Tag Archives: breakfast

CSA Week 2: Drink Your Greens!

I picked up my second CSA farm box from Sun Gold Farms this weekend and my fridge is once again overflowing with produce. In this box: A huge head of leaf lettuce, a big cabbage, fava beans, sugar snap peas, curly kale, parsley, five zucchini, spring onions and a basil plant. I used almost all of last week’s produce but still have a partial cabbage and some mint, plus some broccoli that I picked up somewhere. I also bought blueberries and tomatoes at the market. Obviously there is plenty of salad on the menu this week, plus some broccoli and spring onion soup and probably some slaw and at least one other thing involving cabbage. But yesterday, it was all about the smoothies.

Yesterday I was having some issues. Issues with being a total klutz, to be exact. Every time I turned around I was knocking something over or dropping something or running into something. You would think smoothie making would be a pretty safe choice, since chopping and/or major cooking could lead to disaster on days like this. So I threw everything in the blender, and pressed go while I scrambled a couple eggs to go with it. As I’m beating the eggs, I noticed that as the blender is blending, it’s sort of traveling along the counter top with the vibration, and out of the corner of my eye I see it start to tip off the counter. In a flying leap I lunged over there and caught the floor-bound blender (as it’s still blending) one-handed (!) and as I’m setting it safely back on the counter I bumped the bowl of scrambled eggs and further scrambled them as they fell to the floor, splattering everywhere. I turned off the blender (yay, me!), cleaned up eggs, rescrambled, cooked eggs, and then poured my smoothie into glasses, dribbling a bit down the sides, but happy with the consistency, which was no doubt improved by its brief flight. I don’t recommend trying any of that at home.

If you don’t like to cook your greens, and you’re sick of eating salad, stuff those greens into a smoothie and drink them instead. You can change up the recipe to your liking depending on what fruit you have available, but I find the berries usually mask the taste of the greens, some stone fruit or banana adds sweetness and adding some herbs or citrus adds a bit of brightness as well. My kids love these and never complain about the bits of greenery I add to them. With some of the more hardy greens, be sure to have plenty of liquid and blend a little longer than usual. If you have a wimpy blender I’d probably go with spinach instead of kale since it liquifies much easier. I usually freeze all the fruit, but if your fruit is not frozen, add some ice cubes to give it that smoothie texture.

Blues and Greens Smoothie

Blues and Greens Smoothie

Blues & Greens Smoothie

2 big leaves of kale, ribs removed
1-2 cups blueberries, frozen
2 nectarines (fresh or frozen)
Mint – a couple of sprigs, stems removed
1 big scoop of plain yogurt
A few ice cubes if you want it extra cold or if your fruit isn’t frozen
1-2 cups sparkling water, juice, coconut water, regular water or milk (I like the sparkling water because it makes it just a tiny bit fizzy!)

Blend everything together thoroughly. Kale is a pretty hardy green, so I usually add some extra liquid and let it blend a long time to really pulverize it so I’m not chewing my smoothie, because nobody loves that. Add a little more liquid if needed to make it a drinkable consistency. Pour into glasses and enjoy while it’s cold. This made enough for 2-3 servings.

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Spinach-Feta Omelet with Pine Nuts

I’ve given up buying cereal.  Whenever I do, we each have a bowl and then watch it sit on the shelf thereafter, slowing going stale.  Suffice it to say none of us are big fans of the stuff, in spite of the occasional craving.  I feel better and less hungry throughout the day when I have a bit of protein in the morning instead.

This delicious omelet makes a perfect breakfast or lunch.  The pine nuts add a nutty touch that works beautifully with the spinach.  Add them near the end of sauteing the veggies, since they burn easily.

Spinach-Feta Omelet with Pine Nuts

Spinach-Feta Omelet with Pine Nuts

Spinach-Feta Omelet with Pine Nuts

1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
3/4 cup baby spinach, coarsely chopped
1 tsp pine nuts
2-3 tbsp. feta cheese
2-3 eggs
Salt & pepper

Beat eggs with a pinch of salt & pepper and set aside.

