Lately, I’ve been experimenting with three ingredients and my cast iron pan. I like that I can stick the pan under the broiler and bake some eggs, after I’ve partially cooked the other ingredients on the stove top. Cast iron is really great for even heat and works well even on my glass top, too. Trying the same dish over and over in different ways should give you perfection sooner or later, but I’m always thinking what if I did this, or this, or this. Don’t be afraid to experiment.
This combination of sweet potatoes, greens and fresh eggs has become family favorite. These aren’t the only ingredients I’m using, because often I add luna burgers broken up and I also use onions, shallots or leeks. Fresh herbs are good to sprinkle over top, and a little bit of chevre and swiss ( two of the lowest sodium cheeses my husband can eat). The greens are whatever I have on hand, sometimes spinach or chard, but this week tatsoi was in the market bag. Tatsoi is similar in look to bok choy, but a little milder in taste. Reading about tatsoi, it seems to be pretty winter hardy and may be something to grow in my garden next year.
Sweet potatoes are the base. They are grated, and the water squeezed out in order to form a bottom crust . If you’d like softer potatoes, squeeze only some of the water or none depending on how crusty you want it. I added ginger and rosemary to the potatoes. If you use salt, add it to each layer; the potato layer, the greens layer and the egg layer. We left it out because of my husband’s diet but the herbs give the dish a really nice flavor.
I’ve also added winter squash to the greens layer before. My mother in law thought it was really pretty with the light orange in with the bright greens. The greens layer is on top of the sweet potato base, but is started in another pan first. Then using a finger or spoon make a well in the greens to add the eggs. If you don’t make the well, your eggs slide out of place and they might anyway as I found out. Try as I might the eggs never stay perfectly placed. Move something around and they just slide another way.
- 1 large sweet potato or 2 medium.
- ¼ cup onion divided
- 1 knob of ginger
- handful of rosemary minced
- olive or canola oil
- 2 bunches tatsoi
- 6 large eggs
- 2 ounces chevre
- 1 ounce of swiss cheese grated
- fresh thyme
- Grate sweet potato(es), onion and ginger together.
- Place in a dish towel and squeeze liquid out.
- Add two tablespoons of whole wheat flour and minced rosemary and mix ingredients together.
- Heat Cast Iron or other pan and add 4 tbs oil.
- When the oil is hot sprinkle the sweet potato mixture all around until it covers the bottom in a layer. (and leave it alone).
- In a separate smaller pan – non stick, heat up 1 tbs of oil.
- Large dice onions, and the stems of the tatsoi.
- Separately chop the tatsoi leaves.
- Saute the onions and stems until they start to turn translucent.
- Add the tatsoi leaves to the pan and let cook down – the leaves will wilt down like most greens.
- You may need to add a little oil to the sweet potatoes as they cook.
- When the potatoes seem like they’ve formed a crust on the bottom, using a plate, flip the potatoes over and slide it back into the pan on the other side.
- Pile the greens mixture on top of the sweet potatoes and using your fingers, or a spoon make little wells for eggs.
- Dollop chevre around the pan.
- Crack eggs and place them with the yolk in the center of the wells.
- With the oven on low broil, place the cast iron pan into the oven.
- The yolks will start to firm and the translucent whiltes will become opaque, you’ll have to watch to make sure that you get it out of the oven on time.
- Sprinkle the top with grated swiss cheese and herbs (thyme, parsley, etc.)
This is my way of dealing with my husband’s new low sodium diet – by coming up with new ways to eat without using salt or high sodium ingredients. Macaroni and cheese was out, because cheese has too much sodium unless it’s something a little on the bland side like lower sodium Swiss. So, I kicked it up with a Hot Sweet Pepper Relish and Kapow it was tasty without much sodium. This casserole had plenty of veggies, the creaminess of a good mac n cheese, and a nice kick to it. My husband had trouble backing away from the bowl even after eating two plates of it.
This is a much lower calorie version since we can’t use a lot of cheese, and it’s not as thick as a lot of other macaroni and cheese recipes. I like to add a veggie to my mac and cheese too, so this one had sauteed cabbage and leeks. I found a low sodium brown rice bread. The bread was too dry and bland for a sandwich, but toasted, ground up and sauteed in a little butter and sprinkled on top of the macaroni and cheese, it added a nice texture and bit of crunch to the top. Believe me, bread crumbs was a much better use of the bread than in a sandwich. The photo doesn’t show the bread crumbs, but the next time I did this – I used the bread crumbs and liked it better. So that’s how I do it now.
- Cheese Sauce:
- 2 tbs unsalted butter
- 2 tbs flour
- 2 cups milk
- 2 ounces chevre
- 4-6 ounces low sodium Swiss Cheese
- 2 tbs zesty pepper relish
- 1 tsp stoneground mustard
- Casserole ingredients:
- ½ lb macaroni prepared according to box directions
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 leek
- ¼ cabbage
- 1 medium red pepper
- 1lb ground lamb
- Crumb Topping:
- ¼ cup bread crumbs
- 2 tbs butter
- Cook ground lamb, pour off grease and let drain on paper towel.
