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Tuesday, August 1, 2017



Immigration lawyers warn of border confusion and travel nightmares that may come with legalized pot and admitting use to a U.S. border guard.

Ross Rebagliati became a role model for countless Canadians when he won the inaugural gold medal for men's snowboarding at the 1998 Nagano Olympics. But Rebagliati is also a notable example of what could soon be an increasing cohort of Canadians: those banned from travelling to the United States because of admitted marijuana use.
Rebagliati's story is of course closely entwined with the marijuana debate: he was initially disqualified in Nagano after testing positive, then reinstated. And of course, Justin Trudeau's Liberals have pledged to legalize the substance next year.
Rebagliati's U.S. travel ban, however, was only recently reversed. And his lawyer, Len Saunders, says the march to legalization won't stop such incidents from happening; in fact, he expects it to make them more common.
The "pot issue" has been simmering for years, stemming from the fact that admitting an instance of past marijuana use to a U.S. border guard can get you permanently banned from entering the U.S., even if the use took place in a jurisdiction where marijuana use is legal.
"When the person admits to the essential elements of a controlled substance violation, then they're basically barred for life," says Saunders, who is based in Blaine, Washington.
According to Saunders, incidents of drug-related border bans have risen sharply since the state of Washington legalized recreational marijuana five years ago.
"Before, I would see these situations once or twice a month, and now I'm literally getting calls every day," he says.
'U.S. border marijuana hell'
The no-tolerance approach can be a shock to travellers who don't realize that they can be penalized for casually admitting use, and that the laws of the country they're leaving and the state they're entering don't factor into it at all.
This is because U.S. Customs and Border Protection is a federal agency, and therefore subject to federal laws that consider marijuana a schedule 1 controlled substance. So you can be entering Washington or other states, where pot is legal, and still get hung up at a border that plays by different rules.
This can lead to some truly confusing situations.
Mark Belanger, an immigration lawyer in Vancouver, had a recent client who went through the ringer of U.S. border marijuana hell.
The client, a German citizen who had recently moved to British Columbia with his German-Canadian wife, was required to leave Canada and re-enter to activate his workers' permit, and decided to spend the day in Seattle.
"What to they do when they're down there? They smoke some marijuana because it's legal," says Belanger.
When they returned to the border, Canadian officials detected marijuana on him and told him he wouldn't be allowed into Canada until the marijuana was out of his system. So the couple did a U-turn with the intention of staying overnight on the U.S. side.
But to do so required them to go through U.S. border controls, where officials asked why he had been turned away at the Canadian border. When he admitted the legal marijuana use, they banned him from entry there as well.
"He's a German national, and they can't send him back to Canada, so they put him in deportation proceedings. They arrest him, handcuff him, bring him down to Tacoma to the detention centre," says Belanger. "We were able to get him out in three weeks. That's fast, believe it or not."
Of course, Canadian citizens don't have to worry about being turned back at both the Canadian and U.S. borders, but they can be banned from U.S. travel, as is Belanger's client.
Typically, border officials will only ask about pot use if triggered by something, such as physical evidence, a conversational snippet, or something suggestive like a T-shirt with a cannabis leaf on it. Belanger says a group of teenagers crossing the border for a concert would also raise red flags and probing questions.
But the fear is that legalization of the drug in Canada could both prompt more aggressive questions from border guards and perhaps embolden Canadian travellers — unaware of the border rules — to admit to using it.
"The border officers are going to have more of a tendency to ask questions to Canadians when they know that it's legal," predicts Saunders.
Lying is not advised, as misleading a border official carries even stiffer penalties. Canadians do, however, have the option of withdrawing their application to enter the United States. Border officials may hassle you about it, but they will have to let you go. However, you will likely face questions about it the next time you try to cross.
And while a ban can usually be worked around by obtaining a waiver, as in Rebagliati's case, doing so is costly and requires hiring a lawyer. This means that both Saunders and Belanger expect their already busy schedules to become more crowded starting next year.
"This is a major problem on the horizon and I'm not entirely sure if the liberal government's thought it through," says Belanger.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Dorie Greenspan’s Belgian Beef and Beer Stew

Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post


Because Dorie Greenspan likes playing the sweet-sour card, she upped its punch in this onion-packed stew by adding mustard and tomato paste, allspice, cloves and more thyme and bay leaves than a French cook might. Seasoned like this, the stew has it all: it’s sweet, sour, (just a little) bitter (from the ale), salty and packed with umami. Traditional recipes don't call for added vegetables, but feel free to toss in some roasted squash or Brussels sprouts, if you like.

