Hearty, Healthy Chicken & Veggie Stew.

It’s certainly becoming “stew weather” in my neck of the woods. I’ve wanted warm food sliding down my throat this year more than ever. I’m extremely hot-natured and I put off an amazing amount of heat. I always prided myself in my thermostat. I hope I’m not losing my edge.

I bought some beautiful chicken for tonight’s stew…I savour every bite of these animals that gave their life without choice for my greedy satisfaction. Many times I have to just walk away from the chicken isle…when I see whole chickens for sale for $5 I start down a path of “how could a life be worth so little” and sometimes I don’t make it out of the store with my purchase of intent. Other days, I suck it up and think about the delicous meals I will have. 🙂

My local Wal-Mart carries 1 selection of “the works” chicken (humane treatement, hormone/antibiotic/cage-free, vegetarian fed). I expect that many people are turned off by the smaller stature of these more natural chickens, compared to other “all natural” chickens (aka no bad stuff added AFTER the chicken dies…but they add it before…that’s why it’s so huge!!! Hormones!!!). Okay, I could carry on forever on this topic…I’m just saying…why buy cheap crap for your only body when you can have cleaner food for just a sliver more? OKAY, OKAY! Onward.

I started out just browning the chicken, no fancy seasonings.

I gave it about 4 minutes, then FLIP!

Now, it’s veggie time! We’re using our standards, red onion & pepper, and adding a bunch of broccoli for SUPER health, and a zucchini that needs to be used. For stews, I always chop into bite-size pieces. Having chunks to chomp on is part of stew-pleasure for me.

Broccoli was too shy for the family portrait this time..

Always adding in order of what consistency I want to end up with…wanting my broccoli and zucchini to NOT be mushy, and wanting my onion and pepper to give the rest some extra flavor, I started with onion first, letting it brown for a couple minutes.

Next is the pepper, cooked for a couple minutes, and next the broccoli…and last the zucchini.

Can you tell a difference between the photo above and the one below???

No? Good! That’s because there’s only about a 4-minute difference. Please don’t cook your veggies to death. Nobody wants smushy chunks in their stew. The less you cook ’em the healthier they are!

Now. Time to make it stewy.

Add water to the skillet.

Now, empty your can of REDUCED FAT cream of mushroom soup into the skillet as well. Or use the full-fat version. With enough flavor, you’re never gonna know the difference in your brain. Only in the waistline. 😀

Do it.

GENTLY stir soup into the veggies. Give it a couple minutes to meld and do a few more gentle stirs. MAN is it smelling good by now!!!

Cut your chicken into chunks & add to the pot.

Now add pepper…and get ready for your stomach to start growling.

Last but not least??? Less you think I’d forget…cheese!!!

I used low-fat mozzerela & the GV brand “fiesta” blend.

Allow cheese to melt while continuing to stir, and you are READY for some insanely good dinner.

I topped with fresh parsley to be festive. 😀 HAPPY EATING EVERYONE!

Ingredients for Hearty, Healthy Chicken & Veggie Stew:

– 1-1.5 lbs chicken thighs
– 1 red onion
– 1 pepper (I used a green bell pepper & had a bit of a red ancient pepper to throw in too)
– 1 medium – large zucchini
– 2 c broccoli florets
– 1.5 c water
– 1/2 c low-fat shredded cheese
– 2 tbsp EVOO
– 1 tsp cracked ground pepper
– 1 can reduced fat cream of mushroom soup
– fresh parsley for garnish

Directions:

  1. Heat 1 tbsp EVOO in large skillet on medium heat.
  2. When oil is hot, add chicken and brown for 4 minutes. White the chicken is cooking, start chopping your onion!
  3. Flip chicken to other side & brown for 4 minutes.
  4. Remove chicken from heat and set aside to rest. Don’t chop it yet!
  5. Heat 1 more tbsp EVOO in the same skillet on low heat.
  6. When oil is hot, add your chopped onion. Let brown for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. While onion is browning, start chopping your pepper, then add it to the skillet. Let brown for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Chop your broccoli florets off the stalk and  add to the pot, browning for 3 minutes and stirring occasionally.
  9. Chop your zucchini and add last, browning for 2 more minutes and stirring occasionally.
  10. Add water.
  11. Add can of soup.
  12. Continue to cook on low until soup is blended (about 4-5 minutes), stirring often and gently.
  13. Now, chop chicken into chunks, add, and stir gently.
  14. Add pepper & stir.
  15. Add cheese and turn heat up to medium. Cook for 5 more minutes, stirring often.
  16. Remove from heat, top with fresh parsley, serve & enjoy!
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Quick & Easy Zucchini Turkey Burgers!

Tonight’s meal didn’t come with a series of how-to photos, but it comes with short & simple directions if you want to try out something quick & delicious! I didn’t think to photograph the process, but it really doesn’t need step-by-step. You can do this! 😀

I wanted to make “sliders” or mini-burgers tonight…obviously I did well as they were smaller than my bun. I forgot the whole shrink-as-it-cooks part to burgers. This is my second time making burgers…hopefully I’ll remember the third time and make my patties a bit bigger!

I decided to add zucchini to the ground turkey for extra healthy goodness and texture. I diced 1 zucchini into itsy bitsy pieces and stirred it into the ground turkey, along with 1 tbsp fish sauce (seriously people…I know what you keep thinking when I throw that ingredient around lately…you don’t know what you’re missing!), a bit of flour for extra stick-to-edness & VIOLA! Turkey burgers ready for browning.

Made as pictured from the bottom up: “mini” bun (store-bought), Kraft creamy horseradish, baby spinach, zucchini burger, Galaxy brand cheddar cheese (vegan), sliced red onion, sauteed mushrooms, sliced red pepper,  homemade pickles (from mom), & Heinz organic ketchup.

Baked fries recipe HERE; potato sliced thinner tonight!

