Tag Archives: vegetarian

Tartine with Eggs and Asparagus

How is everyone feeling after last week? Good because you behaved yourself and ate well? Or bad because you ate way too many cookies, along with anything else you could get your hands on? I’m in the second category and while I loved every little morsel that touched my lips, the guilt has set in and I’m not waiting for the calendar to hit January to get things back to normal. I got home from visiting my sister on Saturday and yesterday I decided no more cookies, no more chocolate, and no more throwing restraint out the window. I woke up and the first thing I did was go over to the produce stand and load up on fruits and veggies. I have found that when I commit to eating some kind of fruit or veggie with every meal or snack, I always do better. So now I have a loaded fridge and I’m feeling good going into this week. I’m starting it off right today with this Tartine with Eggs & Asparagus.

Asparagus, which is cooked until perfectly crisp and bright green, is partially chopped and added to eggs mixed with milk and Parmesan cheese. Thin slices of bread (I used leftover sourdough) is broiled until golden and toasted and then rubbed with garlic. Once the egg/asparagus mixture is scrambled to your ideal consistency, it is piled on top of the toast and garnished with the remaining asparagus tips. To keep the calories down, I used skim milk instead of whole milk and not as much Parmesan cheese. The best part of this open-faced breakfast sandwich in my opinion? The garlic! Just a little rubbed onto the toasted bread provides such a pleasant flavor to the eggs that I devoured this dish in an embarrassingly short period of time. Getting some veggies in with my breakfast feels like a step in the right direction – especially after eating cookies for breakfast last week.

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In a skillet, bring 2 inches of water to a boil. Salt the water, add the asparagus and simmer until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the asparagus to a large bowl of ice water; let cool and drain. Cut the top 4 inches from the asparagus spears and set aside. Thinly slice the bottom halves of the asparagus spears.

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Preheat the broiler or a grill pan over high. Cook the bread until toasted and charred in spots. Rub the toasts with the cut sides of the garlic clove. Drizzle with the EVOO and sprinkle with flaky salt.

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In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, thinly sliced asparagus and cheese. Season with pepper.

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In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium. Add the egg mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggs begin to firm up.

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Mound the eggs on the toasts and arrange the asparagus tips on top.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions:

  • Skim milk
  • Sourdough bread

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine

Spinach Custard Pie

It’s almost Thanksgiving which means it’s appropriate to eat as much pie as you want, right? Well, maybe not. Pies in general are pretty easy to make yet seem so daunting. I admit, I’ll plan on making a pie for dessert next Thursday but this week, I still need to try to eat healthy. But who says you can’t have a healthy pie? Not all pies have to be sweet or have to have crust. So, when I came across this recipe for Spinach Custard Pie, I knew I’d found exactly what I was looking for.

Frozen chopped spinach is the base for this pie which has a little onion, red pepper, eggs and Parmesan cheese. Fat-free (or light) sour cream pulls all of this together, giving the mixture the consistency of spinach dip. Topped with a dash of paprika, this vegetarian pie bakes until golden brown and fragrant. Because it’s easy to portion out, this pie is a perfect option for the quick grab-and-go meal that’s packed with veggies. I’m eating this all week for lunch but one could argue that because of the eggs, this could be a breakfast option too. Pie for breakfast or lunch? Yes, please!

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Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook spinach according to package directions; drain well. Place spinach in a large bowl.

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Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chopped onion and bell pepper; sauté 2 minutes or until tender.

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Add onion mixture, eggs, and egg whites to spinach. Add flour, cheese, butter, salt, pepper and sour cream; stir to combine.

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Spoon mixture into a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle evenly with paprika.

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Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until set. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

 

Sweet and Spicy Pepperonata

Years ago, my friend lived in an amazing apartment in a big old Victorian house in a small town in South Jersey. The first floor of the house was a dentist’s office and his apartment took up the entire second and third floor. Because the office downstairs closed around 5pm every night and on weekends, we never had to worry about parking or how loud the music was. Quite often, we would walk a few blocks to the main street in town and sit at the bar of a shady Italian restaurant. There was nothing particularly charming about the restaurant except for it’s location but they served perfect bread and peppers. I’d never in my life eaten bread and peppers together before (mostly because I rarely ever ate peppers at this time) but these peppers, roasted and oily, served with soft doughy baguette, was the perfect bite for us every single time. The restaurant is no longer there and my friend has long since moved out but we still talk about those bread and peppers. When I saw this recipe for Sweet and Spicy Pepperonata, I knew it wouldn’t be a perfect alternative but it was pretty darn close.

