Spring Veggie Fiesta Frittata

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Serve with arugula salad dressed with jalapeno, chili and lime vinaigrette for a healthy spring “South of the Border” inspired meal.

Asparagus or local fiddleheads are tender greens that shoot out of the ground in spring. Combined with leafy greens …such as the first pick of spinach planted in late fall … local ramps or native wild onions, along with chives (one of the first herbs in spring), this is one dish bursting with all the flavors of the new season.

Add red peppers, grape tomatoes, lightly sprinkled cheese (I used chevre “goat” cheese) and a sprouted grain tortilla “crust” to give this dish a healthy Mexican theme worthy of a fiesta! Serve with salsa on the side.

9 eggs
2 cups baby spinach, lightly packed
6 asparagus spears or 1/2 cup fiddleheads
1/2 cup wild or green onions such as ramps or scallions, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup chives, chopped
4 ounces crumbled or shredded cheese of choice
parsley and cilantro to taste, chopped
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
1 sprouted grain tortilla round
olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium pot, boil water and blanch asparagus (ends cut off) or fiddleheads for 1 to 2 minutes. Drain and immerse in an ice bath to retain their green color. Chop in large pieces and set aside. In a saute pan with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil, saute onions and garlic on medium heat for approximately two minutes till just softened. Add tomatoes and saute for one more minute. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, nutmeg, half of chopped chives, salt and pepper.

Brush a deep dish pie plate with olive oil and place tortilla round on bottom. Add spinach and sprinkle with the rest of chives and herbs, tomato/onion mixture, asparagus or ramps and cheese. Add eggs and bake in oven for approximately 20 minutes or until middle is just firm and slightly puffed.

 

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Skillet Root Veggie Hash

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Top with farm fresh poached, fried or over easy eggs and let the runny yolks soak into the hash for a hardy winter breakfast!

Instead of regular ho-hum home fries, make your morning meal burst with color by serving seasonal hash loaded with sweet and savory root veggies. This dish also teams up well with poultry or a burger.

Since parsnips are chopped small, add to skillet after other roots are half cooked. Carrots can be substituted for parsnips, but add sooner to the skillet along with the sweet potatoes and turnips as they take a bit longer to cook. Grapeseed oil is used for it’s high-heat qualities, while olive oil is added near the end of  cooking for a little more taste. 

Ingredients
1 yellow or red onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 cups turnips/rutabagas, peeled and cubed
1 cup parsnips, peeled and chopped
2 teaspoons dried or fresh thyme
salt, pepper and paprika to taste
3 Tablespoons grapeseed oil plus more
2-3 Tablespoons olive oil

In a large cast iron or heavy skillet, heat grapeseed oil over medium high heat. Add onions and saute until translucent. Set aside. Toss sweet potatoes and turnips into skillet and add more grapeseed oil as needed. Allow a few minutes without stirring until roots start to brown and caramelize on one side. Stir and allow more browning to occur (without burning). Add parsnips and olive oil when potatoes and turnips are half-way softened. Sprinkle in thyme, salt, pepper and paprika to taste. Add onions. Stir and continue to cook until all veggies are fork tender.  Serves 4.

 

 

 

Gluten-Free Zucchini Flower Fritters

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Zucchini fritters or pancakes are great anytime!

The delicate zucchini flower can be used so many ways in the kitchen when these yellow beaties are brimming from the garden.

I go back to my Italian roots and make these fritters or pancakes  for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Serve with extra grated cheese on top and marinara sauce on the side, if preferred.

With so many brands of gluten-free pancake mixes, use the one you like. Or use an all purpose gluten-free flour like Bob’s Red Mill and follow their suggested pancake recipe found on their website.

Optional recipe for large flowers: Omit the shredded zucchini and dip the whole flower in the batter, and make like a pancake.  Remember to first remove the thistle and any no-see-ums inside.

Of course, kids love eating “flower pancakes” with grated cheese on top so you may have to make a second batch!

2 cups gluten free pancake mix, prepared
3/4 cup zucchini, shredded
2 zucchini flowers, thistles removed and flower chopped
2 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil
1/4 cup parmesan or romano cheese, grated (optional)

Combine pancake batter, zucchini, zucchini flowers, basil, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add shredded cheese if desired or save to sprinkle on top instead.

Coat the bottom of a cast iron or heavy skillet with olive oil and heat until hot but not smoking. Test a drop of batter on the skillet to determine desired heat to make perfect fritters which brown at the edges. Ladle batter onto skillet and brown on both sides.

 

Mango Ginger Green Smoothie

Start the morning with a green smoothie, and set the tone to infuse your body with good stuff all day long.

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Get energized with this green smoothie loaded with antioxidants!

Kale is the superfood staple in this smoothie, but feel free to substitute spinach or another dark leafy green. Ginger gives this juice some punch while mango and apple sweeten it up, along with a bit of tart from limes. Celery and fennel completes the picture making this not just another breakfast drink.

1/3 cup chopped mango
1 thumbsize piece of ginger, peeled
1/2 apple, cored
3 tablespoons chopped kale
1 celery stalk
1/2 cup chopped fennel bulb
juice from 1/2 of a lime
2/3 to 1 cup water

Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend till smooth.
Makes 1 serving.

Muesli with Dried Cherries, Pumpkin Seeds & Coconut

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Keep muesli in a glass canister ready to scoop out single servings when you’re on the go. Much better than oatmeal in a packet any day!

Waking up to a bowl of Muesli with a burst of sweetness from dried cherries (my favorite), delicious tastes of cinnamon and coconut, and raw goodness from pumpkin seeds, almonds, and flax seed is a great way to start the day.  Look for gluten free oats or the best  Irish rolled oatmeal you can find.

3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup ground flax seed meal
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
3/4 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup flaked coconut, unsweetened
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
Optional: 1/4 cup Thompson or golden raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread coconut on a cookie sheet and bake for 5 to 7 minutes until toasted and lightly golden. Set aside to cool. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients including coconut. Store in a glass jar with a lid or air tight container.

When ready to serve, sprinkle over yogurt (greek or farm fresh sheep yogurt if you can find it). Or let muesli soak in almond or coconut milk overnight.  Warm if desired in a saucepan with a little extra milk.  Top off with a drizzle of 100% maple syrup and fresh berries or bananas.

Poached Eggs with Sweet Potato Hash

Waking up in darkness on winter solstice makes me want to brew a nice cup of tea first thing and enjoy a hardy breakfast while watching the sun rise.

Place a perfectly made farm fresh poached egg atop a simple hash of diced sweet potatoes (leave skins on if you choose), chopped onions, thyme, kosher salt and pepper to taste and you’ll have a wonderful sunny meal to wake up to.

To make the hash, place all ingredients (except the egg) into an iron skillet with olive oil and let the sweet potatoes caramelize a bit over medium to medium high heat to add flavor and some crunch. Stir often, careful not to burn the onions.

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Not just for breakfast, this hash makes a colorful side dish with any meal.

Break the egg over the hash and let the potatoes soak up the creamy yoke. Enjoy savoring every bite!