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Archive for the ‘Eggs’ Category

I’m on an egg-white omelet kick for lunch these days.  It’s a love I share with my Dad, who has happily eschewed egg yolks for most his adult life.  Dad takes his egg white omelets with spinach, bell peppers, onions, and a touch of ham.  Me, on the other hand, I love shredded cabbage.  Stuffed into a whole wheat pita and topped with hot sauce, I couldn’t think of anything better after a long run or some weight training.

Since the boys in my house can’t stand the thought of egg whites alone (unless they’re used for meringues or marshmallows), I can understand if you’d prefer to use whole eggs here.  It’s definitely richer in flavor.  This recipe is loosely based on a Japanese okonomiyaki, of which there are infinite varieties.  Generally, though, the omelette or pancake is made from flour, nagaimo (yam), water or dashi broth, eggs, shredded cabbage and some meat or shellfish.  It’s quick, healthful and filling.  Today, mine is filled with cabbage, shredded carrots, mushrooms, and a few pieces of chopped shrimp.  Probably more cabbage and vegetables than anything else – just the way I enjoy it.

Cabbage Omelet, inspired by Okonomiyaki

cabbageomelet

Ingredients

5 large eggs

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/3 cup AP flour

2 cups cabbage, shredded with a mandoline or finely chopped

1 bunch scallions, trimmed and chopped

3/4 cups (roughly) baby or chopped shrimp

canola oil for frying

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs with the soy sauce, sesame oil, and salt. Gradually add the flour until incorporated. Fold in cabbage, scallions, and shrimp.
  2. Warm canola oil (or cooking spray) in a skillet over medium-high heat until glistening. Ladle the batter into the skillet as you would for regular pancakes. Cook on each side for about 3 minutes or until golden brown. Keep pancakes covered in a warm oven as you make the rest.

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Monday mornings are frantic during the school year.  FHE has training at the gym.  After it ends, he zooms home, eats, showers and takes Rice Kernel to school – all within 20 minutes.  My husband is low maintenance when it comes to food and he happily cooks an egg along with spinach, cheese, rice, bread or whatever else is on hand most mornings.  My son, on the other hand, is a tougher one to please.  And his palate is particularly bland at 7:00 a.m. when he typically opts for yogurt, a few bites of cereal, or popcorn.  (Yes, I feed my son popcorn in the morning.  The all-natural variety, with a mandatory side of milk or cheese. I can rationalize it because it’s a whole grain….)  On one particular Monday morning, though, I spied his favorite savory meat – chicken apple sausage.  It’s a “treat” we buy every few months.  Tossed with some leeks, green onions, and some scrambled eggs/egg whites, it was a most savory – and speedy – start to another week.

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Usually we pair eggs with bread or potatoes, but who says rice wouldn’t be delicious?  Slightly more dense than a strata with bread, this is substantial and hearty.  Pair with a salad or extra vegetables for a complete meal.

Rice Quiche

Ingredients

2 cups cooked white or brown rice
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup cheese, Cheddar or Mozarella work well
1/2 cup egg whites (or 4 whole eggs)
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
2 ounces ham or sausage
1/2 cup skim milk
1 cup vegetables, such as frozen peas, spinach or zucchini, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. 
  2. In a bowl, mix the brown rice, egg, and cheese and pour into an 8-by-8-inch baking pan. Transfer to the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
  3. Reduce the temperature to 375 degrees. In a bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients, pour onto the rice crust, and bake until the eggs are set, about 30-35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before slicing

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A twist on the usual plain rice side dish – this one speckled with beautiful, colorful, garden-fresh vegetables and baked until piping hot. 

Instructions

1 small onion, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons butter, plus more for dish
1 small onion, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 large bunch or swiss chard and/or kale (can substitute 1 package frozen spinach, thawed, drained and chopped)
1 cup milk (low-fat is fine)
2 eggs
2 cups shredded cheese, your choice, plus extra for top, optional
4 cups cooked rice, brown, white or wild (cooked in stock, preferably)
1 teaspoon chopped scallion greens, basil or cilantry
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray or butter a large casserole dish.
  2. In a large pan over medium-high heat, saute onions with a drizzle of olive oil and red pepper until translucent.  Add the greens and cook for 3 minutes. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together milk and eggs.
  4. Add the cheese, rice, basil and vegetable mixture and combine well. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Pour into prepared casserole dish and top with extra shredded cheese. Bake for 30 minutes and serve hot.

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A few days postpartum, I opened the fridge door and noticed a bounty of vegetables I had bought the week before giving birth.  (I was convinced Claire wouldn’t come by her due date…. or even two weeks past her due date.  Two “false alarm” hospital trips later, I was convinced there was a diva in my belly enjoying an extended stay.)  Scratching my head for a way to use the leftover vegetables, the breakfast- and egg-lover in me turned to a hash, which I am happy to enjoy any time of day.  A flavorful, filling way to return home from a couple of days of hospital food!

Note: Hashes reheat well.  You can omit the sausage entirely, or use ham, lean chunks of chicken breast or firm tofu.  For some more greens, I like to wilt some spinach before serving and combine it with the hash.

