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6-Minute Soft-Boiled Eggs

30 Oct

6 minute Soft-Boiled Egg

I absolutely love poached eggs.  But I just do not have the time to stand over the stove and watch them simmer.  I even tried buying some of the cute little metal poaching bowls, but I still had to be careful not to overcook them.  That’s where the 6 minute soft-boiled egg comes in.  While you do not have the same presentation value of a poached egg, you certainly get the taste and texture.  These eggs taste excellent on my Sprouted Wheat Bread, and make a fast breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

Ingredients

Eggs!

Method

1.  Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil.

2.  Gently add Eggs to the water with a slotted spoon.

3.  Make sure none have busted, or are completely floating on the top (the floaters are rotten eggs).

4.  Set your timer for 6 minutes.

5.  Pour some coffee.

6.  Look out the window.

7.  When the Eggs are done, hold the Eggs in place with the slotted spoon while you drain the hot water out.

8.  Run cool water over the eggs, then pour it out.  Repeat two more times.

9.  If you plan to eat immediately, you may leave some cool water in the pot with the Eggs to cool them rapidly.  I usually leave no water on the Eggs since I can’t get to peeling them right away.

10.  When you’re ready to serve, carefully peel the Eggs (wetting your fingers in cool water sometimes makes the peeling easier).

11.  Serve!

Summer Squash Pasta with Pesto

16 Oct

Zucchini Pasta with Pesto

 

If you’re going grain free or just want to add more veggies to your diet, this is the way to go.  All you need is a julienne attachment for your mandoline slicer.  If you don’t have a mandoline slicer, go get one!  Mine is a cheap slicer from Aldi, but it works wonders.

The Pesto can be used on pasta, corn on the cob, as a dressing for caprese salad, or even as an accompaniment to fish and meat.  The possibilities are endless!

Ingredients

For Summer Squash Pasta:

Summer Squash, washed and dried

Salt

For Pesto:

2 c. packed fresh Basil leaves, washed and dried

4 cloves Garlic, peeled

1/2 tsp. Salt

1/4 c. Pine Nuts

1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

1/4 – 1/2 c. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Method

For Summer Squash Pasta:

Slice both ends off of each Squash.

Using the julienne attachment on the mandoline slicer, slice Squash until you get to the center where the seeds are.  Discard the center.

Place julienned Squash in a colander and sprinkle generously with salt.

Soaked Squash

Set in the sink and let rest for 20 minutes.

Rinse with cold water, and squeeze out as much water as possible.

For Pesto:

Place Basil in a food processor or blender.

Pulse until well chopped.

Add Garlic, Salt, Pine Nuts, and Parmesan and blend until mixed.

With the motor running, slowly add Olive Oil until a thick paste is formed.

To prepare Summer Squash Pasta with Pesto:

Preheat a non-stick skillet over medium high heat.

Add desired amount of Pesto to pan, stirring until fragrant (approximately 30 seconds).

Add Summer Squash Pasta and briefly sauté until warmed through and well coated with Pesto (keep the sauté time short, in order to retain a bit of “crunch” to the Squash).

Serve warm.

The Pesto can be kept refrigerated for several days, or frozen for up to 3 months.  I usually make a large batch in the Summer and freeze it to keep me going through the winter.

Chicken Salad

9 Jan

Chicken Salad

I always have some chicken left over from my roast, and being a fan of chicken salad, I searched far and wide for a recipe that I liked.  I don’t like an overload of flavors, and I like only a small amount of mayonnaise on the salad. I made a few modifications to this recipe to create a simple and fresh chicken salad that can be eaten any time.

Ingredients

3 c. Diced Chicken

1 stalk Celery, minced

1/2 c. Sweet Onion, minced

1/2 tsp. dried Dill

1/4 tsp. dried Tarragon

2 Tb. chopped fresh Parsley

3/4 c. Mayonnaise

2 tsp. fresh Lemon juice

1 tsp. Dijon Mustard

1 1/2 tsp. Salt

Pepper

Method

Mix the Chicken, Celery, Onion, dried herbs, Parsley, Salt, and Pepper in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, mix the Mayonnaise, Lemon juice, and Dijon Mustard.  Add to Chicken 1/4 c. at a time, until it is just coated (may have some leftover…or you can use it all and add more!).

