Tuesday, March 26, 2013

How do you do, Salad?

Sometimes a salad is all you need. A bowl brimming with snappy spinach leaves and adorned with an array of wholesome goodies.
You can dress it to suit your mood; making it on the lighter, crisp side with shredded carrot and chopped celery; or more nutrient-dense and comforting; sporting dried cherries and a crumbled cheese. Either way, broken walnut halves almost always find a place on my salad, I like the earthy crunch they have to offer.
This is one of my favorite salad variations, which includes dried cherries, walnut pieces, crumbled cheese, and blueberries!
My Favorite Salad:
Bowl full of spring mix lettuce and spinach
Heaping handful of fresh blueberries
handful of broken walnut halves
~2 T blue cheese crumbles
3 T dried cranberries
Pile everything into a bowl and grab a fork!
I personally, don't like using dressings all that often. When I do use a dressing, my favorite is fat free raspberry vinaigrette  It pairs very nicely with the fresh blueberries, the tartness of the cranberries, and the very rich blue cheese.
I always eat my salads the same weird way. I chop my salads up to the point where everything is nearly mashed together; then I eat all the lettuce first, leaving all the added ingredients as a "dessert" salad to enjoy.
Like I said...weird.

How do You do Salad?


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spinach, Feta, and Mushroom Omelet with Pesto

This omelet reminds me of that famed children's book...

...Something to do with Sam and Ham
How spring-y is all that green?

This is a great way to use up all those extra leafy-greens that you bought at the market because they looked so abundant and bountiful stacked on display at the supermarket! 
Truly, this was a really good omelet, probably the best I have ever made.
Unlike Sam, I didn't put ham in my omelet, but this is not to say you couldn't.
This delicious breakfast comes together really quickly, but the result is a good-for-you gourmet meal. the extra effort of mixing the pesto in with the egg whites isn't necessary, but I would be sure to put some in the omelet, if not drizzled over top when it is done cooking.

There is no such thing as too many greens!

What I liked most was the amount of leafy-greens that are packed into it. Everyone knows how good spinach is for you, and you can really fit a lot into this omelet because they are wilted down beforehand. This dish was not a problem being eaten for breakfast. ;)
How much healthier can you get? Not much.
This healthy breakfast is full of lean protein from the egg whites and the spinach provides vital nutritents such as Vitamin A, Beta-Carotein, Vitamin K, Iron, and even Calcium!

It may be a light and nutrient-dense breakfast option, but it's not lacking on flavor!

Spinach, Feta, and Mushroom Omelet with Pesto

yield: 1 FANTASTIC omelet

1/2 cup of egg whites
1 C spinach, torn
1/4 C mushrooms, chopped
1/4 diced sweet white onion
1 T feta cheese
1 T pesto of choice
salt and pepper to taste
cooking spray for the pan

Heat a pan on high and spray it with cooking spray.
Add the mushrooms and onion to the pan. Let these cook for a few minutes until the onions begin to brown. When they are browned, add the spinach and stir the mixture. The spinach should begin to wilt and release some water. Turn the heat down to low and let some of the water burn off. Transfer to a dish while the egg gets cooked.
Mix the egg whites with the pesto.
Spray your pan with more cooking spray before pouring the egg mix into your hot pan. Swirl the liquid egg around the pan a few times to thin it out. When it pulls itself away from the pan, flip it. Put the filling mixture on one half of the omelet, sprinkle with the feta cheese, and fold the other half over. Let this cook for a minute so the cheese can melt, before transferring to a plate to devour! 

As a kid I always wondered what made the eggs and ham green. I recently looked it up and after looking for recipes I have decided it was pesto.

Do leafy-greens ever make it onto your breakfast plate?


Monday, March 4, 2013

Skillet Veggie {GF} Pasta

The first time I cooked gluten free noodles they disintegrated.
One of my first lessons in Gluten free cooking was that the noodles tend to cook quicker than their wheat-filled counterparts.
This particular kind only needed to be boiled for 4 minutes!
The shorter cooking time is great though because they can be an afterthought when you are preparing a  dish. It makes for a very quick and tasty lunch.
Here I prepared all the veggies and the 'cream sauce' before beginning to boil the noodles!

I wanted this pasta to be light and healthy, and that is exactly what it turned out to be! It is full of colorful vegetables! Leeks and onions always pair so well together, and the sweet potato lends such a great flavor.
Even the 'cream sauce' is light and healthy, made from cashews and oatmeal. Yes, oatmeal!

1 sweet potato, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
2 leeks, thinly sliced, washed, and separated.
1/3 Sweet white onion, diced into small pieces
2 handfuls of greens, roughly chopped. (I used a spring mix, but kale, spinach, or arugula would be lovely)
1 box uncooked {GF} pasta (I used a rice brand, but I really like noodles made with quinoa)
water to cook the noodles

1/2 cup cashews
1/4 cup dry oatmeal

salt and pepper
oregano, Italian seasoning, thyme

Prepare all veggies and set them aside.
Spray a large skillet with non-stick cooking spray and heat on high heat.
Toss the sweet potato in the warmed skillet and turn the heat down to medium, cover and let cook until browned on the outside and tender, ~ 10 min.
Start to boil a pot of water for the noodles. I like to season the water with a pinch of salt and sometimes even a bit of the other seasonings that I'm using, like the oregano.
Meanwhile, put the oats, and cashews in a food processor and process on high until the mixture starts to stick together in the bottom of the food processor. Before I took it out, I added about 2 T of the (mostly) cooked sweet potato pieces and a pinch of salt, pepper, and oregano. The mix should be very thick, like chunky peanut butter. 
Add the leeks and onions to the skillet with sweet potato, season to taste.
Add the noodles to the boiling water. Now, watch them closely! You want them to be al dente, so read the box for cooking directions.
Continue to watch and stir the veggies while the noodles are cooking.
When the noodles are done, scoop them out of the water and into the skillet, you will want to (be like Rachel Ray and) reserve the pasta water, this is for the 'cream sauce' that we will attend to in a minute.
Stir the veggie and noodle mix.
Add pasta water into the 'cream' mixture until it takes on the consistency of...well, cream. You can always add more water, so start with just a bit and add more. Pour this mixture over the noodles and vegetables and toss together. 
At the last minute add in the spinach and stir, allowing it to wilt.
Serve warm!


I ate mine atop a bed of more greens, and it was satisfying.
There is nothing that needs to be kept cold, making this a really great lunch-box meal!

This did make a lot, and I was glad because I knew there would be left overs. I get excited when I make something and there are left overs. Mostly because I tend to have a problem with putting something away if there are only a few bites left. I'll just eat it :)
'Cream Sauce' adapted from Aromatic Cooking
Oh, one more suggestion: We discovered this was complimented really well with freshly grated Parmesan on top. Of course, if you are vegan, you could substitute nutritional yeast, or I also really like the 'veggie cheese' that is available at most supermarkets.
Yummy leftovers!

What leftovers do you look forward to finding in your fridge?