Asparagus & Zucchini Omelette

August 5, 2010

Asparagus & Zucchini Omelette

I really love eggs. They are so satisfying and a great thing to eat first thing in the morning if you know you’ll be eating a late lunch. Generally, I only eat one egg for breakfast, but I’ll beef it up with veggies and maybe some nice goat cheese. It’s amazing how full I stay from one little egg.

Asparagus & Zucchini Omelette

Here’s a simple, but very tasty little omelette. Simply chop asparagus in small pieces and saute over medium high heat in a little olive oil. When asparagus is almost done, grate in some zucchini. After a minute or two, pour in your scrambled, seasoned egg. Gently push edges of the egg up all around the pan allowing the runny egg to flow underneath. Continue to cook until almost set. Flip once. Fold it. Plate it. Top with a dollop of light sour cream, halved baby heirloom tomatoes and a little kosher salt and pepper. Voila! Quick and easy breakfast.

Zucchini Muffin

Serve with a yummy zucchini muffin from SimplyRecipes.com and you’ve successfully made two dishes with one of summer’s most bountiful crops! Those zucchini muffins are so very tasty.

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My Favorite Lunch

August 4, 2010

My Favorite Lunch

Ah… summer. Full of the most delicious tomatoes! I will be so sad when it’s over. What will I eat for lunch every day? No, seriously, I eat this almost every day for lunch. A simple salad made from the freshest local produce.

I cannot tell you how much I love eating this meal. You’d think I’d get tired of the same thing for lunch day after day, but I don’t. I look forward to it. I could eat these heirloom tomatoes every day for the rest of my life and be a very happy girl.

This entire meal including my simple salad, french baguette and seasoned extra virgin olive oil for dipping comes in just under 400 calories. Not bad for a flavorful, very healthy dish!

My Favorite Lunch

Whitney’s Favorite Lunch
Feeds one.

For the salad you’ll need:

2 cups mixed greens (spinach, arugula, etc.)
1 oz fresh Goat Feta
1 ripe heirloom tomato (or other juicy summer tomato)
2-3 basil leaves
Kosher salt & pepper

For the bread and dipping oil you’ll need:

2 oz French baguette
1 tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt & pepper
Italian Seasoning grinder (optional)

Directions:

Turn on your oven’s broiler (or use a toaster oven) and place your chunk of baguette in the center of the oven to refresh while you prepare the salad. This will warm the bread and make the outside crusty again if it has gotten stale.

**If your baguette is fresh, skip this step. I cut my baguettes into 2 oz. serving sizes and wrap individually for the week. I pull one serving out as I need it. Refreshing in the oven works nicely.**

My seasoned dipping oil.

For the oil, grab a small plate. Sprinkle a good pinch of kosher salt and pepper onto the plate. You can also grind some Italian seasonings into your mix, or you could chop some fresh herbs like basil or rosemary to add in. Measure out 1 tablespoon of heart healthy extra virgin olive oil and pour onto plate. Use your measuring spoon to mix up the oil and seasonings.

Beautiful Orangey Tomato Goodness

For the salad, chop your tomato and toss in a small bowl with salt and pepper. This will allow the juices of the tomato to release and build more flavor. Let it hang out in the bowl a few minutes.

Next, rip up your mixed greens and plate. If warming your bread, reach in the oven and flip it over. Now, rip up your basil leaves and toss in with your greens. Crumble fresh Goat Feta over your salad. Top with the tomatoes and juices. This will replace your need for dressing.

Now, turn off your oven and remove your baguette. Add it to your plate and enjoy!

My Favorite Lunch

How do I eat my salad? I like to dip a small chunk of crusty bread into the oil and use it to scrap up some salad onto my fork. This transfers some of the seasoned oil into each bite. The crusty bread is nice to add into the bites of salad. It’s sort of a deconstructed tomato bruschetta. Just mix it all up and enjoy it. So tasty. So healthy. Really satisfying.

This is a nice basic salad that you could add all sorts of things to. I’ve added sauteed asparagus here, which was very tasty. A great simple salad without any fuss.

