Quick and Easy Squash Latkes

Squash Latkes

Traditionally, a latke is a potato pancake. Most people think of the potato pancake as a Jewish dish eaten during Hanukkah, but potato pancakes of some sort exist in potato-eating cultures around the world.

My first experience with a potato pancake was at a block party in Allen, Texas…all my neighbors got together one fall evening with a few coolers of beer, several bags of potatoes, a tub of Crisco and all our Coleman camping stoves lined up in the cul-de-sac…a few hours later (and a couple refills of the beer coolers!) I had my first potato pancake.  I couldn’t imagine how I had gotten into my early twenties living in the south and never had one of these little bites of heaven, crispy outside, fluffy & salty inside, doused in ketchup…oh my I was hooked!  Needless to say those potato pancakes were terribly unhealthy and were full of processed “white” food and hydrogenated oil…AND to this very day (about 15 years later) there is still massive Crisco oil stains on the driveways where we fried them!!!!!

Fast forward to the present day into my gluten-free, grain-free, unprocessed and refined sugar-free lifestyle…I still love to re-create the tastes and textures of the foods I loved back then.  For years I have been making a wonderful sweet potato latke but lately have been experimenting using less starchy vegetables with really great results.  My favorites are these summer squash and zucchini latkes followed closely by a jicama and carrot combination.  Once again, this recipe is easily adaptable with just about any vegetable, the key is to squeeze as much moisture out of the grated vegetables you are using so the latkes don’t get mushy.

I like them with a dollop of fresh sour cream…

Summer Squash and Zucchini Latkes (yields 8 latkes)

1 lb summer squash, grated

1 lb zucchini, grated

2 green onions, sliced

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1/4 cup coconut oil, avocado oil or lard (or your favorite high heat oil)

celtic sea salt

black pepper

1 tsp. crushed red pepper

sour cream or creme fraiche (optional for garnish)

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Grate squash and zucchini on a box grater or in a food processor and place in a medium bowl.  Sprinkle a generous amount of salt over the squash and mix together, let sit in the bowl for about 15 minutes.  Scoop the squash mixture into a clean kitchen towel and squeeze out all the excess moisture (this is the most important step of the process, so don’t skip it!).  Place the drained squash back into the bowl, add green onion, beaten eggs, salt and pepper to your taste and crushed red pepper, thoroughly combine.  Drop about 1/4 cup of the squash mixture into the hot oil and slightly press down with a spatula, fry until slightly browned and crispy on each side, usually about 5 minutes per side.  Remove from oil and drain on paper towels.  Serve warm or at room temperature with a dollop of fresh sour cream.

Super crispy on the outside, moist but not mushy on the inside.

Recipe tips/variations:

  • Squeeze as much moisture out as you can!
  • If the mixture still feels too wet add tablespoon of almond, coconut or quinoa flour
  • For vegan option, omit the eggs and add 1/4 cup flour

Vegetables I like to use:

Jicama and carrot

Butternut squash

Sweet potato and red onion

This recipe is shared at:

Fight Back Fridays & Fresh Bites Friday

Fat Tuesday & Slightly Indulgent Tuesday

Gluten Free Wednesdays

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Roasted Green Chile Breakfast Casserole

Who doesn’t love a great breakfast casserole?  Especially one that is full of flavor, easy to make and even better the next day!  My mom and dad have been raving about this recipe for over a year now but I just got around to making it last week and boy am I sorry I waited so long…

Back in my gluten, grain and “not so healthy” conventional grocery store days I regularly made a Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Casserole for my family…loaded with white tortillas, canned soup (!!!), canned green chile enchilada sauce (was there even green chilies in there?) and lots of bright yellow cheese.   It doesn’t sound too appetizing when the ingredients are listed out that way but it was very, very tasty and one of our favorite weeknight meals!  Thankfully, I was able to duplicate the recipe using nutritious, healthy, organic and gluten-free ingredients so my family could still enjoy it.  However, since I have been grain-free for the last year or so this dish has been off the menu for me…until now.

