Grilled lamb kebabs with haloumi and apricots

Grilled lamb kebabs with haloumi and apricots | Me & The Moose. Shake up your grill routine with chunks of fatty, savory lamb; melty, salty haloumi cheese; and tart, sweet apricots. #meandthemoose #grilling #lamb #kebabs #haloumi #dinnerrecipes #kebabrecipes #mediterraneandiet #pesto

Shake up your grilling routines with these savory, herby, sweet, and fatty lamb, haloumi, and apricot kebabs that hit all the right notes— fast.

Take me to the recipe!

Grilled lamb kebabs with haloumi and apricots | Me & The Moose. Shake up your grill routine with chunks of fatty, savory lamb; melty, salty haloumi cheese; and tart, sweet apricots. #meandthemoose #grilling #lamb #kebabs #haloumi #dinnerrecipes #kebabrecipes #mediterraneandiet #pesto
Grilled lamb kebabs with haloumi and apricots | Me & The Moose. Shake up your grill routine with chunks of fatty, savory lamb; melty, salty haloumi cheese; and tart, sweet apricots. #meandthemoose #grilling #lamb #kebabs #haloumi #dinnerrecipes #kebabrecipes #mediterraneandiet #pesto


What is a kebab? Sometimes it’s cubes of meat and/or vegetables on a stick (think shish kebab). Other times, a kebab is a mountain of meat cooked on a rotating stick and then shaved off and served (think doner kebab, shawarma, or al pastor). And, confusingly, sometimes what is considered “kebab” is meat cooked and served nowhere near a stick.

For our purposes, we’re sticking close to a shish kebab.

But here’s what I don’t like about this method: Not all ingredients cook at the same rate. Why should I have to choose between undercooked meat/crispy vegetables and cooked meat/disintegrating vegetables? I say, we don’t have to.

My solution is to cook the meat on a skewer, cook the cheese and apricots directly on the grill, and then skewer them all for serving. Good, right? RIGHT! I mean, it’s not perfect. Some of the meat cooks faster because the cubes aren’t exactly the same size. And it’s important to leave a little bit of space between the cubes so that the heat gets all around. But you control the doneness far more when the kebab elements are cooked individually.

A note about haloumi: If you’ve never had this squeeky, salty cheese, please rectify this immediately. This cheese adds so much flavor and seasoning to any dish. But when it’s cold, it makes a squeeking noise when it’s chewed, which can throw off anyone with any sort of sensory issues around food. Eating it hot off of the grill or pan makes it more gooey than squeeky, which is why the cheese cooks longer than the meat in this dish.

A note on the kid-appeal of these kebabs: It’s fun to eat things off of a skewer! This dish also has plenty of salty and sweet elements with the grilled cheese and fruit, which is also appealing to kids. But for some reason, mine wouldn’t touch this. I found it too delicious not to post, so this may be one of the grownups and not the kids. But who knows? Next month, M might gobble these up. Who can say?

Grilled lamb kebabs with haloumi and apricots | Me & The Moose. Shake up your grill routine with chunks of fatty, savory lamb; melty, salty haloumi cheese; and tart, sweet apricots. #meandthemoose #grilling #lamb #kebabs #haloumi #dinnerrecipes #kebabrecipes #mediterraneandiet #pesto
Grilled lamb kebabs with haloumi and apricots | Me & The Moose. Shake up your grill routine with chunks of fatty, savory lamb; melty, salty haloumi cheese; and tart, sweet apricots. #meandthemoose #grilling #lamb #kebabs #haloumi #dinnerrecipes #kebabrecipes #mediterraneandiet #pesto

Grilled lamb, haloumi, and apricot skewers

Total time ime: 30 minutes (all active- 15 minutes of prep and 15 of cooking)
Yield: 4-5 skewers

1 lb lamb stew meat cubes
1 Tbsp olive oil
½ Tbsp red wine vinegar
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
2 large garlic cloves, minced
4-5 medium apricots, ripe, but not falling apart, quartered
8 oz haloumi cheese, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices

Heat your grill to low.

Place the lamb cubes in a large bowl. Top with the olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, and garlic and mix up. Let sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Cut the haloumi into 6-8, 1/4-inch slices. Halve the apricots.

Make the sauce. (See directions below.)

Skewer 5-6 lamb cubes onto sticks. Try to keep like-sized pieces together.