Grilled Romaine with Crema di Balsamico

August 2, 2010

Grilled Romaine with Balsamic Syrup

I couldn’t resist buying a miniature sized head of romaine lettuce at the farmers market this past weekend. For a while now, I have wanted to try it grilled, so I scooped one up with the intention of trying it that very night. WOW! Why have I never grilled lettuce before?

I simply halved the head with the core still intact. Brush with olive oil. Season with kosher salt and pepper. Grill for 2-3 minutes on each side. Done!

Grilled Romaine with Balsamic Syrup

Here I’ve plated it with some Crema di Balsamico that my Aunt Suzi gave to me. She picked it up on a trip to Germany, and I finally tried it. Basically, it’s a balsamic syrup. It added such a lovely flavor to the dish. Yum! Can’t wait to try it with other dishes. Any ideas?

Grilled Romaine and Oven Roasted Tomatoes

To accompany the grilled romaine, I roasted a sliced tomato for 10 minutes under the broiler and shaved a little parmigiano reggiano (not pictured) over the plate before serving. I was too hungry to take the time to add fresh herbs, but honestly, it didn’t feel like it was lacking anything. This is a great meal If you are looking for a ridiculously quick, light dinner. Everything was ready in about 15 minutes. You can’t beat that!

Sweet Corn & Goat Cheese Omelet with Oven Roasted Tomatoes

July 31, 2010

Sweet Corn & Goat Cheese Omelet with Oven Roasted Tomatoes

Recently, The Kitchn posted this egg scramble, and I was inspired! Instead of making my breakfast as a scramble, I made an omelet. This was so yummy! What a great idea to add corn to your eggs. The oven roasted tomatoes added such nice contrast to the corn and goat cheese, too.

Sweet Corn & Goat Cheese Omelet with Oven Roasted Tomatoes

Sweet Corn & Goat Cheese Omelet with Oven Roasted Tomatoes
Serves one.

1 egg
1/4 cup fresh sweet corn kernels
1 oz soft goat cheese
2 tomato slices
Drizzle of olive oil
Pinch fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt
Pepper

1. Turn on your oven’s broiler. Place tomato slices on a pan and salt & pepper them. Place in oven to begin roasting. This will take 10 minutes.

2. Crack egg into a small bowl and mix with a fork. Season with kosher salt and pepper. Set aside.

3. Heat the oil in a small pan over medium high heat. Add your corn and allow to cook for a few minutes. Once your kernels start to brown slightly, add your egg and reduce heat to medium. Make sure it’s not too hot! As the egg cooks, lift the edges with a spatula tilt you pan so the runny egg fills in underneath. Repeat all around your pan.

4. Once your egg is almost done cooking, shake your pan a bit to loosen the omelet before flipping it over. You don’t have to flip it, but I like to because I immediately add the goat cheese to the hot side and fold over. This allows it to melt nicely. Plate it immediately. Top with tomato slices and fresh thyme.

Sweet Corn & Goat Cheese Omelet with Oven Roasted Tomatoes

This is quite an elegant little breakfast dish. Great for guests. I bet this would be a lovely quiche as well. You could roast the tomatoes and layer them on the top of the quiche. Might have to try that.

Fresh Farmers Market Dinner

July 30, 2010

Fresh Farmers Market Dinner

As promised, here is my recent dinner of roasted tomatoes, cipollini onions and potatoes served with the simple squash blossom salad I shared yesterday.

Do you see those juices? Who needs a dressing with all the flavor of the roasting juices oozing around the plate?

Fresh Farmers Market Dinner

This was an easy meal to whip up. Simply toss tomatoes, onions and potatoes in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast at 375 for 25-30 minutes. Potatoes will take about 5-10 minutes longer so put those in a separate pan.

Once you pull them out, allow to cool a few minutes before plating. Pile your roasted vegetables on your plate alongside a simple salad like this one. Be sure to pour all the roasting juices over your vegetables. It will add a nice sauce to the plate.

Fresh Farmers Market Dinner

When you eat this, be sure to mix everything up with each bite. The flavors all go together so nicely, and this meal will certainly give you your fill of vegetable servings for the day!

It’s quite satisfying without being heavy, and it’s oh so tasty!

