Easy Frittata Recipe

Here’s the best egg frittata recipe: perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner! This basic filling is fast and tasty, or…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

Here’s the best egg frittata recipe: perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner! This basic filling is fast and tasty, or any veggies you like.

Frittata

Got eggs and need a meal? Enter, The Frittata! A frittata is an Italian dish that’s best described as a crustless egg pie. It’s often served for breakfast or brunch, but it works for dinner too. You can eat it at any temperature and it saves well: and it’s great for using up odds and ends in your veggie drawer. In fact, we think it’s one of the essential non-recipes every home cook should know!

How to make a frittata: basic formula

Everyone has their own method for making a frittata, and to be honest: there are some duds out there. Many frittata recipes we’ve tried are tasteless, rubbery, or too thin. A good frittata should have lots of flavor and a nice moist texture that’s not too eggy. Here are a few tips on how to achieve this (or skip to the recipe below);

  • Use 8 eggs and a 10-inch skillet. This gives just the right thickness of frittata.
  • Use whole or 2% milk. The dairy fat helps to achieve the desired texture.
  • Use cheese. The combination of feta and Parmesan adds just the right savory nuance to the flavor.
Frittata recipe
The thickness is deliciously substantial

Why this frittata recipe is the best

Why is this frittata recipe better than others on the internet? Well, we’re a little biased (obviously). But this is the best one we’ve tasted. Here’s why:

  • It’s got just the right thickness and texture. Many recipes come out very thin or rubbery. This one has just the right texture.
  • The spinach feta filling is perfectly salted, savory and delicious. You can make it with lots of different fillings, but try the one in the recipe below. It’s a knock out!

Frittata filling ideas

The filling in this frittata recipe is spinach and feta: our ideal filling that we make again and again! Why? It’s easy, and only requires 2 to 3 minutes of sautéing the spinach before assembling the frittata. But if you want to get fancy, there are so many different combinations! Here’s what to know about filling:

  • Chop and sauté the vegetables first. The veggies will not cook inside the frittata: so make sure to give them a good sauté before assembling. Make sure the pieces are bite sized and not too large.
  • Herbs can be used fresh. A nice sprinkling of chopped basil, oregano, thyme, or dill doesn’t need any heat.

Some creative filling combinations to get you started:

How to make a frittata

Find the right frittata pan

The only equipment you’ll need to make a frittata recipe? The right pan. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 10-inch seasoned cast-iron skillet. Make sure that it’s well-seasoned to break it in before making this recipe (otherwise it will stick).
  • Or, a 10-inch oven-safe skillet. You’ll cook on the stovetop first, then place it in the oven to finish cooking. Speaking of…

Start on the stovetop, finish in the oven

The key to a frittata recipe is watching it closely during the cooking! You’ll cook it in two parts: first the stovetop, then the oven. Here’s what to look out for:

  • Cook on the stovetop until the top is set and the bottom is lightly browned. Don’t overcook, or it will get too browned in the oven! We like to use a spatula to pull back the sides and check to see if it’s firming up.
  • Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until the top solidifies. You’ll want it to just harden into a solid texture on the top.
Frittata recipe

What to serve with a frittata

Let’s say you’re making this frittata recipe for dinner. What to serve with it? It’s easy to think about breakfast or brunch side dishes (hash browns, biscuits, etc). But what about dinner sides? Here’s what we like to pair:

More tasty egg recipes

More to do with eggs? We’re egg-sperts (sorry!) with using this ingredient to whip up meals. Here are some favorite egg recipes for dinner…and for eggs for breakfast:

This frittata recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

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Frittata

Easy Frittata Recipe


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Here’s how to make a frittata recipe: an easy breakfast, lunch or dinner! This basic filling idea is fast and tasty, or any veggies you have on hand.


Ingredients

  • 8 large eggs
  • ¼ cup milk (whole or 2%)
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup feta crumbles, plus more for sprinkling*
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 5 ounces (about 6 cups) packed spinach leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Optional: fresh basil leaves, for the garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, oregano, kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper. Whisk in the Parmesan and feta cheese.

  3. In a 10-inch oven-safe skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the spinach leaves, stirring until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes, spreading it around as you cook so that you spread oil up the sides of the pan. Add the garlic powder and 2 pinches kosher salt and sauté for another minute.

  4. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet. If necessary, use a fork to rearrange the spinach in an even layer so you can see if on the top. Sprinkle the top with a little more feta cheese. Cook for about 5 to 7 minutes over medium heat until the bottom is set and lightly browned, checking for doneness by pulling back the side with a spatula.

  5. Place the skillet in the oven and bake 10 to 12 minutes until the top is puffed, set, and slightly browned. Let rest for 10 minutes, then cut into wedges and serve warm, with sour cream or crème fraiche if desired. Leftovers save well: refrigerate for up to 5 days and serve them cold, room temperature, or warmed.

Notes

*Or use goat cheese crumbles or mozzarella cheese and add one more pinch of salt. 

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Frittata, Frittata recipe, How to make a frittata

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Easy BBQ Tofu

This epic BBQ tofu recipe is fast, easy and full of savory sweet flavor! A great way to make anyone…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This epic BBQ tofu recipe is fast, easy and full of savory sweet flavor! A great way to make anyone into a tofu fan.

BBQ Tofu

Here’s a must-make recipe for tofu fans: and eaters on the fence, too. Try this irresistible BBQ Tofu recipe! Each bite has just the right chewy texture, bathed in a silky, sweet, savory sauce. You’ll want to keep eating it for days. This plate disappeared very quickly at our house! This recipe is easy to put together and a great starter recipe for people who are wary of the stuff. In fact, it might turn them into unabashed fans,

How to make BBQ tofu: fast & easy

One huge advantage to this recipe: you can use the tofu out of the package, no pressing required! Many tofu recipes call for pressing the water out of the tofu for 30 minutes prior to making the recipe. But if you’re like us, you don’t have an extra 30 minutes to spare. This BBQ tofu recipe uses tofu right out of the package! Here are the basic steps (but for the full recipe, scroll down!):

  • Cut the tofu and pat it dry with a towel.
  • Pan fry it 5 minutes in a skillet on medium high heat. Flip and cook 5 minutes more.
  • Add BBQ sauce, soy sauce and chili sauce and cook another 4 minutes on low heat until the sauce thickens.

That’s it! It’s one of the fastest, easiest ways to make tofu taste irresistibly good.

BBQ Tofu

Use a good BBQ sauce

We used an organic BBQ sauce for this BBQ tofu recipe. Using a quality brand is key, because the flavor of sauces can vary. Look for sauces that are sweetened with sugar or natural ingredients, not high fructose corn syrup. You can also use homemade BBQ sauce, like one of these recipes:

We also have Mustard BBQ Sauce and White BBQ Sauce recipes, but they’re a bit different in character so we wouldn’t suggest them here.

Vegan BBQ sauce

Is tofu healthy?

Misinformation swirls about tofu and soy products. Is tofu healthy? Here’s what to know about eating tofu and other soy products like tempeh and edamame:

  • Tofu in moderation is part of a healthy diet (several times per week). Per to the Harvard School of Nutrition, soy is a nutrient-dense source of protein that can safely be consumed several times a week.
  • Tofu is likely to provide health benefits, especially when you eat it as an alternative to red meat and processed meat. For more, go to Straight Talk About Soy and Is Tofu Good for You?

Ways to serve this BBQ tofu recipe

Once you’ve got your BBQ tofu recipe, there are endless ways to serve it! Turn it into a healthy dinner recipe with a few easy sides. Here are a few of the ways we’d pair it with sides to make a meal:

BBQ tofu recipe

More great ways to eat tofu

Here at A Couple Cooks, we used to avoid tofu because it felt like it was trying to be meat. But we’ve learned that tofu is so much more than that! It’s a delicious plant-based protein that can be eaten in so many delicious ways. Here are some favorites:

This BBQ tofu recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

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BBQ Tofu

Easy BBQ Tofu


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This epic BBQ tofu recipe is fast, easy and full of savory sweet flavor! A great way to make anyone into a tofu fan.


