As I have mentioned here before, food is one of my greatest loves. This past year has been one of the worst years for eating unhealthy for me in the past ten years. I don't know if it is stress or being busy or what, but I have had such a hard time eating a balanced diet. It takes discipline, which I need more of!
And I may have also mentioned that I used to be a vegetarian - for six years. Now, I was more of a pescatarian for the last four years of that, seeing as how I also ate seafood. But back in November, a beer-can, Kruse-farm chicken and pangs of hunger and my continual curiosity about eating meat again overtook me. The funny thing is, I had so many kinds of food that I liked before eating meat. It seems like I have been ignoring all of that healthy vegetarian stuff I used to make.
So, the past couple of nights I've been trying to make somewhat healthier meals that I can be excited about! (It turns out, despite my delicious vegetarian meals, it is hard to make something as awesome as a perfectly grilled, thick-cut pork chop.)
Here is the first one I'm excited about! It is a variation on a shrimp recipe I've been making for a couple of years. This falls into the easy meals category, and for that reason I love it!
Here it is on the grill:
All done! One of the most challenging things about photographing supper is resisting eating it for that much longer! (I need better willpower!)
I love close-ups.
Applewood-smoked garlic shrimp kebabs
4+ cups thawed, tailless, pre-cooked frozen shrimp (I know, raw shrimp would be tastier, but the frozen shrimp was in our freezer already!)
3 cups thawed, good quality frozen broccoli florets (or fresh ones that have been blanched)
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1 red onion, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
for the sauce:
4 tbsp olive oil
6 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
We have a cast-iron smoker box that we put on the flame on our grill. It is a Weber box, but I'm sure other brands make them too! It is amazing! We filled it with soaked applewood chips and let it sit on medium heat for about 20 minutes before putting the kebabs on so it could get nice and smoky.
If you're using wooden skewers, soak them for a bit to keep wood from getting too burned.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the sauce ingredients, and puree until smooth.
Assemble the kebabs. There isn't much of a rhyme or reason to this! :) Just go where the spirit moves you. Once assembled, brush all sides of the kebabs with the olive-oil garlic sauce. Place on the grill. We kept our grill between 300-325 degrees so the kebabs wouldn't get overdone and they'd have time to get that smoky flavor from the applewood. Seeing as how our kebabs were basically pre-cooked, we didn't want to rubberize them.
We had ours with fresh guacamole! It was an amazingly tasty meal, and I didn't feel too guilty after eating it! Ha!
As you can see, we had no trouble finishing them off: