Review: Chickpea Shakshuka – The Minimalist Baker


Chickpea Shakshuka – The Minimalist Baker 

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Shakshuka or Shakshouka is a Middle Eastern dish typical cooked with pouched eggs.  The word simply means “mixture” and is typically cooked with tomatoes, spices like cumin and coriander, chilies, and onions, but ingredients vary from country to country.  It is often served for breakfast, but is popular any time of the day and especially in winter.


Chickpeas

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Cooked, dried chickpeas – Try cooking your own beans in place of canned beans.  It is cheaper and greatly reduces your sodium intake.  If you are riding the Instant Pot wave or you use a pressure cooker you can make these without soaking! WHAT, yes… NO SOAKING!!! Soaking is the part I always forget and used to keep me from using dried beans.  Don’t fear the Instant Pot or pressure cooker, it will quickly become your friend.

The first time you cook your beans without soaking you may feel like your can actually feel your momma staring you down, but it will be OK.  Don’t believe me? Ask the L.A. Times in this great article “Don’t soak your dried beans!  Now even the cook kids agree” by
Russ Parsons The California Cook!


Homemade yogurt

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I made my Shakshuka a liiitttlle hot and had to top it with yogurt because, well…basically I’m a wimp when it comes to hot foods!  If you too need to cool it down try making your own yogurt. It is very easy and only takes a little “active” time.  I follow Martha Stewarts guide.  You can make yogurt with some yogurt and milk or with yogurt starter and milk.  Personally I find a little individual size yogurt pot works well as a starter and my yogurt is more consistent, the only down side is the yogurt bacteria won’t hold up to use my homemade yogurt as the starter for a second batch.

A friend of mine laughed at my yogurt maker and thermometer and said “All you need is an oven and your finger.  When the milk boils pull it off, when you can put your finger in it for a few seconds comfortably add your yogurt- done!!”.  She is right, as you get more comfortable with making yogurt you will find your own way and be able to do it without thinking about it.


The Review: 

 

Time: 30 minutes

Ease: Easy!  Even if you cook your own beans and make your own yogurt, this is an easy dish to make.

Review:  I can’t take credit for finding this amazing vegan dish, my daughter found it and is a major fan of Dana and John of The Minimalist Baker.  Thanks for this recipe!!

My husband and are neither vegans nor vegetarians, but I guess we are reducetarians, we are eating much less meat and far more whole food, plant based foods.  No matter what your food choices, this is a nice dish to add to your home cookbook and would make a great “Meatless Monday”.   It is protein packed and a good source of fiber with iron, B-6, magnesium, potassium, A and C thrown in!

This is easily a dish you can throw together after work or make ahead and take for lunch and you can customize the spices to your own taste.  I used tomatoes with jalapeños in mine which is great for my husband, but was a bit too hot for me, hence the yogurt.  Even too hot, I really enjoyed the flavors of this dish.  This will be a repeat dish!  Nice job Dana and John!

Tips:

  • Try making your own beans and yogurt, as mentioned above
  • Browning tomato paste – I like to brown my tomato paste before adding my wet ingredients, I find it adds a nice rich flavor and only takes a few minutes longer. Learn more at Today.
  • Try adding the eggs: Once your dish is complete carefully crack eggs into your oven safe pan on top of your tomatoes and chickpeas, season with a little salt and pepper and pop into the oven for about 7 minutes or until the eggs are just set, don’t overcook.

Lisa received her Health Coach Certification from the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute, founded by world-renowned physician and author, Dr. William Sears. The Institute is a leader in science-based health and wellness education that focuses on the four pillars of health; Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitude and Nutrition (L.E.A.N.). A certification by the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute is obtained only after completing the extensive course work and meeting all requirements. Once certified, a Health Coach possesses the knowledge, tools and resources to make a positive difference in the health of others.

The information in this blog is educational and not meant to diagnose, treat, or mitigate symptoms.

I offer individual coaching sessions and online health coach sessions through Zoom, if you are not local, as well as group sessions, workshops, and special events. I would love to help you on your journey towards health and wellness. Contact me for more information.


All photos are by me, Lisa Wright Burbach –  Feel free to share, but please give credit to the source.  Thank you.


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Review: Portobello Mushroom Tacos with Salsa Verde – Forks Over Knives

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Portobello Mushroom tacos with Salsa Verde – Forks over Knives

My husband and I are on the journey of eating a more whole food, plant based diet and I have to say we are enjoying it!  There were doubts in the beginning, but we made gradual changes, which I highly recommend.  Most people are not ready to jump in all at once into a big change, but gradual changes can often help us stay the course. Try starting with Meatless Mondays!