Ingredients

  • 14-ounces firm or extra firm tofu*
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil
  • Kosher salt
  • ¾ cup BBQ sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ½ tablespoon chili garlic sauce, if desired

Instructions

  1. Cut the tofu into large cubes (about 1.5″ x 2″) and pat it dry with a towel.
  2. Add the oil to a non-stick pan and add the tofu cubes and a few pinches kosher salt. Turn on the heat to medium-high. Cook 5 to 6 minutes until lightly browned on the bottom.
  3. Briefly remove the pan from the heat to reduce spitting. Flip the tofu with chopsticks (the easiest method!) or tongs. Return the heat to medium-high and cook additional 5 to 6 minutes until browned.
  4. Meanwhile, stir together the BBQ sauce, soy sauce and chili garlic sauce.
  5. Briefly remove the pan from the heat again and drizzle with the sauce (watch for spitting). Return to low heat and cook 4 minutes, turning occasionally, until sauce is thickened. Serve immediately.

Notes

*Note: You can also use this method with Grilled Tofu: simply substitute BBQ sauce for the sauce in that recipe.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Tofu

Keywords: BBQ Tofu, BBQ Tofu Recipe

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Three Bean Salad (Better Than Grandma’s!)

Here’s how to make the best three bean salad recipe: a fresh spin on Grandma’s! It’s so easy to throw together for picnics and potlucks. OK, Grandma: don’t be offended. But we’ve got an even fresher spin on that classic Bean Salad! You know, the kind that’s at picnics and potlucks long into the cicada-buzzing summer? This American classic has been gracing tables for generations, and everyone has their own take on it. Here we’ve taken the bean salad of our youth and transformed it into a fresh spin, with a little less sugar and more fresh ingredients. But it’s still an easy three bean salad that requires little more than dump and stir. Give it a try and let us know…is it actually better than Grandma’s? The anatomy of a bean salad! Bean salad is a classic American salad of canned beans marinated in a vinaigrette. It’s a staple at picnics and potlucks, because it doesn’t require refrigeration! It’s a side dish that can sit out in the heat for hours. The origin story of this classic is hazy, but it’s safe to say it originated in the 1950’s because that’s when recipes started appearing in cookbooks (per this […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Here’s how to make the best three bean salad recipe: a fresh spin on Grandma’s! It’s so easy to throw together for picnics and potlucks.

Bean Salad

OK, Grandma: don’t be offended. But we’ve got an even fresher spin on that classic Bean Salad! You know, the kind that’s at picnics and potlucks long into the cicada-buzzing summer? This American classic has been gracing tables for generations, and everyone has their own take on it. Here we’ve taken the bean salad of our youth and transformed it into a fresh spin, with a little less sugar and more fresh ingredients. But it’s still an easy three bean salad that requires little more than dump and stir. Give it a try and let us know…is it actually better than Grandma’s?

The anatomy of a bean salad!

Bean salad is a classic American salad of canned beans marinated in a vinaigrette. It’s a staple at picnics and potlucks, because it doesn’t require refrigeration! It’s a side dish that can sit out in the heat for hours. The origin story of this classic is hazy, but it’s safe to say it originated in the 1950’s because that’s when recipes started appearing in cookbooks (per this source). Either way: Alex and I have been enjoying it for our entire lives.

Bean salad recipes vary and most cooks have their own regional spin. The most common ingredients are kidney beans, green beans, and garbanzo beans (it’s often called three bean salad). Other ingredients you’ll often see are pinto beans, wax beans, and onions. It’s almost always marinated in a dressing of vinegar, oil, sugar and salt.

Bean salad recipe

How to make this three bean salad recipe

Our spin on Grandma’s three bean salad is just as easy to make as the 1950’s style classic. That means the main steps are “dump and stir:” open the bean cans and stir everything together! At the same time, we wanted to freshen up the classic by cutting back on the sugar and adding a little freshness. Here are the elements we added to this three bean salad to make a modern spin:

  • Kidney beans and pinto beans: Why no chickpeas? They can have a tough texture and don’t soak up the marinade as quickly. We prefer pinto beans in a bean salad.
  • Green and yellow beans: Use just green beans for a classic three bean salad. But we like the color contrast of adding yellow wax beans to the mix.
  • White onion and red onion: White onion is standard and has the most classic flavor. Red onion adds brightness with the lovely purple! It’s optional but makes a nice visual statement.
  • Curly parsley: The green confetti adds a fresh flavor and visual flair. Use curly parsley if you have it, but Italian also works.
  • White vinegar and olive oil: The salad where it’s appropriate to use white vinegar instead of white wine vinegar? Bean salad. (And German cucumber salad, of course.) It adds just the right astringent punch, balanced by the salt and sugar.
  • Dill and garlic powder: These spices aren’t standard, but they amp the flavors just enough.
Three bean salad

Eat immediately, or marinate at least 1 hour

You can eat your bean salad recipe right away and it’s very tasty. Or pop it in the refrigerator to let it marinate for at least 1 hour, and it’s even better. The refrigeration time really lets the flavors soak in.

The end result? This recipe has half the sugar as the standard, but it’s just as delicious! It’s got all the classic elements so you feel like you’re eating Grandma’s. We’ll be eating this for years to come.

Tip: how to slice the onions

One area where home cooks can be tripped up: how to cut the onions into slivers! The cut that looks best in this bean salad recipe is different from the standard half-moon shape. Some people call it French cut: it’s a way of making the onion slivers look attractive instead of long and floppy.

  • How to do it? It’s easiest to explain by showing you. Go to minute 1:40 of this How to Cut an Onion video!
  • The basic explanation? Cut slices from the tip to the root (instead of through the middle).

Storage info

How long does homemade bean salad last? Store it refrigerated for 3 to 5 days. Like a pickle, the flavor intensifies over time! It’s great for lunches throughout the week. Beans don’t last indefinitely refrigerated, so make sure not to leave it longer than the storage recommendation.

Three bean salad recipe

When to serve bean salad (really anytime!)

Last but not least: how to serve bean salad! We’re huge fans of this easy salad and we think it works anytime: picnics, potlucks, and meals any time of the year. It’s a great protein-packed vegan side dish, and it helps to make any vegetarian or plant-based meal more filling. It also is great for summer grilled meals. Here are a few other salads you could pair with it for a stellar summer salad spread:

This bean salad recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

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Bean Salad

Classic Bean Salad (Better Than Grandma’s!)


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Here’s how to make the best three bean salad recipe: a fresh spin on Grandma’s! It’s easy to throw together for picnics and potlucks. 


Ingredients

  • 15-ounce can kidney beans
  • 15-ounce can white beans or pinto beans
  • 15-ounce can green beans
  • 15-ounce can wax beans (or another 15-ounce can green beans)
  • 1/2 medium white onion
  • 1/4 medium red onion (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped curly parsley (or Italian parsley)
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar*
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon each dried dill and garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Drain and rinse the beans. 
  2. Thinly slice the onions into slivers (go to minute 1:40 of this How to Cut an Onion video to see how!). Finely chop the parsley. 
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the white vinegar, olive oil, sugar, dill, garlic, powder, and kosher salt. Add the beans, onions and parsley and stir until coated. You can eat immediately, but for best results refrigerate for 1 hour to allow the salad to marinate. Store leftovers refrigerated for up to 5 days.

Notes

*Use standard white vinegar, not white wine vinegar! 

