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Breakfast

Shakshuka with tahini and olives

This is the most wonderful brunch or lunch, oozing with flavor and goodness.

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Serves 2 – 4 (but can easily be augmented)

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 large organic, pasture-raised eggs
3 medium tomatoes – roughly chopped
1/2 medium onion-diced
5 cloves garlic-roughly chopped
2 tsp smoked Spanish paprika
1&1/4 tsp harissa
1 handful green olives – pitted and roughly chopped for garnish
salt and pepper to taste

For the tahini mixture;
2 tbsp tahini
1 clove garlic-finely grated
2 tbsp lemon juice
Approx 1/4 cup water
pinch of sea salt

In a bowl, whisk together the tahini, garlic and lemon juice. The mixture will be clumpy. Keep whisking and slowly add 1 tbsp water at a time until the tahini loosens and can loosely coat the back of a spoon. Season with a pinch of salt- set aside

Heat a heavy bottomed pan over medium heat. Add the oil, onions and garlic. Season with a pinch of salt and sauté for 10 to 15 minutes until soft.
Season the onion mixture with the smoked paprika and sauté for 60 seconds- stir constantly to prevent burning.

Add the tomatoes and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir, lower the heat to medium low and cover with a lid. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the Harissa.
NOTE- If the tomato mixture dries out during the cooking, add 1-2 tbsp water.

Remove the lid and crack the eggs into the sauce one at a time.
TIP- Use a spatula to create a small “well” in the sauce and add the egg into the well so that the eggs cook in the sauce rather than over the top of it.

Cover with a lid and cook until the whites have hardened but the yolks are runny; approx 6 to 8 minutes.
For firmer yolks, cook for a bit longer.
Remove from the heat, drizzle with the tahini and garnish with the olives

 

Carrot cake smoothie

I happen to be married to someone who adores carrot cake, so when I found this recipe recently, there was no way I wasn’t going to include it. I mean, a healthy smoothie tasting like carrot cake??

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1 cup carrots, peeled and then grated (if you have a high powered blender like a Vitamix, you could probably just roughly chop them)
1 organic banana, frozen
1 1/2 cups coconut/almond milk(or other non-dairy milk of your choice)
1/4 cup raw unsalted cashews, soaked for two hours (or 1/4 cup homemade cashew nut butter)
1 tsp good vanilla extract
1 good sized Medjool date
1 tbsp organic raw shelled hemp seeds, or protein powder.
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger or 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves

Optional – instead of the hemp seeds, for additional nutritional support, you could also opt for a scoop of Protein Powder, either the Vanilla Chai or straight Vanilla would be great.

Directions: Add all of the ingredients to your high speed blender and process until smooth and creamy. Top with a little cinnamon and a pinch of grated carrots. Enjoy immediately.

Poached eggs on avocado-feta toast

I thought avocado toast was pretty wonderful until I tried mashing the avocado with Greek feta crumbles and my gosh, the flavor shot up like crazy.
This is especially lovely on sourdough toast. If you don’t feel like having the eggs on top, just have the avocado-feta toast on it’s own.

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For 2 people (can easily be augmented)

2 ripe avocados
1/4 to 1/2 tsp chili flakes, depending on how much kick you like
3 to 4oz Greek feta cheese, crumbled
salt and ground black pepper
good olive oil
2 slices of sourdough toast
2 large organic eggs

Firstly, add about 1 inch of water to a frying pan and bring to a simmer.

Mash the avocados in a bowl with a few drops of olive oil (about 1 tsp) salt, pepper and chili flakes, then add the feta and mix through but don’t mash the feta too much, just enough to blend.

Toast the sourdough bread.

Drop the eggs gently into the simmering water, then turn the heat down so you barely see the bubbles. As you poach the eggs, gently gather the white of the eggs around the eggs and keep spooning the hot water over the top of the eggs so they cook. (Poaching eggs is something you just learn to do over time. I don’t use vinegar like many chef’s do, as I don’t like the flavor)

Spread the avocado mixture over the toast and season.

Remove the eggs with a spatula when they start to lose that “snotty” look (that’s the only way I know how to describe an under-cooked poached egg!)

Place an egg on top of each piece of toast and season with salt pepper and chili flakes.

Frittata muffins

These are super easy, and lovely to make ahead of time and reheat. You can change up the ingredients, just make sure they’re super tasty with lots of good quality strong cheddar cheese.

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6 large organic eggs
1/2 cup milk (or cream for a richer taste)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 cup (6oz) shredded mature Cheddar cheese (not the pre-grated sort)
3/4 cup zucchini, chopped small
1/2 cup chopped bacon
1/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped small
2 tbsp chopped red onion

Makes: 6 servings/12 muffin frittatas

Heat the oven to 350°F.
In a little butter, saute the zucchini, bacon, red pepper and chopped onion until starting to soften and the bacon is starting to brown.
Beat the eggs, milk/cream, salt and pepper in medium bowl until well-blended. Add the grated cheese and the zucchini, bell pepper, bacon and onion mixture; mix well.
Spoon evenly into 12 greased muffin cups, about 1/4 cup each. Add a little extra grated cheese on top of each muffin if you like.

Bake in the oven until just set, 20 to 22 minutes. COOL on wire rack 5 minutes. REMOVE from cups; serve warm.

Baked cheesy, bacon eggs

This dish reminds me so much of my mother when I was young as she would make this for me for lunch when I came home from school. It is so soothing and tasty.
This recipe is for 2 people, but you can make as many as you want.