Serve with wide noodles, buttered or not.

Make Ahead: The stew can be refrigerated, covered, up to 2 days in advance; reheat over low heat. It can be frozen for up to 1 month.

Tested size: 6 servings


1/4 cup flour
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 pounds chuck or other stew beef, cut into 2-inch cubes, patted dry
3 tablespoons flavorless oil, such as canola, or more as needed
6 slices thick-cut bacon, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic (green germ removed), finely chopped
One 12-ounce/336ml bottle Belgian, abbey or brown ale or beer, such as Chimay
1 1/2 cups no-salt-added beef broth
2 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar (light or dark)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
1 tablespoon tomato paste or concentrate
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
Pinch ground cloves
4 sprigs thyme
3 bay leaves
2 cups cubed, roasted vegetables, or as much as you like (optional)
1/4 cup chopped parsley, dill, chives, tarragon or mixed herbs, for serving


Put the flour in a mixing bowl, season generously with salt and pepper and drop in the beef; toss to coat.

Pour 2 tablespoons of the oil into a 4-to-5-quart Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add as many beef cubes as you can without crowding them, first shaking off excess flour. The beef will steam, not brown, if the pan is too full; cook, seasoning each batch with salt and pepper, until browned on all sides. The pieces should release easily from the bottom of the pot. As the meat is browned, transfer it to a separate bowl. If you need more oil to finish browning the batches, add it as needed. Reserve any leftover flour. If the oil in the pot has burned, wipe out the pot, leaving whatever solids (browned bits) have stuck to the bottom of the pot.

Toss the bacon into the pot and cook, stirring, until it has browned and its fat has rendered; transfer to the bowl with the beef.

Add the butter to the pot along with the onions and garlic. Season lightly with salt and pepper; reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are caramel-colored. Be patient -- this can take at least 30 minutes. If you had leftover flour, stir it into the caramelized onions and cook for 2 minutes, until it browns and loses its raw-flour taste.

While the onions are caramelizing, preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Spoon the meat, bacon and whatever juices may have accumulated in the bowl back into the Dutch oven. Add the ale or beer, the broth, sugar, vinegar, mustard, tomato paste, allspice, cloves, thyme and bay leaves; increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Taste for salt and pepper, adding more as needed. Cover the pot tightly with aluminum foil, then with its lid, and slide it into the oven. Cook (middle rack) for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until the meat is tender enough to cut with a spoon. Discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaves.

When you’re ready to serve, stir in the roasted vegetables, if using, then sprinkle the stew with the chopped herbs.

Rating ****[5]


From cookbook author Dorie Greenspan.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving: 500
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 25g 38%
Saturated Fat: 9g 45%
Cholesterol: 140mg 47%
Sodium: 600mg 25%
Total Carbohydrates: 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber: 2g 8%
Sugar: 9g
Protein: 47g

Dorie Greenspan’s Cocoa Crunch Fruit and Nut Granola

Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post


Here, millet and flaxseed provide extra crunch, wheat germ adds depth, and cocoa powder offers a taste of the unexpected.

To make Granola Bites, you'll use 3 cups of the baked granola and omit adding any dried fruit. See the VARIATION, below.

Make Ahead: Packed in tightly closed containers – humidity is granola’s foe – the granola will keep for at least 1 month. The Granola Bites will be good for at least 1 week.

Tested size: 14 servings; makes 6 1/2 to 7 cups granola

1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons coconut or olive oil
2 cups old-fashioned oats (not instant or quick-cooking)
1 cup mixed chopped nuts, such as almonds, pecans, walnuts, pistachios or hazelnuts
1/2 cup hulled, unsalted pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup hulled, unsalted sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons wheat germ (may substitute old-fashioned oats)
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons millet (optional, but nice for crunch)
1 tablespoon flaxseed (optional)
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes or shredded coconut
1/2 cup moist, plump dried fruit, such as raisins, cranberries, cherries, snipped apricots, apples and/or pears (see NOTE)

Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 325 degrees. Have two 9-by-13-inch Pyrex baking dishes at hand. (If you have only metal pans, line them with parchment paper.)

Combine the brown sugar, honey and coconut or olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring, just until the sugar dissolves.

Combine the oats, nuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, wheat germ, cocoa powder, millet and flaxseed, if using, and the sea salt in a large mixing bowl. Pour in the warm oil mixture, add the vanilla extract and stir, preferably with a flexible spatula, until everything is evenly moistened. Scrape the mixture into the baking dishes, gently spreading it out evenly. Bake on the upper and lower racks for 20 minutes, then stir, making sure to dislodge any bits that may have stuck to the baking dishes. Rotate the baking dishes top to bottom and front to back, stir and bake for 20 minutes.

Stir once again, but this time stir in the shredded or flaked coconut. Bake for 5 minutes or until the coconut is very lightly toasted; the total baking time should be between 45 and 50 minutes. Scrape the baked granola into a big bowl, then stir in the dried fruit.

Once the granola comes to room temperature, use your hands to break up the clumps that will have formed.

VARIATION: To make Granola Bites, preheat the oven to 300 degrees (instead of 325). Use baker's spray to generously grease the 24 wells of two standard-size muffin pans. Put 3 cups of the baked granola (without dried fruit) in a mixing bowl. Bring 1/2 cup of brown rice syrup and 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter just to a boil either in a small pot on the stove or in a microwave. Pour the syrup over the granola and stir with a silicone spatula or spoon until the dry ingredients are thoroughly moistened. Divide the mixture evenly among the muffin pan wells, using the bottom of a jar or glass wrapped in plastic wrap to compact the granola. Bake (middle rack) for 18 to 20 minutes, rotating the pans front to back halfway through, or until the syrup, which will have bubbled, has settled down and the bites are deeply golden. Transfer the muffin pans to wire racks to cool for 5 minutes, then use a table knife to pop the bites out. Place them on racks to cool to room temperature before serving or storing.

NOTE: While the granola is in the oven, check your dried fruit. If it’s not soft and plump, put it in a bowl, cover with very hot tap water and let it soak for 5 to 10 minutes. Right before you’re ready for it, drain the fruit and pat it dry.

Rating *****[3]

From cookbook author Dorie Greenspan.

Tested by Kara Elder.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving (using coconut oil): 260
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 16g 25%
Saturated Fat: 5g 25%
Cholesterol: 0mg 0%
Sodium: 150mg 6%
Total Carbohydrates: 25g 8%
Dietary Fiber: 4g 16%
Sugar: 12g
Protein: 6g

Dorie Greenspan's Ginger-Basil Turkey Meatball Soup

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post


Here's a one-bowl meal with plenty of vegetables, noodles to slurp and meatballs you can use in many other meatball-loving dishes.

If you choose gluten-free bread crumbs, the whole dish is gluten-free.

Do not skip the extra step of cooking the soaked/drained rice noodles; otherwise, they tend to soak up the soup broth once all the ingredients are combined.

Make Ahead: The meatballs can be cooked and refrigerated up to 4 days in advance, covered in some of their cooking broth. (Refrigerate the remaining broth separately.) The soaked/cooked noodles can be refrigerated a day in advance; reheat in warm water for 10 minutes before adding to the soup.) The soup vegetables can be prepped and refrigerated in a zip-top bag a day in advance.

