Eggcellent

Ahhh, what to do when you are scraping at the bottom of the barrel… errr.. fridge on the night before your grocery run? Kitchen-Sink Egg Bake!!! …. which in this case, turned into Eggs in a Nest!

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As a kid, breakfast for dinner was a huge treat (and usually pancakes), but this big kid still loves her some breakfast-y goods after the sun sets.

Here’s what I found in my fridge….

  • 2 medium yellow potatoes (that were on their last legs, TBH)
  • Leftover roasted bell peppers and onions (super simple, just sliced onions and peppers, tossed with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted at 375* until they are soft and have a little char on them)
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs

And what I did with it…

Serves 2

  • Preheat oven to 375*F
  • Fill a large bowl with cold water, set aside
  • Grate potatoes on a box grater. Place grated potatoes in the bowl with cold water. Let sit for 5-10 minutes.
  • Drain potatoes and place on a clean kitchen towel… ring out excess moisture.
  • Place potatoes in a dry bowl and season with salt and pepper, to taste
  • Spray a small cast iron skillet (or other oven safe dish) with oil and pre-heat (medium heat) on stovetop (watch the handle if you’re using cast iron — always use an oven mitt!!)
  • Once hot, spread potatoes in an even layer (you’ll hear the telltale *sizzle*) and let the bottom brown for 4-5 minutes

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  • Then (carefully — *caution hot*) place pan in the oven for 10-15 minutes until potatoes are cooked through and slightly brown
  • Spread onion and pepper mixture on top of the potatoes and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese

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  • Place back in over to warm through and brown cheese
  • Once cheese is browned, crack two eggs over the top and sprinkle lightly with salt
  • Cook until egg whites are set (10-12 minutes)
  • Sprinkle with extra Parm & serve!

This crispy dish will definitely find its way to my brunch (and dinner) table again soon! The best part? Like pretty much everything I make… everything is customizable! Want to get rid of some spinach and feta? Boom. Delicious. Extra deli meat? Bacon? Mozz? Tomatoes? It all works! The possibilities are endless!!

… and making me hungry!

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Crunch Factor

We’ve all been there — craving something crunchy, something salty — sometimes even sweet. When you’re trying to be good (I mean, let’s be real, sometimes there is no substitution for some good ole potato chips), you can now find endless options of “better for you” snacks… I’m talking kale chips, edamame, chickpeas. Only problem is that 1.) Sometimes, other than some extra fiber, they’re really no better for you than a bag of crinkle cuts and 2.) They’re expensive as hell!

Earlier this week, I got together with my friend Delia for a day of cooking and food photos, and one of the things we made was a salad topped with some roasted chickpeas (Delish and on her blog now!).

Welp, needless to say I was inspired. They’ve been on my mind, and today I took the plunge. Best of all — this batch cost me a whopping cost of 89 cents … regardless of the cost of your can, I can guarantee it’s less than what they’re charging you in the snack aisle (and full of way less junk).

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What do you need?

  • A can of chickpeas (or soaked from dried — just follow the directions that come with your beans)
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Any spices that tickle your fancy (in this case, I used to smoked paprika)

The process?

  • Preheat your oven to 375*
  • Drain your chickpeas, rinse and blot dry
  • Spray  your baking sheet with oil (make sure it’s a pan with a lip… don’t want these suckers rolling all over your oven)!
  • Place your beans on the sheet tray
  • Spray the top of the beans with additional cooking spray
  • Sprinkle salt & pepper (to taste)
  • Sprinkle spices (to taste, approximately 1/4 teaspoon of smoked paprika for this batch)
  • Roast until chickpeas are toasted and crunchy (approximately 35 minutes)
  • Remove from oven and let sit on the sheet tray to cool and crisp up

These probably won’t last too long (they didn’t in my house)– but, unlike some other healthy snack alternatives, these travel super well! Perfect for lunches, trips to the movies, travel, hiking — all that jazz!

Next up for me, trying a sweet alternative.

Now — get snackin’!

Taco Tuesday… or any day

This week’s theme? Spring cleaning…. out my freezer.

I’ll admit it. Some days, my freezer can feel like a high stakes game of Jenga. I really want that frozen pizza at the back… but is it worth disrupting the weird balance of frozen items…potentially costing myself a toe when a pack of frozen chicken comes flying out by accident!? (Yes)

From frozen veggies, to pre-made items and frozen meats that were on special — it’s chock full of awesome stuff… buuuut sometimes I forget it’s all there! This week, I decided it was time to put all my freezer items to work … just in time for me to fill it with new ones.

One thing that had spent way too long shoved in the back of the freezer was a package of Mahi Mahi Burgers from Trader Joe’s. And, yeah, they would have been really good, just grilled up according to the package directions and slapped on a bun with some arugula and avocado…. but I had bigger plans for those humble little hockey pucks.

Blackened Fish Tacos.

And, to use up the broccoli slaw that was probably teetering on the brink of it’s acceptable shelf life… I whipped up a lime, vinegar and honey slaw to go with it! Easy, peasy! I swear!

Now, I hadn’t put together a blackening seasoning before soooo… Google to the rescue. I found a relatively simple mixture on That Oven Feelin that contained spices that I already had in my cupboard…and it was used on mahi mahi — so I figured, win, win!

