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!

 

 

Indian-Spiced Vegetable Fritters with Lemon Curry Yogurt

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And now on to India! I wanted to make these because 1)fritters sound exciting 2)Indian flavors are amazing and 3)this is a type of food that I would usually never try. This recipe requires a lot of time with the grater, but it’s worth it! The fritters have a crispy exterior and although the vegetables are delicious alone, the lemon curry yogurt takes them to a whole new level with amazing flavors and a nice, acidic zest.

Originally from Smitten Kitchen [makes about 18 pancakes]
1 medium onion, peeled
1 large russet or Idaho potato, peeled
1 yam or sweet potato, peeled
1 large or 2 thin carrots, peeled
1 zucchini
4 large eggs
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
A pinch of cayenne
2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

1. Preheat oven to 200°F. Place two nonstick baking sheets in oven.
2. Using box grater or food processor fitted with grating disc, coarsely grate onion, potatoes, carrot and zucchini and place in colander set in sink, setting aside to drain.
3. In large mixing bowl, lightly beat eggs. Whisk in flour, coriander, turmeric, and cumin. Mix in ginger, cilantro, and peas.
4. Press potatoes and onion to extract as much liquid as possible, then add to bowl. Season mixture with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Using wooden spoon or hands, mix well, but do not overwork.
5. In heavy-bottomed, 12-inch non-stick skillet over moderately high heat, heat 1-2 tablespoons oil or butter until hot but not smoking. Drop 4 scant 1/4-cup portions of potato mixture into pan and flatten with spatula to form four 3-inch pancakes.
6. Fry until bottoms are golden-brown (the color really counts on this; the darker you let it go, the more the pancake holds together – this goes for both sides.), 4 to 5 minutes, then turn over and fry until golden-brown and crisp, an additional 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain; season immediately with salt and pepper. Keep warm on baking sheets in oven while making remaining pancakes.
7. Using paper towels, carefully wipe out pan. And 1 tablespoon oil to the pan and fry 4 more pancakes. Repeat with remaining batter, wiping out pan and adding 1 to 2 tablespoons oil before each batch.
8. Serve pancakes hot with Curry-Lime Yogurt.

Curry Lime Yogurt
1 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon sugar
A squeeze or two of fresh lime juice, to taste
Salt and pepper

1. Mix all ingredients together! And that’s it!

Egg Salad Sandwich

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IMG_3421                                                                   On homemade honey wheat bread!

I don’t know why I love egg salad sandwiches so much, but I do. And I loved them even more after I found out how easy they are to make. These are creamy and have great flavor from the chopped dill and ground pepper!

Originally from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe [makes about 5 sandwiches]
10 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
1/4 cup light or regular mayonnaise
1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh dill, plus more to taste, if needed
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice (1/2 teaspoon or so)
Salt and pepper to taste
10 slices hearty whole-grain bread

1. Cut the eggs into quarters and place in a medium bowl. Add the mayo, yogurt, dill, and lemon.
2. Using a fork, combine and lightly mash the mixture until the ingredients are mixed and the eggs are the desired size. I prefer my egg salad with pretty good texture – so I try to keep the stirring/mashing to a minimum.
3. Add salt and pepper to taste and lightly combine.
4. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve on sandwiches.

Black Bean Burgers

Introducing: GUEST POST BY MY TWIN SISTER (!!!) Don’t know why I need to introduce her because she’s the only one who visits my little website. But nonetheless, here she is with her recipes that my taste buds applaud.

Hello everyone! I’m Anna, Erin’s twin sister and fellow kitchen-experimenter. Today I’m guest blogging to share two of my new and favorite recipes, a perfect dinner-dessert combo: black bean burgers and lemon cookies. (Lemon cookies on the next post!)


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A couple months ago I tasted “fake” meat for the first time. I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that the “chicken patty” had no chicken in it. The lack of an ingredient list also left me dubious, as I had no idea as to whether to patty was filled with chemicals or not.

When I saw this recipe from Eating Whole, I knew I had to try my hand at a vegetarian “burger”. I made this out of pure curiosity, and was pleasantly surprised when it came out to by flavorful. It evolved from a one-time-try to a fun meal to make once in a while. Although it tastes nothing like a real burger, this may be a nice substitute for those who are too nervous to deal with red meat in the kitchen.

