Spinach Squash Fritters with Poached Egg (and Earthbound Farms!)

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So, when I started this little blog three and a half years ago, I had no idea of what doors could/would open up for me.  (Queue sappy, uplifting music.)  I mean, there I was, in the middle of Indiana, just kind of cooking a little bit, taking some pictures, and attempting to write a little bit.  It was all good.

But, now it’s something that’s a little bit more to me than just a hobby.  It’s something to look forward to, something to improve upon, and I swear it makes for great dinner conversation if things get a bit awkward.  Everyone is curious about food blogging (or at least they try to be.)  But the best part is the constant learning that I experience-whether its practicing a technique, using a new type of ingredient, or making real life connections with other food bloggers all over the United States (which is incredible.)

So, needless to say, I’m just a smidge pumped about something that’s going on this week.  And you get to come with me.

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A few months ago, Renee from Earthbound Farms called me up and we talked for a bit about green leafy vegetables (and frozen fruits, too) as well as blogging in general.  I was so honestly humbled and excited when she invited me to become a member of their Earthbound Blogger Program. Sooooooo….I’ll be spending the end of this week in Carmel Valley, California…visiting the actual farms, the processing plant, and meeting/greeting with a few other food bloggers.  I can’t even begin to express my excitement for this trip-I mean, honestly, as someone who buys this product regularly in bulk, I cannot wait to see where the food actually comes from.  This company is amazing..just read a little bit about the incredible environmental work that they have done and be prepared to be inspired.  I’m so excited.  So. Excited.  Got it?

So, again, if you want to come along with me, follow me via Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, or Facebook to be in the loop.  This is going to be a once in a lifetime type of trip for me, and I am so ready to experience this with open arms.  Knowledge is power, and I get to be up close and personal with one of my biggest passions: food…and ultimately where it comes from.

And, to get myself in a green leafy vegetable sort of mindset, I decided to try a recipe I immediately bookmarked in my latest issue of Cooking Light magazine.  You can probably use any type of squash here (the original recipe calls for spaghetti squash),  but I had an acorn (my personal fave) on hand.  Make sure to really get as much liquid out of the spinach/squash before you make the patties-this will help substantially with the cooking process. And feel free to throw in whatever kind of spices/herbs you like here..I went for a simple garlic feel here which I actually thought could use a little bit more of a punch to it, but you could honestly throw in whatever you like.  And, of course, I personally feel like there may be nothing sexier than a runny egg yolk in food photos, so of course, I had to throw a poached egg on top.  Enjoy.

 

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Spinach Squash Fritters with Poached Eggs

Servings: about 8-10 fritters

 

Ingredients

2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided

One 8-ounce package baby spinach

One 2 pound squash, cooked (I used acorn) and skin discarded **I cook my squash in the oven at 350 degrees.  I place the squash, cut side down, in about 1/4-inch water and roast for about 45 minutes.  Just scoop the flesh out when it’s cool enough to handle.

1/2 cup whole wheat panko

2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated

1 tablespoon garlic, minced****Here’s a good place to add in additional seasonings, if you like.

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

2 large egg whites

4 eggs, poached ***If you want to know how to poach an egg, click here.

 

 

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Instructions

1.  Heat 1 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat until shimmering.

2. Add the spinach and cook, stirring occasionally, until the spinach is bright green and wilted, about 3-4 minutes.  Carefully transfer the spinach to a clean dish towel.

3. Add the cooked squash to the spinach and gently squeeze the mixture in the dish towel, getting out as much excess liquid as possible.  Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.

4. Add the whole wheat panko, Parmesan cheese, minced garlic, black pepper, and baking powder, mixing to combine.

5. In a separate small bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat the egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form (a few minutes).

6. Gently fold the egg whites into the squash mixture.

7. Using a 1/4-cup as your guide, gently form 3/4-inch thick patties with the squash mixture.

8. In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat the remaining olive oil until shimmering.

9. Add one or two patties to the pan, cooking for about 3 minutes on each side (until lightly browned).  Repeat with the remaining patties.

10. Top the patties with poached eggs, and enjoy.

 

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Source:  Slightly adapted from Cooking Light as part of my monthly contribution to the Cooking Light Bloggers Community.

October 1, 2013 - 7:50 am

bellini - We have Earthbound Farm products here in our British Columbia markets as well. I often buy a cello pack, especially spinach.

