fresh herbs

Spinach and Fresh Oregano & Feta Quiche

Spinach and Fresh Oregano & Feta Quiche

I have the most lovely neighbor down the street! She is so generous and often brings me extra food, ingredients, tea and other goodies. I am so lucky! One thing she brought me was some extra feta cheese.  I just love this kind of cheese, it has such a delicious flavor, especially along with spinach and oregano- a kind of Greek quiche. 

I had a fun time adapting a quiche recipe that I had to create a lovely one that is perfect for spring! It is so amazing to have for breakfast, brunch or even dinner! 

I was very inspired by the amazingly beautiful oregano plants that have been growing for some time out in my garden. I am amazed that it keeps on growing and producing lots of delicious oregano for lots of my dishes. 

I hope that you enjoy this quiche with your friends and family very soon. 

Spinach and Fresh Oregano and Feta Quiche: 

Serves 6

1 gluten free pastry shell- pastry recipe below

1/2 cup butter

3 garlic cloves, chopped finely

1 small onion or half of a large onion, chopped finely

6 ounces chopped fresh spinach

1 tablespoon or more fresh oregano, chopped

8 ounces feta cheese 

salt and pepper

2 whole eggs

2 egg whites

1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

1. Make the gluten free pastry shell (recipe below), place in freezer and set aside while you are making the filling. 

2. Preheat the oven to 375F (190 C) 

3. In a large Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Saute the onion and garlic in the butter until translucent. Add in the spinach and saute until until reduced down- about 4-5 minutes. Drain the spinach mixture in a colander and squeeze out some of the extra liquid. Set aside to cool. 

4. When the spinach mixture is cooled, place it into a medium bowl and mix in the feta cheese, fresh oregano and season with salt and pepper. Make sure to taste the mixture to make sure it is seasoned enough. Place the spinach cheese mixture in the bottom of the pastry lined pie pan. 

5. In another medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and heavy cream. Pour into the pie pan. Stir to combine the spinach/cheese mixture and the egg/milk mixture. 

6. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-45 minutes or until set in the center. Let the quiche stand for 10 minutes until slicing and serving. 

GF Pastry Dough: 

1 1/4 cups brown rice flour blend (see recipe below) or use a gluten free flour blend 

1 tablespoon organic sugar

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons coconut oil (heaping tablespoons) 

1 large egg

2 teaspoons lemon juice

Ice water

1. Mix together the brown rice flour blend (or use a packaged gluten free flour mix), 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum and salt in the bowl of a large food processor. Add in the 6 tablespoons coconut oil and process until the mixture is a coarse meal. 

2. In a separate bowl with a small wire whisk or fork, whisk together the egg and lemon juice. 

3. Slowly pour the egg-lemon juice mixture into the food processor and pulse. Add small amounts of ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough is moist and clumps together. 

4. Gather the dough into a ball and flatten out into a disk. Wrap the disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour. Then, roll out between plastic wrap or parchment paper. Press the rolled out pastry into the pie shell and flute the edges.  Put the pie shell into the freezer for about 20-30 minutes before baking. 

Brown Rice Flour Blend: 

6 cups brown rice flour

2 cups potato starch

1 cup tapioca flour

Mix together in a bowl with a wire whisk. You will have extra for another baking project later. 

Savory Sage and Raspberry Skillet Cornbread

Savory Sage and Raspberry Skillet Cornbread

Did you know that you can turn your gas grill into an oven during the summer? It's true! I first experienced this last year when I made a cake and a fruit crisp on the grill! It's really fun! 

Here are my tips: 

1. Make sure that you either have a grill with a thermometer built in, or one that you can attach to the grill. 

2. Your temperature may not hold or get up to an exact temperature like an oven. It will be ballpark. Try to lower the flame to adjust the temperature. 

3. Place a pizza stone on the grill to place your skillet on when baking. 

4. Check your baked goods often. Give it 10-15 minutes with the lid closed, then check. 

I hope you have fun baking on your grill this summer! It is super fun and beats heating up the house on a hot day! 

I love this cornbread! It is a little unusual in flavor but I love the fresh sage that makes the cornbread taste like cornbread stuffing and the slight sweetness when you bite into one of the raspberries. You can even make the cornbread without the raspberries. Enjoy! 