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Grain Free, Low Carb Salmon Patties

3 Jan

Low Carb Salmon Patties

Salmon Patties are one of my favorite, quick meals.  I always have the ingredients on hand, and it can even be made ahead of time (just don’t add the salt until ready to cook, or you’ll be stuck with a lot of liquid in the bowl).  I substitute almond meal for bread crumbs in the recipe, although you may wish to use bread crumbs if you like.  The almond meal gives it an amazing crunch and slight sweetness, which I find incredible!

Ingredients

1 (14.75 oz.) can Wild Alaskan Salmon, drained

2 Tb. Butter

1 medium Onion, chopped

1 2/3 c. Almond Meal

2 Eggs, beaten

1/4 c. Fresh Parsley, chopped

1 tsp. Dry Mustard

Salt, to taste

Butter and Olive Oil, for cooking

Method

Scoop salmon out of can after draining and squeeze any excess liquid out by hand before placing it in a large bowl.  Flake the meat with a fork.

Melt 2 Tb. Butter in a saucepan, and add Onion.  Cook until tender and translucent.

Add the Onion, 2/3 c. Almond Meal, Eggs, Parsley, and Dry Mustard to the Salmon.  Season with Salt (if preparing ahead of time, do not add salt until ready to cook).  Mix until well blended and shape into patties.

Add 1 c. Almond Meal and 1 tsp. Salt (optional) to a shallow plate or bowl.  Coat patties in mixture.

Melt the Butter and Olive Oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Cook patties until browned and crisp (if using almond meal, this will take longer), being careful to keep them from falling apart.  Wipe the oil from the skillet between batches, and add fresh oil.

You may pre-form the patties and freeze up to three months.  Thaw in the refrigerator, add Salt, and cook as directed.

Updated 4/14/14.

Turkey and Rice Soup

30 Dec

Turkey Soup

I got a free turkey from the grocery store back around Thanksgiving (they had a deal where if you spent a certain amount each week for six weeks you get a turkey).  I didn’t really have any ideas about what to do with it, so I just went ahead and roasted and carved it.  I froze most of the shredded meat to use for meals, and saved the bones and innards for stock making.  

A favorite of mine is Chicken and Rice soup, yet I decided to try a different route since I had such a large supply of turkey meat.  This was fast and easy to make, and freezes very well!

Ingredients

6 c. Chicken Stock

1 c. Brown Rice

3 Tb. Butter

1 tsp. Salt

1/4 c. Shallot, minced

1/2 c. Onion, chopped

1 Tb. Flour

1 c. Turkey, chopped

2 Tb. Fresh Parsley, chopped

Salt and Pepper, to taste

Method

To prepare the rice: 

Bring 2 c. Chicken Stock to a rolling boil.  Add the Brown Rice, 2 Tb. Butter, and Salt.  Stir once, cover, reduce to simmer, and cook for 30 to 35 minutes until liquid is absorbed.  Set aside.

To assemble soup:

Melt 1 Tb. Butter in pot and add Shallot and Onion, cooking until soft.

In a separate pot, bring 4 c. Chicken Stock to a boil.

Add 1 Tb. Flour to Shallot and Onion, and stir, cooking approximately 1 minute, until it turns golden brown.

Whisk in the boiling Chicken Stock.

Add Turkey, Parsley, Salt, and Pepper, and bring to the boil.

Reduce to a simmer and simmer 10-15 minutes.

This may be frozen for up to three months in an airtight container.

Meatballs

17 Dec

Spaghetti and Meatballs

I had never had a homemade meatball until I decided to make them myself.   I decided to start making them when I read Leo the book Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and I love them so much, I make them every week or two.  This is an incredibly easy and tasty recipe, and it takes no time at all.

Ingredients

1 lb. Ground Beef

1 c. Bread Crumbs (I usually save whole grain bread crumbs in the freezer, but white bread is great as well!)

1/4 c. Shredded Parmesan

1/4 c. Pecorino Romano cheese, freshly grated

1 Tb. Fresh Parsley, chopped

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/4 tsp. Oregano

1/4 tsp. Onion Powder

1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder

1/2 tsp. Salt

Pepper

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all ingredients excluding Ground Beef.

Add beef and mix thoroughly with fingers.

Roll into 1 1/2 to 2 inch balls.

Place on baking sheet and cook for 20 minutes, turning halfway through.

They are ready to eat at this point.

