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!

SHAVED ASPARAGUS SALAD WITH ROASTED CHICKPEAS, RADISH & LEMON CAPER VINAIGRETTE

I've always been a huge advocate of salads, especially those that can double as actual meals. So many people think salads can't fill them up, or worse, they get the "restaurant salad" which is arugula and a shaved something (which won't fill you up for more than 10 minutes).  It's a recipe for thinking salads only belong as starters.

Another thing, I use the word salad as a lose term.  It doesn't have to be green, or even made OF greens (ex: quinoa salad). This shaved asparagus salad is as light as Springtime (which it finally is!!), but satisfying enough to be a main meal.  Even though the radish is technically shaved, it's not the only thing on this salad. The crunchy chickpeas (addictive enough on their own) add such amazing texture and the true holding power to this "green" salad.  

Even though this meal is meat & dairy-free, you won't even notice.  As the days are starting to get warmer, I'm looking a lot to these hybrid salads.  Something not too cold, not too hot.  Something a little in between Spring & Summer...

SHAVED ASPARAGUS SALAD WITH ROASTED CHICKPEAS, RADISH & LEMON CAPER VINAIGRETTE (Gluten-free & Vegan) Serves 4

  •  2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sumac powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1.5 lbs asparagus
  • 2 small watermelon radishes, shaved
  • 1 cup microgreens, loosely packed

Lemon Caper Dressing:

  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1-2 teaspoons capers
  • 1 teaspoon caper liquid
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 small shallot, minced
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • About 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, or to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees (°F). 

In a mixing bowl, dry chickpeas well.  Mix together with spices, salt, pepper and olive oil.  Make sure chickpeas are evenly coated.  Then, place in an even layer on a foil-lined baking sheet.  Bake for 35-40 minutes or until super crispy and browned.  Set aside to cool.

Trim the edges off all asparagus stalks.  Using a vegetable peeler, shave asparagus, and add to mixing bowl.  Continue until all asparagus has been shaved (save the scraps and use for stocks or soup). Using a mandolin or paring knife, shave radishes and add all vegetables to a large mixing bowl.  I used watermelon radishes, but feel free to use any radish variety you can find. They're all good! Season with salt and pepper.

In a small jar, add all dressing ingredients and shake until well emulsified/combined.  Drizzle dressing over salad, toss well and add to serving bowls.  Top with roasted chickpeas, microgreens and flaky sea salt.  Serve immediately!

THIS POST WAS ORIGINALLY SHOT FOR H&M !


MORNING MEALS ROUND-UP

Like everyone else in the world, I'm starting my year off trying to eat purely and detox from screens.  Although I've already failed my "no phones after 7pm" rule, I have read more in the last month than I did in the last 6, so that's something.  So far, so good?  And now on to my favorite breakfasts of the year so far / a Morning Meals round-up:

DETOX GREEN SMOOTHIE (gluten-free, vegan) SERVES 2

  • 3 cups organic spinach
  • 1 cup frozen organic mixed berries
  • 1 cup frozen mango or peach
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 tablespoon spirulina
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • Small handful of fresh parsley or mint
  • Pomegranate seeds for topping

Add all ingredients to your blender.  Blend on high for 2-3 minutes or until well blended and thick.  Garnish your smoothie with pomegranate seeds and more fresh herbs.  Eat with a spoon and enjoy!


SPICED CANDIED PECANS & POMEGRANATE YOGURT CUPS (Gluten-free) SERVES 2

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter or coconut oil
  • 4 oz. raw pecans
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 cups greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds 

In a small bowl, mix together spices and sugar. Set aside.

Then, in a small saucepan, heat butter over medium until melted.  Add pecans, then slowly add spice mixture making sure to nuts are coated evenly.  Add maple syrup and up the heat to medium high. Stirring often for 3-4 minutes or until mixture begins to smell nutty and more syrupy.

Remove from heat and add in an even layer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Let cool. (For immediate cooling, add to freezer for 5 minutes.)

Once pecans have cooled, top greek yogurt with them and a few tablespoons of pomegranate seeds. Serve immediately.


MINI DILL FRITTATAS (gluten-free, dairy-free) SERVES 2-3, Makes 12 mini frittatas

  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 3 tablespoons fresh dill, minced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Baby arugula, to serve

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, garlic, shallot, almond milk and dill.  Zest approximately 1 teaspoon of zest and the juice of half a lemon.  Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.  Combine well.

Use olive oil to grease your mini muffin pan.  Ladle in egg mixture up to the top.  Season with flaky sea salt. Bake for 22-25 minutes.  They will puff up slightly when done.  Let cool for 5 minutes, then remove from pan and serve on a bed of arugula drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice.  Enjoy!