A Simple “Frittata”

dinner with Dave

dinner with Dave

I am deeply blessed by Abundant Family Life Church here in Tualatin, Oregon.  Our pastors not only provide us with the bread of life (the true word of God), but also the fruits of their labors during the harvest season. This year’s bumper crop of tomatoes and zucchini inspired Pastor Dawn to create this frittata-like dish, which I have expanded on here. It boasts of these rich autumn vegetables. The receipt is so easy that it cries out for many encores.

The traditional frittata, or Italian omelette, has a two-stage cooking process.  You normally begin making this egg dish on the stove top and finish it in the oven. One may even purchase special pans for preparing this.  However my simplified version is made in a frying pan, solely on top of a burner.

The original frittata is a cross between an omelette and quiche, which is comprised mostly of eggs with some vegetables.

"frittata"

“frittata”

On the contrary, my “frittata” is mostly vegetables with several eggs scrambled in.  There is no guessing with these easy steps of preparation. The result is intense flavor, good protein, and creative cooking with fall produce.

My beloved cousin and his wife, whom I hadn’t seen since 1995, were here for dinner several weeks ago.  We indulged in this European creation and my honeyed-lime kale with turkey. (See Cooking with Kale, 2016/09/07.) The presence of God and this delicious food nourished our souls during our lavish repast.

You will relish this “frittata”-it is so good!  Also, may you find abundance of life in my church’s teachings, by googling alfc.net.  Enjoy!

A Simple “Frittata”  Yields: 4-6 servings.

1 ½ tbsp oil  (Coconut or avocado oil is best.)

1 medium yellow onion, halved at the core and thinly sliced

3 medium/large tomatoes cut in eighths

2 medium/small zucchinis, thinly sliced

½ tsp dried oregano  (A great, inexpensive, organic variety is available at Trader Joe’s.)

¾ tsp dried basil

4 large cloves of garlic, minced  (May use 2 cubes of frozen garlic from Trader’s.)

Salt and pepper to taste  (Real Salt is best, available in health section of local supermarket.)

4 large white mushrooms, brushed, with mushroom brush, and sliced

3 ounces good quality cheese, grated

3 large eggs, beaten  (I like to use duck eggs, which are creamier and higher in protein.)

  1. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Place a small piece of onion in hot oil. When it sizzles, add the rest of the onions.  Cook until golden brown; stir occasionally.
  2. Add chopped tomatoes, zucchini, herbs, garlic, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to medium/low. Cook vegetables about 40 minutes, or until liquid is gone and sauce is thick. Be sure to stir occasionally. Watch carefully toward the end of cooking, so vegetables don’t burn.  (May set aside at this point and reheat, to finish recipe, just before serving.  Watch carefully when reheating, so as not to burn the sauce.)
  3. Add mushrooms and cheese to hot sauce. Stir well.
  4. Add eggs to vegetables; stir gently several times, as they cook. Cook until eggs are done. Mixture will be soft.
  5. Adjust seasonings.
  6. This is delicious served hot, room temperature, or ice cold.  Leftovers are great!

Cooking with Kale Made Extra Easy

Chopping kale in food processor

chopping kale in food processor

Last week’s easy kale recipe may be simplified even further.

A dear one from my church shares my passion for excellence with food.  She recently rolled out the red carpet for a small group of us; a repast of splendor marked the celebration of what would have been the 49th anniversary of her marriage; she commemorated this occasion with her friends, as her husband has been with Jesus for ten years now.  Her exquisite home and meal spoke volumes of exuberant love to my soul!  It foreshadowed the “marriage supper of the Lamb” for me.

This couple started the coffee movement.  Her husband trained a person who participated in creating one of the most popular, international, corporate franchises.  (Note: I will be doing a future post on this married team and the coffee development.)

My beloved fellow lover of foods has gifted me with new ailments; one such blessing was a bottle of Cherry Pomegranate Habanero Sauce from Robert Rothschild Farm; this inspired me to cook kale with a ready-made sauce.  Order this on-line or get it at Costco; any prepared sauce will work for the following recipe, of which a number are available at Trader Joe’s; thus, healthy fresh greens are made with the shortcut described below.

My other church friend, that provides the kale from her organic garden, shared her version for

Assembly of chopping attachment

assembly of chopping attachment

my receipt, which is makes this even easier.  She added a prepared spicy chicken, which she purchased from our upscale Whole Season’s Natural Foods; this eliminated the additional step of cooking the meat for this dish. The result was optimum health, heightened taste, and even greater culinary ease.

I use the food processor to chop all my leafy vegetables. (See how the assembled blade looks in the photo.)  Sometimes I have other greens on hand, such as beet tops, mustard greens, or spinach, which I mix in with my kale; this adds nutrition, when available. It only takes minutes to chop the prepared greens in this manner; I can’t encourage you enough to try these simple, healthy instructions.

 

 

Kale with Beef or Turkey and a Prepared Sauce  Yields: 4-6 servings.  Total prep time: 45 minutes.

8 1/2 teaspoons oil  (Coconut oil enhances flavor and quality here.)

1 medium yellow onion, halved at the core and cut in even 1/8 inch slices

1 lb ground turkey or beef  (Natural is best; Foster Farms natural ground turkey is inexpensive; a prepared meat from a deli is even quicker.)

Salt and pepper  (Real Salt is best; available in health section at local supermarket.)

1-1 1/2 lb fresh kale  (Organic is best.)

4 carrots, thinly sliced, at a diagonal

8-12 oz jar of prepared sauce

Avocado, sliced

  1. beginning stages of carmelization

    Heat 1/2 teaspoon of oil in a saute pan over medium heat.  Test for readiness by placing small piece of onion in hot oil; the temperature is right when it sizzles. Reduce heat to medium/low, add onions, and carmelize (cook until dark brown): stir once every several minutes until color starts to change (see photo); then, stir every minute until dark brown (see photo below). Watch carefully, as you go to next steps.

  2. Spray carrots and kale with produce spray (a mixture of 97% distilled white vinegar and 3% hydrogen peroxide is a cheap and effective cleaning solution); let vegetables sit three minutes; rinse three times in a sink full of water.
  3. Cook meat in 2 teaspoons of oil, in a large frying pan, over medium temperature; salt and pepper heavily; place in a bowl when done;  set aside pan for future use.  While this is cooking, go to next instruction.  If using a prepared meat, omit this step.
  4. Chop the wet kale in a food processor, by using the straight edge attachment; this is the large, round disk that fits onto the provided white “stem”; place this tall, assembled cutting disk in the food processor, where you normally put the smaller blade (see above photo).  Be sure to pick out large pieces of stem before setting aside chopped kale.  Note: you may chop this by hand, by first cutting out stems, then cutting kale into small pieces, using a sharp knife.
  5. finished carmelized onions

    Scrape cleaned carrots with knife (this preserves the vitamins just under the skin); slice carrots thinly, at a diagonal; set aside.

  6. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat in pan the meat was cooked in; add carrots when a small piece sizzles in hot oil; cook covered for 2-3 minutes, or until tender, stirring occasionally.
  7. Place another tablespoon of oil in pan; add 1/2 the kale to carrots and distribute the oils, stirring well. (Be sure to check for big pieces of stem.) Repeat these steps with remaining kale; cook covered for 10 minutes, or until kale is limp; stir occasionally.
  8. When onion is carmelized, add meat and blend well.  Mix in  a generous amount of your favorite prepared sauce; flavor should be strong, as it will lighten, with the addition of vegetables.  Heat thoroughly.
  9. Add hot meat mixture into vegetables, when kale is cooked.
  10. Serve topped with fresh avocado slices.

Cooking with Kale

Honeyed Lime Kale with Ground Turkey

honeyed/lime kale with ground turkey

This series displays my relaxed creations with greens.  A close friend from my church blesses me with an abundance of fresh produce from her organic garden; I am wowed by its bountiful beauty.  She grows several species of kale; thus, I am always creating new recipes incorporating this health-giving vegetable.

Here I spell out detailed steps of preparation for cooking this green.  It’s easy to follow these directions.  Vibrant health results!

My recent series of posts on 19th century French foods defines Classic French cuisine (see Chicken a la Oignon, 2016/07/04, Carrots au Beurre, 2016/07/11 and Meringues a la Ude, 2016/07/18).  These posts expound on that culinary period following the French Revolution in 1775.  The main cooking procedure in my kale series is sautéing, which originated during this culinary age.