I am finding that it is easier to eat healthy foods than to find healthy foods.  The stores are filled with items with suspect ingredients, restaurants have sparse healthy choices at best and it can even be hard to find recipes that are easy and “normal”.  Many of the recipes I have found are pretty exotic, but with a shift in our culture towards eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes I expect the options to improve.  Today’s recipe review is a winner and even my meat loving man really enjoyed it!


Respecting Copyright laws, I don’t publish full exact recipes unless I can find an online link or have permission from the source, so I have provided the pieces of information for you to pull the recipe together.

  • Grilled Portobello mushrooms
  • Corn tortillas
  • Salsa Verde – The recipe can be fond in the Forks Over Knives Cookbook.  I have provided a link to a similar salsa below.
  • Top with lettuce, red onion or anything you see fit to use.  We also used radishes and mix of shredded cabbage with red onion, cilantro and lime juice. It provided a nice zing and texture.

Tomatillo Salsa – Food and Wine.  This recipe is similar to the one by Forks Over Knives.  Try adding lime zest and using green onions in place of onion.  Have fun with this recipes and play with the ingredients.

Time: 1 Hour marinade/ 10-15 minutes

Ease: Easy-moderate – This is really an easy recipe, but if you are unfamiliar with portobello mushrooms or tomatillos it could feel challenging.  Just relax, follow the directions, and enjoy.

Review:  As much as we are trying to reduce our meat consumption, my men folk aren’t quite on board for extreme reductions.  This week my husband and son were going to be away from home and I planned this awesome dish for myself, but then the hubs came home.  I gently informed him that I wasn’t changing the plan and he would like it.  He loved it!  The mushrooms made this feel like a more hearty dish and once we added all the other yummy stuff – don’t forget the salsa!!, the tacos felt like we had stepped into a restaurant for dinner.  Did I mention the salsa?  It is a must, it really rounds out the dish.  The recipe calls for the salsa, lettuce and red onion to top the tacos, but we found adding the cabbage and radishes gave this dish more texture and flavor.  I highly recommend this dish, it is delicious, easy, healthy, and WHPB (whole food, plant based). Be adventurous and let your meat eaters try it.

Tips: It is important to have good tools in your kitchen and two handy tools are a zester and good juicer.  My juicer (known as a fruiter in our home) was my grandmothers and the difference is significant.  Older tools like graters and juicers used thicker metal and real metal.  I find my older tools at estate sales.

Forks Over Knives offers a cooking class that I would love to take and you may want to consider.  I’d like to take it to be able to help others be more confident using grains, legumes, veggies, etc. and empower people to make health their habit, even in the kitchen.  (I am not being paid or endorsed by Forks Over Knives, I just liked the recipe)

Enjoy


Lisa received her Health Coach Certification from the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute, founded by world-renowned physician and author, Dr. William Sears. The Institute is a leader in science-based health and wellness education that focuses on the four pillars of health; Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitude and Nutrition (L.E.A.N.). A certification by the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute is obtained only after completing the extensive course work and meeting all requirements. Once certified, a Health Coach possesses the knowledge, tools and resources to make a positive difference in the health of others.

The information in this blog is educational and not meant to diagnose, treat, or mitigate symptoms.

I offer individual coaching sessions and virtual health coach sessions through Zoom, if you are not local, as well as group sessions, workshops, and special events. I would love to help you on your journey towards health and wellness. Contact me for more information.


All photos are by me, Lisa Wright Burbach –  Feel free to share, but please give credit to the source.  Thank you.

Easy Fish Tacos

fish tacos

Easy Fish Tacos

Eating fatty fish (salmon, char, herring, mackerel, sardines and trout) a couple times a week is a great way to add healthy sources of protein, vitamins and minerals including omega-3 fatty acids.

Benefits of Omega -3 fatty acids:

  • Improved delivery of oxygen and nutrients to cells because of reduced blood viscosity
  • Enhanced aerobic metabolism
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Promotes a healthy heart
  • Improves functioning of the nervous system
  • Helps balance hormones
  • Reduces cholesterol
  • New studies are showing evidence that Omega – 3 fatty acids may aid depression, ADD, and sleep

The Recipe

1 pound fish of your choice

1 can Rotel

1 Tsp Chili powder or 1 chopped pepper in adobo sauce

1/2 tsp cumin

Juice of 1 lime

(OPT.) Splash of Tequila

Corn tortillas

Lime

Sour cream

Slaw

 

Combine the Rotel, lemon juice, and cumin, chili and or adobo and Tequila. Pour into a frying pan.  Gently place the fish in and bring to a simmer allowing the juices to cook down until fish is nice and flaky.