TACO

Blackened Fish Tacos with Honey-Lime Broccoli Slaw

  • Serves 2 

Spice mix:

  • 1 Tbsp of paprika
  • 2 tsp of dried Italian Seasoning
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste!!)
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp of onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp of black pepper

For the tacos:

  • 4 Trader Joe’s Reduced Carb Tortillas
  • 4 Mahi Mahi Burgers
  • Spice mix (to taste)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Nonstick Spray

I took the four mahi burgers out of the freezer for maybe 10-20 minutes before frying up (pictures!! haha) — they were still frozen when I cooked them (as instructions indicate). I sprayed a pan with non-stick spray and sprinkled both sides with blackening seasoning and a little salt. I went a little light on the blackening seasoning this time around because I was cooking for someone who is not a huge spice fan, but I’d probably be a bit more generous with it next time.   

Follow the package instructions to cook the fish through; I turned up my heat once they were totally done to get a bit more color of the burgers.

Once done, break up the burgers into chunks and evenly split between four tortillas.

Broccoli slaw (approximately 1 cup of slaw per person):

  • 2 cups of broccoli slaw (I used Green Giant brand)
  • 1/4 cup of thinly sliced red onion (to taste)
  • Fresh parsley or cilantro
  • 1 lime (zest and juiced… approximately 1-2 Tbsp of juice)
  • 1/2 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbsp of honey (can add more or less to taste, may affect point value)
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)

In a bowl, zest and juice one lime. Add vinegar, honey, salt and pepper (to taste). Whisk. Add slaw, onion and parsley. Mix together and let sit for 20-30 minutes (or longer in the fridge!).

Top tacos with broccoli slaw and any other toppings you might want (may affect points).

I will definitely be making these again — and probably spice up my toppings a bit more (I was limited to what we had in the house yesterday). Hope these spice up your Taco Tuesday… or any day of the week for that matter!

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Recipe hack: Giada’s Lemon Spaghetti with Jumbo Shrimp

Last weekend, I saw an episode of Giada at Home, but she was making her Lemon Spaghetti with Jumbo Shrimp that is apparently  *hugely* popular at her Vegas restaurant.

I’ve never had the version that she serves in Vegas so I can’t tell you what the full-fat, full-cheese version of this tastes like (I’m sure divine)– but I’ve been on a lemon-kick lately…and her recipe looked SO good that I just had to make it.

Little problem…. there was A LOT of spaghetti, a lot of oil and a lot of cheese… and well, I know that it’s got to be great, but on a weeknight, I just can’t do all of that. So I set out to make my own lemony version for two — inspired by her recipe. I tested it a couple of ways and am really happy with how it turned out — very bright and lemony, with arugula adding a peppery bite!!

SHRIMP

 

Lemon Pasta with Shrimp and Arugula (modified from Giada De Laurentiis’s Lemon Spaghetti with Jumbo Shrimp)

Serves 2 (generously)

Ingredients:
18 jumbo shrimp — I used frozen pre-cooked shrimp (thawed prior to use)
3 oz of dry lentil/quinoa pasta
1 Lemon (the zest and juice) — Zest first and then juice
1 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp of grated Parmesan/Romano
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
2 generous handfuls of arugula
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Zest lemon into a large bowl and juice that lemon into the same bowl. Add 1 tbsp of oil and 2 Tbsp of cheese. Whisk together. Set aside.

Rinse thawed shrimp and blot dry with paper towels. Spray a pan with olive oil or other mild oil spray. Place shrimp in single layer and season with salt & pepper. Let shrimp warm through, flip as necessary

While shrimp heat through, bring water to boil, season with salt and cook pasta to al dente. Reserve approximate a half cup of the pasta water before draining.

Place hot pasta and shrimp in bowl with lemon mixture toss to coat. If needed, add a bit of reserved pasta liquid to loosen sauce. Add chopped basil and arugula toss to coat and allow greens to wilt.

Serve. Add additional basil or Parmesan for garnish if desired.

 

 

Set it and forget it: Maple dijon chicken

I don’t know about you — but my slow cooker is way up there on my “most-used kitchen appliances” list…. it’s probably second… only my coffee maker(s)… yes, plural… Sure, I love my food processor or my mixer…. but let’s be real, they tend to collect a little dust.

I love it. So much. I mean, what’s not to love about a device that will take seemingly ordinary ingredients, cook them for an inordinate amount of time, allow you to do something other than stand in your kitchen all day….and somehow, turn them all into something amazing.

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via the chatty yogini

 

This past week, I made a Skinnytaste’s recipe for Crock Pot Maple Dijon Chicken Drumsticks for the first time….. aaaaand….. I’m obsessed. I will probably be making it again ASAP.

The first step was removing the skin from drumsticks (I couldn’t find skinless, and, if you roll up your sleeves, it’s not a difficult task to accomplish — plus, they cost less that way!). Not-so-pro-tip: Have a paper towel on hand, helps to grab the skin and pull it off the chicken!

 

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The only changes I made to Gina’s recipe were the number of drumsticks (my package just had six) and at the end, I placed the cooked drummies on a sheet pan and threw them under the broiler to get a quick char on them! Yes, I’m that person that loves the most charred hot dog on the grill….

Regardless, I think the quick char adds some really nice flavor!!

I think next time I might try with chicken thighs (even more economical!) and I’m sure this would taste great with chicken breasts as well.