- Cut the cabbage into 1 in X 1 in pieces.
- Dice red pepper.
- Dice the white part of the leek, removing the green stem and root.
- Saute the leek, red pepper and cabbage in olive oil, in a non-stick pan.
- When soft and translucent, remove to a bowl, wipe out pan and use for cheese sauce.
- In non-stick pan melt butter, add in the flour and combine.
- Add in milk and chevre whisking as it thickens.
- Chop swiss cheese and add to the sauce mixture, stir in zesty pepper relish, mustard, cumin and paprika.
- Whisk it all together.
- Add together the lamb/cabbage mixture, the drained pasta and the sauce and toss.
- Pour into a casserole dish.
- Melt butter and stir in bread crumbs.
- Sprinkle over top of the mac and cheese.
- Bake at 400 for 20 min or until crust is browned nicely.
Eggs are a lovely protein, don’t you think? We often turn to eggs when we want something quick and delicious for breakfast or dinner. I made this frittata the other day using eggs, farm market veggies and a vegetarian burger(okay, it’s a Luna Burger – anything tastes good with a Luna Burger in it) crumbled up, plus some cheese. My husband took a bite and told me it wasn’t right, because his eggs don’t taste this good, and aren’t this filling when he makes them. The end of summer is bittersweet because the fresh locally grown veggie supply starts to wane, but at the same time they have their best flavor. Get’em while their fresh.
- 5 eggs
- 1 small onion
- 1 small green pepper
- 2 baby eggplant
- ¼ cup crookneck squash
- vegetarian or grain sausage patty
- 4 small cherry tomatoes
- shredded cheddar
- 4 oz goat cheese
- Scramble eggs with 1 tbs water, and set aside.
- Dice and saute in warm pan with olive oil – onions and green pepper.
- I used baby eggplant but didn’t peel, just sliced little circles.
- The squash was peeled and sliced to about the same size.
- When the onion is almost translucent and soft, add the squash and eggplant to the onion and pepper.
- When the eggplant starts to soften, place the veggies in a bowl and set aside temporarily.
- Add a little oil to the pan and warm the vegetarian burger. Remove, break into a little smaller than bite size pieces and set aside.
- Swish lightly with oil, pour the eggs into the pan, let start to cook.
- Add in the sauteed veggies, and the tomatoes.
- Dollop the goat cheese into the eggs and place the pieces of vegetarian sausage in under the egg.
- Sprinkle with cheddar cheese.
- Place pan in oven under a low broil until egg is firm and cheese is melted.
- Serve slices on plate and grate a little more cheese over top.
This spread is an incredibly easy, but so tasty and pretty and very springy. My idea came from two places – one from my sister in law who uses violets on spread for crackers almost every year for Easter when the violets are in bloom. The first time my brother in law asked if he could remove the yard from his cracker before he ate it. The second from Hounds in the Kitchen’s Rachel who recently reposted about redbud blossoms being edible.
I didn’t have a recipe but had an idea and ran with it. I found most of the herbs in my herb beds, nice new little leaves of thyme, mint, chives, parsley – all plants that come back every year. The flowers were violets and redbuds . I use the flowers out front away from the dog run, she doesn’t climb trees, so I don’t worry about that as much. I zested lemons and limes, but I think if you used an orange it would be pleasant as well. The combination of lime zest, and mint leaves made for a mojito cream cheese flavor on a cracker – that was my favorite. The others with lemon zest and pretty flowers are very delicious too. You can prepare the crackers ahead, or make a spread with the herbs, and zest and leave the flowers and mint for each person to sprinkle on top themselves. Lest you think this spread to girlie girl, my husband and son gobbled it up… all gone.
- 1 – 2 tbs Various herbs
- Edible Blossoms
- -redbud buds
- -1 lemon
- -1 lime
- 8 oz Chevre (goat cheese)
- Throw herbs (except Mint) into herb grinder – or magic bullet, small food grinder and mince.
- Add chevre to herbs and pulse together.
- Split the chevre/herb mixture up into half.
- Add lemon zest to half and lime zest to the other half and combine.
- If you wish to thin out the chevre a little, add a little of the juice to the spread.
- To the lemon zest half – sprinkle top with blossoms
- To the lime zest half – sprinkle top with mint and even mix a little in
Photos by Mark Hayes used with permission.Diana
Here’s a Chocolate Mousse recipe that’s so quick, easy, delicious and perfect for Valentine’s Day. For the Superbowl I made vegan cupcakes that were delish. I thought the glaze tasted like pudding, but it was thick and sweet. I took that recipe and changed it into a mousse. This dessert is pretty fast and easy to make.
The microwave was used to melt the chocolate and goat cheese together before putting it into the magic bullet to combine it and add air (to moussify). That’s really all it takes, pour the mousse red raspberries and sliced strawberries in ramekins and then decoratively top with one of each and refrigerate. This is a dessert you can make after work and cool while dinner is being devoured. I loved it and so did my husband. One for us tonight, and another for tomorrow (no kids, oh well).
