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From the Book > Gyro Taco Salad & Tzatziki Guacamole


This is a recipe from our book: Primal Cravings: Your Favorite Foods Made Paleo.


A theme we like to play with a lot is taking flavors you know and love and adding a twist…we want our food to be familiar yet interesting. Gyro Taco Salad is a good example of just that. We took the components of a traditional taco salad, but flavored it like a traditional gyro. Gyro spiced ground lamb (or any ground meat) over lettuce (plus any of your favorite veggies) and topped off with a fresh mint and cucumber guacamole AKA Tzatziki Guacamole. Wouldn’t that just be a real Mediterranean fiesta?

Servings: 6

For the Gyro Taco Salad

  • 2 pounds ground lamb
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1⁄2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 heads romaine lettuce

1. In a large sauté pan, brown the lamb. Once the lamb looks about halfway cooked through, add the onion and garlic. Continue to cook until onion is softened. Add the oregano, thyme, coriander, chicken stock, lemon juice, and salt. Cook about 5 minutes more, until the stock has reduced a bit.

2. Chop the romaine lettuce and serve with gyro meat and a spoonful of tzatziki guacamole.

For the Tzatziki Guacamole

  • 2 ripe Haas avocados
  • 1 English cucumber
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt to taste

1. With a cheese grater, shred the cucumber with a box grater over a tea towel.

2. Twist the tea towel up and squeeze it over the kitchen sink to remove excess water from cucumber.

3. Blend avocados, squeezed cucumber, mint, dill, lemon, and salt in a food processor until smooth.


Beef Game/Other

Greek Meatballs

This past weekend, I challenged myself to come up with a well-thought out menu and actually shop, prep and cook all (or most) of the dishes on Sunday. So it was pretty imperative that everything I made be able to re-heat well and also travel with us, if need be. I’ll be posting a slew of recipes that we included in our menu this week, and on Friday, I’ll post the actual step-by-step, mind-numbing logistical steps for the shopping list and prep sequences. So if you’re like us, and grocery shopping on Saturday night is considered a “date”, you’ll be ready to go for next week.

Since I was making a lot of food on all the same day, I cut some corners–like the dried onion flakes and granulated garlic. I didn’t want to have to saute the fresh stuff, dirtying a pan and taking extra time, when I could just measure out of a bottle and continue on my merry way. However, as preachy as this is about to sound– this is not a declaration for using all dried herbs & stuff–fresh mint and lemon zest are a no compromise must in the meatballs.


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 1 egg
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, minced
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese (optional)
  • salt & pepper


Preheat your oven to 350ºF.

In a large bowl, use your hands to mix together all the ingredients until well incorporated.

Use a cookie scoop (or your hand) to shape the mixture into balls and place in a 9×13 oven-safe baking dish.

Bake until cooked through, about 30 minutes.

Once the meatballs are cool, remove (making sure to remove any goop) from the pan and place, uncovered, in the fridge. Once cool, cover and store until ready to re-heat and eat.

Beef Game/Other Poultry Sauces, etc.

Leftovers Stock

While there is nothing wrong with going out and buying chicken necks and ox tails to make stock with, I assume many people don’t utilize what they’ve already got sitting in the fridge to make a perfectly yummy, if not superiorly flavored, homemade stock. We roasted prime rib for dinner one night and I simply tossed the leftover hunk of meat (including the bones) in a pot of water, added some cheap vegetables, and came back 4 hours later to a pot full of liquid meat gold.


  • 1 hunk of leftover, cooked, bone-in meat (chicken, beef, duck…whatevesss)
  • handful each of roughly chopped carrots, celery and onion
  • flavorings like: fresh garlic, fresh thyme (left on the stalk), peppercorns, salt


Fill a large soup pot with about 4 quarts of water. Dump in the meat, chopped up vegetables and flavorings.

Let the pot simmer for about 4 hours, until you have about 2-3 quarts of liquid meat gold, I mean stock.

