Posts tagged ‘brunch’
Every once in a while, I get a bunch of unidentified green stuff in my Boston Organics box. I’d like to think I’m better than the average gal at green identification, but there are still occasions when I can’t quite distinguish certain species of kale from chard from random leafy greens. Last week was one of those weeks – I got a bunch of what looked like a mix between kale and Swiss chard in my box. Not sure exactly what the flavor of the greens would be, I decided to make a frittata out of them! I have posted several frittata recipes before and generally follow the same framework. For those of you who are new to this recipe, a frittata is essentially a fancy, fluffy baked omelette that is much simpler to make than its name implies. I use onions and garlic for a flavor base and 8 eggs with a splash of milk, salt and pepper for the fluffy egg center. To change the profile of the frittata, I simply switch up the veggies and cheese that I use. Goat cheese is my favorite because it is soft and melty in a freshly warmed frittata. To further switch things up, I splashed a bit of Balsamic vinegar over the greens as well. The result was a satisfying, fluffy egg dish bursting with green stuff. Who needs to know exactly what greens you are eating when it tastes this good?
Ever find that most recipes with goat cheese call for an ounce measurement instead of a tablespoon or cup portion? You’d need a scale to do that… so here is your chance to win one!
Sue from SlimKicker.com contacted me about hosting a give away so that one of you has a chance to win this amazing kitchen scale! SlimKicker.com is a calorie counter and healthy lifestyle app that turns your diet and fitness goals into a game-style challenge, complete with points and rewards. You simply track calories and your healthy food choices, as well as complete healthy challenges, to rack up points. Once you reach a certain point level, you are reminded to reward yourself with something like a “cheat food” or new fitness gear. The tracking system and supportive community are great motivation to stay on track with your fitness goals! I definitely found this type of support essential during my Game On challenge!
This is where you come in – SlimKicker.com is in need of some new ideas for healthy living challenges. To enter this give away, simply leave a 1-2 sentence comment with your idea for a fun and creative healthy living challenge. They can be anything from drinking 8×8 glasses of water a day, to getting 30 minutes of exercise per day, to learning to snack wisely between meals. The best idea will be chosen and featured as part of the SlimKicker challenges, and will receive the kitchen scale! The contest is open for one week, so leave your comment by Tuesday, August 7 at 9am to enter. One comment per reader, please, and prizes can only be shipped within the US. Looking forward to seeing the ideas that you come up with!
Hidden Greens Frittata
1 sweet Vidalia onion, chopped
1 bunch greens, roughly chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
dash garlic powder, parsley, salt
2 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup milk
2 oz goat cheese
Preheat oven to 350F. Saute the onion in the olive oil until soft, about 5 minutes. Add chopped greens and saute until slightly wilted. Add Balsamic vinegar and allow liquid to reduce slightly. In a separate bowl, mix eggs, milk and spices. Pour over the greens and stir slightly to distribute. Allow to cook over medium heat for 4-5 minutes. Transfer heat-safe saute pan to the oven and continue to cook for about 15 minutes. Crumble goat cheese over the top and return to oven for 5 more minutes or until edges are browned and center is set. Immediately sprinkle with shaved Parmesan cheese, if desired. Cut into 4-6 wedges and serve warm.
My Dad is pretty helpless when it comes to food. When my mom went on her first business trip a few years ago, my neighbors took it upon themselves to invite my Dad over for dinner a few nights to make sure he got a real meal. On nights that dinner isn’t made for him, he has been known to pull out the cold cuts, cheese and bread. Smart man – no dinner, make a sandwich instead, right? Oh no. He proceeds to carry those down to his La-Z Boy recliner, and then eat them separately. Why waste the time making a sandwich if its all going to the same place, right?
Now, its Father’s Day so I can’t make fun of my Dad too much! There is one thing my Dad is an expert at cooking – eggs. My sister and I were not the biggest omelet fans growing up, but we loved his “Daddy eggs.” He would chop up everything really small so you never got a chunk of onion, and would always load those eggs up with cheese. We still request the occasional Saturday morning of Daddy eggs on our weekends home from school. In honor of his famous breakfast, I made him a Big Daddy Frittata for Father’s Day. The flavor combo might look familiar… but I had to use what was in the fridge! It is like a gourmet version of bacon and eggs. It was absolutely wonderful! Happy Father’s Day – to my Dad and to all fathers. Know that you are loved and appreciated for all that you do.
Question: What are your plans for Father’s Day?
