Floors, floors and more floors. That’s what’s been going on at our new house. Tony lays the tile, and I come behind him and clean the tile, grout, and remove the grout haze. The tile floors look great. I am glad we are using tile instead of another type of flooring. Way easier to clean.

I was watching YouTube in the living room at night and Chef John from Food Wishes was making a his recipe for Kofta Kabobs. Tony said that they looked really good. That made picking this week’s recipe easy. It’s middle eastern, so that is a plus, since we love this type of food so much. I am starting with a recipe from Once Upon a Chef for Lamb Kofta. Right off the bat I will be changing this to beef, just because lamb is expensive and hard to get. I am also adding a side dish to add some bulk so I’m starting with the Spruce Eats recipe for Green Beans with Onions and Za’atar Breadcrumbs. Za’atar is a middle eastern spice blend that is used in many recipes. Za’atar is easier to find and is available at most grocery stores. Since the recipe contains breadcrumbs, I am leaving them out. You may also want to add rice for a healthy carbohydrate.

Here are the original stats:

For the Kofta
For the side dish

Here’s what I changed:

  • Kofta
    • I changed the lamb to beef because beef is easier to find and less expensive.
    • I increased the servings from 6 to 12 to lower the calories.
    • I reduced the added salt to 1/2 teaspoon to reduce the sodium.
    • I added brown rice to add some carbohydrates.
  • Side dish
    • I deleted the breadcrumbs to reduce the calories.
    • I reduced the olive oil to reduce the calories.
    • I added carrot and bell pepper to increase the A and C.

Here are the final stats:

For the Kofta
For the side dish

Here is the final recipe

Beef Kofta and Za’atar Vegetables

Serves 12

For the beef kofta

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • ¼ cup each pine nuts, almonds, and walnuts
  • 1 small yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper, seeds and ribs removed, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves, gently packed
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
  • Heaping ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Heaping ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • Heaping ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Add the rice to a pot with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Place the nuts in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse until finely chopped but not pasty. Transfer the nuts to a small dry skillet over medium heat; cook, stirring frequently, until the nuts are lightly browned and fragrant, 5 to 6 minutes. Pour the nuts into mixing bowl large enough to hold all of the ingredients, and set aside to cool.
  4. Place the onion, garlic, bell pepper, jalapeño pepper, and cilantro in the bowl of the food processor. Pulse until the vegetables are finely minced but not puréed. Set a fine sieve over a medium bowl. Transfer the minced vegetables to the sieve and use a rubber spatula to press out as much liquid as possible. Add the strained vegetable mixture to the bowl with the nuts.
  5. To the veggies and nuts, add the beef, cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, salt, and pepper. Using your hands, mash the mixture together until evenly combined.
  6. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Form the mixture into patties about 2 inches in diameter and ½-inch thick. Place on the baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap, then refrigerate until ready to cook.
  7. Remove the plastic wrap and cover the baking sheet with foil. Bake in the preheated oven until beef is no longer pink in the center, about 20 minutes. Uncover and turn on the broiler. Broil until brown, about 5 minutes more.

For the Za’atar vegetables

Serves 6

  • 1/2 pound green beans
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
  • 1 onion (peeled and sliced)
  • 1/2 teaspoons za’atar
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  1. Trim the ends of the green beans and add to a pot of boiling water. Cook on high heat for approximately 10 minutes or until the beans are fork tender. Drain.
  2. While the beans are cooking, Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil to a skillet or cast iron pan along with the peeled and sliced onions. Sauté for about 10 minutes until the onions are lightly caramelized.
  3. When the onions are done, remove from the pan and add to the cooked and drained green beans, red bell pepper, and carrot. Add the za’atar. Saute for about 2 minutes, stirring often, until lightly browned.
  4. Toss the browned vegetables and onions and season with salt and pepper to taste.

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