Spinach and Feta Shakshuka

Spinach and Feta Shakshuka

Spinach and Feta Shakshuka ready to serve from a shallow braiser.

Spinach and Feta Shakshuka

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Meatless meals can be so darn good! Spinach and Feta Shakshuka is a quick and easy vegetarian meal that has a crazy amount of nutrition packed into it. Eggs on their own are very nutritious, add in spinach, leeks and legumes and you’ve got a healthy dose of vitamins A, C, K and D, not to mention loads of protein and fibre. This lovely dish packs a lot of flavour too, plus it’s prime for serving for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

The preparation of ingredients for Spinach and Feta Shakshuka.
Spinach and Feta Shakshuka in a shallow braiser ready to cook the eggs.

There are plenty of green shakshuka variations out there, but I love the classic feta and dill combination of this one. It’s bursting with fresh flavours of dill and lemon, and the spinach is a great pairing with the eggs. I’ve opted to use cannellini beans, however, other legumes such as chickpeas would be great as well. I find the beans round out the dish and make it rustic and very satisfying. I also suggest serving this dish with crusty, toasted bread. You’ll need it to dunk into the perfectly soft eggs and scoop up the saucy greens. Enjoy!

Spinach and Feta Shakshuka ready to serve from a shallow braiser.

Spinach and Feta Shakshuka ready to serve from a shallow braiser.
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Spinach and Feta Shakshuka

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Servings 3 people

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium leeks, well cleaned
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 7 ounces fresh baby spinach
  • 3/4 cup cooked cannellini beans, see note
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/2 each lemon
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 each green onions

Instructions

  • Thinly slice the leeks and green onions. Heat oil in a large shallow skillet or braiser. Add leeks and garlic. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until starting to soften. Stir in broth, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper. Simmer for 4-5 until leels are tender and most of the broth has cooked out.
  • Add spinach and toss gently with leeks until wilted. Stir in beans, dill and squeeze in the juice of half a lemon. Make 6 large indentations and crack an egg into each. Sprinkle evenly with feta cheese. Cover and cook on medium heat until egg whites are just set and the centers still jiggle, about 4-5 minutes.
  • Sprinkle with sliced green onions and the remaining tbsp of fresh dill. Serve with toasted bread.

Notes

-I used cannellini beans for this recipe and enjoyed them in the dish.   Chickpeas would be another great choice.

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Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

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Not all chocolate chip cookies are created equal! For years, I’ve been making a recipe that I thought was the bomb, but as it turns out, there was a better cookie yet to be made. These Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies have taken the lead in my kitchen and have become my new favourite chocolate chip cookie. But let me be clear, my personal favourite remains my Coconut Oatmeal Cookies I’d make them ALL the time, but there’s another person in the home that deserves their favourite too. So for him (AKA husband), I make chocolate chip cookies. He’s my little cookie monster and these fantastic cookies get a double thumbs up from him too.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies rolled dough on a parchment lined baking tray.
A parchment lined baking tray filled with flattened cookie dough balls in making Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies.

These Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies rank number one with me for several reasons. First is the slightly crisp golden edges of the cookie. They’re great to nibble away at and exactly what you’d expect in a perfect cookie. The second is the slightly chewy center with melty chocolate when eaten while just a little warm. The third is the oatmeal, there’s just enough to call them an oatmeal cookie but the cookie doesn’t seem laden with it. It’s just the perfect balance of oats to give a little texture and chew. Fourth is the taste, there’s a little more salt and vanilla in the recipe than most call for and that really makes this cookie delicious.

Baked Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies on a parchment lined baking tray.

You’ll find the cookie dough easy enough to make and it’s made using melted butter which lends towards a chewier cookie. The dough is also nicely “scoopable” straight out of the bowl with no chilling required. Although, I have scooped and baked these cookies from a chilled state as well and found little difference in the end product. I do prefer to flatten the cookies before baking because it produces a uniform cookie that’s not too puffy in the center. Happy baking, you’ll love these cookies!

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Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 48 cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 cups large flake oatmeal
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and arrange oven rack to the middle position. Line baking trays with parchment.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  • Beat together both sugars and melted butter until light and creamy. Add whole eggs one at a time, and then the egg yolk, incorporating after each addition. Scrape bowl and mix in vanilla.
  • Add flour mixture all at once and mix until incorporated. Add oatmeal and mix to combine. Scrap bowl and stir in chocolate chips.
  • Using a 1-ounce cookie scoop, scoop the batter onto prepared trays spacing evenly at least 2 inches apart. Flatten cookies with the palm of your hand or the bottom of a cup.
  • Bake one tray at a time for 10-11 minutes (do not overbake). Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes on the tray before moving to a cooling rack.
  • Repeat with the remaining cookie dough.

