Tag Archives: healthy

Spinach, Mushroom and Egg Bake

spinach, mushroom and egg bake

Sometimes around the holidays, with the parties, the cookies, the excess alcohol, and the comfort foods, you start to feel like you need a reboot. I’m at that point… gimme a plate of kale and a large glass of lemon water, please!

Nothing sets me back on track like heaps of vegetables and a few Nalgene’s of water, and maybe a multi-vitamin. My 7 mile dreadmill treadmill run yesterday couldn’t hurt either, right?

This egg bake is just the thing… it’s loaded with spinach and packs some serious protein. Top with some spicy sriracha to speed up your metabolism and you’ll be better in no time.

spicy, healthy breakfast

Spinach, Mushroom and Egg Bake

Serves 1

1 cup of frozen spinach, defrosted and excess water squeezed out with an old dish towel.

2-3 baby portabella mushrooms or white button mushrooms, washed and cut into a small dice

2/3 cup of egg whites, about the white of 3 eggs

Black Pepper, to taste

Preheat your oven to 350. Liberally grease a ramekin. Defrost spinach; I nuked mine in the microwave for about a minute and thirty seconds. Let the spinach cool slightly, Gather it in an old dish towel or some paper towels and wring it over the sink to squeeze out the excess water. Wash and chop your mushrooms into a small dice. Add the spinach and mushrooms to the ramekin and pour the egg whites over the top and top with freshly ground black pepper. Bake in the oven for about 25-30 minutes or until the eggs have set up and air firm. Finish with a minute under the broiler. Remove from the oven and to with your favorite condiment… mines sriracha!

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Breakfast

Vegetable and Quinoa Croquettes with Spicy BBQ Sauce

Last Saturday was Switchback Brewery’s 10th anniversary and they threw a big party. They had a live band, local food vendors, brewery tours and other activities on their lawn. For $10 you got 3 beer tickets, 1 food ticket, and a newly bottled 22 of switchback ale. We also go access to specials at countless bars downtown with our exclusive wristband. All of this for $10! And it just so happens that we have our first keg of Switchback in the kegerator, coincidence?

I also broke in my new $13 crock pot with some switchback ale chili with cornmeal dumplings.

On another unrelated note… last week I lost my opal ring that Mark got me last year. I might have cried for a few days and tore apart our home and my work. I had everyone on the look out… And just when I had given up hope, Mark found it in our baggie of curry powder. Of all places! Maybe I have a cooking problem. (the worst part, I had looked in some of the other spices and the flour, just not the curry powder). My finger no longer feels naked!

We’ve been having warm weather the past few days, so a 6 mile run though the wooded part of the bike path was a must. This morning I woke up and decided to make vegetable nuggets croquettes… much more fancy sounding… to eat during the Pats game this afternoon. However, Mark and I ate them all by 11:30 am… they’re that good… but also good for you. These vegan croquettes are packed full of veggies and quinoa, breaded lightly in whole wheat bread crumbs and baked in the oven. Served with some doctored-up BBQ sauce, it’s a grown up twist on your childhood favorite: chicken nuggets with sweet and sour sauce. After a small amount of digesting, we burned them off with a 5 mile run along the lake. I ran 31 miles this week!

Vegetable and Quinoa Croquettes 

Makes about 22-24 croquettes
 
2 cups of broccoli florets
 1 cup of carrots, diced
 1 cup of onion, diced
 Olive oil, divided, about 1 tablespoon total
 Black pepper, divided, about 1/2 tablespoon total
 Garlic flakes, divided, about 1 tablespoon total
 Red pepper flakes, divided, about 1/2 tablespoon total
 1 russet or Yukon potato, washed and diced in 1″ cubes
 1/4 cup of quinoa, uncooked
 1/4 cup of veggies stock
 3/4 cup of water
 1 tablespoon of vegan butter
 1/2 cup of peas
 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne 
 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
 1/2 teaspoon of curry powder
 1/2 tablespoon of mustard
 1/2 cup (approximate) of whole wheat bread crumbs, you can sub gluten free bread crumbs or grind up your favorite gf crackers to keep it gf. Also look for ones low in sodium and without cheese if you want them to remain vegan.

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Chop up the broccoli, carrots and onion, and place them on a foil lined baking sheet with some of the black pepper, garlic flakes, red peppers flakes and about a teaspoon of olive oil. Place them in the oven, tossing every 10 mins or so, until cooked and a bit crispy, about 30 minutes.

While the veggies roast, chop up the potato and place in a pot of boiling water. Boil for 15-20 minutes or until a fork pierces through a potato cube easily. Once the potato is in the pot, place the quinoa in another pot with some red pepper flakes and some garlic flakes. Heat over medium high heat, tossing the quinoa frequently to toast it, about 3 minutes. Then add in 1/4 cup of low sodium veggies stock and 3/4 cup of water. Stir the quinoa and potatoes occasionally. (you will have extra quinoa left over from this recipe, store in a container and add to meals that need a little protein boost)

When the veggies are done, nice and browned, scrape them and the browned bits in a food processor and pulse to chop them coarsely. When the potatoes are done, place them in a large bowl and mash them up with butter and a teaspoon of olive oil, more black pepper and garlic flakes. Add the veggies, 1/2 cup of the cooked quinoa and the peas to the potatoes, add in the cayenne cumin, curry powder and mustard, along with more garlic, black pepper or red pepper flakes, based on your preference. (I love black pepper, garlic and red pepper flakes, so I added more). Mix everything together.

