I’ve been cooking up a storm in the kitchen the past week. We just hosted our Secret Supper this past weekend and it was absolutely amazing, I had fermented a beet sauerkraut for it and also whipped up 7 squash pies, I did burn my arm kinda badly trying to get one of the pies out of the oven but I feel like it’s just a battle scar from actually successfully making 7 delicious pies in a row. Woohoo! Between prepping for the supper and developing recipes for the cookbook, I’ve been a bit frazzled to say the least. My kitchen looks like a tornado blew through it at the end of each day and I’ve fallen *so behind* on replying to emails, so if you’ve reached out and I haven’t replied yet I am really sorry and will definitely get back to you once I catch up on life in general which somehow always takes more time during the holiday season! I wanted to give you guys a peak at my experience with Blue Apron and how cooking with a company like them can be such a helpful tool when feeling so busy.
The holidays are an especially hectic time of year for me with all the cooking promotion stuff, and I know it’s the same situation with everyone else. Between work, attending and hosting holiday gatherings, Christmas shopping, and keeping up with the everyday household stuff, life can get pretty crazy and it can be hard to find time to do menu planning for the week and go grocery shopping. There’s so much rich food around this time of year, too, that it can be easy to slip into a less than healthy routine of cookies and pies and the like (I am especially guilty of this when it comes to fudge). If you want to cook yourself and your family a wholesome dinner but are stressing out about finding the time to do it, I highly recommend giving Blue Apron a try. They ship all the ingredients to you, source them from farms and small growers as much as possible, and give you the exact right portions of ingredients to make the recipes included in the box, so you don’t end up with a bunch of leftover cilantro that will just end up going bad in your refrigerator and being wasted. You can also send them back the packaging so that it can be reused, too! I’ve used Blue Apron a few times before during especially hectic work schedules and the food has always been awesome and has taken under 50 minutes from start to finish. And they’re offering you guys either $30 off your Blue Apron order or 3 free meals, yay!!! I also have a recipe of theirs in this post so you can give it a test run if you’d like 🙂 These skewers came out awesome and I’ve been craving them ever since. Maybe it’s because I’m Greek, but there’s something about the combination of seasoned meats dipped in thick lemony yogurt that makes me very, very happy.
Spiced Beef Skewers with Roasted Squash and Garlic Rice
- 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
- 1 small butternut squash
- 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup brown rice
- 10 ounces ground beef
- 3 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
- 2 teaspoons ras el hanout seasoning
- 1 1/2 tablespoons golden raisins
- 4 wooden skewers
- 1/4 cup creme fraîche or labneh cheese
Creme Fraîche/Labneh Cheese Topping
Combine creme fraîche or labneh cheese with the juice of half a lemon, salt and pepper and set to the side.
Preheat the oven to 450°F
While the oven is preheating, we can start with the rice. Add one teaspoon of olive oil to a small pot over medium-high heat until the olive oil it hot. Then, add a clove of garlic (minced) and salt and pepper. Stir frequently as to not burn the garlic. When the garlic starts to turn golden brown, add your 1/2 cup of brown rice to the pot as well as 1 cup of water and a pinch of salt. Turn the heat to high to get the rice boiling. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and cover it with a lid for 40-45 minutes. Once rice is finished, fluff with a fork.
As the rice cooks, cut off the ends of the squash and cut (in rounds) the squash about 1/2 inch thick. De-seed and de-pulp those pieces that have them. Place the rounds of squash on a sheet pan and coat them with olive oil on both sides and season with salt and pepper. Put them in the oven roasting them on each side for 15 minutes (30 total) or until golden brown.
Top the squash rounds with the juice from half a lemon, 1 full lemon zest and a drizzle of olive oil.
Spiced Beef Skewers
Combine ground beef, bread crumbs, raisins, remaining minced garlic, ras el hanout seasoning, salt and pepper. Mix together using hands. Then when ingredients seem evenly mixed, make 4 i-inch thick oval patties with the meat. Then, insert skewers lengthwise.
To cook, place and heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium-high in a non-stick pan. When the pan is hot add the skewers to the pan (being careful that the sticks don't fall out). Cook the beef for 4 minutes on each side or to desired personal preference and remove them from heat.
Plate rice, squash and beef skewers together using the creme fraîche/labneh cheese topping on the plate as a dipping sauce