Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Quick Quiche-ittata with Spinach and Mushrooms

Rich as a quiche, fast as a frittata! A blindingly fast way to serve a vegetarian dinner.

Joseph invented this dish in less than 30 minutes from start to finish so that we could make it to a weeknight Rumba class. Then, instead of waiting for this crustless quiche to bake, he cooked it frittata-style. Simple, fast, and delicious!

Quick Quiche-ittata with Spinach and Mushrooms
(Rich as a Quiche, Fast as a Frittata)
Serves 2

4 tablespoons butter
1 medium red onion, chopped
1/2 bag organic baby spinach leaves
4 oz. crimini mushrooms, chopped
4 eggs
1 cup heavy organic cream (not ultra-pasteurized)
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup goat cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Gruyere cheese, shredded

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in an iron skillet (or other skillet you can place under a broiler). Cook onions and mushrooms over medium-high heat, about 8 minutes or until soft. (Turn down the heat if the onions start to stick.) Add spinach and stir, cooking until wilted.

While the onion mixture cooks, place eggs, cream, and pepper in a bowl and whisk. Stir in the cooked onions, mushrooms, and spinach. Add cheeses, mixing well.

Melt the remaining butter in the skillet and pour in the egg mixture, spreading the ingredients around evenly. Cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Rotate the pan 180 degrees (for even cooking), and set the timer for another 5 minutes. Meanwhile, heat up the broiler. When the timer goes off, place the skillet under the broiler and cook until the eggs are cooked on top. Keep a close watch on it!

Serve with a carbohydrate and you've got a complete meal! We ate ours with frozen raspberries and banana slices.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Chicken Breast Tenders in French Cream

This quick-to-make recipe smelled and tasted so heavenly while Joseph was cooking it, I could have sworn the sauce had mushrooms or truffles in it. Turns out the recipe that inspired him really did have those ingredients! ??? Something metaphysical about that ...

Most people would serve this over rice or noodles. We ate it out of a bowl to savor the sauce. (If you're worried by the cream, read the post about fats before you try this one.)

Chicken Breast Tenders in French Cream
Serves 2-3

3 tablespoons ghee
Approx. 1 lb. organic, free-range chicken breast tenders
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
2 tablespoons cognac or brandy
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat ghee in iron or other large skillet. Add tenders, seasoning with half of the salt and pepper. Cook over medium low heat, turning until the color changes to lightly browned, if at all, on all sides. Cover and cook in juices and ghee for approximately 10 minutes. Then remove the chicken to a bowl to keep warm.

Add shallots to the skillet. Cook and stir for a minute or two. Add brandy or cognac and cook for 30 seconds, then stir in the cream. Raise the temperature until the cream bubbles, then reduce heat and cook until the mixture thickens, approximately 10 minutes. Add the remaining salt and pepper. Pour chicken and juices back into the pan. Stir and heat.

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We served this with a Greek salad (feta, olives, and lemon vinaigrette) and mashed roasted sweet potatoes seasoned with pumpkin pie spices and ghee or butter or hazelnut oil. (And of course you can add mushrooms or truffles!)

Let us know how you liked it!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Raspberry Apple Mash

We often invent yummy sweet dishes without resorting to sugar, honey, syrups, or nectars. After you've recovered your tastebuds from years of abuse, Nature's delicate flavors provide plenty of sweetness without the insulin punch-in-the-gut that's causing everyone so much trouble.

For this recipe, he used 100% green stevia leaf powder to add just a little sweetness. Then he added rose water, which you can find in the spices section of your supermarket or health food store, or local Indian, Persian, or Arab market, to bring up a flowery sweetness that goes nicely with the raspberries.

Stevia Secrets

Our fledgling stevia plant
Joseph's Cooking Notes:

I love stevia! It’s great stuff, but it doesn’t taste very good because it’s 300 times sweeter than sugar. It’s so sweet that if you ate the extract straight, your mouth would implode and you might end up with permanently sunken cheeks. Don’t try it. Let this serve as your warning.

Fat: Why We Cook with Butter, Ghee, and Grease

Joseph's Cooking Notes:


Around 10 years ago, I lost 45 pounds on a low-fat diet. I ate many whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, abundant low-fat meat and protein, and kept my fat intake around 10%. After about two years on this diet, I developed what doctors call irritable bowel syndrome. Trust me, you don’t want your bowels mad at you. I’ll spare you the details.

But the cure for me involved adding fat back into my diet—and not flax oil, or soybean oil, or hydrogenated plastic can’t believe it’s not butter or whatever. I mean ANIMAL FAT. I can hear a collective hush from the health fiends, such as myself. But I’m convinced that animal fat has been unfairly demonized. Here are a few facts about animal fats that I seldom hear from the hysterical food police: