Leek, Bacon, and Eggs Skillet

Fast, healthy, and easy are always a must during the week for me. My days are long, my workouts are top priority, and when things fall apart and I don’t get my movement time I get pretty darn cranky. Alright, maybe I should be honest and just say I get plain old bitchy. So while trying to figure out one evening how to come up with a meal since the original meal plan was not going to happen for various reasons I decided to give something new a try.

I am someone who loves eggs. I eat them every single day for breakfast and almost never eat the yolk. I honestly would live on them if I were single and not a mom. No such thing on either aspect there, so once in a while I will try serving my boys eggs for dinner and neither really complains….if its only once in while.

What I did this evening was superb! It turned out way better than expected. And to my surprise, my son ate it and said it was good. Thank goodness I was sitting down for this comment since I knew this meal would be a long shot for him to give approval on. Here is what I did.

Leek, Bacon, and Egg Skillet

1/2 lb bacon-pre cooked to save time

eggs-I prepared two each but this number is optional

4-5 oz. box of fresh spinach-roughly chopped

3 medium leeks-cleaned and diced

1/2 medium onion-diced

1 garlic clove-minced

8 oz of sliced mushrooms-diced

parmesan cheese-shredded

pinch of salt

hot sauce if desired

In one large skillet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray add your spinach, onion, leeks, mushrooms and garlic. Sprinkle the pinch of salt over this which will help draw out the water from the veggies and help in the saute method without adding extra fat.

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When the liquid is cooked off(about 15-20 minutes) add your pre cooked bacon and stir together evenly letting your bacon heat up.***NOTE: I pre cooked my bacon in the oven at 400 for about 20 minutes the morning I made this dish. I knew time was limited and did not want the hassle of cooking bacon along with the rest of this meal all at dinner time. So upon adding my bacon, it was refrigerator cold. If you prepare your bacon while your leeks are cooking you simply would add your hot, chopped bacon to the pan directly.

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About the time this mixture is finished, spray another pan to prepare your eggs. Crack the amount of eggs you will need and prepare them until they are sunny side up. Unless you prefer them fully cooked….go for it.

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While these are cooking, which only takes a few minutes at the most, begin serving your leek mixture into bowls. Then, lay your eggs carefully over the leek mixture, sprinkle it with a bit of parmesan cheese and a shake of hot sauce if you prefer.

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When your ready to eat, break your yolk and let the creamy filling mix with the leeks. I served mine with Annie’s Homegrown refrigerator rolls on the side to soak up all the creamy goodness at the bottom of the bowl.

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This was a filing, easy, and  delicious dinner enjoyed by all. I hope it will inspire you to think outside the box and try new things.

Cleaning a leek: If you need help on how to clean a leek click here. Then scroll down to the bottom of this recipe and directions will be located there.

 

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Weekly Meal Inspiration

Winter may not be here quite yet on the calendar but it officially arrived here in WI with frigid temperatures and high winds on Tuesday. Mondays high where I live was 61…..and then it was over!!!!! Time to dig out all the winter gear, time for my hair to freeze rock solid when I walk out of the gym a bit sweaty, time for my lips to crack every time I smile, and by looking below at our week of meals, it’s time for soup.

Here is what we enjoyed this:

Saturday: BBQ chicken pizza

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Sunday: no boil lasagna and side salads

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Monday: pork and banana peppers on rolls with provolone cheese, sweet potato rounds and a side of cranberry sauce…I just had to make one more batch before cranberries are scarce once again.

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Tuesday: cowboy caviar filled wonton wrappers and leek soup

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Wednesday: out with my brother

Thursday: crock pot beef, barley, and veggie soup

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Friday: out

This weekend I plan to wrap gifts, continue working on the Christmas menu, and attend yoga class for some me time. Enjoy your weekend and I will be back with one last week of postings before I take a bit of a Christmas break. Can you believe the holiday is so close….where does time go?

Quinoa Sweet Potato Chili

I have been trying to find time to make my own meatless chili for some time now but knowing that neither my son or husband would eat this for a meal was always a deal breaker. However, it’s not necessarily the fact that it has no meat in it that makes it a deal breaker. Neither of them really like chili…my son is not a bean fan and my husband just plainly don’t like chili. So one afternoon I finally decided to just make a small batch and eat it one evening for dinner myself and for lunches the rest of the week. This actually turned out wonderfully and I really enjoyed this meal.