Basic Hash

1 lb sausage, any kind
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Kosher salt and black pepper
2-3 sweet potatoes, cubed
1-2 bell peppers, chopped (any color)
1 cup muushrooms, sliced
Sour cream and salsa, for serving (optional)
Eggs, for serving (optional)

  1. Heat a saute pan over medium-high heat.  Place sweet potatoes in pan with a drizzle of olive oil.  Cook until tender, adding water or stock if necessary to prevent scorching.  (You can also boil the sweet potatoes in a saucepan or roast them in a 400 degree F oven for 7-10 minutes.)  Reserve in serving bow.
  2. Add a teaspoon of olive oil into the same saute pan and crumble in the sausage.  Cook until the sausage is nearly done.  Add the onions, bell peppers, mushrooms and your choice of vegetables and cook a few minutes longer, until the vegetables are softened.  Add the garlic, salt, and pepper.  Stir to combine.
  3. Add the sweet potatoes to the sausage mixture, and stir to combine.  Cook until the sweet potatoes are completely softened and the flavors are blended, about 3-5 minutes.

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I have to admit, FHE and I struggle with selecting summer vegetables for the garden.  We much prefer the leafy greens of the Fall and Winter growing seasons.  For starters, FHE isn’t fond of zucchini and squash.  (I think those are the only vegetables he begrudgingly swallows and, occasionally, pushes to the side of his plate.)  We’re also not terribly inventive about preparing bell peppers, eggplants, and beans.  Whatever the reason, we always end up giving away more of the summer garden than we consume. 

Then it occurred to me a frittata would be a savory, delicious way to enjoy summer’s beautiful bounty.  Filled with orange, yellow, and red bell peppers, leeks, and fresh peas, this recipe offers a colorful crunch from the ordinary brunch favorite.  This particular batch also benefitted from the addition of creamy, roasted sweet potatoes and browned Italian sausage but, as with all frittata recipes, you can include whatever ingredients you prefer or have on hand. 

Next time you’re left with a bounty of vegetables to use up, consider this easy, make-ahead recipe.  (It always works well with zucchini.)  Even the most ardent vegetable “haters” will enjoy this cheesy delight.  (Topped with ketchup, if you’re Rice Kernel….)

Summer Ricotta Frittata, from Rice Kernel’s kitchen

1 leek, sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced
1/2 orange bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup peas, freshly shucked
1 cup part-skim ricotta
3 tbsp Parmesan, freshly grated
6 eggs
2 egg whites
2 sausage links (optional)
1 large sweet potato, cubed and roasted (optional)

Directions

  1. In a saute pan, brown sausage, if using.  Add leeks, bell peppers, and peas and cook until slightly softened.  (They should still have crunch.)  Remove from heat and combine with sweet potatoes, if using.  Let cool slightly.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta with Parmesan.  Add eggs, two at a time, and mix well.  Stir in the vegetable mixture.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
  4. Prepare a medium casserole dish (about 9 x 9) and pour mixture into the dish.  Bake until center is set, about 35-45 minutes.

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My husband and I were at the gym Sunday morning.  Somehow none of the twelve TV monitors were tuned to ESPN or a sporting event.  So FHE positioned himself in front of the screens airing Food Network and the Cooking Channel.  Now, my husband taught me to cook (here) so there’s nothing unusual about his programming selection.  But it has been awhile since he’s cooked anything other than on the grill, in the oven or in the microwave.  He was obviously inspired because later that morning, he excitedly took over the kitchen to make this hash for our weekly brunch with my in-laws. 

This is a simple, comforting, and flavorful dish.  While preparation comes together quickly, it is probably too involved to appear on a typical weekday morning.  So it’s in our recipe rolodex as a brunch or breakfast-for-dinner offering.  Served under the eggs of your choosing, this hash is the perfect marriage of sweet, orange-hued potatoes, rich sausage, creamy avocados, and carmelized vegetables (you can add any you fancy).  Add some sour cream and salsa for the perfect cooling touches.  These are fantastic flavors in every bite. 

Sausage Sweet Potato and Avocado Hash, from Rice Kernel’s kitchen

1 lb sausage, any kind
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Kosher salt and black pepper
2-3 sweet potatoes, cubed
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced
1 cup muushrooms, sliced
A few handfuls of fresh spinach
Sour cream and salsa, for serving (optional)
Eggs, for serving (optional)

  1. Heat a saute pan over medium-high heat.  Place sweet potatoes in pan with a drizzle of olive oil.  Cook until tender, adding water or stock if necessary to prevent scorching.  (You can also boil the sweet potatoes in a saucepan or roast them in a 400 degree F oven for 7-10 minutes.)  Reserve in serving bow.
  2. Add a teaspoon of olive oil into the same saute pan and crumble in the sausage.  Cook until the sausage is nearly done.  Add the onions and mushrooms and cook a few minutes longer, until the vegetables are softened.  Add the garlic, salt, and pepper.  Stir to combine.
  3. Add the sweet potatoes and spinach to the sausage mixture, and stir to combine.  Cook until the sweet potatoes are completely softened and the flavors are blended, about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Serve the hash topped with avocado slices, sour cream, salsa or poached or scrambled eggs.

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