Ingredients for Zucchini Turkey Burgers:

– 1 roll lean ground turkey
– 1 medium zucchini
– 1/4 c soy flour (for gluten-free, otherwise any flour will do!)
– 1 tbsp fish sauce (or whatever spices you may want to add)
– 1 tbsp EVOO

Directions:

  1. Dice zucchini into itsy-bitsy pieces (when you think it’s small enough, keep dicing!)
  2. Place zucchini into medium mixing bowl & drizzle fish sauce over zucchini. Give a stir.
  3. Add turkey to the bowl and mix thoroughly.
  4. Add flour to the bowl and mix thoroughly.
  5. Form turkey into burger shapes (remember, as I did not, that they will shrink when you cook them! 😉 )
  6. Heat EVOO in a medium sized skillet, on medium heat.
  7. Once oil is hot, add your burgers by carefully & gently placing them into the oil, using tongs to hold burger by its sides if you prefer.
  8. Brown on each side for about 4 minutes, or until thoroughly cooked & browned on each side.
  9. If cheese if your thing, add to burger with 2 minutes remaining on 2nd side of the burger.
  10. Turn off heat, add toppins, and ENJOY!
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Stuffed Peppers & Eggplant Chips.

Tonight was the night that I needed to use the green peppers I’d bought to make stuffed peppers. I’d had them for a week. Their time had come. I had put it off because I believed it would be time-consuming…but it wasn’t! This was a relatively quick and extremely easy dish.

I wanted a rice mixture to use, and rice to have for a couple days, so that was first. Nobody likes boring, plain brown rice (do they?)…so I typically add a little wild rice & quinoa to the mix.

I always add a little salt & EVOO to my rice.

The cook time for these grains are all about the same, so it works. If you don’t think you have TIME to cook brown rice, think again! You can have this healthy item prepared in about 20 minutes from the time your water boils!

Another purchase that needed doin’ up was the eggplant. I buy eggplant to make eggplant chips. When I first made kale chips, I got a little jiggy & experimented with a couple other veggies to see what would crisp up with a hot oven and still be delicious. Eggplant was a household fav with Honey and I.

My eggplant was looking like it had seen better days.

But it looked perfect on the inside! Cutting the rounds thin is key to making the eggplant crispy. We’re making this first because we want to snack a little while the peppers are baking. 😀

The first thing we need to do is foil our baking tray & coat it with EVOO. I do this with my silicone brush. Someday I’ll have all my kitchen utensils in silicone. They are expensive, but amazing in the kitchen…no worries about them melting!

I sprinkle the pan with a little sea salt & ground pepper to season the bottom of the slices. I think spices are pretty. 🙂

Down go the eggplant slices and the same thing happens to the top-side: EVOO, salt, pepper…and shredded parmesan! My silicone brush comes in handy once again to “paint” the tops with EVOO.

Buying a small eggplant is something I always remember right about now…a medium-sized eggplant makes 2 trays of snacks!

These guys get put in a hot oven while I focus on the peppers.

First things first: prep the peppers. But can we take just a moment to appreciate the beautiful food we’re about to eat? OooooOoooo~Ahhhhhhh.

I made a last-minute decision to make stuffed pepper HALVES, instead of stuffing the peppers upright, but my intent was the same: to save the tops to use in the stuffing. If you cut the pepper around the top, you can just pop the top of the pepper right off, then gently pull the seed ball out, and not have much work to do with the knife.

I want to stop here for two reasons…two very important, mega-essential kitchen things.

1. The washcloth.

I use old washcloths in the kitchen to wipe my knives, cutting boards, and other surfaces while I cook. We also use them as our napkins, unless we have guests. Then sometimes we bring out the paper towels. 😉 Not having to look far for something to wipe with is nice when you’re on a mission to get some food ready!

2. Holding a knife.

Okay, who would get anything from this pic. Nobody! Having SHARP knives & holding them correctly is the second most mega-essential kitchen thing that makes every meal easier. There is NOTHING like taking forever to cut veggies…sharp knives and proper knife techniques help with this.

Here is a GREAT YouTube video…only 1 1/2 minutes long, on how to hold a knife. Even when I am doing fine detail work, like cutting seeds from the inside of tonight’s peppers, I hold the knife this way.

Okay! On with the peppers.

I’ve made stuffed peppers once, maybe twice before. I did not toast the skins last time…but I decided to tonight. Most times this is done to remove the skins, but I just hoped it would add a smoky flavor to our dish. I lined our pretty guys up, skin up, and put them under the broiler.

Ta-dah!

Now, it’s time to prep the rest of our stuffing. We’re eating vegetarian tonight, and shrooms sounded really comfy and tasty as the “meat” of the dish. If you think substituting a mushroom for meat is strange, order a portabella burger next time you see it on a menu! 😉

Onions, the tops of our green peppers, mushrooms & bok choy were our veggies for tonight. Everything got sauteed together.

And everything got a small dose of the following..

That’s sea salt in the jar, and YES that says fish sauce and don’t make that face! It added spice… and depth…seriously. It’s SUCH an interesting thing to have available. Anyway.

Just about now your eggplant chips should be ready. Take ’em out and start snacking!

Well, I just have to take another moment to appreciate all this delicious food I’m about to eat! Aside from the mess I’m making on the stove, I’m pretty excited about this.

Okay, enough diddle-daddling. Let’s stuff our peppers. Spray a baking tray and arrange your peppers, bowl-side up.

Spoon some rice mix in and top with just a pinch of cheese.

Now, distribute your sauteed veggies. I was stoked that I seemed to have made just the right amount! 😀

One last topping with cheese and it’s ready for the oven.

Smelling these baking would not have been surviviable (dramatic back of hand to forehead) witout the eggplant chips.

Close-up of our yummy dish fresh out of the oven!

And another look at it from afar…MMM!!! Enjoy!

Ingredients for rice mix:

– 2 c brown rice
– 1 c wild rice
– 1 c quinoa
– 1 tbsp EVOO
– 1 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Put brown rice, wild rice & quinoa into a large pot & add water in 2:1 ratio. For 4 c of rice/quinoa tonight, we used 8 c water.
  2. Turn heat on high.
  3. Add salt & EVOO. Give everything a stir
  4. Put a lid on your pot to help the water boil faster.
  5. Once your water is boiling (check it now and then), continue to boil on high for 2 minutes.
  6. Stir & turn heat on low.
  7. Set a timer for 15 minutes & stir a couple times when you remember to.
  8. At 15 min, remove lid and continue to cook until all the water is absorbed. This time will vary, so stir often and turn your heat off the moment there is no more standing water in the bottom of your pan! If your rice looks too “wet”, just let it sit for a little bit and that water will be gone. Once I take the lid off, I will set my timer in 1-2 min bursts so I don’t forget about my rice.
  9. Rice is ready! Use as you like!

