Every month in 2016 I’ll share four recipes as part of Dr. John Douillard’s 3-Season Diet Challenge. My intention is to help you discover the glow we can feel – inside-out – when we eat with the rhythm of the seasons. Each new harvest brings us into balance with the sun, snow, warmth, cold and other changes in the natural world and in our bodies. Starting with this recipe, I invite you to join me in savoring this month’s flavors while experiencing the personal transformation that can come from this ancient Ayurvedic approach to food! (Find more 3-Season Diet Challenge recipes in the categories to the left (under “Recipes”) or in the search bar above.) Enjoy!
As the spring birds start chirping so gloriously outside our windows, this recipe hints at barbecues to come! But for now, we will heat the house with our oven for these hearty, shareable kebabs.
This is one of those recipes where I invite you to play with your food! There is no strict formula or set of ingredients (though of course, I’ve provided a clear recipe to guide you). But really, this dish invites you to use whatever winter vegetables you have in stock. I’ve used beets, carrot and onions, but kohlrabi and turnips would be just as delightful.
If you aren’t a meat eater, have no fear! (I was vegetarian for nearly a decade.) Substitute the steak with tofu or Portabello mushrooms for a more robust skewer. If you’re hankering for iron, don’t be shy to strike up a conversation with your knowledge butcher! Ask for a tender, quick-cooking, affordable cut like steak tips or flank steak, or go classier with filet mignon.
This recipe also calls for a marinade that is equally gorgeous on salads. I like to make a batch of this ahead of time, and have it on hand for recipes like this, or any quick seasoning.
You will need about 10-15 wooden or bamboo kebab skewers. Before starting your recipe, submerge your skewers in a pan of water for at least 30 minutes and up to 3-4 hours. They must be soaked through to avoid burning in the oven.
By chopping your vegetables and steak uniformly, you will evenly cook your kebabs.
- 1 pound steak, cut into 1.5-inch cubes
- 1 pound root-vegetables, cut into 1.5-inch cubes
- 2 onions (yellow or red), cut into thick slices
- 1/3 cup ghee or coconut oil, melted (substitute with olive oil)
- 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/2-inch ginger root, grated
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon rosemary, minced (dried or fresh)
- 1 teaspoon thyme (dried or fresh)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup plain yogurt
- 1 tablespoon (or more) horseradish
- 1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
- If the beef is frozen, begin by defrosting it. (And don't forget to soak your wooden or bamboo skewers!)
- Prepare your root vegetables in advance. You can roast or boil them.
- Next, prepare the marinade. In a jar or bottle, combine the ghee or coconut oil, lemon juice, soy sauce, grated ginger, minced garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper. Shake vigorously.
- In a large Tupperware or Ziploc bag, combine the cubed steak with the marinade. Let sit for at least 30 minutes or up to 5 hours in the refrigerator.
- When you're ready to start cooking, place an oven rack on the top rung and preheat the oven to broil.
- Assemble your kebabs by threading alternate slices of onion, cubes of root vegetables and cubes of steak (or meat substitute) on your skewers. (Do not throw out the marinade).
- (Skip this step for vegetarian skewers). Line the skewers on a baking sheet in an even layer, and pour any remaining marinade from the Ziploc or Tupperware over the kebabs.
- Put the baking sheet on the top oven rack. For a medium steak, broil the kebabs for 9 minutes on one side. Remove the baking sheet, rotate the skewers and return to broil for about 7 minutes more. Slice through a piece of steak to check for your preferred "doneness."
- Before serving, whisk together the plain yogurt, horseradish and lemon juice for dunking your kebabs.
Try making homemade ghee. You'll quickly fall in love! If you're pinched for time, buy it online or at your local health food store.