Spinach and Feta Shakshuka

Spinach and Feta Shakshuka

Spinach and Feta Shakshuka

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

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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Leftover Turkey  Dinner Strata

Leftover Turkey Dinner Strata

Leftover Turkey Dinner Strata

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A piece of baked Leftover Turkey Dinner Strata served with gravy and cranberry sauce.

It’s time to re-think your turkey dinner leftovers and pass over the usual soup and pasta recipes for this spectacular Leftover Turkey Dinner Strata. It doesn’t just gobble up your leftover turkey, but also dressing, gravy and cranberry sauce. It’s quick and easy to put together because everything is already cooked. So a little chopping and assembly are all you need to do. Like most Stratas, this one can be made up to a day ahead and baked at your convenience the next day. It makes a great brunch, lunch or dinner dish, and it makes a 9×13 pan to feed your hungry family and guests. This Strata gets a huge thumbs up for practicality and tastiness.

Bread, turkey and dressing tossing together in a large bowl in preparation for Leftover Turkey Dinner Strata.
Leftover Turkey Dinner Strata assembled and ready to bake in a white casserole dish.

Chunks of bread, cubed turkey, and herby dressing get speckled with cranberry sauce and soaked in an eggy bath for a great twist on leftovers. I like to serve it with leftover gravy and additional cranberry sauce on the side. It’s a great casserole to feed a crowd and rewarms nicely in the microwave the next day, however, it is recommended to eat within two days of baking. So go ahead and cook that big ol’ bird and cook up a litre of cranberry sauce because this yummy Strata has your back and won’t let your money or efforts go to waste.

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Leftover Turkey Dinner Strata

Course Main Course
Keyword bread, casserole, Christmas leftovers, dairy, eggs, leftover turkey, leftovers, make ahead, poultry casserole, poultry recipe, strata, turkey, turkey casserole
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 8 people

Ingredients

  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 12 ounces crustless white country style/sourdough bread, cubed
  • 3 cups leftover dressing/stuffing, crumbled
  • 3 cups leftover turkey, large dice
  • 8 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated, divided about 2 cups lightly packed
  • 3 cups 2% milk
  • 12 large eggs
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp celery salt
  • 1 cup leftover cranberry sauce

Instructions

  • Add oil to a medium skillet and heat to medium. Add diced onion and cook, stirring often until soft 5-7 minutes. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl toss together bread, dressing, turkey, cooked onions and half of the Gruyere cheese.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together milk, egg, and seasonings.
  • Lightly grease a 9"x13" casserole dish. Spread evenly with half of the bread mixture. Dot with half of the cranberry sauce. Repeat with remaining bread mixture and cranberry.
  • Pour egg mixture evenly over bread, whisking occasionally as you go to distribute seasoning. Sprinkle with remaining Gruyere cheese.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours but preferably overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F and bake uncovered on middle rack for about an hour until Strata is puffed and golden. Remove from oven and allow to rest uncovered for 15-20 minutes before cutting into 12 pieces (3x4). Serve with leftover gravy and additional cranberry sauce.

Notes

-The Strata will last for up to 2 days in the fridge and rewarms nicely on medium power in the microwave.
-The dressing I used would be considered a traditional dressing.
-Want to make this recipe but don't have quite enough leftovers?  Half the recipe and bake in an 8x8 casserole dish.

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Jan Hagel Cookies

Jan Hagel Cookies

Jan Hagel Cookies

(Dutch Almond Shortbread)

 

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A box of crisp and buttery Jan Hagel Cookies wrapped with a navy blue ribbon.

Who can say 2020 was a wonderful year?  I am thankful and happy to report that I can! What makes my year something special is searching for and finding my biological father. My year started with spitting into a test tube through Ancestry.  I’m excited to say the DNA test result matches were more than I expected.  Although they were not a direct match with my biological father, they were a 100% match with three of his close family members.  One message sent to my matches got the ball quickly rolling, and within two weeks I had my first contact with my biological father. His name is Bernie, and imagine his surprise, not knowing that I existed until now. How someone digests such a thing I cannot say, but what I found was a very welcoming, warm and sincere man who was “pleasantly surprised” to learn of me. What I also quickly learned was that Bernie is very much a family man with a family of four children. How cool, now I have more siblings!  Wait, not quite… not only was Bernie the man being searched for by an adopted child but also one who has adopted his own four children and over time has assisted them in finding some of their biological roots. So I have to say half-siblings in spirit but not biologically. But the interesting twists in my story don’t end here.  I was adopted by a family who live in the same small town as my biological family.  I went to the same high school his children did, shopped at the same stores and practically grew up right under his nose. Ooooh how small the world just became!

