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spinach

Breakfast Recipes, Recipes, Uncategorized, Vegetable Recipes

Mushroom Spinach Spaghetti Squash Strata

Dear Diary,
Whether it’s called a frittata, quiche or strata…it all has to do with eggs in some sort of casserole form. Eggs have so many good qualities that I have to agree with the commercials that boast their incredible, edibleness. Eggs are an inexpensive form of protein that are easy to prep in a variety of different ways. They contain tons of vitamins, minerals and nutrients including selenium, choline, and essential amino acids. Be sure not to short yourself by ditching the yolk! It’s good for you and does not increase cholesterol or risk of stroke…in fact some studies show it’s quite the opposite.
This recipe is packed with protein, veggies, and flavor and is very versatile. Keep it vegetarian or add in a little uncured bacon for additional flavor and protein. You can also play around with adding or swapping out vegetables depending on taste preference and availability. The best part is that it’s perfect for any meal and tastes great warmed up the next day too. For me, leftovers are an easy and fast way to get in a veggie packed meal when I have little time.

Bon appétit!

Mushroom Spinach Spaghetti Squash StrataMushroom Spaghetti Squash Quiche - Diary of a Dietitian
Crust:
  • 1 medium spaghetti squash, about 2.5 lbs
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Filling:
  • 3 cups cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped, packed tight
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup feta or goat cheese
  • 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1 tsp onion or garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • Cooking spray
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut squash in half and place face side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. Bake for 30 minutes, remove from the oven and set aside to cool until safe to handle.
  2. In the meantime, preheat large skillet on medium-high heat and spray with cooking spray. Add mushrooms and saute for 5-7 minutes. Add onion and garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add spinach, 1/2 tsp thyme, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper and saute until spinach is wilted. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. To make the crust, remove seeds from the spaghetti squash and separate flesh into strands using a fork. Transfer to a medium bowl along with 1/2 tsp thyme, garlic, and salt; mix to combine. Transfer to a deep oven safe dish that has been sprayed with cooking oil and press evenly onto bottom and sides using your hands. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, cottage cheese, feta/goat cheese, mushroom kale mixture, 1 tsp onion or garlic powder, 1 tsp thyme, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper and mix to combine. Pour into prepared crust and flatten with spatula.
  5. Bake in 400 degrees F oven for 50 mins or until the knife inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool and set for 10 mins. Cut into 8 slices and serve hot.
Tips: Any dark, leafy greens like kale can be used in place of the spinach. Use fresh thyme if you it available.
Kale and Mushroom Spaghetti Squash Quiche

Adapted from an ifoodreal recipe. Pictures from www.ifoodreal.com.

 

 

 

Tzatziki Egg Salad on Toasted Ezekiel Bread
Recipes, Uncategorized

Tzatziki Egg Salad on Toasted Ezekiel Bread

Dear Diary,

Eggs are so versatile, easy to prep, high in protein, and for years had a bad rap. Throwing away the yolk in an effort to lower cholesterol and improve heart health is becoming a thing of the past. Whew, glad that era is almost over. Tossing the yolk means missing out on great sources of Vitamin D, Vitamin K2, Biotin, and Choline. These nutrients keep our brain, liver, heart, skin, hair, and nails healthy. It’s only the incredible, edible egg if you eat the whole thing!

Tzatziki comes from Greek origins and it’s a wonderful mix of Greek yogurt, lemon juice, cucumber, garlic, and fresh dill. I used a store bought version made by Hannah Foods and sold at Costco. If time permits, I use a recipe for homemade tzatziki from food.com. By using tzatziki as the “glue” in egg salad, instead of traditional mayo or plain Greek yogurt, many of the savory seasonings like garlic and dill are already added.

Ezekiel bread contains no flour and is made up of a mixture of grains and legumes—organic wheat, millet, spelt, barely, soybeans and lentils (all sprouted). The flour made from sprouted grains provides more protein, vitamins and minerals than refined flours, thanks to specific biochemical changes during germination that increase the accessibility of vitamins and capture proteins and carbohydrates in enhanced states. I don’t care for the texture unless it’s toasted and then it makes a great base for open-faced sandwiches.

Tzatziki Egg Salad on Toasted Ezekiel Bread

  • 2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Tzatziki
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped celery
  • 10-12 Spinach leaves, chopped
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 1 slice Ezekiel bread, toasted

Directions: Mix all ingredients (eggs, tzatziki, onion, celery, spinach, salt, and black pepper). Spread egg salad on top of one piece of toasted Ezekiel bread and top with chopped tomatoes. Sprinkle with additional black pepper if desired.

Heirloom Tomato Goat Cheese Bruschetta
Holiday Recipes, Recipes, Uncategorized

Goat Cheese Bruschetta Two Ways

Dear Diary,

How do I love thee? I don’t need to count the ways like the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning, I simply feed you delicious morsels that I created from my heart. While I was in Michigan, I planned a kid-free evening to cook for a few close friends. We could have easily gone out, but I opted to sip wine, catch up, and cook for these lovely ladies. It was food for my soul both literally and figuratively. Three hours later we were full, relaxed, and still chit-chatting the night away.

