable bag, pour marinade over, seal, and chill at least 3 hours–up to 12 hours.

2.- Heat oven to 425.  Lightly grease a small baking dish.  Layer potatoes and onions.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and seven spice.  Remove chicken from bag and place directly on top of potato mixture, skin-side up.  Roast 40-50 minutes.  Let rest a couple  minutes.  If you want a crispier skin, pan-fry for a minute or so after removed from oven.  If not, this is optional.

3.- For yogurt: in small bowl, whisk together yogurt, lemon juice and zest, garlic, and dill.  Season as needed with salt and pepper.

Roasted Chicken with Potatoes, Arugula, and Garlic Yogurt (Primal)

FullSizeRender (1)

This is DELICIOUS.

I don’t think I really need to type anything else, but I will.  I originally found this recipe on the NY Times food site, but I changed it to suit our taste preferences and make it primal.  This is seriously so flavorful.  It’s not following my Lebanese pattern, but I’ll make an exception for this.

Really.  That’s all I’m going to write today.

Roasted Chicken with Potatoes, Arugula, and Garlic Yogurt (Primal)

Serves 4

4 chicken thighs (bone-in, skin-on)

1.5 pounds potatoes, cut in 1/2″ slices, and then quartered

salt and pepper

1/4 C hot sauce (I use Frank’s Red Hot)

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp coriander

2 leeks (just white and light green), halved and sliced

zest and juice of one lemon (divided)

1/2 C plain, full-fat yogurt

2 garlic cloves, grated or run through a press

2-4 oz baby arugula

chopped dill

 

1.- Put potatoes in bottom of large baking dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  In a small bowl, whisk hot sauce, olive oil, cumin, and coriander.  Drizzle a couple tablespoons over the potatoes.

2.- Lay chicken, skin-side up on top of the potatoes.  Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.  Pour a tablespoon or two of hot sauce mixture over each piece of chicken.  If there’s any sauce left, drizzle some more over the potatoes.  Let set for at least 30 minutes (if setting for longer than 45 minutes, place the baking dish in the refrigerator–can stay at this point for up to 8 hours).

3.- Preheat oven to 425.  Roast chicken and potatoes for 20-25 minutes.  In small bowl, mix leeks, lemon zest, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Scatter over chicken and potatoes and roast for another 30 minutes.

4.- In small bowl, whisk yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

5.- To serve: on plate, layer potatoes, a handful of baby arugula, a piece of chicken with leek mixture, a spoonful of garlic yogurt, and sprinkle with chopped dill.

 

Kibbeh (Borderline Paleo)

Kibbeh 2

This is basically  the official food of Lebanon.  There are two main forms of kibbeh: the most popular is cooked flat in a pan and cut into diamonds to serve.  These football shapes are the other, but they are typically deep-fried.  I don’t have a fry-daddy or any type of deep-fryer, so I hate deep frying.  Because of that, I basically bake most things that are typically deep fried.

Anyway, the reason I say these are “borderline” paleo or primal is the burghul.  Burghul is dried cracked wheat, in case you didn’t know.  Typically that would be off limits; however, according to MARK SISSON, if you’re going to occasionally have grains, a less-processed, soaked or sprouted grain would be the best option.  So…do with that what you will.  The burghul is soaked for 30 minutes to an hour, so I consider this to be a decent option for when you just need some kibbeh!  And trust me, once you have good kibbeh, you’ll occasionally just crave it.

Finally, I will be TERRIBLE at explaining how to make these torpedo/football shaped kibbeh, so I’ll just let this video show you how! 

Kibbeh (Borderline Paleo/Primal)

Serves 6-10, depending on the size

2 pounds ground beef/lamb/or mixture of both–if you do all lamb, it’ll be pretty gamey

1 1/3 C burghul (also called bulgur)

1 1/2 tsp salt, divided

1 1/2 tsp pepper, divided

1 1/2-2 tsp allspice

1/2 tsp cumin (or 1 tsp 7-spice)

2 onions, finely diced

1/2 C pine nuts

olive oil

Kibbeh 5

1.- In medium bowl, soak burghul for 30-60 minutes in approximately 1/3-1/2 C cold water.  Fluff it with a fork like couscous to spread the water around.  You don’t want it floating, but just enough to expand the wheat groat.  If it needs draining at the end of the 30-60 minutes, press it on cheesecloth over a fine mesh sieve.  Place in medium bowl and mix with 1 pound of meat, 1 onion, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper.  You can either work this really well with your hands, or process it in a food processor.  You’re going for a dough that looks mostly like this (this actually could have been mixed better):

Kibbeh 4

Set aside.

2.- Preheat oven to 425.  In large skillet, saute 1 onion in olive oil.  Add pine nuts and toss a few seconds.  Add 1 pound of meat, all spice, salt, pepper, and cumin (or 7 spice).  Brown and remove from skillet.

3.- Form shell with burghul mixture, press a hole, add a spoonful of filling, close shell, and smooth with cold water on hands.  Place on parchment-lined baking sheet and brush both sides of kibbeh with olive oil.  Bake for 15-30 minutes, depending on size.  You want them to be a deep golden brown.