Heat a medium skillet (I prefer a 10″ skillet for omelets) over medium heat.  Add a drizzle of olive oil and rub around skillet to coat entirely.  Add onion and sauté 2-3 minutes, until tender.  Add spinach and pine nuts.  Cook, stirring frequently another minute or two, until spinach is slightly wilted.  Remove veggies to a plate.

Cooking the veggies.  I only cook until the spinach is just barely cooked.

Keep an eye on the veggies so your pine nuts don’t burn!

Add eggs to the skillet.  Swirl around to coat the bottom of the pan.  Using a spatula, push or lift the edges of the egg, tilting the pan so the runny egg fills the empty spot.  Keep doing this until there is no runny egg.  You will end up with a bumpy, moon crater surface of an omelet, with the egg mostly cooked but still glossy on top.

Scatter cheese all over the surface, and then put the veggies just on one half.

Yum!

Yum!

Cook a minute until cheese starts to melt, fold omelet over, slide out of the pan and serve immediately.

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Baked Huevos Verde

On the rare occasion I have leftover enchilada ingredients, my favorite thing to use them for is breakfast.  If you don’t have leftovers, this sauce takes mere moments to make and will keep in the fridge for a week.  Use beans, meat or veggies you might have left over or just use eggs and cheese.  Either way you stack it, it’s going to be delicious!  I had a bit of black beans and chicken, mixed with a dab of sour cream (my enchilada filling) so I used that in mine.

Baked Huevos Verde

Baked Huevos Verde

Baked Huevos Verde

For each ramekin:

Corn tortilla
Leftover chicken and/or black beans and/or veggies (optional)
2 tbsp. salsa verde (see below for recipe)
1-2 eggs
Queso fresco
Salt & pepper

Verde Sauce:
12 oz. tomatillos (7-8 large)
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 jalapenos, stemmed and seeded
1/3 cup fresh cilantro
1/3 cup chopped roasted green chiles (or one 4 oz. can)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 garlic cloves, chopped

Preheat oven to 375˚.

To make verde sauce:  Remove husks and stems from tomatillos and put in a small saucepan.  Cover with water; boil for 10 minutes or until tender.  Drain and transfer to a blender with the rest of the sauce ingredients.  Blend until smooth.

Homemade verde sauce.  So quick and easy!

Homemade verde sauce. So quick and easy!

Use a knife to cut your tortilla, making 4 slices, but leaving the center uncut.

4 small slices, going from the edge toward the center, leaving about an inch in the center uncut.

4 small slices, going from the edge toward the center, leaving about an inch in the center uncut.

Spray your ramekin with cooking spray.  Fold tortilla into the ramekin in a little bowl shape (if you cut all the way through it’s no big deal, just stick it in there anyway, overlapping the pieces to fit).

Overlap the cut edges to make a little bowl shape in the ramekin.

Overlap the cut edges to make a little bowl shape in the ramekin.

Add a bit of veggies, meat or beans if you are using them.

Beans, meat or veggies on the bottom (if using).

Beans, meat or veggies on the bottom (if using).

Add 2-3 tablespoons of verde sauce.

I love love love this sauce.

I love love love this sauce.

Break 1-2 eggs into the ramekin on top of the sauce.

Add eggs.  Depending on the size of your ramekin and how much veggies you added, you may be able to fit two eggs in here.

Add eggs. Depending on the size of your ramekin and how much veggies you added, you may be able to fit two eggs in here.

Sprinkle with queso fresco and a dash of salt & pepper.  Bake for 15 minutes, or until eggs are set and whites are cooked.  Serve hot!

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Smothered Breakfast Burrito

Last week I posted a recipe for an amazing pork green chili.  Now just in case you are thinking it’s summertime and too hot for chili, just let me remind you there are other things you can do with chili beyond eating it out of a bowl.  Welcome to Casa de April, where I make a breakfast burrito I would pay for in a restaurant.  Green chili is the key that takes it from ordinary to incredible.  So make the chili, which freezes beautifully by the way, freeze in small batches to bring out for breakfast!  And although I say breakfast, I would eat this for any meal of the day.

