This is a post from NF Rebel Chef Noel.
Well Rebels, winter is coming. It’s August and (for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere), summertime is nearing its end. Soon it will be time for stews, squashes, and Paleo comfort foods.
But I’m ready for one last hurrah of summer: Outdoor cooking. For those of you in the southern hemisphere, you have this to look forward to! You lucky dogs.
If you already have burgers and dogs down, it’s time to level up your grilling game. Today I’m gonna show you how to make some super quick and easy Greek-inspired chicken kabobs. You can get tons of veggies into your meal, and you won’t have to heat up your kitchen by turning on the oven or stove.
If you want to watch a video of this recipe get made, check it out here!
Lets get started!
Chicken Veggie Kabobs
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
For the kabobs:
2 lbs chicken breast
1/2 cup olive oil – My mixing bowls were not big enough to fit all the chicken and the vegetables. If you also have this problem, you can split these ingredients in half for the veggies and the chicken. (So for the olive oil, 1/4 c goes into each mixing bowl.)
2 tbsp lemon juice – you can use fresh squeezed or the kind from the bottle. I used the bottled stuff because I am lazy. 1 tbsp will go to the chicken and the other to the veggies.
2 tbsp dried basil – Again, 1 tbsp for the chicken and 1 for the veggies.
2 tsp dried oregano – Split this up into two sets. Half for the chicken and half for the veggies.
1 yellow squash
1/2 head cauliflower
4 oz cherry tomatoes – this is about half of one of those containers that they sell at the store.
1 red onion
2 bell peppers – choose your favorite colors. I like red and orange best.
A grill – Charcoal or gas. It doesn’t matter.
Cutting board – For chopping on.
Knife – For chopping.
Skewers – you can buy bamboo ones for very cheap or you can buy reusable metal ones at your local grocery store. I like the metal ones because they don’t splinter or break.
2 Large mixing bowls – for mixing your veggies and chicken
Smaller bowl – for mixing your marinade
Tongs – for flipping the skewers
Alright, we’re all set to put these suckers together! All we have to do is wash and cut our veggies and chicken, add some spices, and assemble it all on skewers!
1. Wash your veggies.
2. Cut the yellow squash and zucchini into medallions.
3. Cut the bell peppers into square-ish pieces.
4. Cut the onion in quarters and cut off each end, then peel it. First remove the skin, then separate each layer.
5. Grab your head of cauliflower (or broccoli). Chop the stem of the cauliflower off then chop it in half. After that, tear the “florets” off of the stem with your hands. You animal.
6. Toss your tomatoes into the bowl with all the other veggies. (You may have to use multiple mixing bowls. I can never find a mixing bowl that is big enough for all of the veggies that I want to cook. Life is rough, I know.)
7. Cut your chicken into cube-like chunks. Toss this into a separate bowl.
Note* I use separate bowls, even though I am going to cook the veggies and chicken together, because I like to practice good kitchen hygiene. Cross contaminating fresh veggies with raw chicken (while using the same knife and cutting board without washing them) can make you super sick and discourage you from cooking in the future. We do not want this!
8. Once all your veggies and chicken are cut up and in your bowl, it’s time to mix up the sauce. Start with 1/2 cup olive oil.
9. Add 1 tbsp lemon juice.
10. Add your basil, oregano, salt and pepper and mix it up with a fork.
11. Drizzle the oil mixture over the veggies and the chicken in even amounts. Mix it up with a fork or your hands. (If you use your hands, be sure to wash them well after touching raw chicken!)
12. Fire up your grill! You’ll want to pre-heat it so that it’s ready to cook once all your kabobs are assembled.
13. Now grab your skewers and start with the veggies. Put veggies on about 1/3 of the skewer. Put them in whatever order you want.
14. Now fill the middle of the skewer with chicken. Yes, you’re touching raw chicken with your hands. Be brave! Also, be careful not to poke yourself with the skewer. I do this at least once every time I make kabobs. It is not recommended.
15. Finally, finish off the last 1/3 with more veggies! Once you finish assembling each kabob, place them on a large plate or cutting board so that you can take them out to the grill!
The reason we are skewering in this order is because we want all the meat to cook at the same time. If you put meat all over the kabobs, the meat on the outside will cook faster than the meat on the inside (which means the meat on the outside will dry out and burn). So, keep it all in the middle.
On one final note, I ran out of chicken and I had lots of left over veggies that needed to be cooked. If this happens to you, just make veg-only skewers. No problemo.
16. Your grill should be heated up by now. Take your beautiful works of art outside and place them on the grill. Close the lid and set a timer for 10 minutes.
