Recipes

Italian Egg Scramble

I almost didn’t even post about this, because it’s such a fallback meal — eggs? With a bagel? For dinner? Well, sometimes that’s just what hits the spot, and this particular scramble came out very tasty for having been created out of what I had on hand. Right now, I’m working with the randomness of my garden and whatever is left over from my last visit to the farmer’s market. The seasonings gave it a distinctly Italian Food flair, hence the name.

What I had lying around: green onions, half a cup of Parmesan cheese, six eggs, one tomato about to pucker into oblivion, two garlic cloves, some Italian pizza seasoning, and one green pepper that started to turn red but then…stopped.

Quite honestly I was too lazy for the effort of an omelette, but I don’t think this suffered taste-wise for being a scramble. And at less than 10 minutes to prepare, this dish is about as easy as it gets. We had awesome bagels on hand from Bagel Alley, which you can find at the Natick Farmer’s Market, but you could also put this scramble over a salad, or serve with breakfast potatoes, or of course do it up with sausage links, bacon or some buttered whole-wheat toast.

Breakfast for dinner? Yes, please.

Italian Egg Scramble

Ingredients

  • 4-5 organic eggs, seasoned with salt and pepper and mixed with a splash of cold water
  • 1-2 green onions or scallions, sliced
  • 1/2 a green (or red) pepper, diced
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Italian seasonings (oregano, rosemary, etc. to taste)
  • butter for the pan

Directions

Start by pre-chopping your veggies so everything can go in the pan rapid fire: Dice the tomato, chop the green/red pepper, mince the garlic (or use the jarred kind, I don’t care) and slice your green onions.

Put a generous pat of butter into a non-stick skillet and, while it melts, crack 4 or 5 eggs into a small bowl and quickly whisk with a dash of cold water, pepper, and a good bit of salt. You don’t really want to under-salt scrambled eggs, because that’s just the worst, most saddest, most blandest cafeteria food ever.

When the butter has melted, add the onions and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring, just for a minute or so; don’t let it burn.

Next, add the peppers and tomato, stirring, until fragrant, just a couple minutes.

Pour the egg mixture over the veggies and make sure they’re spread out pretty evenly. Add in some shredded Parmesan. Season with Italian seasonings such as basil, oregano and rosemary, or just use a jar of Italian/Pizza Seasonings. Let it cook untouched for a couple minutes, basically until it starts to puff up; then, starting at the edge, take a spatula and pick up the egg, gently pushing inward and away from the sides of the pan. Let the runny parts fill in. You can either flip it over to make a traditional omelette, if you prefer; or you can do the Amanda Way and just stir it into a squishy mess.

Right before it starts to set up completely, liberally sprinkle the rest of the parmesan all over the mixture and it’ll melt down as you finish cooking. Once the eggs aren’t running anymore, shut off the heat and let them finish cooking in the pan.

Serve warm alongside a bagel or whatever you want!

Grow Your Own Way · Recipes

Garden Tomato Porn

This is all. Just…exist among their beauty.

Oh, you wanted a recipe? I suppose I can accommodate.

Quick Spicy Tomato Sauce

Courtesy of Wishful Chef

This one is so great because it’s fast, simple, and can make use of either fresh or canned tomatoes, making it very verstile for summer or winter. Plus, the sauce goes great in a multitude of dishes.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups crushed tomatoes (canned or fresh)
  • 6-8 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1-2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • a splash of cream or half & half

DIRECTIONS

In a pot, combine olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes and salt. Turn the heat on to medium-high and stir ingredients until oil bubbles and garlic turns sweet and becomes slightly browned, about 6 minutes. Stir in crushed tomatoes and sugar and simmer for about 3 minutes. Turn heat off and stir in butter and cream. Taste the sauce and add more salt, pepper if needed. Total time: 10 minutes. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

wishfulchef.com
I can’t end the post without shouting out my husband Mark, who actually grew these monsters. I had no part in it whatsoever, not even watering. (Unless you count my grumbling during those late-night “re-staking emergencies” after another heavily-laden stalk had tumbled sideways or otherwise faced certain death had we not intervened). For a novice gardener, he really turned it out this year!
Recipes

Zucchini Parmesan

I don’t know how I’ve made it this far into the summer without posting about zucchini. They are so plentiful that it’s almost scary! You go to bed, no zucchini. You wake up, and a FOOT LONG zucchini lurks beneath the branches. Terrifying! Anyway, this recipe is adapted from something my mom has made, which I think originally came from Ina Garten. It’s simple and pairs well with almost anything else you might be having: pasta, chicken, pork chops, you name it. I made it with rotini and homemade tomato sauce earlier this week, and we used the leftovers last night alongside kielbasa with applesauce and sweet corn!