Tested size: 4-6 servings


2 1/2 quarts homemade or no-salt-added chicken broth
2 large eggs
1/2 cup whole-milk ricotta, excess liquid drained
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots or onion, rinsed in cold water and patted dry
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (may substitute cilantro)
1/4 cup plain dried bread crumbs (see headnote)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon peeled, grated fresh ginger root
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound ground turkey, preferably organic (light or dark meat; may substitute chicken)
8 ounces/224g dried rice noodles, such as Taste of Thai straight-cut thin rice noodles
4 cups chopped, sliced and/or shredded mixed vegetables, such as carrots, onions, mushrooms, cabbage (Napa or green), mustard greens, kale and spinach
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh herbs, such as cilantro, basil, parsley and/or mint, for serving
Sriracha (optional)
Soy sauce (optional)
Toasted sesame oil or olive oil, for serving (optional)


For the meatballs: Bring the broth to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat, then cover the pot and reduce the heat to medium-low while you put the meatball mixture together.

Use a fork to break up and lightly beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add the ricotta, shallots or onion, basil, bread crumbs, garlic, ginger, lemon zest, salt and pepper, stirring to blend. Add the ground meat; use the fork and then your clean hands to turn and gently combine the mixture, which will be sticky.

Use a medium cookie scoop (one with a capacity of about 1 1/2 tablespoons) -- my favorite tool for this -- or a tablespoon measure to scoop out 24 to 30 portions. Roll them between your palms to shape into meatballs.

Uncover the pot of broth; drop in the meatballs, adjusting the heat as needed so the broth barely bubbles at the edges; cook for about 10 minutes, turning the meatballs over once, until cooked through. (Depending on the size of your pot, you might have to do this in batches.) Use a slotted spoon to transfer the meatballs to a large bowl.

After the meatballs are done, the broth will be a little murky. If you’d like it to be clearer (I always do), line a strainer with dampened cheesecloth (or a triple layer of dampened paper towels) and pour the broth through. Rinse out the pot and return the broth to it.

For the soup: Put the rice noodles in a large bowl and cover them with very hot tap water. Soak for 20 minutes, replacing the water after 10 minutes.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Just before you’re ready to serve the soup, drop in the soaked noodles; cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Drain. (This step will help prevent the noodles from absorbing too much of the soup broth.)

Meanwhile, reheat the broth over medium-high heat; once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium. Drop in the cooked meatballs; let them warm through for 5 minutes, then stir in the 4 cups of vegetables and cook for 5 minutes or until they are tender. (If you’re using carrots, they’ll remain slightly firm.) Taste, and season with salt and pepper as needed.

Divide the noodles among deep soup bowls. Ladle over the broth, meatballs and vegetables. Scatter the herbs on top, and, if you’d like, let everyone have a go at the Sriracha, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil or olive oil. Serve hot.

Rating *****[9]


From cookbook author Dorie Greenspan.

Tested by Richard Kerr.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving (based on 6): 390
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 10g 15%
Saturated Fat: 4g 20%
Cholesterol: 125mg 42%
Sodium: 620mg 26%
Total Carbohydrates: 46g 15%
Dietary Fiber: 4g 16%
Sugar: 7g
Protein: 26g

Dorie Greenspan's Shrimp and Tomato-Pineapple Salsa Tacos

Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post


Dorie Greenspan is a salsa fan, and this recipe features her current favorite way to use it.

A few pertinent tips: Rinse the red onion in cold water to wash away any bitterness; add the lime juice just before serving to keep the salsa's flavors and colors at their brightest.

If you opt to serve the tacos using corn tortillas, Dorie says it’s nice to heat them over a gas fire or in a dry skillet before serving.

Make Ahead: The salsa can be made and refrigerated up to 1 day in advance. The avocado mash can be refrigerated for up to 4 hours in advance.