Remove from heat and chop the fish into the sauce.  Serve with lime, coleslaw or shredded cabbage & sour cream.

 

I used hard tacos because I had them on hand, but prefer soft corn tortillas.  Try finding a Hispanic store and buying them fresh made – YUM!

 

Thanks go to my friend Amanda who told me how easy this is to do!!

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Shrimp (almost) Tacos with Mango Slaw and Roasted Carrots with Carrot Top Gremolata

Sometimes things just don’t go the way we plan.  This meal was one of those times!  To start with I am not making one big grocery trip any more and trying to be more diligent to use what we have and plan more carefully and for the most part it is working.  We are spending less and generally eating more healthy meals.  BUT, it means we do not have many groceries in the house.

I was all ready to make dinner, when I pulled the shrimp out, freshly bought shrimp, and it smelled awful.  I tried cooking it as planned thinking, maybe, just maybe it was my imagination.  Wrong, it still stunk when I pulled it off the grill.  Now we had tortillas and amazing mango avacado slaw and well…plates.  In the end I found a bag of frozen chicken nuggets, tossed them in seasoning and grilled them.  It was great!  Not so healthy, but great!

One of the good things about life not going as we planned is the adventure we get to take along the way.  A dinner adventure isn’t so bad, but even life’s bigger adventures can be tremendous, leaving us glad we didn’t go the other route!  Embrace your adventures and enjoy these shrimp “chicken” tacos!

Shrimp Tacos with Mango Citrus Slaw – Recipe Diaries

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Time: 30 minutes

Ease: Simple

Review: Yumm!!  This was fantastic!  The slaw is to die for and I could eat it straight out of the bowl.  I highly recommend you give this recipe a try. Jenna from Recipe Diaries gave us a simple, but elegant and fun taco that I think you’d be proud to serve to company.

Please note the story above, we actually ate it with chicken, but it was great and we can’t wait to try it again with shrimp and think it would be great with fish.  The only minor change I made was to add a little Sriracha to the dressing and  a little more acid (lemon juice), but that is personal preference.  I might add more Dijon instead of lime or lemon next time.  This was a very minor change.

 

Extra Recipe:

Roasted Carrots with Carrot Top Gremolata – Food and Wine Magazine

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Time: 40 Minutes

Ease: Moderate

Review: O –  M – G!!!  This dish was a complete surprise to me.  I am pretty good at looking at a recipe and guessing how it will taste and what my family will think and I thought this would be good.  I waaaaaay underestimated.  There was not one little piece left!  Picked clean!

When you read the recipe you will make a face and think it is weird, I mean it has curry and carrot tops! It is so good!!

I forgot to add the gremolata to the top, so it isn’t in the picture,but  I served it on the side and let people sprinkle it on top.  The germolata, as strange as it sounds, really makes the dish sing!  It provides an acid to the overall dish that is not overwhelming, but just enough zing.  This is an out of the comfort zone dish for some, but I think you will love it and it just might become a regular on your table. – Enjoy!

Do you need to go shopping in your Freezer? Chicken & Leeks, Vegetarian Chili, Soup, and BBQ Beef Tacos

Shopping in your freezer!
Shopping in your freezer!

If you are like me you find great deals on items and put them in the freezer or cabinets and then forget about them.  After a while I’m overflowing with items I  just don’t use on a regular basis.  When my kitchen gets too full I go shopping in my freezer and make my menus based on what I already have on hand.  You will be surprised how much money this can save you over time.  This week I was able to shop from home for everything but milk and fruit.  Not bad!

I managed to come up with lunches and breakfast for the week and also four meals from my freezer and cabinets: Chicken & Leeks, Vegetarian Chili, Potato Soup with Thyme and Slow Cooked BBQ Beef Tacos!  What can you make?  Go to Reply at the end and tell us what you had in you freezer.