Roasted Veg with Spinach and Squash Blossom Salad

On a side note, I’m pleased to share this whole plate of food was straight from my local farmers market with the exception of the tomatoes and olive oil. However, those were both from a local California source. It feels good to support my community!

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You might also like this post:
Polenta with Oven Roasted Tomatoes and Cipollini Onions

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Squash Blossoms: 2 Ways

July 29, 2010

Squash Blossoms

Are these not absolutely gorgeous? I couldn’t resist picking these up from the Farmers Market recently. I had never tried squash blossoms, but I’ve been intrigued by them for a while now. While I’d love to try some of the fried recipes I’ve come across online, I try to cook and eat in a (mostly) healthy way 85-90% of the time.

Mozzarella Stuffed Squash Blossoms

That said, I decided to try these in two simple ways. Freshly torn and added into a simple salad, and stuffed with a little fresh mozzarella and quickly sauteed in a bit of olive oil. Both were quite lovely.

Simple Spinach & Squash Blossom Salad

The simple salad was accompanied by my new favorite dish, roasted tomatoes and cipollini onions. I’m completely addicted to them. So simple, yet so flavorful and versatile. The juices really added a lovely “dressing” to the plate for the salad. I’ll share more on that tomorrow…

Polenta with Oven Roasted Tomatoes and Cipollini Onions

July 16, 2010

My first polenta.

Last night, I decided to make polenta for the first time. I’ve had this box for a while. It even followed us here from the East Coast! Thought it was about time to use it.

I kept it simple. Prepared as the box directed. I used it as a base for one of my current favorite things: Roasted Tomatoes & Cipollini Onions! I originally used this recipe from Smitten Kitchen earlier this week without the white beans. It was great, but I wanted to try something different. I swapped the toasted bread for polenta. It was a lovely meal if I do say so myself. Quite satisfying!

My first polenta.

Polenta with Oven Roasted Tomatoes and Cipollini Onions
Serves one.

Ingredients:

4 cipollini onions, skins removed
6 cherry tomatoes
1 oz. goat feta, crumbled
1/2 tbsp good quality olive oil
5-6 basil leaves, chopped
Kosher salt & pepper

1 quart of water
1 1/3 cups polenta

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375. Toss onions and tomatoes in olive oil. Season with kosher salt and pepper. Place in a roasting pan or any oven safe dish. Pie plate would work just as well.

2. Place in preheated oven for 45 minutes. Shake pan and turn onions & tomatoes every 15 minutes.

3. After first 30 minutes of roasting, bring water to a boil. Season with 2 tsp kosher salt. Add polenta slowly while stirring continuously for 5 minutes or until desired texture is reached.

4. Pull tomatoes and onions from oven. Set aside to cool slightly. Plate 1/2 cup serving of polenta. Top with goat feta, roasted onions, tomatoes and juices. Don’t forget the juices! Add freshly chopped basil and enjoy!

My first polenta.

Do you have a favorite polenta recipe? Do share! Pretty please??

You might also like this: Make It Monday: Rustic & Roasted


Asparagus & Goat Feta Summer Salad with Bruschetta

July 14, 2010

Asparagus & Goat Feta Summer Salad with Bruschetta

Over the weekend, I picked up this amazing Goat Feta at the Little Italy Mercato here in San Diego. Can’t wait to get my hands on more this Saturday! I’ve been eating it mostly in salads like this Asparagus and Goat Feta Summer Salad I threw together last night.

I’m a big time salad eater. I know many people think of a salad as totally unsatisfying, but I find the trick is not to use so much lettuce. No, really. Most people (and restaurants) just pile on the lettuce with only a handful of toppings. I find that to be a ridiculous ratio. Generally, I use a cup or two of chopped greens, and then I pile on the good stuff. If all you can taste is lettuce, then what fun is that!?

Also, I find by adding the right amount of healthy, tasty toppings to your greens your need for dressing seriously comes into question. Lately, I’ve just added a drizzle of olive oil to my salads. That’s all it needs!

Asparagus & Goat Feta Summer Salad with Bruschetta

Asparagus & Goat Feta Summer Salad with Bruschetta
Serves one.

