Baked eggs with spinach and cheese

 

Love and eggs are best when they are fresh. – Russian proverb


What to use

3 eggs

1/3 cup red peppers

2 tbs chopped chives

1 cup chopped fresh spinach

1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar

salt and pepper (to taste)

cooking spray

What to do

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two ramekins with cooking spray.  In a mixing bowl, add eggs and gently stir in remaining ingredients except cheese.  Don’t whisk!  Top with cheese.  Pour into ramekins and bake for 20 minutes.

Garnish with a little chopped chive.

This works perfectly for a brunch. You can increase the number of eggs and other ingredients accordingly and use a muffin tin to serve lots of people. Each person will then have a perfectly baked omelette and you don’t have to slave over a frying pan!

And this is what they looked like on the inside after I nibbled off all that lovely top layer of cheesy goodness!

 

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Marinated seared tuna with wild rice

What a day! I’ve been making a real effort to eat regular, healthier these days but sometimes my work schedule wreaks havoc on my best laid plans.  Like today, all I had for the entire day was an unspectacular breakfast of  two slices of toast, a boiled egg and an apple! The only thing that got me through the day was the thought of this lovely, fat tuna steak that was waiting for me at home!

Beautiful, isn’t it?

I was pretty much ravenous by the time I got home from work so I decided to do a quick marinade and sear the tuna.

What to use

1 fresh tuna steak

1 tbs olive oil

1 tbs sesame oil

1 tbs soy sauce

6 tbs white wine vinegar

1/2 lemon

1 tbs chopped cilantro

few sprigs of thyme

ground black pepper

sea salt

What to do

Whisk together olive oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar, lemon juice, cilantro, thyme, salt and pepper. Marinate tuna in mixture for about 15 minutes. Heat heavy skillet and add a little olive oil. When oil is hot, add tuna and sear for two to three minutes on each side over medium high heat.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and bake tuna for about 10 minutes.  Remove and allow to rest for a few minutes.  I know a lot of people prefer their tuna rare but I like mine medium to well with just a hint of pink on the inside.

Sprinkle steak with a little more sea salt and coarse pepper.

I had my tuna steak on a bed of fresh herb salad with some wild rice that I quickly sauteed in some butter, garlic powder, oregano, parsley, onion powder and finely chopped parsley.

I washed it all down with some fresh watermelon juice. (I blended some fresh watermelon, strained it and added some fresh lemon juice and wedges.)

Not a bad way to end the day!

 

Hearty lentil soup

Wow! I’ve been so busy.  It’s seems like it’s been ages since I’ve had a home-cooked meal.  I’ve been planning to make this soup for some time now but only just got around to actually doing it.

It’s pretty easy to put together and is a hearty option for dinner.

What to use

1 cup lentils (washed and drained)

1  white onion (sliced)

2 celery stalks (diced)

2 cloves garlic (minced)

1 tbs shadon beni (finely chopped)

3 tbs spring onion or chive (finely chopped)

2 carrots (sliced)

3 cups pumpkin (cubed)

2 tomatoes (diced)

3 cups water or vegetable stock

2 bay leaves

salt and pepper to taste

1 tbs lemon juice

parsley for garnishing

2 tbs olive oil

Tabasco sauce

What to do

Boil lentils for two minutes and leave to soak for an hour.  Drain lentils and set aside. Saute onion, celery, garlic, shadon beni and spring onion in olive oil until tender.  Add lentils, carrots, pumpkin, tomatoes, water/stock, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until lentils are soft and pumpkin and carrots are tender. Stir in lemon juice and remove bay leaves before serving. Add a few dashes of Tabasco sauce and top with parsley.

 

Roasted red pepper and goat cheese sandwich

Roasting is fast become my favourite way of preparing vegetables.  I absolutely love the resulting flavours. I was on the hunt for a recipe to try  and adapted this recipe from Ina Garten for  dinner tonight. Ina’s recipe was a little too long and involved for a quick dinner for one so I did a few short cuts which I don’t think hurt the recipe one bit.

