Gluten-Free Paleo Tabbouleh

In my imagination, if summer had a taste, it would be fresh lemon. In reality, my summer — suffering in the stifling heat of central Texas — often tastes more like the bitter, white pith just below the skin of a sunshine-yellow lemon. But imagination is a beautiful thing, so I state again: If summer had a taste, it would be fresh lemon. Which is why I recently had a hankering for homemade... read more

Paleo Stuffed Grape Leaves (Dolmas)

I’ve probably eaten hundreds (if not thousands) of stuffed grape leaves in my life. And about 99% of them were made by my dad. We always called them “stuffed grape leaves,” never dolmas, and they were pretty straight forward: white rice, lamb, minimal seasonings, and a light coating of lemon-egg sauce. We’d soak the leaves in the sink (never in a bowl), then my dad and I would... read more

Crispy Spiced Chicken Livers

I was a weird kid. Aside from roller skating to the library (in blue-and-yellow sneaker skates and an orange terrycloth bathrobe worn over jeans) and forcing my brother to play “Library” with me, I also distinctly remember voluntarily ordering beef liver with onions for dinner at my dad’s diner. I was also a crazy for chicken liver paté on toast and ordered it whenever it appeared on a... read more

Lebanese Onion & Parsley Salad

Wait! I know you’re probably not feeling super excited about a pile of onions. But don’t turn up your nose yet! Here in the U.S., we’ve been conditioned to think of onions as an after-thought go-along, rather than a star of the plate, but trust: a sweet onion, tossed with tangy sumac, fresh mint, and smooth parsley becomes so much more than a garnish. This salad has a light, bright... read more

Killer Kebab Spice Mix

The kebabs I cooked for my birthday dinner included an ingredient I’d never heard of: Aleppo pepper. I almost didn’t make the recipe because I was reluctant to buy another specialty spice (when you see the photos of my spice cabinet in a post tomorrow, you’ll understand why). I’m SO glad I tried Aleppo pepper, the kebab spice mix below, and the resulting lamb recipe. Trust me; this... read more

Kibbeh Sinayee (Lamb Diamonds!)

It’s been said that diamonds are a girl’s best friend. I say diamonds are a girl’s (and boy’s) best friend when they’re made out of meat! I think I was really missing my family last week, ’cause I dug into some Lebanese family favorites. I had cravings for tahini dressing… and turned my spinach into Lemony Spinach… and I transformed ground lamb in Kibbeh... read more

Don’t Be Lily-Livered! Aromatic Chicken Livers

I was a weird kid. And I distinctly remember, on occasion, ordering beef liver with onions for dinner at my dad’s diner. I was also a FREAK for chicken liver paté on toast. Then I became a surly teenager and went to Weight Watchers summer camp where they forced us to eat liver once a week as part of the WW weight-loss plan. The culinary skills of the cooks at camp didn’t stand up to my... read more

Belly Dance Beet Salad

This roasted beet salad was one of the stars of our recent Whole30 grill-out to make sure Melissa and Dallas of Whole9Life were properly fed during their stay in Austin. This salad is exotic, but not fussy or too weird – the flavors make sense but are also, magically, unexpected. This recipe is for two bunches of beets, so it makes enough for a few meals. It’s easily halved if you don’t want... read more

Holiday Dino-Chow: Fancy Olives

This is a two-part recipe. Each part works on its own, but if you make them as a tag-team, your taste buds will dance like ten lords a-leaping. Each can easily be doubled or halved without getting too unweildy or requiring tricky kitchen math. (If only I’d known in sixth grade that those damn fractions really were going to be important some day!) These recipes are from an out-of-print cookbook by... read more

Hot Spinach – Cool Dressing – Awesome Snack

+ + + The SituationIt’s Sunday afternoon. I need a snack. And if I do it right, the damn thing will be made of vegetables, preferably something leafy and green. (See Moxy-Boss and Dallas?! I’m listening.) I look in the fridge which is, mercifully, packed with vegetables and other dino-chow goodies because I visited the grocery store twice today. Sigh. What I grabbed• a defrosted bag of... read more

Eat Your Vegetables: Cauliflower Rice Pilaf

I was the official rice maker in my family, and I perfected a water-measuring technique that involved placing my thumb against the bottom of the pan, just like my Sitti (“grandmother” in Arabic) taught my mom. I took great pride in my fluffy rice, and it was with a heavy heart that I banished my favorite grain from my diet when I started eating paleo. Then I learned the cauliflower trick, and my pilaf... read more

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