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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Garlicky No-Noodle Mushroom Lasagna with Soft Egg Yolks

This isn't your typical lasagna. There's not red sauce, no cheese and no pasta. So why did I even call this a lasagna? it's layered like one....that might be the only reason. Doesn't really matter cuz the result is pretty damn tasty and interesting.

Here is the thing, as much I love pasta (especially my home made pasta) I need to also find ways to replace pasta noodles for a healthier, gluten free lasagna option. I've done the classic substitutes of zucchini, eggplant and beets. But then I came across an idea to use an egg white 'crepe'.... wha?

Most things I create focus on anti-inflammatory, foods that bring the inflammation down. Garlic, ginger, turmeric are key players. Mushrooms help with sleep, learning and memory. This is a can't miss tasty and healthy dish.

This will look like a lot of steps at first glance; take a deep breath and read through them first. It really is more simple than it appears and comes together quite quickly. Set out all of your ingredients, take a moment to pre-chop and it will be a fat and happy snap.

Happy Healthy Tips: I love that this recipe can be served straight up on a plate, in little ramekins or as more of a soup - it's completely versatile! And it Gluten Free!

Garlicky No-Noodle Mushroom Lasagna with Soft Egg Yolks

3 Tbls extra virgin coconut oil
3 cups diced mushrooms (use a mixture like shiitakes, white and oysters)
4 artichoke hearts (jarred in water)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1 cup broth (preferably homemade)
4 organic eggs
1 tbls coconut milk (or other non-dairy, unsweetened milk)
1/4 pine nuts (can substitute walnuts or macadamia nuts)
coarse salt
fresh black pepper

Separate the whites and the yolks, try to keep the yolks intact, putting the whites in a medium bowl to whisk and the the yolks in a small bowl just to to hold. Whisk the whites with the coconut milk.

Cook the egg white crepes: Heat one tablespoon of coconut oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Pour in enough egg whites to just cover the bottom, about 1/4 cup; swirl the pan. Cook 1 -2 minutes, just enough to set the whites. Remove from the pan and set on a plate or board to hold. Try to keep the white crepes flat as they will cool the way they lay. Repeat until the egg whites are cooked.

Cook the mushroom filling:  While the eggs are cooking, chop the mushrooms, artichokes, garlic and ginger. Heat one and one half tablespoons of coconut oil in a medium to large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, toss well and cook for about 5 minutes. Add in the minced garlic and ginger, cook for about 2-3 more minutes, tossing often. Add in the chopped artichokes with a good pinch of salt and fresh black pepper, toss well. Continue to cook just to warm the artichokes. If the pan is getting too dry, add in a few tablespoons of broth, but be careful not to get it too wet. TASTE! does it need a little more salt? do you want more garlic or pepper? now is the time to adjust.  Remove from heat.  

Assemble the lasagna: Decide on your pan, I used a series of ramekins to make individual servings. You could use a small 8x8 for a more traditional approach. Use the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil to line the pan(s).

Now assemble like you would any lasagna, start by using the egg white crepe to piece together a layer on the bottom. Add a layer of mushroom filling.  Repeat with crepe and filling until finished. Top with pine nuts. Place in the oven just long enough to toast the pine nuts, about 15 minutes.

Boil the egg yolk:  Place the broth in a small butter or sauce pan. Once you take the lasagna out of the oven, turn the both to medium heat. Carefully add in the yolks when the broth is hot. The yolks will only need about 2 minutes to set the outside and leave the inside creamy and runny. If you prefer a more set egg yolk, cook a little longer.

Serve immediately:  Unmold the lasagna and set on a plate, scoop it out and set in a bowl or serve it in the ramekin.  Which ever way you decide to plate it, set two yolks on top of each serving and pour a few tablespoons of the both over the top. If you are serving in a bowl, add half of the broth to the bowl for a more 'soup' effect.  
Top with additional fresh ground black pepper.

Serve with a side salad, I recommend a simple arugula salad dressed with extra virgin olive oil and coarse salt. Add chopped carrots, fennel and orange to round it out.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Eggs with Orange and Sweet Potato

I'm a big fan of smoothies for breakfast, but lately my breakfast looks a lot like dinner with cooked
vegetables to ease my digestion system.

I'll take whatever is left over from the night before and top it with a runny egg- it's simple, tasty and genius way to use up left overs while getting in good fats, protein and carbs.

Try substituting or adding in cooked squash, pumpkin, carrots or any cooked veggies. Keeping the egg yolk runny helps to create a little 'sauce' that mixes so well with the fresh orange and coconut oil. Add a few walnuts on top for a little  crunch.

