Head down, I coach myself up and over the next hill. This is the first time my road bike has made it out of the garage this season, so I go easy on myself (I have to).
Where the hill crests, I lift my head up. Across the road is an expanse of green, and behind that a big brown barn, and then a row of tall trees--maybe birch- and even beyond that the Rocky Mountains, towering over it all. From here, the mountains are a royal blue color.
I ride 30 more feet and find a small herd of cattle sleeping in the grass, and a rancher in the fields behind them. Oh what a view they all have! For a moment I envy the rancher: he is shoveling hay into a pickup. It's a job that could use 2 of 3 people, though he seems to have it covered on his own. I imagine him there at 6 in the morning, when the sun is just starting to crack the horizon. In my mind he stops to watch, the crickets chirping and maybe the murmur of a cow in the distance.
Later I think back on that moment: me, looking at the view, and extrapolating an entire story around it. I wonder if that farmer does ever stop to look our across the Rockies... if he thinks he has the time. The cows likely don't notice the view, but they sure did look comfy there in the grass.
These kabobs (kebab, kabob, however you want to say it) are roasted in a Moroccan inspired spice blend, and dipped in a cool mint yogurt sauce. I used Maple Hill Creamery's plain greek yogurt to make the sauce, which made it thick and super creamy. At one point, I had given up dairy in favor of nut-milks and coconut creams. If you're a long-time reader of this blog, you might remember a time when most of my recipes used dairy substitutes rather than milk, but that is certainly not the case anymore! Flavor-wise and texture wise, I much prefer regular milk. So when I can find high quality, grass-fed dairy products they go straight into my shopping cart with out a second thought.
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Serves: 4 | Total Time: 30 active minutes
- 1 pound beef chuck, cubed
- 1 tablespoon ras el hanout (I used this recipe, feel free to use store bought too!)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 bell peppers
- 1 red onion
- 2 lemons
- 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt, I used Maple Hill Creamery plain grass-fed greek yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dried dill
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Place beef in a bowl and toss with spice blend and 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional: do this in the morning and marinate for 6-8 hours to infuse the flavors).
- Dice the onion, pepper, and one lemon into 1-inch pieces. String beef, peppers, onion, and lemon onto kabob skewers in alternating pattern. Place kabobs on a baking sheet. Brush olive oil over kabobs, and place in oven. Bake for 10-15 minutes, depending on how you like your meat (10 minutes for more rare, 15 for well-done). Remove from oven.
- Make the yogurt sauce while the kabobs cook: combine yogurt, remaining salt, juice of remaining lemon, minced mint, garlic powder, onion powder, dried dill, and ground black pepper and stir until well mixed. Serve kabobs hot with a small bowl of yogurt sauce on the side for dipping.
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