A combination of peppers (I used mini peppers, poblano and long hots) are slowly cooked with shallots until soft and tender. A little sugar, red wine vinegar and fresh thyme are added to give a flavor boost. These peppers aren’t nearly as oily as the peppers from that restaurant but that’s not a bad thing. I served these peppers with some toasted whole grain bread and drizzled a little bit of olive oil over the top (perfection!). But these peppers, with their mild sweetness and heat, would be a perfect accompaniment to chicken or pasta or on a salad, especially if you are trying to eat more vegetables. Plus, just look at those colors! If you want to eat colorfully, you can’t get much more color than this.

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Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add salt, peppers, and shallots; cook 3 minutes or until shallots begin to brown. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, covered, 20 minutes or until peppers are tender.

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Increase heat to medium-high. Add vinegar, sugar, and thyme; cook 15 minutes or until peppers are tender and shallots are golden brown, stirring occasionally.

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Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Zucchini and Corn Chili

Sure, maybe the end of summer isn’t exactly the best time to be making chili. But when the main ingredients are zucchini and corn, why not make it in the summer when the produce is at it’s best? For someone like me who travels a lot for work, things like soups, stews and chilis are great to make in advance and store in the freezer so that when you come back from a road trip, a great meal cane be heated up in no time. This Zucchini and Corn Chili came together quickly, freezes beautifully, and is packed with healthy flavor.

Zucchini, corn and onion are cooked with chili powder and cumin before being mixed with canned tomatoes, black beans, vegetable stock, and poblano peppers. The peppers give this chili just enough of a kick while the spices provide that perfect chili flavor. The zucchini, corn and black beans make a great hearty combination in this vegetarian chili. When I’m gone for a week and tired from traveling, knowing that my refrigerator is empty, I’ll be happy to have this chili waiting in the freezer so I can relax and wait another day to do grocery shopping.

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Char the poblano peppers either over an open flame on a gas burner or under the broiler. Place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Peel, seed and dice the chiles.

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Cut the corn off the cobs. Heat a Dutch oven or other large pot over medium-high and add the oil. Add the corn and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 2 to 4 minutes.

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Add the zucchini, onion, garlic, chili powder and cumin. Stir until the spices are toasted, about 2 minutes. S

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eason with salt and pepper, then stir in half the beans. In a medium bowl, mash the remaining beans with a fork; stir into the vegetables (this will help thicken the chili).

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Add the stock, tomatoes, honey and peppers. Cover and simmer until the flavors combine, 10 to 15 minutes.

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Stir in the cilantro and lime juice. Serve with your choice of toppings.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love it

Source: Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine

Roasted Cherry Tomato and Ricotta Bruschetta

Roasted cherry tomatoes…kind of contradictory isn’t it? Cherry tomatoes are at their peak, perfectly sweet and juicy, in the summer but who wants to turn on their oven for roasting them when it’s 90 degrees outside? Well, I think when it comes to cherry tomatoes, it’s totally worth it. I came across a recipe for a tomato bruschetta that I was excited to make. But when I sat down and read the directions (something I should have learned to do a long time ago), I realized that the whole recipe required a grill (which I don’t have) and that my handy grill pan just wouldn’t do. But since I already had the ingredients, I was determined. So I improvised. The result is this Roasted Cherry Tomato and Ricotta Bruschetta.

Sweet cherry tomatoes are roasted in an oven with nothing but a little olive oil before topping toasted baguette slices and creamy ricotta cheese. A little sprinkle of salt, pepper and basil tops this tasty appetizer which satisfies those summer taste buds. The tomatoes pop with sweetness and blend so well with the creamy ricotta. And who doesn’t like basil on top of tomatoes? On toasted bread? I can’t even.

Roasted Cherry Tomato and Ricotta Bruschetta (makes 15 appetizers)

Adapted from Caramelized Tomato Bruschetta

  • 15 baguette slices (slice the rest and freeze for later!)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, separated
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper

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Preheat the oven to 400°F. On a sheet pan, toss tomatoes with 1 T. olive oil until tomatoes are lightly coated. Roast in the oven for 25 minutes, tossing once halfway through. Set aside.

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Preheat broiler. Lay baguette slices on a baking sheet and brush each slice with remaining 1 T. olive oil. Place under the broiler for 5 minutes or until golden brown.

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Top slice with about 1 tablespoon of ricotta cheese. Spread tomatoes evenly across all slices (about 1 or 2 tomatoes on each, depending on size). Top each piece with a basil leaf. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste.

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Mango Guacamole

It’s May 1st and so begins my month of travel. This will be a true test of how well I eat and if I can keep up with my exercise. I typically do my cooking on the weekends but on weekends like this when I’m getting ready to travel, I usually don’t even bother getting groceries. My flight is on Sunday so I need to eat what I have and make sure my refrigerator is pretty empty. Since I’ll be in London for Cinco de Mayo and won’t get a chance to make myself some tacos, I decided pick up the ingredients to make this Mango Guacamole to eat instead.

Fresh mango and avocados are stirred together with red onion, cilantro, pepper (I used jalapeño), and orange and lime juices. Mangos and avocados are pretty inexpensive in the grocery store right now so I love taking advantage of that. I could eat avocados every single day so making this guacamole makes me really happy. If you don’t like guacamole, so sorry to hear that. The mango and orange juice in this gives it a hint of a sweetness that pairs so well with the heat of the Serrano or jalapeño pepper. Luckily, this guacamole makes just enough that I won’t have any leftover before I hit the airport. I’ll happily eat it all weekend.

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Combine mango, red onion, cilantro, orange juice, lime juice, salt, avocado, and pepper in a large bowl; toss to combine.

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Serve guacamole with tortilla chips.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions:

  •  Jalapeño pepper

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Banana-Almond Butter French Toast Sandwiches

I was in Vegas two weeks ago and one morning my friends and I went to breakfast. (This doesn’t always happen). It was our first morning there and we hadn’t yet been sucked in to all the Vegas has. Not that I’m going to tell you anything that happened there – but I will tell you that I came thisclose to ordering French toast that morning. French toast is one of those things that I ate quite often when I was a kid but rarely do anymore. I always consider it when going out for breakfast but never order it. Thankfully, it’s easy to make at home. Got eggs and bread? You can make French toast. These Banana-Almond Butter French Toast Sandwiches are different twist that are a fun alternative to your standard breakfast. Maybe even your Easter breakfast.

Almond butter, maple syrup, and banana slices are spread between two pieces of break and then dunked in a mixture of eggs, almond milk (or regular milk), cinnamon and vanilla. Grilled until golden brown and slightly crispy, these sandwiches are packed with perfect salty-sweetness. Think of a peanut butter and banana sandwich marrying French toast. So yummy. Surprise your kids with these on Easter Sunday. They’ll be happy they are portable while they are off searching for eggs.

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Crack eggs into a shallow bowl. Add almond milk, vanilla extract, and cinnamon; stir with a whisk to combine.

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Combine almond butter and maple syrup in a small bowl. Cut banana lengthwise into 4 thin slices; cut crosswise into halves. Spread almond butter mixture evenly across bread slices. Top 2 bread slices with 4 banana pieces. Place remaining 2 bread slices over banana, sandwiching almond butter and bananas inside.

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Heat a panini press to 425°F or grill pan at high heat. Dip sandwiches in egg mixture, and let excess drip off.

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Lightly coat grill plates of panini press or grill pan with cooking spray, if needed. Arrange sandwiches on press or grill. Push down gently to flatten.

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Cook 3 to 4 minutes or until sandwiches are browned on the outside and hot in the center.Place sandwiches on a cutting board. Cut in half diagonally. Serve hot.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

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