Archive for ‘Recipes’

July 1, 2019

Eggcetera, Eggcetera, Eggcetera

Eggs are so versatile, you can make them part of breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack or picnic, eggcetera, eggcetera, eggcetera. High in protein, low in carbs and full of essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals, eggs are an almost perfect food.

The concern that consuming eggs will raise blood cholesterol was diminished by studies a few years ago only to be resurrected this year. Perhaps that will mean you don’t want to eat eggs for every meal or even every day, but eating the occasional egg as part of a balanced, healthy diet leaves the risk factor most likely low.
quiche
If you were going to fill a day with eggs, you could begin with a breakfast of scrambled, fried, poached, or soft boiled eggs. Eggs Benedict, biscuits filled with eggs and sausage, and easily customized omelets along with French toast are longstanding favorites.

In my family, there’s a lot of enthusiasm for breakfast tacos. Scrambled eggs, cheese, and bacon topped with hot sauce and folded into a corn tortilla does make a filling and delicious combination. Alternatively, a gluten-free, dairy-free pancake filled with scrambled eggs, bacon, and a tiny bit of strawberry jelly makes a great dairy-free alternative taco.

That brings me to non-dairy scrambled eggs. When my oldest son was two, we discovered that giving him dairy resulted in significant congestion and irritability. My second son was so allergic I could not consume dairy when I was breastfeeding him without also medicating him. After a couple of days on medication that kept him awake, I opted for no dairy.

During that first phase without dairy, I began substituting water for milk in scrambled eggs. I discovered I preferred the fluffier result so I never reverted to the traditional addition of milk. Last year, I ran across a POPSUGAR post on the secret ingredient for fluffy scrambled eggs. They got it right – water!

If you’re not up early enough for breakfast, you can always have eggs for brunch. My mom had a recipe called Brunch Eggs. It’s a great option for special occasion brunches because you can make it in advance then bake just before serving. Here’s the recipe:

Brunch Eggs

8 slices white bread, crust removed
Butter, softened
5 eggs
1 pint half & half
Salt to taste
8 oz grated Old English cheese (can substitute a mixture of sharp & mild cheddar)

Preheat oven to 325. Spray 8 x 10 oven-safe baking dish with olive oil spray.

Butter each slice of bread on both sides. Tear into bite-size pieces and place in prepared dish.

In large bowl, whisk 5 eggs. Whisk in half & half. Add salt to taste and stir. Pour mixture over bread. Sprinkle cheese over the top. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.

Bake at 325 for 45 minutes. Serve hot.

This recipe is easily made gluten-free by substituting gluten-free bread. It will take a little more determination and experimentation to make it dairy-free. There are many milk substitutes, but some work better than others when heated or as part of a specific flavor profile. Non-dairy cheeses also vary widely in flavor and meltability.

For lunch, I like egg salad. I make several different versions. Choosing one depends on the day and ingredients available. They’re all good on bread, crackers, or wrapped in lettuce. My other most common lunch egg option is tuna salad with boiled eggs included.

At snack time, I most often choose deviled eggs. I make a traditional mayo/mustard version unless I’m feeling fancy, then I upgrade to bleu cheese with tarragon. My mother made deviled eggs with butter, vinegar, salt & pepper.

When I’m flying, a boiled egg is my preferred snack. Because of the unpredictable timing of stops and availability of gluten-free food, I always want to have something on hand. A peeled, boiled egg is easy to carry through an airport and on a plane. If you prefer, pickled eggs would work as well.

At dinner time, I love a fritatta. I can fill it with leftover or newly sautéed vegetables; bacon, sausage, or salami; and cheese or cream cheese. Since there’s no crust, I don’t have to worry about creating a gluten-free version. If you prefer crust on your egg pies, you can always opt for quiche.

Eggs don’t have to be the main feature of the meal. Served atop steamed asparagus with a sprinkle of parmesan or as the crown on bibimbop, they bring a delightful finishing touch.

A day filled with eggs won’t leave you lacking for dessert. Custard or custard pie, meringue, soufflé, bread pudding, creme brûlée, cheesecake, and ice cream contain significant amounts of egg. Other desserts use eggs as a binder–cake, cookies, brownies, cream pies, and pudding.

It takes more than one day to exhaust the many ways you can prepare those little jewels with 70 calories, 6 grams of protein, 1 gram of carbohydrate, and 65 mg of sodium plus all 9 essential amino acids that cannot be made by your body in addition to iron, vitamins A,D,E, & B12, folate, selenium, lutein, zeaxanthin, and choline. The amount of nutrition packed in such a small package is impressive, but the usefulness of eggs doesn’t stop there.