Ingredients for Eggplant Chips:

– 1 eggplant
– 1/4 c EVOO
– sea salt
– ground pepper
– shredded parmesan

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350.
  2. Line baking tray (you may need more than 1!) with aluminum foil and coat lightly with EVOO. Use real EVOO here if you can, and not a silicone spray.
  3. Sprinkle salt & pepper around on the tray.
  4. Slice eggplant into thin rounds (about 1/8-1/4  in).
  5. Arrange eggplant on tray & use brush (or fingers) to spread EVOO onto the tops of the eggplant rounds.
  6. Sprinkle with sea salt, pepper & shredded parmesan.
  7. Put into hot oven for 20 minutes & bake.
  8. Enjoy hot out of the oven!

Ingredients for Stuffed Peppers:

– 4 peppers (any large enough pepper would do, but I used bell peppers).
– half an onion
– 2 stalks bok choy
– tops of the peppers you are stuffing
– two handfulls of mushrooms
– 1 tbsp EVOO
– 1 tbsp fish sauce (optional!)
– 1 tsp chili powder
– sea salt
– black pepper
– 1 c shredded cheese (any type would work…we used low-fat mozzerela & the GV “fiesta” blend)
– fresh cilantro

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350.
  2. Prep your peppers by cutting the tops off (slicing around the top), cutting the pepper in half & removing seeds & veins.
  3. Arrange on baking tray with skin up & broil on high for about 6 minutes. (This is optional!)
  4. Remove from broiler & transfer peppers to a baking dish sprayed lightly with cooking spray.
  5. Heat 1 tbsp EVOO on low-medium in large skillet.
  6. Cut onion & add to skillet once oil is hot.
  7. Cut your pepper tops & add those next.
  8. Wipe mushrooms clean with paper towel, pull the stems out, and slice. Toss into skillet.
  9. Cut bok choy & add to skillet.
  10. Saute veggies for about 5 more minutes, stirring often, then turn heat off.
  11. Spoon a bit of rice into your peppers.
  12. Sprinkle a pinch of shredded mozzerela onto this.
  13. Fill your pepper the rest of the way with veggie stuffing.
  14. Sprinkle cheese to cover top of the pepper.
  15. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
  16. Serve & enjoy!
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Cauli Cass ~* Gluten free!

Cauli cass is short for cauliflower casserole.

What. Don’t give me that look! Honey also looked at me kinda strange the first few times I said it, or even mentioned that we would be eating cauliflower casserole, but he was trusting, and with good cause…it’s delish! 😀 I like cauliflower I guess…it’s okay…better with Ranch, but in this casserole, it’s just fabulous, and it’s always nice to know your main component is a veggie.

I was inspired to make cauli cass by this recipe, found via FoodGawker, which I’d had bookmarked for a couple months, wanting to try it out, with my modifications. I love dishes that taste good no matter how many veggies you add to them. This is one of them. My original plan was to add green peas (something else I’d had a hankerin’ for lately…first time I recall this happening in my adult life), onion, and red pepper. I thought all of that sounded very cozy.

Onion must have taken this photo, since he wasn’t in it.

This would be the first of two attempts to make dinner with those dang peas, where the peas never showed up for their performance. That’s right, it’s the peas’ fault! They mind-controlled me into forgetting about them. Twice. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! 😀

Tonight’s dish has 2 types of gluten-free, brown & white rice pasta: fussili (cousin of elbow macaroni) & penne… mostly because I didn’t have much of the fussili. I always salt my water with about 1 tsp of salt when I cook gluten-free pasta, because it just does NOT have the flavor of regular, delicimous gluteney pasta, in my opinion.

I got my pasta water boiling and pasta cooking as I cut my veggies.

I also got some EVOO heating in a skillet & in went my onion & pepper once the oil was hot.

I cut and added cauliflower last, breaking it up by hand and tossing it in as I went. I waited until all the cauli was in before I even stirred.

Cauliflower is beautiful. 🙂 I hadn’t noticed till now.

Since there’s baking to be done, I didn’t brown the veggies for very long. We like a little crunch & character left when it’s time to eat! No seasoning needed just yet…

Now it’s time to make the “sauce”…which is basically meatless gravy with cheese. Nice ‘n southern. Maybe its saving grace is the 2% milk-fat cheese? Maybe?

Maybe not. We’re gonna go ahead and melt some butter. 😉

We removed the veggies into a large heat-safe bowl and just used the same pan. I cut the amount of butter originally called for in half (to 1 1/2 tbsp) and things were fine.

Next, I added milk and then used my sifter to sift soy flour into the pan…soy keeps it gluten-free! (I sift soy flour, due to the fact that it gets a little clumpy in its box.)

Soy flour is a decent flour for gravy-makins. Never. Ever. For no reason on this earth will you use tapioca flour to try to make gravy. *shudders…recalling that gooey, gelatenous nightmare* Just go ahead and make that promise to yourself right now.

The brown in there comes from the bottom of the pan where we browned our veggies. It definitely gives it a rich, yummy flavor!

I cut the salt completely from the original recipe, since we salted the water for the pasta, and our cheeses will suffice for salty flavor.

I did keep the cup of cheese ingredient…I mean we needed enough to cover all the pasta and veggies. We’ve got ourselves a nice-sized casserole going here! This is a great dish you could make as big or small as you prefer and I like to cook big dishes because we prefer leftovers around here!

OKAY!!! Now that the cheese it melted, it’s time to get to business and put this baby together…which is likely to be the easiest thing you’ve ever done in your life.

Take the drained pasta and pour it into a casserole dish. You want your pasta al dente for casseroles so they don’t overcook in the baking process.

Combine your browned veggies with the cheese sauce in a bowl and then spoon onto pasta, distributing evenly over the dish.

I added spices at the end as an experiment. 😉 I sprinkled coarse ground pepper & chili powder right on top.

Lastly…just a itsy bitsy more…cheese! 😀 Just for a browning effect on top. That’s all. *nod nod*

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes and let cool for 5. Then, you’re ready for a little piece of heaven. This was super-cozy and delish!

MMMMMM look at that baked cauliflower.