What to use

1 red bell pepper

2 tbs red wine vinegar

1 tbs olive oil

1 garlic clove (finely chopped)

pinch of coarse ground black pepper

pinch of sea salt

2 tbs goat cheese ( I used a garlic & herb flavoured one.)

handful of fresh spinach leaves

thick, chunky ,crusty bread of your choice (e.g ciabatta)

What to do

Cut pepper in half and remove seeds and stem. Place on a baking tray and roast for 25 minutes at 400 degrees.   In the meantime, whisk together vinegar, olive oil, garlic, black pepper and salt and set aside.  When pepper is done, allow to cool for a few minutes and remove skin.   Place peppers in vinaigrette and let sit for a few minutes while you toast bread.  I used an Asiago cheese bread. You can also place bread under the broiler for a minute or two.  Spread goat cheese on toasted spread, add roasted pepper and top with spinach.  And there you have it! Delicious, satisfying and healthy.

 

 

Shrimp with Spicy Asian Orange Dipping Sauce

I’m pretty bummed. My brand new camera fell and broke so I’m back to relying on my point and shoot. 😦 I’m not exactly thrilled with my food pics these days.  Hopefully, I can get it repaired soon.

Anyhoo, it’s Sunday afternoon and I was lounging around and feeling peckish.  I was rummaging through the fridge to see what I could rustle up and realized I had some frozen shrimp tucked away.  I decided to whip up this quick snack .

What to use

1 dozen shrimp (peeled with tails on)

1 pinch sea salt

1/2 tsp red chili flakes

2 teaspoons of olive oil

1 tsp lime juice

2 garlic cloves (minced)

3 tbs sweet orange marmalade

1 tsp red chili paste

2 tbs soy sauce

1 tsp ketchup

1/2 tsp sesame oil

pinch of coarse ground black pepper

2 tbs butter

chopped parsley for garnish

What to do

Place shrimp in medium sized bowl and add salt, chili flakes, lime juice, olive oil and garlic. Heat large skillet and add butter. Saute shrimp until slightly browned.

In a small serving dish, combine marmalade, chili paste, soy sauce, ketchup, sesame oil and black pepper and stir well.

Plate shrimp and sprinkle with chili flakes and chopped parsley with dip on the side.

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

Usually when I stock on loads of veggies, they spoil before I’ve had a chance to cook them all.  So I’ve been making a real effort to find ways to cook them to avoid the monumental wastage that usually occurs every week.

A few days ago I tried out this roasted vegetable pizza and enjoyed the taste and combination so much that I thought it would also work well in a lasagna dish.  I could use loads of veggies and have lunch for the week!

What to use

I used the same ingredients from here to roast the vegetables and make the tomato sauce plus the following:-

Lasagna sheets

2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese (grated)

1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese

What to do

Cook lasagna sheets according to package instructions. Layer a large baking dish with tomato sauce. Add a layer of lasagna sheets, then a layer of cheddar cheese, then a layer of roasted vegetables.  Top that with a sprinkle of coarse black pepper and a scattering  of crumbled goat cheese. Repeat until you have a final layer of lasagna sheets.  Top with some more tomato sauce and a layer of cheddar cheese. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for an additional five minutes to allow top to brown.

Allow to rest for about ten minutes before serving.

This was one meal I didn’t mind eating every day for a whole week!

 

 

Guinness Punch

In honour of St.Patrick’s day, I decided to whip up this lovely drink.  Guinness punch is a Trini favourite.  Particularly for the fellas! Supposedly it “strengthens the back” and is much touted for its ability (mythical, in my view) to enhance a man’s prowess in the bedroom.  I can’t attest to that but it sure is quite tasty.

What to use

1 bottle of ice cold Guinness

1/2 cup cold milk

1/2 tin of sweetened condensed milk

generous pinch of cinnamon

generous pinch of nutmeg

dash of Angostura bitters

1/4 tsp of cocoa powder

What to do

Combine all the ingredients in a chilled bowl and whisk together and serve. Enjoy!

