Chachouka

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Chachouka ~ adapted from River Cottage Veg

3 tbsp olive oil

1/4 tsp ground cumin

1 large onion, thinly sliced in strips

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced

1/2 tsp paprika (hot smoked if you have it on hand)

a pinch of saffron strands

1 14 ounce can plum tomatoes, chopped

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 large eggs

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the cumin and onion and saute for a for about 8-10 minutes or until soft and golden in color. Add the garlic and peppers and continue to cook on low heat for around 20 minutes, stirring often, until the peppers are soft and wilted. Add in the paprika, a little salt and pepper, crumble in the saffron with your fingers, and add the tomatoes with any liquid from cutting. Cook, stirring from time to time, for about 15 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Taste the pepper mixture and adjust seasonings if needed then transfer to an oven-safe baking dish. Make two hollows in the pepper mixture and add an egg to each. sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake for around 12 minutes depending on how you like your eggs cooked. If you like your eggs runny (the way this dish is meant to be served) then stop at around the 12 minute mark. Any longer and your eggs will be more set.

Enjoy ~

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Blueberry Muffins with Lemon + Olive Oil

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It is fifty degrees here in New York City, and I thought this lovely temperature deserved some celebration! Plenty of winter still awaits, but for the moment, lets bring in the sunshine with these tasty treats! Great for a hearty breakfast on the go or with a mug of hot tea, the lemon gives off a nice little zest and there are so many blueberries in each and every bite you can’t help but smile. 🙂

~ Recipe below ~

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Blueberry Muffins with Lemon + Olive Oil ~ adapted from cannellevanille

1 cup oat flour*

3/4 cup millet flour

1/2 cup buckwheat flour*

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 tsp lemon zest (I made them heaping teaspoons)

1/2 cup natural cane sugar

1/4 cup light brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk

1 1/2 cups frozen or fresh blueberries (I used frozen here)

*The original recipe calls for 1 cup brown rice flour and 1/2 cup almond flour. I used what I had on hand and thought they still came out very tasty but I would recommend trying these as well)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with parchment paper. In a large bowl mix together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl combine the lemon zest and sugars and rub them together with your hands to release the oils, it smells wonderful! Add the 2 eggs and whisk until combined. Add the pure vanilla extract, olive oil and coconut milk and mix until combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until combined as well, lastly mix in the blueberries.

Spoon the batter into your paper lined tin. I like to fold my parchment paper into cups, though you have to hold the paper in place until you fill it with the batter. Sprinkle a little bit of natural can sugar on top.

Bake for 22-25 minutes or until golden on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. You may have to bake the muffins for longer depending on the size of your muffin molds.

Let them cool before eating and keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. They taste great the next morning after being warmed up for 20 seconds in the microwave.

~ Enjoy ~

Baked Blackberry Oatmeal

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Greetings! I hope you are having a merry holiday. This time is one of my favorites, the in-between time right before New Years Eve. There may be some work involved but it is a time filled with laughter, parties, loved ones and food. This hearty breakfast bake fits in perfectly and brings a smile to your face on these chilly mornings. Resembling a fruit crumble more than oatmeal it is quite a treat! The blackberries are warm and syrupy, bursting with flavor. With a cake like oatmeal mixture in the middle and topped off with sweet crunchy sunflower and pumpkin seeds. YUM, I will start my mornings like this, please.

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Blackberry Oatmeal Bake ~ adapted from Vegetarian Everyday

14 oz fresh or frozen blackberries (thaw if frozen)

2 cups rolled oats

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp ground ginger

a pinch of sea salt

2 large eggs

2 1/4 cups milk of choice

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup pure unsweetened honey, agave, or maple syrup

1 tbsp coconut oil + extra for greasing the pan

3/4 cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds (original recipe uses toasted hazelnuts)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 8 x 10 baking dish and spread the berries in an even layer on the bottom of the dish and set aside. In a mixing bowl combine the oats, baking powder, ginger and salt. In another bowl add the eggs, milk, and vanilla and whisk until combined. In a smaller bowl mix the honey/maple/agave syrup, 1 tbsp coconut oil and the nuts/seeds (use your fingers to make sure all of the seeds/nuts are well coated). Pour the dry oat mixture evenly over the berries then pour the egg mixture over evenly. Sprinkle the seed mixture on top and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the oatmeal is set (no liquid) and the seeds are lightly browned and crunchy. Cool slightly before serving.

Creamy Eggs + Leeks with Baby Hasselback Potatoes

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This yummy breakfast was made on a whim and serves one. For when you just need some solo-brunch time.

Feel free to make as much as you like, however! I didn’t use exact measurements and ended up throwing a bunch of things together as I went along. The plump sweet white corn combined with soft cheese, eggs, basil, and sautéed leeks is one hell of a tasty combination. All topped off with the slight saltiness of kalamata olives.

