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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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
Creamy Lemon Pops

Creamy Lemon Pops

CREAMY LEMON POPS

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Creamy Lemon Pops stacked on a metal serving tray garnished with fresh strawberries and a bowl of lemons in the background.

It’s still summer, thankfully! So this means there’s still time to enjoy these delicious Creamy Lemon Pops. This week in central Alberta the weather is scheduled to be one of the nicest of the summer, assuming the weatherman gets it right of course!! It’s crazy to think people can predict the weather 30 years from now with global warming but can’t seem to predict two days out. It’s frustrating, to say the least, when trying to plan activities and having a very short summer season. But all my mumbling aside, these Creamy Lemon Pops are packed with lemon flavour from fresh lemon juice and lemon zest. They’re creamy and delicious but not overly sweet, which makes them great in hot weather.

Creamy Lemon Pops in a popsicle mold with a tray of Creamy Lemon Pops garnished with strawberries and mint in the foreground.

The recipe is a riff on a Semifreddo, meaning half-frozen and like custard-style ice cream. I’ve gone and added yogurt and lightened up on the sugar to make these lovely treats. They’re super creamy and indulgent, making them great for kids and adults alike. So go ahead and treat yourself while the sun still shines this summer, enjoy!

Creamy Lemon Pops stacked on a metal serving tray garnished with fresh strawberries and a bowl of lemons in the background.

Creamy Lemon Pops stacked on a metal serving tray garnished with fresh strawberries and a bowl of lemons in the background.
Creamy Lemon Pops
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    8 popsicles 20-25 minutes
    Cook Time
    4-5 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    8 popsicles 20-25 minutes
    Cook Time
    4-5 minutes
    Creamy Lemon Pops stacked on a metal serving tray garnished with fresh strawberries and a bowl of lemons in the background.
    Creamy Lemon Pops
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      8 popsicles 20-25 minutes
      Cook Time
      4-5 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      8 popsicles 20-25 minutes
      Cook Time
      4-5 minutes
      Ingredients
      Servings: popsicles
      Instructions
      1. In a small bowl whisk together egg yolks, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt. Place the bowl over a double boiler, making sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Heat over medium, whisking constantly until mixture registers 170°F, about 4 minutes.
      2. Remove from heat and place in the fridge while proceeding.
      3. Whip heavy cream until firm peaks hold. Place in the fridge until ready to use.
      4. Using the same beaters, whip the warm egg yolk mixture until creamy, lite, and cool/room temperature to the touch, about 4 minutes. Stir in Greek yogurt until combined.
      5. Fold whipped cream into egg mixture until combined. Divide evenly into 8-80ml popsicle molds. Freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight. Run warm water over the popsicle molds to loosen slightly before pulling the popsicles out. Popsicles will last for a week if kept covered and in the mold.
      Recipe Notes

      -If preferred, remove all popsicles at once and store them in an airtight container for up to one week.

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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
      Lemon Cream Mini Pavlovas

      Lemon Cream Mini Pavlovas

      Lemon Cream Mini Pavlovas

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      Lemon Cream Mini Pavlovas garnished with blueberries and mint sit on a white cake tray decorated with blue flowers.

      Where the heck is spring??  As I write this it is literally -15°C.  I think global warming has skipped over us here in Alberta.  But these bright and cheery Lemon Cream Mini Pavlovas are sure to brighten and warm any day.  Crisp yet chewy pavlova nests are filled with lemon curd and whipped cream filling.  They are lovely topped with fresh berries such as blueberry or raspberry and perfect for Easter or Mother’s Day. 

      Mini pavlova nests piped onto a baking tray lined with parchment and ready to be baked for Lemon Cream Mini Pavlovas.

      Sadly, with the way the world is these days, most of us may not be having much of a family gathering at Easter.  It will most likely be a modest meal with homebound family members and chats throughout the weekend with family and friends on Facetime or Skype. And this is okay because it’s what we need to do right now to keep everyone safe. As for this beautiful dessert, perhaps it will have to wait for another special occasion. Maybe Mother’s Day, bridal shower or what the heck, how about the first day of summer! There are always reasons to celebrate, so you’ll want to bookmark this recipe.

      Lemon curd for Lemon Cream Mini Pavlovas in a small glass bowl that is resting on a blue and white cloth.

      Here are a few helpful hints for this recipe:

      -make sure your mixing bowl is very clean (grease will hinder a great meringue).