October 1, 2013 - 11:48 am

Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl - These sound seriously amazing. This is SO my kind of recipe! Thanks for sharing :) .

October 1, 2013 - 12:07 pm

Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious - I’ll take anything with a poached egg and drippy egg yolk!

October 1, 2013 - 12:22 pm

Abby @ The Frosted Vegan - This is so exciting! Have so much fun and share lots of pictures please! : )

October 1, 2013 - 12:36 pm

Maria Tadic - That poached egg on top looks SOOOOO good! Delicious! Definitely want to try this one! Too bad my husband doesn’t like eggs…oh well – more for me!

October 1, 2013 - 2:55 pm

Jaime @ om nom PICKLES! - Those look so good! I’m such a fan of topping about anything off with a poached egg. Thanks for the recipe, and congratulations on your awesome opportunity!

October 1, 2013 - 6:01 pm

Natalie - This is exactly my kind of meal – simple, healthy, colourful, beautiful! Can’t wait to try, although I will never get a poached egg to look as good as yours…

October 1, 2013 - 8:56 pm

Joanne - When I think back on some of the opportunities that have come my way from blogging, and some of the awesome people I’ve met (like yourself!!) it’s truly amazing. Who could have ever thought a hobby could bring all of this along with it!? SO excited to hear about your trip to Earthbound Farms!

And wow do these fritters look good. How did I miss them in the latest issue of Cooking Light?

October 6, 2013 - 1:32 pm

The Healthy Apple - This sounds amazing; LOVE eggs. And I loved meeting you on the Earthbound Farms trip. oxox Enjoy your weekend!

January 28, 2014 - 2:36 pm

Friday Foodie Favorites + My Thanksgiving Meal Recap | Clean Eating Veggie Girl - [...] loving the sound of these fritters.  Earlier this week, I made my own take on Shanon’s Spinach Squash Fritters with Eggs.  I followed the fritter recipe almost exactly, but I subbed in nutritional yeast in place of the [...]

Chocolate Coconut Walnut Fudge

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Sometimes I come home from work and do a face plant into a box of CheezIts.   And eat giant bowls of cereal with honey drizzled on it.  If I have a big bowl of chocolate ice cream, sometimes I throw a giant spoonful of peanut butter on top.  I drink beer(s).  And sometimes, if I’m tired, I’ll eat a frozen pizza.  And I like fudge.

I’m telling you all this because there’s this little pet peeve of mine that I’ve had for a while.  And it’s this: just because I have a food blog which features (mostly) healthy-ish stuff, it doesn’t mean that I eat healthy all the time. I mean, yes, I try to, because when I eat right, I feel/sleep/think/exercise better. But I’m a pretty normal eater, too.  It makes me a little sad when people automatically assume that I’m judging their meal choice or what they made to bring to the potluck…like they really need to apologize to me if they order the steak or if they think their potato salad is bland.  I don’t really care what you put into your body at all, honestly.  That’s totally your decision.  I just need to worry about what I put into my own…and sometimes, I just need a little fudge.  And I’m really not judging your potato salad, by the way.  I’m probably thinking that it’s delicious and finally I can enjoy something that I didn’t have to make.

(This world would probably be a much easier place to live in if we all just stopped assuming we knew what everyone else was thinking.)

The bottom line is this:  I really really love food.  I love purchasing it, prepping/cleaning it, making it, photographing it, and then talking about it.  I love the whole process.  Even if that means I eat a microwave-friendly burrito every now and then.

And now for the fudge.  Ah, glorious smooth and creamy chocolate fudge.  It’s completely vegan, too, if you are looking for a nice vegan-friendly treat.  Now, if you aren’t a coconut fan, you might want to take a pass here-there is a lot of coconut flavor, even if you omit the flaked coconut on the top.

Here’s to everything in moderation.

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Chocolate Coconut Walnut Fudge

Servings:  about 24 pieces (depending on how you cut it)

 

Ingredients

1 (13.5 ounce) can light coconut milk

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup coconut oil

2 (12 ounce) packages semisweet vegan chocolate chips

2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes

1 cup walnuts, toasted

 

Instructions
1. Line an 8×8-inch square baking dish with aluminum foil.

2. In a medium saucepan, combine the coconut milk, sugar and coconut oil.

3. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

4. Remove the mixture from the heat.

5. Add the chocolate chips and stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth.

6. Transfer the chocolate mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer or your standing mixer and beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes.

7. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with the toasted coconut and walnuts.

8. Refrigerate the fudge until firm, at least 8 hours or overnight.

9. Cut the fudge into squares (I got about 24 pieces). Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

 

Source: Barely adapted from Whole Foods.

September 26, 2013 - 7:32 am

Mary Beth - Vegan fudge? Coconut milk? I think I’m in love.

September 26, 2013 - 8:18 am

Christina - That is one delicious looking plate. I love fudge. It’s been a long time since I’ve had any! My husband would go crazy for this. We all need to treat ourselves every now and then!

September 26, 2013 - 2:19 pm

Kelli @ The Corner Kitchen - Amen!! I’ve a HUGE believer in enjoying everything we eat, and enjoying everything in moderation. I think a lot of people have trouble with the moderation part. I probably eat ice cream every single day…sure, some days, on occasion I might have 6 scoops, but most days I’m satisfied with 1 or 2 spoonfuls.

Also, what is it about CheezIts?!?!? Love them!

September 26, 2013 - 6:04 pm

KerryCan - I, for one, will never judge you because you eat unhealthy sometimes. . . . as long as you keep sharing the recipes! This looks terrific!

September 26, 2013 - 10:18 pm

Joanne - People do that to me all the time and it’s really frustrating! No one should ever apologize for their food choices (at least not to me!). I am all about the dessert and fudge love. And i’m super into all the coconut in these. It’s one of my favorite flavors at the moment.

September 27, 2013 - 8:25 am

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar - This sounds amaaaaazing! Yum!

September 30, 2013 - 3:22 am

Colleen ~ - Looks amazing, and love the whole entry’s vibe. Cheers! :)

November 7, 2013 - 4:33 pm

Joy //For the Love of Leaves - First off, this looks amazing.
Secondly, I hear ya on the whole eating thing/ people assuming I judge them. I get that all the time. I recently off-handily mentioned to my sister that I had finished off a whole jar of salsa and she said “glad to hear you can still pig out like the rest of us!” And I just laughed, of course I can! I probably love food more than the average person. People’s perceptions make me laugh. Glad someone can relate.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Scones

 

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Every single food blogger out there is blogging about fall and posting pumpkin recipes right now. Myself included, obviously.  And this is a good thing, though, even if you aren’t a pumpkin lover.  Or a pumpkin/chocolate combination lover.  Because this is the transition to where probably 95% of food bloggers start getting really really excited about food.  We’ve got all sorts of new flavors to play with, holidays/sporting events centered around..well, mostly food…and the chilly weather allows us to spend more time indoors…and, if you are like me (which I assume you probably are if you are reading this right now), your kitchen becomes the central focus of your home.

This also means I start downloading obscene amounts of new music on my iPad so that I can listen to music (dance in my pajamas) while I cook. (anyone out there also an Arcade Fire fan?  So ready for this new album…you know you’ve made it when David Bowie (THE David Bowie) is singing back-up vocals for you.)

Regardless, it’s fall (Libran sun…everyone-the best time of the year) and now I am posting something fall-ish for you.  Because, what’s better than curling up with a good book, a hot cup of something with caffeine in it, and a nice pumpkin chocolate chip scone?  I used whole wheat pastry flour here, so these scones were a little dense (but, honestly, if you are kinda-sorta dipping them in your coffee anyways, does it matter if they are lightweight?), so you can play around here with the amounts/combinations of flour that you use (if you don’t have whole wheat pastry flour on hand, just substitute all-purpose flour).  Switch up the recipe by adding in crystallized ginger or nuts instead. I’ve got a large batch of these in my freezer right now for lazy weekend mornings.

One more thing: in the coming weeks, I’ve got a lot of really amazing things coming my way..which, by default, will come your way as well.    I’m going to be

posting

instagramming

pinning

and tweeting away.  (although I don’t really know how to tweet at all.)

Now, if you read this blog, I’m not really big on self-promotion and begging/bribing people to follow me on any sort of social media (and I have a lot of mixed feelings about it anyways, but you know how it goes). It’s just there are some pretty fantastic things going on for the next month, and I figured you might want to be in the loop.  (And I’m not going to lie, if you follow me on Instagram, you might see some great photos of my obese cat or shameless selfies as I go back to being completely blond again.  It’s my life outside of my kitchen.)

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Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Scones

Servings:  approximately 12 scones

 

Ingredients

2 and 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1/3 cup sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled, and cut into 1-tablespoon portions

2/3 cup canned pumpkin

2 eggs

1 cup chocolate chips

 

 

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Instructions

1.  In a large bowl (or, to make it easier, in the bowl of a food processor), combine the whole wheat pastry flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice, mixing until combined.

2. Add the butter, one piece at a time, mixing until the dough resembles coarse sand (if doing this by hand, use a pastry cutter.)

3. In the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in another large bowl using a hand mixer), beat the canned pumpkin and the eggs on medium speed until smooth.

4. Reduce the mixer speed to low, and slowly add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin/egg mixture.

5. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.

6. Transfer the dough to a clean, flat, and lightly floured surface and divide the dough into two equal portions.

7. Gently shape each dough half into a 5-inch wide, 3/4-inch thick circle.

8. Cut each circle into six separate wedges and gently pull each wedge apart, leaving a 1/2-inch space between each wedge.

9. Freeze the dough wedges for about 30 minutes or so.

10. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

11. Once the dough has chilled, transfer the scones to the prepared baking sheets and bake until lightly golden around the edges, about 22-25 minutes.

 

Source:  Adapted from King Arthur Flour.

 

September 24, 2013 - 7:35 am

KerryCan - Well, now I feel like I’m a slacker because I haven’t blogged about cooking with pumpkin yet! ;-) But I love the sound of these scones–just right for the crisp weather we’re having!

September 24, 2013 - 12:22 pm

Kelli @ The Corner Kitchen - We’re on the same pumpkin-chocolate chip wavelength this week! Loving these scones and can’t wait to see what’s coming up!

September 24, 2013 - 1:24 pm

Maria Tadic - Never thought about having pumpkin AND chocolate together – but i love them both and thus I need to make these scones. These will be great to bring to work!

September 24, 2013 - 1:53 pm

Robyn - sounds yummy! i’m also not a fan of forcing my social media upon people, but sometimes life just calls for it. since you are a photographer, you’re definitely going to want to download VSCOcam for iPhone – it is the BEST photo editor/filter app for instagramming, trust me ;)

September 24, 2013 - 2:00 pm

srlacy - Oooh, thanks for the suggestion, Robyn! I am definitely going to check it out!

September 24, 2013 - 2:57 pm

carole - Ooh! I made dark chocolate chip ginger scones over the weekend. I’ll be posting the recipe later this week. These look delicious… I love pumpkin & chocolate together.

September 24, 2013 - 3:41 pm

Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl - I have never tried the chocolate/pumpkin combo, but I bet it is amazing since I love both chocolate and pumpkin :) .

September 24, 2013 - 8:56 pm

Christina - I’m excited to see what you have coming up!

You described the perfect afternoon for me- reading, with a cozy blanket, coffee, and a pumpkin scone. Do you think my 14 month old will let me do that? ;)

September 24, 2013 - 9:29 pm

bellini - You’re right about our love of pumpkin and all things related to fall. It is the best time of year!

September 24, 2013 - 10:36 pm

Joanne - Shameless selfies and cat pics are kind of the best!! I am SOOO ready for pumpkin baking. And fall flavors. Just the thought of all of it is making my head spin!

September 26, 2013 - 8:49 pm

Lisa @ Lisa Living Well - I have been craving pumpkin scones all week and need to make a batch this weekend. I just started following you on instagram. I love twitter, so let me know if you have any questions!

September 30, 2013 - 2:18 pm

Rachel @thedessertchronicles - These look delicious! The perfect recipe to continue my pumpkin kick! Thanks for sharing

September 30, 2013 - 2:32 pm

Marie - 1) This looks fab. I may add this to our thanksgiving treats. 2) I had no idea Arcade Fire was coming out with a new album. You just made my week

September 30, 2013 - 3:20 pm

Phi - These look amazing, I LOVE the pumpkin/chocolate chip combo and you’re absolutely right, as a food blogger I love the fall and all the flavors it brings with it. Just yesterday when I was over at my husbands uncles house, he showed me these two gorgeous apple trees that he was really excited about that no one else was because this was the first year that the tree produced amazing looking apples…umm…hello apple pie?!? so now I have a bag full of apples from the tree and tons of motivation from this post, thank you! Now to find someone with a secret pumpkin patch… haha. I am definitely following you to see all this exciting new stuff, can’t wait!