Zucchini and summer squash frittata

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Whelp, I'm laid up in bed due to my lower back's semiannual revolt against the rest of my body. Luckily, I've made a bunch of these easy and quick frittatas and the leftovers are great for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snacks. Or eaten with your hands while watching The Great British Baking Show from the floor.

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I started making these because it's summer squash season, which means that markets and backyard gardens are flooded with zucchini and yellow squash. There are recipes for galettes and gratins galore and I'm sure they're all delicious. But I wanted something easier and lighter. 

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And what's easier than a frittata? They require one pan and come together so fast. I love adding a salty, garlicky, crunchy kick on top with the combination of panko, minced garlic, Parmesan, and sea salt.

I also like to leave the squash in fairly large chunks because otherwise the vegetables disappear into mush. If your kiddos will more likely eat something with less visible squash, feel free to use thinner slices or even to spiralize the veggies.

I find that the crunch on top often distracts from the fact that this frittata is vegetable laden. To that end, you really have to use panko or gluten-free panko to achieve that crunch. Regular breadcrumbs won't do the trick.

Serve this with ANY pesto from the archives!

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Zucchini and summer squash frittata

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium white onion, thinly sliced
1 ½ -2 lbs zucchini and summer squash, cut into ¼ inch thick slices
8 large eggs
1 cup shredded Gruyere or Gouda
½ cup panko breadcrumbs
¼ cup grated Parmesan
2 large garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350.

Heat the oil in an oven-proof skillet over a medium flame and add the onion. Cook for 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent and fragrant.

Meanwhile, crack the eggs in the bowl and mix until the whites and yolks are well combined. Add the squash, the shredded Gruyere or Gouda, and a large pinch of salt and stir to combine. Pour into the pan with the hot onions and stir again to combine.

Cook the eggs and squash, undisturbed (no more stirring!), on the stove top for 10-12 minutes, until the edges of the eggs begin to set.

Meanwhile, combine the panko, garlic, Parmesan, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and set aside. When you're ready to put the frittata in the oven, top pour the panko mixture evenly over the top. 

Put in the oven and bake, uncovered, until there is no jiggle left in the eggs, or about 15-20 minutes. If the panko topping browns too quickly, cover it loosely with tin foil until the eggs are cooked.

Yield: 6-8 servings, depending on what meal you're eating this for and what you're having with it.

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Potato leek quiche

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Spring. I love you and hate you. You bring the promise of new things and warm weather, but you never just happen. Last weekend, we ate lunch outside and went for a walk at a state park without jackets. This weekend, we're getting more snow. I DON'T UNDERSTAND. Anyway, I'll stop complaining about the weather because a) it'll be hot before you know it, and b) I'm not a cranky 85-year-old. Or am I?

Anyway, this quiche feels like spring to me. It's light and fresh and simple, but also warm and cheesy and comforting. It straddles the line between weather and feels right for whatever spring throws at us: I can picture myself eating it in a cozy sweater in front of a fire, but also on a picnic blanket in the sun.

The potato crust is so simple and a great substitute for a butter-and-flour crust. Not only is it healthier, but it also speeds up the quiche cooking process considerably.

A couple of tips: The slight fluting outward of the pie plate sides helps the potatoes stay upright while they cook. You also want to slice the potatoes thinly enough that they're pliable, but not so thin that they get crispy or warp too much when initially cooking.

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Potato leek quiche


12-16 oz white potatoes (about 2 large)
4 tsp olive oil, divided
2 small leeks (about 1.5 cups chopped)
1 teaspoon fresh or ½ tsp dried thyme
1 cup shredded gruyere, comte, or cheese of choice
6 eggs
½-2/3 cup milk
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper

Preheat the oven to 400. Wash and dry the potatoes. Very thinly slice (about 1/8 of an inch thick) with a knife or a mandolin. Cut a small slice off of one edge of the thin potato slices to create one flat side.

Spray or brush a pie tin with one tsp of oil. Place a single line of potato slices around the edge of the pie plate with the flat sides down.

Then, cover the bottom of the dish with a layer of potatoes. Using the rest of the potato slices, fill in gaps on the bottom and sides.

Brush or spray the raw potato crust lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Cook for 10 minutes (until the potatoes just start to soften) and then remove from the oven.

While the potato crust cooks, slice and chop the leeks and shred the cheese.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and milk until small bubbles form. Add the Dijon, salt, and pepper and whisk again. Add the leeks and cheese and stir well to combine.

Pour into the potato crust and press lightly to even out the leeks and cheese. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until the center of the quiche is set. To check, jiggle the quiche lightly and if the middle wiggles, continue cooking. If the middle is set, it won’t jiggle. If the top browns too much before the eggs are set, cover with tin foil and continue cooking.

Yield: 6 small servings, 4 large servings

PS: I'd love to know more about anyone who reads this blog! If you feel so inclined, I have a short (10 questions!), anonymous survey that would really help me to know how to best tailor content. Thanks a million! 