Bring all of your ingredients out to the grill and cook with the following timing:

  • Cook the haloumi for 2 minutes.

  • Add the lamb skewers and cook everything for 3-4 minutes.

  • Flip both the haloumi and the lamb.

  • Add the apricots, cut side down and cook everything (fruit, cheese, and meat) for 3-4 minutes.

  • Check the lamb. If it has reached an internal temperature of 145 and you don’t see any obvious rare spots, take the skewers off. If they need more time, keep them on the grill while you continue cooking the fruit and cheese.

  • Flip the apricots. Continue cooking the fruit and cheese for 2-3 more minutes.

Your aim is for medium rare meat, cheese with dark brown grill marks and that is a little gooey all over, but staying together in one piece, and apricots that are deep orange and softer, but not falling apart. If any of the elements seem to be cooking too fast, take them off!

Serve immediately.

Herby sauce
1/4 cup toasted cashews/walnuts/pistachios
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil 
10 fresh mint leaves (fairly large) 
2-3 Tbsp fresh oregano leaves 
5 Tbsp oil 
1 Tbsp lemon juice 
1/2 tsp salt 

Toast the cashews in a large skillet over a medium flame, OR in a 350 degree oven, for about 5 minutes until the nuts are lightly brown and smell aromatic.

Add the nuts and the rest of the ingredients to a food processor or blender and blend until well mixed.

Taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed.

Rainbow Chard Galette

Rainbow Chard Galette | Me & The Moose. This galette is a super-easy show stopper for Easter and beyond! we ate it for dinner last night and the preschooler didn’t bat an eye at the heaps of greens. #meandthemoose #rainbowchard #sidedishes #vegetarian #vegetarianrecipes #rainbowchardrecipes #farmersmarketrecipes #easterrecipes #easterbrunchrecipes #easterdinnerrecipes

This Rainbow Chard Galette is so good (I mean, there’s cheese and puff pastry, what’s not to love) and a serious show stopper for your Easter feast (or any day, really).

Take me to the recipe!

OVENS, amiright? It recently occurred to me that the real secret to successful baking is knowing your oven well. I mean, measuring and experience and bringing things to room temperature and patience are also important, but seriously, if you know that your oven runs hot or cool or that it has uneven spots, you can really up your baking game.

As you can tell, I’m still adjusting to our oven even though we’ve lived in our current house for almost two years.

Luckily, I’ve found that store-bought puff pastry is fairly forgiving. As long as your filling isn’t too wet and the oven is at least 400 degrees, you’re pretty safe.

Which makes this easy galette a reliable option for your holiday table.

Rainbow Chard Galette | Me & The Moose. This galette is a super-easy show stopper for Easter and beyond! we ate it for dinner last night and the preschooler didn’t bat an eye at the heaps of greens. #meandthemoose #rainbowchard #sidedishes #vegetarian #vegetarianrecipes #rainbowchardrecipes #farmersmarketrecipes #easterrecipes #easterbrunchrecipes #easterdinnerrecipes
Rainbow Chard Galette | Me & The Moose. This galette is a super-easy show stopper for Easter and beyond! we ate it for dinner last night and the preschooler didn’t bat an eye at the heaps of greens. #meandthemoose #rainbowchard #sidedishes #vegetarian #vegetarianrecipes #rainbowchardrecipes #farmersmarketrecipes #easterrecipes #easterbrunchrecipes #easterdinnerrecipes

A couple of notes:

  • I like to rip the greens off of the stems and then arrange the stems in a way that flexes my OCD muscles. HOWEVER, you can opt to chop everything together to save time and that’s perfectly acceptable.

  • Roasting garlic makes the flavor mellow and mild, which I like here because it lets the chard sing. But if you like a stronger garlic flavor, chop the cloves and saute them with the spring onions and greens instead of roasting. Or you can do half and half.

  • This galette really needs salt. I salt at the beginning and end of wilting the greens and then finish with some more salt. I like salt. If you don’t, I urge you to salt at the beginning and end of wilting (and taste test to make sure it’s not too much) and then skip the final salting rather than waiting to add salt at the end.