From Eating Whole [makes six patties]
1/6 of an onion, chopped
1/2 of a celery stalk, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
3 minced garlic cloves
dash of each: cumin/paprika/salt/pepper
1 can of black beans, drained
1/2 of a steamed sweet potato
1 egg
¼ cup corn

1. Sauté the onion, celery, carrot and garlic until they begin to soften.
2. In a bowl, mash the steamed sweet potato and black beans into a chunky paste. Add the egg, corn, spices and sautéed ingredients until and mix with for until well combined. The result should still be chunky, not a paste.
3. Form into 6 patties, and then cook in a skillet for 2-4 minutes on each side.

 

 

 

Roasted Broccoli Grilled Cheese

Roasted-Broccoli-Grilled-Cheese-9//This is not my own photo (obviously) because I may or may not have burnt mine both times I made it. But in my defense, I like my food well-done. Photo from recipe source, Two Peas and Their Pod.)//

Sometimes you just need to eat a grilled cheese sandwich. And sometimes you can add roasted broccoli to that sandwich to not only make yourself feel healthier, but to also transform it into the tastiest grilled cheese you have ever had. You can’t go wrong with the classic broccoli and cheese combo. Anna, you MUST try this.

from Two Peas and Their Pod
Makes 3-4 sanwiches
Florets from 1 medium head broccoli (about 1/2 pound), chopped small
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
Unsalted butter, softened
6 to 8 slices bread
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded or thinly sliced

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. On a sheet pan, mix the broccoli, oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the broccoli is evenly roasted but not burnt. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
3. Heat a skillet over medium-low heat.
4. Spread butter evenly on one side of each slice of bread. Dividing the ingredients evenly, layer cheese on the unbuttered side of half of the bread slices, then add chopped broccoli in the middle and more cheese on top so that the broccoli lies between two layers of cheese. This keeps the small pieces of broccoli from falling out as the cheese melts. Top each with another slice of bread, butter side out.
5. “Grill” in the skillet, turning sandwiches over once, until the cheese melts and the bread is evenly toasted.

Black Bean and Sweet Corn Quiona Salad

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//I apologize for this semi-blurry and completely awful iPhone photo.//

A light, quick, easy, and delicious lunch. I love using quinoa seeds because they’re tiny little puffs of healthiness.

From Mel’s Kitchen Café (go there to see a much more pleasing photo)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (*I omitted this)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup frozen sweet white corn
2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

1.In a medium pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When shimmering and hot, add the onions and saute for 4-5 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic and stir for a minute or two until the garlic is fragrant, being careful not to burn the garlic.
2.Add the quinoa and cover with broth. Stir in cumin, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and let simmer for 20 minutes (or until all the liquid is absorbed).
3.Stir in the frozen corn and black beans. Cover and let the pot sit off the heat until the corn and beans are heated through, about 5-6 minutes. Stir in the cilantro. Serve warm or chilled.

Light Lemon and Spinach Spaghetti

lemon-spaghetti2//I forgot to take a picture (okay, I was too hungry to stop and take a picture) so this is from the website I got the recipe at, Mel’s Kitchen Café.)//

This recipe is a perfect light and refreshing meal. When I think of pasta, I usually think of heavy and creamy dishes. But this is the opposite. It’s simple and light, yet the garlic and chicken stock add a deep flavor. Plus it uses up the box of baby spinach in your fridge.

From Mel’s Kitchen Cafe
12 ounces spaghetti or angel hair pasta
2 tablespoons butter
4 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
6-9 cups coarsely chopped fresh baby spinach
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
Zest of 1 lemon (about 1 teaspoon or so)
6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1.Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil and cook the noodles until al dente, according to package directions. Drain and rinse briefly with cool water and set aside.
2.While the noodles are boiling, in a large 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat the butter over medium heat until melted. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes, careful not to let the garlic burn.
3.Toss in the chopped spinach and pour in the chicken broth. Simmer the mixture 2-3 minutes until the spinach is wilted. Toss in the cooked noodles, using tongs or two forks to lift the noodles up and over to distribute the spinach mixture.
4.Add the lemon zest and juice. Toss the noodle mixture and heat through, 1-2 more minutes.
5.Serve immediately with a sprinkle of fresh Parmesan cheese.