Smothered Breakfast Burrito.  More please.

Smothered Breakfast Burrito. More please.

Smothered Breakfast Burrito

For each burrito:
1 small/medium potato
2 eggs
1/4 cup shredded cheese
1/2 cup green chili (or more!)
Flour tortilla
Sliced avocado

Heat chili in a saucepan or microwave until hot.  Set aside and keep warm.  Poke potatoes and microwave for a few minutes until fork tender.  Dice or chop potatoes.  Beat eggs in a bowl with a pinch of salt & pepper.  Warm tortillas in the oven or microwave (if I’m doing a bunch I wrap them in foil and stick them in the oven while I’m making everything else; if it’s just one I nuke it).

Heat a skillet over medium high heat.  Add a drizzle of oil or butter and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan (or you can use cooking spray).  Add potato and cook for a couple of minutes, until starting to brown a bit.  Add eggs and scramble with the potatoes.  Sprinkle in the cheese, toss with the other ingredients and remove from heat.

Melty yummy goodness on the inside.

Melty yummy goodness on the inside.

Wrap in a tortilla and top with chili and avocado.

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Shredded Pork Huevos Tostada

I’ve lost track of how many versions of huevos rancheros I’ve posted, but I just don’t think you can have too many options and I never seem to make it the same way twice.  This version used leftover pork roast (will it ever run out?) and eggs cooked over easy.  Very simple and oh, so delicious!

The packages of tostadas I’ve been buying have 36 tostadas in them.  I don’t know how many of these things you eat in a sitting, but I’ve had to get pretty creative with tostadas for breakfast, lunch and dinner in order to use them all before they go stale.  Not that I’m complaining.  I like tostadas.  But still, don’t hate me for the flood of tostada recipes.  I’m working with what I’ve got!

Shredded Pork Huevos Tostada

Shredded Pork Huevos Tostada

Shredded Pork Huevos Tostada

Tostada shell or tortilla (1-2 per person)
Pork roast (about 1/2 cup per tostada – see below for basic pork roast recipe)
1-2 eggs per person
Cheddar cheese
Sliced Avocado
Salsa

Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add a drizzle of olive oil.  Break one or two eggs into the pan.  Add some pork roast on the side.  If you are cooking these for more than one person, you can do these in two separate pans, with the eggs cooking in one and the pork heating up in the other (or heat the pork in the microwave if you prefer).

I just cook everything in the same pan, but you can do them separately if you want.

I just cook everything in the same pan, but you can do them separately if you want.

Cook eggs a couple of minutes until nearly set and then flip and cook briefly on the other side until it’s done to your liking.  Build your tostada starting with pork.  Follow with eggs, a sprinkle of cheese, avocado and salsa.

Basic Pork Roast

Pork Butt or Shoulder Roast
1 onion, sliced or diced
2 cloves garlic
1 8 oz. can diced green chiles
Salt & pepper

Rinse pork roast and place fat side up in a dutch oven.  Sprinkle with salt & pepper, top with onion, chopped garlic and green chiles.  Put a lid on and roast at 350˚ for 3-4 hours, until tender and falling apart.  Pull apart with two forks to shred.

Alternatively you can do this in the crock pot (mine was too big this time, so I did it in the oven instead).  When I cook it in the crock pot, I turn it on high for the first hour, then down to low to cook the rest of the day.

Ready to pop into the oven or crock pot.

Ready to pop into the oven or crock pot.

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Asparagus and Shiitake Omelet

With farmer’s markets up and running for the season, as well as my favorite local fruit and veggie supplier, I have more produce than I usually know what to do with.  Everything looks so beautiful that I buy with my eyes instead of following my shopping list.  The wonderful bounty can turn into a trash can full of waste if I’m not careful.  So what I usually do to avoid this is lay everything out when I get home from shopping and plan meals around what I bought.  Large fruits like pineapples and melons get peeled and chopped and put away in the fridge for easy snacking for the kiddos (and me).  Other things get cooked for dinner, with the most perishable things getting used first.  And any leftovers most likely will find their way into my breakfast.

