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July 9, 2014

Shakshuka: eggs in fiery tomato sauce {vegetarian, gluten-free}

Shakshuka, a Tunisian-Israeli dish of eggs poached in a fiery tomato sauce.

My recipe for this popular Tunisian-Israeli vegetarian dish of eggs poached in a spicy tomato and bell pepper sauce is the second-best shakshuka I've ever tasted. The best, the very best, my husband Ted, cousin Martin and I practically inhaled at breakfast at The Gingerbread in Nuevo Arenal, Costa Rica, where Eyal Ben-Menachem, the Israeli chef-owner, works his magic. (I'm sharing the secret to Eyal's recipe in my new e-cookbook, 25 Tomatoes, which comes out next week.) Even though I'm admitting my shakshuka is second-best, it's really pretty great, and I use ingredients you already have in your pantry. The one requirement is heat, in some form: chile peppers (fresh or canned), chile powder, hot smoked paprika. It's up to you, and your heat tolerance. If you're serving shakshuka for breakfast, as is traditional, you might want the sauce mildly spicy; on those breakfast-for-dinner days, kick the heat up by adding more red pepper flakes, a pinch of cayenne, or even a few shakes of hot sauce. The recipe yields enough sauce for six people; make the whole batch, and keep any leftover in your freezer for a super quick worknight supper or weekend brunch. Serve with slices of toasted crusty bread, for mopping up the sauce.

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May 25, 2014

Slow cooker Mexican fiesta breakfast or brunch frittata {vegetarian, gluten-free}

Slow cooker Mexican fiesta breakfast or brunch frittata recipe. Olé! #eggs #crockpot #slowcooker

Don't adjust your computer screen: the farm-fresh eggs I used to make this slow cooker Mexican fiesta frittata have a definite orange glow to them. Delivered straight from my friend Kathy's chicken coop, these might be the very best eggs on the planet, but even if you're using less-than-orange eggs, you will love this egg frittata recipe. I've been wanting to try making an egg dish in the slow cooker ever since I saw a recipe on Kalyn's Kitchen. The frittata was so easy in the slow cooker, and if your oven is in use for something else this would be a great way to cook eggs. I still prefer the oven method, which produces a puffier frittata with a bit of a crust, but in the slow cooker, the flavors have more time to penetrate the egg mixture, and that's pretty great. For this Mexican fiesta frittata, I wanted a little bit of a kick, so I used canned chopped chile peppers. If I were serving this for supper, I'd add 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper or ground chipotle pepper (or both!), for even more zing.

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May 8, 2014

Greek spinach, artichoke and feta egg and cheese breakfast casserole {vegetarian, gluten-free}

Greek spinach, artichoke and feta egg and cheese breakfast casserole (great for dinner, too!). #recipe #glutenfree

On a visit to Chicago several years ago, my friend Kalyn and I made a pilgrimage to The Spice House. We met the owner, Patricia Penzey Erd (yes, of that Penzeys family), and discovered many wonderful new-to-us herbs and spices. I bought some Greektown "Billygoat" Seasoning, probably because of the wacky name, and I've become unabashedly addicted to it. (Go to The Spice House web site to learn about the Billy Goat.) Greek seasoning combines the Mediterranean flavors of oregano, lemon peel, salt and pepper, onion and garlic. You might not think of it as a natural with your morning eggs, but in this breakfast casserole recipe, with sharp feta cheese, mild artichoke hearts, and earthy spinach, the Greek seasoning brings just the right amount of emphasis to the dish. As good as this egg casserole is to start your day, it's even better for a light supper, paired with some crusty bread.

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April 20, 2014

Recipe for Brussels sprouts and bacon quiche with leeks, mushrooms and goat cheese

Brussels sprouts and bacon quiche. #quiche #bacon

After spending a lifetime turning up my nose at Brussels sprouts (and all of the cruciferous vegetables), I'm kinda-sorta falling in like with them. It's not yet love, but it's definitely like. I've figured out that roasting, or shredding, or marinating Brussels sprouts brings out the natural sweetness I never knew they had. In this quiche, the sprouts hang out with bacon and cheese, creating a trifecta of textures and flavors that's irresistible. Served at room temperature, quiche makes a lovely light supper main dish, with a green salad on the side, and a glass of something bubbly to wash it all down. For a vegetarian version, simply leave out the bacon. For a gluten-free version, bake it without the crust.

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February 23, 2014

Recipe for breakfast casserole with kale, bacon, mushrooms and onions {gluten-free}

Breakfast casserole with kale, bacon, mushrooms and onions #gluten-free (The Perfect Pantry).

Almost every morning, I bake, scramble, fry or flip eggs for breakfast. So, when I also remember to mix in some antioxidant-rich dark leafy greens like kale or spinach, I want to pat myself on the back. How virtuous! How clever! How easy, with a bag of washed greens stashed in the crisper drawer. It takes only a couple of minutes more to prep an egg casserole and pop it into the oven than it takes to poach or fry a couple of eggs, and the casserole will feed a crowd, or provide a week's worth of breakfasts (or lunches, or light suppers). I can't explain how a little bit of bacon, usually so salty, makes this egg and cheese casserole so sweet, except that it draws sweetness out of the slightly bitter kale. If bacon isn't your thing, or for a similar vegetarian option, try a kale, mushroom and caramelized onion breakfast casserole instead.

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  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my tiny kitchen in Boston's South End, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives. Thanks so much for visiting.

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