Closer up…to make ya drool. 😉

Ingredients for Cauli Cass:

– 5 c cooked pasta
– 1 red onion
– 1 red pepper
– 1 head of cauliflower
– 1 tbsp EVOO
– 1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
– 1 1/2 c milk
– 3 tbsp soy flour
– 1/2 c + 3 tbsp low-fat shredded mozzerela
– 1/2 c 2% Velveeta (about 1/2 inch square cut off the ol’ log)
– 1 tsp coarse ground black pepper
– 1 tsp chili powder

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350.
  2. Bring water to a boil for pasta. I salted my water with 1 tsp salt.
  3. Cook pasta to al dente, strain & rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Leave in strainer for later.
  4. In large skillet, heat 1 tbsp EVOO on low-medium heat.
  5. Dice onion & toss into skillet once oil is hot. Stir a little to get it browning.
  6. Dice red pepper, toss into skillet & give another stir.
  7. Cut cauliflower florets from the head and break into smaller pieces by hand. Toss into skillet as you go and stir once the entire head has been added.
  8. Continue to brown for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, then remove from heat into large heat-safe bowl.
  9. Melt butter in same skillet on low heat.
  10. Add milk.
  11. Add flour and slowly stir until incorporated.
  12. Add 1/2 c mozzerela & 1/2 c Velveeta cheese and stir until melted & smooth.
  13. Turn off stove and pour cheese sauce over veggies in the bowl. Stir gently.
  14. Pour pasta into ungreased baking dish.
  15. With large serving spoon, spoon cheesy veggie mix over pasta, distributing evenly.
  16. Sprinkle pepper & chili powder evenly over casserole.
  17. Sprinkle remaining 3 tbsp. mozzerela evenly onto casserole.
  18. Put casserole onto baking tray and slide into hot oven.
  19. Bake for 30 minutes.
  20. Cool for 5 minutes and enjoy!
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More Comfort: Banana Bread.


~*Plate belongs to my 101-year old grandmother…what could be more comforting with my banana bread? 😉

With a couple bananas looking past their prime and needing a snack for my mom and I to indulge in around mid-morning while taking a break from staining the outside of my house (food rewards are the best…), I found myself sipping coffee and browsing FoodGawker for banana bread recipes.

I ended up doing what happens sometimes and borrowing here and there from the dozen or so recipes I look at — the parts I like best — and trying it out.

Here’s everything I used for our yummy snack:

A better view of the dry ingredients. Doesn’t this look like it’s about to be something wonderful? *tummy growl*

After I added my dry ingredients onto the wet ones, I seriously considered stopping there, mixing it up, and eating it as it was, without the egg. It looked SO completely delicious and it smelled even better. Maybe I was just hungry. Maybe I should have eaten my Wheaties, instead of just having coffee for breakfast!

I keep some butter at room temperature, and some in the fridge. I started the room-temp butter upon embarking my gluten-free biscuit perfection journey, and now I continue it because it’s just SO convenient to have softened butter at my disposal, as opposed to waiting for it to soften, or worse yet, melting it on the stovetop or microwave to speed things along.

I had to work quickly this morning because I had limited time to experiment, so I went with a half ‘n half wheat & unbleached all-purpose flour combo, instead of taking time to sift flours to make my gluten-free flour mix.

I was also interested in the addition of plain yogurt. This is my first time making banana bread…maybe it’s in EVERY recipe for banana bread! I knew it would make things super-moist without any sacrifice for flavor or calories.

Totally easy, foolproof, and quick to mix (pending your butter is already soft)! Just mix, set a timer, and bake to perfection! 😀

Now go ahead…go buy some bananas to let sit out for a few days so you can have some of this goodness!

Ingredients for Banana Bread:

– 2 bananas past their prime
– 1 cup wheat flour + 1 cup all-purpose flour (I use unbleached)
– 3/4 c sugar (I used brown)
– 3/4 tsp baking soda
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1 tsp vanilla
– 1/3 c plain yogurt (I use Oikos greek yogurt)
– 2 eggs
– 6 tbsp butter

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350.
  2. Grease baking dish (I sprayed with canola oil).
  3. Put eggs into a small bowl & beat lightly.
  4. Using a fork, combine flours (if using different kinds) in a separate bowl.
  5. Using a fork, combine the rest of the dry ingredients into the flour bowl.
  6. Put all of your wet ingredients (except eggs) into a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly.
  7. Stir egg into wet ingredients until just combined.
  8. Gently stir flour into wet ingredients until just combined (lumps are okay!).
  9. Pour batter into greased baking dish and shake dish side to side once or twice to level batter in dish.
  10. Set timer for 60 minutes & don’t even bother checking on it. Just have faith and get some butter ready for when it comes out!
  11. Best both warm & the next day. 😉
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Experimenting: Spaghetti Sqaush Fritters.

Tonight’s dinner was a desire for comfort food…a desire that has been increasing lately, has been indulged, and needs to get back under control!! *hopeful smile*

I had some leftover spaghetti squash that needed some good lovin’, and I had a vision…beautiful little strings of spaghetti squash fries. I mean seriously…doesn’t that sound delicate and lovely? So fragile they could break, but they don’t, because they’re that awesome.

Can’t you just see stringy spaghetti squash fries out of this??

If I’m absolutely lost on where to even begin for a technique, I will consult the net…otherwise, if I have an inkling of thought that I know what I’m doing, I just go for it, and count it as a learning experience if it turns out other than how I anticipated. Tonight was definitely “other than how I anticipated”…but we’ll get to that.

Mom had given us a roasted chicken, so I knew that was going to be a part of dinner. I also know Honey loves mashed potatos, so I decided that would be our other side. Nice & comforty. I put a pot of water on for the taters and then started on what I hoped to be my beautiful little fries.

I stared at my cupboards filled with flours of various kinds and grabbed what worked well once with tilapia, as far as stick-to goes. Beer batter. I also love the extra crunch that corn flour creates, so I grabbed the Masa too.

I realize the beer batter clearly states “seafood batter mix”. Due to my experimentation gene, I don’t like to let reality interfere with my world of cooking. We’re getting to know this about me.

The stick-to-edness of the beer batter was certainly more than I was expecting. I had only used it once before to try to fry (of all things) seafood. To do over again for my pretty little veggie fries goal, I would have tried with just a little Masa & cornstarch mixed, or made my beer batter watery thin.

Evidently I had other things in mind tonight, however. I started by carefully coating my spaghetti squash with Masa flour, making sure the strings were mostly separated.