I found the most wonderful tiny shiitake mushrooms at the market this week.  My daughter commented on how delicious they were and how different they taste compared to other mushrooms.  She’s right! Combined with some leftover roasted asparagus, I had the makings for a tasty treat of an omelet.

Asparagus and Shiitake Omelet

Asparagus and Shiitake Omelet

Asparagus and Shiitake Omelet

4 stalks of asparagus, cut into one inch pieces
1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
2-3 eggs
Salt & pepper

In a small bowl beat the eggs with a pinch of salt & pepper.  Set aside.  Heat a skillet over medium heat.  Add a drizzle of olive oil and toss in your onion and mushrooms.  Saute for a couple of minutes until veggies are tender.  Add asparagus and cook another minute or two (since my asparagus was already cooked I just added it at the end and tossed it until it was heated through).  Remove veggies to a bowl and set aside.

Add another drizzle of olive oil to the pan and swirl it around to coat the surface.  Pour eggs into the pan.  Move them around with your spatula, lifting the edges and tilting the pan to move the uncooked egg to the pan surface.  You’ll end up with a lumpy moon crater surface, with all of the egg mostly cooked but still a little glossy on top.  This is how you avoid omelets that are runny in the middle or overcooked on the outside!

asparagusshiitakeomelet

Sprinkle cheese all over the egg surface.  Pile all of the veggies on one half.  If needed let it cook a few seconds until the egg is set and the cheese is melted.

Doesn't that look yummy?

Doesn’t that look yummy?

Fold over and slide onto a plate.  Enjoy!

 

 

 

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Broiled Grapefruit

Most people think I’m pretty strange when I tell them I cook grapefruit.  But the truth is, this is absolutely the best way to eat it.  I had this once at a B&B in Taos, NM and I’ve made it like this ever since.  The combination of heat and brown sugar makes for a sweet, juicy treat.  No sour faces.  And it works well with any kind of grapefruit.  This is the perfect addition to any breakfast or brunch, and not bad for a yummy snack either.

This hardly qualifies as a recipe since there are only two ingredients, but that doesn’t make it any less delicious.  Make it today.

Broiled Grapefruit and Scrambled Eggs

Broiled Grapefruit and Scrambled Eggs

Broiled Grapefruit

Grapefruit
Brown sugar (about a teaspoon for each grapefruit half)

Preheat broiler.  Slice a bit off each end of the grapefruit so there is a little flat spot for it to sit on so it won’t roll around.  Cut grapefruit in half and set the halves in a baking dish.  Sprinkle the top of each half with a teaspoon or so of brown sugar.

grapefruit2

Broil for about 3-5 minutes, until edges begin to brown and the brown sugar has melted over the top.  Remove from oven and eat.

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Rice and Mushroom Frittata

I always make too much rice.  I KNOW it will puff up and multiply in size and I’ll have plenty, but when I’m loading up the rice cooker, that tiny bit of rice in the bottom just never looks sufficient and invariably, I throw in another scoop just for good measure.  And then I have leftover rice.  Every time.

Frittatas are my go-to recipe for using up leftovers.  I had actually never made one with rice, but didn’t see any reason it wouldn’t work.  In this case, my leftover rice was a wild rice/brown rice/other stuff blend (called Royal Blend if you care).  I really like it because it’s not boring, lots of great texture and a nutty flavor.  It worked beautifully in my frittata, but I think just plain white or brown rice would be fine too.  Use whatever you’ve got and you’ll be golden.

Rice & Mushroom Frittata

Rice & Mushroom Frittata

Rice & Mushroom Frittata

1 cup cooked rice
3/4 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 jalapeno, finely chopped
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grape tomatoes, halved or quartered
5 eggs
Salt & pepper

Heat a medium size skillet (I use a 10 inch skillet for these usually) over medium heat.  Drizzle a bit of olive oil in the pan.  Add mushrooms, onions and jalapeno and sauté for a couple of minutes.  Add rice and cook one or two minutes more until rice is heated through.

The foundation for the frittata.

The foundation for the frittata.

Meanwhile in a bowl, beat eggs with a pinch of salt & pepper.  Pour eggs over rice and veggies and swirl around so they are evenly distributed in the pan (no worries if it doesn’t cover the other ingredients completely).  Sprinkle with tomatoes and cheese.  Cover with a lid and turn down heat to medium low.  Cook for 5-10 minutes until top is set and eggs are not runny.  Slice into wedges and serve.  Serves 3-4.

 

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Stuffed Baked Potato Frittata

I have had a theory for quite some time that almost any leftovers can be mixed with scrambled eggs to make a perfect breakfast.  A frittata is one of the best ways to put this to the test.  On this occasion, I had leftover baked potatoes and broccoli from the night before.  Combined with a few other ingredients, it reminded me exactly of a stuffed baked potato.  But for breakfast.  Mmm. I love breakfast.  But I would eat this for any meal of the day.

Stuffed Baked Potato Frittata

Stuffed Baked Potato Frittata

2 baked yukon gold potatoes (or microwave for 5 minutes or so until tender), sliced
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup steamed broccoli
4 strips bacon
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
5 eggs
Salt & pepper
Sour cream (optional)

Get all your ingredients ready before you start cooking.  Beat eggs with a little salt & pepper in a bowl and set aside.  Shred cheese, chop veggies.

If you don’t have leftover potatoes and veggies, just nuke them in the microwave for a few minutes until tender.

Cook bacon in a medium skillet until crisp.  Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.  Drain off bacon grease, just leaving enough to coat the bottom of the pan (1-2 tsp.).  Add potatoes and onion to pan.  Sprinkle lightly with salt & pepper.  Cook, stirring occasionally until onion is tender.  Beat eggs with a little salt & pepper in a bowl and set aside.  Crumble bacon and add that and the broccoli to the potatoes.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Pour eggs over the top and swirl around to coat all the ingredients.

Swirl around evenly in the pan. Don’t worry if the veggies are sticking out of the egg mixture.

Cover and turn heat down to medium low.  Cook for 10 minutes or so until eggs on top are cooked (will look a little poofy).

All set up and ready to eat!

Cut into wedges, top with a dollop of sour cream and enjoy!

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Ham & Egg Cups

On weekdays I don’t usually cook breakfast.  Mornings are crazy and everyone just fends for themselves, usually grabbing a granola bar, fruit or cereal.  And then I have some slight mom guilt because I’m not feeding them right.  But some mornings I actually plan ahead and make something easy that doesn’t interfere with the routine much.

These ham and egg cups are a great quickie breakfast.  They are so easy it barely qualifies as cooking.  And I don’t know about you, but I always feel better when I start my day with a little protein. Plus, you can make a bunch at a time, or just make one or two, depending on how many people feel like eating real food.

For these I used a roasted red pepper tapenade that I happened to have in the fridge, but you could really use any sauce of your choice (or no sauce).  Try pesto, salad dressing, hot sauce, marinara, salsa…you name it.  So many variations!

Baked Ham & Egg Cups

For each cup:

2 thin slices of ham
1 tsp. roasted red pepper tapenade
1 egg
Salt & pepper
A sprinkle of parmesan (or cheese of your choice)

Spray a muffin tin (or you can use ramekins) with cooking spray or rub with a little oil (just spray as many wells as you plan to use).  Press ham into the well, making a little ham shaped bowl.

First the ham.

Place a teaspoon of tapenade in the bottom of the bowl.  Crack an egg into the well.  Top with salt, pepper and cheese.

Ready to go in the oven.

Bake at 400˚ for 10-14 minutes, depending on how done you like your egg yolk.  Remove from oven.  Use a butter knife to lift the egg cup out of the tin and onto a plate.

Cooked and ready to eat. Just slide a knife down the side and lift it out.

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