Cooking methods changed at the end of the 18th century, as Esther B. Aresty described in The Delectable Past: fireplaces gave way to ranges with built-in ovens; French cooks quickly invented the sauté pan.  The word sauté means to jump-when the fat “jumps” in the pan it is ready for cooking. 1

Here I give instructions for employing this cooking method properly.  First heat the oil; then, add a small piece of food; it is time to begin sautéing, when it sizzles or “jumps” in the pan.  This allows swift frying of food for optimum preservation of nutrients, as it inhibits the overcooking of vegetables and meats.

The following, easy recipe brings proficiency with cooking nutritious kale.  Next week I will share a shortcut, where this procedure is simplified even further, with prepared sauces and/or meats.

I pray this dish brings the same pleasure to you as it does me.  To our health!

  1. Esther B. Aresty, The Delectable Past (New York: Simon and Schuster, Inc., 1964), p. 126-127.
Food processor assembled with wide-blade, chopping attachment

food processor assembled with straight-edged, chopping attachment

Honeyed/Lime Kale with Beef or Turkey  Yields: 4-6 servings.  Prep time: 1 1/4 hours.

2 tbsp oil  (Coconut oil is best here for quality and flavor; olive oil is carcinogenic, when heated to high temperatures.)

1 medium yellow onion, halved at root, and cut in even 1/8 inch slices

1 lb ground turkey or beef  (Natural is best; Foster Farms’ natural ground turkey is inexpensive.)

Generous amounts of salt and pepper  (Real Salt is promotes optimum health; available in nutrition section at local supermarket.)

1-1  1/2 lbs of fresh kale  (Organic is best.)

4 carrots, thinly sliced at a diagonal  (Organic carrots are very inexpensive.)

Juice of 2 limes

2 tbsp honey

Avocado, cut in thick slices

  1. beginning stages of carmelization

    Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a saute pan over medium/low heat; add onions and carmelize, cook until dark brown.  Stir every two minutes, until color starts to form (see photo); then, stir every minute until dark brown (see photo below).  Be sure to watch carefully, while going to next steps.

  2. Place 2 teaspoon oil in large frying pan, over medium temperature; test for readiness by putting a small piece of meat in hot oil; the temperature is right when it sizzles or “jumps”.  Add rest of turkey; salt and pepper heavily, before browning; set aside in a  bowl when cooked; save pan for cooking vegetables.
  3. Meantime spray carrots and kale with produce spray (a mixture of 97% distilled white vinegar and 3% hydrogen peroxide is a cheap and effective cleaning solution); let sit three minutes; rinse well in a sink full of water three times.
  4. Cut stems out of wet kale; may chop into small bite-size pieces by hand, or better yet prepare it with a food processor by using the straight-edged, chopping attachment.  (This is the large, round disk that fits onto the provided “stem”; place this tall, assembled cutting disk in the food processor where you normally put the smaller blade; see above photo.)  Set aside chopped kale.
  5. finished carmelized onions

    Scrape cleaned carrots with a sharp knife (this preserves the vitamins just under the skin); slice carrots thinly at a diagonal; set aside.

  6. Heat lime juice and honey in a small saucepan, just until blended, set aside.
  7. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat; when a piece of carrot sizzles in hot oil, add carrots and cook for 2 minutes.
  8. Add 1/2 the kale, distributing the oils well; cook down in pan; repeat this step with remaining kale, when there is room; cook covered for 10 minutes, or until kale is limp, stirring occasionally.
  9. When onion is carmelized, mix this and meat into cooked kale; blend in the honeyed/lime juice; adjust seasonings.
  10. Enjoy topped with fresh avocado slices.

 

Sprouted Quinoa and Yam Salad

 

sprouted quinoa and yam salad

sprouted quinoa and yam salad

A beloved friend from Montana sent me this healthy recipe, which I improved on.  It literally sings in your mouth!

I learned about quinoa from a woman that healed terminal illnesses with food.  She was on my sister’s prayer team many years ago.  People from all over the United States came for her healing ministry with diet.  Her culinary wisdom was a gold mine for Maureen and me!  Many things that I recommend originated with her.

We learned that sprouted quinoa was considered the number one power food on planet earth.  Eggs and quinoa are the only foods that have all the amino acids, thus making them a complete protein.

I was a vegetarian for six years in my twenties.  Back then, much of my knowledge for healthy eating came from the marvelous cookbook by Francis Moore Lappe, Diet for a Small Planet (New York: Ballantine Books, 1971).  These recipes utilized balanced combinations of plant foods and dairy.  The combining of their differing amino acids complimented each other to make complete proteins.  For instance, its memorable Indian Pudding called for a balance of cornmeal, soy grits, milk, and eggs to form a strong protein.  How I relished it hot, with rich vanilla ice cream melting around the edges!  I still do.

