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Poha with Veggies and Eggs

February 22, 2017
Poha with Veggies and Eggs Recipe | Fake Food Free

Am I the only person who didn’t know about poha? How did I miss this?

I feel like I have a basic knowledge of most cuisines, but as much as I enjoy Indian cuisine, poha completely slipped passed my radar. I first discovered it a little while back through Liana Krissoff’s Vegetarian for a New Generation. Her book contains a poha recipe and I was hooked immediately. 

Poha is a flattened white rice and when combined with spices, veggies, and eggs it’s like an Indian-inspired fried rice! There is something about it that I enjoy so much more than regular rice. Internet rumor has it that it’s easier to digest as well. But don’t take my word for that. I’ve just seen it around the web. 

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30 Minute Potato Breakfast Bowls

April 16, 2015

These Potato Breakfast Bowls are loaded with hearty red potatoes, scrambled eggs and sausage. The best part is that you can have them on the table in 30 minutes. This is my entry for the Potato Lovers Club Speedy Spud Challenge blogger recipe contest. This post was sponsored by the U.S. Potato Board. 
30 Minute Potato Breakfast Bowls | Fake Food Free

I’m not what you would call a quick cook. I’m the first to admit that I lack swiftness in the kitchen. 

It’s not that I have loads of time to kill or that I dislike quick recipes, I just have a very short attention span. When I’m cooking for myself, I only get about 5 minutes in before I catch something out of the corner of my eye and my head jerks quickly to the right. 


It often goes something like this. I’m chopping the onion. Oh, is that an episode of Gilmore Girls on T.V.? I need to turn the volume up. Then I open the sliding glass door to let out a whining pug so she can go fake potty and come back in to beg for her free treat. 

Then I get back to the onion. I open the fridge for something. Oh, I really need to throw that out. Oh man, I forgot to empty the dishwasher. 

You get the idea. A recipe might say it takes 20 minutes to make, but it’s not going to take me 20 minutes. 

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Skillet Spring Vegetables with Ham and Poached Eggs

March 19, 2015

 This meal is quick and easy, and provides a great way to use up seasonal leftovers. It combines spring vegetables with ham and eggs to create a dish that works for breakfast, lunch or dinner. 

Skillet Spring Vegetables with Ham and Poached Eggs | Fake Food Free 

When you are developing recipes, you never know exactly how much of an ingredient you’ll need until the final dish is complete. This usually results in a fridge filled with things like a few stalks of asparagus, a quarter head of cabbage or a little dish of peas. These are perfectly edible, but often not enough to create a full dish all on their own. 

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Crispy Egg Custard Tarts (Pastéis de Nata) from My Portugal by George Mendes

February 3, 2015

These egg custard tarts are a classic Portuguese dessert and one that brings fond memories of our time living in Brazil. I was so happy to find a good recipe in the cookbook My Portugal by George Mendes so that I could make them in my own kitchen and share the recipe with you. 

   Crispy Egg Custard Tarts (Pastéis de Nata) from My Portugal by George Mendes | Fake Food Free 

I was sitting with my friends Juliana and Fernando enjoying a bowl of Caldo Verde on one of the rare cool days that occur during the months of June and July. It was the week of the world food festival in Maringa-PR, Brasil, when the town square turns into a food-lovers paradise with booth after booth of edible offerings representing numerous countries around the world.

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Roasted Pepper and Arugula Scrambled Eggs

October 31, 2014

This single serving breakfast recipe combines roasted peppers and arugula for scrambled eggs that are simple, but special. Roasted Pepper and Arugula Scrambled Eggs | Fake Food Free


I often get asked – how do you find ideas for recipes? 

Like most people, I find inspiration just about everywhere. Sometimes I get an idea, make a list and ponder it for a while. Other times, I stand in front of the fridge, trying to figure out what to have for breakfast. I grab a few ingredients, mix them together and it tastes so good that I think maybe someone else who is trying to eat protein-rich breakfasts might enjoy it. 

This is one of those recipes.

