Quinoa Egg Bake March 26, 2009

For all you quiche lovers that just can’t handle regular crust – here’s the answer to your prayers!  The quinoa in this recipe gets baked in the oven so it doesn’t even need to be precooked. It just settles into the bottom of the pan and creates a moist, crunchy crust.  Lots of protein and spinachy-goodness make this a super-healthy meal that takes no time to prep … that’s 100% gluten-free!


1 tsp butter

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa

6-7 eggs

1 1/4 cups milk

1 tbsp chopped garlic (about 3 large cloves)

1 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

2 cups packed baby spinach, roughly chopped

1 cup finely shredded Parmesan or old cheddar cheese


1) Preheat oven to 350°F, and grease an 8 x 8 in. glass (or a Le Crueset – my personal fave dish ever – see image) baking dish with butter; set aside.

2) Place quinoa into a fine mesh strainer and rinse until cold running water until water runs clear, then drain well.

3) In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, garlic, thyme, salt, pepper and quinoa, stir in chopped spinach, then pour mixture into prepared dish.

4) Cover dish tightly with foil then gently pound or jiggle dish from side to side so that quinoa settles on the bottom in an even layer.

5) Bake until j

ust set, about 40 minutes.

6) Remove foil, sprinkle top evenly with cheese, then return to oven and bake, uncovered, until golden and crisp, about 10 minutes more.

7) Set aside to let cool briefly, then slice and serve.



Painless-Meatless-Delicious Shepherd’s Pie March 12, 2009

Comfort – comfort – comfort … all in one big casserole dish!  Try this unique twist on a classic – not only is it meatless, but this version also uses sweet potatoes instead of regular Yukons.  You can sub in a variety of veggies here, just make sure the quantities are equivalent.


2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks

1 tbsp PLUS 1/2 tsp salt

6 tbsp unsalted butter

1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced

2 parsnips, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick

2 stalks celery, sliced 1/4 inch thick

2 medium fennel bulbs, cut into a 1/2-inch dice

2 cups Brussels sprouts, halved

2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

1/2 tsp black pepper

1¾ cups veggie broth

3 cups fresh spinach (you can use torn Swiss chard leaves instead!)

pinch ground nutmeg


 1) Place sweet potatoes and 1 tbsp of salt in a large pot, adding enough cold water to cover. 
 2) Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. 
 3)  Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, over medium-low heat, melt 2 tbsp of the butter.
 4)  Add onion and cook for 10 min, then add parsnips, celery, fennel, Brussels sprouts, parsley, pepper, remaining salt and toss. 
 5)  Add broth, increase heat, and simmer until all veggies are tender, 15-20 minutes. 
 6)  Add the spinach and stir just until wilted - remove immediately from heat. 
 7)  Using a slotted spoon, transfer vegetables to a casserole or 9-inch pie plate.
 8]  Drain potatoes and return to pot, then add remaining butter and mash until smooth. 
 9)  Spread mashed potatoes over the vegetables, set broiler on high and broil until lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. 
10)   Dust with the nutmeg and serve!

Notes – if you’re really pressed for time and don’t have any fresh produce on hand, grab some quality frozen veggies, they’ll work too (again, make sure the ratios are the same)1106_thanksgiving_veg_6!  I added some peas too – loves em!


Baked Eggs with Spinach and Tomatoes

From start to finish, this dish will take less time than an episode of 30 Rock!  Phew!  I love having eggs for dinner (and lunch, and brekkie, and nibblies…), and baking them with a few veggies and serving it up with some beer bread is like a little piece of food heaven for me.  Comforting, tasty, nutritious and cheap – this is something you can whip together for a table of 1 or a hungry table of all your hung-over pals.


1 tbsp olive oil

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 x 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained

salt and pepper

2 bunches spinach (about 1 pound), trimmed

8 eggs, separated (yolks kept whole!!)


1) Heat oven to 400° F.

2) Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat – add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

3) Add tomatoes, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper to skillet and simmer for 3 minutes, then add spinach and cook until it begins to wilt, 1 minute.

4) Transfer skillet mixture to a 2-quart baking dish.

5) Beat egg whites until foamy, about 30 seconds, pour them over the spinach mixture – and carefully place the whole yolks over the top.

6) Bake until the whites are set, 20 to 22 minutes (let sit for a couple of minutes so it can rest briefly before cutting).

7) Divide among individual plates and enjoy!baked-eggs_300


Fettuccine in Mushroom Broth with Truffle Oil

Sounds luxurious … and tastes just like it sounds (but believe me, it won’t break the bank).  Last night consisted on giving in to my pregnant-lady-like-hankering for pasta and mushrooms (no, I am not even remotely with child … I just obsess over food like someone who is!) … by satisfying my craving with one amazing savoury dish!  I happened to have Truffle oil  – it’s a long story – and one incredible bag of organic whole-wheat pasta.  Lucky me!  If you don’t have Truffle oil, you can substitute another oil like walnut or almond or a high-quality olive oil.  Don’t be afraid of the ‘brothy-ness’ of this dish.  The pasta soaks up most of the liquid and what you’re left with is something spectacular!  Good for a date night or one of those dinners where you just have to make all your friends jealous of your mastery in the kitchen.


* 2 Tbsp olive oil

* 1 cup dried porcini mushrooms

* 2 cups shiitake or cremini mushrooms, stemmed and diced

* ½ cup finely chopped shallots

* 3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbps)

* 1 cup stock (I used mushroom stock!) or water

* 1 cup dry white wine (and 2 cups for you!)

* ½ cup frozen peas

* 1 Tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley

* 3 tsp truffle oil, divided

* 8 oz fettuccine or any other noodle you desire


1) Boil the stock (or some water) and place dried mushrooms in 1 cup of the boiled liquid – and allowthe mushrooms to hydrate for about 30 min.

2) Heat olive oil in very large skillet over medium-high heat, add porcini mushrooms, shallots, and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and sauté 5 minutes, or until mushrooms are soft.

2) Remove the now hydrated mushrooms, squeeze dry, and ad to skillet and sauté for another 2-3 min.  NOTE – do not throw out the liquid, keep it for later!!!

3) Add wine and the remaining stock, and simmer 10 minutes, or until mushrooms are very tender.

4) Add peas, simmer 2 minutes more, then stir in parsley and 1 tsp. truffle oil (season with salt and pepper again if necessary).

5) Meanwhile, cook fettuccine in large pot of boiling salted water according to package directions until al dente (usually 7-12 min, depending on the noodle).

6) Drain pasta, and toss with mushroom sauce, then drizzle 1/2 tsp. truffle oil over each serving, and sprinkle with grated parmessean. pasta