Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Buckwheat Spinach Crepes with Egg and Basil

This is a lovely breakfast. It's gluten free and quite filling. The eggs can be prepared anyway really, but I've included a little more direction to how I created these pictured here. Feel free to cut the recipe in half if you only need enough for you and another, or they are also delicious filled with other things if you have extra crepes. I have filled these crepes with garbanzo beans and spinach, as well as roasted anaheim peppers with monterey jack cheese. Both vegetarian, and both extremely delicious. Hope you've been having a great week! Cheers.
Buckwheat Spinach Crepes with Egg and Basil

1 ½ cup buckwheat flour
3 large eggs
2 cups milk
1 cup water
1 tbsp melted coconut oil or butter (more for cooking)
a pinch of kelp granules (an iodine supplement for health purposes, or use himalayan sea salt)
2 handfuls fresh spinach, rinsed
10 leaves fresh basil (optional)
8 eggs+ (or two per person)
1-3 tbsp butter (or coconut oil)
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
10 leaves basil

How To:
1. In a large bowl add buckwheat flour, eggs, one cup milk, water, melted coconut oil, kelp granules, spinach, and basil. With an immersion blender, blend batter until smooth. Add in remaining cup of milk, blend again until slightly frothy. If you don't have an immersion blender, a regular blender or food processor works great as well.

2. Set bowl to chill in fridge for about 15 minutes.

3. After the 15 minutes, re-stir the batter. Heat a non-stick pan with slightly curved edges, over medium-high heat. Melt 1 tsp of oil. Let heat for 40 seconds - 1 minute. Once oil is hot add 1/3 cup batter to hot pan. Gently swirl around until batter coats the bottom of the pan evenly. Let one side cook for one minute or more, or until browned. Flip gently to cook the other side for a little less time. Slide crepe out on to a paper towel lined plate. Continue to cook the remainder of the batter. Set crepes aside in a slightly warmed oven until eggs are ready.

4. In a large cast iron skillet, or non-stick works great too, heat over medium, and add one tablespoon butter or up to three depending on how many eggs you want to cook. Once butter or oil becomes melted and hot, crack eggs into pan. Let cook on one side for 1 minute. Disturb the yoke, and allow the yoke to intermix with the egg white. Keep the eggs whole though and don't scramble. After one side is cooked, loosen the eggs off of skillet gently, and flip to allow the other side to cook. Keep the eggs as an omelet, and slice into long sections, one section for each person.

5. Assemble the crepes with egg, cheese, and sprinkles of basil. Fold or roll up to serve. Enjoy.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Gluten-Free Macaroni and Cheese with Toasty Eggplant

Pairing macaroni and cheese with a healthy vegetable has always been odd for me. I don't really like vegetables mixed into the mac n cheese, because I love the consistent smooth texture of the pasta, getting to really appreciate the cheese flavors. I think veg on the side with a meal like mac n cheese is important though, because honestly we all know it's a splurge meal. This recipe is gluten free, with healthy whole ingredients, but still every meal needs some lovely produce. I'm used to doing broccoli as a side with this meal, but thought I would experiment with eggplant instead this time around. I thought the textures would compliment each other, and the single-note mac n cheese could be met with the earthy nutrient dense eggplant. I loved making this meal. You create both dishes and pop them into the oven at the same time with the same finishing time. Very satisfying pulling both skillets out ready to serve right on the table. Even if you try one or the other, they're both great simple recipes.

Also, if you haven't tried cooking with a cast iron skillet, it's time to try now! They are awesome, hold uniform heat while cooking, and you get added (good) iron into your diet by using these things. Keep them properly by washing without soaps, zapping any moisture immediately after washing, and following up with a drop of oil. Little by little my kitchen collection is expanding, and I'm hoping to continue to recommend to you the gadgets that make me a happy cook! Happy cooking (and eating!).

Gluten-Free Macaroni and Cheese with Toasty Eggplant

1 bag brown rice pasta shells (about 4 cups dry)
1 tsp pink Himalayan salt
1/4 cup butter
1/8 - 1/4 cup potato starch, or gluten-free flour mix of your choice (add a little at a time until thick enough)
1 3/4 - 2 cups half and half (add until smooth enough)
1 cup shredded white cheddar
1 cup shredded Gruyère cheese
1 tsp pink Himalayan salt
1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1⁄8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup parmesan, grated
1 eggplant, sliced
2 tbsp olive oil (or coconut oil), divided 
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp pink Himalayan salt

How To:
1. In a large stock pot fill 3/4 full with water. Add salt. Bring to a boil. Add brown rice pasta. Stir. Vigorously boil for two minutes. Stir. Turn off heat and cover. Let rest for 16 minutes. Drain and do not rinse. Return back to stock pot. Set aside.

2. Turn oven on to broil setting, or highest heat possible. In a medium saucepan over medium - low heat, add butter. Once butter is melted, turn heat to low, and add the starch a little at a time, whisking until well incorporated and thick. You may not need the full amount. Make sure to get every corner and crevice, the starch may want to clump together and it's best to work them out before you add the rest of the ingredients. Gently pour in the half and half reserving 1/2 cup. Stir until thick and bubbly, add in the remaining cream if needed to be thinner. Turn off the heat. Add in the white cheddar and Gruyére. Stir until melted. Add the salt, cayenne, and garlic powder. 

3. In the large stock pot, pour the cheese sauce over the pasta and stir well until incorporated. Pour mixture into a large cast iron skillet. Sprinkle with parmesan. Set aside.

4. In a large cast iron skillet add half of the oil and spread it evenly. Add the eggplant slices. Drizzle the remaining oil on top of the eggplant. Sprinkle with the remaining seasonings. 

5. Place both the macaroni and cheese and the eggplant into the oven. Bake for 15 minutes or until nice and toasty. You may rotate the placement of the skillets once through cooking. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Baked Eggs with Roasted Potatoes, Leeks, and Asparagus

I love this recipe on many different levels. It's simple, it's an effective use of time, it's vegetarian and doesn't leave you feel lacking. I also love how it's baked, because it's so easy to serve as large squares, and it's great as a leftover. Oh and a cool bonus, it's a very affordable meal to make. I hope you're enjoying the cooler weather and enjoying great food with great people. Cheers!

Baked Eggs with Roasted Potatoes, Leeks, and Asparagus

5 medium sized red potatoes, thinly sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp Himalayan sea salt
1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces, discard woody ends
1 leek, triple-rinsed, sliced
2 tbsp butter
4 eggs
1/4 cup half and half
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup cheese, I used a mixture of parmesan, mozzarella, and asiago.

How To:
1. Set oven to 450º F. In a large glass baking dish or deep oven proof pan, toss potatoes with olive oil and salt. Place in oven and roast for 20 minutes, turning once throughout cooking. Add asparagus and continue to roast for another 15 minutes. Remove pan from oven and turn down heat to 375º F.

2. In a pan on the stove top, over medium heat, add butter. Once butter is melted add sliced leeks. Sauté for 5 - 7 minutes or until softened. Pour cooked leeks over the potato and asparagus mixture.

3. Mix together the eggs, half and half, pepper flakes, and salt and pepper. Pour mixture over the pan with the potatoes, asparagus, and leeks. Sprinkle with the cheese. Cook for another 20 minutes or until nicely browned and bubbly. 
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