I have since had the pleasure to meet Bernie, his lovely wife Joan, most of his children, two aunts, and cousins. I also have a biological grandmother still gracing the earth at 92 years old, but sadly with our pandemic world I have not been able to meet her yet.  It’s truly hard to find the words to describe what an experience it all has been and continues to be, but I do know that time spent with Bernie and his family is very much a gift and I look forward to our continuing story.

A sheet pan of freshly baked Jan Hagel Cookies resting on a wire rack.

Now, on to the Dutch Jan Hagel cookies, also known as Dutch almond shortbread. As you’ve probably guessed I have learned that I am Dutch on my father’s side. My biological grandparents immigrated to Canada from Holland in 1949 on the vessel RMS Seythia. They settled in the province of Saskatchewan, Canada to farm and raise a family of seven children. I’ve been dabbling in several different Dutch recipes but these cookies are my favourite so far. Jan Hagel Cookies are crisp, buttery and very addictive. They are a traditional Dutch cookie often made at Christmas and will become part of my holiday baking line-up from now on. I’m excited to continue to experiment in Dutch cookery and hope to share more recipes as time goes. Till then, enjoy!

A box of crisp and buttery Jan Hagel Cookies wrapped with a navy blue ribbon.

Author Compelled to Cook, adapted from Jan Hagel Koekjes.

A box of crisp and buttery Jan Hagel Cookies wrapped with a navy blue ribbon.
Jan Hagel Cookies
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    1 10"x15" tray 20 minutes
    Cook Time
    20-22 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    1 10"x15" tray 20 minutes
    Cook Time
    20-22 minutes
    A box of crisp and buttery Jan Hagel Cookies wrapped with a navy blue ribbon.
    Jan Hagel Cookies
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      1 10"x15" tray 20 minutes
      Cook Time
      20-22 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      1 10"x15" tray 20 minutes
      Cook Time
      20-22 minutes
      Ingredients
      Servings: 10"x15" tray
      Instructions
      1. Preheat oven to 350°F and set oven rack to the middle position. Lightly butter a 10"x15" baking tray, set aside.
      2. Cream together butter and granulated sugar. Divide the egg and add the egg yolk, cinnamon, salt and almond extract. Beat to fully combine. Add flour and mix only until dough starts to come together.
      3. Press or roll dough evenly into prepared pan. Whisk egg white with 1 tbsp water. Brush evenly onto prepared dough. Sprinkle evenly with almonds and then sprinkle with coarse sugar. Just enough to create a nice sparkle.
      4. Bake for 20-22 minutes until lightly golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 3-5 minutes and then cut into squares or diamonds while the cookie is warm and soft. Once cut, allow to cool completely before removing from the pan. The cookies will firm up as they cool.
      Recipe Notes

      -coarse sugar is a larger crystal sugar that doesn't melt when baked so it keeps a sparkle on the goods it's sprinkled on. It may also be called pearl sugar, decorators sugar, sparkling sugar.

      -I get about 45 - 2" diamond shaped cookies, plus the best and crispiest half diamonds around the edges.

      -I've tried sliced almonds with and without the skin and both are good to use and is a matter of preference.

      -I find it just as easy to cut the squares instead of just scoring them while they are warm, but if you're having difficulty just score them and cut when cool.

      -cookies are best if eaten while fresh, however they will last in a sealed container at room temperature for several days. If freezing, allow to cool completely and store in an airtight container away from strong odours.

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      Low Carb Almond Bread

      Low Carb Almond Bread

      Low Carb Almond Bread

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      A stack of Low Carb Almond Bread resting on a wire rack with a fresh parsley garnish.

      It is crazy how cheese can be made into something so bread-like!! Low Carb Almond Bread has a spongy texture and a chewy bread-like feel. It’s sturdy enough for your favourite sandwich and warms nicely in the toaster for your fried egg. This low carb, Keto-friendly bread also tastes great!!

      A baked slab of Low Carb Almond Bread cooling on a wire rack.

      You can use regular cream cheese, but I like to use flavoured for this recipe for something a little different. I like the garden vegetable for regular sandwiches and the herb and garlic for bread to serve with soup or stew. This great recipe is also super quick, being ready in about half an hour. Serve slightly warm right out of the pan, room temperature or lightly toasted in the toaster. You can use Low Carb Almond Bread for sandwiches, croutons, as a dipping bread, or a base for fried eggs and tuna melts. It’s a great way to keep your Keto diet on track with only 2.4 net carbs per slice. Enjoy!

      An egg salad sandwich made with Low Carb Almond Bread is cut on the diagonal and speared with a toothpick olive.

      Here’s the breakdown per slice when cutting into 12 slices per recipe.

      Calories per slice: 202kcal

      Net Carbs per slice: 2.4g

      Fat per slice: 17.4g

      Protein per slice: 9.25g

       

      Want more low carb options?

      Broccoli Cheddar Frittata

      Beef Roulade

      Tarragon Chicken Cutlets

       

      A stack of Low Carb Almond Bread resting on a wire rack with a fresh parsley garnish.

