Category Archives: Appetizers

Pesto Spinach Bread

Good Evening!  I have squirreled this recipe away for over a year now just waiting for the right time to try it.  Tonight was the night and I have to say I liked it but it is nothing like bread.  It’s like a very firm spinach quiche.  Again, a good way to get some veggies but don’t expect to make sandwiches with this “bread”.  Having made this recipe once, I would really grease the pan much more liberally as it didn’t come out of it very easily as it was.   Just keep that in mind and you will do well.  Another word about the spinach.  As you probably know by now, when using broad leafy veggies, you should buy organic if possible as these veggies tend to have more pesticide exposure than others.  For this recipe, I used Cascadian Farm Organic frozen cut spinach.  I have to tell you, I was quite excited to find this in our grocery store.  Now some of you may find this banal, but this is a pretty big deal for those of us living in rural central FL!  Up until now, we had only fresh organic spinach available in our local store (Publix….great store!).  But to have organic spinach frozen is such a find!   Frozen spinach is so versatile and used in so many recipes.  I am so glad to have this option.

Anyhoo, take a look at the pic and the recipe and let me know how you find this….

Ellensister.

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Ingredients: (Parenthesis are my comments!)

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2.  Grease (LIBERALLY) glass baking dish with butter.  (author used a circular 8 inch pan, but I used a smaller square pan and it came out just fine).

3.  Toast your pine nuts in a saute pan with about a tablespoon of butter.  Be very careful!  Pine nuts burn easily. Watch them like a hawk and stir constantly.  When they start to turn golden brown, they are done and on the verge of burning.

4.  Chop the nuts in a  food processor and mince your basil.

5.  Mix eggs, garlic, basil, nuts and spinach together in a a mixing bowl.  Add some salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

6.  Once mixed, pour evenly into greased pan.

7.  Pop it in the oven for about 15 minutes (I needed about 20 to 25 minutes, but I had a smaller pan making the bread thicker) or until it has set.

8.  Slice and enjoy as if it were bread or all by itself (Don’t expect bread, but enjoy it for what it is!).

The original recipe can be found at http://www.marksdailyapple.com/spinach-bread/#axzz1tCJcCtJm

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Pan-Crisped Deviled Eggs

I wouldn’t call this a “deviled” egg recipe, but I would call it a stuffed egg recipe.  This is a stuffed egg for those of you that don’t like deviled eggs, and for those of you that do like them, then you will love this recipe!  It is surprisingly tasty with a hint of sweetness from the dried apricots balanced by the savory ham and mustard flavor.  What I like about this recipe is that it is very yummy!  What I didn’t like about this recipe is that you have to handle these eggs so much from the stuffing to the frying.  It is difficult to present them so that they don’t look as if they have been manhandled, which in fact they have been.  Check out the photo below.  So if you are not all into presentation with your food, then this is a delicious recipe that goes beyond deviled eggs.  This recipe is from the Weeknight Kitchen with Lynne Rossetto Kasper and modified by me.

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Ingredients

1 garlic clove, minced

2 tsps vinegar, or to taste

2-1/2 tsp minced onion

8 large eggs, hard-cooked and peeled

1 scant tsp Dijon mustard

1 tight-packed TBSP Italian parsley leaves, coarsely chopped

2 TBSP minced smoked ham ( I departed from the recipe here and used Hormel’s Deli Ham with no added nitrates.  Bacon might go well here too)

1 TBSP minced dried apricot

1 to 1-1/2 tsp mayonnaise ( see http://www.theclothesmakethegirl.com/2010/06/03/the-secret-to-homemade-mayo-patience/ for a great paleo mayo recipe)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2-3 tablespoons good tasting extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup ham “croutons”, (ham cut into 1/4-inch dice)

1. In a medium bowl blend the garlic, vinegar, and onion.  Let stand while you cut the hard-cooked eggs in half lengthwise.  Gently remove the yolks (fingers work best), and place them in the bowl.  Reserve the whites.

2.  Add to the yolks the mustard, parsley, ham, apricots, and 1 tablespoon mayonnaise.  With a fork, crush everything together into a thick paste.  If the filling is very crumbly, add a little more mayonnaise.  Blend in salt and pepper to taste.

3.  Pack the mixture back into the hollows of the egg whites so the filling is even with the surface of the egg, not mounded.  You will have leftover stuffing (this can become the salad dressing).

4.  In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.  Gently place the eggs in the pan stuffed side down.  Scatter the ham croutons around them.  Cook over medium heat 3 to 5 minutes until the eggs are beautifully browned (sprinkle them with salt and pepper as they cook).  Continue cooking the ham, if necessary, until it’s golden, them scoop it out of the pan and set aside.

5.  Gently lift the eggs from the pan, turn them filling side up, set them on the greens, scatter the ham croutons and dressing over the salad, and serve.

I changed the dressing recipe but still used the leftover filling and ham croutons.  I differed from the original recipe here as I just combined the yolk mixture, olive oil, a little more vinegar, and garlic salt to make a light dressing.  The original recipe calls for more dairy in the dressing.  Also, these eggs could stand alone and don’t necessarily need to be served over a salad.

Hope you enjoy and please let me know if you try it!


Blackberry Balls

Well, the actual recipe name for this is “Blackberry Nut Clusters,” but I’ve been calling them “Blackberry Balls,” and now I can’t stop.

This recipe is from Coach Karen, who is one of the coaches at Crossfit Fort Vancouver (*my* Crossfit gym).  Joining Crossfit was one of the greatest transformational points in my life.  The coaches there showed me how to exercise.  I actually exercise less today than I did three years ago.  And my body composition has changed – I am much more muscle-y.  Karen rings the bell for nutrition, and no reasonable person can argue against her.  She is strong and awesome.  She has a blog with an extensive collection of real food recipes.

So here’s one of them:

http://purelyprimal.com/2011/09/07/blackberry-nut-clusters/

This took literally 10 minutes to make and was very refreshing.  I did use a bit more coconut than she listed, and I added a 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  I took this to a party, and it was a hit.  I liked this so much, I bought more almonds to make more Blackberry Balls for another party next weekend!

As for cost – blackberries are cheap (if not free!), so the real cost is the nuts.  Freezer-friendly?  Seems likely, but I doubt you would freeze these!