Tested size: 4 servings

12 ounces grape tomatoes or ripe Roma tomatoes
1/2 to 2/3 cup diced or chopped red onion (from 1/2 medium onion), rinsed in cold water and patted dry (see headnote)
1/2 cup seeded, diced or chopped red bell pepper (from 1/2 pepper)
1/3 cup chopped fresh pineapple
2 cloves garlic (germ removed), minced
1/4 seeded jalapeño pepper, minced, or more as needed
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 1 to 2 limes), or more as needed
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, or more as needed
Hot sauce (optional)
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime, or more as needed
Fine sea salt
1/4-inch slice seeded jalapeño pepper, minced
Flesh of 2 ripe avocados
1 pound medium or large raw shrimp (defrosted if frozen), peeled, deveined and patted dry
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch Old Bay Seasoning or chili powder, or more as needed
Pinch fine sea salt, or more as needed
Squirt fresh lime juice, or more as needed
Corn tortillas (see headnote) or romaine lettuce leaves (for wraps)
Shredded lettuce (romaine or iceberg; may substitute shredded cabbage)
Hot sauce

For the salsa: If you’re using grape tomatoes, cut each one into quarters. For larger tomatoes, hull them, cut them in half, scoop out the seeds if you like (Dorie says she always skips this step), then cut them into large dice.

Toss the tomatoes and whatever juices are on the cutting board into a mixing bowl. Add the red onion (to taste), red bell pepper, pineapple, garlic, jalapeño, lime juice and the salt; toss to incorporate; taste and add more jalapeño, lime juice, salt and hot sauce, if using. (You'll add the cilantro just before serving.) The yield is about 3 cups. Let it sit at room temperature while you assemble the dish, or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. (As the salsa rests it will become juicier; the closer to serving time that you can make this, the better.)

For the avocado mash: Combine the lime zest and juice in a medium bowl, then stir in a pinch of salt and the jalapeño. Add the avocado and press with a fork to form a chunky mash, making sure the juice is well distributed. Taste, and add lime juice and/or salt as needed. Let it sit while you finish the dish, or cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.

For the shrimp: Toss together the shrimp, oil, Old Bay Seasoning or chili powder, salt and lime juice in a medium bowl.

Heat a large skillet, preferably nonstick, over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp mixture; cook, turning the shrimp once, just until they are pink, opaque and cooked through, 3 to 6 minutes (depending on how cold they were). Turn off the heat.

Wash and dry the bowl the raw shrimp were in; return the cooked shrimp to that bowl and squeeze a little lime juice over them. Taste, and season with more juice, salt and/or Old Bay or chili powder, as needed.

When ready to serve, put separate bowls of the salsa, avocado mash, shrimp, tortillas or romaine leaves, shredded lettuce and hot sauce on the table. (Just before serving, stir the cilantro into the salsa; taste, and add lime juice, jalapeño or seasonings, as needed. Serve with a slotted spoon, in case the salsa has gotten juicy.)

Let everyone build their own dinner, mixing up the components any which way they want.

From cookbook author Dorie Greenspan.

Tested by Kara Elder

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving (using half the salsa and 4 tortillas): 320
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 17g 26%
Saturated Fat: 3g 15%
Cholesterol: 185mg 62%
Sodium: 440mg 18%
Total Carbohydrates: 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber: 7g 28%
Sugar: 3g
Protein: 26g

Drip-Pan Gravy


In this recipe, canned low-sodium chicken broth is enriched with vegetables and chicken parts. It's an extra step, but it's worth the effort. The well-flavored broth almost guarantees a well-flavored gravy, especially after the broth is further enriched by the drippings from the grilled chicken. If you use wood chips while grilling the chicken, the gravy will have even more complexity.

Use whatever you'd like to flavor the broth, especially bits that might otherwise go unused, such as parsley stems, celery leaves, chicken necks, gizzards or trimmed chicken scraps.

Make Ahead: The enriched chicken broth can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for several months.



1/4 medium onion
1 rib celery, cut into pieces (may substitute celery leaves)
A few sprigs thyme (may substitute 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
1 bay leaf
4 whole black peppercorns
8 ounces/224g chicken necks (may substitute chicken scraps or bones)
3 cups/750ml low-sodium chicken broth, warmed, plus more broth or water as needed
1 1/2 cups/375ml defatted chicken broth and drippings, from the drip pan
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon chopped chives
Freshly ground black pepper

Beer-Can Chicken


For the broth: Combine the onion, celery, thyme, bay leaf, peppercorns and chicken necks and/or scraps in a medium saucepan. Add the broth, plus more broth or water as needed to cover; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until the vegetables are soft and the chicken pieces are cooked through. Use a fine-mesh strainer to strain; reserve the liquid and discard the solids. Transfer the liquid to the drip pan to be placed under a chicken to be cooked on a grill.

