Bacon (& Broccoli) Lovers’ Scramble

David loves bacon, I love broccoli (really I do, it’s a texture thing). Scrambled eggs can get boring after a while, so I decided to kick things up a notch using the best part of bacon: the fat.

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1. Cook bacon (3 slices was enough for the two of us)

2. Remove bacon and use same pan with bacon fat to cook chopped, frozen broccoli

3. Remove broccoli and use same pan to cook eggs

4. When eggs are set, add chopped bacon and broccoli. 

Optional: if you’re feeling extra indulgent, top with shredded cheese 

Ground Turkey Shepherds Pie in the Crock Pot

Ever since I made my first corned beef and cabbage in the crock pot 10+ years ago, I’ve been hooked on slow cooked St. Patty’s fare.

With limited staples on hand, I decided to try my hand at this Shepherds pie recipe using ground turkey, baby Yukon Gold potatoes, carrots and broccoli. It turned out well! Luck of the Irish perhaps?

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First, prepare mashed potatoes using your preferred technique and scoop into a bowl so you can use the same pot for the meat to cut back on dishes. 

Brown ground turkey and 2 cloves of garlic, and then add the following:

  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 generous handfuls of sliced baby carrots (or 2 regular chopped carrots)
  • 1 cup frozen broccoli (or peas)
  • 1 cup broth (I used chicken)
  • 1/4 cup wine (I used white)
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Generous sprinkling dried thyme

Stir and simmer until liquid is almost fully absorbed. Add to a greased crock pot in an even layer and then spread the mashed potatoes over the top. Season with salt and pepper.

After cooking on low for about 3-4 hours, grate cheddar cheese over the top. Slainte!

3-Egg Broccoli Breakfast Casserole

This morning, my excitement and plans to remake last weekend’s delicious breakfast casserole were thrown a curve ball when I discovered only 3 eggs left in the fridge. But not to worry! Adding more veggies and shredded cheese does the trick.

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First, saute frozen breakfast sausages (I like Applegate) until thawed on low; then fill the pan with frozen broccoli and continue cooking and stirring until thawed. Slice sausages into pieces.

Next, combine 3 (or more if you have ’em) whisked eggs, 1/4 cup of almond milk, 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (adjust based on your heat tolerance), 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 minced garlic clove and 1/2 cup of shredded cheese in a bowl.

In a 9×13 greased pan (or smaller for thicker slices), pour the broccoli and sausage, along with a handful of spinach or kale (I used the latter). Then pour the egg batter in and stir to combine. Sprinkle a little extra cheese over the top.

Bake at 375 degrees, covered, until golden brown on the edges. (It took about 45 minutes in my oven, but keep an eye on it.)

I believe the the red pepper flakes are the secret to this recipe’s success (and David’s ringing endorsement); and for a girl that is a major wimp about anything spicy, I’ll be the first to admit it.

Checklist:

4+ frozen breakfast sausages

1/2 bag frozen broccoli

3+ eggs

1/4 cup almond milk

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup shredded cheese, plus extra for topping

Kale or spinach, optional

Pin Real Life: Veggie Scramble

There’s Pinterest, and then there’s real life. There are farm fresh eggs and vegetable gardens, and then there are potatoes sprouting limbs and eggs about to expire. So today’s brunch creation was a marriage of fantasy and reality.

Inspired by this lovely pin, I was thrown a curve ball when I pulled some scary looking potatoes out of the cupboard. My plan B was to pull some frozen veggies out of the freezer, and go from there.

-Swirl some olive oil in a pan over medium heat, add one chopped clove of garlic
-Pour 3/4 quarters of a bag of frozen veggies, and a handful of frozen breakfast sausages into the pan and cover
-Note: Cut the sausages into slices either before they go in the pan, or after they’ve thawed a bit, like I did (PS – I really like Applegate)
-Once the veggies and sausages are cooked through, crack 4 eggs over the top, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low
-Once egg whites are opaque, remove lid, turn off heat; optionally, sprinkle with shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, or salt and pepper as desired

Part Pinterest, part real life, and totally easy!

Red Carpet Rebel

Pasta + fresh veggies + turkey meatballs = too hearty for couture. Thank goodness I didn’t have to walk the red carpet like Giuliana, Sandra and JLO, so instead David and I enjoyed a fiber-rich meal while watching the action from our living room. What a treat to take in big forkfuls of pasta while the leading ladies sipped champagne and nibbled on gourmet morsels! (Don’t get me wrong, I’d still trade places in a Hollywood minute.)

The script: Fresh carrots, broccoli and parsley had been waiting patiently in the fridge for their 15 minutes of fame. So I cast turkey meatballs as the lead (with fresh chopped parsley in a supporting role), and sliced carrots and broccoli tips shared the spotlight with the boiled pasta. For the finale I tossed in more fresh parsley, parmesan and olive oil.

Lights, camera… dinner!

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Accidental Gravy and Other Experiments

Buttery potatoes + leftover chicken + broth = surprise gravy! Tonight I was short on time, but had a random burst of ideas for a “hands-off” meal. First, a fresh delivery from Farm Fresh to You arrived, so I prepared “Herbed New Potatoes” from Ina Garten’s “Barefoot in Paris” cookbook (using red potatoes, even though she calls for white or Yukon Gold).

While the potatoes steamed for 30 minutes or so, I microwaved frozen corn and pulled out the leftover “honey-baked” chicken breast from last night. The potatoes left a nice frothy butter sauce in the pan, so I poured chicken broth in and added the chicken breast. After bringing it to a boil, a delicious aroma started rising. Suddenly David was asking for some of the “sauce” to pour over the chicken – and voila, gravy!

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In our quest to eat healthy in 2010, I thought I’d share some of my other recent experiments:

Honey-Baked Chicken Breast with Sauteed Peas & Baby Bella Mushrooms and Brown Rice

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Leftover Turkey & Butternut Squash Meatballs with Broccoli and Flax Fettuccini

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Bringing Home the Bacon

Black bean soup + broccoli + mashed potatoes = just add bacon! In my quest to eat healthy this month, I’ve had a lonely package of bacon sitting in the fridge, waiting to expire. In a last ditch effort to use it on this lazy Sunday evening, I dug up a couple of bacon-based recipes from one of my old favorites, Epicurious (which recently released a free iPhone app). The results didn’t compromise my diet, and David cleaned his plate:

  • Black Bean Soup – My paraphrased version left out the jalapenos, oregano, bay leaf, thyme and cilantro; and since I used canned black beans instead of dried, I cut back on the simmering time (1 hour vs. 2.5). I also used homemade (frozen) chicken broth, defrosted in the microwave.

  

  

I may have dodged a grease fire in the process, but I did learn a nifty trick for cooking bacon when you need to collect the fat for use later: layer the strips of bacon inside a wok or coffee filter-shaped sauce pan. Plus, the slanted angle seemed to prevent a lot of the typical splatter that happens in a flat frying pan.

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Veggie Detox

After a BBQ, burrito and burger binge in Austin last weekend, David and I are ready to eat healthy again. Here are some really simple ways to “detox” and up the antioxidants. Sorry, dripping cheese not allowed!

On weeknights when we are starving, especially post-gym, we start with fresh broccoli and hummus. Ranch is also delicious but requires more moderation. It’s surprising how satisfying this “appetizer” can be when you’re hungry.

Veggies pack a lot of nutrients for little calories, so tonight our plate was loaded with peas and rice, plus reheated chicken breasts. It’s nice to feel full without feeling guilty!

Of course, any chance to pack in more veggies is good. Pasta, soups, sandwiches…and I keep a freezer full of peas and corn for busy weeknights.

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