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Creamy Eggs + Leeks with Baby Hasselback Potatoes

5-10 small potatoes (I used a combination of red, yellow and purple)

Olive oil

Sea salt

Basil, dried or fresh

Coconut oil

1 colve of garlic, minced

1 leek, chopped

milk

2 eggs

basil, dried or fresh (I used dried)

chopped kalamata olives

Spinach + white corn (fresh or frozen, I used frozen)

freshly grated parmesan cheese

soft cheese (cream cheese, goat, I used laughing cow garlic and herb)

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Scrub your potatoes, then slice thinly with a sharp knife just until you reach the bottom (so that all the slices are still connected). Place in a glass baking dish, drizzle with olive oil, sea salt, and basil. Toss lightly to coat and place in the oven while you prepare your eggs. Cook until potatoes are cooked through and the edges begin to brown.

In a small saute pan heat a small spoonful of coconut oil and add the minced garlic. Cook for a minute until brown and fragrant then add the chopped leek. Saute until leek pieces are soft and tender. In a small bowl whisk eggs with the chopped kalamata olives, basil, a pinch of sea salt, a large tbsp of grated parmesan cheese, and a few generous splashes of milk. Add egg mixture to the pan with the garlic and leeks, heat on med-low. Add spinach, white corn, and soft cheese to the pan and slowly scramble until eggs are cooked. Top with extra parmesan cheese and fresh basil. Serve warm with potatoes, preferably with a large glass of orange juice and enjoy the spring sunshine.

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Spinach and Feta Almond Crust Tart

A Spinach & Feta Almond Crust Tart

I may be described by some as an odd child……when asked what my favorite foods were, from an early age, you can bet black olives and spinach to be among them. And if ever in the form of a spinach souffle I’m pretty sure I fought a few poor family members for that last bite and scrape of the side of the bowl. One of the many joys of growing up is having the ability to make my own spinach and cheese tart, exactly how I like, and I don’t have to share…..with anyone!  For future reference, though, if I ever do offer you a slice of my spinach pie, I must like you a hell of a lot.

So here is a recipe for one of my favorite dishes, it keeps well in the fridge, and makes for a splendid lunch served hot or cold with a salad on the side

Pie Crust:

2 cups almond flour

1 cup hazelnut flour

1/2 tsp sea salt

4 tbsp olive oil

1 egg

herbs/seasonings of choice (I used a little thyme and garlic powder)

Filling:

10 ounces or so chopped spinach (fresh or frozen) I favor frozen spinach here and probably used a bit more then normal.

1 yellow onion, chopped

1-2 tbsp olive oil

2 eggs

feta cheese

kalamata olives

spices/salt/pepper (remember if using feta, the cheese adds a lot of salty flavor already)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all the ingredients for the crust together, flatten out with your hands in a full-sized tart pan (grease first if necessary). Bake for around 10 to 15 mins, you want it to be lightly brown on the outside and the edges crispy. In a medium pot sauté the onion in the olive oil for 2 minutes then add the spinach and cook till the onion is translucent. Take off the heat and mix in eggs, seasonings, and as much or little feta as desired. Pour into the cooked crust, flatten the top of the mixture for a smooth appearance and top with kalamata olives. Bake for 15-20 minutes, times will vary but when the cheese on top begins to brown your tart should be ready.

*(note, when working with frozen spinach their can be a bit of unwanted water in the pot when you are cooking it…I poured or spooned out what I could but did not worry about it to much and the tart still turned out amazing. Feel free also to use all almond flour if you are not a fan of hazelnut, I found the hazelnut to add more of a nutty flavor and texture to the crust).

Have a lovely Holiday Weekend ~

Carrot Zucchini Almond Meal Muffins

The king of all muffins

What better way to start off your weekend then with a lovely muffin recipe. While I am not strictly gluten free I have been reading into a lot of the benefits in eating palio/or grain free. I LOVE cooking with almond meal now and have so many exciting recipes buzzing around in my head. These muffins are almost like cake and absolutely delicious.

I made them again but only with zucchini, since I was out of carrots, and they definitely were not as sweet. The carrots, with their subtle sweetness, are crucial in making these as tasty as possible.

~ Carrot, Zucchini, Almond Meal Muffins ~

2 cups Almond flour (almond meal)

2 eggs

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup oil of choice

1/4 cup honey

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

grated zucchini and carrot (at least 1 cup)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. I grated 2 small zucchini and 1 large carrot. You can do more or less it is up to you. Combine your eggs, honey, and oil in a small bowl and mix. Combine your dry ingredients in a larger bowl, mix. Add the wet to dry, stir till combined and a batter like consistency is achieved. Then stir in the grated carrot and zucchini. Spoon into a muffin tin (greased if necessary) I had left over batter which I baked alongside the muffins in a mini loaf pan.

You can bake in any size baking dish, just allow extra baking time for larger sizes. Cook for a good 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.

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