Fast, yummy, healthy breakfast can't be beat!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Mashed Guac-mmus Lettuce Wrap

Looking for a simple, fresh lunch or snack that is healthy, tasty and fresh? This little number is yummy and crunchy and filled with healthy fats and protein.  I created these guacamole and chickpea wraps for one of my detoxes and I've been making them ever since.

Chick peas are only 23 percent protein; combine with other beans, rice or sunflower seeds to make a complete protein. In this recipe we use seeds, but add rice or beans as you see fit.

Make each wrap your own by adding in additional nuts or seeds or whatever veggies are in your fridge; chop up or grate zucchini, beets, onions or fennel.. Try serving atop a bed of brown rice for a complete meal.

Enjoy your happy healthy meal and then go do something with all your new found energy!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Cranberry Chocolate BBQ Sauce

Fall weather is fast approaching and I'm trying to enjoy every ounce of my grill before the snow starts. That mean the flames are kicking and the sauce is has to match. Barbecue sauce recipes typically have a ketchup base. Condiments like ketchup are a hidden playground for sugar and sodium, not to mention loaded with coloring and preservatives. All these items can trigger inflammation in our bodies (puffiness and pain aside, this leads to serious disease.)

So what's a gal to do when when the BBQ hankering kicks in?? Get creative!

Luckily I happened to attended a Cranberry Festival over the weekend and came home with a 5 pound box of fresh cranberries. I couldn't resist using the cranberries as the base of my sauce.

Mole flavors started to speak to me so I used raw cacao to give the sauce depth. Horseradish and harissa bring on the lingering heat of the sauce. Once it's all cooked and blended  it becomes rich, silky, dark and tangy with a hint of spice.

You can add more spice for more heat or additional cranberries for more berry notes- make it your own before grilling season is over. This recipe is a Happy and Healthy winner!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Mini Peppers Stuffed with Apple Rice Salad

One of my favorite time saving tips is to make a big batch of rice or quinoa at the beginning of the week; then I use that as a base for a hoard of other dishes.

This week I had a bit of cooked  brown rice on my hands and I needed  a super quick and simple appetizer to welcome a few guests into our home. Using what else I had available, this yummy little dish came together in a snap.

It's the green apple that really sets this apart. Tart, crisp and fresh. The  hummus helps the rice stick together slightly and stay inside the pepper a bit better. For a warmer option, check out the Happy Healthy Tip below to turn this into a cheesy warm grilled version.  Either way, it's delicious!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Grill Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Warm Artichoke and Spinach Pesto

By now, most people know that spaghetti squash is fun option in place of pasta. If you haven't worked with one before, it's quite stunning really how the squash gives up its' flesh in these long, gorgeous yellow strands after roasting. The perfect base for a bevvy of toppings. Classically roasted in the oven, but easily roasted on the grill too for just a nice hint of smoke.

My topping today is a warm artichoke and spinach pesto. I'm using the 'pesto' word real loosely here; it's probably closer to to a sauce than a pesto but don't get caught up on the title. We have artichokes and spinach topping a squash- fairly simple and mostly delicious.

And all round healthy! Fall is squash season so now is the time to get happy with heartier meals.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Roasted Cauliflower with Cumin Lime Dressing

It's no secret I'm a fan of salads. Raw, roasted, grilled, fresh, tossed, chopped, stuffed or layered. Different vegetables, different proteins, all make for the delicious base. But isn't really the dressings that entice us?

The nutty, earthy, warm and peppery flavor from cumin comes alive with the sharp, sour, freshness from the lime over the roasted cauliflower. Don't stop there, this Lime and Cumin Vinaigrette is great on a number of other dishes as well, try it on any salad, grilled tuna or even over a burger.

Simple store bought dressings appear so harmless, but the truth is they are filled with sugar, chemicals and  lots of other fake ingredients that ultimately hurt your body deep inside. Save yourself by spending just a few extra minutes preparing your own dressing. Your body, and your taste buds, will thank you for it!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

A Healthier Elote in a Cup

Elote is a popular Mexican street food, a grilled corn on the cob slathered with a crema mayonnaise mixture. Delicious, but not so easy on the stomach and hips.

Using an easy substitute of Greek yogurt brings this street food home for me. Because I cut the kernals from the cob and served them in a cup, this should be called esquites, but since I didn't saute the cut corn in butter, i'm calling this elote in a cup.

Doesn't matter the name cuz it's just plain delicious.


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