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Archive for the ‘main dish’ Category


So, was it the sausage or the cheese that inspired you to open this post and get your mouth watering?

Quiche is one of my favorite dishes with it’s flakey and buttery crust and creamy egg filling. Oh and add cheese and game over! Nevertheless, quiche this indulgent often make me feel a bit lethargic. Hello, food coma! Why not omit the crust and make the filling a bit lighter but still flavorful?!

You’ll enjoy the health benefits of this quiche. The chicken sausage and eggs contain loads of protein. Not to mention, the spinach contains phytonutrients for anti-inflammatory and ant-cancer benefits. The vitamin K from spinach is essential for maintaining bone health. Did I mention the sharp cheddar is low fat?…Eat up!

Crustless Sausage and Cheese Quiche

Print Recipe

– 2 cups of fresh spinach
– 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
– 2 chicken sausage links, halved and sliced into half moons
– 1/2 cup cubed low fat sharp cheddar or cheese(s) of your choice
– 2 large eggs
– 1 egg white
– 1 cup 1% or nonfat milk
– sea salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a pie dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

Add the olive oil and chicken sausage to a medium or large skillet over medium heat. Cook the sausage until browned. Remove from skillet and set aside. Using the juices from the chicken sausage and olive oil, add the fresh spinach and saute until wilted. This step should not take very long, probably about 2 minutes.

Place the wilted spinach in a colander. When the spinach has cooled, gently squeeze to remove excess moisture. Lay spinach in the bottom of the pie dish. Throw-in the cubed cheddar and sausage!

In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, 2 whole eggs, 1 egg white and sea salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the spinach, cheddar and sausage. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.

Remove and place on a wire rack. Slice and enjoy!!

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Ok. You may be thinking…”Soup? I thought this was a baking blog?”

Well, it is! However, I used the oven to prep for the soup so I figured it deserved a post. Why not! Plus, I think you’ll like it. If you’re vegan, you’ll definitely like it! Just omit the sprinkle of parmesan at the end.

If you’re not vegan, you’ll certainly reap the benefits. Flavorful and good for you! Brussel sprouts contain cholesterol-lowering and anti-inflammatory benefits. Additionally, beans are naturally low in fat and contain a nice dose of fiber, protein and iron among other fab health benefits!

I was inspired by this recipe, but wanted to give it deeper flavor so I oven roasted the brussel sprouts and added 1 teaspoon of cumin. I LOVE cumin!

Oven Roasted Brussel Sprout Soup with White Beans

Inspired from this recipe

Print Recipe

– 1 lb Brussel sprouts

– 1 12 ounce can white beans

– 1 small white onion, chopped

– 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth

– 1 tsp ground cumin

– 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

– sea salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Toss Brussel sprouts in 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast in oven for about 30 to 35 mins. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Cut the oven-roasted sprouts in half or quarters.

In a large pot or dutch oven, brown onions in 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Add the Brussel sprouts to the onions, add beans, cumin and vegetable broth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Cook until all the vegetables are cooked. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup inside the large pot. I like my soup a bit chunky with some beans and Brussel sprouts so I didn’t puree the entire soup. Use the immersion blender based on your preference.

Enjoy with a generous sprinkling of aged parmesan cheese!

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I peered into my fridge the other day and realized I had smorgasbord of ingredients on inventory.

Zucchini
Carrots
Cheese
Milk
Bread
Brown rice
Chocolate
Etc…

Courtesy of Tim Gunn…”Make it work.” It was one of those days; I didn’t want to get out of my slippers and go to the market. Well, Mr. Gunn, I made it work and the end product was a filling and nutritious lunch for three days.

I found a simple recipe and swapped out quinoa for brown rice and added a bit of cumin instead of paprika. I love the smokiness cumin adds to dishes.