Rainbow Chard Galette | Me & The Moose. This galette is a super-easy show stopper for Easter and beyond! we ate it for dinner last night and the preschooler didn’t bat an eye at the heaps of greens. #meandthemoose #rainbowchard #sidedishes #vegetarian #vegetarianrecipes #rainbowchardrecipes #farmersmarketrecipes #easterrecipes #easterbrunchrecipes #easterdinnerrecipes
Rainbow Chard Galette | Me & The Moose. This galette is a super-easy show stopper for Easter and beyond! we ate it for dinner last night and the preschooler didn’t bat an eye at the heaps of greens. #meandthemoose #rainbowchard #sidedishes #vegetarian #vegetarianrecipes #rainbowchardrecipes #farmersmarketrecipes #easterrecipes #easterbrunchrecipes #easterdinnerrecipes
Rainbow Chard Galette | Me & The Moose. This galette is a super-easy show stopper for Easter and beyond! we ate it for dinner last night and the preschooler didn’t bat an eye at the heaps of greens. #meandthemoose #rainbowchard #sidedishes #vegetarian #vegetarianrecipes #rainbowchardrecipes #farmersmarketrecipes #easterrecipes #easterbrunchrecipes #easterdinnerrecipes

Rainbow chard galette


Time: 50-60 minutes (about 30 minutes active time, depending on how intense you get about arranging the chard stems)
Yield: 9 medium pieces

 

4 large garlic cloves
2 Tbsp olive oil + more for roasting the garlic (about ½ cup)
2 large spring onions (white/purple and green parts), chopped (about 1 heaping cup) sub scallions if necessary
10 cups chard leaves, measured after chopping, lightly packed (about 2 medium bundles)
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp kosher salt (a few big pinches)
A few cracks of black pepper
1 cup ricotta
3/4 cup nutty cheese like gruyere or aged Gouda, shredded
1 puff pastry sheet
1 Tbsp roasted garlic oil (from earlier roasted garlic)
1 egg, whisked

Preheat oven to 425.

Smash four garlic cloves (no need to remove the skin) and place in an oven-safe ramekin. Add enough olive oil to cover the garlic. Cook in the oven for 6-8 minutes, or until you start to smell garlic and the cloves are fork tender.

Meanwhile, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a very large skillet. Add the spring onions and sauté until translucent and fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Add the greens and a large pinch of salt. Cook until wilted, about 8-10 minutes.

Add the balsamic vinegar, another large pinch of salt, and a few cracks of fresh black pepper and stir a few times.

Once wilted, place the onions and greens into a large bowl. Add the cheeses and roasted garlic. Mix well.

On a floured surface, roll out the puff pastry dough to a thickness of 1/8th to 1/16th of an inch (about 1/3 bigger than original packaging). Move the dough to your sheet pan.

Spread the greens and cheese on the puff pastry, leaving a 1-inch frame. Fold the bare edges over onto the greens and cheese mixture.  

Arrange the chard stems in your desired pattern.

Brush the chard stems with 1 Tbsp roasted garlic oil.

Brush the lightly beaten egg over the visible parts of the pastry crust.

Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the bottom and the edges are golden brown.

Rainbow Chard Galette | Me & The Moose. This galette is a super-easy show stopper for Easter and beyond! we ate it for dinner last night and the preschooler didn’t bat an eye at the heaps of greens. #meandthemoose #rainbowchard #sidedishes #vegetarian #vegetarianrecipes #rainbowchardrecipes #farmersmarketrecipes #easterrecipes #easterbrunchrecipes #easterdinnerrecipes
Rainbow Chard Galette | Me & The Moose. This galette is a super-easy show stopper for Easter and beyond! we ate it for dinner last night and the preschooler didn’t bat an eye at the heaps of greens. #meandthemoose #rainbowchard #sidedishes #vegetarian #vegetarianrecipes #rainbowchardrecipes #farmersmarketrecipes #easterrecipes #easterbrunchrecipes #easterdinnerrecipes

Spinach and kale tots

Spinach and kale tots | Me & The Moose. These “tots” are filled with super greens and come together quickly for an easy side, lunchbox filler, or snack. #meandthemoose #homemadetots #tots #totsrecipe #lunchboxrecipes #veggiesnacks #kidfoodrecipes #kale #spinach #kidseatgreens

One reliable way I could get some greens into M was to present things as a “tot.” He really loved the Spinach and Kale Bites from Trader Joe’s, but our store has been out of them for weeks. So here is my copycat version.