The Process: For a full explanation visit this page

1. Sit down, relax and plan 4-5 meals (or pick some meals from here, that’s what this is here for.  I’ll pick so you don’t have to)

2. Make a grocery list and stick to it!!!! This saves time and money

3. Do the shopping-aim for one trip (My British friends will need to make several trips)

4. Bring Back Dinner and enjoy.  Remember that there is such an opportunity to build friendships and strengthen family relationships when gathered around a meal.  Even if you mess it all up.  So, just relax, experiment, and have fun.  Don’t forget to set the table.

 

The Meals:

Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Chili

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Learn more about how you can help your family go meatless on Mondays at www.meatlessmonday.com

Time:   45 Minutes

Ease: simple

Recipe Card: Vegetarian Chili

Review: We love chili!  In an effort to really embrace Meatless Mondays I try to find vegetarian dishes that are also hearty.  I had trouble finding a chili that felt meaty and not soup like and decided to create my own.  We were pleased with the end result.  I used bulgar to help make it more filling and it adds a sort of meaty texture.  It is a little mild, but can be served with hot sauce.

Potato Soup with Thyme

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Time: 30 Minutes

Ease: Simple

Recipe Card:Potato Soup with Thyme

Review: Potato soup makes a regular appearance in our household, but it is almost never they same twice.  I love treating it like an science experiment. There are just so many wonderful spices.  This time I took the time to write it down after our guest commented that I should because it was good!  So, maybe I can make it just like this again.

Chicken and Leeks – The Food Network

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Time:  40 Minutes

Ease: Simple

Review: This is an easy recipe that is great just the way it is written.  I found that I can buy frozen leeks at Trader Joe’s and keep them on hand for soups etc. without worrying about them going bad too quickly and most dishes I use them in cooked them down a little anyway.  If you can find it in the freezer section I recommend it.  The one difference is that it includes both greens and whites, but I find it still works well in most recipes.

Slow Cooked Chipotle BBQ Beef Tacos

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Time: 8 Hours in slowcooker on low

Ease: unbelievably Simple

Recipe Card: Slow Cooked BBQ Beef tacos

Recipe Card: Chipotle BBQ Sauce

Review:  The BBQ sauce from a few weeks ago is so easy to make and we like it for so many things that I often have it on hand.  When I did my shopping in my freezer, fridge, and cabinets I discovered I had a nice sized batch and used it in my tacos.  If you use a store bought BBQ sauce I recommend adding one pepper and a little sauce from a can of chipotle peppers.  It adds heat and a nice smokey flavor.  The only problem with this recipe was too many second and third helpings, so we ran out!  Serve it with traditional taco toppings.

Cucumbers and Tomatoes

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Time: 15 Minutes

Ease: Simple

Review: This was not a main meal, but a dish I’d like to share. It screams summertime, gardens and freshness.  Chop one cucumber and a large tomato or a cup of cherry tomatoes and about 1/4 cup onion.  Red onion is nice if you have it.  Mix 1-2 Tablespoons mayonnaise into the cucumbers and tomatoes and season with salt and pepper and let sit about 10 minutes.  That’s it!  It sounds plain, but the juice from the tomatoes mixes in with the mayo and makes it very flavorful. You can also add things like dill, oregano, basil, mint etc.  The proportions are really up to you if you you like more tomato add more etc.

 

  • What did you come up with from your freezer?
  • Do you have a recipe you would like Bringing Back Dinner to prepare and review?  Send your request and a link to us by using Reply, Twitter or Facebook. Use hashtag bringingbackdinner.
  • If you  make any of the dinners from Bringing Back Dinner share it with us on  InstagramPinterest, Twitter, or Facebook  use #bringinbackdinner

Photos by lwburbach please feel free to contact me for permission to use photos.

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Official Meatless Monday Blogger

What’s for Dinner? Breakfast! Tacos, Pitas, Grilled Tilapia & sausage & peppers

Ever wonder “what am I going to make for dinner?” or think “I hate planning meals”? That is what Bringing Back Dinner is all about. Helping you come up with easy meals to make each week and reminding you of the importance of dinnertime. A chance to build relationships, catch up on the day, share our hearts, and just be. A chance to bring back dinner into our lives.
Each week bringingbackdinner.com reviews 3-5 recipes telling you how long it takes, how hard it was, and gives it a review so that you know how it will turn out and if you want to give it a go while also encouraging you to take advantage of meal time to develop relationship and build memories. Enjoy!