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: Salad

Keywords: Bean salad, bean salad recipe, three bean salad, three bean salad recipe

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Classic Baba Ganoush

This baba ganoush recipe is so creamy and delicious! A classic Mediterranean dip, it’s perfect for appetizer spreads or healthy snacking. Baba ganoush lovers, unite! This creamy dip is a Lebanese classic with a smoky finish to the flavor that makes it absolutely irresistible for dipping. Turns out, it’s actually very simple to make at home, and a fabulous eggplant recipe for when you’re brainstorming what to do with this vegetable. This specific baba ganoush recipe comes straight from the book Tables and Spreads by Shelly Westerhausen Worcel of Vegetarian Ventures. It’s an incredible collection to help you nosh your way entertaining and happy hour! Here’s how to make it: and more about this fantastic collection. What is baba ganoush? Baba ganoush is a Lebanese eggplant dip made with roasted or grilled eggplant, tahini, olive oil, and lemon. It’s also spelled Baba ghanoush or baba ghanouj. It’s common in cuisines all over the Mediterranean, but it’s Lebanese in origin. While many Greek restaurants serve baba ganoush, the Greek version of eggplant dip is melitzanosalata. What makes baba ganoush taste smoky? Traditionally baba ganoush is made with eggplant that’s been roasted over a fire or grilled, which infuses a light smoky […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This baba ganoush recipe is so creamy and delicious! A classic Mediterranean dip, it’s perfect for appetizer spreads or healthy snacking.

Baba ganoush

Baba ganoush lovers, unite! This creamy dip is a Lebanese classic with a smoky finish to the flavor that makes it absolutely irresistible for dipping. Turns out, it’s actually very simple to make at home, and a fabulous eggplant recipe for when you’re brainstorming what to do with this vegetable. This specific baba ganoush recipe comes straight from the book Tables and Spreads by Shelly Westerhausen Worcel of Vegetarian Ventures. It’s an incredible collection to help you nosh your way entertaining and happy hour! Here’s how to make it: and more about this fantastic collection.

Tables and spreads
Keep reading for more about Tables & Spreads — recipe excerpted from the book with permission from Shelly Westerhausen Worcel

What is baba ganoush?

Baba ganoush is a Lebanese eggplant dip made with roasted or grilled eggplant, tahini, olive oil, and lemon. It’s also spelled Baba ghanoush or baba ghanouj. It’s common in cuisines all over the Mediterranean, but it’s Lebanese in origin. While many Greek restaurants serve baba ganoush, the Greek version of eggplant dip is melitzanosalata.

What makes baba ganoush taste smoky? Traditionally baba ganoush is made with eggplant that’s been roasted over a fire or grilled, which infuses a light smoky flavor. The easiest way to make it at home is roasted, so here we’ve added smoked paprika for a hint of the smoke we expect from a baba ganoush recipe!

How to make baba ganoush at home

Now, the best baba ganoush you can have is from a Lebanese restaurant! It’s hard to capture the beauty of this traditional eggplant dip at home. But you can get pretty close! Again, the traditional grilled method is what really takes it over the top (see below). But Shelly’s method from Tables and Spreads is simply delicious and easy to pull off. Just make sure to have enough time to roast or grill the eggplant! Here are the basic steps (or jump to the recipe):

  • Roast or grill the eggplant: This takes about 30 minutes total. On the grill, it depends on the size of the eggplant (see below).
  • Remove the flesh from the skin. Quick tip: to remove bitterness, you can remove some of the very seedy parts of the eggplant when you do this.
  • Food process with the other ingredients. Add tahini, lemon, garlic and spices and blend. We like adding a bit of smoked paprika to get in that smoky flavor.
  • Serve! Then top with all the garnishes: olive oil, walnuts, smoked paprika, parsley, etc! The book has a delicious fried walnuts and pomegranate seeds topping idea (head here to learn more about the book).
Baba ganoush

Alternate method: grilled whole eggplant!

The most traditional way to make a baba ganoush recipe is with eggplant charred over an open flame. The best way to do this is with a grill! Here are a few things to note about making a grilled whole eggplant:

  • Grill it whole over medium high heat. That’s 375 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Cook until collapsed and charred, about 25 to 45 minutes depending on the size of the eggplant. Once you’re done, you can pick back up at the blending step.

About the book: Tables & Spreads!

This baba ganoush recipe comes straight from Shelly Westerhausen Worcel’s beautiful new book, Tables & Spreads. The cover claims it’s a go-to guide for beautiful snacks, intimate gathering and inviting feasts: and is it ever! It’s filled with Shelly’s brilliantly colorful photography style (which we adore) and full of incredible ideas for entertaining spreads. Now that we can all gather again, it’s a perfect manual for

Shelly is a dear friend of ours we’ve known for years: so not only do we vouch for her recipes, we know first hand that she’s an overall incredible human, too. The spreads that she puts together are inventive, unique, and perfect for creative at-home entertaining. And just so you know: you don’t have to share them with friends either! There are plenty of ideas for a happy hour dinner in (a fun concept everyone enjoys over here!). Congrats to Shelly on this fantastic collection!

Baba ganoush recipe

What to use for dipping baba ganoush

What to serve with baba ganoush? There are many foods you can use for dipping: but we have a few favorites. Then of course, there’s how to accessorize your spread! The book has this recipe as part of a Falafel Mezze Spread that includes a few items below. Here’s what to try:

  • Pita bread: Doughy, stretchy warm pita bread is the ultimate dipper (try our flatbread)
  • Pita chips: Or, use the crunchy version (here’s a homemade recipe)
  • Falafel: Try our falafel or the falafel patties recipe from the book
  • Israeli couscous with herbs and olive oil (see the book)
  • Greek yogurt mixed with olive oil and fresh herbs (see the book)
  • Vegetables: Cherry tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, red onion, roasted red peppers

Storing leftovers and make ahead info

You can store leftover homemade baba ganoush refrigerated for up to 3 days. We think it’s best made freshly or within the first day. We did notice that during storage over a few days, the baba ganoush started to discolor. If you’re making it for entertaining, we’d suggest to roast the eggplant in advance and keep it whole: then blend up the dip prior to serving.

This baba ganoush recipe is…

Baba ganoush is vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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Baba ganoush

Classic Baba Ganoush


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This baba ganoush recipe is so creamy and delicious! A classic Mediterranean dip, it’s perfect for appetizer spreads or healthy snacking.


Ingredients

  • 2 pounds eggplant (1 large or 2 medium)
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, loosely packed
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • For the topping: Olive oil, chopped walnuts, pomegranate seeds, torn parsley leaves, smoked paprika, etc

Instructions

  1. Roast the eggplant*: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Poke the eggplant all over with a fork to speed up the cooking process and put it on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes or until the eggplant is easily pierced with a knife. Remove from the oven and let cool. 
  2. Blend the baba ganoush: Once the eggplant is cool enough to handle, slice the eggplant in half and scrape out the insides into a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, removing large portions of seeds as you can (this minimizes any bitterness from the seeds). Add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, parsley, salt, cumin and smoked paprika. Process until smooth, about 30 seconds. With the motor running, pour in the olive oil and process for another 30 seconds or until light and fluffy. 
  3. Serve: Transfer the dip to a serving bowl and top with desired toppings. Serve with pita chips or pita bread. Leftovers store up to 3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Allow to come to room temperature when serving. 

Notes

*Traditionally eggplant for baba ganoush is grilled, which infuses a distinct smoky flavor. Preheat a grill to medium-high heat (375 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit). Place the eggplant directly on the grill grates and grill for about 25 to 45 minutes, turning occasionally, until charred and tender and the eggplant shape collapses. Then go to step 2. 

