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Archive for March, 2010

I’ve always loved eggs. They are, seriously, a perfect food. One egg is a protein packed, low-calorie, high satisfaction guarantee!

And lately, I’ve been eating a lot of eggs for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Even though I am no longer a vegetarian, I still don’t eat very much meat, so eggs provide me with the protein I crave.

For me, a perfect breakfast is a sunny side up egg cracked over a slice of WW toast with lots of hot sauce (and some cottage cheese on the side for extra lasting power).

Looks weird,  but trust me, it’s a really good combo!

For dinner, I recently tried my own version of “beans and toast” for dinner using some TJ’s baked beans… topped with a perfect sunny side up egg. Simple, easy, and so satisfying for a weeknight meal.

There was a little bit of cheddar on their, too!

And recently, Loren and I made a miraculous discovery. Well, not so miraculous, but a life-changing event for us nonetheless….  We started hard boiling a carton eggs on Sundays, so they are ready for snacks and meals for the rest of the week! So easy, so life altering- REALLY!

I’m sure most of you guys have your own egg boiling recipes, but for those of you, who, like me, were a little clueless in this department, I found an easy system:

  • Put eggs in pot
  • Cover with cold water, at least 1 inch higher than the top of the eggs
  • Put vinegar in water (I use rice vinegar) to prevent the whites from coming through any cracks. Add salt to help it boil faster
  • Cover, bring to boil
  • Once the water is at a ROLLING boil, bring down heat to medium low, and cook for another 8-10 minutes, depending on how well you want them cooked
  • When you remove the eggs from stove, put them in a bowl of ice water so they STOP cooking right away
  • Put in your fridge and enjoy all week!

I don’t know why we didn’t start doing this sooner. It’s been so nice to have these guys in the fridge, ready to be made in to lovely kitchen creations. While I love eating them plain with salt-and-pepper, I love cutting them up (one whole egg, one white) and having them on toast for breakfast.

I love spreading cream cheese, really good butter, or a little bit of sharp cheddar on the bread as well.

And one day when I was home for lunch, I made the most delicious egg salad using one egg and two egg whites (mayo, mustard, s &p).

Having the eggs ready makes these kinds of healthy meals so simple and fast.

YUM!

So, us egg eaters are on a whole new kick. We buy two cartons of large, cage free eggs a week and hard boil a dozen every Sunday.

I just ate my last for snack while posting, so I can’t wait for a fresh batch tomorrow!

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So, I have a confession to make. Lately, I have been rather lazy and uninspired in the kitchen. And I have been craving lots of “bad” stuff: cheese, carbs, melted cheese, hot carbs, cold cheese, crunchy carbs… you get it. Same ingredients, different ways: not great for the waistline!

And a few days ago all I wanted for dinner was a big plate of cheesy nachos. I thought about going to pick some up, or going out, but then I took a step back and said to myself, “Self, you can make tasty, but healthier nachos at home. Stop being so lazy!” (Sometimes I have to just be straight up with you guys- I talk to myself).

So I grabbed a can of TJ’s Cuban Black Beans from my pantry…

These are great for those lazy nights because they are pre-cooked with onion, green peppers, and lots of spices. Great flavor! Even if you don’t have a TJ’s near you, I am sure you can find beans in your store that are cooked with spices and veggies. This will save you a lot of time on nights when you just don’t have the energy to do it yourself.

I heated up a big bowl of beans and topped them with chopped tomato, part-skim mozzarella cheese, low fat yogurt (instead of sour cream), and salsa. I had some sweet potato ruffle chips (also from TJ’s) and corn chips on the side.

This was SO GOOD! I think the key to making this dish healthy is to load up on beans and skimp a little on the chips. The chips are great for a little crunch, and to satisfy the carb craving, but the beans are really what keeps you feeling full and satisfied. And low fat yogurt or sour cream gives you that hearty, creamy taste without all the fat.

And as long as you are eating chips, might as well go for the sweet potato ones and have some extra vitamins, right?

A perfect bite…

I’m sure you guys have made “nachos” at home- no big cooking revelation here- but t it really was so satisfying for me. So much better than going out for a big plate of Mexican food, and coming home feeling nauseous, bloated, gassy, and like you just gained 5 pounds in salt/ water retention. Sometimes it’s just not worth it!

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Last night, I made the most yummy dinner- and it was really quick! Perfect for a weeknight meal.

I was in the mood for pasta, but I wanted to try something a little different. So I put together the following ingredients in my kitchen:

  • 1 Eggplant
  • 1 Roll of polenta
  • Trader Joe’s “Giotti” canned tomato sauce
  • Goat’s milk gouda

I decided to combine all of these ingredients into mini eggplant/ polenta “lasagnas”- and they turned out really well!

I preheated my oven to 350, sliced up the eggplant, and cooked it in a pan (about 3 minutes each side) on medium heat with some EVOO, salt, and pepper. While the eggplant cooked, I sliced up the polenta. Then, I just stacked the soft eggplant and the slices of polenta (just 2 slices of both- didn’t want them to topple over!). I topped the “lasagnas” with the TJ’s sauce and a slice of yummy cheese on top.

I popped the whole thing in the oven, covered in aluminum foil, for 20 minutes. I took off the foil after 20 minutes and let it sit in the oven and bake for another 5.

And, VOILA!  A cheap, easy, and really tasty dinner!

If none of you have cooked with polenta in the past, I highly recommend it. It’s actually made of cornmeal, and you can find it in any supermarket these days, usually in the pasta aisle. I like to buy it pre-made in a roll (wrapped in plastic) which is easy to cut up and bake or pan fry. I was really happy with this version… as I don’t use recipes, I’m always happy when I play with ingredients and it works!

All of the flavors worked perfectly together. You could definitely play with the ingredients and add things like zucchini, peppers, fresh basil, a sharper cheese, etc. This dish is very forgiving! Especially if you have a great sauce (This TJ’s marinara is highly recommended by yours truly).

This dish also makes plenty of leftovers (if you are two hungry eaters, like we are). It made enough for 2 filling meals for both of us!

Hope you all give this a try at home. If you do, don’t be afraid to add new flavors and ingredients- and let me know how you like it!

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