Place a fine mesh strainer over the top of a large bowl (the bowl needs to be big enough to fit the liquid). Pour the stock through the strainer. Discard the meat and sad looking vegetables. Place the bowl in the fridge overnight, or long enough for the fat to come to the surface and harden.

Skim off the fat with a spoon. You don’t need to be too anal about this, a few baby blobs here and there isn’t going to hurt anything.

Use immediately or store in the freezer. If you’re going to put the stock in the freezer, be sure to leave enough room at the top of your freezing container to allow for the expansion of the liquid…don’t fill it to the brim or you’ll be sorry.


Rosemary Venison Skewers with Horsy Dip

Here’s one for you hunters out there. A friend of ours gave us the venison…and after trying this, we may have to get more into hunting, or finding good hunters with extra to share. Haven’t been much since we were kids. If you don’t have/ don’t like venison…this would still be spot on with beef and lamb.

In case you haven’t seen the Facebook post, we’re almost out of shirts…so we’ve reduced the price one final time to get ’em out the door!


  • 1 lb venison loin steak
  • 1 T fresh chopped rosemary (reserve stalks)
  • 2 cloves of fresh garlic, diced fine
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 3 T balsamic vinegar
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 1 t salt

Horsy Dip

  • Avocado mayo recipe
  • 3 T horseradish, not the kind w/ mayo added to it, the just the plain kind, should say: ‘prepared’, usually found with the refrigerated pickles


To make the dipping sauce, follow the mayo recipe and then simply add the horseradish to the food processor at the end and combine.

Wisk together rosemary, garlic, vinegar, EVOO and salt in a bowl. Cut your venison into 1” cubes and toss into the bowl. Stir to coat. Let this “hang out” for an hour or so if you’ve got the time, but we didn’t and it was still delicious. Thread your venison onto your rosemary skewers. You’ll require about 6, 8” skewers to fit all of your meat. If you don’t have/ don’t want to use the rosemary then just opt for bamboo or metal kebab skewers. We actually tried this on bamboo as well, and while it may not look as purdy, it tastes just as good. For the grilling, we used a hot grill pan on the range top. If cooking outside, try to get the grill very hot and then turn off direct burners where you place the venison. Cook 3-5 minutes on each side. It won’t take long since you’ve cut into smaller pieces.

Game/Other Poultry

Turducken Meatloaf with Cherry Compote

If you’ve had a million roast turkeys, you’ll probably have a bazillion more…

Ever heard of turducken? It’s a creole/cajun dish where an entire, de-boned chicken is stuffed into a de-boned duck which is then stuffed inside of a de-boned turkey. Of course, the duck is stuffed with stuffing too. We’ve never made nor tried turducken, but wanted to riff it somehow–easier & cheaper, but just as flavorful. So we opted for meatloaf (meatballs would work too!). It’s a super simple throw together that requires very little ‘nurturing’ to make and tastes like turkey and stuffing all wrapped together in one bite. The compote is literally the cherry on top. Not as puckery as a cranberry relish–this compote is aromatic with a hint of sweet tartness.

Serves 6-8 people


For Meatloaf
  • 1 lb. ground duck*
  • 1 lb. ground chicken
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 T fresh(!) sage, finely chopped
  • 2 T rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 T thyme, chopped
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 t red pepper flakes
  • s&p
For Cherry Compote
  • 12 oz. frozen cherries
  • juice & zest of 1 orange
  • 1/2 c red wine vinegar
  • 3/4 c stock
  • 1 T rosemary, finely chopped
  • s&p


Preheat your oven to 400F.