      -use egg whites that are at room temperature (warm egg whites incorporate more air than cold ones).

      -you can grind granulated sugar for about 10 seconds using a mini grinder if castor sugar is not available.

      -stick the parchment to the baking tray with a few dabs of meringue to prevent it from moving while piping.

      -place the tray on a damp towel to prevent the tray from moving while piping.

      -don’t open the oven door until it has completely cooled as the warm dry air inside helps to dry out the meringues without further cooking.

      -baked meringues will keep several days in an airtight container at room temperature.

      -add filling to the meringue nests when ready to serve or up to a couple hours in advance. Adding it more than a couple of hours ahead will cause the meringues to soften too much.

      Lemon Cream Mini Pavlovas sit on a white cake tray in the background while one is served on a while dessert plate and garnished with blueberries and mint.

      Lemon Cream Mini Pavlovas
      Print Recipe
        Servings Prep Time
        8 people 30-40 minutes
        Cook Time Passive Time
        80 minutes 1+ hours
        Servings Prep Time
        8 people 30-40 minutes
        Cook Time Passive Time
        80 minutes 1+ hours
        Lemon Cream Mini Pavlovas
        Print Recipe
          Servings Prep Time
          8 people 30-40 minutes
          Cook Time Passive Time
          80 minutes 1+ hours
          Servings Prep Time
          8 people 30-40 minutes
          Cook Time Passive Time
          80 minutes 1+ hours
          Ingredients
          Mini Pavlovas
          Lemon Cream
          Servings: people
          Instructions
          Mini Pavlovas
          1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a large baking tray with parchment and mark out 8-3" circles. Flip parchment over.
          2. Combine egg whites and cream of tartar. Whip until soft peaks are starting to form. Gradually add sugar, about a tablespoon at a time. Scrape the sides of the bowl and continue to whip on high speed until stiff and glossy, about 6-7 minutes using a stand mixer.
          3. Add vanilla and whip to combine.
          4. Sift cornstarch over the meringue and fold to combine.
          5. Fit a large piping bag with your desired tip, I used a Wilton 1M.
          6. Fill the piping bag with meringue and squeeze a dab of meringue onto the corners of the parchment to stick it to the baking tray. This will help keep the parchment from moving while you pipe. Place the baking tray on a slightly damp kitchen towel to prevent the tray from moving. Fill in the traced circle, creating a base. Continue to pipe along the edge of the base for two turns, creating a basket.
          7. Place the tray in the oven on the middle rack and immediately turn oven temperature to 225°F. Bake for 80 minutes, turn off the oven and allow meringues to remain undisturbed in the oven until completely cool. Meringues will be firm and hollow sounding with a slight bit of tackiness and chew in the bottom layer.
          Lemon Cream
          1. Combine all ingredients except butter in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens, about 7-8 minutes. Whisk in butter until smooth.
          2. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before covering with plastic wrap directly on the surface. Allow to cool completely and chill until ready to use.
          3. When ready to assemble pavlovas, which should be no more than 2 hours in advance, whip heavy cream until stiff. Fold whipped cream into lemon curd and fill meringues generously. Top with fresh blueberries and serve.
          Recipe Notes

          -Using egg whites at room temperature will result in more volume.

          -If unable to use castor or superfine sugar, simply grind regular granulated sugar in a mini coffee grinder for about 10 seconds.  Even this is not true castor sugar, it breaks down the sugar enough for better absorption into the meringue.

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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
          Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls

          Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls

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          Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls served in a shallow bowl resting on a black kitchen towel and wooden trivet.

          Do you have a New Year’s resolution? With the new year approaching fast, I find myself thinking of my own New Year’s resolutions.   Like many of you, one of my resolutions is to eat differently.  I say different because I don’t necessarily want to eat less or lose a bunch of weight, I just want to eat less refined sugar and simple carbohydrates like white rice. I have found that by eating a little more protein and less simple carbohydrates I generally feel better and have less hunger throughout the day.  As with everything, moderation is key to my success and my goal of maintaining this small change does not mean I will pass on every cookie and slice of bread. It means certain foods will be eaten less often. This year is all about balance!

          I hope the new year brings you success and happiness in all that you do. Cheers to 2020!