As I just mentioned above, this is good for you and it tastes good. The brown rice is rich in fiber, the carrots are packed with natural sweetness and beta carotene and zucchini provides a healthy dose of Vitamin C. Winning combos in my book. Plus…I wouldn’t put anything on this blog if it didn’t taste good. 🙂

Nutritional perks –

    Brown rice
    Carrots
    Zucchini


Brown Rice with Carrot & Zucchini
Inspired by this recipe

Print Recipe

– 2 cups uncooked brown rice
– 2 Tbls extra virgin olive oil. Original recipe suggests 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil.
– 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
– 1 large zucchini or 2 medium zucchini, chopped
– 2 tsp ground cinnamon
– 2 tsp cumin
– sea salt and ground pepper to taste

Cook brown rice according to package.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add carrots; sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add zucchini; sauté until tender, about 3 minutes. Mix in cumin and cinnamon. Add brown rice to skillet; toss to blend. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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It’s been over one week since I shared a recipe with you all. This is quite uncharacteristic of me. Well, these days work is keeping me busy…so busy that the last thing I want to do when I get home is hop on the computer to blog, check email or do anything but watch a good show on TV. Have you ever had these weeks or months? I am sure you can relate.

When I’m stretched-thin or overwhelmed, I turn to soups. Soups calm me, warm me and clear my mind. Some of my favorite soups are creamy tomato, a hearty minestrone, split pea and the iconic chicken noodle soup. Nevertheless, a soup I’ve always wanted to attempt in making is hot and sour soup. Especially for the hot factor. I love spicy!

A long story, short. I loved the hot and sour soup I made. In fact, I didn’t deviate too far from the original recipe. I simply added bean sprouts and sliced raw mushrooms rather than dried. I would be lying if I didn’t mention I made it a bit spicier than advised. This soup is good.

Some nutritional perks –

    Tofu
    Mushrooms
    Ginger

Hot & Sour Soup
Inspired from this recipe

Print Recipe

– 2 cups sliced white mushrooms
– 2 cups bean sprouts
– 1 (32oz) carton of low sodium vegetable broth
– 21/4 cups water, divided
– 1 Tbls grated fresh ginger
– 1 tsp minced garlic
– 1/4 cup rice vinegar
– 1 Tbls low sodium soy sauce
– 1 tsp black pepper
– 1/2 lb extrafirm tofu, drained and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
– 21/2 Tbls corn starch
– 4 large egg whites, lightly beaten
– 1/2 cup chopped green onion
– 1 tsp dark sesame oil
– 2 tsp sriracha sauce (optional)

In a medium to large saucepan, combine broth, 2 cups water, ginger, and garlic over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Add mushrooms. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Add rice vinegar, soy sauce, pepper, and tofu; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup water and cornstarch, stirring with a whisk.

Stir cornstarch mixture into broth mixture; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 3 minutes or until soup thickens slightly, stirring frequently. Slowly pour egg whites into broth mixture in a steady stream, stirring constantly but gently with a wooden spoon. “Ribbons” of egg white will appear. Remove from heat; stir in onions and sesame oil. Add sriracha sauce for heat. A perfect soup!

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Did you grow-up with Kraft Macaroni and Cheese? I definitely did! I even took the iconic blue-boxed dinner to college with me…how could I not?! Easy to make and perfect for post party munchies! Dear god…college memories. I digress.

A fond memory I have of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese is what my sister and I like to call the “Babysitter Dinner” – Macaroni and cheese with hot dog links stirred in.

As a youngster, I loved this dinner! I loved any babysitter that could make this for me and my sister. Well…I am not a youngster anymore; I’ve kept the blue-boxed memories but not the blue box dinner.

I fully enjoy the grown-up version of the “Babysitter Dinner;” a stove top mac-n-cheese made with whole-wheat pasta, sharp cheddar and grilled chicken sausage. Divine!

You’ll like this too. Firstly, it takes less than 30-minutes to make! Take that Rachel Ray! 🙂 It contains whole-wheat goodness from the pasta, lean chicken sausage, fat-free evaporated milk rather than regular evaporated milk and reduced fat sharp cheddar that still holds it’s flavor.