Notes

-recipe makes approximately 48 3" cookies.
-dough can be chilled for up to 3 days and scooped as is, but will be more difficult to scoop in a chilled state. I prefer scooping room-temperature dough.
-dough can be frozen and sealed in an airtight bag or container for up to a month. Allow to thaw in the refrigerator and scoop from a chilled or room temperature state.

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Wor Wonton Soup

Wor Wonton Soup

Wor Wonton Soup served in a shallow black bowl on a bamboo mat with a broken fortune cookie in the background.

Wor Wonton Soup

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You’ll want to skip the takeout when you can make flavour-packed Wor Wonton Soup at home. It’s incredibly easy and quick once all the components are ready. I prefer to make homemade wontons and pork for this recipe because both are just so much better than store-bought in my opinion. I’ve included links for both, so I encourage you to be adventurous and try both. For this soup, I’ve chosen to use broccoli and carrots for my vegetables, however, feel free to sub in baby bok choy, water chestnuts, snow peas or baby corn to suit your liking.

Prepped pork wontons, pork char sui, shrimp and vegetables ready for Wor Wonton Soup.

The biggest trick to Wor Wonton Soup is the timing. I’ve dabbled with several different timing arrangements and found that the vegetables will cook in the same time it takes the wontons to cook. Therefore, adding them to the simmering broth at the same time is essential. Overcooking either is undesirable, to say the least. The same can be said for the shrimp and pork too. The shrimp will cook in no more than 2 minutes and the pork only needs to be warmed as it’s already cooked. So be sure to stick around the pot, the whole process takes only 4-5 minutes, so it’s not the time to do even the quickest of choirs.

Wor Wonton Soup served in a shallow black bowl on a bamboo mat with a broken fortune cookie in the background.

I’ve included links for the Pork Char Siu and Pork Wontons. The extra pork can be tightly wrapped in a sealable bag and frozen for up to two months. The wontons can also be frozen in a single layer and then placed in a sealable container for up to a month. Extra wontons are easily cooked in a little broth, deep-fried or pan-fried. Trust me, they will not go to waste!! This is a wonderful soup that eats like a meal and it’s easier than you might think. Enjoy!

Pork Char Siu

Crispy Wontons

Wor Wonton Soup served in a shallow black bowl on a bamboo mat with a broken fortune cookie in the background.
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Wor Wonton Soup

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 1/2-2 cups large bite-size broccoli pieces
  • 1 large carrot, thinly sliced on a diagonal
  • 16 each pork wontons see note
  • 12 large shrimp, deveined and tail removed
  • 6 ounces Chinese BBQ pork (Pork Char Siu), thinly sliced see note
  • 2 tbsp green onion, thinly sliced on a diagonal
  • as needed sesame oil

Instructions

  • In a large pot heat broth and soy sauce to a gentle simmer. Add broccoli, carrots and pork wontons and maintain a simmer. Cook for 4-5 minutes until wontons are cooked and vegetables are just tender. Add shrimp and sliced pork when about 2 minutes of cooking time remains.
  • Divide soup into shallow bowls and garnish with green onions and a drizzle of sesame oil.

Notes

-The prep time noted does not include the time to make the wontons or pork char siu if making either from scratch.
-You can use store-bought wontons and pork char siu, however homemade is so much better and I've included a link to both in the post above.

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Pink Whitney slush

Pink Whitney slush

Pink Whitney slush served in a martini glass on a silver tray garnished with lime wedges and fresh mint leaves.

Pink Whitney Slush

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Isn’t it hard to believe that a good chunk of May has already come and gone? We’ve had an early spring and it’s time to plant flower pots and sip cool drinks on the deck with the scent of freshly mowed grass in the air. Today I’m excited to share the icy cold Pink Whitney Slush. A wonderful combination of pink lemonade, Pink Whitney vodka and a good measure of fresh grapefruit and lime juice for just the right amount of pucker. It’s a lovely drink that can be made in advance and is perfect for occasions such as bridal showers, Mother’s Day, or family reunions.

Ingredients for Pink Whitney Slush on a sliver tray garnished with fresh mint leaves.

Sadly, the Covid 19 virus still plagues my area, and no guests are permitted into the home at this time and only 5 people are allowed outdoors while maintaining the required 6 feet spacing. These public health measures are not exactly great for entertaining, so for the foreseeable future, the only Pink Whitney slurping will be from my husband and me. While this adult slush is perfect for entertaining and enjoying with friends, I’ll just have to be content with sipping it with the company of sunshine and solitude right now.

Pink Whitney Slush will last for at least a month in the freezer, so there’s no reason not to have a batch made and ready. I know I’ll be making another batch and planning for backyard days filled with the company of others. Until then, I hope everyone is staying safe and well in these crazy Covid days.

Pink Whitney slush served in a martini glass on a silver tray garnished with lime wedges and fresh mint leaves.
Pink Whitney slush served in a martini glass on a silver tray garnished with fresh mint leaves.