  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Blended
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Keywords: Baba ganoush, Baba ganoush recipe

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Tomato Basil Gnocchi

This tomato basil sheet pan gnocchi recipe is so easy: there’s no boiling required! Bake it up with pesto and prepare to be amazed. Did you know one of the easiest ways to cook gnocchi is…baked on a sheet pan? Nope, no boiling a big pot of water involved! Throw them onto a sheet pan, top with pesto and add veggies, and throw them in the oven. They bake up to a deliciously crispy on the outside, gooey on the inside texture that’s ultra delicious and so so easy. We’ve been wanting to try this method forever, so we jumped on it when Jessica Merchant offered to let us share a recipe from her brilliant new book, Everyday Dinners. This recipe is perfect for summer and totally customizable for any season. Come experience the magic! What you need for this gnocchi recipe Gnocchi (say it like NYOW-kee) is Italian pasta dumplings made with potatoes, egg and flour. For this recipe, we’ll be using store-bought gnocchi, easy to find at your local grocery. Sheet pan gnocchi is a dream, because instead of boiling it all you have to do is pop it on a baking sheet! There are many variations on […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This tomato basil sheet pan gnocchi recipe is so easy: there’s no boiling required! Bake it up with pesto and prepare to be amazed.

Gnocchi recipe

Did you know one of the easiest ways to cook gnocchi is…baked on a sheet pan? Nope, no boiling a big pot of water involved! Throw them onto a sheet pan, top with pesto and add veggies, and throw them in the oven. They bake up to a deliciously crispy on the outside, gooey on the inside texture that’s ultra delicious and so so easy. We’ve been wanting to try this method forever, so we jumped on it when Jessica Merchant offered to let us share a recipe from her brilliant new book, Everyday Dinners. This recipe is perfect for summer and totally customizable for any season. Come experience the magic!

What you need for this gnocchi recipe

Gnocchi (say it like NYOW-kee) is Italian pasta dumplings made with potatoes, egg and flour. For this recipe, we’ll be using store-bought gnocchi, easy to find at your local grocery. Sheet pan gnocchi is a dream, because instead of boiling it all you have to do is pop it on a baking sheet! There are many variations on the concept of baking gnocchi on a sheet pan: Jessica has a few seasonal variations in Everyday Dinners. Here’s what you’ll need for this simple summery version:

  • Packaged uncooked gnocchi: use your favorite brand! Look for gluten-free if desired. See more below!
  • Cherry or grape tomatoes: Use all the best summer produce, or great grocery tomatoes (hydroponic have good flavor)
  • Fresh basil: A must!
  • Basil pesto: Find your favorite purchased brand or make homemade pesto
  • Spices: Garlic powder oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper
  • Parmesan cheese: For topping!
Everyday Dinners
Keep reading for more about Everyday Dinners — recipe excerpted from the book with permission from Jessica Merchant

How to works: throw it all on a sheet pan!

Standard Italian gnocchi is typically boiled, then warmed in a skillet with a sauce or added to sautéed veggies. This sheet pan gnocchi is a brilliant concept where you simply throw the uncooked gnocchi onto the sheet pan with veggies and seasonings. Here’s what to note:

  • Throw it on uncooked: right from the package. It feels strange the first time, but the steam from the veggies and oven cooks the gnocchi right up!
  • It comes out soft with crisp edges. The texture comes out beautifully crisp on the outside and cooked through. Don’t expect it to be as soft and doughy as boiled gnocchi. It’s like a whole new version of itself!
  • Leftovers need to be re-warmed. This gnocchi recipe is best right from the oven, but you can save leftovers refrigerated. Just note that they become hard in the fridge (vs boiled gnocchi that stay doughy). You’ll need to re-warm leftovers before enjoying them!
Gnocchi recipe

Types of gnocchi to use in this recipe

You can use most types of gnocchi that you find at the store for this recipe. Here are some notes on what to use:

  • Potato gnocchi: Use any brand: we like DeLallo (in fact, DeLallo taught us to make potato gnocchi once!)
  • Gluten free gnocchi: Several brands also offer gluten-free gnocchi
  • Cauliflower gnocchi: You can use the massively popular Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi too! See the notes in the recipe below (thanks, Jessica!)
  • Homemade gnocchi: Don’t use homemade gnocchi in this recipe: the texture won’t hold up in the oven. Use the traditional boiling method for those!
Gnocchi recipe

About the book: Everyday Dinners by Jessica Merchant!

This gnocchi recipe and the sheet pan technique comes straight from Jessica Merchant’s delightful new book, Everyday Dinners. The subtitle is “Real-life recipes to set your family up for a week of success,” and my, does it deliver on that promise! This book is one of those where you look at each page and think…I want to make that! And that. And that!

Jessica is a mastermind in the kitchen: mom of two, author of the website How Sweet Eats and overall incredible human. The book is super practical yet full of fresh, inventive flavors. Some recipes we’ve got our eye on: Crispy Orange Cauliflower with Coconut Rice, Burrata Baked Ziti (I mean, burrata!), and Smashed Chili Sweet Potatoes. Congrats to Jessica on an incredible collection of beautiful, creative recipes!

Variations on this gnocchi recipe

There are so many variations on this gnocchi recipe! You can add other types of veggies that cook in 20 to 25 minutes. Just be careful to not crowd the pan: otherwise it may take a little longer to cook! If you’re adding to this recipe, also make sure to increase the seasonings accordingly. Here are some ideas for other veggies that would work well:

  • 1 or 2 bell peppers
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1 small yellow squash
  • 2 cups broccoli florets (cut small)
  • Sliced onions

When it comes out of the oven, you can also add lots of other fresh herbs: like thyme, oregano, basil, chives, or dill. What would you add to this dish?

Gnocchi recipe

Make it vegan / plant-based!

Last note — you can make this gnocchi recipe vegan or plant-based! Here’s what to do:

  • Make sure the gnocchi is vegan. Some brands’ potato gnocchi is already vegan (like DeLallo). Others sell vegan gnocchi.
  • Make vegan pesto. Our Vegan Pesto recipe is to die for!
  • Omit the Parmesan cheese. Make sure everything is salted well, and you don’t need it!

This gnocchi recipe is…

Vegetarian. For vegan and gluten free, see the notes in the recipe.

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Gnocchi recipe

Tomato Basil Gnocchi


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutese
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minute
  • Yield: 2 or 3 as a meal, 4 as a side
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This tomato basil sheet pan gnocchi recipe is so easy: there’s no boiling required! Bake it up with pesto and prepare to be amazed.


Ingredients

  • 1 16-ounce package uncooked potato gnocchi (vegan or gluten free as desired, or cauliflower gnocchi*)
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto (use Vegan Pesto for vegan)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup freshly shaved Parmesan cheese, for topping (omit for vegan)
  • 1 handful torn or chopped basil leaves, for topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray or line it with parchment paper. 
  2. SPread the gnocchi and tomatoes out on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Drizzle with the olive oil and toss. Spoon on the pesto and toss until everything is coated. Sprinkle with the garlic powder, salt, pepper, oregano, dried basil, and red pepper flakes and toss well to combine everything. Make sure everything, especially the gnocchi, is seasoned well. 
  3. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes until the gnocchi is tender, tossing once during the cook time. 
  4. Serve the gnocchi immediately. Sprinkle with the Parmesan, additional red pepper flakes, and fresh basil. (As a note, any leftover gnocchi becomes hard in the fridge; you’ll want to reheat it again before eating leftovers.)

Notes

*Look for vegan or gluten-free gnocchi for those diets (some brands are already vegan). You can also make this using Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi. Use them right from the freezer, and make sure the gnocchi are not clumped together. Roast about 25 to 30 minutes, and note the outsides might not get as crisp as the standard potato gnocchi.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Italian inspired

Keywords: Gnocchi recipe, gnocchi, sheet pan gnocchi

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Quick Shrimp Stir Fry

This shrimp stir fry is a go-to fast and healthy dinner! Use any veggies you like and this flavor-packed stir fry sauce. Here’s a go-to in the fast and easy dinner category: shrimp stir fry! It’s quick to put together and the umami-packed stir fry sauce is full of irresistible flavor. It’s our favorite Easy Stir Fry Sauce that works with any type of stir fry: we’ve used it on tofu, cauliflower, or shrimp, but of course you can riff endlessly. Add your favorite vegetables to make a super-satisfying dinner that pleases everyone around the table. (At least, it did here!) Ingredients in this shrimp stir fry This shrimp stir fry recipe is completely customizable based on your tastes. All you need is shrimp and stir fry sauce: then use whatever veggies you love! Here’s what we included as essential ingredients: but you can customize based on your liking (more on that below!). Shrimp, fresh or frozen Broccoli or broccolini: broccolini has a nice sweet flavor and the lovely look of the long stems Bell peppers: peppers are quick to cook and pack in the nutrients Mushrooms (optional): shiitake mushrooms add big savory flavor, but you can use any type […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This shrimp stir fry is a go-to fast and healthy dinner! Use any veggies you like and this flavor-packed stir fry sauce.

