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Mediterranean Eats (+ Gluten-Free!!!)

As promised, here’s the recipe for the dish Hubs whipped up for our impromptu dinner with Ian and Kristina Saturday night. It was ready in just over 30 minutes or so and was savory and satisfying without making you feel like a lump once you put your fork down, as many grain dishes do to me.

The dish was made gluten-free, with the help of buckwheat, on Ian’s behalf. We often turn to buckwheat when going gluten-free for friends. It’s filling without being too heavy, possesses an incredibly pleasant nutty flavor, and has a chewy, steel-cut oat-like texture to it that I love.

The next morning, Hubs added a fried egg to the dish (over-hard for me & Huxley, over-easy for himself) for a protein-packed lunch. Some feta sprinkled on top added a little extra salt and creaminess. A perfect meal for dinner, lunch, brunch, or anytime eating is in order.

Mediterranean Beef & Buckwheat
The Goods: 
-2 cups buckwheat
-4 cups water
-2 tbsp olive oil
-1/2 onion, diced
-1 red pepper, diced
-1 carrot, diced
-2 stalks of celery, diced
-2 small Japanese eggplants, cut into 1/2 inch disks
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-2 lbs lean ground beef or ground lamb
-2 tomatoes, diced
-1 cup of wine (we used rosé)
-2 tbsp lemon juice
-Zest of one lemon
-About 10 green olives, sliced
-1/4 cup currants or raisins
-1 tsp white wine vinegar
-1 handful of chopped herbs (we used mint, lemon balm, rosemary, marjoram, and cilantro)
-1 tbsp Moroccan spice mix (we like the one from Urban Accents)
-1 tbsp sea salt
-A few grinds black pepper
-Fresh cilantro, to serve (optional)

The Deal: 
-Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium-size pot, then add 2 cups of buckwheat.
-Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, then remove from heat and fluff with a fork.
-Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan; add the onion, pepper, carrot, and celery.
-Saute for about 10 minutes, then add the eggplant and garlic.
-Saute for another minute or two, then add the ground meat, and stir well.
-Brown the meat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
-Add the tomatoes, the wine, and the lemon juice.
-Cook down for about 25 minutes, until most of the liquid has cooked off.
-Stir in the remaining ingredients, except for the buckwheat.
-Cook for about 5 minutes, then stir in the buckwheat and cook for an additional minute.
-Remove from the heat and serve, garnished with some fresh cilantro if you like.

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