Spring Veggie Breakfast Scramble

Eggs and fresh vegetables in a breakfast scramble including tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms and spring onions

Spring Veggie Breakfast Scramble

 

 

Saute onions mushrooms spinach

Saute onions, mushrooms and then spinach.

Eggs and fresh vegetables in a breakfast scramble including tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms and spring onions

Eggs and fresh vegetables in a breakfast scramble including tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms and spring onions

Spring Veggie Breakfast Scramble

Breakfast, especially on a lovely spring Sunday morning after a busy week, is one of our favorite meals.  For this dish, I sautéed  Spring onions, spinach, Cremini mushrooms, and tomatoes and added eggs and fresh thyme from my garden for a delicious scramble.

It’s spring and the weather is lovely.  Spring onions are a special treat now in season for a short while. They look like regular scallions with a slightly larger bulb, but they are very different; sweeter and more tender. I use them as often as I can find them at the local farmer’s market or even at the supermarket. (We have a local one that features fresh, local produce.)

(I also added sautéed chopped chicken livers–I love them although I know everyone doesn’t share my enthusiasm.) The secret to making them is not to overcook–they should be pink inside.

Low carb and so delicious and satisfying!

INGREDIENTS

  • 3-4 fresh spring onions, washed and chopped, including white bulbs and green stems
  • 1/2 cup spinach, chopped, removing stems (I use washed and bagged baby spinach, but if using fresh from garden or farmer’s market be sure to wash thoroughly and use a salad spinner before adding.)
  • 1/2-1 cup Cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • Fresh chicken livers; I used about 4 livers for the two of us. (optional of course!)
  • Tomatoes–cut into quarters
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp butter (I use unsalted, both as it’s my taste preference and for the salt-free aspect)
  • Thyme, herbs de Provence and/or salt-free seasoning/pepper to taste

TO DO:

1. Beat eggs ( I add a tsp. of milk or 1/2 and 1/2- that small amount Rick can tolerate); add seasonings to the eggs, and set aside.

2. Sauté mushrooms in butter; after they’re browned (about 6-7 minutes), add chopped onions and saute until soft, about another 5-6 minutes.

3.  Remove mushrooms and onions to a bowl.

4. Add spinach to the pan; saute briefly, 1-2 minutes until wilted.

5. Sautee tomato pieces in the pan, pushing spinach to the side.

6. Add mushrooms and onions back into the pan.

7. Sautée chicken livers til pink inside (about 3-4 minutes/side) and then chop–add to Mushroom, onion, tomatoes and spinach.

8. Add beaten eggs over the mixture in the pan.

9. Gently cook the mixture, using a spatula around the sides to fold in the mixture as it’s cooking.

10. Cook until barely firm, and serve.

Enjoy!

www.type2delicious.com

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Arugula and Fresh Fig Salad with Goat Cheese

Arugula and Fresh Fig Salad topped with Crumbled Goat Cheese

Arugula and Fresh Fig Salad

 

If you’re looking for a fresh tasting salad to accompany rich holiday dishes, this is a good choice. The combination of tangy arugula with the sweetness of figs, cucumber freshness and a lemony dressing blends so well together. It’s a tasty, healthy treat rich in fiber and folates *–and very easy to prepare. Topping with crumbled goat cheese adds additional richness and a creamy mouth feel to finish it off deliciously!

Arugula Salad with Fresh Figs, Cucumber and Goat Cheese

INGREDIENTS (serves 4-6)

  • 1 large bunch or 2 bags of washed arugula (washed and spun in a salad dryer); you can remove some of the stems if you like
  • 2-4 fresh figs, sliced thin (if fresh figs are not available, use tangerine pieces)
  • 1 small/medium cucumber, peeled and sliced thin (depending on how much you like)
  • 1/4–1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese; (Trader Joe’s sells it in a container)
  • Lemon Vinaigrette:
  • 1/3 cup olive or walnut oil (Walnut oil is a delicious choice)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt-free spice mix (there are several I use–including the 21 Spice Salute from TJ’s–yes, I’m a TJ’s fan)
  • Salt-free lemon pepper to taste