Zucchini Parmesan

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 TBSP olive oil for the pan
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 to 1.5 Cups shaved parmesan cheese (I bought pre-bagged @ Target)

DIRECTIONS

Remove the ends of the zucchini, then slice lengthwise and again into half moons.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet or a large saute pan. Add half the onions over medium-low heat until starting to brown.

Add half the zucchini to the pan, season with salt and pepper, and cook through (10 to 15 minutes).

Sprinkle with half the cheese and cook for 30 more seconds. Remove to a serving platter. Repeat the process with the other half of the onions and zucchini, so that the second batch helps to melt the cheese of the first portion. Serve warm.

Drinks & Smoothies · Recipes

How to make a Pimm’s Cup

Mark and I went to a wedding last weekend which featured a fabulous signature cocktail — the Pimm’s Cup, which is best known as the official drink of Wimbledon, and which was significant as the preferred cocktail of the bride’s father. So refreshing and sweet for a summer wedding, we kept wondering how we’d never had a Pimm’s Cup before — and vowed to find a recipe for re-creating it at home. I’ve tried to do that here.

Ours featured oranges, raspberries and cucumber slices. Oh, and don’t you just love the swizzle straw? Reminded me of Pixy Stix!

According to Chow.com, Pimm’s No. 1 is a gin-based concoction made in England from dry gin, liqueur, fruit juices, and spices. Served with lemon soda or ginger ale, it becomes a Pimm’s Cup. Pimm’s No. 1 was created in the mid-18th century by English oyster bar owner James Pimm. The recipe is still a secret; supposedly, only six people know exactly how it is made. It has a dark, golden brown color, a medium body, and a taste of quinine, citrus fruits, and spice. Its low alcohol content of only 25%  has made Pimm’s a drink to have when you are having more than one.

Pimm’s Cup

  • 2 ounces Pimm’s No. 1
  • 1/2 ounce gin, preferably Hendrick’s
  • Ginger Ale
  • Cucumber, coarsely chopped or sliced
  • Lemon or orange, sliced into thin rounds
  • Raspberries

Place cucumber in the bottom of a cocktail glass (a tall Collins glass like the one shown is preferable). Add ice. Pour over the Pimm’s, then the gin (you can omit this if you want the drink to be less strong) and fill the glass with ginger ale. Garnish with berries and lemon (or orange) slices. Optional alterations: instead of ginger ale, use a tart lemon soda like San Pellegrino Limonata; I’ve heard this makes a great Pimm’s Cup but some ingredient in that particular brand of beverage — though delicious — triggers a migraine for me. I’ve also seen recipes that called for muddling the cucumber in a shaker first, then adding the Pimm’s No. 1 and pouring over ice, to which you’d then add your preferred soda mixer. Finally, I’ve also seen recipes that call for adding fresh lemon juice to the cocktail, but I didn’t prefer that. However you make it, enjoy a toast to summer!

Just can’t get enough? Neither can the New York Times. Read all about their obsession with this popular summertime libation.

Tips and Tricks

Healthy Snack Ideas

I am getting ready to go on vacation, so today I am re-blogging a great post about healthy snack ideas by Kimberly Snyder.  I hope you are also fitting in some time to relax and get away this summer!

7 Healthy Snack Ideas

These are perfect for adults and kids of all ages. My favorites are the black bean burrito and the almond-banana smoothie. All these snacks are free of high fructose corn syrup, processed grains, peanuts and dairy, unless you choose to add those things. What’s your go-to healthy snack?

Black Bean Burritos

Wrap some black beans with a gluten-free, whole grain tortilla, and hold the cheese. You won’t even notice that cheese is missing, especially if you toss in some chopped tomatoes, avocados, and other tasty veggies.

Bugs on a Log

Talk about visual appeal! Make these kid-friendly celery boats with a little bit of  almond butter (you can buy it or make your own in a food processor) and some organic raisins. This is the fun, kid-friendly type of food your children while eat up, but it’s really quick and easy for you, as well.