Take me to the tots (recipe)!

Spinach and kale tots | Me & The Moose. These “tots” are filled with super greens and come together quickly for an easy side, lunchbox filler, or snack. #meandthemoose #homemadetots #tots #totsrecipe #lunchboxrecipes #veggiesnacks #kidfoodrecipes #kale #spinach #kidseatgreens

Note my use of the past tense up there.

M is still in his picky phase that I’ve mentioned before. He’s off of hummus, but full steam ahead with smoothies. One day he loves yogurt and the next he won’t touch it. Some days, carrots are a safe food and other days broccoli is his only vegetable. One day he’ll ask for a bowl of peas (straight up with nothing on them) and another day he’s picking them out of his mac and cheese. It’s maddening.

However, food refusal is a normal part of eating for kids. It’s hard to learn how to eat! Their taste buds are changing, their caloric needs swing wildly from day to day, and part of a preschooler’s job is to push against boundaries, so if there are rules around food in your house, they’ll try to break them. It’s how kids operate.

Spinach and kale tots | Me & The Moose. These “tots” are filled with super greens and come together quickly for an easy side, lunchbox filler, or snack. #meandthemoose #homemadetots #tots #totsrecipe #lunchboxrecipes #veggiesnacks #kidfoodrecipes #kale #spinach #kidseatgreens

One of my big things is making the same food for the whole family, so the good news here is that I really like these tots and they’re packed with veggies, so they make a good snack for the grownups as well.

Make these tots! One day my kid will eat them, I’m sure. And until then, I’ll eat them.

Spinach and kale tots | Me & The Moose. These “tots” are filled with super greens and come together quickly for an easy side, lunchbox filler, or snack. #meandthemoose #homemadetots #tots #totsrecipe #lunchboxrecipes #veggiesnacks #kidfoodrecipes #kale #spinach #kidseatgreens

Spinach and kale tots

1 bag frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 bag frozen kale, thawed and squeezed dry
¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
¾ cup grated Parmesan
½ cup shredded mozzarella
Heaping ½ tsp sea salt
Heaping ½ tsp onion powder
Heaping ½ tsp garlic powder
2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 350.

Thaw and squeeze dry a bag of spinach and a bag of kale. To achieve a smoother texture in your tots, pulse the dried greens in a food processor 10-15 times. You may need to squeeze with another towel if more liquid is released.

Place the squeezed dry greens in a large bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well to combine.

Take about 1½-2 Tbsp of the mixture and press into a nugget shape with your palms.

Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for about 25 minutes or until the nuggets feel solid when you push on them lightly.  

Yield: about 24-26 tots 

Spinach and kale tots | Me & The Moose. These “tots” are filled with super greens and come together quickly for an easy side, lunchbox filler, or snack. #meandthemoose #homemadetots #tots #totsrecipe #lunchboxrecipes #veggiesnacks #kidfoodrecipes #kale #spinach #kidseatgreens

Sweet potato muffins

Sweet potato muffins | Me & The Moose. These one-bowl, whole grain muffins sneak in some vegetables at breakfast, lunch, or snack time. #sweetpotatomuffins #meandthemoose #sweet potatorecipes #thanksgiving #healthybaking

Thanksgiving is here! I love this holiday and the season that follows, but there are definite downsides. I’ve talked about keeping expectations in check with kids and holidays. And while it’s exciting and fun that there’s always something going on: Making cookies, making gifts, buying gifts, wrapping gifts, listening to music, decorating, holiday events, holiday parties, holiday-themed school things, concerts, visiting relatives, etc, it can be…a lot. And for a little one like mine who’s always searching for his equilibrium, it can be.. A WHOLE LOT.

Sweet potato muffins | Me & The Moose. These one-bowl, whole grain muffins sneak in some vegetables at breakfast, lunch, or snack time. #sweetpotatomuffins #meandthemoose #sweet potatorecipes #thanksgiving #healthybaking

So, let’s not add even more by completely abandoning our commitment to balanced eating, mkay?

These sweet potato muffins are a fantastic “sweet” to have around. They feel festive and would certainly make a fitting Thanksgiving breakfast to watch in front of the parade or DOG SHOW (!!!!!!!), but are just sweet enough thanks to the applesauce, a few Tbsp of brown sugar divided between the batter and the muffin tops, a handful of golden raisins, and sweet potatoes.