Prosciutto and Carmelized Onion Frittata
adapted from the Food Network, serves 4-8
5 oz prosciutto, chopped
1/2 cup caramelized onions
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
2 oz Parmesan cheese
4 oz goat cheese
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In an oven-safe skillet coated well with cooking spray, cook the chopped prosciutto until it begins to crisp slightly. Add the caramelized onions and cook for another minute. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and salt. Stir in shredded Parmesan cheese. Pour evenly over the prosciutto and onions. Cook until the eggs begin to set, about 5 minutes. Top the frittata with the crumbled goat cheese. Cook in the oven for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with thyme and fresh ground pepper. Return to oven; broil at 350 degrees for 4 minutes. Slice into desired portion sizes and serve.
Happy Sunday! Hope that you all have had a relaxing weekend and are ready to face a Monday that is fast approaching. My Sunday was fantastic – I woke up early for a smoothie with my sister, and then showed my mom some simple weight lifting exercises. After a quick shower, my mom and I met my sister and dad at church. What a blessing it is to have such an excellent new pastor at my parent’s church, and we found out today that we have a new youth pastor as well! It is exciting to see new life breathed into the church where I was raised, especially after such struggles for the past few years. Some food for thought from my Sunday sermon – the church is supposed to be safe for people, but dangerous to culture. Too often, we are reversed – condemning certain individuals and following popular culture, both Christian and secular. Jesus was, instead, was a trouble maker! He hung out with tax collectors and prostitutes, and preached such “craziness” as the Sermon on the Mount. If only we could live in a way that reflected this truth.
2And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
3“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
6“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
8“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Matthew 5: 2 – 12 (ESV)
After church, I got a chance to catch up with a few friends that I haven’t seen in a while. The nice part about being home for a little longer is that I am getting to catch up with people I haven’t gotten to see on my short weekend trips home! I met my friend Michelle from high school at Jakeabob’s, a cute little seaside restaurant. The first time my mom told me about her new favorite local spot, I thought she had lost all sense. This restaurant proves that you should never judge a book by its
cover name! The food is fantastic, with great flavor combinations and reasonable prices for seafood. I enjoyed a big salad topped with pecans, mandarin oranges and shrimp with a raspberry vinaigrette. Michelle had an enormous ahi tuna burger, which she generously let me try! Both dishes were incredible, and the ocean front views made the experience even better. So great to catch up with old friends!
After having a pretty filling lunch, I knew that a lighter dinner would be on the menu. This is pretty common in my family. We tend to have a bigger lunch immediately after church, around 1:30 or 2, and then have the smaller meal of the day for dinner. Tonight, I made a yummy frittata, which would also be great for a brunch or a weekend lunch. It was inspired by this hearty looking recipe at Rufus’ Guide, and this interesting grilled version at KERF. I cooked everything on the grill, until it ran out of gas… oops! The potatoes made a nice sort-of crust, and the grilled asparagus had a great texture and flavor in the frittata. Plus, keeping everything outside on the grill kept the house from getting too hot. Even if the grill hadn’t run out of gas, I still think it might be a good idea to finish this off in the broiler oven. It gives the top a nice crisp that you might miss with bottom-only heat from the grill. Before making a frittata, either in the oven or on the grill, make sure your pan oven-safe first! And keep a good oven mitt on hand, since the handle will be super hot! I chose to leave the cheese out of this frittata because my sister is lactose-intolerant. She can handle the little bit of milk in the eggs because it is diluted so much, but the cheese would not have such friendly outcomes. Try this without the cheese, or add a little bit of Parmesan on top!
Question: Does your family have any Sunday traditions?
So many things that I love in this post: peanut butter, made-over cookies, coffee, Mother’s Day surprises… get excited! After I am done with this post, I am going to make my kitchen table into my very own coffee shop, with Oatmeal PB cookies and stove-top cafe au-lait on hand. Should make a studious Saturday morning much more enjoyable.
Peanut butter might possibly be my favorite treat, and I absolutely loved peanut butter cookies growing up. I remember a recipe in an old church cookbook that made the best, fluffiest, and greasiest PB cookies ever. Your hands would glisten by the time you were rolling them out, so much so that you had to wash them to even grip the fork to make the classic criss cross pattern in them. Inspired by the success of my oatmeal raisin cookies, I wanted to try my hand at another classic (recipe is at the end of the post). I used some ground flax seed (best done in a spice mill or coffee grinder) to add some good omega-3’s, used apple sauce for moisture instead of eggs to reduce cholesterol, and cut way back on the sugar. In the end, the flavor is pretty earthy thanks to the oatmeal and flax, but still has enough of a hint of sweetness and peanut butter to go perfectly with coffee or a tall glass of milk (my new found favorite is almond milk!) If you aren’t quite feeling an earthy cookie dessert, you could also bake these into bar shapes for an excellent on-the-go snack. Or if you want another twist, try dipping them in melted chocolate!
Coffee might be my second favorite treat. My family has a huge coffee culture – get all of us together and we have a pot going after most meals while we sit around the table and solve the problems of the world. Like my mom’s side of the family, I usually prefer my coffee black, but every once in a while I too get a craving for the steamed milk goodness of a coffee shop treat. However, my wallet is not always so fond of these $4 coffee cravings, so I have learned how to make steamed milk myself! I don’t have an espresso machine and so can’t quite replicate a latte or cappucino, but cafe au lait comes in pretty close! It is pretty easy. Just take about 1/3 cup of the milk of your preference and put it in a small saucepan over the stove. Using an immersion blender, slowly froth the milk while it begins to heat. Blend until the milk is as foamy as you like, and then add to your favorite brewed coffee.
Nothing like a little steamed milk to perk up that home brew. (PS: this is a perfect addition to anyone surprising their mom with breakfast in bed! Really simple, but with impressive results!)
Question: What are you doing for Mother’s Day?
Vegan Oatmeal PB Cookies
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup ground flax seed
1/4 cup brown sugar (may want to add more if you like your cookies sweeter)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup apple sauce
1 tsp vanilla
1 mashed banana
2 tsp agave nectar or honey
1 cup peanut butter (use crunchy if you want some extra texture!)
Preheat oven to 350. Mix all dry ingredients together in one bowl, and all wet ingredients (including peanut butter) in a separate bowl. Add wet mixture to dry mixture slowly. At the end, it may be easiest to use a spatula or your hands to get all ingredients well incorporated. If dough looks dry, add a splash of almond (or your preferred type) milk. Roll into small balls and place on a cookie tray lightly coated with cooking spray. Press cookies down with a fork to create classic criss cross pattern. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until cookies are lightly brown.
Good morning world! It is a good day to not have to study, and even the rain cannot dampen my mood today! In celebration of finally having a true morning off, I slept in (sad that 8am feels like sleeping in…), made myself a delicious breakfast, and enjoyed it as I reflected on the upcoming Easter holiday. I was particularly convicted by this passage in Matthew, and felt painfully aware of how often I, like, Peter, deny or attempt to hide the work that Christ has done in my life. Hope you, too, can find some time for reflection on this Easter weekend!
I have an enormous amount of sweet potatoes (courtesy of an unfulfilled craving for sweet potato fries the last time my mom took me on a Costco shopping spree) and need to use them up before they whither and mold in my closet. My roommate made sweet potato pancakes yesterday, and I knew I had to try them (my recipe, below, is a little different than hers, but similar in its idea). These were even more delicious than I expected, after getting mixed reviews from my roommate’s experiment! They are made slightly healthier by using whole-wheat flour, less butter than the original recipe calls for, and more natural sugars. Also, you get some veggie in your breakfast! Sweet potatoes are packed with beta-carotene, vitamins A and C, and fiber, which makes them a superfood, linked to clearer, healthier skin. (Read more here or here or here!) Even still, this is a pretty filling breakfast and is definitely a special occasion treat.
Some tips for this recipe: steam the sweet potato for about 5 minutes with the skin still on, and then run it under cold water. This will make it ridiculously easy to peel, even using a dull hand-me-down kitchen peeler like I have! Then throw the sweet potato back in to steam until it is very soft. I used a food processor to mash the sweet potato, but if you do not have this tool you need it to be very soft to mash by hand. Also, pancakes come out best when your pan or griddle is very hot, so let your pan heat up for a minute or two before adding the batter. This batter is a little on the thick side, so spread it out with a spoon or a spatula in the pan as soon as you pour it, so you get fully cooked pancakes instead of crispy crusts and doughy centers.
I have a lot of upcoming posts lined up (I tend to cook A LOT when I have a little free time on my hands) so here are some things to look forward to: Boston family Easter dinner (with my dessert contributions), sweet potato gnocchi, Southwestern scramble, stuffed peppers, my first experience at Whole Foods, and some thoughts on when and why to eat organic. Let me know which post you would like to see first!
Sweet Potato Pancakes with Cinnamon-Pecan Butter (makes about 8 pancakes, enough for 3-4 people)
Ingredients: (adapted from a recipe at The Food Network)
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup milk (soymilk works fine!)
1 tsp canola oil
1 small sweet potato, steamed until tender and pureed
For pecan butter:
1/4 cup pecans, toasted and cooled
2 tbsp Light Smart Balance spread
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp agave nectar (can substitute with more honey)
1 tsp honey
3 tbsp soymilk
For pecan butter, toast pecans in a 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes until light brown and fragrant. Let cool while making pancake batter.
Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together. Mix in wet ingredients, and finally add in pureed sweet potato. Mix until smooth.
Finish pecan butter by adding all ingredients to a food processor. Should be a slightly runny but still nut-buttery consistency, so adjust with soy milk to get this just right.
Cook pancakes in batches on a hot skillet until golden brown. Serve drizzled with pecan butter and sprinkled cinnamon.