TO DO:

1. Wisk dressing ingredients–let sit for about 1/2 hour to blend–then wisk again just before adding to the salad.

2. Put washed/dried arugula in a large salad bowl and toss with vinaigrette. (Tip: add dressing to salad greens before adding “additions” so that the additions stay on top for serving)

3. Arrange sliced figs/tangerines and cucumber on top of salad.

4. Crumble goat cheese on top and sprinkle with lemon pepper to taste.

(http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/arugula.html)

Enjoy! www.type2delicious.com

SHAKSHUKA–Middle Eastern Brunch Delight

dish of poached eggs on top of chopped vegetables and tomatoes

Delicious Middle Eastern
egg-veggie brunch dish

Shakshuka--final with poached eggs on top of veggies/tomatoes

Shakshuka–final with poached eggs on top of veggies/tomatoes

I want to share a new breakfast/brunch discovery–Shakshuka. This is a wonderful skillet dish that originates from the Middle East; I’ve been told it’s a staple in Israel; (not sure what other countries). It’s very delicious and is easy to customize and prepare. You can change out the spices and throw in whatever vegetables you have on hand. For my version I used chopped red pepper, onions, mushrooms, carrots, garlic, and jalapeño peppers (diced) and plum tomatoes.

We had it for brunch recently and were knocked out by the combination of sweet tomato flavor, vegetables, spicy undertones of the jalpeno (but not too spicy) and the creamy, rich eggs. It’s now one of our favorites.

This is a great dish to serve company or enjoy with your family when you have a leisurely weekend brunch. I suggest you serve with crusty whole grain toast to mop up the delicious sauce!

I’ve been out of town and apologize for not posting for a few weeks. Fall is in the air; next I’ll post a hearty fall vegetable stew–my version of Ratatouille. Please follow–stay tuned!

Shakshuka

INGREDIENTS (serves 2-3)

  • 4-6 large eggs (for 2 eggs per serving)
  • 2 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped into 1/2″ pieces (1 Cup)
  • 1 large red pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2-1 cup chopped mushrooms (I use Cremini)
  • 1 cup carrots; chopped into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 small can diced Jalapeño peppers (more if you like it spicier–or add tabasco)
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. sweet or smoky paprika
  • 1 tsp. ground tumeric
  • 1 28 oz. can of diced plum tomatoes, including the juice
  • no salt seasoning or 1/2 tsp. salt depending on your situation; ground black pepper
  • Feta or Goat Gouda, depending on your tolerance (Rick only eats goat cheeses, so we use that)
  • optional: Cilantro and/or oregano for garnish

TO DO:

1. Heat the oil in a large deep skillet (I use an AllClad pan)

2. Add onion, sweet pepper, mushrooms, carrots, garlic, jalapeños, spices, seasonings. Saute until tender, but not browned–about 10 minutes.

3. Stir in tomatoes and juice. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer about 10-12 minutes, uncovered; stir occasionally.

4. Crack each egg individually into a small bowl, and and carefully add, one at a time, on top of the vegetable mixture.

5. Cover, reduce heat and cook 5-8 minutes, until the whites are set and yolks are firm but still soft.

6. Serve with grated or crumbled cheese, oregano and/or cilantro.

That’s it! Pretty easy and delicious- a feast for the eyes and…!

Enjoy! www.type2delicious.com

Blanch Your Veggies! And a sauce to go with…

A variety of colorful blanched vegetables

Beautiful blanched veggies!

imageimageimageWhen much of your diet is low carb and you prepare recipes with lots of vegetables there’s often a great deal of chopping and prep work. Or you eat lots of raw vegetables, especially for appetizers with hummus or other low carb dips. (I admit that can get boring). One way I’ve found to enjoy fresh veggies and have them on hand for snacks and appetizers is to blanch a lot of them at one time.

