Eggs in Purgatory

eggs in purgatorySimple, healthy, and delicious—the three criteria I live by for creating or following a recipe. Eggs in purgatory hit all of those marks. Plus, this dish whips up in no time!

The main ingredient is cauliflower, but don’t let that deter you from making this dish if you don’t usually like it. In fact, you probably won’t even realize that you’re eating cauliflower. That’s because its beautifully masked by the spicy crushed tomatoes and other ingredients.

I tried to find the origin of eggs in purgatory, or shakshuka as its called in North Africa and the Middle East, but apparently several cultures have laid claim to its creation. Although its origins may be a bit murky, whoever invented it sure did us all a favor! 😉

This is a perfect dish to make on a Saturday or Sunday morning, for brunch or even dinner—heck, anytime of day is perfect for making and devouring this dish! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. 💜

Eggs in Purgatory
Here’s what you’ll need:

1 small (or ½ of a medium) head of cauliflower, cut into ½-inch pieces
fine-grain sea salt
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes with peppers, onions, and garlic—salsa style
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
4 eggs
marjoram leaves for garnish
(optional—for spice lovers) red pepper flakes

Makes one large skillet full; about 2-4 servings.

  1. In a large pot, boil the cauliflower in salted water (a dash of sea salt will do) for one minute. Cauliflower should be barely tender.
  2. In a medium bowl, add the flour. Drain cauliflower, shaking off any excess water, and toss with the flour in your medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a large skillet (a cast iron skillet is ideal, but not necessary), heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Take the floured cauliflower, tapping off extra flour, and place into the skillet being careful not to burn yourself. Arrange in a single layer and cook until golden, 4-5 minutes, flipping from time to time to evenly cook and make golden.
  4. Stir in tomato sauce. Bring to a simmer. (Spice lovers: sprinkle red pepper flakes all over cauliflower and sauce mixture. Keep in mind a little goes a long way!)
  5. Using a spoon, make small pockets for the eggs near the outer edges of the skillet. Break eggs into the pockets you just made and place a cover over skillet. Cook until the eggs are set (4-5 minutes). Serve immediately, garnishing with the marjoram.

Enjoy!

Printable recipe

This dish was inspired by Heidi Swanson’s recipe in her book, Near & Far: Recipes Inspired by Home and Travel.

Follow me on Twitter: @LibbeyC and Instagram: @ironwomandiaries

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Healthy, Homemade Muesli

Healthy, homemade muesliWhy buy muesli from the grocery store that is packed with sugar when you could make your own?! Not to mention, probably save you money down the road. Right now especially, I’m all about minimally processed and money saving—that’s how this recipe was born. This muesli has just enough sweetness and delicious cinnamon, plus, it’s packed with protein and low in sugar. It’s also vegan. So here you go, Healthy, Homemade Muesli:

Here’s what you’ll need:

Dry ingredients
2 cups rolled oats
½ cup puffed millet
½ cup raw pecan halves, roughly chopped
¼ cup raw sunflower seeds
¼ cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
2 Tbsp. hulled hemp seed
dash of salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
Wet ingredients
1 Tbsp. melted coconut oil
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. dark agave nectar
1 Tbsp. maple syrup

Makes 36 ounces (4.5 cups)

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F
  2. In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients together. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix all wet ingredients together. Pour wet ingredients onto dry ingredient mixture and stir until all dry ingredients are lightly coated.
  4. Lightly grease a large baking sheet with coconut oil. Spread mixture onto the baking sheet in a thin layer.
  5. Bake 12-15 minutes, stirring once halfway through bake time.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool before transferring to an air tight container or a glass jar.

Store in a cool, dry place for up to two weeks. Enjoy on top of yogurt, with milk, or with fresh fruit. For a special treat, especially on cool mornings, heat milk and pour on top of muesli to enjoy warm.

Bon appétit! 💜

Printable recipe

This recipe is my own, if you repurpose or share this recipe please link to this page and give IronwomanDiaries credit. Thanks!
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Kitchen experiments, scone snobs, and a recipe too

vegan lemon poppy seed sconesIf I haven’t said this before I’m saying it now, I’m a scone snob. That’s right I’m judging you. Serve me a sub-par scone and I’ll think twice before returning. But, serve me a delicious masterpiece and I’m hooked. I’ll talk about you to all of my friends and make it a point to go back and try another flavor. Add an excellent chia latte or espresso into the mix and I’m really sold.

I’ve shared with you scone recipes in the past, but this post is more than just a recipe. This is about experimenting in the kitchen. It’s about being comfortable with not having all of the ingredients on hand and still creating a spectacular dish.

Yesterday I was feeling the need to bake. It had been a while since I baked a batch of scones, so picking those to bake was a no-brainer. I planned on making a Lemon-Poppy seed version of my Vegan Lemon-Raspberry Scones, only to find that I didn’t have any rolled oats on hand. Digging around my cupboards more, I realized I didn’t have any whole-wheat pastry flour either. Instead of being discouraged I altered the recipe, on the fly. As long as you have a basic understanding of how ingredients work together and what the end product should resemble (consistency, texture, etc.), experimenting isn’t scary. Sure, sometimes if you really make big changes the result is a disaster, but more times than not, delicious things come from making it up as you go!

So next time you don’t have an ingredient on hand, even what you think is a main ingredient, ask yourself what you could use in its place. Google is a huge help but so is just trial and error. Ideally, find a replacement with an ingredient that you already have on hand. You’ll save yourself a trip to the grocery store and save yourself a few dollars (always a bonus!).

Now go experiment, have fun and be open to failure, but be ready to be surprised at what deliciousness you end up creating when you don’t follow the recipe teaspoon by teaspoon. Happy recipe altering!

And if you’re curious, here’s my on-the-fly-recipe-altering masterpiece:

Vegan Lemon-Poppy Seed Scones

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour*
1 Tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
¼ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar*
1 Tbsp. poppy seeds*
½ cup vanilla almond milk*
1 Tbsp. chia seeds ground (I grind mine by using my Vitamix, you’ll have to toss in more than you’ll need, but you can keep the extra ground chia seeds, that last for months in the fridge. Add to smoothies, on top of yogurt, or use in other recipes).
3 Tbsp. water
⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
½ tsp. real vanilla extract
Zest of one large lemon
Juice of one large lemon*

Makes 10 scones

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Prepare a large baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl combine ground chia seeds and water. Let sit for 5 minutes while you complete the next step.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients starting with the all-purpose flour through the poppy seeds.
  4. Return to your medium bowl with the chia seed and water mixture. The consistency should be like that of an egg white. Combine the almond milk, coconut oil, vanilla extract, zest, and lemon juice. Note: You’re melted coconut oil will become slightly solid again due to the chilled almond milk, but don’t be alarmed everything will still combine beautifully.
  5. Make a well in the dry ingredients, pour in the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Add a splash of water if your mixture is too dry that it won’t combine. You don’t want your mixture to be too floury.
  6. Using your ¼ cup measuring cup, scoop mixture onto the greased baking sheet. Ever so slightly press down on top of each scooped ball. The goal is to flatten slightly to help the scone cook through evenly.
  7. Bake 12-14 minutes, until center is cooked through (test using a toothpick) or scones become just slightly golden brown on top. Remove from oven and let rest on baking sheet 2-3 minutes. Using a spatula, remove from baking sheet and let cool on a wire rack.

*Indicates the ingredients that were altered from my original recipe.

This recipe is my own, if you repurpose or share this recipe please link to this page and give IronwomanDiaries credit. Thanks!
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Fall has officially arrived, no more living in denial that summer might return. One thing I absolutely do love about fall is that it masks my obsession for pumpkin. In fact it seems that everyone has pumpkin fever this fall. Pumpkin spice lattes (they’re only around for so long, so I have to have one whenever opportunity strikes! 😉 ), pumpkin scones, pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie, pumpkin overnight oatmeal—I think you get the point. Today I was craving a flavorful and moist muffin, so naturally I decided it had to be pumpkin. Get ready for the most delicious and moist pumpkin muffins your taste buds will ever experience! Remember that Vegan Lemon-Raspberry Scone recipe from this summer and my excitement on how amazing it was? I have that same feeling of excitement, that shout from the rooftop excited kind of feeling, for these muffins. (Also, I may or may not have eaten 4 of them fresh out of the oven…but hey they’re small!)

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Muffins Vegan Pumpkin Spice Muffin

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
¼ cup lightly-packed brown sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
2 heaping tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. cloves
½ tsp. ginger
dash of salt (¼ of a tsp. or less)
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
½ cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. pure maple syrup

Makes 8 delicious muffins

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare your muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl mix together all of the dry ingredients (whole-wheat pastry flour through salt). Set aside.
  3. In a smaller bowl combine the coconut oil, almond milk, pumpkin puree, vanilla, and pure maple syrup.
  4. Return to your medium bowl with the combined dry ingredients. Pour in the wet ingredients (mixture will be thick) and stir until well combined.
  5. Use a spoon to scoop muffin mixture into each individual muffin well, filling each about half to three-fourths full. Muffins will rise slightly when baking.
  6. Bake 16 minutes or until center is cooked through (test using a toothpick). Remove from muffin pan and let cool on a wire rack.

Buon appetito! Vegan pumpkin spice muffinPrintable recipe

This recipe is my own, if you repurpose or share this recipe please link to this page and give IronwomanDiaries credit. Thanks!
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Vegan Lemon-Raspberry Scones

vegan lemon-raspberry sconesWow! Are you ready for an explosion of flavor in your mouth? Seriously, these are the absolute best scones I’ve ever made, and I’ve made lots. These have so much flavor thanks to the coconut oil and lemon zest, plus they are so healthy, and did I mention, vegan! No butter, no eggs. I’m in heaven with these and I know you will be too. These vegan lemon-raspberry scones are packed with power foods: chia seeds, coconut oil, and raspberries.

I’m not sure when I developed a weakness for scones. I suppose it probably started as a teenager when I discovered this amazing little vegetarian coffee shop in Ashland, Wisconsin, just a short 15-minute drive from home. This is also where I fell in love with Italian sodas, although I haven’t had one of those in years. Since then I’ve become somewhat of a connoisseur of scones, always trying different ones at coffee shops and the occasional grocery store if they look extra appealing. I developed a particular love for blueberry scones, although strangely enough I’ve never actually made a blueberry scone. I also recently had a caraway scone that was surprisingly delicious. So on my quest to find a healthier version of my beloved scone, I discovered then morphed and created, the perfect recipe.

Now, zest of anything was foreign to me. I actually Googled exactly what I needed to do to incorporate this thing called zest into my recipe. WOW! I had no idea that zest could be so powerful! I think it may have become my new favorite thing, and I’ll have to invest in a zester to make sure all of the zest makes it into my recipe. Here’s how I got my zest (for those of you who also don’t own a zester): I used the medium-whole-size side of my cheese grater, careful to only get the yellow part of the lemon. I at first tried the smallest of sides, but found that it seemed to be more work and effort than the return. The medium side didn’t quite let the zest loose, so when I was ready to pour my soymilk into my mixture, I poured it over the grater at an angle to allow for the zest to be cleaned off the grater and into my mixture. (Genius, right?!)

I might be rambling at how good these are, but it’s because I’ve never tasted anything like these! Whenever I experiment with things it’s always questionable how good they’ll actually be. Sometimes my creations are, well, kind of awful. Then, every once in a while I hit it out of the park and make something so delicious I want to shout from the rooftops! I hope you make these and come back here and tell me how much you love them too. 🙂

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 ¼ cups rolled oats
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup vanilla soymilk
1 Tbsp. chia seeds ground (I grind mine by using my Vitamix, you’ll have to toss in more than you’ll need, but you can keep the extra ground chia seeds, that last for months, in the fridge to use again, add to smoothies, or other recipes).
3 Tbsp. water
⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
½ tsp. real vanilla extract
zest of one large lemon
1 cup fresh raspberries

Makes 11 scones

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Prepare a large baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl combine ground chia seeds and water. Let sit for 5 minutes while you complete the next step.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients starting with the rolled oats through the brown sugar.
  4. Return to your medium bowl with the chia seed and water mixture. The consistency should be like that of an egg white. Combine the coconut oil, vanilla extract, and zest using the soymilk to help ensure all of your zest makes it into the bowl by pouring it over the grater to help clean the zest from grater. Note: You’re melted coconut oil will become slightly solid again due to the chilled soymilk, but don’t be alarmed everything will still combine beautifully.
  5. Make a well in the dry ingredients, pour in the wet ingredients and stir until combined.
  6. Add the raspberries and stir gently until they are combined into the mixture.
  7. Using your ¼ cup measuring cup, scoop mixture onto the greased baking sheet. Ever so slightly press down on top of each scooped ball. The goal is to flatten slightly to help the scone cook through evenly.
  8. Bake 12-14 minutes, until center is cooked through (test using a toothpick) or scones become just slightly golden brown on top. Remove from oven and let rest on baking sheet 2-3 minutes. Using a spatula, remove from baking sheet and let cool on a wire rack.

Devour! (Seriously, try eating just one—It’s nearly impossible!)

Printable recipe

[Since creating this recipe I have since made blueberry-lemon scones (about time!) using the same recipe above. This recipe is just as delicious with blueberries. When I make my next batch of scones Monday morning I think I will make lemon poppyseed. Tis the season for lemon!] vegan-lemon-blueberry scones

This recipe is my own, if you repurpose or share this recipe please link to this page and give IronwomanDiaries credit. Thanks!
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.