Next, I dropped a few of these strings into beer batter. Had I pulled the squash out of the beer batter string by string, I would still be doing it and dictating this blog to Honey, instead of typing it. I may have gotten my desired result, though. My squash fantasy involved all these floaty strings and using my slotted spatula to gently lift them out. :/

Had I made the batter more runny, I doubt I would have had the clumping issue. But I did. I plopped those squash clumps right into hot vegetable oil.

One thing I am coming to understand about food & hot oil is that if it’s brown about halfway from the bottom up, it’s time to flip. Hey, give me a break. I was 31 before I ever attempted to fry anything. I’m learning. 😉 I used tongs to flip these guys over…about 4 minutes each side.

Then, out to rid as much oil as possible on paper towels in a strainer.

The aroma of my s’ghetti squash fritters was…amazing.

The FLAVOR of my s’ghetti squash fritters was…AMAZING!

Even though it didn’t come out the way I anticipated, as promised, it was delish. Anything covered in beer batter and fried does stand a chance at tasty.

Next were the mashed taters. I boiled them and started with what every good southern girl (or Indiana-transplant-to-the-south girl) knows: butter.

I only buy unsalted butter, mostly because I like to use sea salt when I cook. Next comes a bit of milk. I’ve never tried to make mashed taters with soy or rice milk. Anyone have an experience with that? Mmm…I need to try this with goat milk!

I had salted the water I used to cook my taters, so no extra salt was needed now. You know what was needed? Yes? Do you even have to think???

Cheese! And not just cheese, but cheese melted in the broiler!

We love to use plain Oikos Greek yogurt in place of sour cream…tastes even better as sour cream and is healthier!

So what’s the verdict?

Spaghetti Squash Fritters = YAY! Delicious & comforting.

I’ll definitely try my original idea of stringy fries one day, having used what I learned in tonight’s experiment…but it’s also nice to know what beer batter will do to a vegetable in case I ever want to make delicimous deep-fried health food again! 😉

A little cilantro to the taters, and we were ready to eat. Plenty of veggies on this plate! Does it count if it’s fried? 😀

If you dare…

Ingredients for Spaghetti Squash Fritters:

– 1/2 of a cooked spaghetti squash
– 1 cup beer batter mix
– enough Masa flour to coat the cooked spaghetti squash
– enough vegetable oil to allow the fritters to sit at least 1 quarter submerged in oil

Instructions:

  1. Heat vegetable oil on medium.
  2. Mix beer batter as instructed on box. (Any brand, or find a recipe and make your own!)
  3. Coat cooked spaghetti squash in Masa flour.
  4. Take a chunk of spaghetti squash (however large you want your fritter to be) and drop it into your beer batter. Use tongs to coat the lump and then lift from the batter and carefully slide the lump into the hot oil. (No splatters here people! A good burn will ruin your night!)
  5. Repeat as desired, making sure your little guys have enough space to cook in the pan.
  6. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until fritter is browned almost halfway from the bottom, up.
  7. Using tongs, carefully turn your fritters over to brown on the other side for another 3-4 minutes.
  8. Remove fritters from oil using tongs, and put them into a paper towel-lined strainer, or blot by hand. Or don’t blot at all. 🙂
  9. Eat and enjoy! We didn’t use any dip, but I imagine some Ranch or blue cheese dressing would be extra indulgent.
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Sometimes I Don’t “Cook”.

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Sometimes I just don’t have the time or inclination to get elbow deep in kitchen stuff. Even those times, I do try to take the time to make things that are delicious.

I made a quick sandwich for us at lunch and Honey insisted that I photograph it…so I did. I typically wouldn’t photo or blog about non-“cooked” meals or occasions where I use other people’s recipes…but I may start just for fun. Hey, I’m starting now. 😀

What’s on my sammich:
– Lightly toasted wheat bread
Kraft creamy horseradish on one side of bread
– GV spicy mustard on the other side of bread
..and from the bottom up..
– spinach
– chinese bean sprouts (mung bean sprouts)
– red onion, sliced thin
– avacado slices
– ancient red pepper slices
Galaxy veggie cheddar cheese (vegan)
– lots of cilantro
– 2 strips cooked-till-crisp Oscar Mayer turkey bacon

Why eat turkey bacon with vegan cheese, you ask? Because it’s DELICIOUS.

We love to eat salads around here too. Or I love them and Honey doesn’t complain. ;D I’m going to start writing down my different salads to share because sometimes ya just gotta change things up. One thing I hate is a boring old salad with typical salad bar ingredients…iceburg lettuce, under-ripe maters, big, chunky cucumber pieces, canned black olives. *shudders* Salad needs to be festive and fun (and of course delicious).

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Here’s what went on tonight’s salad (which as we know is always vegetarian until we slather it with baked chicken tenders):

– 1-1.5 c fresh spinach per person (we like big salads!)
– 1/4 c diced red onion
– 1/4 c diced red pepper
– 1/4 of 1 avacado, diced
– 1 fresh date, chopped
– 2 tbsp roasted peanuts (unsalted)
– 2 tbsp raisins
– 2 tbsp blue cheese crumbles
– 1 tbsp chopped cilantro

We don’t typically use dressing because the salads alone are so tasty that dressing would mask the flavor blend of these delicious ingredients.

Happy Eating Everyone! 🙂

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Mace Tea (A Hug in a Mug).

One of the many things I loved about Grenada was the spice market. Mace is the lacy covering of the nutmeg seed, in its seed pod.

***NOT MY PHOTOGRAPH***FROM THE WIKI ENTRY***

I had heard of mace before…it’s the stingy crap you spray in the eyes of your attacker. Right? I’ve just done a Google search, and without spending a lot of time researching, I can’t tell if the stingy crap is at all derived from the plant…but I’m not here to talk about that. 😉

I have never used mace as a spice, as it’s sold in its pulverized form. I imagine, considering the flavor of tea, that it would be somewhat yummy in pumpkin pie…other than that, I’m clueless.

What I have enjoyed is using WHOLE mace, the entire nutmeg husk, to make tea. I was able to find very small quantities of whole mace here and there, but I wanted a BUNCH to make tea whenever I wanted. I finally found an amazing deal for 2 lbs, $30, straight out of Malaysia. 🙂 (I could have ordered whole mace from Grenada, but it was much more pricey than this deal.)

It was well-worth it to me, and I waited expectantly for 2 weeks for its arrival. I do think it’s a beautiful little thing.