Pink Whitney slush served in a martini glass on a silver tray garnished with fresh mint leaves.
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Pink Whitney Slush

Prep Time 15 minutes
Freezing time 1 day
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups Pink Whitney vodka
  • 1 295ml frozen pink lemonade
  • 1 cup vodka
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, strained about 2
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice about 1

Instructions

  • Add all ingredients to a sealable plastic or glass container. Whisk well to combine.
  • Place in freezer for at least 24hours, stirring once or twice.
  • Scoop into martini glasses and garnish with fresh mint if desired. Serve immediately.

Notes

-Slush will last in a sealable container for at least a month.

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Raspberry Cream Roll

Raspberry Cream Roll

Raspberry Cream Roll served on a blue platter with a slice served on a white plate.

Raspberry Cream Roll

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Raspberry Cream Roll screams spring, but as I write this post I look outside to a grey and windy day with a forecast of snow. It’s recipes such as this that keep me focused and looking forward. In this case, forward to better weather, summer days and fresh berries.

This lovely dessert is a classic combination of a vanilla jelly roll laced with raspberry jam, however, it is anything but ordinary. The raspberry jam layer has the addition of Chambord liqueur for a vibrant punch of raspberry flavour, and the cream filling is a luscious combination of mascarpone and whipped cream. It’s a wonderful combination served with lightly macerated mixed berries.

A prepared jelly roll ready for the oven in preparation for Raspberry Cream Roll.

What makes a good jelly roll? Getting lots of volume in the beaten eggs and sugar will ensure your jelly roll is light and spongy. Only mix in the dry ingredients until combined and smooth, don’t over mix after this addition. Allowing the jelly roll to rest for about 10 minutes before rolling will prevent it from deflating itself from its own weight when rolled. Keep in mind you need to roll the cake while warm to prevent cracking but rolling while “hot” out of the oven will result in a flat jelly roll. I find the time it takes to loosen the cake from the edges of the pan, gather together the kitchen towel, sifter and powdered sugar is about enough cooling time to flip over the jelly roll, trim the edges and roll it while warm without cracking or deflation.

The end result is a light and airy cake with a smooth surface that’s begging to be dusted with powdered sugar for the perfect finish. It’s the kind of dessert you want to show off to your guests and one that you’ll want to make again and again.

Raspberry Cream Roll served on a light blue platter garnished with fresh berries.
A close up slice of Raspberry Cream Roll served on a white plate.

Raspberry Cream Roll sliced and topped with fresh macerated berries on a pink background.
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Raspberry Cream Roll

Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Cooling Time 40 minutes
Servings 10 people

Ingredients

Cake Roll

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • as needed powdered sugar

Filling

  • 1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam
  • 1 tbsp Chambord optional
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 4 ounces mascarpone
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

Cake Roll

  • Preheat oven to 375°F and line a 10"x15"x1" baking tray with parchment. Spray the sides with non-stick spray.
  • Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
  • Whip eggs until thick and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Gradually beat in sugar until combined. Beat in water and vanilla at low speed until incorporated.
  • Add flour mixture and beat until combined and smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan and spread out evenly using an off-set spatula. Tap pan once or twice lightly on the counter to remove any large air bubbles. Bake in preheated oven for 15-16 minutes until center is set and cake is golden.
  • Remove cake from oven and loosen cake from edges using a sharp knife. While the cake is warm (not hot, see note) dust top of the cake generously with sifted powdered sugar. Invert cake onto a clean kitchen towel and carefully remove parchment by peeling off at a sharp angle. Trim cake edges.
  • Starting at the short end, roll the cake up tightly in the kitchen towel. Allow the cake to cool completed before final assembly.

Filling and Assembly

  • While the cake is cooling whisk jam until smooth and stir in Chambord if using.
  • Beat whipping cream and powdered sugar until soft peaks form. Add mascarpone and vanilla and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
  • Carefully unroll cooled cake and spread evenly with jam mixture. Dollop whip cream mixture over the jam and spread evenly over the jam.
  • Roll the cake back up as tightly as possible without squishing out the filling. Trim the ends evenly and dust the cake roll with sifted powdered sugar. Transfer cake to a serving platter and cut into thick slices. Serve immediately with fresh macerated berries of choice. If serving at a later time, move the cake to your serving platter and cover ends with plastic wrap and then the entire cake with plastic wrap. Keep chilled until ready to serve. When ready to serve, dust with sifted powdered sugar and cut into thick slices.

Notes

-It is important to note that the cake should be warm and not "hot" when removing from the pan, inverting and rolling.  Most recipes don't indicate this, but if you rush and roll the cake while it is hot, it will flatten itself because it's still very soft.  I'm not talking about a lot of time difference, 5 minutes in the pan and taking some care loosening it before flipping and care taken to remove the parchment and trim the cake is enough time for the cake to be set enough to roll without excessive flattening yet warm enough to prevent cracking. 

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I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com