Place the bread crumbs on a plate. Put the remaining olive oil (about a teaspoon) on your baking sheet (tin foil removed and discarded). Form little croquettes, I made about 1 inch diameter balls then shaped them into more of an oval shape (like a nugget). You could use a small ice cream scoop if you want to speed up the process.

Roll each nugget in the bread crumbs and place on the baking sheet. Or you can place them in the freezer, spread out on a baking sheet, not touching, and freeze for 2 hours, then transfer them to a Ziploc bag and store in your freezer until ready to use (we froze half). When ready to bake, place them in a 400 F oven for 10 minutes, or until browned on the bottom, then flip and bake for another 5 to 7 minutes.  Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

Doctored-Up Spicy BBQ Sauce

1/4 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce, I used Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey Chipotle
6 small Thai hot chilies, diced very fine
1 tablespoon of mustard
1 tablespoon of sriracha
Black pepper
1/4 teaspoon of garlic flakes

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.

2 Comments

Filed under Snacks

Healthy Eating for the New Year and NYC Recap

Happy 2012! Mark and I went to Barcelona’s in New Haven for dinner on NYE. Barcelona’s is an excellent tapas bar. It was too dim for pictures, but we got a whole slew of delicious little plates, and used up a gift card we got last Christmas. Mark and I rung in the new year with my cousins and some friends. On New Year’s Day, I dropped Mark off at the train station so he could spend some time with his brother in NYC. Yesterday, I took the train in to the city as well. Mark and I spent the day together while his brother was at work

We went to the Museum on Natural History… they have a whole room filled with minerals and gems, and a whole floor of dinosaur fossils! You know you’re a nerd when you have your face pressed to a display case, shouting “wow, look at that tourmaline!”

We walked around Central Park

Then we headed to midtown to see Matt’s work

And then we finished of the day with dinner at a trendy little Lebanese place in midtown, called Naya. I’m playing around with some ingredient combinations in my head trying to recreate Mark’s entree of lamb dumplings in a yogurt sauce. I’m thinking of doing spinach dumplings… more to come on that soon.

I tallied it up and we walked at a minimum 5 miles… they really add up in the city. Walking 5 miles is just as good as running 5, right?

I’ve made a few resolutions: to stretch more before and after running, to snack less and to not stress out as much.

For those of you who have vowed to start eating healthier, here are a few ideas:

1. Stock up on broccoli, kale, cauliflower, cabbage, watercress, and mustard greens, they support your immune system and they are great for detoxing your body. They’re also good natural anti-inflammatory, they regulate your hormones and are chocked full of antioxidants.

2. Load up on dark leafy greens… they pack iron, calcium and magnesium and are the most nutrient defense food per calorie. So load up on the salad

3. Nosh on fruits, they are high in fiber and vitamins. Citrus fruit, rich in vitamin C, help flush out toxins, they jump-start the digestive tract and they aid in the liver’s cleaning processes.

4. Switch in whole grains. Try quinoa, barley, faro or brown rice in place of white rice or pasta. They’re good for your heart and your cholesterol.

5. Spoon on the yogurt. Greek yogurt is high in protein and calcium and has good bacteria that aids in digestion and strengthens your immune system

Also drink plenty of water, the dry air really dehydrates you. And because it’s cold out you don’t feel as thirsty as you would on a hot summer day. 4 out of 5 times that you’re hungry, you’re actually just thirsty.

Looking for a healthy breakfast or lunch idea:

Make an omelet, toss out all of the yolks except one, or use egg substitute. Load on the veggies and a teaspoon of cheese.

This 3 egg omelet has peppers, onions, spinach, mushrooms and feta and still comes in at under 250 calories:

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Hearty Vegetable Soup

It was so nice to head home to my parents house for Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, it’s got all the great food of Christmas minus the pressure of gifts, so you can really focus on what matters… spending time with family. I was so caught up in everything that I only took a picture of the centerpiece. My mom picked it up at the Christmas market in Union Square in NYC when she went last week.

She gave me the centerpiece to take home for my table to make it a little more festive and seasonally appropriate.  Looks pretty good if I do say so myself… now we just need some Christmas decorations for our fireplace and we’re all set for the holidays. (We’re not getting a Christmas tree this year since we’re headed home for a few weeks around Christmas, but next year we WILL have a tree)

This soup is “souper “quick to throw together in a big pot on the stove. It’s packed full of vitamins and protein and it’s pretty darn tasty… though, as Mark pointed out, the broth isn’t quite that photogenic. (Sorry for the lame pic this week, no good lighting or adjustment of shutter speed could make the broth look good, but I promise it does taste good). Anywho, after all of the overeating on Thanksgiving, this soup can set you right back on track towards healthy eating. I paired it with a grilled cheese and tomato sandwich on cheddar bread from Normal Bread, our local bakery… this bread is so good, it super cheesy tasting and it’s made with high quality ingredients, no preservatives and they slice it for you right in front of your eyes. Plus it’s always good to support local food.

Hearty Vegetable Soup

1 Tablespoons olive oil

1/2 medium onion, coarsely chopped

1 cloves garlic, minced

2 medium red potatoes, diced

3 cups veggie broth

3 cups of water (maybe a bit more)

1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (optional)

½ teaspoon of Italian seasoning

2-14 oz cans garbanzo beans

3-4 cups of kale, chopped

1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes, include juice

2 cups of broccoli

Black pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for 3-5 minutes until translucent. While they sauté, chop all the other veggies. Add in the potatoes and garlic and sauté for 3 more minutes. Then add in the stock, water, red pepper flakes, and Italian seasoning. Bring to a boil then add in beans, kale, tomatoes and broccoli. Simmer for another 15 minutes, then add black pepper to taste.

Leave a comment

Filed under Dinner, soup