Cook the chicken according to the recipe directions.

For the gravy: After the chicken is cooked, use a fine-mesh strainer to strain the contents of the drip pan into a fat-separator cup: discard the fat.

Transfer 1 1/2 cups of the broth to a small saucepan; reserve the remaining broth for another use.

Use a spoon to mash together the butter and flour in small dish or ramekin, creating a paste (a beurre manie).

Bring the broth to a boil over medium-high heat; use a small whisk to incorporate the flour-butter paste, whisking to achieve a smooth gravy. Let the gravy come to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring, until thickened.

Add the chives; season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.


From Real Entertaining columnist David Hagedorn.

Tested by David Hagedorn.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Eggs Florentine in Tomato Cups

Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post

NOURISH APR 28, 2016

This recipe transforms everyday ingredients into a dish that feels truly special and luxurious. Tomatoes are hollowed out to become beautiful, edible serving cups, partially filled with a healthful yet decadent-tasting quick creamed spinach. Then each is finished with an egg and cheese, and baked until set and melted. The result is stunning and satisfying, a perfect treat for a special breakfast or brunch.

Make Ahead: The tomatoes and creamed spinach may be covered (separately) and refrigerated several hours in advance. You may have a few tablespoons of the creamed spinach left over, depending on the size of your tomatoes.

Tested size: 4 servings

4 very large tomatoes (8 to 12 ounces each)
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus 2 teaspoons more for brushing
1/4 cup minced shallots
1 tablespoon flour
3/4 cup low-fat milk (1 percent)
One 10-ounce/280g package frozen/defrosted spinach, squeezed of all excess liquid, then chopped (even if the frozen spinach was already chopped)
1 ounce (1/3 cup) finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 large eggs, at room temperature

Cut off the top of each tomato so you'll be able to scoop out the contents. (You can discard the stems, cut up the tops and add them to the tomato flesh, if you like.) Use a melon baller to remove the insides of the tomatoes (reserve the tomato flesh), making sure to leave the shell of the tomato thick enough to form a sturdy cup.

Place the tomato insides into a fine-mesh strainer set over a bowl. Strain out and discard the seeds, and reserve 1/4 cup of the tomato water. Discard the tomato flesh or reserve for another use (such as a fresh tomato sauce).

Brush the outsides of the 4 hollowed-out tomatoes with 2 teaspoons of the oil. Place them on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, stir in the shallots; cook for about 2 minutes or until they are translucent, then add the flour and stir for 30 to 45 seconds. Whisk in the milk and the reserved 1/4 cup of tomato water; once the mixture starts to bubble, cook for 3 or 4 minutes, until it has thickened.

Add the spinach and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring, to form a thick, creamy sauce. Stir in half of the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and the salt and pepper. Turn off the heat.

Fill each tomato cup about halfway with the creamed spinach, forming a well in the center of the spinach and pushing the spinach all the way up the inner sides of the tomatoes. Be sure to leave enough room in each tomato cup for an egg. (You may have some leftover spinach, depending on the size of your tomatoes. If so, reserve for another use.)

Working with one at a time, crack each egg into a small bowl, then carefully slip it into the center of a spinach well. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until the egg whites are just set, the yolks still seem runny and the cheese has melted.

Serve warm.

From nutritionist and cookbook author Ellie Krieger.

Tested by Kara Elder.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving (using about 1 1/2 cups of filling): 220
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 12g 18%
Saturated Fat: 4g 20%
Cholesterol: 195mg 65%
Sodium: 440mg 18%
Total Carbohydrates: 15g 5%
Dietary Fiber: 5g 20%
Sugar: 8g
Protein: 14g