- 8 ounces silken tofu
- 4 ounces semi sweet chocolate
- 2 tsp chevre (goat cheese – plain)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tsp agave
- 4 strawberries
- 12 raspberries
Use a paper towel or cloth to drain and pat dry the tofu – blend it until smooth. In a microwave, melt the semi-sweet chocolate for a minute, stir, place back in for another thirty seconds, stir. Crumble in goat cheese, stir to make smooth, then place in microwave for another thirty seconds.
Pour chocolate mixture, in with the tofu, add the agave and vanilla and blend until smooth. I used a magic bullet because it will do small amounts. A blender would work, but may be too big for the job.
Place a couple of red raspberries on the bottom of 4 ramekins and slice one half of a strawberry for the bottom of the ramekin also. Pour the mousse over top of the berries and place the second half of the strawberry on top along with a red raspberry. Cool in fridge.
Simple, Easy, Fast Delicious.Diana
I like quiches a lot, but more without the pie shell. I’m that way with pies too, I like the insides the most. This was our breakfast this morning. I used some herb garden chevre in it that we got from the cheese guy at the farmer’s market and some gouda (because it’s good-er that way). Quiches are fun because you can change it up a little – put in a different meat, or a different cheese, use some other veggies and it changes the taste for a whole new type of quiche.
- turkey sausage – 6 breakfast links, cooked and crumbled
- handful of chard, stems removed
- shallot – diced
- 6 eggs
- 2 tbs evaporated milk
- 2 tbs herb garden chevre (you can substitute another herby chevre)
- 1 tbs gouda
- salt, pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Instead of butter, I used an olive oil spray and sprayed a glass pan. Spray a frying pan with olive oil, tear up chard and sauté the chard and shallots together until wilted. Take off the heat. Throw in the crumbled turkey sausage and the chevre. In a bowl, beat the eggs and the evaporated milk together. Stir in the sausage chard mixture, add in the gouda, salt and pepper. Pour into the glass pan and bake in the oven until the egg is cooked through. I think it took 20 – 30 minutes, but my pan was oval and not round, so the mixture spread out more. If you are using a glass pie pan, you might need to cook it a little longer.Diana
I keep using Asparagus and Chevre because I like the combination but also because asparagus is in season. I have some asparagus growing in a raised bed, but it’s very little, so I supplement with the store asparagus. Of course, then I keep using the asparagus until it is gone because I don’t want to waste any of it. The only thing I would add is little pear tomatoes, or dried tomatoes for a little more color, but the flavor as it was is very good.
- 1/2 box farfalle cooked according to directions
- 1 whole chicken breast grilled and diced
- bunch of asparagus
- 1 handful pecans
- 4 oz goat cheese
- 1 big bunch of all different herbs – tarragon, chives, thyme and parsley
- garlic pepper
- grated parmesan
In a pan with a little more cooking spray – toast pecans and asparagus chopped into bite size pieces(woody stems removed). Drain Farfalle and place into big bowl or back into pot. Throw in chicken and asparagus mixture. Throw in some crumbled goat cheese, and the herbs chopped. Sprinkle on garlic pepper , salt and parmesan cheese and mix together . My husband had seconds then was standing at the stove making noises while he finished off what was left in the pot. The toasted pecans really made the dish.Diana
Since it’s National Garlic Day, I wanted to come up with a dinner that had some nice garlic flavor. Originally I was going to make a salad with garlic chicken and asparagus, but while I was at the store other thoughts entered my mind and I went with it. I grilled asparagus on a grill pan first, but maybe it doesn’t really need it. We loved the whole meal and I will definitely do it again when my daughter’s home, she enjoys it when I come up with something delicious.
- 2 large chicken breasts – sliced in half, then pounded flat.
- 16 spears of asparagus
- Herbed Garlic Chevre
- Grated Parmesan Cheese
- Herbs – basil, parsley
Dollop the Herbed Garlic Chevre on the flattened chicken breast and place 4 spears of asparagus on top. Roll the chicken up around the asparagus. Sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese, Salt, Garlic Pepper and Herbs. Place in glass pan, or casserole dish, and cover with aluminum foil. Bake in the oven on 350 until Chicken is done. About 10 minutes before it will be done take the aluminum foil off.
Herbed Garlic Chevre
- 2 cloves garlic
- 4 oz basil garlic chevre
Sauté garlic in oil to soften. Peel parsley, basil and thyme off stems and coarsely chop. Put it into bullet or other small processor or chop finely, and chevre, and whirl to combine. Use this to dollop on the chicken breasts.
You could really smell the garlic in the kitchen while it was cooking and taste it in the cheese.
I served this with resmashed potatoes. I added a little cream, some gouda, and parmesan, salt, garlic pepper and herbs. Place in ramekins, sprinkle with garlic pepper, then parmesan cheese – It will have a nice cooked brown parmesan top to it when it’s ready. Throw it in the oven with the chicken for about 20 minutes (place in pan with water).
Dinner was a success. Though the chicken didn’t need a sauce or gravy – it wasn’t dry, the bottom of the pan was filled with good stuff my husband and I kept scraping, so maybe deglazing the pan and making a sauce with it is something I might try next time.