Fresh Shakshouka

This version of shakshouka makes a great topper for crusty bread, uses a good blend of fresh + pantry ingredients – and makes a bonus second meal if you swirl some of your leftover sauce in with noodles.

It’s also DH approved, and he’s not a fan of skin-on tomatoes. He could live without the spinach, but we had greens and needed chlorophyll.

This would also be great with chickpeas for added protein and either scrambled or poached eggs/substitute cooked in the sauce. I wanted to keep my eggs separate to maximize leftovers. Scrambled soft tofu would be fantastic.

gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan, halal

Fresh Shakshouka

1 small jar fire roasted peppers in oil

2 hands cherry tomatoes

1 large onion

4 Tbsp. zaatar

1 Tbsp. smoked paprika

2 Tbsp. tomato paste

1/2 c. tinned tomatoes (I used crushed but use what you have)

2 tsp. sambal olek (this is my favorite)

1/2 c. parsley

Baby spinach

Eggs

Crusty bread

3 – 4 cloves garlic – 2-3 minced and 1 or 2 whole with the end sliced off

Thinly slice the onion and sauté on medium in 1 Tbsp. of the oil that comes from the jar of peppers until soft and lightly brown in spots.

Add the sambal and 2 – 3 cloves minced garlic. Sauté a minute or two more to meld together.

While that is working, remove the peppers from the oil and roughly chop.

Add the tomatoes and peppers and sauté until the tomatoes burst.

While the tomatoes are doing their thing, roughly chop the parsley, slice the bread into thick slices and drizzle with some of the pepper oil.

Broil the bread until your desired toast level has been reached. Remove from the oven and rub with the cut end of the reserved garlic clove. Set aside.

When the tomatoes have burst (with or without a little help), add the Zaatar, smoked paprika, salt & pepper. Stir to combine and let sauté a minute or so to meld.

Add the tomato paste, canned tomatoes, and half a cup of water. Bring up to a boil, reduce the heat, add the spinach + half the parsley on top, and simmer 7 – 8 minutes. As soon as that spinach wilts and can be thoroughly mixed in is the time to add eggs if you are cooking them like a traditional Shakshouka.

If you are not, fry your eggs separately in a little of the pepper oil to your desired doneness.

Serves 2 for a light dinner + makes enough sauce to be used for another night’s pasta

Peanut Scallion Relish

This simple Indian relish makes a great snack, breakfast, or topper for a wide variety of dishes.

Try it tucked into a chapati or roll – with or without an egg, atop a bed of rice (I’m particularly fond of sushi rice), bulked out with sautéed green beans, spread over a protein like chimichurri sauce, mixed into a stir fry (preferably with something sweet like red pepper), or mixed into a salad (this would be great with cucumber and mint).

gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free, low carb, halal

Peanut Scallion Relish

1 bunch scallions

2 cloves garlic

1 – 2 green chilis of any variety

2.5 ounces roasted salted peanuts

1 Tbsp. ghee or other oil

Salt to taste

Slice your scallions into thin rounds.

Heat the oil in a pan over medium and add the onions. Sauté until beginning to brown.

While the scallions are working, mince the pepper(s), de-seeding if you want less spice.

Grate the garlic.

Crush the peanuts.

When the scallions are ready, add the chilis, garlic and peanuts and stir well to combine. Let sauté 1-2 mins to combine fully.

Taste for salt and serve.

Makes enough for 4 or so servings, maybe more if you use less as a topper for something

Vegan Tofu Enchiladas

This is another recipe that started off as a suggestion from an article on nutritionist’s favorite grab-n-go items at Trader Joe’s.

As the last recipe, 100% sure this doesn’t taste like TJ’s, but it’s good. Surprisingly good. I completely forgot that tofu makes a super easy and tasty scramble – but it does. And doesn’t stink like wet dog.

