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

Quick Spinach Rice Lunch

I make this – or a variation on this – quite often for lunch later in the week, when I’ve got leftovers kicking around in the fridge, am out of my main protein, and still have some of this week’s spinach hanging around that is quickly going to age itself right out of my fridge.

For this version, I resisted the temptation to go Southeast Asian like usual (this dish 99.9% of the time turns out vaguely Japanese), and went Indian instead. I’m glad I broke out of my comfort zone a little and I think I’ll make this again on purpose for dinner some night.

gluten-free, lacto-ovo vegetarian

Quick Spinach Rice Lunch

1 cup leftover basmati rice

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons sesame or mustard oil

1/2 inch fresh ginger

1 clove garlic

1 big hand full spinach

Turmeric

Crispy chickpeas (these are my favorite)

1 green chili

To reheat your rice – any rice – without it drying out, add a Tablespoon or two of water, put the lid back on really loosely and zap in the microwave for :45 to 1:00. Boom. Steamed and refreshed rice.

Fry the eggs to your liking in the oil, seasoning with salt and pepper and adding a liberal sprinkle of turmeric when you flip. Add the spinach on top of that to wilt a couple seconds while the yolks finish setting to your desired doneness (I love a good runny yolk, so I separated my whites from yolks, scooted them to the side and added the spinach more to that side so I could see to yank the yolks when they were just barely set).

Grate the ginger and garlic into the rice.

Mince the chili (de-seeding if necessary) and add to the rice.

Add the eggs on top, along with a small hand of the crispy chickpeas.

Stir to combine.

Serves 1 for lunch

Chili Tuna Fried Rice

This pantry-friendly fried rice is quick enough for a weeknight meal (for when the world gets back to working outside the home), and makes a great lunch the next day if there are leftovers.

Gluten-free, pescatarian

Chili Tuna Fried Rice

1.5 cups leftover cooked rice (I used sushi rice)

1/3 cup frozen shelled edamame

1/3 cup frozen cut green beans

2 Tbsp. neutral oil

2 eggs

1/4 cup coconut aminos

1 Tbsp. fish sauce

1 Tbsp. sambal olek

1 green onion, sliced

1/2 can chili tuna in oil, drained

Add your neutral oil to a large pan over high heat. When it shimmers, add the frozen veggies and green onion. Stir fry until no longer frozen and starting to look cooked.

Add the rice and tuna. Continue to stir fry until the veggies begin to brown.

Make a well in the center of the rice mixture and crack the eggs in. Let sit until the bottom is firm, then scrape up, folding into the rice mix.

Add the coconut aminos, fish sauce and sambal. Stir quickly to combine.

As written, serves 2 for dinner

Pantry Clear: Chili Tuna Rice

As you can see from my last post (see pantry clearing post #1), my pantry is all over the map – but the bulk of the ingredients center on Southeast Asia, specifically Japan.

Japanese is a cuisine my DH and I both love and both crave when we either need a little comfort (among other cuisines, tbh) but feel like we need to be a little nice to our bodies and digestive systems.

This dinner is quick, easy, and feels like a healthy hug. If raw egg yolk freaks you out, omit.

Gluten-free

Chili Tuna Rice

1 cup premade sushi rice (1/2 cup short grain rice cooked in 2 cups water + 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar, 1 Tbsp. sesame oil, and a few grinds salt)

1/2 can chili spiced tuna, drained

2 Tbsp. dried wakame

1 tsp. powder-style chicken bouillon

1/2 cup hot water

1 egg

1/2 tsp. ginger garlic paste

1 Tbsp. coconut aminos

1 tsp. butter

Generous sprinkle toasted sesame seeds

1 green onion, thinly sliced

Set the sushi rice on to cook however you cook rice. While the rice is cooking, boil the 1/2 cup water.

Add the wakame and chicken bouillon to a small bowl and add the boiling water over top. Stir to combine and let sit until the seaweed is reconstituted. Drain loosely when you’re ready to serve and add back into the bowl.

Add the butter, rice, coconut aminos, ginger garlic paste, tuna, and egg yolk. Stir well to combine.

Top with the sesame seeds and green onions and serve.

Serves 1 for dinner

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)

Dashi Chicken & Rice

The directive for this week was simple: chicken & rice. DH said he didn’t care what nationality and what fanciness happened on top, just that he was craving chicken & rice.

IMHO, this was a bang-up week for dinners, yielding two that I can’t wait to share with you guys.

This is a quick weeknight dinner, and can be changed up easily by tossing in a handful of green leafies or something orange.

gluten-free

Dashi Chicken & Rice

1 – 1.5 lb. boneless skinless chicken (I used a mix of thighs and breasts)

1 yellow onion

2/3 cups dashi stock (I used instant granules)

2 tsp. rice wine vinegar

1 Tbsp. coconut aminos or soy sauce

1 tsp. sugar

1/2 – 1 cup cooked short grain rice per person

1 scallion

1 egg per person

2 Tbsp. neutral oil

Salt & pepper

Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Add to your largest skillet, which has been brought to temperature over medium-high heat with 2 Tbsp. neutral oil added.

Sautée until white. Hit with salt & pepper.

While the chicken is working, halve and thinly slice the onion. Toss in when ready. Continue sauteeing until the onion is softened.

Add the dashi, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and sugar.

Kick the heat down to medium and sautee until the chicken is cooked through.

Portion out, leaving a single serving in the pan. Crack in an egg and whisk lightly with a chopstick.

Let cook until set, and turn out over your bowl of rice. Serve topped with a liberal sprinkle of green onion.