I was ready when it came to me, with my milk. I make mace tea with milk and just a bit of brown sugar.

The effect of the tea is very relaxing for me…and as I continue to await unemployment approval, as I continue to look for work, as I continue to do my best to stay positive and try to sqash my stress…sometimes some all-natural assistance is nice. Honey is not affected by the tea…so I suppose it can be different for everyone. We have found we react very differently to other things like caffeine & sugar too…but he does agree that the tea is yummy! There is definitely a specific flavor to mace tea…it’s…well…spicey! But not in a fiery way…

I begin by grabbing a decent-sized handful and putting it in a pot to boil with a serving of milk. When I make this tea I use about 2 cups of milk…more than a “serving”, but enough to make me feel cozy & comforted & fill up a big mug.

I put the heat on low-medium until it begins to boil and then I turn it down to simmer for about 5 minutes.

The tea takes on just the tiniest, slightest shade of red…maybe it’s broken flecks of mace. 🙂

Eventually, a film will form atop the milk…I’m assuming this is the protein in the milk getting all bindy and crazy. This is when I know the tea is ready. The film isn’t the prettiest thing in the world, but it’s part of the experience…so I love it. 🙂

I pour the tea through a strainer into my mug with about 1 tsp of brown sugar in the bottom and enjoy it super hot (just like I enjoy my coffee). The film sticks to the mace and I have been known to pick it off and eat it. Is that weird? 😀

I rinse the mace off and use it again…I never use it more than twice, simply because of loss of potency (whether this is real or all in my head, it’s just how I do it).

I must have been in dire need of this tea tonight beacuse I didn’t stop to photograph it in my mug. 😉

If you see whole mace for sale, even just a little…I encourage you to buy it and make mace tea on a chilly evening…or just when you need to feel a little more cozy on the inside.

Enjoy!

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Experimental Dinner: Gluten-Free Orange Chicken & Vegan/Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Are you asking yourself if meat + vegan food cancel each other out?

The answer is YES!!! You retain the calories, but the foods literally cancel each other in your stomach, leaving nothing. Don’t ya just love science of nutrition & digestion via Ginger al Dente girl? 😀

I had been craving Chinese food for days. Ever since the wonton experience.. *daydreaming for a moment* ..evidently my palate was just whetted for more. For a long time when we would order Chinese take-out, I went with the steamed veggies & rice. One late night as Honey’s sesame Asian chicken sat in the fridge, and as I stared into the light with the door open, it began to speak to me.. “Come on Ginger girl…taste me…you know you want to.” No, I didn’t really want to, but I listen to the food voice in my head when it speaks to me…and I tried a bite. Ever since then, I, too, have ordered the sesame Asian chicken.

I am NOT a sauce fan. No spaghetti sauce…no gravies. I am not a glaze fan. I don’t even like dressing. I tolerate sauces…maybe one day I will learn to love them. Sesame Asian chicken, on the other hand, introduced me to what I assumed was orange sauce. Possibly because it was orange, I made an assumption it was orange sauce? Hopefully that’s a good guess. I would NEVER IN MY LIFETIME have ordered “orange chicken” ANYTHING, because of my relationship with sauce. Thankfully, my late night snack on Honey’s leftovers changed my opinion, at least about organe chicken. Can I have an OMG? I love it. Trying to be $$ conscious, instead of asking Honey to pick up Chinese to-go on his way home, I used FoodGawker to browse a couple recipes for orange sauce, and then made a recipe of my own, using all of those ideas.

I was also in the mood for something sweet, thus the cookies. I made them vegan-style because I wanted to cancel out the organge chicken (ahem.)…and I made them gluten-free for Honey. First things first, needing my sweet tooth satisfied, I wanted to get those cookies in the oven.

Intead of egg, I used banana and peanut butter to hold things together. I dumped in all the other things I knew I’d usually need in cookies. As I was already experimenting with the vegan/gluten-free part, I didn’t push my luck by using honey or agave syrup. Just straight-up brown sugar. Once I loaded my bowl with all my dry ingredients, except flour, I couldn’t help but begin to salivate. Nanner, cocoa powder, crunchy PB, brown sugar, vanilla, salt, baking powder, baking soda…despite these last 2 additions, I was very tempted to just mix this up and start eating!!! But…good things come to those who wait, yaddayadda.

Instead of milk, I used coconut milk to be vegan. I fresh-ground flaxseed as another attempt to add stick-to, and I dumped this into some water to ensure even distribution (fresh-ground flaxseed tends to clump). The vanilla decided it hadn’t had enough camera time in the previous photo, so it photobomed the coconut milk & flax.

Last was the flour decision. A VERY IMPORTANT NOTE here is that this recipe could be COMPLETELY flourless (was my original intention) if you have shredded coconut on hand. A nice round in a food processor would crumble it to perfection. I used the coconut for something somewhere, and just forgot, so flour it was.

Coconut flour is a staple for super-high quality gluten-free baking. The particles are SO fine that the texture of baked goods comes out like “normal” goodies, full of regular white flour. Maybe even BETTER. I have always used it sparingly, simply because it’s a little pricey, but tonight I decided if I wanted this to be right, I just needed to go for it. Soy flour is also a great choice for gluten-free, also because of its fine particle size. I do have a problem with it clumping in the box, so it always gets sifted. Tonight, both flours were sifted together, just for the sake of uniformity.

This next ingredient is totally vegan, as long as it is of any decent quality: CHOCOLATE!! That’s right. All natural chocolate is vegan, as it is plant-based (cocoa beans). The only chocolates that are not completely vegan are milk chocolate, my favorite, and white chocolate, Honey’s favorite. Both of these contain dairy. The only ingredients real chocolate should contain are cocoa, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, sugar, & maybe some vanilla.

All the chocolate I had on hand was in a large chunk…so I broke off a large piece and proceeded to beat it into submission with the butt of my favorite knife. 😀 I doubt this was good for the knife, but it did the trick.

I most always mix all my wet ingredients together, mix my dry ingredients together, and then blend the two, saving any add-ins (like choco-chunks) for last. I am a big fan of blending until “just combined”. Over-mixing can ruin just about anything. Lumps & bumps don’t bother me. 🙂 Here’s our yummy batter ready to bake!

About 15 minutes to wait and I get my fix.

Now. For the orange chicken.