You may wish to eat them plain, or toss them with Pizza Sauce and eat on a hoagie roll.

To make Spaghetti and Meatballs:

Prepare Meatballs as directed.

Add 8 oz. Tomato Sauce (canned is fine) to 2 c. Pizza Sauce and warm on stove.

Add Meatballs to sauce and simmer for 30 min. to 1 hour.

Prepare spaghetti as directed, and drain.

In the spaghetti pot, add butter and heat until bubbling.

Add minced garlic and cook in butter until golden brown.

Return spaghetti to pot and saute in butter and garlic for about 30 seconds.

Plate the spaghetti, and top with the Meatballs and Sauce.

Top with freshly grated Parmesan for an amazing meal!

The meatballs can be prepared ahead and frozen uncooked.  Just roll into balls and place on wax paper, then freeze.  Thaw in refrigerator when ready to cook.

Chorizo Sausage Potato Stew

8 Dec

Chorizo Stew

My family has been receiving a monthly CSA delivery from a local farm for some time now.  All of the meats are pastured and naturally fed, so you know exactly what you’re getting out of your meat.  The flavor of the meats are amazing as well.  I never knew pork was so juicy and succulent…better than beef in my opinion!  

One of the items in my CSA box this month was a pound of ground Chorizo Sausage.  I don’t have much experience with chorizo, so I did a little guesswork and came up with this stew.  I also did some digging in my pantry, and was lucky to have had the can items on hand!  The spiciness and warmth of the stew are great for a cold, rainy day.

Ingredients

1 lb. Chorizo Sausage (doesn’t have to be ground)

3 medium Russet Potatoes, peeled and chopped into 2 inch pieces

1 medium Onion

3 large cloves Garlic, minced

4 c. Chicken Stock

14 oz. can Diced Tomatoes, drained

15 oz. can Black Beans, drained and rinsed

3 Tb. Butter

Salt and Pepper, to taste

Method

Melt the Butter in a casserole over medium heat.

Add Onion, and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add the Garlic and Chorizo, and cook until the Chorizo is browned.

Add the rest of the ingredients, and bring to the boil.

Reduce heat to simmer, cover askew, and cook until Potatoes are cooked through, approximately 30 minutes.

The stew can be frozen in an airtight container for up to three months.

Rachael Ray’s Tuna Casserole

7 Dec

Tuna Casserole

Normally, I have a thing against most TV chefs.  I’ve watched Rachael Ray’s show a few times, and was a bit put off, because she talks 500 mph and doesn’t really focus on food.  It’s more of a talk show.  

Well, I have to admit, I found a recipe of hers that I like.  I of course made some modifications, because I always find something odd in her recipes that I’ve seen.  In this case, it was cannellini beans.  The texture of those beans and this casserole seemed like two things that should stay far away from each other!  Also, it is important to bring the chicken stock to a boil before adding to the onion/flour mixture because it dissolves the flour more readily and keeps it from clumping.  Here is the original recipe.  Note my changes below:

Ingredients

1 box gluten free rice pasta

1 Tb. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Tb. Butter

2 cloves Garlic, minced

1 small Onion, chopped

2 Tb. Flour

1 c. Chicken Stock

1 c. Half and Half

Salt and ground black pepper

Pinch of Nutmeg

1/4 c. Flat-Leaf Parsley, chopped

1/2 c. grated Parmigiano Reggiano, plus some for topping

2 boxes frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

2 6-oz. cans tuna in olive oil, drained*

*Yes, I know the tuna in water is healthier, but it is so DRY!  As Julia Child once said, “We Americans go for flavor, not nutrition.”

Method

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain and return to pot.

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and olive oil.

In a separate pot, bring the chicken stock to a boil.

Cook the onion in the butter/olive oil until tender, about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic to the skillet and cook for about 1 minute more.

Add the flour to the skillet, and cook, stirring for about two minutes (until starts to turn golden).

Whisk in the chicken stock, then half and half.

Season with the salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

Bring it up to a bubble and thicken.

Remove from heat and fold in the parsley, Parmigiano Reggiano, spinach, tuna, and pasta.

Pour the mixture into a 13 x 9 ” baking dish and top with the remaining cheese.

Place in the oven to brown for approximately 10 minutes.

This may be frozen for up to three months.  Just thaw in the refrigerator and reheat in the oven.

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