Shrimp Stir Fry

Here’s a go-to in the fast and easy dinner category: shrimp stir fry! It’s quick to put together and the umami-packed stir fry sauce is full of irresistible flavor. It’s our favorite Easy Stir Fry Sauce that works with any type of stir fry: we’ve used it on tofu, cauliflower, or shrimp, but of course you can riff endlessly. Add your favorite vegetables to make a super-satisfying dinner that pleases everyone around the table. (At least, it did here!)

Ingredients in this shrimp stir fry

This shrimp stir fry recipe is completely customizable based on your tastes. All you need is shrimp and stir fry sauce: then use whatever veggies you love! Here’s what we included as essential ingredients: but you can customize based on your liking (more on that below!).

  • Shrimp, fresh or frozen
  • Broccoli or broccolini: broccolini has a nice sweet flavor and the lovely look of the long stems
  • Bell peppers: peppers are quick to cook and pack in the nutrients
  • Mushrooms (optional): shiitake mushrooms add big savory flavor, but you can use any type of mushroom, like portobello, cremini, oyster, or maitake
  • Green onions: quick to cook and add a fresh flavor
  • Ginger (optional): fresh ginger root adds big flavor if you have it
Shrimp stir fry

More veggie ideas!

There are lots more veggies you can add to customize this shrimp stir fry. All you need to know is the relative cook time. But important: don’t overstuff your pan! More veggies is not necessarily better. Using too many makes them stack on each other and steam instead of stir fry, resulting in soggy veggies. You’ll want to use your largest skillet and approximately 6 to 8 cups of vegetables. Here are a few ideas for more veggies:

What shrimp to buy

There are lots of options at the store when it comes to shrimp! When you’re shopping for this shrimp stir fry, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Wild caught. Always opt for wild caught if you can afford it. It’s the most sustainable!
  • Find medium shrimp (or large). Medium shrimp is our favorite, because it’s bite-sized and distributes well with the veggies. Large works too! Medium is labeled as 41 to 50 count, and Large as 31 to 40 count (this indicates how many shrimp there are per pound).
  • Use tail on or peeled. Tail on looks nice, but you do have to remove the tails with your hands as you eat them! Peeled is nice, especially when serving kids.
  • Fresh or frozen. Both have essentially the same freshness because most shrimp are immediately flash frozen. Just make sure to thaw the shrimp in advance.
Shrimp stir fry

The stir fry sauce

This shrimp stir fry sauce is customizable to work for any stir fry! We made it first with our Tofu Stir Fry, then realized it would be delicious with just about any protein. Use this sauce for any stir fry that’s intended for 4 servings and 1 pound of protein, be it chicken, tofu, steak or shrimp. You can also make the sauce in advance: whip it up and store in a covered jar or container until you’re ready to cook. Here’s what’s in this sauce:

  • Soy sauce
  • Rice vinegar
  • Sugar
  • Miso
  • Cornstarch
  • Garlic powder

How to serve shrimp stir fry

Once you’ve whipped up this shrimp stir fry: how to serve it? Of course, you can add rice and call it a day. But here are a few more options for serving suggestions and side dishes to make it a complete meal.

Shrimp stir fry recipe

A few nutrition notes

Lastly, a few notes on nutrition! This shrimp stir fry is big on both flavor and nutrients! We like to design meals that add a big nutritional punch using our favorite go-to veggies. Here’s what to note:

  • Bell peppers are packed with vitamin C: 1 medium red bell pepper provides 169% of your daily vitamin C. So using two peppers in this recipe knocks this vitamin off the charts (source).
  • Broccoli is full of fiber and Vitamin C. 1 cup of raw broccoli has 2.3 grams of fiber (source) and 140% of your daily vitamin (source). This recipe uses about 4 cups.
  • You also get all the benefits of mushrooms, like anti-oxidants and Vitamin B (source).

This shrimp stir fry recipe is…

Gluten-free, dairy-free, and pescatarian.

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Shrimp Stir Fry

Shrimp Stir Fry (25 Minutes!)


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

This shrimp stir fry is a go-to fast and healthy dinner! Use any veggies you like and this flavor-packed stir fry sauce.


Ingredients

For the shrimp stir fry

  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 pound shrimp, deveined and shelled (or tail on), wild caught if possible
  • 1 pound broccoli or broccolini (stem on), about 4 cups
  • 2 bell peppers, any color
  • 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms (optional)
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger, optional

For the stir fry sauce

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (or tamari or coconut aminos)
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon yellow or white miso
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch (or arrowroot powder)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions

  1. Thaw the shrimp, if frozen.
  2. Chop the veggies: Chop the broccoli. Thinly slice the bell peppers. Remove the stems of the shiitake mushrooms and slice (or if using baby shiitakes, you can leave the stems on). 
  3. Make the stir fry sauce: Whisk together all ingredients until a smooth sauce forms.
  4. Cook the vegetables: In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium high heat. Add the broccoli or broccolini, bell pepper and mushrooms. Add 2 pinches kosher salt and cook 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until crisp tender. Remove the vegetables to bowl.
  5. Cook the shrimp: Add the additional 1 tablespoon sesame oil to the pan. Add the shrimp and green onions. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes until the shrimp are almost opaque, turning once. Then add back the vegetables and the sauce. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the sauce is thickened.
  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Asian inspired

Keywords: Shrimp stir fry

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Hearty Hashbrown Breakfast Casserole

This hashbrown breakfast casserole recipe is delicious and easy to put together! It doubles as a vegetarian dinner and leftovers save well. Here’s a deliciously comforting recipe that makes your kitchen smell like a cozy diner: Hashbrown Breakfast Casserole! Don’t let the name fool you: this tasty number works for breakfast, brunch, or a tasty vegetarian dinner. It works cold, room temp or warm, so you can easily make it ahead. And leftovers stay good for days! It’s beautifully hearty, pairing cheesy hash browns with chili powder, garlic powder and cumin for massive savory flavor. Because it’s easy to make ahead, it’s super unfussy and low maintenance. Thank you, hashbrown casserole! The elements in this hashbrown breakfast casserole Again, the name is only half of the way you can serve it. We make this hashbrown breakfast casserole for friends who just had a baby as a vegetarian dinner. Because it’s easy to make in advance and doesn’t need to be reheated, it’s perfect for transporting to friends who need a meal. And, it’s a great savory option for a family brunch! Here’s what you’ll need: Frozen hashbrowns: Find a 1 pound bag in your local grocery. You can throw them […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This hashbrown breakfast casserole recipe is delicious and easy to put together! It doubles as a vegetarian dinner and leftovers save well.

Hashbrown breakfast casserole

Here’s a deliciously comforting recipe that makes your kitchen smell like a cozy diner: Hashbrown Breakfast Casserole! Don’t let the name fool you: this tasty number works for breakfast, brunch, or a tasty vegetarian dinner. It works cold, room temp or warm, so you can easily make it ahead. And leftovers stay good for days! It’s beautifully hearty, pairing cheesy hash browns with chili powder, garlic powder and cumin for massive savory flavor. Because it’s easy to make ahead, it’s super unfussy and low maintenance. Thank you, hashbrown casserole!

