Sheikh El Mahshi


This is one of many lebanese dishes that I can hardly pronounce, yet it remains my favorite.  I learned the basics from my family, but have taken time to perfect my technique.  First it didn’t have enough spice, then it wasn’t quite beefy enough, but this recipe is hands down the best.  I made this last night, and I already can’t wait to make it again.  Don’t you love recipes like that?

Food 209

Sheikh El Mahshi
1/2 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 medium eggplant, peeled and cubed
2 tsp allspice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 lb ground beef
2 tbs tomato paste
1/4 c parsley and more for garnish
2 c beef broth
1 beef bouillon cube
rice for serving

In a large pot heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion, garlic, eggplant, and spices; cook for 5 minutes.  Add ground beef, cook until browned.  Mix in tomato paste, parsley, beef broth and beef bouillon cube.  Bring mixture to a simmer and cook uncovered for 1 hour, until liquids have reduced and flavor is concentrated.  Remove from heat, add additionally parsley for garnish and serve over rice.


Balsamic BBQ Meatballs


I recently made a homemade batch of bbq sauce and realized how much better it is than anything you can buy in stores.  So naturally I’ve added it to a lot of things like BBQ Turkey Meatloaf.  Meatballs are great, but like anything else that you eat a lot you have to find different ways to make them, so why not add some bbq sauce?  It was probably the best decision I made this week; do the same and I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Food 118

Balsamic BBQ Meatballs (makes 15-17 meatballs)

For the Meatballs:
1.25 lb ground beef
1 egg
1/2 c warm water
2/3 c italian seasoned panko bread crumbs (or 3/4 c cooked quinoa if gluten-free)
3 sprigs of thyme
salt and pepper

For the Balsamic BBQ Sauce:
1/2 c onion
1 garlic clove, minced
2 c ketchup
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
1 tbs worcestershire sauce (make sure label says gluten-free)
2 tbs molasses
2 tbs brown sugar
1/2 c balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large saute pan heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onions and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the rest of the ingredients for the balsamic bbq sauce and bring to a simmer.  Let sauce reduce for 20 minutes.

Dump all ingredient for the meatballs into a bowl and fold together with your hands until just combined.  Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. form meat into 1.5 inch balls (should make between 15 and 17). Bake for 20 minutes, then place meatballs in simmering balsamic bbq sauce and cook for another 10 minutes.

Asian Noodle Stir Fry


Sometimes the best take out is from your own kitchen. You can control the quality of ingredients, the salt content, and make other changes for your own personal preferences.  Once you have chopped all of your veggies and protein, a stir fry comes together in 10 minutes, much less than the average delivery.

Food 088

Asian Noodle Stir Fry
1 lb rice noodles
1 shallot, minced
1 fresno chili, ribbed and seeded, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 c baby bella mushrooms, chopped
1/4 c soy sauce
1 tbs asian chili paste
1 tsp honey
1 lb ground beef
1 tsp chinese 5 spice blend
1/2 c fresh mint, chopped
1/2 c fresh basil, chopped

Place rice noodles in a large bowl and cover with hot water, let sit while you chop the veggies.  In a large saute pan heat canola oil over medium high heat.  Add shallot, fresno chili, garlic and ginger and cook until aromatic.  Add bell pepper and mushrooms, cook for 1 minute.  Add soy sauce, asian chili paste, and honey.  Bring mixture to a lower simmer and cook for 3 minutes.  Add ground beef and chinese 5 spice blend, stir frequently until meat is cooked through and vegetables are tender.  Turn heat to low and add rice noodles along with 1/2 c of the water from the bowl.  Stir to combine until noodles have soaked up the sauce.  Turn off heat and sprinkle with mint and basil.