SPICED SHAKSHUKA WITH WILD RICE

The nights where I get home late, it's especially hard to throw together dinner when my mind is full & fatigued but my stomach is not. I find it fitting that the nights where you need a homemade meal the most is when you're the most incapable of doing so.  I try to make a point in these moments to find the simplest dish (1 pot max, if that) that my brain can just barely wrap it's head around. If I can muster up a few minutes to continue standing on my feet to grate a garlic clove and chop an onion, I can have a homemade meal that my soul and stomach with thank me for.

That's where always having eggs on hand comes in handy. For weeknight meals that only begin to cook at 8pm, I need something swift & hearty that won't take an hour. I love frittatas for this reason, and when you have an extra 5-7 minutes, shakshuka (for when you need a punch of flavor). So, a recipe for one (very pretty) skillet meal that will give you quick homemade meals when you need it most.

SPICED SHAKSHUKA WITH FORBIDDEN RICE (Gluten-free) Serves 4  1 cup forbidden rice, dried  2 teaspoon olive oil  3 garlic cloves, minced   2 jalapeños, minced  1 leek, halved & sliced into half moons  1 shallot, minced  28 oz. fire roasted tomatoes  1 teaspoon ras el hanout  2 teaspoons harissa  1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika  pinch of cayenne pepper  1/2 lemon, juice   3-4 large eggs  1 small bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped  2 oz feta cheese, crumbled  Sea salt to taste  Freshly ground pepper     Heat your oven to 350 degrees.       In a medium saucepan, add forbidden rice and 1 3/4 cup of filtered water. Bring to a boil, then simmer on low and cover for 30 minutes.  Let cool for 10 minutes, covered.     In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add garlic, jalapeños, leek & shallot.  Sauté for 5-7 minutes or until.  Pour in can of tomatoes and 1/2 cup water along with all spices.  Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.  Squeeze the lemon juice and mix together well, then let cook for about 10 minutes over medium heat.  Use your wooden spoon to break down big hunks of tomato.     Gently crack eggs into the pan (use a wooden spoon to make room).  Once the eggs just begin to set, add the cast iron skillet to the oven and cook for 10-12 minutes or until whites are completely set, but yolks are still soft.  Top with cilantro, feta, flaky sea salt and freshly ground pepper.  Serve with a heaping of forbidden rice to sop up the juices.  Eat immediately!

SPICED SHAKSHUKA WITH FORBIDDEN RICE (Gluten-free) Serves 4

  • 1 cup forbidden rice, dried
  • 2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 jalapeños, minced
  • 1 leek, halved & sliced into half moons
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 28 oz. fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon ras el hanout
  • 2 teaspoons harissa
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 lemon, juice
  • 3-4 large eggs
  • 1 small bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 2 oz feta cheese, crumbled
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper

Heat your oven to 350 degrees.  

In a medium saucepan, add forbidden rice and 1 3/4 cup of filtered water. Bring to a boil, then simmer on low and cover for 30 minutes.  Let cool for 10 minutes, covered.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add garlic, jalapeños, leek & shallot.  Sauté for 5-7 minutes or until.  Pour in can of tomatoes and 1/2 cup water along with all spices.  Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.  Squeeze the lemon juice and mix together well, then let cook for about 10 minutes over medium heat.  Use your wooden spoon to break down big hunks of tomato.

Gently crack eggs into the pan (use a wooden spoon to make room).  Once the eggs just begin to set, add the cast iron skillet to the oven and cook for 10-12 minutes or until whites are completely set, but yolks are still soft.  Top with cilantro, feta, flaky sea salt and freshly ground pepper.  Serve with a heaping of forbidden rice to sop up the juices.  Eat immediately!

SPRING RAMP & FETA FRITTATA WITH TANGY FETA

Spring is in the air! Or at least in my farmer’s market. Even though it has been rainy and cold here in New York, I’m relishing the greener spring vegetables finally available at the market. As it happens each season, I’m completely over all heavy, winter foods and looking forward to light and colorful meals hopefully eaten in sunshine. This frittata is the winter-palette-cleansing kind of meal that will make you lust for Spring and all its upcoming produce. Make this frittata for breakfast, lunch, even dinner (I’ve done it) for the quickest one-pot meal to share.

SPRING RAMP & FETA FRITTATA (GLUTEN-FREE, GRAIN-FREE) SERVES 4-6

  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk (or hemp, soy, whole milk etc. as long as it’s unsweetened)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 shallots, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 heaping teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 lemon, juice & zest
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Scant 2oz. ramps (or one small bunch), ends trimmed
  • 4 oz. tangy feta, crumbled
  • Flaky sea salt, to top

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, almond milk, garlic, shallot and seasoning. Stir in the zest of one lemon & the juice of half the lemon.

In a (8-9 in.) cast iron, drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil. Preheat the pan in the oven for 5-7 minutes, then add whisked egg mixture to the pan. Lay ramps on top, overlapping as needed. Crumble feta over top & season with flaky sea salt and more pepper to taste.

Bake for exactly 20 minutes or until puffed up with browned edges. Let cool for 10 minutes, then serve immediately! Frittata will stay good in the fridge for 3-4 days, so feel free to make it ahead & eat for breakfast all week long.

MAPLE BANANA BREAD WITH HEMPSEEDS

I was raised in California, and the closest it gets to cold, wintry weather is dropping below 75 degrees in December.  It's not the most festive place in the world for the holiday months, but we had other ways of making it special.  I always associate banana bread with the changing of seasons, as a seasonal (but not too wintry) way to celebrate Fall.  We always had it in the house during this time & it's the most nourishing snack to have on hand (especially for busy days).  This one is healthier than my family recipe, but you won't notice.   It's the perfect breakfast for the colder months when you need something a little heartier.  

Maple Banana Bread with Hempseeds (gluten-free, dairy-free)

  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil, melted & cooled
  • 2 very ripe large bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons hempseeds

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk together first nine ingredients until well mixed.  In a separate bowl, add mashed banana, coconut oil, maple, vanilla, almond milk & large eggs.  Beat mixture until well-combined, then mix wet ingredients into the dry.  Using a spatula, mix ingredients until batter resembles heavy cream.

Grease a 8 or 9 inch loaf pan lined with parchment (for easy removal).  Pour batter into loaf pan evenly, then sprinkle hempseeds evenly over top.  Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool for 20 minutes before serving.

Tip: I highly suggest serving warm with a drizzle of warm coconut oil or maple syrup. Game changer!

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