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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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.

 

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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Wonton Pizza Cups

A great alternative to making an entire pizza is to make mini pizzas in wonton wrappers. These also make a great fast and easy appetizer for birthdays, holidays or just for snacking on during a sports game or movies at home. For us, I happened to have some leftover wrappers from another recipe I had made and thought why not fill them with pizza toppings and have a fast and easy dinner with a side salad. I quickly threw them together and a few minutes later everyone agreed…..I must make these again. So easy yet so good.

Here is what I did:

Wonton Pizza Cups

non stick cooking spray

wonton wrappers

cooked chicken, diced pepperonis, or cooked italian sausage…although, you could also go meatless if you wish

diced peppers

canned mushrooms, drained and chopped fine (squeeze as much liquid as possible from them)

diced black olives

pizza sauce with extra saved for dipping

mozzarella cheese

NOTE: depending on how many cups you plan to make, ingredient amounts could differ which is why I did not put specific amounts of anything.

Take your nonstick muffin pan and spray each cup with non stick cooking spray. Each cup will need two wonton wrappers. First, place the first wrapper in the cup and just put a few shreds of cheese to “glue” the top wonton wrapper to the bottom. Then lay the next wrapper opposite corners on top the first. Press them down so you have a nice area to fill with your preferred pizza toppings. Above is what we used but feel free to use what you like on pizza. Each wonton wrapper gets toppings, then about 1 tablespoon of pizza sauce and cheese on top.

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Bake these in a 375 degree oven for about 12-15 minutes.

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Remove them from the pan immediately and serve them with additional dipping pizza sauce if you wish.

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A Surprise Training Hike Once Again and Some Meal Prep To Begin The Week

Ahhh, what a weekend. One that I really needed….I’ll tell you that much. After a major flop last week, we had some business to take care of Saturday morning and then my husband surprised me by suggesting another training hike mid afternoon. He knows I would never turn down a hike and the best way to get me to relax is either bring me to a river….which could not happen due to my finger accident last week…. so the next best thing is bring me to a trail. Which is exactly what he did.

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We knew we could not do all three laps this time around as we did the first time because time was limited today. However, we knew we had time for two full laps and we wasted no time getting started. After lunch we headed to the trail, sunscreen and bug spray in hand. Upon arriving we were greeted by a whole family of wild turkeys.

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I simply love what trails offer me. There are wild flowers everywhere, quietness of the woods, and the ability to just escape everyday life and be one with nature.

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6.6 miles later and we were done, I was relaxed and calm, and felt completely ready to face what life decides to throw at me next. I am really getting excited and feel I am closer every day to feeling like we will accomplish our next big adventure that’s on the horizon.

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Sunday then arrived and I awoke happily feeling good. No pain anywhere after our hike Saturday so I immediately got to meal prepping for the week. Nothing makes my week flow more smoothly than a weekly menu and meal prepping as much as I can for the week ahead.

I started by cutting up fresh fruit….pineapple and strawberries are loved by us all. And then I hard boiled a dozen eggs. I still felt I needed a bit more prepping so I threw together some curry lentil stew this time with sweet potatoes in it and cut up peppers for fajitas one night, I tossed together a greek veggie salad, and also made a new muffin for breakfast…carrot and coconut muffins for the win. MMMM, they are delicious!!!

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After this I bid my husband good luck fishing and headed over to Fresh Thyme for a few items, stopping at the gym on my way home for a workout and my first attempt back at weights since injuring myself back in July. Slow and steady is what I am practicing….and its slowly coming back to me.

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A few hours later my husband arrived home with dinner….apparently my wish of good luck paid off.

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Leek, Mushroom, and Chicken Stir Fry Over Rice With Homemade Dressing Drizzle

Since becoming artificial sweetener free in our home cooking has changed drastically. I always felt we ate fairly healthy but now I know without a doubt we eat very healthy and consume copious amounts of veggies.

Here is a recipe I tested on myself before passing it by my husband and thankfully he enjoyed it as much as I did. It uses fresh veggies, pineapple for a bit of sweetness, and can be served over any choice of things…from rice, farro, barley, couscous…really whatever you prefer. My husband is a rice guy…so rice it was for us. And don’t get scared that it calls for making your own dressing to drizzle over the top….it is super easy and most items can be found in any home pantry already. It mixes up in seconds and can be used on a number of things throughout the week.

First, for the dressing you will need:

1 garlic clove-finely minced

1 tsp honey

2 TBSP lemon juice

1 Tbsp dijon mustard

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2/3 cup olive oil

In a glass jar, add these ingredients and give it a good shake to mix well. Store this in the refrigerator for up to a week and use it on this meal along with many others.

Next, for the stir fry you will need:

either chicken breast, thighs, or tenders diced to bite size pieces(enough to feed 4 people)

3 TBSP olive oil-divided

2 leeks-cleaned and diced (read below how to clean a leek)

1/2 vidalia onion-diced

1-8 oz. package of sliced mushrooms

1 garlic clove-finely minced

cooked white/brown rice, farro, couscous….whatever your family prefers to put stir fry over will work

10 oz.can drained pineapple tidbits or fresh pineapple if you have it on hand

salt and pepper to taste

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Directions:

In one pan toss the chicken with 2 TBSP olive oil and cook until no longer pink in the middle.

In another pan saute your leek, onions, and mushrooms with 1 TBSP of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. When they are just about done add the garlic and pineapple and saute another 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, have your rice cooking nearby.

To serve, add rice to your dish, top it with the leek mixture adding some chicken pieces to the top. Drizzle some of the dressing over all this and enjoy.

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This is such an easy dish and the dressing truly makes the whole thing come together. Easy, cheap, and fast is how I cook in the summer months and this is a perfect way to achieve all this and enjoy a meal.

****How To Clean A Leek: Cut the majority of the green part off the leek. Peel away any hard or woody parts of the outside leaves. Take your knife and from the root side cut slits the long way leaving the root intact to hold the leek together. Now take the leek and run it under cold water separating the leek leaves with your fingers. This will keep the leek all held together but enable you to also run it under water removing any dirt or sand left from the growing process. When your leek is clean dice it up to the size you prefer.

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Homemade BBQ Sauce

My husband came up with this recipe a few years ago and now when its BBQ season, this is our favorite sauce.

It’s easy and most households will have these ingredients readily available.

Give it a try on your next BBQ and see what you think.

Homemade BBQ Sauce

1/2 cube candied ginger-chopped fine

1/4 c. dried cranberries-chopped fine

3/4 c katchup

1/2 c brown sugar

2 TBSP. yellow mustard

1/4 c rice wine vinegar

1/4 c hoisin sauce

1/4 c honey

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 c maple syrup

1 TBSP soy sauce

2 TBSP molasses

1 TBSP Lawry’s seasoning

Mix all the ingredients together and cook over low heat for about 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Let cool and store in a jar in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Enjoy!