Power Bowl

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AKA Bowl of EVERYTHING I LOVE. Which results in this being a dinner that I make over and over. And over.

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Also, this is probably the healthiest thing ever.  Boiled: eggs and broccoli.  Pan fried: mushrooms.  Roasted: sweet potato.  And the only seasoning you really need is salt and pepper.

Power Bowl
2 servings

1 small sweet potato, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 eggs
1/2 small head broccoli, chopped
1 cup chopped white mushrooms
salt and pepper
dried basil (optional)
soy sauce (optional)
olive oil

1. Drizzle olive oil unto a baking sheet. Add chopped sweet potato and bake at 400 degrees F for 30-40 minutes until soft, frequently stirring to flip the sides of sweet potato. After baking time, remove and season with salt, pepper, and basil.
2. Meanwhile, boil 2 eggs. In another pot, boil water and add broccoli. Remove from heat and drain broccoli after 3-4 minutes, until crisp-tender. Heat a pan to medium-high and grease with olive oil. Add mushrooms and let sizzle, stirring occasionally. Continue cooking until all the moisture evaporates and the mushrooms start to golden, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, add a splash of soy sauce at end of cooking for flavor, if desired.
3. Assemble sweet potato, broccoli, mushrooms, and egg in a bowl and enjoy!

 

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Extreme Omelettes

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I was slightly embarrassed as I started writing because I realized that I still can’t spell ‘omelettes’ without auto-correct. Please tell me I’m not the only one. IMG_4830
But, before we get to the omelette, we must speak of serious matters. Namely, this past Valentine’s Day weekend. This holiday has become one of my favorites, just because it’s a great excuse to show love to everyone. The giving is my favorite part. So here’s a little snippet of how my weekend went:

•watercolor valentines were delivered to friends with some dark chocolate short-bread cookies (and taped to the door when they weren’t home)
•YA romance novels were checked out from the library
•churro waffles with fried ice cream and dulce de leche was quickly devoured
•a new watercolor project was started
•deer was spotted and unsuccessfully chased after
•and, of course, the girls gathered, ate lots of chocolate, and practiced our closed mouth smiles

All this goodness started with these omelettes. My theory is to stuff as much in an omelette as one can. It usually works great every time until the whole flipping part happens. And then in some cases it turns into extreme scrambled eggs. However, I used restraint this time so we ended up with the real deal. This is loaded with mozzarella cheese, tomato, and spinach, as well as diced onions, mushrooms, and asparagus that’s cooked in with the egg. It’s so good, you’ll be having breakfast for dinner everyday.

Extreme Omelettes
1 serving

olive oil or butter
1/4 small onion, chopped
3 white mushrooms, chopped
2 stalks asparagus, chopped
2 eggs
dash of salt and pepper
1/4 tomato, chopped
handful of spinach
sprinkle of mozarella cheese

1. Heat olive oil or butter in a pan over medium heat. Add onion, mushrooms, and asparagus. Sautee for about 3 minutes, until soft.
2. Beat two eggs and add to pan. Gently push egg mixture towards the middle, letting all parts of the egg cook. Sprinkle in salt and pepper.
4. Add spinach, tomato, and cheese to one side of the omelette. Carefully flip the omelette over. And you’re done!

Slow-Cooker Vegetarian Split Pea Soup

Let February 5, 2016 forever be marked in history. The day I dragged the unopened crock pot out from under my bed and used it for the first time. After chopping the vegetables and dumping everything in the crock pot, I left the apartment for my humanities class praying that the apartment wouldn’t be burned to oblivion when I got back.

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The good news is that the only thing it did was turn these rock-hard dried split peas into mushy goodness.

Also, the load of vegetables will leave you feeling healthy for days.

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Cheese croutons… it doesn’t get any better

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This soup has some serious deep flavor and it infinitely better than the kind that comes out of the can.  Try it out!

Slow-Cooker Vegetarian Split Pea Soup
from The Kitchn // makes 4 servings

1 pound dried green split peas
1 small onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
6 cups water

1. Place the split peas in an even layer in the insert of a slow cooker. Add the onion, carrot, celery, oil, bay leaves, salt, and season with pepper. Add the water (no need to stir), cover, and cook until the peas are soft, 5 to 6 hours on high or 8 to 10 hours on low.

2. Stir the soup to incorporate the peas and broth, taste, and season with salt and pepper as needed.  Done!

 

 

Baked Eggs with Spinach and Mushrooms

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Disclaimer: this dish is ten times more delicious than it looks. I blame the unnatural lighting.

Last week my roommate was pan-frying mushrooms with olive oil and thyme.  This resulted in 1.) me lingering around the kitchen just to savor the smell and 2.) the realization that I never, ever use mushrooms to cook.  Fast-forward a few days and here I am, with a carton of mushrooms taking up the precious fridge space.  So proud.

I am awful at describing what things taste like because I just say it’s all just good and that’s the only thing that matters.  But, this was extra special.  Because it’s so healthy and wholesome, but has such a deep taste.  I am now deeply converted to mushrooms.

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So, go pull your cast-iron skillet pan out and feel fancy making baked eggs with mushroom and spinach for brunch.

Baked Eggs with Spinach and Mushrooms

From Smitten Kitchen // makes 12 portions

2 pounds (32 ounces) ounces fresh baby spinach or regular spinach leaves
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
3 small garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 teaspoon table salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
12 large eggs
6 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese

1. Bring 1/2 inch water to a boil in a very large ovenproof heavy skillet, then add half of spinach and cook, turning with tongs, until wilted, about 30 seconds. Add remaining spinach and wilt in same manner, then cook, covered, over moderately high heat until spinach is tender, about 1 to 2 minutes. Drain in a colander and cool under cold running water. Gently squeeze handfuls of spinach to remove as much liquid as possible, then coarsely chop. You will have about 2 cups fairly tightly packed cooked spinach.