Nutritional perks –

    Whole wheat
    Sharp cheddar
    Chicken

Stove Top Mac-n-Cheese with Chicken Sausage
Inspired and loosely adapted from this recipe

Print Recipe

– 12 oz spiral whole-wheat pasta or your favorite pasta shape
– 1 cup grated reduced fat sharp cheddar
– 1 egg
– 1 (12 oz) can of fat free evaporated milk
– 1/2 tsp mustard powder
– 3 chicken sausage, grilled and sliced on the bias
– sea salt and pepper to taste
– dried bread crumbs (optional)

Cook pasta according to package, drain and return to pot. The pot should be set at medium-low heat. Stir-in the grated cheese, evaporated milk, egg, mustard powder. Continue stirring until the mixture is thick and creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Incorporate the sliced grilled sausage.

Turn on the broiler. Divide into individual oven-proof bowls or ramekins. Sprinkle dried bread crumbs and place in broiler till the bread crumbs become toasty and light brown. Dig in!

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Guess what…

I was a Brussels sprouts virgin until I was in my early twenties. Is that strange? Is that too much information? I figured since we’re all friends here, it was safe to openly admit my “first-time.” Well, my first-time was lovely. I really enjoy eating those round, green sprouts! In fact, I could maybe eat them everyday…grilled, sauteed, steamed, roasted or sliced for a salad!

Another reason I could eat brussels sprouts everyday is because the plant nutrients in Brussels sprouts help our body protect itself against cancer, in particular colon, bladder and liver cancer. How great is that? More information about the nutritional perks of Brussels sprouts.

It was warm this past weekend, so I decided to make a salad of Brussels sprouts, feta and a grilled peach! Heaven!

Brussels Sprouts Salad with Feta and a Grilled Peach

Print Recipe

– 6 to 8 Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced with a mandolin or knife
– 1 white or yellow peach, halved.
– 1 Tbls crumbled feta cheese
– 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
– 1 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
– sea salt and pepper to taste

Spray a grill-pan with non-stick cooking spray and place over medium heat. Place each peach halve on the grill pan and grill until peach becomes softened. This should take about 5 to 6 minutes. Keep an eye on the peach to make sure it doesn’t burn.

In a medium bowl, toss the shaved Brussels sprouts with the olive oil, lemon juice and sea salt and pepper to taste.

Remove peach from the grill pan and slice. Add to the Brussels sprouts and sprinkle the salad with feta.

Enjoy it’s crispy, leafy and sweet flavors!

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Cabbage and noodles. Noodles and cabbage. Krautfleckerl.

Krautfleckerl can be found in almost every Austrian household. I stumbled on this recipe and it immediately reminded me of Vienna. While there, a few years ago, I enjoyed (over and over) warm comforting dishes containing egg noodles, vegetables and some variety of protein…usually beef.

This dish is tasty. It’s simple to make. It’s good for you.

I consider finding this recipe the gateway to cooking with cabbage…the gateway for me and maybe for you…who knows! Most recently, I wanted to take a stab at cabbage. Not literally…can you imagine?! Me going ballistic on a head of cabbage?! The truth is, I haven’t cooked with cabbage…ever. I like cabbage; in fact, I like it alot. However, buying cabbage at the market never dawned on me until a few days ago.

The original recipe is loaded with butter, which makes it not incredibly nutritious. So, I modified the original recipe by omitting six tablespoons, yes, SIX tablespoons of butter and incorporating 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil instead. I also added paprika for extra flavor.

Nutritional perks –

    Cabbage – A good source of calcium, iron and magnesium. A great source of dietary fiber, Vitamin C, K and B6. Cabbage also contains cancer-preventative phytonutrients.

Krautfleckerl
Adapted and inspired from this recipe

Print Recipe

– 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
– 1/2 head of cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
– 2 Tbls extra virgin olive oil
– 1/2 tsp paprika
– 1 cup uncooked egg noodles
– sea salt and pepper to taste

Cook egg noodles until al-dente. Drain and set aside.

In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil and onion. Cook the onion, stirring frequently, until lightly browned. Add the sliced cabbage and stir frequently so that it’s incorporated with the cooked onion. Season with the paprika. Add sea salt and pepper to taste. Continue cooking until the cabbage begins to brown.

Add the cooked noodles to the onion and cabbage and continue stirring and cooking for about five minutes. Enjoy! Enjoy with Austrian beer if you gottem’.

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