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Spaghetti Squash Shakshuka

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

If you’ve been following me on Facebook or Instagram, you probably know that I’ve been doing the Whole30 diet. Ever since I had baby #4 back in October, shedding the pregnancy pounds has not been easy. My go-to weightloss plan has always been The South Beach Diet, but it just wasn’t working for me this time around. I guess as we get older, our bodies change and what may have worked for us in our twenties, just doesn’t cut it during the big 3-0.

I had been seeing the Whole30 plastered all over Instagram and I was curious to see if it would work for me. My friend Melinda of Kitchen-Tested was raving about the diet, and after pushing it off for some time, I finally took the plunge! I chronicled my Whole30 diet via social media, sharing my meals for everyone to see. It held me accountable and made me feel like I had to stick to the program, or else I had a lot of people to answer to!

One of my biggest rules of dieting is to eat well. If I munch on salad greens every day, I feel deprived, miserable and hungry! On the other hand, when I take the time out to prepare a satisfying meal, I feel full and I don’t end up with cravings. Three meals a day becomes more than enough and I don’t feel the need to snack in between.


And so, each day, I challenged myself to come up with exciting recipes and dishes. Omelettes certainly became boring over time, so I turned to one of my favorite dishes – shakshuka. I prepared jalapeno shakshuka, marinara shakshuka and even meat shakshuka! But I really hit the jackpot with this incredible spaghetti squash shakshuka. The strands of spaghetti squash coated in runny egg yolk is so spectacular, you feel like you’re eating something so indulgent – and you are!

Dishes like these carried me through the Whole30 without a single mistep. I originally went on the diet to lose weight, but I never imagined the amazing after-effects that 30 days without sugar, dairy, carbs, legumes or alcohol would bring. Yes, I lost 8 lbs, but even better than that was that my sugar-cravings all but disappeared and I never feel the need to snack anymore. I eat when I’m hungry – and I eat well, but that is all! I feel so in control of my eating habits, and I don’t crave that added drizzle of honey or the teaspoon of sugar that I once did. In fact, just a few days after I completed my Whole30, I spent Shavuot with friends where I was surrounded by dairy delicacies and delicious dishes of all kinds. When I tried to eat a salad that had a sweet salad dressing, I was so overwhelmed by it’s cloying nature that I literally could not swallow it. There is no question that the Whole30 changed my taste towards food and my attitude as well. I much prefer savory to sweet now, in fact I plan to continue following the Whole30 diet until I lose another 20 lbs. After that, I will transition to a Paleo diet (the Whole30 is based on it, it just has more restrictions).

One of the other great outcomes of the Whole30 diet, is something I could have never imagined. When I began posting photos of all of the delicious meals I was preparing, the requests for recipes poured in. At first, I shared the recipes under the photos, but after a few days I realized, why don’t I just compile a 30-day meal plan? And so, without much ado, my Paleo ebook was born! Writing a cookbook has seemed so far away for the longest time – and a real, physical, turn-the-page kind of cookbook might be. But this ebook has allowed me to share over 100 recipes without nearly as much work as a hardcover book would be. I am still working on the last bit of edits and recipe testing, but the ebook should be available within the next 2 weeks! Stay tuned for more details in my upcoming posts and look out for the #Paleoebook hashtag via social media. I think I smell a giveaway.

 

Related Recipes:

baked portobello shakshuka
quick and easy marinara shakshuka

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Scrambled Hard-Boiled Eggs

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

They say necessity is the mother of invention and I guess that’s how this recipe came to be. I mean, you can’t say you’ve really tried every type of egg dish over Passover until you’ve tried scrambled hard-boiled eggs, right?

My mother has been making these on Passover for as long as I can remember. She learned to make them from my grandmother, who learned to make them from her mother. I’m not sure if this is a traditional Hungarian dish, or if my great-grandmother invented it. I imagine there wasn’t much else to eat back in Europe besides for eggs and potatoes, with a little chicken or meat on the side, if they were lucky. So creativity with eggs and potatoes was a must. How else can you explain adding hard boiled eggs to runny scrambled ones?

Eggs on eggs might sound kind of weird. Ok, it does sound really weird, but trust me when I tell you that these scrambled hard-boiled eggs are incredibly delicous. Adding hard-boiled eggs to the scrambled ones make this dish substantial enough to serve for lunch, with a side of salad or matza and cheese.

Scrambled hard-boiled eggs is just one of the interesting recipes my family whips up with eggs over Pesach. There’s also our sweet nut omelette that we’d whip up for breakfast and the mock chopped liver that begins with some deeply caramelized onions.

Aside from eggs and potatoes, sauteed onions are the other quintessential Passover ingredient. Since we don’t use spices or processed ingredients over the holiday, sauteed onions are a crucial base for adding flavor to every dish. These scrambled hard-boiled eggs are no exception.

 

Related Recipes:

how to make perect hard-boiled eggs
Passover sweet nut omelette
Passover baked portobello shakshuka

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Pickled Deviled Eggs

Thursday, February 14th, 2013


With Valentines Day here, it seems like all my foodie feeds are covered in hearts and pink desserts of all kinds. But what about us non-bakers? Isn’t there anything pretty and pink for us to make? Well it just so happens, there is. Beets are a great way to turn savory foods into pink or purple edible eye-candy that’s perfect for parties of any kind. Think pink pasta, purple pancakes or these gorgeous ombre deviled eggs!

So if you really want to up the ante at your next party or cozy Valentines dinner, do away with traditional (ie: boring) deviled eggs, and give these gorgeous little pickled ones a try. The pink ombre ring comes from brining the eggs in beet juice – a simple task with a huge wow factor. Ombre isn’t just for 7 layer dye-filled cakes anymore!


With Purim just around the corner, I love to plan my menu around interesting unexpected dishes to maximize on the Purim spirit. Last year, I made these salami chips. This year, these pickled deviled eggs will be making an entrance. Of course I also do a twist on traditional hamantaschen like these puff pastry ones, last year’s sushi onigiri, and this years…well, you’ll just have to wait on that one…the surprise is coming up next week!

1 year ago: stuffed roasted butternut squash
2 years ago: quick & easy chocolate rugelach

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Deviled Eggs

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Deviled eggs are a great way to turn a basic food into a gourmet dish. They make for a fun and tasty hors d’oeuvre as well as a low-carb and filling treat. I often serve deviled eggs on Shabbos day instead of egg salad for a more substantial side dish. There are hundreds of recipes and even a few books dedicated to the art of making deviled eggs. But all you really need is a little creativity and perfectly hard-boiled eggs to create this delicious dish. Click here for my tutorial on how to make eggscellent hard-boiled eggs!

I have experimented with many different fillings including sundried tomatoes, horseradish and pickle relish, but my classic recipe below is our all time favorite.


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Quick & Easy Shakshuka

Sunday, April 3rd, 2011

I absolutely love shakshuka! I couldn’t think of a better breakfast on a Sunday morning, or any morning for that matter. The rich and spicy tomato sauce paired with a runny egg and some fresh hot bread or pita – could it get any better? Now Shakshuka can be a patchke to make, what with the chopping, sauteeing, and fresh tomatoes…I don’t know about you but after a long Shabbos, and an even longer Motzei Shabbos, the last thing I want to do is start cooking, AGAIN (hence the Sunday night meal of leftovers!). But I have simplified this recipe to the easiest 2-ingredient fix (for the most basic) you could think of! Even the tired and weary can whip up a plate of these in no time!

Note: If you are watching your carbs, this is actually a great recipe because it is a whole meal-in-one and it’s very filling! Skip the bread, of course!


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