2. Wipe skillet dry, then melt butter over medium-low heat. Cook onion and garlic until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and increase heat to medium-high, then cook, stirring, until mushrooms have softened, exuded liquid and that liquid has cooked off, about 5 minutes. Stir in cream, salt, pepper, nutmeg (if using), and chopped spinach and bring back a simmer. Remove skillet from heat.

3. If baking eggs in this skillet, make 12 large indentations in mixture, each large enough to fit an egg. Otherwise, you can transfer this mixture to a 9×13-inch baking dish and do the same there.

4. When you’re ready to bake the dish, or about 30 minutes before serving, put oven rack in upper third of oven and heat oven to 450°F. Crack an egg into each well. Bake until whites are firm and yolks are still runny. You can check this by inserting a toothpick into various parts of the eggs and seeing whether they’re runny or set, which takes anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. The range is long due to different ovens and baking vessels. It’s better to have to check more often than to let them overcook.

Tomato Caprese with Balsamic Vinaigrette

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This dish was the appetizer of an international dinner I made for the parents. Juicy roma tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, and a bite of basil is as Italian as you can get. And the balsamic vinaigrette is the perfect pairing to step it up a notch. This is so simple that it really doesn’t even need a recipe.

Roma tomato
Fresh mozzarella cheese
Basil leaves

1. Cut tomatoes into medium-thick slices. Cut cheese into slices and place on top tomato. Place a basil leaf onto the cheese, and there you have it. A little tower of pure, fresh food.

Balsamic Vinaigrette
Balsamic vinegar
Olive oil
Ground pepper

1. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 3 tablespoons olive oil, and 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper.

Homemade Honey Wheat Bread

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I forgot to buy bread at the grocery store on Tuesday. I’ve had a recipe for homemade bread bookmarked for a few months. Put those two together, and forgetting something actually turned out to be a good thing for once.

Originally from Eating Whole [makes two loaves]
1 tablespoon yeast + 1/4 cup warm water
2 1/2 cups warm water
3/4 tablespoon salt
6 cups whole wheat flour
1/3 cup coconut or vegetable oil
1/2 cup honey
3 tablespoons ground flax meal (I didn’t use this!)

1. Dissolve yeast into 1/4 cup warm water in a small bowl. Let sit until it has doubled in size, about 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a stand mixer using the hook attachment, mix warm water, salt and 3 1/2 cups of the wheat flour for about 5 seconds on lowest speed. It won’t be mixed all the way, and that is okay!
3. Once the yeast has doubled, add in yeast, oil, flax and honey. Mix on low speed for about 5 seconds. Slowly add in the rest of the flour (2 1/2 cups), and then let mix for 10 minutes on low speed.
4. Divide the dough into two equal loaves, and place on two lightly floured towels. Fold the towels over so they are covering the loaves, and let rise for about 30 minutes. Bake loaves in a lightly greased loaf pan (with coconut oil) at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. It should have a nice crust that is golden on top.

 

Baked Cinnamon Apple Chips

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The healthiest, cheapest, tastiest, and most simple chips to make. Feel free to omit the cinnamon if you don’t want any!

Original recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction
3 apples (any kind!)
ground cinnamon
granulated sugar

1. Preheat oven to 200F degrees. Line two large baking sheets with silicone baking mats (or VERY lightly grease with olive oil, butter, or cooking spray.) Set aside.
2. Wash and thinly slice the apples (use a mandolin if you have one for even slices.) Spread the apple slices onto the baking pans making 1 single layer. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
3. Bake for 1 hour, flip the apples over, and bake for another 1-1 1/2 hours. Turn the oven off and keep the apples inside as the oven cools down for 1 hour. This will help them get crunchy. Some apples may just be chewy and only slightly crunchy after 3 hours in the oven. Store apple chips at room temperature in an airtight container.

Homemade Sugar-free Granola Bars

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IMG_3395These are granola bars/fruit bars/energy bars/who cares what they’re called because they’re the best chewy and nutty bars you’ll every eat. And they’re healthy. And you just made GRANOLA BARS, which no one over does, so you’ll feel extra special.

To make these, you can basically throw anything in a bowl and mix it together. Different kinds of seeds, nuts, dried fruit, chocolate chips, pretzel pieces, peanut butter, honey, etc. But make sure you have a binding agent (I used dates blended with water) so they stay together and you get granola bars, not granola.
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Get the original recipe here. I switched it up a little based on what I had in my pantry and used oats, oat flour, chopped up almonds, chia seeds, mejdool dates, all-bran cereal, water, sea salt, vanilla and a tiny pinch of cinnamon.

1/2 cup rolled oats, ground into a flour
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup all-bran cereal
1 cup water
3/4 cup packed pitted Medjool dates
1/2 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 325F and line a 9-inch square pan with two pieces of parchment paper, one going each way.
2. Add rolled oats into a high-speed blender. Blend on highest speed until a fine flour forms. Add oat flour into a large bowl.
3. Add water and pitted dates into blender. Allow the dates to soak for 30 minutes if they are a bit firm or your blender has a hard time blending dates smooth. Once they are soft, blend the dates and water until super smooth.
4. Add all of the ingredients into the bowl with the oat flour and stir well until combined.
5. Scoop the mixture into the pan and spread it out with a spatula as evenly as possible. You can use lightly wet hands to smooth it down if necessary.
6. Bake at 325F for about 23-25 minutes, or until firm to the touch. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then lift it out and transfer it to a cooling rack for another 5-10 minutes. Slice and enjoy!