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Butternut squash shakshuka

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Is it technically a shakshuka if there aren't any tomatoes or peppers? I mean, if we can pretend that swiss chard is the base for shakshuka, then butternut squash is acceptable in my book. Yes? Yes. Moving on.

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This week has been a test of how good I am at compartmentalizing. The answer is: not very good. I mean, I'm not terrible at it, but I'm certainly not myself with my mom being sick in the hospital. I think M is reacting by not sleeping and tantruming over some truly insane things.

Being a parent is really freaking hard, especially when your mental tank isn't full.

I keep reminding myself that it's not M's job to take care of me emotionally. It's okay for me not to be 100% all the time, but I also can't get mad at him for not somehow divining that I don't have it all together and being on his best behavior. 

Anyway, M is fed and clothed and bathed and read to and sung to and danced with and we built the international space station out of blocks, so I think I'm doing okay. And he wolfed down this spicy lamb, chickpea, and butternut squash stew, so he's doing okay too.

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A couple of notes about this dish: Use harissa spice instead of harissa paste. Some recipes call for the paste, but it's too spicy for my toddler. Don't be intimidated by the harissa or ras al hanout. Both are spice mixes that combine many of the usual suspects like cayenne, garlic, ginger, coriander, and cumin.

Our harissa is somewhat old, so if you're concerned about the heat level for your family, taste the spice first and then decide how much to use. You can also skip the Aleppo pepper or substitute 1/4 tsp cayenne if you don't have any. I resisted buying Aleppo pepper for a while, but we live near a Penzey's so I finally caved and it's become a staple of our spice rack.

 

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Butternut squash shakshuka

1 large butternut squash (1.5-2 lbs)
2 Tbsp oil
1 large onion, sliced
2 large shallots
2 tsp smoked paprika, divided
1 tsp sea salt, divided
3/4 tsp ras al hanout
1 lb ground lamb
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp fennel seeds
1-2 tsp harissa spice*
1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper*
1 can chickpeas, drained
5 eggs
Lemon wedges
Feta cheese (optional)
Fresh cilantro (optional)
Naan or pita bread (optional, but not really)

Preheat oven to 400. Trim the top stem of the butternut squash (but not the bottom), split the squash in half, and scoop out the seeds. Place cut side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast until the neck of the squash is fork-tender, about 30 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes and remove the skin (it should slip off easily).

While the squash is roasting, slice and caramelize the onions and shallots in olive oil for about 20 minutes. Set aside half of the onions. To the remaining onions, add 1 tsp of smoked paprika, half of the salt, and the raz al hanout. Saute for 1 minute and add to the blender or food processor.

Add the cooked squash to the blender or food processor with the onions and spices and blend until smooth. Scrape down the sides as needed. Set aside.

Saute the ground lamb over medium heat until no pink remains. Drain the excess oil and liquid. Return to the heat and add the remaining smoked paprika, coriander, cumin, fennel seeds, harissa, Aleppo pepper, and salt. Cook for one minute.

Add the drained chickpeas and pureed squash to the cooked lamb and stir to combine. Heat through over medium low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid burning.

Make 5 holes in the squash and lamb mixture and crack the eggs into the holes. Turn the flame back to medium, cover, and cook until the egg whites are solid and there is just a bit of jiggle in the eggs when you shake the pan.

Garnish with fresh cilantro, feta cheese, the reserved caramelized onions, and a squeeze of lemon (all optional!)

Yield: 5 servings

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Delicata squash boats!

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It's Whole 30 time again, folks. Between the move and my health, I've been feeling unmoored and eating with an abandon that has left me sluggish, foggy, and out of control.

So, I'll be posting some non-Whole 30 recipes that are already in my queue and that we make for Max, but will also be focusing on Whole-30 compliant recipes, especially over on Instagram.

In the mean time, these squash boats are so so good. I made a 1/2 batch for this post and have been eating the plain roasted delicata squash with everything. As I write this, I'm feasting on 1/4 of a squash filled with homemade turkey sausage and topped with a runny egg.

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Delicata is the sort-of-lazy man's squash. It's not totally without prep as you have to cut it in half and clean out the seeds in the middle. But there's no peeling, because the peel is edible, which erases the most aggravating thing about squash for me.

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Anyway, the non-Whole 30 version of these are a huge hit with the toddler. While, obviously, the cheese, milk, and bread play a big role, the whole is much greater than the sum of its parts. The bread and nutty cheese are a nice salty, crunchy counterpoint to the sweet, soft squash while the eggs and milk add richness and the kale adds a little green as well. 

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Delicata squash boats

2 large delicata squash, washed, ends trimmed, and cut in half with seeds scooped out
2 eggs
1 cup whole milk
¼ cup grated parmesan
4 large sage leaves, minced (or ½ tsp of dried sage)
4 oz stale bread cubes
1 cup finely chopped kale
4 oz cooked sausage
2 oz gruyere

Preheat the oven to 400. While the oven is heating, clean the squash by cutting each log in half, scooping out the seeds and pulp in the center, and placing cut-side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

In a large bowl, combine the eggs and milk and whisk lightly to combine. Add the bread cubes and stir to dampen all of the bread. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until combined and nothing is dry. Set aside.