Eggs bring the element of fun to Easter. They can be blown out of their shells to boggle the minds of children. The yolks can serve as the binder for tempera paint. Eggcetera, eggcetera, eggcetera.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6024687/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30874756

https://www.sciencemediacentre.org/expert-reaction-to-study-looking-at-eggs-cholesterol-and-heart-disease/

https://www.popsugar.com/food/Scrambled-Eggs-Water-43048421

http://www.cooking2thrive.com/blog/get-know-breakfast-foods/

http://www.cooking2thrive.com/blog/easiest-egg-salad-ever/
ad

March 4, 2019

Let’s Go Green With Avocado!

Even if you don’t recycle, you can still go green with avocado! It’s time to bring the focus back to food for a minute. Spring hasn’t quite arrived, but I’m already craving salads made from fresh, tender spring greens. The farmers market in my neighborhood will open in April. In the meantime, I’m creating salads using red cabbage, baby arugula, and kale.

I’m not a big fan of most bottled dressing so I usually toss something together at home. I use a variety of vinegars-balsamic, apple cider, rice wine, and white wine-and pair them with extra virgin olive oil. Sometimes I’ll buy oil or vinegar infused with herbs, peppers, or fruit for some extra flavor dimension. For creamy dressings, I used to start with yogurt. Now I prefer avocado.

Avocados have a creamy texture and plenty of fat to serve as a base for dressing. They’re a great dairy alternative. And they provide lots of yummy nutrients.
avocado
One-third of a medium avocado has 1 gram of protein, .3mg of iron, 250mg of potassium, 11mcg of vitamin K, 45mcg folate, .7mg pantothenic acid, and .1mg copper plus iron, vitamins C,E,& B, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, and manganese.

That same serving of avocado has 3g dietary fiber and no sodium, sugar, or cholesterol. The fiber content combined with unsaturated fat makes avocados filling, heart-healthy, and diabetes-friendly.

Here’s an avocado dressing recipe I’ve been using:

Spicy Avocado Dressing

One ripe avocado
1 tbsp COYO natural flavor coconut yogurt alternative
1/2 tsp Sriracha
1/4 tsp salt
4 grinds black pepper
1/2 tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice
Squeeze of lemon or lime juice (optional)

Place avocado, coconut yogurt, and Sriracha in food chopper and pulse until smooth and creamy. Place avocado mixture in medium bowl. Stir in salt, pepper, and orange juice. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Keep the avocado turning from turning brown by adding a squeeze of lemon or lime juice before refrigerating.

If you’re not in the mood for salad, you can always use avocados to make guacamole. In addition to the traditional dip or salad, I sometimes use guacamole instead of mayonnaise or mustard on a sandwich to give it a boost in flavor and moisture. It’s especially good with roasted or fajita chicken.

Don’t forget to add avocado to your poké bowl. It’s delicious with rice, tofu, cucumber, carrots, edamame, and salmon, tuna, shrimp, or chicken.

Of course I would be remiss if I didn’t mention avocado toast. If you don’t want to make it at home, it’s most likely served at a coffee shop near you although it may not be gluten-free.

I’ve seen recipes that call for adding avocado to salsa, margaritas, and even pudding. I can see using them in muffins or fruit breads in the place of butter although I have not tried this.

But that’s what going green with avocados is all about…using them more often and in more variety. Have fun going green and bon appétit!

https://www.californiaavocado.com/nutrition/nutrients

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270406.php

https://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/slideshow/40-avocado-recipes-so-you-can-eat-as-much-avocado-as-possible

http://www.cooking2thrive.com/blog/bombarded-words-eat-healthy-really-mean/

http://www.cooking2thrive.com/blog/secret-always-kiss/

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

November 26, 2018

New Life for Leftovers

This week is a good time to create a new life for leftovers. In general I don’t mind leftovers, but I have my limits. Once I’m tired of eating a particular holiday menu item, I like to repurpose it to make it palatable again. If I don’t, I’ll be tempted to throw away perfectly good food.

Leftover plans have to be flexible because I never know exactly what will be eaten, what will be taken home by my family, and what will stay in my refrigerator. When incorporating leftovers into other dishes, I just work from a general framework and make things up as I go.

Turkey quickly becomes a turkey/avocado/bacon wrap using gluten-free tortillas or paleo wraps. Sometimes I go full turkey club by adding tomato, lettuce, and cheese to the wrap.

If you have leftover turkey and gravy, it’s easy to make creamed turkey on toast. It’s the same idea as chipped beef on toast and has that same retro feel of grandma’s kitchen.
corn
This year I ended up with lots of corn. I’m going to use it in Mexican cornbread, but I could make corn/potato chowder or corn casserole. I could also include it along with other veggies in a frittata. Frittatas are always an easy, delicious, gluten-free way to repurpose cooked vegetables.