      Author:  Compelled to Cook, adapted from Pork Rind Keto Bread

      A stack of Low Carb Almond Bread resting on a wire rack with a fresh parsley garnish.
      Low Carb Almond Bread
      Print Recipe
        Servings Prep Time
        12 slices 15 minutes
        Cook Time
        20 minutes
        Servings Prep Time
        12 slices 15 minutes
        Cook Time
        20 minutes
        A stack of Low Carb Almond Bread resting on a wire rack with a fresh parsley garnish.
        Low Carb Almond Bread
        Print Recipe
          Servings Prep Time
          12 slices 15 minutes
          Cook Time
          20 minutes
          Servings Prep Time
          12 slices 15 minutes
          Cook Time
          20 minutes
          Instructions
          1. Preheat oven to 375°F and lightly spray a 10"x15" baking tray with non-stick spray and line with parchment.
          2. To a large bowl add the cream cheese and mozzarella. Heat in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir and return to microwave for another minute. Stir until smoothed out. Add eggs one at a time whisking with a fork to fully incorporate after each. Stir in almond flour, parmesan cheese and baking powder. Spread evenly into prepared pan and bake for 17-20 minutes.
          3. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool cut into 12 squares.
          Recipe Notes

          -I like to use garden vegetable or herb and garlic cream cheese.  They add a nice twist to the taste.

          -The cut squares will last up to a month in the freezer in an airtight container or Ziplock bag.

          -Room temperature squares can be warmed in the toaster.

          -This bread holds up well when used for sandwiches, but also great topped with a fried egg or as a tuna melt.

           

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          Super Moist Carrot Cake

          Super Moist Carrot Cake

          Super Moist Carrot Cake

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          There’s nothing that I don’t like about this cake, so I can easily say “hello autumn” with enthusiasm. Super moist, lightly spiced, textured with coconut and smothered with a dreamy cream cheese frosting. Super Moist Carrot Cake is a winner every time, feeds a small crowd and freezes exceptionally well.

          Super Moist Carrot Cake just out of the oven in a silver baking pan and icing in the background.

          Did I mention it’s also quick and easy with minimal mess, other than shredded carrot that seems to get everywhere LOL! It’s the perfect fall cake that turns the humble carrot into the most delicious dessert. It’s a nostalgic recipe for me, being slightly adapted from a gifted cookbook when I was only 17 years old and graduating from high school. It’s a treasured book, missing its cover, yellowed and ratty. But every time I thumb through it, I’m taken back to a simpler time, high school friends and big dreams. Thank you Simone and Marlene for this simple yet wonderful book that I still love 31 years later. Proving that great recipes are timeless.

          Super Moist Carrot Cake in a 9"x13" pan with cream cheese icing and decorated with piped carrots.
          A piece of Super Moist Carrot Cake on a small white plate resting on an orange napkin with a pan of cake in the background.
          A piece of Super Moist Carrot Cake on a small white plate resting on an orange napkin.

          Author: Coompelled to Cook, slightly adapted from the book “Let’s Break Bread Together” circa 1989?

          A piece of Super Moist Carrot Cake on a small white plate resting on an orange napkin.
          Super Moist Carrot Cake
          Print Recipe
            Servings Prep Time
            9x13 pan 30 minutes
            Cook Time
            45-50 minutes
            Servings Prep Time
            9x13 pan 30 minutes
            Cook Time
            45-50 minutes
            A piece of Super Moist Carrot Cake on a small white plate resting on an orange napkin.
            Super Moist Carrot Cake
            Print Recipe
              Servings Prep Time
              9x13 pan 30 minutes
              Cook Time
              45-50 minutes
              Servings Prep Time
              9x13 pan 30 minutes
              Cook Time
              45-50 minutes
              Instructions
              Cake
              1. Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a 9"x13" pan with non-stick spray.
              2. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.
              3. In a large bowl whisk together oil and sugar. Add eggs one at a time whisking well to fully combine after each. Stir in orange juice and vanilla.
              4. Whisk in half of the dry ingredients followed by half the milk. Repeat with remaining dry ingredients and milk, whisking only until just combined. Stir in carrots, pineapple and coconut. Pour into prepared pan and bake on the middle rack for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
              5. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely at room temperature. Once cooled, spread evenly with cream cheese icing. Cut into 20-24 pieces and serve.
              Cream Cheese Icing
              1. Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add butter and beat until fully combined and fluffy. Add vanilla and powdered sugar and beat until just combined and smooth. Spread onto cooled cake.
              Recipe Notes

              -Cake freezes well without icing for up to a month if well wrapped.

              -Cake freezes well if iced and cut into squares, stored in an airtight container for up to a week.

              -Recipe makes for a thick layer of icing.  Icing freezes well on its own in an airtight container for up to a month.

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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