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

Vegan Cheesy Gochujang Noodles

Some days I don’t know why I get into my head the taste combinations I do. This is not one of those days. For some reason, something a couple I love on YouTube had said in a video I watched who knows how long ago popped into my head and I just couldn’t shake the desire to find out what cheese + Gochujang tasted like.

(Side note: if you like food, are interested in either Asian cuisines or finding out what it’s like to live in either Korea or Japan as a North American expat, check out Simon and Martina’s channel and blog: Eat Your Kimchi. It’s well worth the binge watch. Find them, and the recipe whose vague memory inspired this one here. Now, back to your regularly scheduled blah-blah!)

Now, I can’t do animal cheese, and I’m not even trying to pretend that this version tastes like cheese cheese (I think if I added garlic powder and mustard powder it might – but I’m still reintroducing foods, and Gochujang was my challenge food today), but it has a hint of cheesiness and a nice richness from the coconut milk.

If you’re batch cooking this recipe, maybe add a bit more coconut milk to the mix – mine turned out a bit clumped-together for subsequent meals; it loosened up on heating and stirring, but it could have been a skosh freer in the storage container.

Gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan

Vegan Cheesy Gochujang Noodles

3 Tbsp. gochujang
1/4 c. sesame oil
1/4 c. soy sauce or coconut aminos
1/4 c. nutritional yeast
1.5 in. grated ginger
1/4 c. coconut milk
Garlic oil
Bok choy, chopped
Rice noodles
Green onions
Sesame seeds
Ketjap manis

First, boil some water and set your rice noodles to soak – I do 1/2 – 1 cup per serving.

While the noodles are soaking, chop the bok choy and sautée in a large skillet over medium-high in a few squirts garlic oil. Season with a little sprinkle soy sauce/coconut aminos to season.

While those are both going, whiz together the ingredients from coconut milk up to make a sauce.

Slice the green onions and set aside for garnish. If you’re not vegan, prep your protein too (egg, little shrimps and rotisserie chicken all go great here). Grab your sesame seeds.

When the bok choy is cooked to your liking, drain the noodles and add to the pan. Stir with tongs to break them apart gently and fully incorporate the veggies. Add the sauce and stir again. Cook everything together a few minutes.

Top with the green onions, a generous sprinkle of sesame seeds, optional protein, and a swirl of ketjap manis.

The sauce makes enough to support 2.5 big servings

Korean Coconut Buddha Bowl

I’ve been quite excited to see a resurgence of bowl-related meals in the popular press (mostly because that’s what I’ve mainly been making for dinner since .. Miami) – Call them Buddha Bowls, Nutri Bowls, Glow Bowls … they all amount to the same basic formula: filling item, accents, protein source & sauce.

This version starts with a coconut curry, and wanders into the territory of Korea with the substitution of gochujang for red curry paste. Yum.

gluten-free, low carb

Korean Coconut Buddha Bowl

For the sauce

1 Tbsp. neutral oil
2 medium shallots
1 inch ginger
2 Tbsp. gochujang
1 can coconut milk
2 tsp. honey
1 Tbsp. sambal olek
2 Tbsp. fish sauce
2 Tbsp. soy sauce

For the bowl

1 Tbsp. neutral oil
1/2 onion
1 c. snap or snow peas
1 c. carrot batons
1 c. asparagus
2 c. shredded purple cabbage
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1-2 Tbsp. lime juice
1/4 c. water

Optional: ground chicken & fried eggs

Sesame seeds

Mince the shallot & ginger and sautée in the oil until softened. Add the rest of the ingredients, whisk to combine, and let simmer 15 minutes or until thickened and velvety.

While that’s working, prep your bowl.

When your sauce is done, set aside, wipe your pan and add the oil + carrots. Stir. Add the onion and sautée until the onions are softened.

Add the peas and sautée, stirring frequently, until the peas are beginning to soften.

Add the cabbage and stir. Add 1/4 c. water and cook, stirring frequently, until the water has evaporated and the cabbage is crisp-tender.

Add the asparagus, soy sauce & lime juice and cook, stirring, a few minutes more.

Divide veggies between two bowls and top with ground chicken & fried egg if desired. Spoon over about a quarter to a third of the sauce per bowl. Sprinkle sesame seeds over top.

If you are after a shot for the ‘gram, cook all these veggies separately and arrange artfully. Ain’t nobody in this house got time for that.

Bowls serve 2 with leftover sauce

Japanese Ketchup Rice – Paleoified

I saw this recipe on one of my favorite YouTube channels – Texan in Tokyo (rip) and couldn’t wait to try it myself. Ketchup on scrambled eggs is the only way I would eat them when I was a kid – and I still love it.

This is delicious and made the perfect “single lady” dinner.

gluten-free, paleo, keto


Paleo Japanese Ketchup Rice 

2 – 3 ounces leftover poultry (I used turkey)
1/2 cup cauliflower rice
1/2 small carrot, diced
3 Tbsp. ketchup (I used Sir Kensington because that was what I had)
2 eggs
2 Tbsp. coconut aminos
1/4 white onion, diced
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. fat of choice (I used bacon fat)

In a small to medium pan over medium-high heat, add the fat of choice and cauliflower rice. Add the meat. Dice the carrot and onion and add. Sautee until the carrots start to soften and the onion is translucent. Add 1 Tbsp. coconut aminos and stir. Let cook another minute or so. Add 2 Tbsp. ketchup. Let cook another minute or so.

Scramble the eggs with the second Tablespoon coconut aminos. Push all the rice to one side of the pan and add the butter to the clean side. Once the butter is melted, add the eggs. Let set up a bit and drag your spoon through to break up. Let settle into a sort of half omelette.

To serve, it would be really awesome to kind of flop the omelette over the rice and serve pretty drizzled with ketchup.

Mine looks like dog food. Tasty, tasty dog food.

Serves 1