Been experimenting with using fruit in a savory way lately (especially if I let it sit around too long 😂) 

Chopped onions, vinegar and olive oil brought the kiwi and dragon fruit together beautifully. 

#Thanksgiving

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Had a very good summer as far as tomatoes go, and find myself making this dish which I’d heard about but never actually made until I found a great recipe in a book by Sally Butcher called New Middle Eastern Street Food: Snacks, Comfort Food and Mezze.

It’s basically a tomato and vegetable stew which serves as a poaching medium for eggs. Might be one of the easiest, tastiest healthiest recipes for breakfast or any meal of the day that I have come across in a LONG time.

While I don’t follow the exact recipe anymore, it’s too much fun to just throw in whatever is  handy..this is roughly what I do:

Ingredients

  • Olive oil 0r cooking spray – to coat the pan
  • Onion – 1/2 – whole medium
  • Garlic – at least one clove
  • Tomatoes – 6-8 medium sized (I put half in food processor and half I like to keep diced)
  • Diced Vegetables – (I’ve found any of these are great: peppers, carrots, zucchini, mushroom)
  • Eggs – 4 (probably can do more depending on size of your pan)
  • Spices – Cumin, paprika, berbere, salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Heat up the oil in a cast iron skillet, medium high (so the onions sizzle when you throw them in)
  2. Add onions & garlic, sauteing until they become fragrant. If you are using peppers you can add them in now as well
  3. Add the tomatoes, stirring it all together. Expect people to start filing into the kitchen to see what’s cooking.
  4. Add spices, and any other veggies you want. If you are using something soft, like mushrooms, I’d wait until right before you add the eggs.
  5. Allow the mixture to cook down, around 5-8 minutes
  6. The fun part! Make little “holes” in the mixture where the eggs will go, and then crack the eggs letting them land in the “holes” in the stew
  7. Lower the heat a bit and cover the mixture until the eggs set to the desired texture. I’d recommend erring on the side of less well done, as they continue to cook even after you remove them from the heat.

I find this dish so filling I don’t usually need bread, but you definitely could sop up the stew with some. It’s a great dish for a few people or you can make a batch and save it for later, it holds up very well. Tons of lycopene and a good bit of protein, you can’t go wrong.

 

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Still feeling like I need soups over salads while it has been chilly lately. Kinda burned out on stews and the slow cooker for awhile, but, the delicate Japanese broth known as miso has been so good for a quick meal.

I’m not crazy about how salty the packets are, but, you can always dilute them with more water, which is what I have been doing. Probably using double the amount of water that the directions recommend. Then, depending how I feel, I’ll add some quick cooking noodles right into the broth (in this case udon) while it’s boiling and whatever vegetables I have on hand. I have REALLY been feeling the bok choy lately. Plus, it comes in all different sizes, so you can make it work in any dish. And 100g of bok choy is only 13 calories! Lots of vitamins and minerals, especially vitamins A & C and potassium.

Occasionally I will throw in some curry paste because I like spicy food. Finally added in some firm tofu. Probably takes 10-15 minutes altogether to prep and cook. Calorie load is minimal, satisfaction quotient very high.

 

Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 9.43.15 AMI don’t usually pay much attention to the “Food Days” that come up, but, when I saw that today was National Popcorn Day, first thing I thought of was the Ethiopian coffee ceremony. I probably could come up with an excuse to talk about coffee any day of the week, but, this is a unique tradition worth checking out:

Coffee, or Bunna, is taken with plenty of sugar (or in the countryside, salt) but no milk. Often it is complemented by a traditional snack food, such as popcorn, ambasha bread, or cooked barley. In most parts of Ethiopia, the coffee ceremony takes place three times a day – in the morning, at noon and in the evening. It is the main social event within the village – a time to discuss the community, politics, and life in general. Transformation of the spirit is said to take place during the coffee ceremony through the completion three rounds of drinking: ‘Abol’ (the first round), ‘Tona’ (second round) and ‘Baraka’ (third round). http://bunnaethiopia.net/coffee_ceremony.html

There’s also nice blog post on how to make the the popcorn offered with the above ceremony located here:

http://globaltableadventure.com/recipe/recipe-stovetop-popcorn/

IMG_5940That is the question. Well, not really, but I need a loose recipe goal in mind sometimes, so that’s where I’m at today. Found myself hungry, but also motivated…Leftover whole wheat couscous at my disposal, which in all honesty is dry as sh*t. Had a pretty good set of veggies also, so when all else fails I’m going to make a salad. In this case, a grain salad, which is way more nutritionally complete than just some greens and tomatoes.

I didn’t feel like chopping so I threw every ingredient in the mini food processor separately, which made the salad nice and uniform.

Ingredients:

Whole Wheat Couscous (cooked) – 1 1/2 cups (? more/less)

1/2 red onion

1/2 an orange pepper

1 carrot

Handful of cherry tomatoes

Sunflower seeds

Dried Cranberries

For the dressing:

Red wine vinegar

Toasted sesame oil

Maille mustard

Mint, Chives

Berbere, Ras el Hanout

Method:

In a medium to large bowl, throw in your cooked couscous. Then add in each vegetable one at a time, incorporating them into the salad. Once everything is mixed, mix the dressing into the salad (Yes, I also made the dressing in the food processor). You can pulverize the seeds and berries or throw them in whole, it’s really your preference. I chose to use some chopped Romaine for the base of the salad, but you could use it as a side dish or on its own it’s pretty good and very satisfying.

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I made the fatal mistake of food shopping while hungry yesterday. I know toast is like “a thing” these days, but I did not know that cookie butter cream cheese was! Leave it to Trader Joe’s to come up with such a bad ass spread.

You might be asking yourselves, is that even healthy? I’m not gonna lie, there’s nothing particularly healthy about it. The same can be said for most cream cheeses. It’s basically a fat. There’s nothing wrong with some fat in your diet, especially if you exercise and are consistently a healthy eater.

I put it on some Ezekiel bread and paired it with some berries, and I feel like I just had a pretty decadent breakfast. All told, it amounts to ~300 calories.

My only caution is, similar to anything speculoos cookie butter related, you may be tempted to have more than a serving. Stay strong!

   
This is my set up for breakfast (when kids sleep late, so yeah, not that often.) You could always get the ingredients ready beforehand and have them available. Either way,  just chop it all up and heat up a pan and you are ready to go.

Here are my ingredients:

Garlic

Onions

Chives

Fresh thyme, basil

Peppers

Shiitake mushrooms

Asparagus

2 eggs

Cooking spray

Hot sauce (optional)

  
Just sauté the veggies, mushrooms last. From here you can set aside and make an omelette or frittata or a scramble.

I opted to just do a little “Egyptian egg” (or whatever you guys call it) action.

If you cook the egg just right, it’s soooo creamy, you won’t miss the butter and cream cheese.