Enter the Roasted Green Chile Breakfast Casserole…layers of green chilies rather than corn tortillas, a creamy egg mixture in place of the soup and sauce and lots of cheesy goodness pull it all together along with raw pumpkin seeds toasted on top for a bit of added crunch.  I usually add some sort of meat (whatever I have leftover in the fridge that needs to be used up) but the original recipe is meat-less.  Included in this post is the “original” recipe for the casserole that I got from my mom and also mine with a few alterations.  You will find that this recipe can be adapted very easily to your families liking, dietary needs and size.

Layers of roasted green chilies, cheese and eggs...yum

Roasted Green Chile Breakfast Casserole (Original Recipe):

Serves 8

12-14 roasted whole green chilies

8 oz sharp cheddar, shredded

8 oz Monterrey jack, shredded

4 eggs

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds

Preheat oven to 350 F and grease a 9×13 glass baking dish.

Wash, peel and seed chilies.  Drain chilies on a paper towel, be sure to keep chilies whole, do not chop.  In a medium mixing bowl whisk together eggs, cream and salt.  To assemble casserole layer green chilies on bottom of prepared dish, top with 1/2 of cheese, repeat layer of chilies and cheese, pour egg mixture over chilies and cheese, sprinkle the pumpkin seeds on top.  Bake for 35-40 minutes.  Allow to cool for a few minutes before cutting and serving.

My version in an 8x8 dish, serves 4

Here is my recipe…the original is perfect as is but I wanted to scale it down for two (with leftovers) and also add a bit more protein and little less dairy.  I enjoy it with a side of sour cream, salsa or avocado…it is so delicious.

Roasted Green Chile Breakfast Casserole (adapted):

Serves 4

12-14 roasted whole green chilies

2.5 oz raw sharp cheddar, shredded

2.5 oz raw Monterrey jack, shredded

4 oz cooked chicken, beef or pork, shredded or chopped

4 eggs

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds

Preheat oven to 350 F and grease a 8×8 glass baking dish.

Wash, peel and seed chilies.  Drain chilies on a paper towel, be sure to keep chilies whole, do not chop.  In a medium mixing bowl whisk together eggs, cream and salt.  To assemble casserole layer green chilies on bottom of prepared dish, top with 1/2 of cheese, 1/2 of meat, repeat layer of chilies, cheese and meat, pour egg mixture over chilies and cheese, sprinkle the pumpkin seeds on top.  Bake for 40-45 minutes.  Allow to cool for a few minutes before cutting and serving.

This recipe is shared at:

Slightly Indulgent Tuesday & Tasty Tuesday

Gluten Free Wednesdays

Meatless Monday…Eggplant Parmesan.

I eat a pretty strict “Primal Blueprint” diet…no grains, legumes, refined sugar, LOTS of animal protein, healthy fats, nuts, seeds and vegetables with a limited dairy intake…BUT I do enjoy a Meatless Monday on occasion.  Some days just call for lighter fare.  One of the most satisfying and enjoyable vegetarian meals for me is my adapted version of the Eggplant Parmesan recipe from Elana Amsterdam’s Gluten Free Almond Flour Cookbook.  I had a wonderfully enjoyable lunch today with my Dad, this recipe is one of his favorites too!

My Meatless Monday Lunch...YUM!

So, here you go…Enjoy!

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 pounds eggplant
  • 1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil (or other high heat cooking oil)
  • 3 cups tomato sauce
  • 1-2 cups freshly grated mozzarella cheese (depending on how cheesy you like it!)
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preparation:
Preheat the oven to 350°F.Cut the eggplant into 1/4-inch slices. In a medium bowl, combine the almond flour and salt. Dip the eggplant slices in the buttermilk, then coat with the almond flour mixture.

Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the eggplant for 3 to 5 minutes per side, until golden brown. Transfer the eggplant to a paper towel–lined plate.

Pour 1 cup of the Tomato Sauce into a 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Layer the eggplant over the sauce; cover the eggplant with 1 cup of the sauce and 1 cup of the mozzarella. Place the remaining eggplant over the top, then cover with the remaining sauce and mozzarella.

Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the edges are bubbling. Remove from the oven and top with grated Parmesan cheese before serving.

Gluten Free Eggplant Parmesan

 

This recipe is shared at:

Slightly Indulgent Tuesday

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