Thursday, February 28, 2013

Make Ahead Egg Breakfast Muffins

I wanted to call these a "quiche" only because I wasn't sure what else to call them.
They don't have a crust, just eggs, meat, veggies and a bit of cheese.
All delightfully made ahead of time and grabbed on the go during the work week mornings.

We like to  eat a couple of fried eggs in the morning, just something about that protein pack that really stays with you.
But, we were getting kind of bored with that every day.
So, then this friend posted an idea for a workout lean breakfast.  I loved it.
So, I tried my own version (below) and we loved the result.
Our daughter was home for the weekend (gluten and dairy free girl) and quickly scampered off with the ziploc bag of the 8 remaining "muffins" for her own work week.  Hey, I want her to eat healthily, so I was happy to share.  I whomped up another batch with some other ingredients.  This really is a technique that you could change up, depending on what you like, and what you have on hand. Think of the possibilities.... here's a couple ideas:
1)  black bean, corn, cilantro and hot peppers
2) bacon and three cheeses
3) Basil, diced tomato, mozzarella
4) Diced potato, cheddar cheese, chives and bacon bits

My advice?  Do these on Sunday morning, and serve hot, then cool the leftovers and put in the fridge for 'grab and go' breakfasts.

Make 12 muffins

11 eggs 
1/2 lb of sausage, or hamburger, or even diced bacon
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 bell pepper (or 3 mini's), diced
Other things like:  jalapeno, cilantro or basil and sun-dried tomatoes
Salt and Pepper
12 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated (unless doing dairy free)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a muffin tin, or use paper muffin cups.
Saute the sausage or hamburger over medium high heat until cooked through.  Add in the diced onions and peppers and cook until the onions get limp and translucent.  Drain off any excess oil from the mixture. Add about 1/4 cup of the mixture in the bottom of each muffin cup.

In another bowl, beat 11 eggs (12 is just too many...) until well beaten. Add in salt and pepper, and any other spices like garlic powder.  I added my chopped cilantro here.  Add 1/4 cup over the top of the meat and veggie mixture. Top with a tablespoon of cheese, if desired.

Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes until puffed up and firm.  Try not to over bake. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Pizza Hummus

I love hummus, umm, well actually, I should say I actually love garbanzo beans, chickpeas, ceci bean, whatever it is you like to call them.  I did some roasted one time, they were totally yummy. If you want to check it out, it's on this link here.

Pizza hummus? I saw it in a FoodNetwork Magazine and thought about it.  
Didn't take long.
OKAY, I am IN.
You know what the only thing that I might have liked in this recipe?
Yep, thinly sliced pepperoni!  But I suppose that ruins it for you vegans and vegetarians.
No matter if you decide to eat it with pepperoni, or just do the recipe as written.  
I like the flavors here, totally different and enjoyable.

Let's talk a little bit about tahini... shall we?  
Tahini is really just a sesame paste that is a bit like peanut butter only thinner. 
It can be hard to find, and maybe a bit more expensive than you think it ought to be. I found mine at the business Costco for under $4.00. But, I've been making hummus for years successfully without tahini. So, if you don't have any... well, I just might recommend that you try it with a bit more of the reserved liquid to make it the consistency.

I really ought to read recipes more closely, I didn't add the 1/2 cup of reserved liquid from the chickpeas, so my mixture is a bit thicker. Next time, I will add that for a creamy mixture.  Do yourself a favor, and just add it to begin with.

P.S. Do you like my orange cauliflower?  I paid twice the price, but it was so dang cute.  
P.S.S It tastes exactly the same as the white kind.