Actually I’d never blanched a lot of veggies at one time, (I had done a few just for a one time use); then I was invited to a large party and had volunteered to bring hummus and a quantity of veggies. I had had enough of raw veggies for awhile so decided to try blanching them. And it was a revelation! They were so much tastier than the raw–tender, fresh and full of flavor- some crisp, some not so, but still very tasty; (this is a process–there’s a big difference in blanching a few to doing a few pounds). I chose asparagus, carrots, zucchini, yellow squash, red peppers and bright green pea pods- not only good to eat but good to look at–beautiful!

Blanching means boiling vegetables for a few minutes and then plunging them into ice water; one kind at a time. One trick/method I learned from Cook’s Illustrated is to blanch the darker vegetables last as they can discolor lighter vegetables, (as you use the same pot in turn for all the veggies — details in the TO DO section).

I invite you to blanch a quantity and variety of your favorite veggies–store in the fridge for a week of snacks or serve to your guests and/or family for a delicious, healthful treat.

INGREDIENTS/SUPPLIES 

  • 1/2 lb. each of a variety of vegetables (your choice), such as carrots, zucchini, yellow squash, asparagus, snap peas, red pepper, cauliflower…)
  • 1 red and/or yellow pepper
  • A large pot to boil the veggies in
  • a large bowl filled with ice cubes and cold water
  • A large slotted spoon
  • paper towels on a large plate or tray
  • EASY TASTY SAUCE:
  • 1/3-1/2 cup Mayonnaise (Best Foods, or make your own)
  • 1/2 -1 tsp. Siracha (to taste)
  • juice of 1/3 lemon

TO DO:

1. Wash (don’t peel); then slice vegetables into matchstick or 2″ long slices; snap asparagus in half.

2. Prepare ice water bath in bowl next to the boiling water

3. Bring water to boil in a large pot or Dutch oven

4. Add sliced veggies into the boiling water, starting with the lightest colored vegetables; (make sure the water is boiling for each batch). For example, I started with the cauliflower, then yellow squash, zucchini, carrots, peas, asparagus, red pepper).

5. Boil each batch for 1-2 minutes.

6. Immediately lift out with a large slotted spoon or a sieve and plunge into the ice water for 1-2 minutes. (You’ll most likely need to add ice for each batch as the hot veggies will increase the temperature.)

7. Lift out each batch from the ice water and drain on paper towels.

8. Repeat for each type of vegetable.

9. Mix sauce and let sit for at least 1/2 hour.

10. Refrigerate if not serving right away.

Enjoy! www.type2delicious.com

Summer Cucumber Salad

Julienned Cucumbers, carrots in a yogurt sauce

Summertime Cucumer Salad

My German grandmother was a terrific cook. One of her specialties in summer was a refreshing cold salad made of sliced cucumbers in a creamy dressing of red wine vinegar and sour cream, topped with fresh dill or chives. My updated version juliennes the cucumbers, adds carrots and a yogurt-based dressing instead of sour cream. It’s easy to make, very tasty and refreshing as an accompaniment to a summer meal such as grilled chicken or burgers. I like it by itself for a light lunch as well. It also keeps in the refrigerator for at least a few days and gets even more flavor.

It’s a funny thing- somehow marinating the cukes in this dressing makes them more digestible- as I find raw cucumbers sometimes upset my stomach. This salad never has. You can do the cucumber/salt drainage* technique in advance if you like but I confess I rarely have- as I am too impatient!

INGREDIENTS (serves 2-3)

  • 2-3 cucumbers ( medium size- if very large one might be enough)
  • 1/2 medium carrot
  • 1/2-1 cup plain yogurt ( I use whole milk Greek type)
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar (it sounds like a lot but the cukes need this amount)
  • 1/2 tsp. Xylitol (see my previous blog posts for more details about this natural no-sugar sweetener)
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onion (optional)
  • salt free seasoning ( or 1 tsp salt if you like)
  • fresh herbs- chives, dill or thyme

TO DO

  1. Make the sauce first so the flavors can meld. Mix the yogurt, red wine vinegar, xylitol and seasonings (not the herbs)– I use a wisk. Taste to make sure it has enough vinegar- should be tangy.
  2. Peel and slice thinly or julienne the cukes- I use a Mandolin with the julienne blade.
  3. Wash carrot, peel or brush well. Juienne or cut into matchsticks and combine with the cucumber; add green onion (optional)
  4. Add dressing and mix well.
  5. Let sit in refrigerator for at least 1/2 hour before serving.
  6. Garnish with fresh chopped herbs.