The elements in this hashbrown breakfast casserole

Again, the name is only half of the way you can serve it. We make this hashbrown breakfast casserole for friends who just had a baby as a vegetarian dinner. Because it’s easy to make in advance and doesn’t need to be reheated, it’s perfect for transporting to friends who need a meal. And, it’s a great savory option for a family brunch! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Frozen hashbrowns: Find a 1 pound bag in your local grocery. You can throw them in right from frozen!
  • Eggs: 1 dozen makes it a super filling recipe for a crowd
  • Sour cream adds just the right richness
  • Milk
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Green onions
  • Red bell pepper
  • Spices: Chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, salt

You don’t even need to saute the veggies! Just throw everything in a 9 x 13″ pan and bake it up. (Of course, whisk the eggs first.) It’s seriously simple. Jump down to the recipe for all the info!

Breakfast casserole recipe

Frozen hashbrowns are easy, or use potatoes

This hashbrown breakfast casserole uses the magic of frozen hashbrowns to make a quick casserole in no time. There’s actually nothing processed about frozen hash browns: they’re simply potatoes! However, some hash brown brands can include extra flours or fillers. Check the package ingredients to make sure!

If you’d like, you can also use potatoes! Use 1 pound of russet potatoes, which is the perfect type for hashbrowns. In the recipe below, we’ve included instructions on how to quick soak them so they’re the consistency of frozen hashbrowns, like in our Homemade Hash Brown recipe. See below for more!

How long does hashbrown breakfast casserole last

This breakfast casserole is super unfussy. To put it together, all you have to do is dump and stir: then bake for 50 to 55 minutes. The best part? Leftovers last for days. The pan makes enough for 8 servings, so we always make it for our family then refrigerate the leftovers.

  • Leftovers are good for 5 days, refrigerated.
  • To serve, you can eat cold, room temperature, or warmed in a 350 degree oven.
Hashbrown breakfast casserole

It’s a vegetarian breakfast casserole, too!

Many breakfast casserole recipes have sausage. This one skips the meat, so it’s a vegetarian breakfast that works for various eaters! The flavor is so savory and delicious, you don’t need the meat. It’s also free of gluten, so it’s a nice gluten free breakfast option, too.

What to serve with hashbrown breakfast casserole

Whether you’re serving it as a vegetarian breakfast, brunch, or dinner, there are lots of great ways to accessorize this into a meal! Here’s what we’d pair with it:

Breakfast casserole

This hashbrown breakfast casserole is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

Print
Hashbrown breakfast casserole

Hearty Hashbrown Breakfast Casserole


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (8 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This hashbrown breakfast casserole recipe is delicious and easy to put together! It doubles as a vegetarian dinner and leftovers save well.


Ingredients

  • 2 green onions
  • 1 small red bell pepper
  • 16 ounces frozen hash browns*
  • 8 ounces (2 cups) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 12 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, plus more to serve
  • Salsa, to serve

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9″ x 13″ casserole dish.
  2. Finely dice the bell pepper. Thinly slice the green onions.
  3. Add the frozen hash browns, chopped pepper and green onion, and shredded cheese to the casserole pan and mix to combine. Sprinkle with the chili powder, garlic powder, cumin and 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt over the veggie mix and stir to combine.
  4. In large bowl, whisk the eggs. Then whisk in the milk, sour cream and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt until fully combined (small dots of sour cream are ok). Pour the egg mixture over vegetables, then gently tap it down with a whisk to get everything evenly distributed.
  5. Bake 50 to 55 minutes until eggs are set (insert a knife and check to make sure it is cooked through). Rest 5 minutes before slicing into pieces and serving. Leftovers save well: refrigerate for up to 5 days and serve them cold, room temperature, or warmed. 

Notes

*Or, use 2 medium russet potatoes (1 pound). Wash the potatoes, leaving the skins on. Use the large side of a box grater or a food processor large grating blade to grate the potatoes. Place the grated potatoes into a large bowl and fill it with cold water. Tip the bowl to drain off starchy water, then fill it again. Stir the potatoes to release starches soak them for 2 minutes. Drain the grated potatoes and squeeze out any excess water. Transfer them to a clean, dry towel. Wring the potatoes in the towel to remove as much liquid as possible.

  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Breakfast

Keywords: Hashbrown breakfast casserole

More vegetarian breakfast ideas

This vegetarian breakfast casserole is a fantastic option for a meatless brunch! Here are a few other great meatless ideas:

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Goat Cheese Salad with Arugula & Apple

This arugula goat cheese salad is simple but a symphony of flavor! Apples, pecans and balsamic dressing make perfection on a plate. I don’t know about you, but we’re always in search of the perfect back pocket salad. You know, the one that’s easy enough to whip up on moments notice? The one that takes little effort but delivers massive flavor? Here’s one that’s on our new favorite back pocket concept: the Goat Cheese Salad with Arugula and Apples! It’s simple and comes together quickly, but my does it deliver on flavor! The crunch of the apples, creamy goat cheese, and fluffy arugula are the ideal pair for the tangy sweet dressing. We couldn’t stop eating this one! It’s a riff on some of our other salads, but it might be the best of the lot. Ingredients in this arugula goat cheese salad Goat cheese is one of our favorite ingredients for a salad, because it adds a creamy richness to every bite! Here are the elements that come together to make this salad a symphony of flavor: Goat cheese: Soft goat cheese or chevre is best here, though you can use the pre-packaged crumbles as well Baby arugula: Make […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This arugula goat cheese salad is simple but a symphony of flavor! Apples, pecans and balsamic dressing make perfection on a plate.

Goat Cheese Salad

I don’t know about you, but we’re always in search of the perfect back pocket salad. You know, the one that’s easy enough to whip up on moments notice? The one that takes little effort but delivers massive flavor? Here’s one that’s on our new favorite back pocket concept: the Goat Cheese Salad with Arugula and Apples! It’s simple and comes together quickly, but my does it deliver on flavor! The crunch of the apples, creamy goat cheese, and fluffy arugula are the ideal pair for the tangy sweet dressing. We couldn’t stop eating this one! It’s a riff on some of our other salads, but it might be the best of the lot.

Ingredients in this arugula goat cheese salad

Goat cheese is one of our favorite ingredients for a salad, because it adds a creamy richness to every bite! Here are the elements that come together to make this salad a symphony of flavor:

  • Goat cheese: Soft goat cheese or chevre is best here, though you can use the pre-packaged crumbles as well
  • Baby arugula: Make sure to get baby arugula; standard arugula is much too spicy
  • Apple: A crisp red apple is best, though you can use a Granny Smith as well
  • Shallot: A shallot is a milder version of a red onion, and completes the flavor
  • Pecans: Substitute in any nut you’d like, or see below on how to step up the flavor
  • Balsamic dressing: This creamy balsamic dressing is our go-to, but you can use others too (see below)
Arugula goat cheese salad

Best salad dressing, and a few alternatives

Our favorite vinaigrette for this goat cheese salad is our Creamy Balsamic Dressing. It’s got just the right sweet tart flavor and creamy, emulsified texture. All you need is balsamic vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, and olive oil: and it comes together in a breeze! Memorize it and you’ll have a dressing for all of your future salads; it’s our best loved salad dressings in this house!

But looking to mix it up? There are a few other vinaigrettes we love that pair with a goat cheese salad. Here’s what we’d recommend:

Step up the pecans: toast them or glaze them!