And did I mention that they only require one bowl? You’ll have enough dishes this week.

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A couple of notes:
- Chop the sweet potatoes into 1/3-1/2 inch chunks. Any bigger and they may not soften enough during baking, but if you shred them, they disappear and make the batter a bit too wet.
- This is a thick batter, almost dough-like in consistency. Don’t worry. It always puffs up well in the oven and results in an airy, light muffin.

Sweet potato muffins | Me & The Moose. These one-bowl, whole grain muffins sneak in some vegetables at breakfast, lunch, or snack time. #sweetpotatomuffins #meandthemoose #sweet potatorecipes #thanksgiving #healthybaking

Sweet potato muffins

4 Tbsp butter or coconut oil, partially melted
½ cup applesauce
1 egg 
1/2 cup brown sugar, divided  
3/4 cup yogurt 
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup wheat flour 
1 cup white flour 
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda 
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt 
1 medium sweet potato, cut into tiny squares (about 1.5 cups)
¼ cup golden raisins

Move your oven rack to the bottom or lower middle portion of the oven. Preheat to 375.

In a large bowl, partially melt the butter or coconut oil. Microwave it for a few seconds until it just begins to liquify, but is still partially solid.

Mix in the applesauce, egg, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, yogurt, and vanilla extract. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined and no streaks of flour remain.

Add the chopped sweet potatoes and raisins and stir again to combine.

Spoon the batter into the cups of a muffin tin, filling about 3/4 of the way. Top each muffin with a large pinch or two of brown sugar.

Bake for 18-22 minutes until firm to the touch and a tester in the middle comes out clean. Check after 12-15 minutes and cover if the sugar browns too fast.

Sweet potato muffins | Me & The Moose. These one-bowl, whole grain muffins sneak in some vegetables at breakfast, lunch, or snack time. #sweetpotatomuffins #meandthemoose #sweet potatorecipes #thanksgiving #healthybaking

Zucchini and summer squash frittata

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Whelp, I'm laid up in bed due to my lower back's semiannual revolt against the rest of my body. Luckily, I've made a bunch of these easy and quick frittatas and the leftovers are great for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snacks. Or eaten with your hands while watching The Great British Baking Show from the floor.

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I started making these because it's summer squash season, which means that markets and backyard gardens are flooded with zucchini and yellow squash. There are recipes for galettes and gratins galore and I'm sure they're all delicious. But I wanted something easier and lighter. 

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And what's easier than a frittata? They require one pan and come together so fast. I love adding a salty, garlicky, crunchy kick on top with the combination of panko, minced garlic, Parmesan, and sea salt.

I also like to leave the squash in fairly large chunks because otherwise the vegetables disappear into mush. If your kiddos will more likely eat something with less visible squash, feel free to use thinner slices or even to spiralize the veggies.

I find that the crunch on top often distracts from the fact that this frittata is vegetable laden. To that end, you really have to use panko or gluten-free panko to achieve that crunch. Regular breadcrumbs won't do the trick.

Serve this with ANY pesto from the archives!

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Zucchini and summer squash frittata

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium white onion, thinly sliced
1 ½ -2 lbs zucchini and summer squash, cut into ¼ inch thick slices
8 large eggs
1 cup shredded Gruyere or Gouda
½ cup panko breadcrumbs
¼ cup grated Parmesan
2 large garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350.

Heat the oil in an oven-proof skillet over a medium flame and add the onion. Cook for 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent and fragrant.

Meanwhile, crack the eggs in the bowl and mix until the whites and yolks are well combined. Add the squash, the shredded Gruyere or Gouda, and a large pinch of salt and stir to combine. Pour into the pan with the hot onions and stir again to combine.

Cook the eggs and squash, undisturbed (no more stirring!), on the stove top for 10-12 minutes, until the edges of the eggs begin to set.

Meanwhile, combine the panko, garlic, Parmesan, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and set aside. When you're ready to put the frittata in the oven, top pour the panko mixture evenly over the top. 

Put in the oven and bake, uncovered, until there is no jiggle left in the eggs, or about 15-20 minutes. If the panko topping browns too quickly, cover it loosely with tin foil until the eggs are cooked.

Yield: 6-8 servings, depending on what meal you're eating this for and what you're having with it.

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