* To drain and remove excess moisture from peeled, sliced cucumbers in advance of making the salad; put them in a colander with a larger bowl underneath. Sprinkle 1 tsp. salt or more depending on amount of cukes, (sprinkle lightly) and let sit for approximately an hour. You can then blot with paper towels. It does help to keep them crisper and less watery in the salad.

Enjoy!

www.type2delicious.com

Easy Winter Vegetable Soup

image image image Hot, tasty vegetable soup When the weather’s cold or rainy, (I live in California so our cold isn’t as extreme as much of the US, but we do get our chilly, rainy days), nothing satisfies like a hot, steaming bowl of soup, especially one that is full of seasonal vegetables like kohlrabi, parsnips, cabbage and onions.

This soup is delicious, natch; plus very easy to make and chock full of ingredients that are very good for you. It can also be made ahead of serving. As you know, soup is always better the next day!

INGREDIENTS 

  • 2-3 carrots cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 kohlrabi, chopped into 1/2 ” pieces
  • 2-3 parsnips chopped into (yes- you guessed it) 1/2″ pieces- a chef told me that it really doesn’t matter if you have elegant chopping technique but that the point is to chop similar density food so that it is similar in size so it cooks approximately at the same time.
  • 1 small regular cabbage or savoy-type cabbage chopped; (savoy is a  cabbage with more curly leaves and a rectangular shape- I use this when I can get it for this soup)
  • 1-2 zucchini or winter yellow squash, chopped into 1/2″ rounds.
  • 1 med. onion chopped (can be finer chopped)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 1-2 scallions, chopped fine
  • 1/2-3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 large can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes, including juice
  • 1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2-3 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • Herbs; your choice
  • No-salt seasoning (Trader Joe’s has a good one; 21 Seasoning Salute)

TO DO

1. Heat oil in Dutch oven. Add the kohlrabi, carrots, parsnips and saute for 6-7 min., stirring occasionally.

2. Add the chopped cabbage and saute 4-5 min. more. It will seem like a lot of cabbage but it cooks down.

3. Add the onions, garlic and shallots and saute a few minutes until they start to become translucent. Then add the zucchini and/or squash.

4. Add the tomatoes with juice, wine, stock, bay leaf and spices to taste.

5. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for approximately 40-45 min. until the vegetables are tender but not mushy.

6. Optional: add chopped cooked sausage.

Serve with crusty whole grain toast, if allowed on your diet, and a tangy vinaigrette-dressed green salad. ( I also like a dollop of plain yogurt on top.)

Enjoy!

www.type2delicious.com

Roast Broccoli

Fresh broccoli mixed with olive oil and spices

Roasted and delicious!

I’m a broccoli fan, but confess I’ve always just steamed it; didn’t think of any other preparation, til now.

We recently had steamed broccoli and received extra in our biweekly farm produce shipment. I was looking for something different than our regular version, and thought, since we love roast cauliflower why not try to roast broccoli?

After checking a few internet sources (to see if this is a crazy idea) I found several recipes which I combined and added to–so thought; here goes!

Rick’s comment; “Why have broccoli any other way?”

(Side note: we read the eulogy Steve Jobs’ sister delivered which mentioned a meal Jobs and his wife served of steamed broccoli with fresh herbs; simple and good. But I must say that roasting adds another level of flavor.)