 

If you purchase this from a Trini punchman, you will most likely have the option to top it off with some wheatgerm, bran and even glucose.   Some punch vendors even add a whole egg to pack a little punch of protein in there.

I think it would be quite tasty with an addition of a dollop of vanilla ice-cream for a creamier, thicker texture.

After I made this, I decided to google alternative recipes and stumbled upon this visual recipe by a Trinidadian architect, Vernelle Noel.  How super cool is this?

Visual recipe by Vernelle Noel

Shrimp fritters

The Lenten season is soon upon us which means no meat for 40 days! I’ve been stocking up on shrimp and fish before the prices skyrocket. The challenge will be to find different ways of preparing them so I don’t get bored.  My first experiment was this batch of crispy, tasty, golden shrimp fritters.  They’re great as a snack or appetizer or even as a light meal with a side salad.

What to use

1 lb fresh shrimp

1 lemon

5 garlic cloves

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp black pepper

1 cup fresh herbs (parsley, chive, culantro (shadon beni), thyme)

2 eggs

1 cup all purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tbs milk

1 cup canola oil for frying

 

What to do

Clean shrimp, cut off tails and chop into smaller pieces.  Season shrimp with sea salt, black pepper, juice of half of the lemon  and cayenne pepper.  Place shrimp in food processor and mince.  Add the garlic, herbs and eggs and process until the ingredients are well combined.  Place mixture into a large bowl and add flour, baking powder and milk.  Combine until entire mixture forms a paste.

Heat oil in a deep skillet and add tablespoons of mixture .  Be careful not to let drops of mixture touch each other. Fry on each side until golden and remove and drain on parchment paper.

Squeeze other half of lemon juice over all the fritters.  Serve with a dipping sauce of your choice.

I did a quick little dip of ketchup, honey mustard, chili paste and Miracle Whip.

 

And for dessert… a little wine and cheese…the perfect end to long work week….

 

Roasted Acorn Squash soup

Worries go down better with soup. – Jewish proverb.

What to use

2 acorn squash

1/2 teaspoon dark brown sugar

sprinkle of nutmeg

1 carrot ( sliced)

2 stalks celery (chopped)

1/2 white onion (chopped)

1 tbs olive oil

1 1/2 cups of chicken stock

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

What to do

Wash each squash and cut off the tops.  Remove seeds. Place squash in foil and sprinkle with sugar and nutmeg.  Bake in oven at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.

When squash is done, scoop out insides of squash and set aside.

Saute carrots, celery and onion in olive oil and add salt and pepper.  Add chicken stock and flesh of the squash.  Cook over medium heat until vegetables are tender. Stir occasionally and add salt and pepper to taste.

Remove from heat and puree.

Pour soup into shell of squash and serve.

Corn on the cob (Tobago style) a.k.a “boiled corn”

A recipe for boiled corn? Surely you jest! But we’re not talking any old boiled corn here.  You see, when Tobagonians prepare corn it’s more than just some salt and pat of butter.  Our corn is boiled in a savoury concoction of herbs and spices giving it a totally unique flavour.  We typically enjoy it as snack rather than as a side to meal.  In Trinidad, you can purchase it from street-side vendors on the way to the beach, on the side of the road after a party and all through the day on Carnival.

What to use

4 freshly husked ears of corn

water

shadon beni or culantro (chopped)

thyme (chopped)

chive (chopped)

1/2 white onion (chopped)

2 pimento peppers (chopped)

parsley (chopped)

4 cloves garlic ( finely chopped)

2 tbs salt

1 tbs black pepper

1 cup coconut milk

1 hot pepper (whole)

What to do

Place corn in large pot  with enough water to cover corn.   Add remaining ingredients and cook over medium heat for about 2 hrs or until corn is tender.   Serve hot sprinkled with some sea salt and chopped parsley.  Enjoy.

Get those toothpicks ready!

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