I let our chicken breasts strips marinate in soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and a little egg white while I made the cookies. The egg white is just to help our flour mixture stay put when we coat our chicken.

I have found that the key to making flour stick to stuff is PRESSING your item into it until the flour sticks to every part. I realize this is a no-brainer for most everyone, but this is probably my 5th attempt at frying anything…and since I like to mostly experiement more than read recipes, this knowledge came slowly. 🙂

I used a half ‘n half mix of Masa (corn flour — super-cheap & always gluten free!) & corn starch. I’d never tried this blend before, but it did the trick tonight. In my research on Asian cuisine, I’ve come to find that corn starch is a staple. More on corn starch in a future blog of kitchen randomness I keep thinking about. 😉

I always use tongs or don latex gloves when handling chicken. I don’t care that I buy organic or hormone/antiobiotic free…I’m sure it’s still teeming with bacteria, and I like to be safe. We’re about to fry those little bugs away anyhow.

I heated peanut oil for our frying experience tonight, just to make it super-authentic Asian and fried these little suckers about 2-3 minutes on each side. Just long enough to ensure death. They were laid to rest on paper towels in attempts to remove the oil I just put in it. 😀

While flouring & frying, I got our orange sauce going. Here’s everything that was used.. soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, OJ (made from frozen concentrate), sugar & then corn starch at the end of the process.

I added a little crushed red pepper as an after-thought, just for a bit of heat. I let the mixture come to a boil and then simmered for 8 minutes.

I then added the corn starch and continued the simmering on low for another 2 minutes, stirring VERY often, until the sauce thickened..

Off the heat and into a bowl the sauce went. I used the tongs to generously coat the chicken strips.

Leftover Colon Blow was our side dish.

I needed a little extra color on the plate, so our friendly tomato came out to model for a moment, and then went right back into the fridge. 🙂

One thing is for certain — we can’t WAIT to eat orange chicken again! This was better than anything I’ve had in a to-go container, and better than everything, I got to control all the ingredients that went into it. MSG is horrid if you have a gluten allergy, and you can’t hardly escape that at Asian restaurants.

Happy dining everyone!!!

Ingredients for Vegan/Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies:

-1/2 c brown sugar

-1/4 c cocoa

-1/4 tsp baking powder

-1/8 tsp baking soda

-pinch of salt

-1/2 c peanut butter (I used crunchy)

-1 tbsp ground flaxseed (stirred into 3 tbsp water to distribute)

-4 tbsp coconut milk

-1 tsp vanilla

-1/2 c flour (I used 1/4 c coconut flour + 1/4 c soy flour)

*If you want to make flourless cookies, use 1/2 c shredded coconut

-1/2 c chocolate chips (no milk or white chocolate to keep it vegan!)

Directions for cookies:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375.
  2. Mix your ground flaxseed with the water in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. If you’re making flourless cookies with shredded coconut, give it a few whirrs in the food processor.
  4. Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  5. Mix all wet ingredients together in a smaller bowl and gently stir into dry ingredients until just blended.
  6. Add chocolate chips to batter and stir.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes.
  8. Let cool & enjoy!

Ingredients for Orange Sauce:

-1/3 c OJ (mine was made from frozen concentrate)

-3 tbsp water

-1 tbsp sugar

-3 tbsp soy sauce

-1 tsp rice wine vinegar

-1/4 tsp crushed red pepper

-1/2 tsp corn starch

Directions for Orange Sauce:

  1. Combine all ingredients, except corn starch, into small skillet or pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Allow to boil for 1 minute, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 8 minutes.
  3. Add corn starch and simmer for 2 more minutes, stirring often.
  4. Remove sauce from heat and put into a bowl; set aside.

Ingredients for Orange Chicken:

-Raw chicken (hopefully organic and antibiotic/hormone-free); this recipe will be for 2 servings (approximately 4-5 oz per serving).

-4 tbsp peanut oil (or whatever oil you want to fry in)

-1 c flour for coating chicken (I made a blend of 1/2 c Masa flour + 1/2 c corn starch)

-Marinade: 1/4 c soy sauce + 1/4 c rice wine vinegar + 1/4 c egg whites (2 egg whites should do the trick)

Directions for Orange Chicken:

  1. Prepare marinade by combining marinade ingredients and put chicken into marinade for about 15 minutes, turning container over every couple minutes to help the process along.
  2. Heat peanut oil in large skillet.
  3. Combine Masa & corn starch & and put on a plate. (Use regular flour here if you like, but it won’t be gluten-free.)
  4. Using tongs, remove chicken pieces and press chicken into flour mixture until thoroughly coated.
  5. Using tongs, carefully place chicken pieces into hot oil and fry for 2-3 minutes per side.
  6. Remove chicken from skillet & let rest on paper towels to de-grease.
  7. Toss chicken in orange sauce, serve & enjoy!
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Veggie Frittata Morning!

If you have never eaten a frittata, then my friend…get to cooking! I am a fan of most all things breakfast, typically at any time of day…frittatas are EASY to make, decently foolproof, and are their most delicious after sleeping in on a weekend morning. 😀

You can put pretty much anything in a frittata…meat…taters…veggies. My favorite is just straight up vegg, so that’s what we’re having! I pulled out everything I wanted, minus a pepper of some sort. It was buried in the back of the fridge…one I didn’t know I had until dinner. 😉

Squash for breakfast??? YES, SQUASH FOR BREAKFAST! Any veggie for breakfast, if it’s in a frittata!

First things first…heat 1 tbsp EVOO in your skillet on low-medium heat.

The single thing that makes my cooking life the happiest (besides wonderful ingredients) is a SHARP KNIFE. I have many knives in my collection at this point and I keep them sharp. It just makes life splendid, especially with all the veggie chopping to be done.

Back in the day when I was only making Colon Blow, I also had a TV and was watching Rachel Ray. I was a happier girl after learning the fastest way for me to get an onion chopped.

Start by cutting her in half. Then, cut both ends off the half and peel off the outer layer of skin. You can quickly dice the onion by slicing it the same direction as taking the ends off, and then back the opposite way, but today I was opting for a cut I found a little prettier. 🙂

When you get close to your fingers, STOP CUTTING! One thing an onion is, is slick, and if your knife isn’t sharp enough, it can just slip off the onion skin and into your fingers. We always want to err on the side of caution and avoid trips to the ER on our leisurely Saturday morning. Just rotate her 90 degrees and you can cut away from your fingers again and hold the side you just cut (fingers still in place in the photo to show the 90 degree rotation). Just be slow and careful!