The Process: For a full explanation visit “The Process” page

1. Sit down, relax and plan 4-5 meals (or pick some meals from here, that’s what this is here for.  I’ll pick so you don’t have to)

2. Make a grocery list and stick to it!!!! This saves time and money

3. Do the shopping-aim for one trip (My British friends will need to make several trips)

4. Bring Back Dinner and enjoy.  Remember that there is such an opportunity to build friendships and family when gathered around a meal.  Even if you mess it all up.  So, just relax, experiment, and have fun.  Don’t forget to include your friends.

breakfast

This week was a pretty laid back week for meals, pita sandwiches, tacos, etc., but this doesn’t mean its not dinner or that you should feel guilty.  Remember to skip the pre-made meals, for the most part, and use fresh ingredients so that you are still giving your family healthy meals, even if they are simple.  That said, sometimes we just need to grab a mix, I’m not going to judge.  Do what you need to do to make dinner happen so that you can sit down with your friends or family and just enjoy dinner.

The Meals:

Breakfast for Dinner! Sometimes it is just for the fun of it: breakfast dinner

Time: 30-45 Minutes

Ease: Simple

Review: I love breakfast, but I really love breakfast for dinner!  You can make this as simple or complex as you desire!  Personally I used box pancake mix (yep, I admit it.  Sometimes I do!) and added pecans, oats, and wheat germ to beef them up a bit!  So good. When I don’t use a mix from the store I like Alton Browns, which makes a great pancake, plus it is economical to make your own mix.

If you plan breakfast for dinner try waffles, crepes, an omelet bar etc.  Just be creative and have a good time!

Crispy Tacos Picadillo- Martha Stewart Living
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Time: 40-45 Minutes

Ease: Simple

Review: I’ve mentioned before that we love tacos! Truth.  We love them almost any way we can get them and never get tired of them.  I have given this recipe before and probably will again.  It is just a good recipe.  Easy to make and the flavors are so much better than a packet.  Don’t be afraid to cook from “scratch”.  You can do it, even if your friends and family do faint.  Give this one a try, you will be glad you did.

Pita Pocket Sandwiches
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Remove the meats and make this a Meatless Monday meal!

Time: 10 Minutes

Ease: Simple

Review: One of our favorite quick dinners is Pita Pocket sandwiches.  They are so easy and can be customized per each person’s taste.   I usually set out bowls with chopped lunch meat (your choice), baby spinach, lettuce, red onion, tomato, cheese (sometimes I have several choices) etc.  Set out mayonnaise, mustard, Ranch dressing, and Italian Dressing or your favorite dressings.  To serve place the bowls on the table and let each person build their own.   It is hard to find, but the best dressing, in my opinion, is the Golden Italian dressing from Winn-Dixie.  Remember that a quick meal doesn’t mean you still can’t take a minute to get caught up with each other.  Take the time to ask about each person’s day!  This is fun when you have a crowd.  Invite your friends and have each person bring their favorite salad topping, it will work well in the pita.

Peppers & Onions with Kielbasa – Hubby Makes Dinner!

peppers and sausage

Time: 15-20 minutes

Ease: Simple

Review: Sometimes when I am going to be away during dinner time my husband cooks, he is actually a good cook too!  He and the kids love kielbasa and it is often the dinner of choice.  Here is what to do:

Heat a tsp of oil in a pan and cook sliced kielbasa until lightly browned on each side.  Remove from pan.  Add green peppers and onions to the same pan and cook until tender, it may caramelize a bit which is even better. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Add to pasta, potatoes, etc. and enjoy.  You can jazz this up by adding things like jalapenos, Cajun seasoning etc.

Grilled Tilapia with Lemon Butter, Capers, and Orzo – Bobby Flay

tilapia

Time: 1 Hour 10 Minutes

Ease: Simple

Review: My husband and I recently had a night at home all to ourselves!  We made this dish with a nice glass of wine on fine china.  It was a great night and great dish.  This dish has a lot of flavor and looks complex, but is actually a very easy dish to recreate.  We cooked it on a charcoal grill using a grill pan, the flavor was nice.  My husband made yummy noises the whole meal!  Approve!!  You could also bake this if you don’t have a Grill.

Bringing Back Dinner Tip: Highs and Lows

Looking for a way to find out about each other’s day?  Try asking each person to tell you their highest point of the day and their lowest point of the day.  You will be surprised what you learn.  This works well with friends too.  Really listen to what they have to say.  Be excited over the highs and have compassion over the lows.  It may not seem low to you, but if it was the lowest point of their day it is probably a big deal.

Photos by lwburbach please feel free to contact me for permission to use photos.