Want to make this salad really pop? When we’re making this goat cheese salad with arugula on a weeknight, we use plain nuts. But for entertaining, there are two ways to really make this salad sparkle:

  • Toast the nuts. A quick toast in the oven or in a skillet makes a huge difference: it really brings out the nutty flavor. Try Toasted Pecans, Toasted Walnuts or Toasted Almonds.
  • Glaze the nuts. Even better: make Glazed Pecans! Throw them in a pan with maple syrup and caramelize them: when they dry, they’ll be sweet and crunchy on the outside. Also try Glazed Walnuts.
Balsamic dressing

Variations on this goat cheese salad

There are infinite variations on this goat cheese salad with arugula: just swap in different fruits, veggies, or nuts to make variations of all kinds! Here are a few options:

  • Use different nuts, like walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts or pistachios
  • Make a pear goat cheese salad with sliced pears
  • Make a beet goat cheese salad with roasted beets (it’s easiest with pre-cooked packaged beets from the store, or roast your own)
  • Use berries instead, like blueberries, blackberries, or strawberries
  • Swap fruit for veggies, like carrots (raw or roasted) or roasted sweet potatoes
  • Use different leafy greens, like baby mixed greens, spinach, or shaved Brussels sprouts

You readers always have the best ideas! So let us know the ways you’ve customized this salad.

Goat Cheese Salad

Goat cheese vs cows cheese

Did you know goat cheese is slightly healthier than a standard cow’s cheese, like Parmesan or mozzarella? Here’s a little breakdown on how it compares (source: Prevention):

  • More vitamins and minerals than cow’s cheese. Goat’s milk is richer in essential nutrients than cow’s milk. It has more vitamin A & B, calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium.
  • Slightly less calories than cow’s cheese. Goat cheese has just 75 calories per ounce—less than cow cheeses like mozzarella (85 calories), Swiss (108 calories), and cheddar (115 calories).
  • May be easier to digest. Goat cheese has less lactose than cow’s milk and a slightly different protein structure, so people who are lactose intolerant many times can digest goat cheese.

This goat cheese salad with arugula recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

Print
Arugula Goat Cheese Salad

Goat Cheese Salad with Arugula & Apple


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This arugula goat cheese salad is simple but a symphony of flavor! Apples, pecans and balsamic dressing make perfection on a plate.


Ingredients

  • 1 recipe Balsamic Dressing (or Citrus Salad Dressing or Dijon Dressing)
  • 1 crisp apple
  • 1 shallot
  • 5 ounces (8 cups) baby arugula (not standard arugula*)
  • 1/4 cup pecans, roughly chopped (toasted or glazed, if desired)
  • 2 ounces soft goat cheese (chevre), crumbled
  • Sea salt

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, make the dressing.
  2. Thinly slice the apple and shallot.
  3. Place the greens on a plate. Top with the sliced shallot, apple, pecans, and crumbles of soft goat cheese. Drizzle with dressing and top with a sprinkle of sea salt.

Notes

*Standard arugula has much too spicy of a flavor; look for the small baby arugula leaves like you see in the photo. It comes packaged in the produce section near the greens, or may be available at your local farmer’s market. 

  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Salad
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Keywords: Arugula goat cheese salad

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Pecan Crusted Salmon

This pecan crusted salmon is fast and easy, with a deliciously crunchy topping! Make it to impress on weeknights or for dinner guests. Here’s a meal that consistently makes everyone who takes a bite say Wow. Try this Pecan Crusted Salmon! It has an air of restaurant-style fancy, but it’s quick and easy to whip up on a weeknight. It takes basic salmon to the next level, coating it in a crunchy topping of nuts, seasoned breadcrumbs, and Parmesan cheese. The flavors are elevated enough for dinner guests, but also tasty enough for kids to shovel in bites. Pull it out for dinner guests or an easy weeknight meal…you choose! (And keep reading for a custom side dish that pairs beautifully.) What you’ll need for pecan crusted salmon Aside from the fish, all the other ingredients in this pecan crusted salmon are pantry ingredients! That makes this preparation great for if you’re looking for a great way to cook salmon but don’t want to think too hard. Once you’ve bought the Italian panko, you can keep it on hand for months. Here’s what you’ll need: Salmon (wild caught if possible, see below) Dijon mustard Honey Pecans Italian panko (see more below) Grated […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This pecan crusted salmon is fast and easy, with a deliciously crunchy topping! Make it to impress on weeknights or for dinner guests.

Pecan Crusted Salmon

Here’s a meal that consistently makes everyone who takes a bite say Wow. Try this Pecan Crusted Salmon! It has an air of restaurant-style fancy, but it’s quick and easy to whip up on a weeknight. It takes basic salmon to the next level, coating it in a crunchy topping of nuts, seasoned breadcrumbs, and Parmesan cheese. The flavors are elevated enough for dinner guests, but also tasty enough for kids to shovel in bites. Pull it out for dinner guests or an easy weeknight meal…you choose! (And keep reading for a custom side dish that pairs beautifully.)

What you’ll need for pecan crusted salmon

Aside from the fish, all the other ingredients in this pecan crusted salmon are pantry ingredients! That makes this preparation great for if you’re looking for a great way to cook salmon but don’t want to think too hard. Once you’ve bought the Italian panko, you can keep it on hand for months. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Salmon (wild caught if possible, see below)
  • Dijon mustard
  • Honey
  • Pecans
  • Italian panko (see more below)
  • Grated Parmesan cheese (that’s the kind that’s the texture of sand, not shredded)
  • Salt and pepper
Pecan crusted salmon

What salmon to look for

The number one most important part of a salmon recipe? The quality of the salmon. Try to find the best quality salmon you can afford. Here are a few tips on locating a great piece of salmon:

  • Buy wild caught salmon. Wild caught is the way to go! It’s most sustainable and has the best flavor.
  • Fresh salmon is best. You can find decent frozen salmon. But for the very best salmon, buy it fresh from your local seafood counter.
  • Coho is a good choice. We tend to like Coho salmon for its mild flavor: it’s a good middle of the road option in terms of price. Try to avoid Atlantic salmon as it is typically farmed salmon.

Italian style Panko, and a substitute

A key to this recipe? Italian-style Panko. Panko is a Japanese-style breadcrumb mixture that is airier and lighter than traditional breadcrumbs. Italian panko is panko with herbs and salt added. You can also use breadcrumbs or Italian breadcrumbs here, but we like how panko give it just the right crunch. You should be able to find panko easily at your local grocery store. If you can’t find the Italian-style panko, you can do the following:

  • Use regular panko and add salt and Italian seasonings. Mix the 2 tablespoons panko with 1 pinch kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning (or 1/4 teaspoon each dried oregano and dried basil)
  • Or look for Italian or plain breadcrumbs instead, or make your own breadcrumbs! For plain breadcrumbs, use the seasoning recommendations for panko above.
Pecan crusted salmon

Make it gluten-free

Panko is made from bread, so how to make this recipe gluten-free? Look for gluten-free panko or breadcrumbs in stores or online to make this a gluten free recipe. You can also omit the breadcrumbs, but keep in mind the topping will be less delightfully crunchy (but still delicious).

How to store pecans

Another key to this recipe: the pecans! The nuts are great for adding a bit of protein and crunch to the top of the salmon. We like to buy a nice big bag of pecans…but did you know it’s not best to store them in your pantry? Here’s how to keep them fresh longer:

  • Store pecans in the refrigerator for up to 6 months! Most people think of storing nuts in their pantry. But pecans stay freshest in your refrigerator! We place them in our cheese drawer.
  • Store pecans frozen for up to 2 years. Did you know you can freeze pecans? This extends the life for years. They thaw quickly when you remove them!
Arugula Goat Cheese Salad

A great side dish to pair with pecan crusted salmon!

For this pecan crusted salmon, we decided to create a custom side dish to go alongside! Readers often tell us it’s hard to find side dishes that are easy enough to make, fit with the vibe, and fill in the needed nutrients. Here’s one we developed to fit with this recipe: Arugula Goat Cheese Salad! Here’s more about it:

  • Start with a few handfuls baby arugula, fluffy leafy greens. Make sure to buy baby, not standard arugula (which is very bitter). You can also substitute spinach or mixed greens.
  • Drizzle it with this Creamy Balsamic Dressing, which has the best tangy sweet flavor.
  • Top with goat cheese crumbles, sliced shallot, apples, and pecans. It’s simple, but the flavors are tight and it tastes incredible.