Makes about 3-4 cups

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil, or fresh finely chopped
2 to 3 cloves garlic
2 15 oz cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed, 1/2 cup liquid reserved
1/4 cup tahini (Mid Eastern Sesame paste)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt

Add all the ingredients to the food processor and puree until smooth and creamy.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Mushroom, Fennel & Potato Soup

What are you going to make tonight?
I've got a pack of sliced mushrooms. a wilting fennel bulb and a bunch of potatoes.
Me thinks, why not?
I will admit it (again...) though I do eat mushrooms, I DO NOT lust after mushrooms.
Fennel... though, I love, love, love. I buy it, then think-  - what now?
Potatoes, who doesn't like those?
So.. that's what I had.  
WHO even makes soup out of that?
Well, I did, and we liked it.

Here's my main advice.Get a good carmelization on your mushrooms, onions and fennel. This really adds to the flavor and dimension of the soup.

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 blub fennel, chopped  (retain the green tops for garnish)
8-16oz mushrooms, sliced
2-3 garlic cloves or 1 tsp garlic powder
4 medium potatoes, diced
8 cups broth (vegetable, chicken or water)
1/2 lemon, juiced
Salt and Pepper

Serving (optional):
Yogurt or Sour Cream, or non-dairy topping
Chopped fennel greens, or parsley
Sauteed mushrooms

Chop up the onions, fennel and mushrooms into a rough chop, since you are blending this soup anyway, it doesn't matter!  Yeah for that!

Saute the mushrooms over medium high heat in the olive oil, stirring frequently, until they start to brown and get soft.  Don't add any seasoning until later on, adding salt while it cooks makes it release liquid and then it won't brown up. Remove about 1/4 cup of them for the garnish.  Add the onions and fennel and continue sauteing until they are starting to get a brownish color too.  Add the chopped garlic and saute for another 1-2 minutes.

Meanwhile, add the diced potatoes to some salted water in a large pot and bring to a boil.  Cook until tender, about 10-15 minutes, depending on the size you chopped them.  Drain.

Add the sauteed veggies, the cooked potatoes and about 2 cups of broth to your blender, or food processor.  Blend until smooth.  Add the mixture back to the soup pot, add the rest of the liquid, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. 

Serve with a dollop of sour cream, some chopped fennel greens and the browned mushrooms.   

If you like soup, here's some more easy soups from blended veggies!

Beet & Cauliflower Soup- Hot Pink!
Cheddar Cheese & Beer Soup
Chilled Cucumber Feta Soup 
Chilled Zucchini Buttermilk Soup
Curried Cauliflower Soup
Egyptian Red Lentil Soup
Mediterranean Tomato Soup
Mexican Chicken Posole Stew
Mexican Cauliflower Soup (for the soul)
Split Pea Soup

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Drunken Fig Jam with Grand Marnier & Brandy

I'm sure you've seen it.

That really yummy, and expensive fig jam.
Well, this one is better and if you already have Grand Mariner and brandy, it's cheaper too.
Plus, if you wanted, you could use this jam as gifts; for the hostess, for the holidays, whatever.
I was a little sad that I gave so much of my first batch away, I wish I had kept more for myself.This stuff is so good with goat cheese, or Brie, or whatever salty rich cheese you like and crackers.
I look every time  we go to Costco.... looking, looking, searching for more of the fresh figs so I can make some more of this jam. I know the season is passed, but I keep looking.

I'm sure there are many other uses for drunken jam like this, but I can't get past it with goat cheese on a cracker.  Best stuff on earth.

Makes about 6-7 1 cup jars
4 cups figs, cut into 1/8's
4 cups sugar
2 lemons, zested and juiced (you could sub Orange's here- use 1/3 cup juice and 2 tsp zest)
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup brandy, or Courvoisier
1/3 cup of Grand Marnier
1 3 oz. packet of liquid pectin

Chop up the figs and throw in a large stock pot over medium high heat with the lemon juice, zest and the sugar over medium high heat.

Simmer with a rolling boil for about 10-15 minutes.  Stir and watch it, don't leave it unattended.  If it starts to look too thick, add the water and cook until the figs have started to break down.  Add the brandy and Grand Marnier.  When you add the booze, be careful, it does splatter around.  Best to turn off the heat and slowly add while stirring.  Bring back to a boil and add the liquid pectin and boil for ONE minute.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Chipotle-Corn Turkey Burgers

It's not very often where a burger completely knocks your socks off.
But this one did.
Completely, utterly made us both groan with pleasure. 