One of the secrets I shared while I cooked was what I like to call my magic sauce. Balsamic Glaze can be made by reducing a good balsamic vinegar or you can purchase it in most major grocery stores. My favorite is from Trader Joe’s since it has less sugar and more flavor than others I’ve tried. Most major grocery stores have Balsamic Glaze or Balsamic Reduction available, usually found in the olive oil and vinegar aisle. A generous squeeze of this dark and delicious magic sauce over the bruschetta made all the flavors pop. Needless to say, both recipes got rave reviews in the form of ohhhing and ahhhing while reaching for another one.

Caramelized Onion Prosciutto Bruschetta

  • 2-4 sweet onions, carmelized (click below for recipe)
  • Cherry or Grape Tomatoes quartered, heirloom if available
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Pinch of Salt and Black PepperProsciuttoCarmelizedOnionBrucshetta2
  • French baguette, sliced 1 inch thick
  • Goat cheese
  • Fresh Spinach
  • Jalapeno Pepper Jelly
  • Prosciutto
  • Balsamic Glaze

First caramelize the onions, place in an oven safe bowl, cover with foil, and leave in a 250 degree oven or toaster oven until ready to use. I always make extra and use them the next day since they are a bit time consuming to make. In a bowl, combine tomatoes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper (to taste). Set tomato mixture aside. Slice baguette into 1 inch thick pieces and place on a cookie sheet covered in foil or parchment paper. Brush baguette slices with olive oil and place in 400 degree oven for 6-8 mins or until toasted to a golden brown on the edges. Spread goat cheese onto the baguette slices, layer 2-3 spinach leaves, add a 1 teaspoon of Jalapeno Pepper Jelly, 1/2 slice of prosciutto, 1 teaspoon of caramelized onions, and top with tomato mixture. Arrange on a plate and drizzle with balsamic glaze.

Heirloom Tomato Goat Cheese Bruschetta

  • French baguette, sliced 1 inch thick
  • Crumbled herb goat cheese
  • Cherry or Grape Tomato mixture
  • Fresh Garlic
  • Fresh Basil
  • Balsamic Glaze

Slice baguette into 1 inch thick pieces and place on a cookie sheet covered in foil or parchment paper. Brush baguette slices with olive oil and place in 400 degree oven for 6-8 mins or until toasted to a golden brown on the edges. Sprinkle each baguette slice with crumbled goat cheese, use tomato mixture from above recipe adding in crushed garlic (1-2 cloves) and chopped fresh basil. Drizzle with balsamic glaze.

Both bruschetta recipes are very versatile. Playing around with a different cheese like feta instead of goat or leaving out the jalapeno pepper jelly is part of the joy of creating a dish versus just cooking it. I purposely leave out some measurements because cooking and baking are not the same. In baking, measurements are very important. Cooking on the other hand is about experimenting, creating, and sometimes throwing the whole thing out. Have FUN with it!

Summer Salad from Diary of a Dietitian
Salad Recipes, Uncategorized

Avocado, Strawberry & Goat Cheese Salad

Dear Diary,

School is out and so are the fresh fruits and vegetables! Summer is the best time to eat perfectly ripened, juicy berries loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Many years ago, I was with my friend Pam in Las Vegas and we went to the crepe place in Paris (the casino that looks like the Eiffel Tower). We ordered triple berry crepes and as we ate she said, “Oh man, this tastes like summer in my mouth!” It was winter in Michigan at the time and a little taste of summer in Vegas was something we both needed.

Over the years, I have thought of her saying that and how much food is a part of our seasons. Apples, pumpkins, and cinnamon are as much a part of Fall as the leaves changing on the trees. Winter makes me crave veggie laden soups and stews that have cooked all day in the slow cooker. Summer is reserved for salads, berries, and refreshing iced tea. This salad bursts with freshness, crunch and creaminess that is a virtual summer party in my mouth.

Bolthouse Farms makes an exceptional line of yogurt based salad dressings that have become my go to when I don’t have time to whip up something homemade. Their Mango Chipotle, at 40 calories for 2 tablespoons, is the perfect compliment to any fruit based salad. Bolthouse Farms dressings are found in most major grocery stores in the refrigerator section.

Avocado, Strawberry & Goat Cheese Salad

  • Mixed Salad Greens (Spinach, Romaine, Kale, Arugula)
  • Avocado, sliced
  • Strawberries, quartered
  • Turkey Breast, chopped
  • Walnuts, chopped
  • Almonds, chopped
  • Goat Cheese, crumbled
  • Mango Chipotle Bolthouse Farms Salad Dressing

Directions: Built your salad and enjoy with a tall glass of unsweetened iced green tea! Mango, blueberries, and apples would be great add-ins to this salad.

Click here for more information about the health benefits of berries including weight loss and metabolism boost!