Other side dishes to pair

Just a salad and pecan crusted salmon might need a little filling out as a full meal. So here are a few other quick side dishes to consider!

This pecan crusted salmon recipe is…

Pescatarian and gluten-free (with gluten-free panko).

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Pecan Crusted Salmon

Pecan Crusted Salmon


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

This pecan crusted salmon is fast and easy, with a deliciously crunchy topping! Make it to impress on weeknights or for dinner guests.


Ingredients

  • 1 pound salmon fillet or fillets, skin on (wild caught if possible)
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons Italian panko (or Italian breadcrumbs; gluten-free if desired)*
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Bring the salmon to room temperature and pat it dry. Season the salmon with the salt and pepper. In a small bowl, mix the Dijon mustard and honey, then brush it on to the fish in an even layer. 
  3. In another small bowl, mix together the finely chopped pecans, Italian panko, and Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle the pistachio mixture on top of the fish.
  4. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until the salmon flakes with a fork; the internal temperature should be between 125 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit in the center. Serve immediately. 

Notes

*We recommend Italian panko or Italian breadcrumbs because they’re already seasoned. Panko is best since it’s the lightest and crunchiest. If all you can find is regular panko, mix 2 tablespoons panko with 1 pinch kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning (or 1/4 teaspoon each dried oregano and dried basil). 

  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Seafood

Keywords: Pecan crusted salmon

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Fudgy Sweet Potato Brownies

These amazing sweet potato brownies will wow everyone! Fudgy and chewy, they’re loaded with flavor…good stuff, too. One swap and these vegan sweet potato brownies are also gluten-free. They’re fudgy, chewy, chocolaty, and one of the favorite things to come out of our kitchen to date. Try these Sweet Potato Brownies! Why hide vegetables in desserts when you can proudly proclaim them? These brownies could not be more thrilled by their sweet potato interior. It makes the best chewy texture and loads them with nutrients. In fact, these are super plant-powered vegan sweet potato brownies! But most importantly: they’re irresistibly delicious, with a rich nuance in flavor that makes them taste loads better than a standard brownie. Come, see how it’s done! Tricks to the best sweet potato brownies These sweet potato brownies are next level. Everyone who’s tried them comes back with one word: “Wow!” Over here we’re partial to a chewy brownie, and the sweet potato adds just the right moist, chewy texture. It also brings a richness that somehow tastes more real than using loads of butter and sugar. We like these better than a standard brownie: hands down. Here are some of the major ingredients that […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

These amazing sweet potato brownies will wow everyone! Fudgy and chewy, they’re loaded with flavor…good stuff, too. One swap and these vegan sweet potato brownies are also gluten-free.

Sweet potato brownies

They’re fudgy, chewy, chocolaty, and one of the favorite things to come out of our kitchen to date. Try these Sweet Potato Brownies! Why hide vegetables in desserts when you can proudly proclaim them? These brownies could not be more thrilled by their sweet potato interior. It makes the best chewy texture and loads them with nutrients. In fact, these are super plant-powered vegan sweet potato brownies! But most importantly: they’re irresistibly delicious, with a rich nuance in flavor that makes them taste loads better than a standard brownie. Come, see how it’s done!

Tricks to the best sweet potato brownies

These sweet potato brownies are next level. Everyone who’s tried them comes back with one word: “Wow!” Over here we’re partial to a chewy brownie, and the sweet potato adds just the right moist, chewy texture. It also brings a richness that somehow tastes more real than using loads of butter and sugar. We like these better than a standard brownie: hands down. Here are some of the major ingredients that make this recipe work:

  • Mashed sweet potato brings richness and texture, and stands in for some butter and flour
  • Almond butter adds fat while adding protein
  • Sugar sweetens it just right: you can use granulated, coconut or your favorite solid sugar here
  • Flour is much less than a standard recipe, and you can substitute to make them gluten free
  • Cocoa powder brings rich chocolaty flavor
  • Olive oil is a healthy oil and you’ll only need a touch
  • Dark chocolate chips are required for the final touch of chocolate!
Sweet potato brownies

Roasting the potatoes (and a shortcut or two)

The only difference from these sweet potato brownies and a traditional dump-and-stir recipe? Roasting the sweet potatoes. Here are a few notes on this process, and a shortcut or two:

  • Roasting the potatoes caramelizes them and brings out the sugars. It’s absolutely worth the 30 minutes of roasting time.
  • Cut them in half before roasting! This cuts down on the time needed to roast, versus roasting them whole.
  • You can microwave the potatoes as a shortcut. Prick them all over with a fork, place them on a plate and microwave on high for about 10 to 12 minutes or more until tender, rotating halfway through. But keep in mind: the timing can vary based on size and the microwave can be uneven in cooking. Also, roasting brings out the natural sugars, whereas the microwave does not. So only use this in a pinch!
Sweet potato brownies

Make them gluten free!

Want to make these vegan sweet potato brownies gluten free? It’s an easy swap for the flour! Using the sweet potato lets you use much less flour than a traditional brownie. There’s only 1/2 cup flour in the entire pan! Here are a few swaps for the flour:

  • Try oat flour (or make your own). Oat flour is our favorite gluten-free flour: it makes for beautifully delicious gluten free goods like healthy pumpkin bread or oatmeal pancakes. It’s easy to make, too: just whiz oats in a blender or food processor until they become powdery. It’s an easy swap here.
  • Or use your favorite gluten free flour. Most 1-for-1 gluten free flour blends will work here!

Let us know what you try in the comments!

Vegan sweet potato brownies

Are these vegan sweet potato brownies…healthy?

You’ll never miss the traditional butter and eggs in these vegan sweet potato brownies. Almond butter and olive oil stand in for the butter, and the sweet potato gives them just the right texture. But can they be considered healthy? Here’s what to know:

  • These are a treat: they’ve got lots of sugar! Don’t be fooled: these are a treat food for sure.
  • Sweet potato adds fiber, Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Brownies don’t normally have fiber and vitamins, so that’s a plus! One pound of sweet potatoes has 357% of the daily recommendation for Vitamin A and 13 grams of fiber.
  • Almond butter adds protein and heart-healthy fats. Instead of butter, almond butter adds plant-based protein and makes these a filling treat.

Bottom line: These vegan sweet potato brownies are not a health food, but they’re a healthier treat when compared to a standard brownie.

Vegan sweet potato brownies

This sweet potato brownies recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free. For gluten-free, use oat flour.

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Sweet potato brownies

Fudgy Sweet Potato Brownies (Family Favorite!)


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 16
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

These amazing sweet potato brownies will wow everyone! Fudgy and chewy, they’re loaded with flavor…good stuff, too. Vegan with gluten-free swap.


Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups mashed sweet potato (about 1 pound or 2 medium potatoes) 
  • 1/2 cup creamy almond butter
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar (granulated or coconut)
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour (or gluten-free flour)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (dairy free if desired)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash the sweet potatoes and slice them in half. Place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and rub them with olive oil, just enough to coat. Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt. Place cut side down on the baking sheet. Bake until tender and lightly browned on the edges, about 30 to 35 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes (smaller potatoes may take 25 minutes; prick with a fork to assess doneness).
  2. Reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9 x 9 or 8 x 8 pan with parchment paper (allowing it to extend out the sides to lift it out later, or just a square if you plan to cut them in the pan). Then grease the entire pan and parchment paper. 
  3. Pull the skin off of the sweet potatoes and mash them, measuring out 1 1/2 cups. Add the almond butter, cocoa powder, sugar, flour, oil, baking powder, vanilla, and kosher salt until a thick dough forms. Fold in 1/4 cup of the dark chocolate chips. Place the batter in the pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips on top. 
  4. Bake 30 minutes, until set but soft in the center. Cool 1 hour. degrees Fahrenheit. Store at room temperature for 3 days, refrigerated for 1 week, or in the freezer for 3 months. 
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Brownies

Keywords: Sweet potato brownies, vegan sweet potato brownies

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes