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Frittata

October 4, 2012 6 comments

Matt’s Kitchen Sink Frittata

Recently a fellow blogger, posted about writer’s block. Mike (at Made by Mike) was suffering from it and I know that feeling all too well. I haven’t posted in over a week and wondered if maybe that was my issue too. But I don’t think so. I’ll chalk it up to not feeling well the last week or so. Caught a cold at my nephew’s wedding (it was worth it) and I am suffering with fall allergies. Spending time clearing the summer garden and working on the fall garden does not help my allergies but it helps keep me sane.

Combine puniness with learning new software at work and it’s no wonder I’m not cooking, blogging, and taking food photos! So, with little fodder for the blog, I turn to my husband, Matt, for this recipe – Kitchen Sink Frittata. It’s his latest creation. I’ve slowly corrupted Matt. When we first met, he was a recipe follower, but not so much these days. He got the inspiration for the frittata from one of his favorite cookbooks, The All New Good Housekeeping Cook Book. However, we had leftovers so he used them instead of following the recipe. He cleaned out the refrigerator and used leftover creamed spinach, the Cutest Potatoes Ever, and the Layered Summer Vegetable Bake. It was delicious. Have I mentioned lately that I love having a husband who enjoys cooking?!? I am allergic to eggs (and sensitive to dairy), but I ate some anyway, it was totally worth the rash and itching. Typical medical disclaimer: if you are allergic to any of the ingredients please do not risk it by trying this recipe! I have dealt with food allergies for so long, I know my limits. Disclaimer over, and now back to the recipe…

Frittata (Print recipe)

8 eggs

1½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

¼ cup half-and-half

¼ cup water

3 tablespoons fresh herbs (parsley, oregano, Greek basil, thyme), roughly chopped

2 cups potatoes (I would do more), thinly sliced

2 cups roasted veggies, chopped and/or thinly sliced (tomatoes, onions, peppers, artichokes, eggplant, summer squash, mushrooms, zucchini, garlic, etc.)

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup creamed spinach (or other greens, add cream cheese and/or more cheese if just using regular spinach)

1 cup grated cheese*

Frittata and FredBread ToastPreheat oven to 425º F. In a large bowl, combine eggs, water, half and half, salt, and pepper. Beat until combined. Add herbs and half of the cheese, beat some more.

Note: this step assumes you are using up leftovers and everything is cooked. In a large oven safe skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Make sure you have some oil on the sides of the pan to prevent sticking. Reheat ingredients according to their thickness and ability to handle heat – heat the potatoes first, then the veggies, and then the spinach. As soon as everything is warm and reasonably well combined, add egg mixture. Stir slightly so that ingredients are evenly distributed, then let it cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until it starts to set on the edges. Pop it in the preheated oven.

Cook for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and top with the remaining cheese. Pop it back in the oven until cheese melts (about 2 to 4 more minutes).

To serve, loosen frittata from skillet by easing it up around the edges. Use a good metal spatula to loosen the bottom, and then gently slide it onto a platter. Makes: 6-8 servings.

*You can use cheddar, Swiss, Parmesan, or another cheese of your choice. You can also use more if you prefer. You really can’t have too much cheese with the amount of eggs in this frittata.

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Layered Summer Vegetable Bake

September 5, 2012 9 comments

Layered Summer Vegetable Bake

The other morning on the TODAY Show, Martha Stewart had a recipe for a Provençal Vegetable Tian. It sounded and looked delicious. But of course I did not have all the ingredients she used. So, I decided to make my own version with things from our pantry, our garden, and our friend’s garden. That seems to be a theme lately – use what you have.

Back in high school, I was on the yearbook committee and one of my least favorite tasks was writing titles and captions. Not much has changed. I still struggle with this, in technical writing and in recipe writing. Not sure what to call my version of Martha’s recipe. Strata is not completely accurate since it doesn’t contain eggs, bread, or cheese. It reminded me of a baked late summer vegetable layered ratatouille. However, I didn’t cook the vegetables separately. It could be called a casserole, but it seems a little too fancy for that (not that there’s anything wrong with a casserole). I guess it really is a tian, a layered casserole of French origin. But, I hate to totally copy Martha, thus the lame name: Layered Summer Vegetable Bake. At least it is descriptive. Oh well, whatever you call it, hope you enjoy my version.

