Mr. Sweaty and I make dinner together most nights. It's a form of entertainment for us, and we keep it interesting by trying lots of new recipes. Only the best make it into the Recipe Roundup.
Our December menus featured protein, as we're both trying to increase our daily intake to help us lean out while supporting our increased aerobic workload. And, of course, we threw in some holiday splurges.
Here are the month's winners:
Vietnamese-Style Meatballs with Chili Sauce
These were so good! As meatballs go, they're on the easy side because all the cooking is done in the oven -- no messy stovetop sautéing. We made the recipe exactly as written. Don't skip the peanuts unless you're allergic to them; they make a perfect finishing touch.
Kefi Lamb Gyro
Have you ever made your own gyro -- as in the meat terrine itself, not just assembling the sandwich? We hadn't either. We gave it a try as a little project for a winter day, and the result was quite tasty. If you're taking it easy on carbs or bread, you can always skip the pita and just enjoy the fillings with tzatziki and a side of Greek salad.
Peruvian-Style Roast Chicken with Green Sauce
This dish was a vibrant change from the usual (boring) chicken meal. We used bone-in, skin-on chicken quarters (leg & thigh) instead of a whole chicken. The green sauce had quite a kick because I left the seeds in two out of the three jalapeños. Next time I'll cut that back a touch.
Crash Hot Potatoes
Call me late to the party, but I had never heard of these before! Who wouldn't like crispy, buttery bites of smashed baby potatoes? They're super easy to make; just finish them off in the oven while your steaks are on the grill.
We tried these a couple different ways. The first time, I used the recipe linked above and substituted grass-fed butter for the olive oil. Delicious! The second time, I added a sprinkle of parmesan a' la The Pioneer Woman. Shockingly, I actually liked the first way better.
Arugula & Fennel Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
This salad made for a light, zingy, springy side to balance out all that heavier winter fare. If you're looking to move beyond your usual veggie repertoire, this is a good place to start. Super quick and just different enough to be interesting.
Slow-Cooked Green Beans with Harissa and Cumin
Speaking of moving beyond the usual, here's a take on green beans that I'd never seen before. Fortunately, it's pretty easy to find fresh green beans around the holidays. The harissa paste, on the other hand, arrived courtesy of the interwebs. If you like some heat, you've got to try it for a new flavor twist! The final dish was simple and delicious; however, I'd recommend cutting back the oil by at least half.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart
Need I say more?? We served this as our Christmas Eve dessert, and it was a huge hit.
I didn't have a tart pan with a removable bottom, so I followed the advice to use a springform instead. I also put the crust on the bottom only, rather than up the sides.
Also, I couldn't find the Nabisco Chocolate Wafers, so I used chocolate graham crackers instead. Perhaps that's why my crust turned out too dry and crumbly, as though it could have used an extra stick of butter to hold it together. I'll take that into account next time I make this recipe, which probably won't be for quite a while!
That's it for December! I project that January's roundup will look a little lower on carbs. Stay tuned.
Thanks for dropping by! I'm an endurance rider in the northwest region of the United States. This blog is about distance riding, training, and the practice of being my best self for my horse. I hope you'll come along for the ride.