Toss that onion into your hot oil and move on!

Time for shrooms.

The best advise I can give on shrooms is DON’T EVER GET THEM WET. You’re eating mushrooms…mushrooms grow in dirt…poop…on dead things. Nasty stuff. Just accept that you’re eating the chicken of the earth and deal with a little dirt. If you just can’t stomach this concept, then by all means, wash your mushrooms and get them all soggy & disgusting. Otherwise, proceed as follows! *strict face*

With a clean, dry rag or paper towel, gently wipe off any dirt and debris from the top of your shroom. Next, gently push at the bottom of the stem until it pops, and you can pull it right out. I don’t like the texture of shroom stems, which is why I don’t use them…if you don’t mind it, then chop those stems up! Once cooked in a frittata, it honestly won’t matter (just force of habit for me to remove them).

Now, just slice ‘em & throw ‘em in the pot! Give it a stir while you move on to your squash. I think mushrooms are just lovely. I take lots of photos of them. Here’s a link to my Flickr shroom set. A macro of one of our breakfast shrooms this morning..

Squash in the frittata made it uber-filling and long-lasting through the day. You can chop your squash however you like. Here’s how I did mine…once in half, then, another half, then another half, and CHOP CHOP CHOP!

Into the skillet it goes!

From within my refridgerator, I began to hear whimpering…when I opened it up, it was the tomatoes that were making such a fuss. I took one out and said, “Poor little mater, why the long face?”

What? You feel left out? You want to be in breakfast frittata? Oh, well why don’t we make you the shining star and put you on top!

After dealing with any tempermental veggies, continue to saute your veggies to the point of cooked you prefer. I like mine still with a little umph, so I probably gave it 5 minutes with the squash before moving everything from the skillet. One thing we need to do before we take them out, though, is spice it up! I went with 1 tsp each of chili powder & cumin, with a pinch of salt & coarse ground black pepper.

On to the eggs!

Heat 1 more tbsp EVOO in your skillet on low to prepare for your eggs.

I used two each, plus 1/4 cup of liquid egg whites, just to create some extra bulk (without extra calories). You could sanely go with just 1 egg, and the rest whites, but cooking ONLY with egg whites is just not something I’ve completely mastered yet. I always go…eww. Nobodys wants that before breakfast! Liquid egg whites on their own are also not appealing to look at, so here you just see them in their natural habitat..

I add 1 tbsp milk to my eggs when I make frittatas, because it makes the eggs a little poofy…but the milk is optional.

Either way, whisk your eggs to a froth and pour them into your heated oil. A great way to make sure your oil is hot is just to flick a drop of water onto the oil. If it fizzles, you’re ready to go!

Don’t be tempted to stir these eggs! We’re not making scrambled eggs, so VIVA LA RESISTANCE!

Let this cook for about a minute and then carefully pour your veggies into the eggs, using more WHERE you pour and less moving them around. Try to make your veggies evenly distributed.

Now, DON’T TOUCH! This is the fun part about cooking a frittata…ya just have to be a watchful mother hen, and not do too much. This *IS* going to take a little while to cook…but don’t stray too far. What you’re going to be looking for is the very EDGE of the frittata to begin to harden and pull away from your skillet. Your eggs will NOT be done on top, so don’t judge by that.

See the little crust on the edge? That’s what you want.

NOW. If you have a broiler, turn it on high and put your eggs in. Set a timer for 3 minutes. If you don’t have a broiler, then you will have wanted to pre-heat your oven to 350 back at the beginning of all this. 😀

One very important part of a frittata is cheese. Remember what we discussed in an earlier blog: there is NO excuse to not eat cheese. Get some lactose intolerant pills. Or at least buy meltable vegan cheesy shreds. We can’t survive without cheese, people. At least not for long. After your 3 minute dings, sprinkle a little cheese on top of your frittata and stick her back in for another 3 minutes.

Now, either it’s going to be time to eat, or continue to cook in 1-minute bursts until your eggs aren’t jiggly in the middle. Something like this..

If you have some cilantro, this is a super yummy dish to top with that.

And now, people…it is time. I used a large skillet for a flatter frittata, but this works well in a smaller skillet to get a thicker one too! Your choice!

Plate her up, top with diced tomatoes, cilantro, and enjoy!

Ingredients for frittata:

-2 tbsp EVOO (1 for veggies, 1 for eggs)

-1/4 cup each of your favorite, chopped veggies (use 1/2 cup if you like LOTS of veggies like we do!) Onion, mushroom, and yellow squash was used for this.

-1 small tomato

-fresh cilantro

-1 tsp each chili poweder & cumin (use whatever spices you like!)

-1 pinch salt & coarse ground pepper

-2 eggs per person

-1/4 c liquid egg whilte (optional)

-1 tbsp milk (optional)

-3 tbsp favorite shredded cheese

Directions:

  1. If you do not have a broiler, pre-heat oven to 350.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp EVOO over low-medium heat.
  3. Cut veggies and add each to hot oil in turn. I started with onion, then mushrooms, then squash.
  4. Cook to desired consistency. I went with 5 more minutes after my last veggie was added. Keep on low and stir often.
  5. Add all spices, toss, and remove veggies from heat and into heat-safe container.
  6. Heat 1 tbsp EVOO over low-medium heat.
  7. Whisk your eggs and milk into a froth.
  8. Add eggs to hot oil and let cook 1 minute.
  9. Add veggies to eggs by spooning into different spots and gently & evenly distributing around the pan.
  10. Let cook until the edge of the eggs beings to pull away from the pan. This takes about 5 minutes for me. It may take more or less for you…just keep an eye on it!
  11. Remove from stovetop and put into broiler on high, or into hot oven, for 3 minutes.
  12. Start dicing your tomato and chopping your cilantro.
  13. After your timer dings, sprinkle a little cheese over the top (optional).
  14. Return to broiler for 3 more minutes and check eggs after the ding. If nothing jiggles in the middle and everything LOOKS cooked in the middle, then you are READY TO EAT! If not, return to the broiler or oven for 1-minute bursts until it’s cooked.
  15. Cut down the middle or into pie piece shapes, top with diced tomatos and cilantro.
  16. Serve & enjoy!
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