I don’t make a lot of hamburgers, but I really, really like a good one.
Problem is… we usually go out for a burger instead of making them at home. 
My hubby actually said "Red Robin, watch out". Then he went into talking of his dream of opening a pub where I made all the pub food.  Umm... no, too much work thanks, I'd rather just cook for all of you.

This one is good enough to make you super happy, and healthy enough, and easy too. This is one recipe I know that I will make again and again.

It’s the spicy, with a bit of sweet from the corn, that is very good with turkey.  I recommend the Chipotle Sour cream as a condiment, as long as you have that can of chipotles already open- why not do it?
It's pretty easy to have this stuff on hand at my house, I hope yours too

Serves 4
1 pound ground turkey
1/2 cup grilled corn kernals, or regular corn (Trader Joe’s has a great one)
1-2 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, finely chopped
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
2-3 Tbsp green onions, minced
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Other toppings:
4 hamburger buns, split
Cheddar cheese slices, or Pepper Jack
Chipotle Sour Cream (recipe here, not crucial, just recommended)
Avocado slices
Tomato slices
Onion slices

Preheat a grill to medium. In a bowl, combine the turkey, chipotle chile, chopped cilantro, minced green onions, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. 

Form the mixture into 4 patties and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes.

Brush the tops of the patties with 1 tablespoon oil; arrange on the grate oiled side down and grill until deep golden-brown, about 5 minutes. Brush the other side of the patties with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, turn and continue grilling until cooked through, about 5 minutes. 

During the last few minutes of grilling, arrange the buns split side down on the grate and grill until toasted.

Spread the toasted buns with the chipotle sour cream (or mayo) and patties, cheese, avocado, tomato and onions. Set the bun tops into place. Eat and Enjoy!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Buffalo Ground Turkey Meatballs

Okay,so these are way easier, and way healthier, than regular buffalo wings.
I also happen to think that they are easier to eat too!
That could mean that you would eat more... just be careful, okay?

I got this recipe off of, as I had a bunch of ground turkey, and Frank's Red Hot to use up, plus a love of Buffalo Wings.  This is an easy way to get both flavors quickly  I read the reviews of the original recipe and agreed that they may not have enough "buffalo" taste, so I made some changes. I also didn't think that I would like to have to baste the cooking meatballs.
Yawn... basting is tedious.
Tossing in Frank's Red Hot, is fun.  Totally easier too.

As a note, I did use more fresh bread crumbs than the original recipe, but did so to counteract the additional Red Hot Sauce added to the mixture.  I think it would still work with less bread crumbs (1/2 cup like the original recipe) but I have not tried it.

These meatballs are moist, tasty and easy to serve a crowd! 
You could serve this with Ranch dressing or Blue cheese... whatever you like!

Makes about 24 meatballs


1 lb ground turkey
1 egg
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 cup onion, finely minced
1/4 cup Frank's Red Hot Sauce, or other buffalo sauce
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste) 

1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt,or more as needed*
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce, for basting
1 cup blue cheese dressing, and
buffalo wing sauce, for dipping

Preheat oven to 350*.

Combine the first six ingredients in a large bowl, mixing completely. 

       *Note, I usually microwave a small amount for 15 seconds to check the seasoning.  
        Add more salt as needed. Remember, the Buffalo sauce is pretty salty too.

Form mixture into about 1" inch balls, I used a 1" cookie scoop and rolled them to make them round. Place meatballs on a roasting pan sprayed with Pam.
Bake 20-25 minutes, until cooked through.

Add cooked meatballs to a bowl, and toss gently with 1/2 cup of Frank's Buffalo Sauce.

Serve right away, while still hot, with celery sticks, more wing sauce and blue cheese dressing.