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Serves 2

1/2 cup grated mature cheddar cheese (not the pregrated stuff)
1 tbsp good Dijon Mustard. (I use the “Edmund Faillot” brand)
2/3 cup smoked bacon pardons, pancetta
2 tbsp heavy cream
Salt and pepper

Grease and season 2 small ovenproof dishes with butter and crack 2 eggs into each one.

Place the 1/2 cup of grated mature cheddar cheese into a small bowl and mix with 1 tsp of Dijon mustard, 2/3 cup of smoked bacon lardons or pancetta and 2 tbsps cream.

Season with salt and pepper. Scoop the cheese mixture on top of the eggs and bake in a pre-heated oven at 350 F for 10-12 minutes.

Serve with toasted bread cut into thin slices so that you can dip them into the eggs.

Easy vegetable and bacon slice

I love these savory throw-together brunch recipes that are wonderful served hot or at room temperature. They’re great to take on a picnic too.

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6 large eggs
2 zucchini, grated
2 carrots grated
1 onion finely diced
1 cup grated mature cheddar cheese
10 oz thinly sliced bacon
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg and baking powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 F

Beat the eggs in a large bowl then add the freshly grated nutmeg, salt, pepper and baking powder. Softly stir all ingredients together.
Place in lined or well greased baking tin, sprinkle some extra cheese over the top. Bake for 25mins or until the top is lightly browned and the eggs are set.

Healthy chocolate, coconut overnight oats

This recipe comes from a food blog called ‘Back to her roots” and being a coconut fanatic, that is what first attracted me, then I read the ingredients and fell hook, line and sinker.
Make these in wide mouth mason jars, leave them in the fridge until you have one for breakfast or take one to work. If you want a snack size, make them in a smaller jar.

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½ cup rolled oats
1 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almondmilk Coconutmilk Almond Breeze
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
⅛ tsp almond extract
1 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
2 tbsp maple syrup
Pinch of salt (important)
Shredded coconut, almonds, and dark chocolate chunks for garnish

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, stirring until well-mixed. The mixture will look liquidy.
Transfer to a serving bowl or jar, cover and refrigerate for at least four hours, or preferably, overnight.
Before serving, stir, and top with additional coconut, almonds, and dark chocolate.

Vegan Coconut Milk Rice Pudding with Citrus and Ginger

I could eat this whole thing in one go, being a coconut addict and it’s delicious for breakfast, lunch or dessert for dinner. The addition of the ginger and citrus really takes it to another dimension

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Serves 4

1 can (13.6 fluid oz.) full fat coconut milk
1 cup water
3/4 cup orange juice
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp sea salt
1 cup long grain basmati rice
2 to 4 tbsp maple syrup, to taste
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp orange zest

Mix the coconut milk, water, orange juice, vanilla extract, salt, and rice in a medium-sized pot. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce to a low simmer. Cover the pot, but leave the lid very slightly ajar to let steam escape.

Simmer the rice for 30 minutes, or until most of the liquid has absorbed. Stir in maple syrup, ginger, cinnamon, and zest. Continue cooking till rice is creamy and soft. If necessary, add a little more water or maple syrup.

Serve warm or cool, dusted with extra cinnamon if desired!

Spiced Mocha Lassi

This is a terrific recipe from Bobby Flay and the only thing you need to do in advance is make the spiced coffee ice cubes. They are well worth having in the freezer as the flavors are incredible when you drop a cube into this drink. A wonderful and different breakfast drink.

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Serves 4

SPICED COFFEE ICE CUBES:

2 cups hot espresso
1/4 cup sugar
1 strip orange peel
8 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
2-inch piece fresh ginger, roughly chopped

LASSI:

3/4 cup to 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (or more to thin down the drink)
1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 ripe banana, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder

Make the spiced coffee ice cubes:
Combine the espresso, sugar, orange peel, cloves, cinnamon sticks and ginger in a medium bowl until the sugar dissolves.
Cool to room temperature, and then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours. Strain the coffee mixture through a fine-mesh sieve set over a large bowl and discard the solids. Divide the mixture among 2 ice cube trays and freeze until solid, at least 2 hours.

Make the lassi:
Add 3/4 cup orange juice, the yogurt, banana and cocoa powder to a blender and puree until smooth (if you’d like the lassi to be a bit thinner, blend in the remaining 1/4 cup orange juice).
Add a few spiced ice cubes to the blender and puree. Pour the lassi into glasses and add 2 more spiced ice cubes to each glass.
Serve immediately.

Bacon, sausage and cheese muffins

Well, as it gets towards Christmas, I start thinking of lovely cozy breakfasts in front of the fire. Yes, even in Southern California we have fireplaces and use them a lot. These are steamy bites of savory goodness and are very addictive, so make double what you think you’ll need.

 

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1 cup cooked, chopped bacon
1 cup cooked crumbled sausage meat. I use mild Italian.
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 cup grated sharp or mature cheddar cheese
1/2 small yellow onion (diced)
8 large eggs
2 tablespoons whole milk
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large skillet, cook the bacon. Chop into small-medium bits. Set aside. Using the same skillet, cook the crumbled sausage meat. Set aside.
Chop the onion (you can use other veggies if you choose).
Grease tin cups in a 12 muffin tin pan with butter or shortening.
Whisk together the eggs and milk, a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir in the bread crumbs, cheese, sausage, onion and bacon, leaving just a handful of bacon and cheese for the topping.
Fill the muffin tip cups evenly with the mixture. Sprinkle the remaining bacon and cheese atop of the egg mixture for presentation purposes!
Bake 20 to 25 minutes, eggs should be completely cooked through (you can test with toothpick). To remove the muffins, run a small butter knife around the cups to loosen and pull up. Serve warm.