I was quite skilled in cooking this way in the 1970’s.  However, I started eating meat once again just prior to moving to Tokyo in the fall of 1981.  My father gently reproved me for waiting until then to do this, because beef was exorbitantly expensive in Japan, while being relatively cheap in America.  My thinking was that  I needed to be prepared for gracious Oriental hospitality.

Recently I prepared my Montana friend’s simple recipe for quinoa and yam salad. However I tweaked it!  Its food value is amplified by using what I learned from my sister’s prayer partner, the healer: here I sprouted this ancient grain from Peru, which increases its food value dramatically.  Also I worked with the colors of the foods (color is real important.)  I incorporated red raspberries, purple sweet potato, and orange carrots.  Another important recommendation is the use of coconut or avocado oil.  This is critical as olive oil is a carcinogenic when heated to high temperatures.

This healthy salad is dynamite!  Make an abundance for leftovers.

Sprouted Quinoa and Yam Salad  Yields: about 4 servings.  Total prep time 2 days (for sprouting quinoa) and 1 hr; active prep time: 1 hr.

1 cup sprouted quinoa  (Directions are below-make 2 days ahead.)

1 tsp oil  (Coconut or avocado oil is best; olive oil is carcinogenic when heated to high temperatures.)

1 medium yellow onion, halved at root and stem and cut in 1/8 inch slices

1 1/2 cup yam, peeled and cut in 5/8 inch cubes  (I like to use organic purple sweet potato; sweet potatoes and yams are just differing names for the same vegetable; they are interchangeable.)

2 medium carrots, cut in 5/8 inch cubes

2 stalks celery, cut in 5/8 inch cubes

3 large garlic cloves, chopped fine  (For easy preparation, may use 2 frozen garlic cubes from Trader Joe’s.)

2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tbsp Bragg’s Amino Acids  (Available in any health store.)

1 tbsp Real Maple Syrup

3/4 tsp dried cumin

Spinach or lettuce leaves

Fresh raspberries, or dried cranberries, to garnish

Agave-roasted nuts  (See recipe in ‘Healthy Green Salads’ post, 2016/08/15.)

  1. Soak quinoa in ample water for 8 hours; drain well and let sit for 1-2 days, rinsing about every 12 hours; the sprouting is complete when legs are at least 1/4 inch long.  This process may be done in a sprouting jar, a bowl, or on a tray-if your choice is a tray, use parchment paper both under and on top of the seeds.  Providing you are not ready to use sprouts immediately, using clean parchment paper, spread them on a tray or large plate to dry (be sure not to rinse again before you start this drying process, they should dry in about 12 hours).  You may then place in a sealed storage bag or jar and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.  This process brings the enzymes alive and increases food value dramatically!  (For more details on sprouting see wikihow.com/Sprout-Quinoa)
  2. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium/low heat.  Add onion and carmelize, cook slowly until deep brown in color; stir every few minutes for first 30 minutes of cooking, or until onions begin sticking to bottom of pan and color just starts to turn; then, stir every minutes, as color changes more quickly; cook until dark brown.  For more detail on carmelizing onions, see Carmelized Onions and Carrots (2017/06/19).
  3. In the meantime, spray vegetables with a solution of 97% distilled white vinegar and 3% hydrogen peroxide.  Leave sit three minutes.  Rinse really well.  This kills parasites and cleanses inexpensively. Rather than peel, scrape carrots with a sharp knife to preserve vitamins just under the skin.  Peel yams.  Cut all vegetables into small, 5/8-inch cubes.
  4. Meanwhile combine lemon juice, Braggs, maple syrup, and cumin in a large bowl.  Set aside.
  5. Add vegetables to hot carmelized onions, stir well to distribute oils.   Add 1/4 cup water; cook covered for about 15 minutes, or until yams are tender; stir occasionally.
  6. Blend fresh garlic into vegetable mixture; sauté for about 15 seconds, or only until you can smell the herb.  If you are using frozen garlic, cook just until it thaws; stir well.  For more detail on cooking with garlic, see Tomato/Feta Chicken (2016/07/25).
  7. Place yam mixture and quinoa in bowl with salad dressing, mix well.  Chill several hours.
  8. Serve on a bed of lettuce or fresh spinach.
  9. Top with fruit and nuts.