          I find dishes like Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls perfect for my resolution because they’re high in protein, both the shrimp and quinoa, a good source of fibre and loaded with fresh flavour from parsley, garlic and lemon. It also has arugula which I absolutely love lightly wilted. It’s simple, delicious and a great way to help refine the way you eat. 

          Raw shrimp, arugula and lemon dressing in preparation for Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls.
          Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls served in a shallow bowl resting on a black kitchen towel and wooden trivet.

          Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls served in a shallow bowl resting on a black kitchen towel and wooden trivet.
          Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls
          Print Recipe
            Servings Prep Time
            2 people 15 minutes
            Cook Time Passive Time
            25 minutes 5 minutes
            Servings Prep Time
            2 people 15 minutes
            Cook Time Passive Time
            25 minutes 5 minutes
            Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls served in a shallow bowl resting on a black kitchen towel and wooden trivet.
            Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls
            Print Recipe
              Servings Prep Time
              2 people 15 minutes
              Cook Time Passive Time
              25 minutes 5 minutes
              Servings Prep Time
              2 people 15 minutes
              Cook Time Passive Time
              25 minutes 5 minutes
              Ingredients
              Shrimp Bowls
              Dressing
              Servings: people
              Instructions
              1. Combine vegetable broth and quinoa in a medium pot. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook according to package directions until tender. Allow quinoa to rest for 5 minutes and fluff with a fork.
              2. While quinoa is cooking make dressing by whisking all ingredients together in a small bowl.
              3. Pat shrimp dry and season with salt and pepper.
              4. Heat 1 tbsp of olive in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes until softened. Stir in shrimp and cook for 2 minutes per side.
              5. Add warm quinoa, arugula and 1/2 of the dressing and toss to combine over low heat until arugula is slightly wilted, about 1 minute.
              6. Scoop into serving dishes and drizzle each with remaining dressing and sprinkle with parmesan cheese if desired. Serve immediately.

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              Affiliate Disclosure

              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
              Creamy Caper Smashed Potatoes

              Creamy Caper Smashed Potatoes

              Creamy Caper Smashed Potatoes…oh my!

              One of my quick and easy weeknight meals consists of broiled fish with a creamy caper paste.  It takes mere minutes to cook and is tender, moist and full of flavour.  I decided to use this same paste on smashed baby potatoes for an easy side dish that’s super delicious and pairs well with roasted meats and fish. 

              Capers are the unripened flowers buds of Capparis spinosa or Capparis inermis and are generally dried and pickled.  Here’s a handy link from The Spruce Eats that tells you a little more about the amazing caper. 

              You won’t be disappointed!

              Roasted mini potatoes get a gentle smash and topped with a creamy caper paste made with capers, lemon, dill, mayonnaise, and parmesan cheese.  Crispy little potato disks with fluffy centres are the perfect base for the briny capers, fresh dill and creamy mayo.  

              If you’re not familiar with capers, they’re a handy pantry item to have kicking around.  They’re pungent and briny and not all that good on their own, but combine them with cream, butter or lemon and you have a flavour explosion. They add a salty depth of flavour that enhances sauces, dressing, salads, and more. Enjoy!

              Author: Compelled to Cook

              Creamy Caper Smashed Potatoes
              Print Recipe
                Servings Prep Time
                3-4 people 15 minutes
                Cook Time
                30-35 minutes
                Servings Prep Time
                3-4 people 15 minutes
                Cook Time
                30-35 minutes
                Creamy Caper Smashed Potatoes
                Print Recipe
                  Servings Prep Time
                  3-4 people 15 minutes
                  Cook Time
                  30-35 minutes
                  Servings Prep Time
                  3-4 people 15 minutes
                  Cook Time
                  30-35 minutes
                  Ingredients
                  Servings: people
                  Instructions
                  1. Preheat oven to 350℉. In a medium bowl toss together potatoes, olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
                  2. Spread out evenly on a baking tray and bake for 30-35 minutes, turning once, until just tender.
                  3. While potatoes are baking, combine together mayonnaise, parmesan, capers, dill, lemon juice and pepper.
                  4. Remove potatoes from oven and gently flatten each with a flat surfaced utensil (I use a metal potato masher) to a third of its original height.
                  5. Set oven rack to 7" from broiler and turn oven to broil. Spread 1 tbsp of paste onto each potato. Broil for 2-3 minutes until golden and bubbly. Remove from oven and serve immediately, garnishing with fresh dill if desired.

                  Affiliate Disclosure

                  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