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Salmon and Spinach Cakes with Fried Eggs Recipe

August 12, 2014

Salmon and Spinach Cakes with Fried Eggs |

Protein for breakfast.

Of all the improvements we’ve made to our eating habits over the past year or so, this has been the best one by far.

I wasn’t a complete stranger to a high protein morning meal. I’d have eggs on occasion, or a shake with nut meal, but it wasn’t until we started focusing on eating a lot of protein first thing that I realized how much I relied on carbohydrates for breakfast.

Now, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I still work in yogurt with fruit and oatmeal, especially when we are training for a race, but these carb focused breakfasts seemed to be making me crave something sweet every morning.

Once we made the switch, things changed pretty drastically.

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Poached Egg on Spicy Lentils Recipe from The Healthy Slow Cooker

April 22, 2014
Poached Egg on Spicy Lentils Recipe from The Healthy Slow Cooker | Fake Food Free

I don’t use many small kitchen appliances that do the same type of work as my stove and oven. I’ve never been a huge fan of toaster ovens taking up my valuable counter space, and while I wouldn’t want to be without my microwave, it’s used for quick reheating, not so much for cooking.

But things change when we start talking about the slow cooker. Yes, I can cook beans, soups and stews on the stovetop, but I’d rather not be in the kitchen for hours. I’m amazed at how much I still use it, even now that I’m back working at home again (with extra time to cook dinner that was once spent commuting).

I have to admit that about the only thing that comes out of it these days are beans. Delicious beans, but even I can get tired of them every now and then.

A few weeks ago I received The Healthy Slow Cooker, Second Edition by Judith Finlayson. It was perfect timing because I was so ready to get out of my slow cooked bean rut.

This book is a revised version of one published in 2006. The front cover states that the book has “135 Gluten-Free Recipes for Health and Wellness,” so I had plenty to explore from cover to cover.

A highlight for me is that many of the recipes in this book can cook for 5 to 6 hours on low. This is something I look for in slow cooker recipes because if it cooks in an hour or two the idea of slow cooking while you are away for the day kind of goes out the window. That being said, the recipe instructions include a low and high setting. So if you will be around and want to speed things up, you can decrease the cooking time by setting it to high and the recipe tells you how.

Poached Egg on Spicy Lentils Recipe from The Healthy Slow Cooker | Fake Food Free

The recipes are also light on the pre and post cooking. To me, there is no reason to use a slow cooker if you are going to spend an hour cooking the food before you…cook the food. The recipe I chose to make is a good example of this.

I didn’t stray too far from beans, but these Poached Eggs on Spicy Lentils were a huge hit around here. The recipe says that it is a great cold weather dish, but I could eat this any time of year.

The lentils are full of flavor and you can make them as mild or spicy as you wish. With the coconut milk, they cooked into a rich and creamy stew that was perfect with an egg on top. The recipe requires about 5 minutes of stove cooking time before adding everything to the cooker. About 30 minutes before you are ready to serve, you stir in coconut milk and make the poached eggs to go on top. It was super simple.

The book contains everything from breakfast and appetizers to sauces, dinners and desserts. Only 134 recipes left to make and with things like Maple Sweetened Congee and Sweet Potato Coconut Curry with Shrimp on the list, I might just do it.

Poached Egg on Spicy Lentils Recipe from The Healthy Slow Cooker | Fake Food Free

Poached Eggs on Spicy Lentils

Courtesy of The Healthy Slow Cooker, Second Edition by Judith Finlayson © 2014 Reprinted with publisher permission.

This delicious combination is a great cold-weather dish. Add the chiles if you prefer a little spice and accompany with warm gluten-free Indian bread, such as Yogurt Flatbread, and hot white rice. The Egg and Lentil Curry (see Variation in the book) is a great dish for a buffet table or as part of an Indian-themed meal.