A note on this one: I loved it; DH did not. He gave it the good old college try, but made the ick face. Possibly at the black olives. I personally, if I were making this just for myself, would have doubled the olive amount. But I love black olives.

gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan

Vegan Tofu Enchiladas

1 block firm tofu, crumbled

1 small white onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, diced

1 bell pepper – any color – diced

2 tsp. neutral oil

1/4 c. black olives, diced

1 c. frozen corn kernels

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 Tbsp. smoky chipotle seasoning

Salt & pepper

6 small corn tortillas

1 jar of your favorite enchilada sauce

Preheat your oven to 400F/200C.

Sauté the garlic, onion and pepper in the neutral oil over medium heat until softened.

Add the crumbled tofu, black olives, frozen corn and spices. Sauté until the mixture looks cooked and is well combined.

Carefully wrap filling in corn tortillas, flipping seam side down so they hopefully don’t burst apart – my dish held 6 comfortably, and I had a little leftover innards, which I sprinkled down the side. I *also* had at least 2 that completely came apart, but that’s neither here nor there.

Coat your hopefully not-disaster in a nice concealing layer of enchilada sauce. I dumped the jar out and then kinda smoothed the sauce out as much as possible.

Bake 20 minutes or until your desired brownness is achieved.

Serves 2 for dinner + 1 for lunch

Nasi Goreng: Version 1

I just got back from a fantastic vacation spent exploring a new place – and a new food culture – and wanted to come home and continue that goodness.

Random tidbit of information: tempeh is actually from Indonesia, it’s not just an OG hippie food.

That has little to do with this recipe (though most of the dishes of Nasi Goreng I had in Bali came with sides, including some ridiculously delicious tempeh).

Nasi Goreng is one of the dishes typically associated with Indonesia (some say it’s the national dish), although it’s popular in other Southeast Asian countries as well as the Netherlands. This dish is basically just fried rice – with no singular recipe, instead typically consisting of leftovers from the previous day.

This version of the dish doesn’t taste exactly like what I had on vacation, but it’s delicious nonetheless. I feel the sauces I had in Indonesia were richer, and in subsequent versions I’ll be working toward that – but this is a great starting place.

Can be made gluten free (just sweeten some coconut aminos), paleo (swap out the rice for Cauli rice and the ketjap), pescatarian (omit the chicken), or lacto-ovo vegetarian (omit the shrimp, shrimp paste & chicken)

Nasi Goreng: Version 1

3 cups leftover cooked rice (I used short grain sushi rice)

1 shallot

4 cloves garlic

1/4 cup frozen peas

1/4 cup frozen carrots

1 bok choy

2 eggs + 1 per person

250g chicken breast

200g tiny shrimp, chopped

4 Tbsp. prepared ketchup

4 Tbsp. ketjap manis

2 Tbsp. sambal olek

2 tsp. shrimp paste

Neutral oil

Salt & pepper

Chop the chicken into small bite-sized pieces, liberally season with salt and pepper, and sautée in 1 – 2 Tbsp. neutral oil until cooked through. Remove.

While the chicken is working, mince the shallot and garlic. Chop the bok choy and separate the stems from the leaves. Defrost the frozen veggies. Assemble the rest of the ingredients. Mix the ketchup, ketjap and sambal to form a sauce. Crack 2 eggs and lightly scramble.

Fry the shallot & garlic in 1 Tbsp. neutral oil over medium-high heat in the chicken pan, making sure to scrape up any browned bits and incorporating them.

When the shallots go translucent, add the shrimp paste. Stir to combine.

Add the bok choy stems and stir-fry until beginning to soften. Add the peas, carrots and bok choy leaves. Stir fry a minute or so until combined.

Add the rice, chicken & shrimp. Stir fry a minute or so to combine.

Add the sauce, stir to combine, and push the rice to the sides of the pan to make a well in the center. Add the scrambled eggs, let sit a minute to firm up on the bottom, and stir through the rice mixture until cooked.

Serve topped with an egg that’s been fried on medium-high heat until the edges are really crispy and the yolk is just set.

