Monday, April 18, 2016

Halal Keto chicken and spinach "lasagna"

Halal Keto chicken and spinach "lasagna"

Since starting the Keto diet I've been craving a good slice of lasagna and since pasta is a no, no!, I bring you the keto friendly version.

  • 4 Chicken breasts, 
  • 1 jar pasta sauce*
  •  1.5 cups of thawed, frozen spinach, drain and squeeze out excess water. 
  • 4oz cream cheese 
  • 1/5 cup of GreenLand Feta**
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella/ provolone mix cheese.
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons garlic paste***
  • season salt
    Preheat oven to 400F
    grease baking dish or cover in foil, pour sauce into the bottom of the dish.
    Season chicken breasts with season salt and half of garlic. 
    lay chicken in a single layer in the bottom of the dish on top of sauce.
    In a large mixing bowl, mix together cheeses, egg, spinach and remaining garlic.
    Spoon mixture over chicken breasts.
    bake uncovered 45 min or until chicken is cooked and cheese is lightly browned.

    * tomatoes have a load of sugar carbs,  if you're at your daily limit, you can omit the sauce and use diced tomatoes, still some carbs but not as much.
    ** if you can;t find GreenLand feta ( a creamy feta) you can use regular feta and a few teaspoons more cream cheese.
    *** Garlic, another one of those amazing things that can add unwanted carbs.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Make ahead suhoor cassarole. Cheesy, moist and delicious.

This hearty egg, potato, cheese and turkey bacon breakfast casserole stays moist and is perfect to make ahead and warm up for suhoor. Feeds 6-8  Serve with a mango, guava smoothie made with Greek yogurt for a little extra fiber and protein.

My husband is Egyptian so most of the time our suhoor is the traditional tamia ( falafel) Foul ( think refried beans but with favas) feta cheese, chopped salad and bread. All great things but this southern girl can only eat so many fava beans before I need a good southern breakfast and this hits the spot, every time.  The cheese sauce and milk keep it moist so it's perfect to reheat. It keeps well in the frig for 2 days worth of suhoor.
This is the basic recipe, you can add a half a can of Rotel and a a jalapeno to spice it up.


4 medium potatoes, peeled, diced and 3/4 of the way cooked ( boiled)  and drained.
8 strips cooked and chopped turkey bacon
1/2 of a medium onion, sauteed till golden. 
5 large eggs
1 cup cheese sauce or Campbell's nacho cheese soup.
1 cup whole milk
3 table spoons Green Land creamy feta cheese.
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
salt to taste ( go easy on the salt! the bacon, cheese and potatoes are already salted so if you add any, add it with care)
Butter to grease your baking dish and saute the onions.


Preheat oven to 350F

Peel, dice and cook potatoes 3/4 of the way done in salted water., drain and set aside in a large mixing bowl.
Dice cooked turkey bacon and saute onions in 2 teaspoons of butter until golden and add to potatoes.
Mix seasonings with potatoes, bacon and onions. gently stir the mixture taking care not to mash the potatoes up too much. Grease your baking dish and add the potato mix. I find a deep dish glass pie dish works perfect.

Beat eggs with the creamy feta until there are only small lumps of the cheese, add cheese sauce, mix until blended and add milk, mix again. A fork is sufficient, no beaters required.
Pour the egg mixture over the potatoes. You make need to give it a bit of a stir to make sure everything is evenly coated in the pan.

It should be wet.and fill most of the pan. It was about 1/4 of an inch from the top.

Bake 1hr or until it just starts to brown around the edges and is firm in the middle.
  Nom, nom, nom......

Monday, November 24, 2014

Orange cream cheesecake bites

Yey for cheesecake!
This is a super easy recipe, enjoy and be sure to comment if you try it.

2 cups of ground cookie crumbs. You can use almost any kind of dry cookies with out creme middles. I have tried vanilla wafers, gram crackers, coconut and lemon cookies. The coconut is awesome.
1/2 stick of meted butter
2 8oz packages of cream cheese. 
3/4 cup of white sugar
1/2 cup of frozen orange juice concentrate, melted.
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract or 1/8 teaspoon vanilla powder ( keep it halal)

Pre heat your oven to 325 and set rack to the middle.

Grind up cookies in a food processor until course and poor into a large bowl.
Drizzle in melted butter over cookie crumbs and mix well. If you need to add more butter do so a tsp at a time.
Press the crust mixture into a 6x9 baking dish and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, vanilla, orange juice concentrate and eggs, blend on medium-high until smooth.
Pour over your crust and smooth out.

Bake 30-45 min or until the edges puff up and the middle is dry to the touch.

Once it has has cooled, you can spread orange marmalade or orange curd in a thin layer over the top to make it look pretty, or you can just eat it as is.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Halal pot roast and veggies.

I love a good pot roast and now that we have a new Halal butcher in town I can get my meat FRESH!
I've already posted about them but allow me to sing their praise again.
International Grocery & Halal Meat is awesome! Be sure to visit their page, show em' some love and let them know I sent ya!  

Back to post roast. This recipe uses some items you won't find in granny's pot roast. I love using Thai chillies but if you can't find them give jalapenos a try.  I use a lot of turmeric in my cooking, it's a great, natural anti inflammatory and flavor enhancer. If you have never had smoked paprika, we need to talk because you have yet to experience life.
Enjoy the recipe and be sure to tell me what you think of it!

Feeds 4-5      3.5 hrs

1-2lb beef roast 
6-8 potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 small yellow onion, cut into chunks
1 can lima beans
1 can green beans
1 large vine ripe tomato
5 cloves of crushed garlic 
4-5 diced green Thai chillies
smoked paprika
yellow turmeric ( powder)
   Season salt to taste

Preheat oven to 325f

in a large baking pan, lay out the roast and season it well with turmeric, paprika and season salt.
surround roast with veggies ( except the tomato), sprinkle with seasons, chillies and garlic.
top with thick slices of tomato, tightly cover pan with foil and bake aprox 3 hrs or until roast is tender and pulls apart with a fork.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Halal in Pensacola, Florida.

We got a Halal meat store!!
If you are Muslim and have ever lived or been in Pensacola, you know how amazing that is!
It's an awesome little store at the corner of Airport & W st. I will link their Facebook page <here>
The store is called "International grocery and Halal meat"
They have a great selection of items,  many Egyptian!
The fresh beef is to die for, tender, flavorful and no more expensive then WinDixie.
The whole chickens are what chicken should be, they aren't pumped full of water and antibiotics, like the meat they are packed with flavor. I roasted one the other day and the broth in the pan was just too good to toss, I saved it for fried rice and OMG! The best rice ever!
Speaking of rice, 10lbs of brown basmati rice for $11!!  You can not find that ANYWHERE in Pensacola for $11.
I have a roast cooking right now and the house is filled with the heavenly scent of fresh, halal beef roasting ( recipe to follow!)
Thank you, International grocery and Halal meat! I'm so glad you have opened and you will have all of my business!
If you are in or near Pensacola, I would definitely recommend giving them a visit.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Baklava ( sweet golash) Ramadan special!

Who isn't in love with honey drenched phillo filled with nuts?
No one I know, luckily.
Every year I make baklava for Ramadan and Eid, It's expected by the 2nd day there be a big plate of it in the kitchen or the kid and husband loose their minds.
As daunting as it may seem, baklava is probably the easiest  sweet we make. You really can't mess it up and it's so easy to add your own spin on it. Try adding chocolate powder, raisins, try different spices or coconut.

Basic Baklava~

1 package #5-#7 Phillo sheets.
1 lb walnuts or nut of choice
1cup packed light brown sugar
1tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/8 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp cloves ( optional)
melted ghee or butter
pastry brush
Large damp kitchen towel
pizza cutter
Large baking sheet
2 cups honey or 1 cup honey and 1 cup simple syrup.

Preheat oven to 350f

Combine sugar, nuts and spice and blend in a food processor until the mix looks like large grain sand and set it to the side.
Unroll your phillo sheets and cover them with the damp kitchen towel, this is important! The sheets will dry out very fast and then are nearly impossible to use. If the sheets are too large to use on your baking sheet, use the pizza cutter to trim to size, the the cuttings! You can use them to make rolled baklava!( I'll cover that later)
Butter your baking sheet with a LOT of butter.
put down your first sheet of phillo and lightly butter it. You dont need to cover every inch but make you you get at least 65% of it.
from there you layer and butter sheets until you have half the roll laid down. Now you sprinkle your nut and sugar mix over the entire area, make you you get it all.
Follow with layering and buttering the remaining sheets.
Once you finish you use the pizza cutter to carefully cut your unbaked baklava into the shape you want.
.Sometimes the top layer will move around but it's easy to correct.
Bake at 350F for 25-30 min or until golden brown.
Once it's pulled from the over, douse it with honey.

All items can be found at my favorite Pensacola Greek and middle eastern import store Shorline
Support a local business and say no to WallyWorld!
Shoreline not only has the best prices in town but they will also order you almost ANYTHING, They rock.

*** Variation
If you have leftover trimmings~

Using the same nut mix, use a wooden spoon with a round, strait handle, lay the buttered trimming down and fold half way over the spoon handle. sprinkle a little mix at the top and roll the spoon down to cover the mix once it is all the way rolled around the spoon, carefully pull off the spoon, it should scrunch up but not tare.
Line them in a baking pan and bake as normal and drench in honey.
It's cute,different and your friend will bask in your baklava making glory!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Graze Box US review.

My interest was sparked by a Facebook post about the Graze box. I've gotten back on the healthy wagon after starting Crossfit and it's been a bit hard to break my old cravings. Homemade granola, bananas, and blanched almonds are pretty damn mundane, so why not give the Graze Box a shot, eh?.... Why not! So I did and I LOVE it.
So for $6 bucks you get 4 packets of snacks..... Let me reiterate that, SNACKS, not meals so don't sign up expecting your going to have the grocery store delivered to your door for $6.   I have read a few reviews complaining about the size and it really irks my nerves, probably because I am a small business owner myself and I understand a little something called "overhead". If you really break it down, it isn't a bad deal at all and it's something new and interesting every week or two weeks depending on what you choose.
You should check them out by clicking HERE! The first box and the 5th box is free, You can use my invite code MEGANE75P and i get a $1 off my next box ( not the reason I wrote the review either, I honestly did enjoy the product)
Hope you love Grazer as much as i do!

Here is  a photo of my well Grazed, Graze box ( There was no way I could wait for a photo when I got home before i busted it open)