Medium (approx. 4 quart) slow cooker

1 tbsp    olive oil    15 mL
2    onions, finely chopped    2
1 tbsp    minced garlic    15 mL
1 tbsp    minced ginger root      15 mL
1 tsp    ground coriander    5 mL
1 tsp    ground cumin    5 mL
1 tsp    cracked black peppercorns    5 mL
1 cup    red lentils, rinsed    250 mL
1    can (28 oz/796 mL) no-salt-added tomatoes with juice, coarsely chopped
2 cups    vegetable stock    500 mL
1 cup    coconut milk    250 mL
1    long green chile pepper or 2 Thai bird’s-eye chiles, finely chopped, optional
6    eggs    6
1⁄4 cup    finely chopped parsley leaves    60 mL

1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, coriander, cumin and peppercorns and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add lentils, tomatoes with juice and vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware.

2. Cover and cook on Low for 6 hours or on High for 4 hours, until lentils are tender and mixture is bubbly. Stir in coconut milk, salt, to taste, and chile pepper, if using. Cover and cook for 20 to 30 minutes until heated through.

3. When ready to serve, ladle into soup bowls and top each serving with a poached egg (see Tip). Garnish with parsley.

To poach eggs: In a deep skillet, bring about 2 inches (5 cm) lightly salted water to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low. Break eggs into a measuring cup and, holding the cup close to the surface of the water, slip the eggs into the pan. Cook until whites are set and centers are still soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon.

Makes 6 servings
Can Be Halved

Disclosure: This book was sent to me for review purposes. I was not required to post about it and received no compensation for doing so.

Black Bean and Butternut Squash Breakfast Bake Recipe

February 6, 2014
Start your day with this filling, protein-rich breakfast bake! It’s packed with hearty black beans and sweet pieces of tender butternut squash.

Despite wanting a warm, high-protein breakfast, cooking every morning has become a little overwhelming. I love cooking so this discovery really caught me by surprise.

I’ve narrowed it down to two reasons. The more I cook for my work, the less I want to spend free time doing it, too. I also like to wake up and get straight to work so I can free up time to exercise in the early evening. Spending the morning in the kitchen takes away from some of my free time and slows my start to a productive day.

All of this has made high-protein breakfasts challenging, so I decided to put together a morning meal that I could bake and reheat quickly throughout the week. This baked egg breakfast is full of good stuff and it turned out to be the perfect solution.

What set it apart for me was adding the black beans. They settle during baking and become something similar to a crust along the bottom. The small pieces of butternut squash add a slight sweetness that is especially good when topped with spicy salsa before serving.

Black Bean and Butternut Squash Breakfast Bake

Makes: 9 servings


1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
¼ cup diced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ cup vegetable stock
¼ cup diced bell peppers
6 large eggs
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
½ cup black beans, rinsed and drained


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray or grease an 8 x 8 inch baking pan with olive or coconut oil.

Heat the tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the squash, onions and garlic.

Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the onions soften and the squash begins to brown.

Pour in the stock and let the vegetables simmer until the liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes. Prick the squash with a fork. It should be tender, but not falling apart. If it is still too firm, continue to cook until slightly tender.
 Cooking time varies by the size of your cubes.

Stir in the bell peppers. Cook for 30 more seconds and remove from the heat. Transfer the vegetables to a medium mixing bowl to cool.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, salt and pepper. Pour this into the bowl with the cooled vegetables. Stir to mix all ingredients. Stir in the black beans.

Pour the eggs and vegetables into the prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the center is firm and no longer giggles when you move the pan.

Cool for 10 minutes. Cut into 9 squares and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Mine keeps for up to one week.

Thanks for reading! All images and content are the property of Fake Food Free unless otherwise stated. Please do not republish full recipes and images without written permission. What is okay? Feel free to Pin images, share links to my posts or share the photo in a round up post with the title of this recipe and a link back to the post. Confused about copyright and food blogs? Here is some helpful information on Recipe Attribution. If you want to use a photo or full recipe, just ask. I’m sure we can work something out.

