Put an Egg On It: Quinoa for Breakfast

My latest obsession is a fried egg on just about anything: pasta, veggies, hash. This time, I swapped the old egg-on-toast breakfast classic with protein-packed quinoa. And it couldn’t be easier.

Just follow the instructions for making quinoa, then fry two eggs over easy (season with salt while cooking). Place the eggs on top of the quinoa in a bowl, and enjoy!

Indy licked the bowl afterwards, so it’s quite possibly dog-friendly too.

$2 Healthy Lunch Option

I’ve been ordering grocery deliveries from Safeway for almost 10 years. It’s ideal for shopping anytime from your couch, rather than spending an hour of precious evening or weekend time pushing your cart through the crowded aisles.

Over the years, Safeway has expanded their line of organic products and healthy options. Their (unprocessed) frozen meals can’t be beat, price wise.

This delectable “Five Grain Beef and Vegetables” dish is $2. Hardly anything costs $2 these days! And for only 290 calories, it actually fills me up.

Down with BLP

The prospect of a BLT without the tomato is tragic news at dinner hour. Sadly we had run out of heirlooms, so I improvised with sliced peaches. The sweet and salty contrast was tasty (and something I had experimented with in the past with a BLTAP featuring apples cooked in bacon fat and provolone). Are you down with BLP?

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Almond Milk Mac & Cheese

Pinterest makes anything seem possible. “Life changing mac & cheese in minutes!” This pin inspired me to try boiling said noodles in milk (in my case, almond milk) and then simply stir in shredded cheese at the end.

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Not bad, although I should have been more generous about the amount of cheese.

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Seafood: To Can or Not to Can

Since I always struggle with stocking meat and using it before the expiration date, I decided to experiment with canned seafood. The smell is pungent and not for the fish-averse. But adding shrimp or crab to a meal is incredibly easy when it’s stored in the pantry for dinner emergencies.

Breakfast can benefit too. I made baked eggs with almond milk, spinach, and canned crab meat. For the recipe, see New Year’s Resolution-Worthy Baked Eggs.

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I also made a simple “fried rice” dish by sauteeing the canned shrimp in a pan and adding frozen peas towards the end, while cooking the rice separately. Mix it all together and serve. (Even better, try adding the shrimp to a Caesar salad.)

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A Little Pizza My Heart

I embraced cheesiness on Valentine’s Day with a homemade, heart-shaped pizza for two. Shape the pepperoni into hearts by cutting a small triangle at the edge (easier to do in a stack), and cut the two opposite sides on a diagonal. For the bell peppers, cut narrow slices and make sure to leave the curvy ends at the top of the pepper. Then cut the slices in half and shape into a heart.

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Lazy Lasagna

I came home to chaos in the kitchen, and had to quickly make dinner while keeping an eye on my cone-headed puppy. It took me two minutes to throw get this into the oven, so I could get back to juggling all the other balls in the air.

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Throw a couple of lasagna noodles in a buttered square casserole dish, add a layer of diced tomatoes and some parmesan; repeat twice, and pour almond milk over the final noodle layer until it was soaking. Finish with parmesan, cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees until noodles are swollen and tender.

Ingredients:

  • Butter to grease casserole dish
  • No-bake lasagna noodles
  • Can of diced tomatoes
  • Shredded parmesan
  • Almond milk

New Year’s Resolution-Worthy Baked Eggs

This morning I embraced resolutions to eat healthy, make more meals at home, and embrace imperfection. Inspired by a baked eggs recipe from Saveur, I made some tweaks; adding mushrooms and onions, swapping cream for almond milk, and leaving out the bacon. Despite some timing adjustments with the eggs, the result was a delicious brunch that’s deceptively healthy.

First, saute sliced mushrooms and chopped onions with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add spinach at the end and remove from heat. Grease two oven-safe bowls or small gratin dishes with butter.

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Next, divide mushroom mixture between two bowls. Make 2 wells in each bowl, and carefully crack 1 egg into each well. Add 4 tomato wedges and 2 spoonfuls of almond milk to each bowl. Sprinkle with parmesan, nutmeg, salt and pepper.

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Bake uncovered at 425 degrees or higher if your stoneware can handle it. Remove once the egg whites are opaque, and topping is golden brown.

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Note: It took me much longer than the 5 minutes (under a broiler) that the recipe suggested, to cook the eggs through. In fact, I discovered there was still clear liquid on the bottom layer, so I put them back in until I felt safer about the finished result. In total, I probably cooked them for 20 minutes or so, but it will ultimately depend on your risk tolerance, oven and cookware.

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Delicious when served and scooped with sourdough toast!

Ingredient list:

  • Olive oil, salt and pepper
  • Sliced mushrooms (4-6 buttons)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • Handful of fresh spinach
  • Butter or nonstick spray
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tomato, cut into 8 wedges
  • 4 spoonfuls of almond milk
  • 2 handfuls of shredded parmesan
  • Nutmeg
  • Toast, optional

Goat Cheese Pizza

Why should mozzarella have all the fun? After watching my Christmas hosts make pizza at home, David was determined to try it in our kitchen. I was equally determined to find a shreddable goat cheese.

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Trader Joe’s is where we got the goods. You can pick up the dough, bell peppers, olives, sausage, mushrooms, and marinara sauce for less than the price of delivery. And I found Goat’s Milk Cheddar Cheese, which turned out to be a perfect substitute for mozzarella.

The only tricky part is cooking the pizza long enough to make sure the dough is cooked through. Ours took twice as long as the package suggested, which meant crispier toppings than we would have liked. I’d recommend reducing the heat slightly to help cook evenly.

Meal ‘n Steal: $5 Banh Mi Sandwich

Today I was introduced to a whole new world inside of Duc Loi Supermarket in the Mission. They carry all kinds of local produce, organic products and wine, for a fraction of the price of fancier gourmet shops. But what we really came for was the Banh Mi Sandwich from the deli counter. At just $5 a pop, you get an entire meal in one sandwich – and bite by bite, it lived up to its rep.

Banh Mi Sandwich  @ Duc Loi Supermarket

So what’s in a Banh Mi sandwich? Five kinds of meat: pork pot roast, liverwurst, pork roll, head cheese and pork belly. But here’s the kicker, all that rich protein is balanced with carrots, jicama, cilantro, cucumber, daikon, and jalapeno – served on French bread.

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Oh, and I walked out with a bunch of green onions for $0.49. Can you think of anything that costs less than a $1 at the grocery store? Me neither. Consider me a convert!

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