INGREDIENTS ( serves 2-3)

  • 1 large bunch broccoli
  • 2-3 Tbsps. Olive oil
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Lemon juice, plus 1 tsp. grated Lemon rind
  • No-salt seasoning (Trader Joe’s has a good one; 21 Seasoning Salute) and 1-2 tsps. thyme (or other herb of your choice); I suggest using only one herb to savor the single flavor.

TO DO

1. Preheat oven to 400.

2. Peel all rind from broccoli. (I insist on really peeling it thoroughly–having had unpeeled broccoli–dealing with the tough skin ruins this vegetable experience for me.)

3. Break into flowerets and slice the stalk into 1/2 ” rounds.

4. Mix broccoli pieces with olive oil, lemon, garlic, herb and seasonings.

5. Rub oil on a baking sheet – put pieces face down; make sure each piece is separate on the pan.

6. Bake for 15 minutes – turn pieces over and bake another 10-15 minutes until tender and brown on both sides.

Enjoy!

www.type2delicious.com

Veggie Lentil Soup

veggie-lentil-soup-ingredients

Fresh, dried and canned ingredients

diabetes-friendly-veggie-lentil-soup-ingredients

Fresh, canned, (we were lucky to be given home-canned tomatoes), and dried ingredients

healthy-veggie-lentil-soup-broth

So good in the pot (added bay leaf)

 

diabetes-friendly-veggie-lentil-soup

Goodness is in the bowl!

A hearty and delicious cool weather meal is this lentil soup, with added veggies, wine and lots of flavour.

Lentils do have higher carbs but they are also are high in protein and fiber. Of course, you can moderate your amounts, depending on your own health situation. For more lentil nutrition info, go to the link marked * at the end of this post.

Some lentil soups are too watery, and some are too thick. This one has the right balance of broth and substance. You can also add other vegetables, and even bacon, but this is how I make it.

I recently made this Soup with red lentils from a brand called “Pereg”— and was disappointed that these lentils never got totally tender, even after a lot of cooking- first one hour, then two subsequent cookings, (I made a large batch so we had leftovers), for 1/2 hr. To 45 minutes each time. Also I added cumin and all spice, so the flavor was interesting. All in all, still good, but next time I’ll stick with green or brown lentils. Have any of you, dear readers, had the same experience?

Veggie Lentil Soup

INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4-1 cup dried brown or green lentils, rinsed.
  • 2-3 cups broth (I use low sodium chicken broth, but vegetable works fine too)
  • 32 oz. can of crushed or chopped plum tomatoes (I use unsalted) or if you have home-canned lucky you
  • 4-5 carrots, in 1/2 ” rounds
  • 2-3 sticks of celery, chopped in 1/2″ pieces, with 2-3 tbsp. chopped green tops
  • 1 large onion, chopped into medium pieces
  • 3-4 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine (your choice, I use whatever we have leftover)
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • lemon zest to taste
  • 1 large Bay leaf
  • Optional: 1-2 hot dogs or cooked chicken sausages, chopped into 1/2″ pieces
  • Salt free seasoning/pepper to taste

TO DO:

1. Preheat large saute pan.

2. Add olive oil, chopped onion, celery and carrots. Brown and sauté on medium high heat approx. 10 minutes, until somewhat tender. Add garlic and sauté 2 more minutes, making sure garlic doesn’t burn.

3. Add veggies to a large pot or Dutch oven. Add lentils, and rest of ingredients, except for lemon zest.

4. Bring to a boil, then cover and turn down heat to a slow simmer.

5. Simmer on low for approx. 30-40 minutes

6. Test for tenderness (carrots and lentils especially)

7. Add lemon zest and adjust spices and seasonings to taste.

8. You can also use a hand blender if you like a smoother texture (or remove some of the soup to a blender and add back into the pot)

9. Serve with the always delish green salad, https://type2delicious.com/2014/11/18/salad-with-goat-cheese-pears-and-mustardgarlic-vinaigrette/

And whole grain toast if you like. I also like a dollop of plain Greek yogurt to top off my bowl!

*http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/CarbsInGrains/a/Carbs-In-lentils.htm

Enjoy!

www.type2delicious.com