My typical disclaimer: This is another recipe where you can customize it to your tastes or use what is fresh and available. If you do not like eggplant, you can use zucchini, zephyr, crookneck, or patty pan squash. If you want to add peppers, go for it! Add more garlic if you’d like. If you do not have fresh herbs, dry herbs can be used. If you are on a sodium-restricted diet, you can omit or decrease the amount of salt. If you want to mix it up, you could even add sweet potatoes. Feel free to use different oil, if you prefer. Basically, you are layering veggies with a bit of salt, pepper, oil, and herbs, squishing it, and baking it. Ok you get it, please make this YOUR dish and have fun!

Slice of Veggie Goodness

Layered Summer Vegetable Bake (Print recipe)

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

4 garlic cloves, sliced ⅛ inch thick

1 medium onion, sliced ⅛ inch thick half-moons

1 leek or green onion, sliced ⅛ inch thick

4 small potatoes, sliced ⅛ inch thick

1½ teaspoons coarse salt

¾ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

4 medium eggplants, sliced ⅛ inch thick (I used skinny green, purple, and a few round orange Turkish eggplants)

4 medium tomatoes, sliced ⅛ inch thick

4 tablespoons capers, whole or smashed/chopped

4 teaspoons fresh herbs (thyme, parsley, and basil), chopped

Garnish: Fresh Herbs

Serves: 4-8 (depends on whether it is a main dish or a side dish)

Wash, dry, and slice your veggies. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Drizzle 1 tablespoon oil into 13x9x2” baking dish*. Cover the bottom with half the garlic, onions, and leeks. Top with half the potatoes. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Top with half the eggplant. Top with half the tomatoes. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Cover with half the capers and half the fresh chopped herbs. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil. Use an oiled spatula to press down the vegetables. Repeat the layers – garlic, onions, leeks, potatoes, salt pepper, eggplant, tomatoes, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper, capers, herbs, 2 tablespoons oil. Use an oiled spatula to press down the vegetables. Cover loosely with foil. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil. Use an oiled spatula to press down the vegetables. Bake until the top is golden and caramelized, about 45 minutes more. Let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before slicing.

*If you have lots of patience, you could make individual serving sizes using either a muffin pan or mini ramekins. As you can probably tell from my photo, my version was very thin. That’s because we like crispy bits (there were lots). If you want less crisp and more layers, feel free to use a smaller baking dish.

 

Harvest Meal

August 24, 2012 56 comments

Harvest Basket + 5 Ingredients

We often have pantry meals – we make something for dinner out of just what we have in the pantry (and maybe add a few things from the refrigerator and/or freezer). These meals can be creative. Sometimes we just don’t want to go to the grocery store or farmers market, this is a good alternative. Well this week, I went outside and harvested a basket of veggies from the garden: tomatoes, spaghetti squash, green beans, onions, bell peppers, cucumbers, celery, and herbs. I decided to make a “harvest meal,” using the ingredients in the basket plus 5 kitchen staples: olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper.

I made a quick marinara sauce to top the spaghetti squash and served it with sautéed green beans, and a chopped salad. It was a tasty meal, made even better because we grew the veggies! We’ve only been gardening for two years, so it’s still a treat when we harvest. I don’t really have recipes and exact measurements, just guidelines. Hope you are enjoying the summer bounty! It’s time to think about a fall garden.

Spaghetti Squash with Marinara Sauce

Olive oil

Onions, chopped

Celery leaves and stems, chopped

Bell peppers, chopped

Tomatoes, chopped

Salt and pepper

Fresh herbs (basil, parsley, oregano)

Balsamic vinegar

Spaghetti squash pasta (see the next recipe)

Parmesan cheese

Heat some olive oil in a pan; add the onions, celery, and bell peppers. Sauté until tender. Add the tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Cook until the tomatoes are tender. You can mash some of the tomatoes with a fork or potato masher or even use an immersion blender. Depends on the texture you prefer. Stir in a splash of balsamic vinegar and the fresh herbs. Serve over the spaghetti squash with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

Spaghetti Squash “Pasta”

1 medium spaghetti squash

You can bake spaghetti squash in the oven at 350º F for 45 minute to an hour, until tender. However, it is August and I prefer not to heat up the house by using the oven for this. The microwave does a fine job.

You can cook spaghetti squash whole, but I prefer to cut them. Wash the outside of the squash. Dry it thoroughly. The rind is tough so it can be a little tricky to cut, so use care when cutting it. Wrap it in a towel, place it on a cutting board and use a large knife to slice it lengthwise from stem to end. Then use a spoon or a sturdy ice cream scoop to scoop out the seeds and the stringy stuff. This is similar to how you clean a butternut squash or a pumpkin.