Avocado Sandwich

If you’re following Kimberly Snyder’s Beauty Detox Solution, then chances are you’ve already got some millet bread (or another gluten-free bread) around the house. Lightly mash an avocado and spread it on your bread for a delicious and easy sandwich. The smooth, buttery avocados make it so you don’t need mayo or margarine, and kids like their slight sweetness.

Banana “Milk”shake

Put a banana, some almond milk, and a little cinnamon in your blender and mix it up for a sweet shake. The cinnamon and banana add sweetness!

Hummus & Veggie Sandwich

Get out the millet bread and spread it with homemade hummus, which you can make from garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon juice, and a little garlic. Top with some crunchy veggies. Or, you can serve the hummus as a dip with small veggies.

Quinoa Pasta

Kids love pasta, but most contain wheat and gluten. You can find quinoa pasta in many natural health stores with no gluten, and kids like it just as much as they like the wheat-based products. Cook up a batch of quinoa pasta and serve it with a homemade tomato sauce or toss it with some lightly steamed or stir-fried veggies.

Healthy trail Mix

Mix up a batch of delicious, healthy trail mix using foods like almonds, walnuts, raisins, goji berries, pecans, and sunflower seeds. Avoid cashews and peanuts, which may have high levels of toxic molds and can be allergenic.

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You can read the full article here. I love Kimberly’s blog and I also follow her Beauty Detox diet when I need to hit the refresh button. Check her out!

Recipes

Coconut-Curry Lentil Soup

As soon as I saw this recipe from Delight Gluten-Free Magazine, I knew I had to try it! (I changed it up a little to suit what I had in my pantry).

I added a little more potato to compensate for the fact that I only had 1 cup of lentils on hand, and then used leeks instead of yellow onion because I had a cup of chopped leeks left over from making a batch of my spring risotto. I also made sure to use light coconut milk to keep all the flavor without quite so many calories.

This turned out really well, and we had tons of leftovers to eat for lunch all week. I served it with my Kale Salad — which is made with a simple avocado-lemon dressing — since I had half a bunch of kale leftover from making the soup, plus two avocados left from making some Lemon Pappardelle.

Coconut Curry Lentil Soup

Serves 8   Hands-on time 20 minutes   Slow cooks for 4 hours

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup dried lentils, rinsed
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 2 good sized potatoes, diced (skin on)
  • 1 cup chopped leeks (white parts only) or use a yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch kale, or use spinach/collard greens, stems removed
  • 2 TBSP tomato paste
  • 3 cups vegetable stock, plus 1/2 cup at the end (two 14.5 oz cans total)
  • 1 can of light coconut milk (14 oz.)
  • 2 TBSP EVOO
  • 2 TBSP fresh lemon juice, to use at the end
  • 1 TBSP fresh ginger, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1/2 to 1 jalapeno, seeded (or use jarred slices)
  • 2 TBSP curry powder
  • salt to taste (about 1/2 tsp)

This looks like a long list of ingredients, but I actually didn’t have to buy anything besides the fresh kale. I think you’ll find that you have most if not all of these ingredients already on hand.

DIRECTIONS

In a skillet over medium, heat the olive oil, then saute the garlic, leeks, ginger and jalapeno for 5 minutes. Turn off heat. (note: if you have someone who really doesn’t like heat, just leave these out. It will taste subtle to people who like a kick, but in a slow cooker peppers can really broaden their spice).

Stir into the pan the tomato paste, coconut milk, vegetable stock and curry; stir together.

Pour into slow cooker and add carrots, potatoes, lentils and salt. Set on low heat for four hours. After four hours, stir in the kale or other greens and squeeze in the lemon juice, adding the rest of the vegetable stock and any additional water that looks necessary for desired texture. Let heat for another 15 minutes, then add salt and pepper to taste.

This dish freezes well and is very filling. It’s probably most suitable for fall, but I made it during a cold snap the East Coast weathered in between some summer heat, and it really hit the spot. Enjoy!

Tips and Tricks

Tools for Urban Gardening

Check out these cute tips for urban & apartment gardening from Houzz:

As we are learning, there’s a lot you can do with very little space. What are YOUR best tips and tricks for making the most of a city-scale garden?