Thursday, April 25, 2013

Swiss Chard Skillet With Egg, Onion & Tomato

1 1/4 cups quartered cherry tomatoes
1 Tbs red wine vinegar
2 large bunches Swiss chard
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 large eggs

1) In a small bowl, toss cherry tomatoes with vinegar. Set aside.
2) Remove chard leaves from stems. Chop leaves, place in a large bowl of cool water, and swirl to rinse. Transfer to a colander, allowing a bit of water to remain on leaves. Rinse, dry and thinly slice stems.
3) In a large skillet, over medium heat, saute chard stems and onion in olive oil until softened, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add garlic and saute 1 minute. Add chard leaves, salt and pepper. Turn heat to high and toss with tongs until leaves wilt.
4) Using the back of a spoon, make four indents, or "nests," in chard. Crack 1 egg into each nest. Cover the skillet, reduce heat slightly and cook until yolks are medium-set, about 4 minutes.
5) Add cherry tomatoes and vinegar to skillet, then serve.

Review: Once again, I attempted a recipe designed to meet Mike's diet standards. However, I forgot he isn't eating tomatoes. So, my serving had LOTS of tomatoes!! This was supposed to be a breakfast recipe, but I thought it sounded more savory and better as dinner (though it'd likely be a great brunch dish). Swiss chard is by far my favorite leafy green. It's taste is quite different from the others, but when the stems are added it's even more flavorful. The onion added a little sweetness and more savoriness. The eggs added some "oomph" and the sweet/tangy tomatoes completely balanced the dish. There were no leftovers! I could also make this again without the tomatoes, just adding a bit of red wine vinegar to the final serving, like hot sauce.

Adapted from:

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Cauliflower au Gratin

1 head cauliflower, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
salt and pepper
8oz cream cheese
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar
2 Tbs coconut flour
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
8 Tbs butter, melted

1) Preheat oven to 350F. Mist a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Place cauliflower in baking dish and toss with bell pepper. Season with salt and pepper.
2) In a blender, blend cream cheese, vegetable broth, onion, garlic and 1/4 cup Parmesan until smooth and creamy. Pour over cauliflower mixture. In a large bowl, stir together Cheddar, coconut flour, parsley and remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan. Spread evenly atop cauliflower mixture. Drizzle with butter.
3) Bake until gratin is brown and bubbling, and cauliflower is tender (50-60 minutes). Let stand ten minutes before serving.

Review: Mike has been working hard on reducing carbs, which means I haven't been able to cook for him. He's tried making cauliflower gratin and it didn't turn out well. I stumbled on this recipe and thought I'd make it for him. The only catch was that it called for 1 1/2 cups of seasoned bread crumbs to make a crumbly top. He suggested using a bit of coconut flour, but not much since a little goes a long way. It didn't do much for making a crumbly top and it smelled a bit like coconut when done. Maybe we'll try almond flour next time. It was a bit soupy, so I would also recommend reducing the broth to only 1/2 cup. It had a great flavor, though and was very savory!!

Adapted from:

Monday, April 8, 2013

Pecan Pesto Shells With Sausage

3/4 lb pasta shells or another short pasta
3 cups fresh parsley leaves
1/2 cup pecan halves
2oz grated Parmesan (about 1/2 cup)
Kosher salt and black pepper
6 Tbs olive oil
14oz vegetarian Italian sausage, sliced

1) Cook the pasta according to the package directions, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
2) Pulse together the parsley, pecans, Parmesan, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper in a food processor until finely chopped. With the machine running, add 5 tablespoons of the oil and process until smooth.
3) Heat the remaining oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook until browned.
4) Add the pesto, sausage and 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking water to the pasta and toss to coat (adding more cooking water as needed to loosen the sauce). Sprinkle with additional Parmesan to taste.

Review: This was one of those times where I took a meat-based recipe and made it vegetarian. The recipe talked about breaking down the sausage and I wonder if sausage shrinks. The vegetarian equivalent doesn't shrink and I ended up with a massive amount of food, much of which was sausage.  It's a good thing I thought this was yummy, otherwise I'd be horrified at the amount of food I'd waste. The pecan/parsley pesto was a nice change from typical pesto flavors. It isn't as sharp (likely due more to a lack of garlic), and has a bit of sweetness to it. This balanced well with the flavorful sausage.

Adapted from: