My friend Pat was good enough to share the last of her wax bean crop this year. Lucky us! So, tonight I am preparing these beautiful beans with the basil from my herb pot and some garlic (Last week’s bounty from Pat’s garden).
½ C packed basil leaves (reserve a few for garnish)
¼ C pine nuts
3 large garlic cloves, minced or pushed through a press
¼ C olive oil
¼ C finely grated parmesan cheese
black pepper & salt to taste
3 C wax beans, washed & trimmed
Combine basil leaves, pine nuts and garlic in a food processor. Pulse a few times then pour in the olive oil and process until smooth. Add the grated parmesan and pulse a few more times until a paste forms. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. You can use a blender to make the pesto as well but you will have to scrape the sides down more often.
I usually leave the yellow beans whole, just trimming the stem end of each bean. Steam the prepped beans for about 5 minutes being careful not to overdue the cooking process. Toss the steamed beans with the pesto and serve immediately garnished with a few basil leaves.
If I have leftover veggies from the night before I’ll often throw them into a breakfast omelette the next morning. Sometimes I simply put some aside before the evening meal is served to ensure I have what I need the next morning. This morning it was broccoli but cauliflower works equally well and I’ve even used leftover squash. In fact, a squash omelette has become one of my favourites! Serve with toasted low carb bread on the side and you will have a filling breakfast that’s sure to get you through a busy morning.
2 tsp butter
½ cooking onion, small dice
3 T 18% cream
pinch of salt & grinding of pepper
1/3 C cooked broccoli flowerets
4 thin slices of aged cheddar cheese (use a cheese slicer to get nice thin slices)
Melt butter in a small skillet.
Add the diced onion and sauté over medium heat until the onion becomes translucent with a slight golden hue. Push the onions over to one half of the skillet and spread them around in this area evenly.
Whisk the eggs and cream together with a pinch of salt and grinding of pepper.
Pour the egg mixture into the skillet carefully first covering the half of the pan that has no onions and then slowly pouring the rest of the mixture over the onions in the other half of the pan.
Continue to cook over medium heat until the egg mixture has set and is almost cooked all the way through.
Place the cheese over the onion half of the omelette and fold the other side over the top. Continue to cook until the cheese has melted.
Slip the omelette out of the skillet onto a plate and serve with toast (low carb) on the side.
Glenn and I are hosting a Boxing Day brunch tomorrow morning and I’ll be assembling this ham and cheese strata before tucking in tonight. It will come right out of the fridge and pop into the pre-heated oven a half hour before we plan to eat. This recipe serves six but can easily be scaled up or down to suit the number at your table. It might sound odd, but I use Sweet Thai Chili sauce in the strata for added zing! Give it a try – you’ll find it adds a unique flavour to a tried and true brunch favourite.
Sauté onions in melted butter until softened and beginning to brown – remove from heat and cool slightly.
Spray large casserole or individual ramekins with cooking oil
Place half of the cubed croissants into a large casserole dish or 6 individual ramekins. Add half of the ham, sprinkle on half of the sautéed onions, ½ of the cream cheese chunks and half of the grated cheddar cheese. Repeat this layering process ending with the rest of the grated cheddar cheese.
Wisk the eggs, milk, Sweet Thai Chili sauce, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, thyme, salt and a grinding of pepper together in a large measuring cup.
Pour the egg mixture over the casserole (or spread evenly amongst the ramekins) and cover with plastic wrap. The strata(s) can now be refrigerated overnight.
In the morning pre-heat the oven to 350F and place the strata on the middle rack once the oven is hot.
Bake for 30 minutes (20 – 25 minutes for individual ramekins).
To test for doneness insert a metal skewer into the centre of the strata. If it comes out clean the strata is ready to serve.