In a medium saute pan, saute the onion in a few tablespoons of fat, until tender. Place a lid on top and the steam will cook the onions much faster, also making them more of a creamy texture which lends itself well to this recipe. Let them cool.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together all meats, onion, herbs, lemon and pepper and salt. Pour the mixture into a large oven-safe baking dish and shape into a loaf, or just press it into the pan. (I actually tried to roll this bad boy into a ‘jelly roll’ of sorts, but that was a complete waste of time.) The shallower the ‘loaf’, the faster it’ll cook. Bake for 45 minutes, then turn the oven to broil and let the top get brown, about another 5-7 minutes.

For the Cherry Compote

Toss all the ingredients into a medium sized sauce pot (same one you used for the onions) and place over medium high heat. Let the compote reduce, reduce, reduce into a nice sauce consistency…whatever you like best. This will anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the depth of your pan. Use a fork to smash the cherries into pieces.

*I have never seen ground duck for sale. I bought 2 duck breasts (skin on!) and put them through the meat grinder attachment for my Kitchen-Aid mixer. Easy breezy. Duck is not cheap–around $10-11/lb. But being a holiday meal, I would absolutely recommend the splurge.


Beef Game/Other Salads Sides

Mediterranean Feast

WE’RE ALIVE! I hope you weren’t worried (or starving). Summer=Vacation. Wanted to say a BIG thank you to all the Facebook and website comments about our recipes. I’m at a crossroads about commenting on every single comment to say ‘thank you’, I just feel like that seems a little silly, but believe me, we cherish EVERY single comment–good or bad!

So onto the recipe…

This is actually 3 recipes, hence the title  “Feast”. Here’s the breakdown: Mediterranean spiced meat kebabs, tafooleh salad and roasted garlic baba ganoush dip. You can make all 3 or just one and you’ll be eating like a king. We’ve made this so many times, in fact, we’ve made this for a dinner party (+ a few other accoutrements), our grandparents, my parents, kids –and had huge success. I don’t know why I’m just getting around to posting it.


Meat Kabobs

  • 1.5 lb. ground meat (we’ve used lamb, beef and buffalo with great success)
  • 1 T ground cumin
  • 1 T ground corriander
  • 1 1/2 t ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 t garlic powder
  • S & P

Tafooleh Salad

We posted this recipe way back in the day…well, it was one of our first posts anyway.

We grow tomatoes and this salad is a great way to use them up, if ya got ’em.

Roasted Garlic Baba Ganoush Dip

  • 2 medium eggplants
  • 7 cloves garlic, skin kept on!!
  • 1/2 c olive oil
  • 2 T sesame oil*
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • S &P


For the Kebabs

Turn the grill onto HOT and keep it there! Completely submerge 5-6 wooden skewers (if you have metal skewers, skip this step) in water for about 30 minutes. You’re trying to wet the wood so it doesn’t burn on the grill. In a medium sized bowl, combine all the ingredients for the kebabs and mix together with your God given forks, yo hands!

Form the meat around the water soaked skewer, like you’re be making a lollipop, or perhaps a meat-sicle. Haha! Place the meat-pops on the grill and cook for about 5 minutes, turn and cook another 5 minutes on the other side.

For the Roasted Garlic Baba Ganoush Dip

Get your oven to 350ºF. Cover a baking sheet with foil. Cut the stems off the top the eggplants and split them in 1/2. Place them on the baking sheet and give them a light drizzle of olive oil. Grab a small sheet of foil and place the garlic cloves in the middle (DO NOT remove the skin of the garlic!), drizzle with olive oil and close up tight, like a little bundle of love. You’re making roasted garlic baby–some of the tastiest stuff on Earth! Place in the oven and roast until the eggplant can easily be pierced with a knife, about 45 minutes to an hour.

Once the garlic is cool enough to handle, remove the skins. The garlic should be nicely golden, brown. In a food processor, add all the ingredients and blend until smooth.

*Typical baba ganoush uses Tahini, which is sesame seed paste. It’s expensive and a mono-tasker kind of ingredients–I only really make one recipe with it. It’s just not worth it, so I use sesame oil instead, something I use a lot in Asian recipes.