Ingredients:

For the salad:
4 romaine lettuce leaves, chopped
5 or 6 basil leaves, chopped
10 stalks of asparagus, tough ends trimmed, cut into 1 inch pieces
2-3 small cherry heirloom tomatoes, halved/quartered
1 oz. goat feta (or any good quality feta from your local market)
1 tsp. good quality extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. good quality olive oil
Sea salt and pepper

For the bruschetta:
1 oz. french baguette, cut into 4 slices
1 tsp. olive oil
Sea salt and pepper

1. Turn broiler on. Place bread slices on a roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

2. Go ahead and plate your lettuce, basil, tomatoes and feta.

2. Over medium-high heat, warm olive oil in saute pan. Once hot, add your asparagus. Allow to cook for a few minutes, until tender and slightly blackened. Place bread in oven while asparagus is cooking. KEEP AN EYE ON THE BREAD. You don’t want it to burn.

3. Once asparagus is tender, remove pan from heat. Allow to cool slightly while you remove bruschetta from oven.

4. Gently, add cooked asparagus to your salad. Drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil. Place your bruschetta alongside your summer salad and enjoy!

More on making bruschetta here.

Asparagus & Goat Feta Summer Salad with Bruschetta

Insalata Caprese

July 14, 2010

Caprese Salad

Hey Everyone! So much has happened since I posted last. The biggest change was a move from the East Coast to the West Coast! We are based in San Diego now, and summer is in full bloom at the local markets!

I’m enjoying many, many heirloom tomatoes at the moment. I just cannot get enough of them. I’ve been adding them to everything. They are perfection.

Today’s lunch put these beauties in a starring roll. With quality ingredients, you don’t have to fuss much to make a fabulous meal. Here I’ve taken a ripe, juicy heirloom tomato, fresh mozzarella, fragrant basil and extra virgin olive oil and combined them to create an absolutely heavenly, light summer lunch.

Caprese Salad

Insalata Caprese
Serves one.

1/2 of a ripe heirloom tomato, sliced
2 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced
1 tsp good quality extra virgin olive oil
5-6 large basil leaves, chopped
sea salt & pepper

Simply layer the sliced tomatoes and mozzarella attractively. Season with sea salt and pepper. Drizzle with the oil. Top with chopped basil. Serve and enjoy!

This would be a lovely addition to a summer dinner party. So much flavor and goodness with little effort!

Caprese Salad

Tofu Shirataki Noodles

February 17, 2010

Tofu Shirataki Noodles

Have you heard of these noodles? I’ve been hearing about them quite a bit over the last year, but was never able to find them. Finally, I tracked them down at Whole Foods Market. There are mixed reviews on their flavor and texture, but I found them to be a satisfying substitute for regular, starchy noodles. Rinse them as the package suggests, and add to your favorite broth for an instant, healthy Ramen dish.

I used a can of vegetable broth, celery, onions, garlic, salt and pepper for my soup. In about 20 minutes I had my meal ready! While I won’t lead you on and say this is one of the best things I have ever eaten… It was quite satisfying for a light dinner. Experimentation is in order to find the perfect flavor combos and pairings for these noodles. Their texture is a bit “springier” than normal ramen noodles, but again, this did not bother me. Some people really disliked the texture. I’ll let you be the judge.

Their flavor? I found them to be a blank canvas. I think they would absorb the taste of whatever you were cooking them with. Personally, I would stick to Asian inspired dishes, rather than Italian.

Tofu Shirataki Noodles

Want to try these  healthy “noodles” for yourself? Click here.

The Facts:

  1. Variety of shapes (spaghetti, fettuccine, angel-hair)
  2. Low Carb (3g per serving)
  3. Low Calorie (40 calories for the entire package!)
  4. No Cholesterol
  5. No Sugar
  6. Gluten-Free
  7. Dairy-Free
  8. Contains 10% Calcium
  9. Vegan

Have you tried these? I’d love to hear your favorite way to prepare them.
Must be refrigerated. Last for several months from purchase date. Cannot be frozen. Purchased mine for under $2 per package.