17. After 10 minutes, go back outside with some tongs and flip the skewers over. Wait another 10 minutes.
18. When the kabobs are done, take them off the grill! Serve with a side of tzatziki dipping sauce (you can use store bought sauce or our recipe below!). You can also dip them in guacamole (see our Paleo taco recipe). They also have a great taste all by themselves!
Bonus recipe: Paleo Tzaziki Sauce
If the above recipe depleted all your willpower, read no further! However, if you are looking for a bonus level for some extra experience, try this Paleo tazaziki sauce.
Sauces and spices are two things that really level up a new cook’s skills. If you think about it, all food isn’t all that different. What makes each dish different (and awesome) are the spices and sauces that you add to each one.
Tzaziki is a yogurt based sauce that is served in most Greek restaurants along with dishes like falafel, souvlaki, and gyros. It contains cucumber, garlic, lemon juice and fresh dill. Its super simple, but it packs a flavor punch and pulls this dish together nicely. Follow these instructions if you feel like adding a homemade sauce to your repertoire:
1 cup coconut cream – place a can of coconut milk or coconut cream in the refrigerator for a couple of hours (or overnight if you’re one of those people who thinks ahead). Once the can is sufficiently chilled, open it up and scrape the thick cream off the top. This stuff can be used for all kinds of deliciousness. If you’re cool with dairy and don’t want to use coconut cream, you can use 1 cup of plain, full fat greek yogurt. Make sure it’s not sweetened or flavored!
1/2 of a cucumber – peeled and diced into tiny pieces
2 tbsp fresh dill
3 cloves of garlic, minced – I love garlic. You can add more or less depending on your personal preferences.
2 tsp lemon juice – again, both fresh and bottled are fine
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt
For the sauce:
If you do opt for the bonus recipe, make the sauce first because if you let it sit in the fridge while you’re cooking and prepping the skewers, the flavors of the sauce have more time to combine together into deliciousness.
1. Wash your cucumber and dill.
2. Cut the cucumber in half. Peel it with a potato peeler or small knife.
3. Scrape out the seeds from the inside with a spoon.
4. Slice the cucumber in very thin strips length-wise.
Then turn them at a 90 degree angle and chop them into smaller pieces short-wise.
5. Now we’re gonna chop that cucumber super small. Hold the knife parallel to your body. Place your hand lightly on the top front end of the knife to keep the tip of the knife on the cutting board and use the heel of the knife, the part close to your hands, to chop the cucumber. Use a rocking motion and move the heel of the knife back and forth over the cucumber until it is minced. Take all that cucumber and put it in your small mixing bowl.
6. Take your fresh dill. Remove the “leaves” from the stems of the plants. Remove enough leaves so that you can measure 2 tbsp of leaves in a spoon before chopping.
7. Mince the dill the same way you did the cucumber in step 5 and toss it in the bowl with the cucumber.
8. Mince your garlic: Take your cloves of garlic, chop off the end that was attached to the bulb. This end is hard and flat.
Place your knife flat side on top of the garlic. Smash the clove under your knife.
Remove the peel from the clove and cut the garlic into strips. Then mince like you did with the cucumber and dill. Place your garlic cloves in the bowl.
9. Open your can of coconut milk. Scrape off the cream layer and place it in your bowl with the chopped stuff. Alternately, if you’re using yogurt, measure out 1 cup of yogurt and put it in your bowl.
10. Add salt, pepper, and lemon juice, and mix it all together.
11. Cover the bowl and place it in the fridge. Move on to the next part of the recipe!
Cook like a caveman!
There you have it!
Take your favorite veggies, add some meat, toss in oil and spices, put it on a stick, and cook for 20 minutes. The best part is that your kitchen never heats up. (If you live in an apartment like I do, this is a major plus during the summer.)
Kabobs are one of my favorite quick and easy ways to make a ton of food. They’re great for gatherings, super colorful, and kiddos can enjoy helping you assemble the skewers (under strict adult supervision, of course). Plus, there are tons of different combinations you can use to mix up a kabob recipe and make it your own:
Are you a vegetarian? Omit the meat!
Want to add a little sweetness? Add some fresh pineapple or peaches!
Tired of chicken or beef? Use shrimp, salmon, scallops, or pork chops!
Other veggie possibilities include: Sweet potatoes, broccoli, whole button mushrooms, whole sweet peppers, jalapenos, yellow onions, carrots, etc. Pretty much any veggie but leafy greens will work on the grill.
What are your favorite foods to grill?
Are there any types of cuisine you’re dying to see (paleo or non-plaeo)?
Let us know in the comments!