If you have too much stuffing, consider turning it into a bottom crust for shepherd’s pie. If you have them, the filling can be made with leftover turkey, vegetables, and gravy. If you don’t, create a filling using breakfast sausage, green peas, and a little sour cream. Top off either version with mashed potatoes or mashed sweet potatoes before baking.

Winter weather often accompanies the holidays making warm, cozy soup an appealing option. Mashed potatoes and gravy can become the base for a thick, creamy soup. Corn and green beans can be incorporated into vegetable soup.

Fresh cranberry/orange relish makes the perfect topping for an almond torte. We always have extra relish. We all love it, but it’s not something you want to eat in large servings and it’s such a strong, tart flavor that it doesn’t always pair well with other strong flavors. On the other hand, its strong flavor enhances the mild flavor of the torte.

Last year, I used a leftover sweet potato to create a topping for panna cotta. It was so good everyone asked for it again this year! Here’s the recipe if you’d like to try it:

Sweet Potato Topping

1/2 cup cooked sweet potato
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 1/2 tbsp salted butter
1 tbsp heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp + 1/2 tsp honey
Pinch of salt

Place sweet potato and maple syrup in food chopper or blender and purée until smooth. In medium skillet, melt butter. Add puréed sweet potato. Whisk in cream and honey and sprinkle with salt. Cook for a minute or two. Allow to cool.

I’m not sure why I thought to turn that sweet potato into topping, but I’m glad I did. That’s the great thing about creating new life for leftovers; you can end up with unexpectedly good food that would never have been thought of otherwise.

http://www.cooking2thrive.com/blog/lighten/

October 29, 2018

Veggies in the Oven Make the Kitchen Toasty Warm

Veggies in the oven make the kitchen toasty warm and I love that on a cool fall day! Whether you roast or bake, the oven is a wonderful place to cook vegetables!
cabbage
Before the advent of microwave ovens, pretty much everyone baked potatoes and sweet potatoes in their full size, conventional oven. It wasn’t as common to roast or bake other vegetables unless they were cut up in some kind of casserole. A quick look at the 1953 edition of Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book advises boiling most vegetables in a small amount of water.

cookbookMy grandmother fried okra, but boiled carrots, broccoli, corn, cauliflower, cabbage, squash, turnips, and green beans. She even made stuffed bell peppers in her pressure cooker, not in the oven.

I’m not sure why I started cooking vegetables in the oven, but I love the results! Cauliflower is one of my favorites to roast. I cut it into small florets, then toss it in olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes. I roast the florets until they have some black edges. Yum! I wish I had some right now.

My newest favorite is baked red cabbage with herbed butter. If I start by making extra butter, I can easily turn this into a sheet pan meal by adding pork chops and red seedless grapes. I place the pork chops in the center of the pan and salt and pepper on each side. Then I alternate grapes still on stems and cabbage wedges around the edge of the pan and drizzle all of it with butter. The baking time is the same, but I turn the pork chops halfway through.

Here’s the recipe for enough butter for a sheet pan meal:

6 tbsp salted butter
4 – 5 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 – 2 sprigs fresh mint
3 cloves garlic, peeled
Sprinkle of salt

Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add rosemary, mint, and garlic. Sprinkle with salt. Simmer on low for 10-15 minutes. Remove herbs & garlic.

To bake one head of red cabbage, cut it into small wedges and place on aluminum foil in a sheet pan or other baking pan. Lightly salt, then drizzle with herbed butter. (You’ll need 1/4 to 1/3 of the butter for the cabbage.) Place in preheated 375 oven and bake for 40-45 minutes. Serve hot!
oven cab
If you decide to try this recipe, make sure to purchase red cabbage rather than radicchio. While they look similar, the two are not the same. Radicchio is a member of the bitter-flavored chicory family along with Belgian endive, frisée, and escarole.

When the cabbage bakes, the color becomes an even deeper purple. It’s a beautiful addition to a plate. And when cooked this way, I prefer the flavor to that of green cabbage. That may be a good thing during cold and flu season. A cup of red cabbage contains 85% of the daily value of vitamin C.

A toasty warm kitchen. A beautiful, delicious, healthy baked vegetable and left-over herbed butter to use on pork chops or include in pasta sauce. OMG! Does it get any better than this?

https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2373/2

http://www.farmerfoodshare.org/veg/cabbage/

http://www.farmerfoodshare.org/veg/radicchio/

https://www.thespruceeats.com/types-of-chicories-4040928

http://www.cooking2thrive.com/blog/dont-like-peeling-butternut-squash-then-dont/