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

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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

Rainbow Swiss Chard

Such pretty rainbow colors!

Such pretty rainbow colors!

The chard stems are cooked first

The chard stems are cooked first

The final cooked chard

The final cooked chard

RAINBOW CHARD

Chard (Swiss Chard) was a new vegetable to me. Rick had made it previously, so I wanted to try it. This is really his recipe.

We buy rainbow chard at the farmer’s market– so pretty, so easy and so delicious! I love the colors! If available, choose the rainbow variety, though the plain Jane is just as tasty. Also, of course, both are low carb, and full of good greens; see the link below for nutritional info. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=16

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 -2 bunches Rainbow (or just green) Swiss Chard
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 3-4 Tbsp good balsamic vinegar
  • Salt free seasoning/pepper to taste

TO DO: 1. Wash the chard (I use a large colander and wash each large leaf ) 2. Strip the leaves from the stems and cut off ends and discard any large, tough stems. 3. Chop stems into 1/2 or 1″ pieces, then chop leaves into I” pieces; separate stems from leaves. 4. Preheat a large sauté pan, add oil. Add vinegar. 5. Saute stems for approx. 10 min., then add leaves, and saute approx another 10 min. until vinegar is reduced. 6. Add spices and seasonings to taste. 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

Luscious Veggie Eggs

 

Lucious Veggie Mixture

Lucious Veggie Mixture

Eggs underneath the veggies

Eggs underneath the veggies

Sauce Ingredients

Ready to enjoy!i

Ready to enjoy!i

This morning I wanted to celebrate Martin Luther King’s B-Day and serve eggs in a different way. Actually I originally thought of the sauce, my own version of a remoulade, but found we had a variety of veggies in the fridge, including leftover cooked ones, so combined them with gently fried eggs and the sauce.

Rick approved!

INGREDIENTS (serves 2)

  • Approx. 1 1/2 cup Vegetables, chopped fine (I used 1/2 large onion, leftover cooked broccoli, cauliflower, yellow squash, and carrots, 1/3 red pepper, and about 1 cup spinach.)
  • chopped cooked sausage (optional)
  • 2 fresh eggs
  • Olive oil/butter
  •  Goat cheese for grating (optional)
  • Herbs; your choice; I like Herbs de Provence

 

 

  • Remoulade Sauce:
  • 1/3 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1Tbsp. Ketchup
  • 1 tsp. Capers
  • 2-3 drops Siracha (optional)

TO DO

1. Saute chopped onions in butter/olive oil mix until browned.

2. Add red peppers ( and any other uncooked veggies- I used leftover cooked ones except for the onions, red pepper and spinach); saute until tender, about 5 minutes.

3. Add the remaining cooked vegetables, and spinach. Saute a few more minutes until spinach is tender.

4. Remove veggies to a bowl.

5. Make sauce: combine Mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, capers. Set aside for serving; (can be made ahead of time)

6. Gently fry eggs; sunny side up. Sprinkle with herbs and cheese if desired.

7. Slide an egg on each plate; top with veggie mix and serve with sauce.

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

My Mom’s Turkey Soup

Chopping celery

My Mom’s Turkey Soup

My mother was a very busy pediatrician who rarely had time to cook; (my grandma lived with us and did most of that. We were very grateful as she was a superb cook.)

Thanksgiving, however, unless there were medical emergencies, was a lovely relaxed time in our house. Mom took advantage of this break to use the turkey carcass to make a delicious turkey soup chock full of vegetables, garlic, wine and chunks of turkey from the carcass. It’s also easy to make and I’ve never had any better!

I made it without noodles, but you could add whole wheat or other whole grain noodles of your choice, as now there is a good selection of these.

INGREDIENTS 

  • 1 turkey carcass, split into halves (or smaller pieces, depending on your pot)
  • 3-4 large carrots, sliced in 1/2 ” rounds
  • 1 cup celery, chopped; using “Cook’s Illustrated” magazine’s technique: wash the celery to the point that you’re using, then instead of tearing off the stalks, cut from the whole (see photo). I’ve found it much more convenient and easy.
  • 1 large onion chopped into 1/2″ pieces
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic- chopped fine. We love garlic; use as many to your taste.
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • Turkey, chicken or vegetable broth to cover the carcass (approx. 1 quart). I use a combination of turkey broth I make from the giblets and a commercial low sodium chicken stock.
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • Herbs; your choice, but make one a bay leaf.
  • No-salt seasoning (Trader Joe’s has a good one; 21 Seasoning Salute)

TO DO

1. Heat a large sauce pan, add olive oil. Sauté onions on medium heat until transparent ( approx. 5-7 min.)

2. Remove the onions, add and sauté carrots and celery in the pan. After about 7 minutes add garlic and continue for approx. 2-3 minutes, making sure garlic doesn’t burn.

3. Put the carcass in a large Dutch oven or stock pot, add the vegetables and cover to the top of the carcass with broth.

4. Add wine, bay leaf and other seasoning.

5. Bring to a boil and then turn down to low to simmer for 45 min. to 1 hour, until vegetables are tender and meat falls off the bones; or longer, depending on your timing.

6. Remove the carcass from the pot and strip off the meat- chop and return meat to the soup.

7. Serve with good whole grain toast or noodles.

Enjoy!

www.type2delicious.com