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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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Baked Portobello Shakshuka

Friday, April 4th, 2014

Salad or sandwich, you ask? (ok you didn’t ask, but I did!) I’m a sandwich gal all the way. Offer me up a plate of beautiful greens and veggies, versus a sandwich on crusty bread – I’ll choose the sandwich every time. There’s just nothing like stuffing food between two slices of carby goodness! This, my friends, is what makes the 8 days of Passover so hard for me.

The hardest part about not eating bread or gebroks ( (dishes that allow for matza to absorb liquid) over Pesach, is not having a vessel to eat my food with. I don’t smear dips over matza or eat matza pizza or matza sandwiches. Which means, I’ve got to look for things to stuff my food into. Kosher for Passover pizza omelettes, portobello pizza,  chessy stuffed peppers, roasted eggplant parmesan – these are some of the recipes that get me through the holiday.

When you really think about it – it’s just 8 days, just shy of a week of going gluten free, whats the big deal, right? Somehow though, Pesach seems like an eternity. When I was growing up, we’d wait on line for hours after Pesach to get a pie of pizza. What is it about the holiday that makes us feel so deprived?

Maybe it’s that us non-grebrosters are not thinking outside the box enough. Meat & potatoes, chicken & potatoes, and eggs & potatoes really does get kind of boring. With stringent Passover customs, the lack of variety induces many-a-craving. I think that’s where the endless hours at the pizza store comes into play. Not only did we not enjoy matza pizza over Pesach, our family custom was to avoid dairy altogether – so no cream cheese on matza or even yogurt for breakfast. Breafast was always the hardest part of the Chag. We ate a lot of omelettes!

With dairy off the table, I try to come up with unique dishes, especially for breakfast/lunch when I prefer to avoid meat and potatoes!

One of my favorite breafast/brunch dishes of all time is shakshuka! Shakshuka is a classic dish of eggs poached in a peppery tomato sauce. I like to take the shortcut and use matbucha (or even marinara) as the base – but I’ve taken it up a notch here by baking the shakshuka in some portobello “cups”. This makes for the perfect base to catch all those yummy egg drippings. Sabra’s Kosher for Passover matbucha (no kitniyot) makes preparing this dish a cinch – perfect for Chol Hamoed brunch!

This show stopping dish is sure to please many-a-Passover-palate! Really, who needs some fresh hot pita when you have a roasted portobello mushroom to sop up all that rich egg yolk? Ok, ok I admit I’d go for the pita, I’m a sandwich gal after all. But for 8 days of the year, I think  the portobello makes for a perfect stand in. And they’re cute too!


For the recipe, head on over to Joy of Kosher. And don’t forget to enter into Sabra’s sharesabra giveaway! All you have to do to win a $200 gift card is show and tell Sabra what you’re eating and who you’re eating it with. Take pictures of your food or family and friends at meal time and post on Facebook, Twitter or Instragram with the hashtag #ShareSabra for a chance to win.

This post was sponsored by Sabra.

Other Sabra recipes: Israeli style tuna salad

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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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