Place the two halves cut side up in a microwave safe container (I use a Pyrex pie plate). Fill the cavities with water. Pour a little extra water in the bottom of the container. Microwave on high for 5 minutes. Rotate the squash halves and pour a little more water over the cut edges – this keeps them from drying out. Microwave another 5 minutes. Let them rest for about 5 more minutes. Then, use a fork to shred the squash so that it looks like strands of spaghetti.

Finished Meal

Green Beans

Green beans, washed and snapped (if needed)

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Fresh herbs (basil, parsley, oregano)

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan or wok. Stir in the green beans. Sauté until slightly tender (I like them with a little bite). Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and fresh herbs.

Chopped Salad

Tomatoes, chopped

Cucumbers, chopped

Onions, chopped

Celery leaves, chopped

Olive oil

Balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper

Parmesan cheese

Fresh herbs (basil, parsley, oregano)

Toss the vegetables in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil. Add a splash of balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, Parmesan cheese, and fresh herbs. Toss well. Serve.

 

Sausage Cheese Balls

July 29, 2012 7 comments

Sausage Cheese Balls

In a previous post, I mentioned a variation of cheese straws – sausage cheese balls. Well, here is a quick recipe with only three main ingredients (optional seasonings can be added). It’s a fairly versatile recipe; you can use pork, chicken, or turkey sausage. If you want a vegetarian version, you can use soy or TVP (textured vegetable protein) sausage. You can make a gluten-free version using a gluten-free biscuit mix. I even prefer this to the traditional biscuit mix. I have not tried a vegan version with soy cheese and veggie sausage because I have not found a biscuit mix that it is vegan. This is a great recipe to make ahead and freeze. Just thaw, heat (optional), and serve.

Sausage and Cheese Balls (Print recipe)

1 pound sausage (pork, turkey, chicken, soy, or TVP)

2 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese

3 cups biscuit mix (Bisquick or a gluten-free variety)

¼ to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, pepper flakes, or Aleppo pepper, optional

¼ teaspoon garlic powder, optional

Cook and drain the sausage (this makes the final cheese ball less greasy). While sausage is cooking, let the cheese come to room temperature. Combine the sausage, cheese, biscuit mix, and optional seasonings. I use my hands to mix it well. Shape into 1 inch balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350º F. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to cooling rack. Serve immediately or you can freeze them. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Makes: about 4 dozen sausage cheese balls.

 

Hearty Gluten-Free and Vegan Breakfast Cookie Bars

February 15, 2012 Leave a comment

Dr. Michael Moreno is the author of The 17 Day Diet.  In the book, he includes a recipe for Dr. Mike’s Power Cookie.  My friend Shelli tried the diet and shared the cookie recipe with me.  Here is Dr Mike’s original version:  http://www.the17daydiet.com/dessert/dr-mike%E2%80%99s-power-cookie/

I didn’t have some of the ingredients so I decided to wing it.  My version is gluten-free and vegan.  I don’t know anything about the nutritional information for my cookies, but they are tasty and seem like a healthy alternative to a regular cookie or breakfast bar.  I would not use my recipe if you are actually following the 17 Day Diet, probably best to stick with Dr. Mike’s original recipe.  But if you want a vegan, gluten-free version, here’s one you can try:

Hearty Gluten-Free and Vegan Breakfast Cookie Bars

½ cup unsweetened applesauce

2 tablespoons almond paste (roughly two 3/4” slices of almond paste)

1 tablespoon coconut oil

¼ cup agave nectar

1 egg substitute*

¾ teaspoon vanilla

¼ teaspoon almond extract

¾ cup gluten-free flour blend

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon cayenne or black pepper (or a combination)

¼ cup vanilla rice bran protein powder

2 cups rolled oats (not instant)

1 cup dried fruit (I used a cherry, pomegranate, cranberry blend from Trader Joe’s.)

½ cup slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 350º degrees F. Grease a 9×9” baking pan. Mix the applesauce, almond paste, coconut oil, and agave nectar. Add the egg substitute, vanilla, and almond extract. Mix well. Stir in the gluten-free flour blend, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, pepper, and rice bran protein powder. Add the oats, dried fruit, and almonds. Mix well. Pour batter into the prepared baking pan.  Really press the batter into the pan (use the back of a spatula, batter is thick and sticky). Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven. Cool on a baking rack. Cut into squares.  Store in an airtight container. 

*For an egg substitute, I use Ener-G Egg Replacer.  One Egg = 1½ teaspoons Ener-G Egg Replacer plus 2 tablespoons water.  http://www.ener-g.com/low-protein-1/egg-substitute/egg-replacer.html