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Shish Kabobs (with recipe)

October 22, 2009

Last night was my turn to cook for the pottery crew (I know we sound tough).  A friend of mine and I take our daughters to family pottery night on Wednesdays and afterwards we take turns cooking for each others families.  Last night was my turn.  I made greek food, but instead of typical souvlaki, which is just meat on a skewer, I cooked more of a shish kabob thing.  Here is the reason why.

When I was younger and fatter, my shish kabobs were pure meat (there are canned potatoes at the grocery store, I don’t recommend you ever try them, but when I was young that is what we would put between pieces of meat.  Not a good idea).  In any case, when you make a shish kabob of all meat, that isn’t a ton of food, but it is a ton of calories.  Mixing in peppers, onions, and tomatoes (those are my go tos, but you can also add cucumber, mushrooms, zucchini or whatever vegetables you like) you are no longer just getting meat.  I try to get a 2 or 3 vegetable to piece of meat ratio.  A couple of sizable skewers may only contain 6 – 8 pieces of meat and yet it is a huge meal.  I could easily eat 2 skewers of straight meat instead, and be just as full.  I am getting almost 1/3 of the calories this way with all of the feeling of being full, and the variety of flavors just tastes better.

I prepared almost all of the food in advance.  I made the Mediterranean salad (recipe in the book)the night before so it could soak in the dressing (In retrospect the Mediterranean salad was a little much with the shish kabobs.  The same veggies 2 different ways wasn’t necessary).  In any case as well, I made a tzaziki (recipe in the book) and lemon potatoes , which I heated in the microwave when dinner was ready (the only reason I served these potatoes was because we were having guests, I also served steamed rice because that is the only thing that one of the children eats, in general though stopping eating rice and potatoes with every meal is necessary to being fit).

I used both chicken and steak, all cut into cubes.  I didn’t have any gas for the BBQ so I just broiled them in the oven.  Strangely the chicken tasted better than the meat.  I am including the recipe for the marinade below.  It was very good.  It probably could have been a little more lemony, but otherwise it was excellent.  I marinaded for it for 2 days.  The recipe below produced enough marinade for 2 new york steaks and 2 full chicken breasts.  Vegetable wise, there were 2 tomatoes, 1 sweet onion (or use red), 2 orange peppers and 1 green peppers).

I can’t say enough good things about shish kabobs.  They should be in your 10 meal list.  It is a great chance to get to love vegetables.  One of my main rules with cooking for kids, even if they won’t eat vegetables, is to still cook with them.  The flavor of tomatoes and onions and peppers transfers to the meat that is cooked right beside them.  Slowly but surely kids and adults will come to love the flavor of the vegetables.  Shish kabobs, pizza and stir fries have their own separate spot as great food items to teach you to love vegetables (and shish kabobs and stir fries are great foods to have in your 10 list).  Shish kabobs are ridiculously easy foods to prepare.  You can use bamboo skewers, make them up in advance and marinade them and when you are ready just throw them in the oven.  Easy, tasty and very very good for you.

Greek Shish Kabob Marinade:


1/2 cup chopped sweet onion

1 minced clove garlic

1/2 tsp. rubbed sage

1 tsp. thyme

1/2 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. basil

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

8 tsp. lemon juice (or 2 lemons hand squeezed)

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup soy sauce

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