Roast the squash for 15 minutes, or until a fork can just pierce the outside of the squash (the squash will continue to cook, so don’t look for full fork tenderness and you don’t want overdone squash because it could fall apart). 

Remove from the oven and carefully flip over being mindful of the steam. Scoop equal amounts of filling into the centers. Top with grated gruyere and place back in the oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese is brown and melted.

Yield: 4 dinner-sized servings for adults (M usually eats about ½ of a squash)  

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Smoked salmon, goat cheese, and chive omelet

Smoked salmon, goat cheese, and chive omelet | Me & The Moose. This protein-packed breakfast, lunch, or dinner, is ready in 20 minutes and full of salty, creamy, herby goodness. #meandthemoose #lunchrecipes #dinnerrecipes #breakfastrecipes #smokedsalmonrecipes #omeletrecipes #omelet #omelette #eggs #breakfastfordinner #easydinnerrecipes #fastdinnerrecipes

Spring is here! Spring is here! I mean, it was 25 degrees this morning and all of the flowers are slumped over in depression, but at least it's official. March is THE WORST month. (Which I feel bad saying because my anniversary and M's birthday are this month, so I should technically love it.) But it's so gray. You keep expecting it to get warmer and greener and it JUST. STAYS. COLD. And then it snows one more time and instead of being a last hurrah of pretty flakes, it's heavy and wet and terrible.

Anyway, some of these photos are...not my best. But I really wanted to post since it's been a minute and I know how good this recipe is. I first made it for Father's Day 2015 and it's been in the rotation ever since. It's delicious and SO FAST. If you want dinner on the table in under 20 minutes, make this omelet.

Smoked salmon, goat cheese, and chive omelet | Me & The Moose. This protein-packed breakfast, lunch, or dinner, is ready in 20 minutes and full of salty, creamy, herby goodness. #meandthemoose #lunchrecipes #dinnerrecipes #breakfastrecipes #smokedsalmonrecipes #omeletrecipes #omelet #omelette #eggs #breakfastfordinner #easydinnerrecipes #fastdinnerrecipes

Part of the problem with photographing it is that this omelet is really hard to flip cleanly. I'm convinced that the only reason people serve mixed greens with an omelet is to hide terribly flipped eggs. I'm also sure that I cook my omelets more than, say, a restaurant chef would. While I like my yolks runny on poached, fried, and sunny-side up eggs, I HATE undercooked omelets. Feel free to cook yours to suit your tastes.

Smoked salmon, goat cheese, and chive omelet | Me & The Moose. This protein-packed breakfast, lunch, or dinner, is ready in 20 minutes and full of salty, creamy, herby goodness. #meandthemoose #lunchrecipes #dinnerrecipes #breakfastrecipes #smokedsalmonrecipes #omeletrecipes #omelet #omelette #eggs #breakfastfordinner #easydinnerrecipes #fastdinnerrecipes

But, aaaaahhh spring. Chives and goat cheese make me picture newly sprouted green grass with baby goats romping around on it. And when it's 25 degrees out, I'll take all the delightfully romping baby goats I can get.

Smoked salmon, goat cheese, and chive omelet | Me & The Moose. This protein-packed breakfast, lunch, or dinner, is ready in 20 minutes and full of salty, creamy, herby goodness. #meandthemoose #lunchrecipes #dinnerrecipes #breakfastrecipes #smokedsalmonrecipes #omeletrecipes #omelet #omelette #eggs #breakfastfordinner #easydinnerrecipes #fastdinnerrecipes

Speaking of things I find delightful (and people who cook eggs FAR less than I do), here is Jaques Pepin's method for making an omelet.

 

Smoked salmon, goat cheese, and chive omelet

1 Tbsp olive oil, butter, or fat of choice
6 eggs
3-4 Tbsp milk (whole or 2% both work)
2-3 oz goat cheese
2 Tbsp chopped chives
5 oz wild smoked salmon (or, one small package), torn into smaller pieces or roughly chopped.

Heat the butter or oil over a medium flame. Crack the eggs into a medium bowl and whisk with a fork. Add the milk, goat cheese, and chives and whisk again until the ingredients are reasonably incorporated (the goat cheese will still be in clumps).

When the pan is hot, pour in the egg mixture and add the salmon. When the bottom layer of eggs just begins to set, move the cooked eggs to the side and swirl the pan so that the raw, runny eggs are in contact with the hot pan. Smooth down the cooked-egg lumps so that there aren’t any holes. Repeat that step as needed. Reduce the flame all the way, cover, and cook until the eggs are set on top, about 3-4 minutes. Fold over if desired and serve immediately.

Smoked salmon, goat cheese, and chive omelet | Me & The Moose. This protein-packed breakfast, lunch, or dinner, is ready in 20 minutes and full of salty, creamy, herby goodness. #meandthemoose #lunchrecipes #dinnerrecipes #breakfastrecipes #smokedsalmonrecipes #omeletrecipes #omelet #omelette #eggs #breakfastfordinner #easydinnerrecipes #fastdinnerrecipes