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Here is what I did. (Keep in mind I needed to keep it quite mild to be able to share it with the daycare children also.So feel free to add more spice if you wish)

Quinoa Sweet Potato Chili

2 TBSP olive oil

1 15 oz can black bean-drained

1 can of Campbell’s tomato soup

1/2 cup quinoa

2 small sweet potato-peeled and diced

2 celery stalks-diced

1/4 medium onion-diced

1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes

2 tsp chicken/veg bouillon

2 garlic cloves-finely chopped

2 15 oz cans of water(use your bean can for measurement)

2 TBSP chili powder

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1 tsp cumin

salt to taste

 

Begin by adding your olive oil to the pot and saute your onion, celery, and potatoes for about 10 minutes.

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Next, add your tomato soup, diced tomatoes, garlic, spices, bouillon, and water. Mix this together, bring it to a boil, and then simmer this for another 10 minutes.

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Next, add your quinoa. Mix it together, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes approx or until your quinoa is tender.

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At this point, add your drained and rinsed black beans. Take it off the heat and leave it sit for 5-10 minutes before serving. The chili will thicken up and make a tasty hearty meal. I served mine with tortilla scoops. Other tasty additions would be shredded cheese, sour cream, plain greek yogurt or avocado.

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Enjoy.

 

Weekly Meal Plan-Experimenting With Food And Feelings

This week for me has been an experiment of how what I eat affects my body. I have not shared much about what I have been struggling with this past month but part of what I am trying to do to deal with it all is eat less inflammatory foods. You know, things like extra sugar, flour, processed food, potatoes, fried food, white rice, etc. And after looking at this weeks meals and seeing if what I have been avoiding this past month is helping my situation, I can assure myself I am on the right track.

First, I did not regulate my meals this week. I simply made what was easy and fast and we even threw in an extra night out(Monday) which is totally unusual for us. And then we did Chinese besides which is one of the worst cuisines to go out for ever.  Add in too many potatoes, too much pasta, and all this left me with all over pain and agony by Wednesday. However, I am happy to know that eating whole grains like farro instead of rice for instance is working for my body. Next week I plan to get back on track even though I fully intended to go off track this week to see what would happen. I also wanted to see how long it would take for my body to get rid of all this inflammatory food after eating it for a week. It was a good experiment and I am happy I did it. Just knowing that what I am doing by putting a bit more effort into what I prepare every week for our health and well being is so worth the pain I suffered through this week. So with that being said I will leave you with a look at what our meal plan was this past week.

Saturday: nachos

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Sunday: chicken and sundried tomato casserole

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Monday: grilled chicken brats, roasted carrots and potatoes

we went out for Chinese instead….because its Monday,because it was a bad day for both my hubby and son, because…..well, just because!

Tuesday: lemon shrimp with capers and spinach over pasta

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Wednesday: meatloaf burgers, corn and mashed potatoes (I had mine on farro since my pain level was enough by this time of the week)

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Thursday: leek, bacon, and eggs skillet (recipe coming soon)

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Friday: out

I am not by any means “cheffy” so to say, but I do pride myself on feeding my body only what it needs and likes. There is not much I eat without knowledge of what it can do for my insides. Food is medicine and for many of us its life, so why not feed our bodies the best we can.

 

 

A Hearty Soup Recipe To Warm Your Soul

I love soup! I love an easy soup recipe even more and this is what I plan to share with you all today.

Soups at our house usually end up being anything I can find when the moment strikes to make soup. However, this one I have made numerous times now and finally wrote it down to share with all of you. Numerous friends and family have tried it and have asked for the recipe so here it is.

The star of this soup is Bob’s Red Mill Vegi Soup Mix. One cup of this mixture added to some extra veggies and no one will even miss the meat that is not in this dish. I promise.

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Ingredients:

1 cup  vegi soup mixture (as pictured above)

2 tbsp olive oil

5 tsp chicken bouillon

5-6 cups of water

1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes

1 tsp of oregano

1/4 head cabbage- chopped

3 carrots- diced

2 celery stalks-diced

1/2 medium onion-diced

1 box of kale-roughly chopped

1 sweet potato- peeled and diced

1 small zucchini- diced

2 garlic cloves-finely chopped

salt to taste

1/2-3/4 cup half and half cream(optional)

Cooking time may vary I suppose, but if your like me, I made mine in a cast iron dutch oven and cooking time took about and hour total. I know there seems to be a lot of veggies in this soup, but if you clean, peel, and pre chop everything prior to starting the soup it all comes together pretty quickly.

To prepare:

Preheat your dutch oven and add the olive oil.

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When your oil is hot, add the carrots,sweet potato, celery, and onion. Cook these for about 7 minutes over medium heat.

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Next, add the dry soup mix, can of tomatoes, bouillon, oregano, garlic, and water. Mix well and cover to leave this cook for 7-10 minutes.

