Cooking: The beauty in your day or the bane of your existence? Recipe One...

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Mmmmmmm.... food is interpreted in so many different ways by us humans. 
It's really sort of phenomenal.

Somehow we have all developed our own senses of what is "good" or "bad" and "too spicy" or "too bitter"... 
We pair food and alcohol together as if the fate of our species depends on it.
We feel the need to defend our preferences as if they effect anyone else (to be clear, they don't. What you order at dinner will not have an impact on what I order at dinner... unless of course we're being tacky and splitting plates)
The pressure to indulge in-- and LOVE the first time you ever try-- the new trends in the craft beer world, the dessert on a stick world (etc.) is insane.
The discovery and enjoyment of cheese varieties is a more than a side hobby for some people (cough.. me.. cough)

The list could go on.... 
But here's my point. 

There is all this truly amazing food out in the world for us to taste, debate over, drink through, and to take the time to share each others' company while enjoying.

As I continue to share my life with you through this blog, you will find that cooking plays a huge role in my life. I cook to stay sane, to provide us with healthy nutrition to fuel our bodies... but most of all I cook because it is a beautiful experience.
Sometimes it's ugly and you nearly catch the kitchen on fire, sometimes it's mediocre and you feel that your energy was completely wasted... but sometimes, when you least expect it, you blow yourself out of the water. Every once in a while you sit down to a meal that you have no high hopes for because every other recipe this week has failed you, but when you take that first bite it is almost an out-of-body experience because you feel such an overwhelming sense of happiness.
THAT, THAT RIGHT THERE... that is why I love to cook. That simple overpowering joy. 
A lot of times it's just "okay"... but for those times when you really hit it out of the park, it is so beautiful. That meal can take you away from anything and everything that came at you during the day. It's amazing. 

The fact that we have the ability to appreciate flavors in ways that can change our moods and our attitudes about life is so incredible... I love to eat really good food. So, as a result, I had to learn how to make really good food.

Cooking doesn't have to be hard, or elaborate, or have one million ingredients to be good or to bring you joy.
And meals don't need to be fried, covered in sauce, smothered in bacon, or stuffed with artificial crap to taste good. 
The simpler, the better in my book. 

I hope that I can help you learn to appreciate the process of creating a home cooked meal if you don't already.
For those of you who love to be in the kitchen, I hope to offer up some new ideas!

Let's get cookin!

Lamb Lovin'
Serves 2
prep time: 10 minutes
cook time: 10 minutes

greek dinner lamb garlic clean eating tomatoes pita healthy fitness meals meal prep
So simple, so good!

3/4 lb lamb loin chops
2 lemons; halved and then sliced
1 red onion, cut into 1 inch chunks
4 cloves garlic, sliced lengthwise (2-3 times depending on size)
cherry tomatoes (10-20)
dried oregano
dried parsley
kosher salt (or you can use some other kind, but this is my favorite)
whole grain pita bread
Tzatziki (Trader Joe's makes a excellent version)

greek dinner lamb garlic clean eating tomatoes pita healthy fitness meals meal prep
Easy ingredients that everyone can keep in their house!

1. Remove the bone from the chops... slice in delicate swipes-- don't carve at it. The meat will come off the bone pretty easily. Cut the lamb into about 1.5 inch cubes (doesn't need to be precise)
2. Use your dominant hand to hold the spices and your other hand to rub the meat (no need to get raw meat all over both of your hands)... sprinkle with kosher salt, massage into the meat. Sprinkle with oregano, rub into the meat. Sprinkle with parsley... you got it... rub into the meat.
3. String the lamb, sliced garlic, sliced lemon, cherry tomatoes, and sliced onion onto a metal skewer. Make sure to have garlic or onion on either side of the lamb so that the flavors can mooosh together :) 
**I like to let the meat sit at room temperature for a while at this point (I will usually leave it for 30 minutes to an hour... sometimes more if I get distracted) but that way the flavors of the herbs can work their way into the meat a little :)
4. Turn grill on med/high and let it warm up for 5 minutes. Grill skewers on one side for 3 minutes, turn over and grill for another 2 minutes. Move them to the top rack and toss pita on grill for 1 minute, flip if desired. 
5. Remove everything from the skewers and serve it up!

Enjoy with lightly dressed salad, half a pita with some hummus, and a tablespoon of tzatziki for dipping the lamb! 

nom nom nom! 
Happy Eating!

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