Savory Sage and Raspberry Skillet Cornbread: 

1 cup gluten free flour mix ( I really like Namaste brand) 

1 cup polenta (cornmeal) (I like to buy whole grain polenta)

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage

1 egg

1 1/2 cups coconut milk

4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted and cooled + extra to grease skillet

1 cup fresh raspberries to dot on top before baking on the grill

1. Preheat your gas grill so that it reaches a temperature of between 350F and 400F. This cornbread baked at around 350F-375F on the grill. Place a pizza stone on top of the grill to set your skillet on. 

2. Grease your a 9" cast iron skillet with coconut oil. Make sure to get the oil all over the bottom of the pan as well as up the sides. 

3. Mix together the dry ingredients including the fresh sage in a  medium bowl. Whisk with a wire whisk to combine. 

4. Add in the egg, coconut milk and melted coconut oil. Stir to combine. 

5. Heat the cast iron skillet on top of the pizza stone on the grill for about 5 minutes. 

6. Bring the cornbread mixture and raspberries out to the grill. Spoon the mixture into the heated skillet. Place the raspberries on top in a pretty, circular pattern. 

7. Bake in the grill for about 15 minutes- check to see if the cornbread is done by inserting a toothpick in the middle of the cornbread. If it comes out clean, it is done. If not, bake for about 5 minutes more. The sides will be golden brown and it will be done in the center. My cornbread took about 20 minutes to bake. 

Enjoy! 

 

Raspberry Pico de Gallo or Salad

Raspberry Pico de Gallo or Salad

Wow! Fresh raspberry season is here and it is one of my favorite berries & my husband's favorite berry of all time. We are so fortunate that we now have mature raspberry bushes in our backyard and can gather and enjoy lots of delicious raspberries day after day. I am now able to pick a whole bowl full every single day. It is such a wonderful thing. 

As a result, I was brainstorming recipe ideas for raspberries when my husband suggested a raspberry salsa. I had never seen one before, so I decided to gather up a few ingredients and give it a go. I love the marriage of the raspberries and tomatoes and the lime juice gives it such a tangy flavor too. 

To accompany the salsa I made some fresh tortillas with corn masa mix, salt and water. These triangles topped with the raspberry salsa make a great healthy snack or appetizer. We also had the discovery that since you leave the raspberries whole in this recipe, it tastes great as a salad or side dish. It may also be used to top grilled chicken or fish. I hope that you enjoy some of this salsa today and celebrate the bounty of summer! 

Raspberry Pico de Gallo: 

Makes about 2 cups salsa or salad

1 cup fresh raspberries

1 cup finely chopped grape tomatoes

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

1 large clove garlic, minced

Juice of 1 lime

3/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1. Combine all of the above ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. 

2. You may serve this salsa/salad immediately or let it sit in the fridge for a while for the flavors to meld. It is also excellent as a topper for grilled chicken or fish or as a lovely side salad. 

Baked Brown Rice Pilaf with Fresh Rosemary and Pine Nuts

Baked Brown Rice Pilaf with Fresh Rosemary and Pine Nuts

I really love how necessity breeds creativity when it comes to creating recipes in the kitchen. A few days before I made this rice dish, I had been fairly busy and had not done my weekly grocery shopping. As a result I was looking to create a meal with the items I had left in the pantry and the freezer. I had bought a small package of pine nuts for some kind of experiment- an herb-pesto of sorts, but I decided they would go really well with rice. Then, I looked out in my garden and noticed my rosemary plant growing well and just knew that all of these would make a great combination! 

I think that everything is meant to be just as it happens and it is such a joy when things come together in unexpected ways- just like this delightful rice dish. Have you ever put together different ingredients and come up with something that you just loved? I would love to hear about it in the comments below! 

 

Baked Brown Rice Pilaf with Fresh Rosemary and Pine Nuts

Adapted from the recipe "Basic Baked Brown Rice Pilaf" from Simple Bites.

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 teaspoon olive oil

 1/2 onion, chopped finely 

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

1/4 cup pine nuts

2 cups brown rice

3 1/2 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth

1. Preheat the oven to 375F. 

1. Melt the coconut oil & heat up the olive oil together in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add in the onions and the garlic and saute until they are soft. 

2. Add the fresh rosemary, sea salt and pine nuts. Stir and cook for around 1 minute. 

3. Stir in the rice to toast it along with the other ingredients for around 2 minutes. Add the broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir it one time and then put a lid on the Dutch oven and place it in the oven. 

4. Cook the rice in the oven for about 40 minutes. Then, let it settle out of the oven for 10 minutes before fluffing the rice with a fork. Serve as a lovely side dish for dinner. Garnish with a sprig of fresh rosemary. 

I hope that you enjoy this delicious and healthy side dish!