Sourdough Stuffing with Artichokes and Sundried Tomatoes Recipe

November 5, 2013
Stuffing is my favorite dish on the holiday table! This recipe for sourdough stuffing combines local flavors with a traditional favorite.
 Sourdough Stuffing with Artichokes and Sundried Tomatoes | Fake Food Free

When I first started thinking about this year’s Thanksgiving menu (and believe me, I’ve been thinking about it a while), I was set on traditional. I didn’t cook at all last year. I was visiting my husband here in California, in the midst of our move, and we ate Thanksgiving dinner at a local restaurant.

Knowing this year would be different, I started planning early. Sweet potato casserole, my usual cranberry pecan stuffing — it had all been penciled in. But then I considered all the new ingredients I have access to. It seemed silly not to take full advantage and incorporate them into some new traditions.

So I’ve shifted gears a bit. There will still be some old favorites, like my grandmother’s pumpkin pie. But otherwise, I want avocados, artichokes, dates and figs to make an appearance. I’ve never had such access to these foods and it seems to me they should fit right in with what we are used to this time of year.

I’ve been experimenting a little so that the big day isn’t a big fail. My first challenge was the stuffing (my favorite thing on the menu, next to cranberry sauce).

It had to be sourdough. No exceptions. Then I came across some California sundried tomatoes and I thought they would be the perfect partner for the artichoke hearts I’d been considering.

Sourdough Stuffing with Artichokes and Sundried Tomatoes | Fake Food Free

The result? What a winner! The sweet sundried tomatoes and the tart artichoke hearts were meant to be with the tangy sourdough. I don’t always add an egg white to my stuffing, but this time I was glad I did. It created a soft, but solid center that was balanced by the crispy, crunchy edges on top.

I may not go back to my old favorite. Or I might have to start making two stuffings. I haven’t decided yet.

Sourdough Stuffing with Artichokes and Sundried Tomatoes

Makes: 4 servings


1 ½ tbsp olive oil
½ cup red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp finely chopped sundried tomatoes
3 canned, unseasoned artichoke hearts, chopped (marinated would work, but it may add a different flavor)
3 ½ cups toasted sourdough bread cubes (I cut my own from a stale loaf and broiled for about 5 minutes)
1 ¼ cups vegetable stock
1/8 ground black pepper
1/8 tsp poultry seasoning
¼ – ½ tsp salt
1 egg white


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a 1 quart casserole dish or loaf pan with your oil of choice.

Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet on medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes, until the onion begins to soften.

Add the sundried tomatoes and artichoke hearts. Cook for 1 more minute. Turn off the heat.

Place the bread cubes in a large bowl. Add the cooked vegetables. Add the vegetable stock a little at a time as you stir the stuffing. Continue to stir until the bread cubes are well saturated.

Stir in the black pepper and poultry seasoning. Add the ¼ to ½ teaspoon of salt to taste (you may need less if your stock is salted).

Once you’ve added the right amount of salt, stir in the egg white. Continue to stir until it is incorporated into the stuffing.

Transfer the stuffing to the baking dish. Press it gently into the dish to smooth the surface.

Bake for 20 minutes, until the edges are browned and the top has a nice golden color. Serve warm.

Sourdough Stuffing with Artichokes and Sundried Tomatoes | Fake Food Free

Thanks for reading! All images and content are the property of Fake Food Free unless otherwise stated. Please do not republish full recipes and images without written permission. What is okay? Feel free to Pin images, share links to my posts or share the photo in a round up post with the title of this recipe and a link back to the post. Confused about copyright and food blogs? Here is some helpful information on Recipe Attribution. If you want to use a photo or full recipe, just ask. I’m sure we can work something out. 

Farmers Market Photo Tour

July 3, 2013
One of the best things about moving to California has been the Farmers Markets. Throughout the past six months I have been to many, but I still haven’t scratched the surface of the total number that operate each week within walking, biking and driving distance of where we live. 
Life has me pretty busy at the moment, so with no time to make a recipe in honor of the 4th of July, I thought the next best thing would be to celebrate all the wonderful foods I’ve found at the markets. Here is a photo tour of a few of my favorites. 
Over the next few weeks there are fun things to come including more reviews of outstanding cookbooks and a virgin coconut oil giveaway!
Happy Independence Day to all my readers in the States!