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After 10 minutes, add the cabbage and zucchini. Again, give this a good stir and cover and leave this cook for at least 30 minutes stirring occasionally. You may need to add a bit of extra water so keep an eye on it.

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After this cooking time give it a test and see if the dry peas, lentils, and such are softened to your liking. If not, cover again and leave it cook for longer and continue to test it until you are happy with the results. If so, add the chopped kale and stir.This will wilt down quickly.

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Now, remove it from the heat and slowly add in the half and half cream, mixing this in completely.

***This step is optional but I will tell you it does add so much to the soup itself that you may want to give it a try.

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This is one very hearty soup with tons of healthy additives in both the soup mix and what I have added as well. Children seem to love it, meat lovers don’t seem to miss the meat(my husbands approves of this soup) and I simply cannot get enough myself. Give it a try with your family and see if you get the same results.

Enjoy….

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November=58 degrees…In Wisconsin…..Seriously??? Time To Trade In My Whisk For My Hiking Boots Once Again

As you can probably assume from the title, I am one VERY happy person. When I awoke Thanksgiving morning and saw the forecast prediction for the day after Thanksgiving was going to be in the mid 50’s I immediately put things into high gear. I simply looked across the room at my husband and he knew exactly what I was thinking……..he said calmly, “let’s get it all done today so we can hit the trail tomorrow.” I love how he understands me without me even saying a word.

As you can imagine I had a load of things on the to do list to accomplish with four days off for the holiday. We literally packed all our chores into one day, we got in our annual family hike for Thanksgiving morning, plus I made Thanksgiving dinner that same evening. Oh, I was so tired by evening but so happy to be free of the long list and just had a few things that needed tending to before we hit the long trail on Friday afternoon.

Thanksgiving family hike

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Then Friday arrived and I was excited to get in some warm mileage on a dirt trail once again before the snow arrives full blast. We arrived at our chosen trail head to find just us. I did not mind this at all, I parked our lone vehicle and it awaited our return.

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The temp on my vehicle upon arrival was a balmy 58 degrees. Amazing!!!!

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And a few steps into our hike and I had to chuckle. Clearly, this lone dandelion was not ready to give up quite yet on summer either.

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The trail was wonderful. Leaves crunched beneath our feet,

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signs of deer were everywhere,

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nature could be heard and saw along the way. It was so good for my soul…to just walk, listen, and breathe the air around us.

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The only thing that could have caused me any worry was that we were hiking during the gun deer hunt season here in WI. We did see many different deer stands, thankfully no active hunters during our time on the trail . And yes, in case you are wondering, we did also wear blaze orange for our own protection on this hike.

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With 3.3 miles Thanksgiving day and just over 4 miles Friday, we could all agree that summer is going to missed.

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Hiking, along with numerous other things we were able to pack into four days, left us all with a feeling of happiness. Add that to a fabulous Thanksgiving meal……along with my first ever homemade whipped cream (which turned out wonderful I may add) so my husband could enjoy whipped cream on his pumpkin pie along with everyone else…and I could not have been more thankful for anything else in the  world.

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Now, we all have to return to normal life once again and hopefully be ready for Christmas in a few short weeks. Sadly, I have a feeling I will not be hiking anywhere where that snow is not covering the trail come this time but who knows, maybe just maybe, wishes will come true.

Thanksgiving Week Meal Plan

With Thanksgiving falling during this week my meal planning was a bit lighter than usual. Add that to a shortened work week for all of us and where no leftovers were needed for lunches meant a small break for me come dinner time. Although, I did still come up with some pretty yummy meals for the nights I did have to cook.

Here are the dinners we enjoyed this week.

Saturday: butternut squash with bacon and egg centers (My new favorite meal)

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Sunday: General Tso’s chicken and broccoli over rice (take out made at home)

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Monday: veggie marinara over cheese tortellini (meatless)

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Tuesday: Korean BBQ pork over farrow with homemade creamy coleslaw

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Wednesday: quinoa sweet potato chili (meatless) (recipe coming soon)

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Thursday: Thanksgiving dinner

Friday: left overs-stuffed squash with turkey,stuffing, and sprouts then covered with melted parmesan cheese.

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That sums up this past week in meals. As for the upcoming weeks ahead, I am excited to begin planning my Christmas menus. I am thinking about trying a goat cheese log with apricot preserves drizzled on top with some crusty bread or crackers on the side. I am also trying to come up with a yummy appetizer that is made using wonton wrappers since these have become a new family favorite.

Do you do traditional ham for Christmas?

What are your family traditions….if you care to share them?