Serves 4 – 6 depending upon whether you are serving with sides (popular sides include: tempeh, fried tofu, hard boiled and then deep fried eggs, green bean and cabbage salads, and shrimp chips – plus I’m sure more – this is just what I was served as sides; I’m sure every household has its own version)

Indian Eggy Wrap

This recipe was inspired by the power of Instagram and has straight up become an obsession. This is half of what I’ve eaten in the last week, and I’m super bummed that I’m now out of wraps. I may just have to go to the store this afternoon for a resupply.

My version of this recipe is a blend of a Kolkata Egg Wrap posted by @playfulcooking and a good excuse to grab some of the ingredients for a Mumbai Street Sandwich posted one many forms by @saffrontrail. (Sidebar: if you love Indian food and beautiful photography, follow these ladies. They make some really inspiring dishes).

I took the eggy wrap constrict from one and just happened to run across a jar of Bombay Sandwich Sauce (a spicy mint chutney) in my local grocery, and bam. This lovely concoction that I currently can’t get enough of.

(lacto ovo) vegetarian

Indian Eggy Wrap

1 Chapati or paratha (fresh would obvs be best, but I happened to run across a whole wheat Chapati by Mission, and it wasn’t half bad) per sandwich

1-2 eggs per sandwich

A few thin slices cucumber per sandwich

A few thin strands of scallion per sandwich

2 tsp. – 1 Tbsp. Bombay Sandwich Sauce or mint chutney per sandwich

Salt & pepper

1 tsp. butter

Heat a small pan (roughly the same size as your bread) over medium heat. Add the butter and melt.

While the butter is melting, scramble the egg(s). If you are making more than 1 sandwich, make each batch separately.

Pour the egg into the pan, swirling to the edges to form a thin pancake. Season with salt and pepper and cook until solid on the bottom and still wet on top.

Nestle the chapati on top of the egg, pushing gently down to glue together.

While the egg fully cooks, slice the cucumber as thin as possible.

When the chapati starts puffing up a bit in the center, it’s time to flip. Flip carefully.

Back to finishing the cucumber and slicing the scallion thinly (I like mine lengthwise, but this is kind of a pain. You do you.).

Add a few cucumber strips and scallions down just to the side of the middle of the pancake. Drizzle your desired amount of sauce. Fold one side over to form a quesadilla-looking sandwich. Smash down with your spatula so it stays closed. Let cook another minute or so if the flipped side of the chapati doesn’t look burnt.

Best enjoyed wrapped in a paper towel to catch the sauce that will inevitably shoot out the end.

Serves 1

Strawberry Milk Overnight Oats

This recipe came about because of a chance walk-through of a German grocery store, and the bottle of strawberry Nesquick that caught my eye in the UHT/fake milks section.

I loved strawberry Nesquick as a kid – it didn’t taste like strawberries, but pink milk was super fun to drink and pretty much the only way (other than chocolate syrup, marshmallow flavoring or whatever is in an egg creme) I would touch cow milk.

This actually tastes like strawberries, and bonus: packs a bit of nutrition.

Gluten-free, FODMAP

Strawberry Milk Overnight Oats

2 strawberries
1/4 c. dry measure rolled oats
That same measuring cup full hazelnut milk
Half that cup full of water
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Few grinds salt
1 scoop collagen peptides

Toppers

Peanut (FODMAP) butter thinned Out with a little water to the consistency of tahini
Hand full raw pepitas for crunch

Blend the strawberries, water and milk. Pour over the oats, vanilla, collagen peptides and salt. Shake or stir to combine. Let sit overnight. Serve with optional toppers.

Serves 1

Elimination Diet Friendly Overnight Oats

This was my staple breakfast while on the IFM Elimination Diet. It’s (relatively) quick, easy, and can be batch-cooked ahead of time so you have plenty on hand.

Gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, elimination diet

Elimination Diet Friendly Overnight Oats

1/4 cup measure rolled oats
1/4 cup measure + half water
Few grinds salt
1-2 Tbsp. pumpkin (I did 2 because I like the taste; if you don’t want yours as vegetal, cut back to 1 Tbsp.)
1 Tbsp. tahini
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 tsp. slivered almonds

Combine the oats, water, salt & pumpkin. Let sit overnight or batch prep for the week.

To serve, top with everything else.

This quantity serves 1

Berry Oat Protein Pancakes

These little babies are delicious, dairy-free, travel surprisingly well, and hold up to an alfresco breakfast picnic in the park.

Gluten-free, vegetarian

Berry Oat Protein Pancakes

1/2 c. frozen berries
2 eggs
1 c. rolled oats
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. your favorite plain dairy-free yogurt
2 Tbsp. flaxseed
2 Tbsp. chia seeds
1 date
1/4 tsp. salt
Fat of choice for the pan

Whiz all ingredients but the fat in a blender until incorporated.

Heat a Tablespoon of your fat of choice (I used ghee) in a large skillet over medium/medium-high heat.

Drop silver dollar sized amounts of the batter into the prepped pan and cook until bubbles form. Flip and cook an additional couple minutes.

Remove to paper towels and repeat.

Makes about 18 pancakes – enough for small servings for about 8 as part of a larger brunch spread. Perfect if served with fruit and/or whipped cream if you’re having that kind of morning – a more virtuous serving suggestion pictured here with extra yogurt and berries

Fig + Rosemary Faux-Meal

I’ve been on a fake oatmeal jag again lately – something about the calendar hitting October and my brain screaming it’s Fall and you should be snuggling in for a winter hibernate despite the fact that it is still 96F and bright sunny where you live.

I may *live* in the land of Summer, but in my mind, it’s PSLs all the way down.

Gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan if you consider figs vegan

Fig + Rosemary Faux Meal

1 faux-meal base from my poorly named and now re-named No-Atmeal
1 fresh fig
1-2 Tbsp. tahini (2 would be great if your macros allow – mine did not and I would have loved a little more)
1/2-1 tsp. date molasses (same here – I went light; would have loved more)
Nut milk (enough to cover the top of your faux-meal in a thin layer – optional, but I want to believe it adds creaminess)
Halved pecans (walnuts would also work)
Slivered almonds (optional but I love the texture)
1-2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary (I did 2 and loved the piney kinda savory taste going on)
A pinch of salt

Prepare the faux-meal like the recipe, omitting all toppers and spice. Top and spice with these ingredients instead.

Serves 1 for breakfast

Macros for the slack topper portions: 480 calories, 28g carbs (not net carbs), 40g fat, 9g protein

Spice Cake Faux-Meal

This recipe was inspired by a carrot cake oatmeal posted by Sukkari Life, the sudden bloom of PSLs (yes, we get Pumpkin Spice Lattes here in Doha), and the wishful thinking October brings for lower temperatures (it was only 97F today).

And … it has a vegetable + a fruit, so it’s a healthy breakfast!

Gluten-free, low carb, paleo, Whole30 (with substitutions), vegetarian, vegan (with substations)

Spice Cake Faux-Meal

2 Tbsp. chia seeds
2 Tbsp. unsweetened coconut flakes
2 Tbsp. flaxseed meal
3 Tbsp. grated carrot
3 Tbsp. unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1.5 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. butter (sub if vegan)
1 c. your favorite milk (I used hazelnut)
Pinch salt
Pecan halves
Pepitas
1 Tbsp. tahini
1 tsp. date molasses (sub if Keto or Whole30)

Sautée the carrot in the butter over medium heat until soft or just browning.

Add a generous pinch salt and stir.

Add the applesauce, chia, coconut, flaxseed meal and milk. Stir to combine.

Bring up to a bubble and add the spices. Stir.

When the mixture has been cooking a minute or two and has thickened, cut the heat. Let sit a minute or two.

Scoop into a bowl and top with the nuts, tahini and date molasses (if using).

Serves 1 for breakfast