Simple Little Sandwich

Growing up, I didn’t really like eggs.  Scrambled eggs?  Eh, I could take ’em or leave ’em.

In the past few years though I have really embraced the egg.  What other food is so versatile?  I now eat eggs for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (not all on the same day, though).  There are so many ways to transform the savory little food into a tasty meal.

Not only are eggs tasty, but they provide several important nutrients.  Eggs are loaded with protein, important (and often elusive) B vitamins, and if you buy the right kind, omega-3 fats.  Doctors and nutrition experts once believed it better to eat only egg whites to avoid the cholesterol and fat contained in egg yolks; however, they’ve since changed their tune, as these fats and cholesterol are actually good for you.

Plus, egg yolks contain lutein, a nutrient that is essential for brain development.  To maximize my lutein intake, I try to cook my eggs until the yolks are safe to eat but still runny.  Overcooking the yolks can denature the lutein.

This open faced sandwich starts with fried eggs, currently my favorite method way of serving eggs.

Since this is more of an idea than a recipe, play around with combinations and directions until you find the way you like best.

Recipe

(makes 1 sandwich)

2 large eggs

small bundle of chives

tomatoes (I used grape)

slice of good quality bread

salt & pepper, to taste

In an oiled frying pan, heat tomatoes for 1-2 minutes over medium heat.  Push to the side of the pan and add 1 egg at a time.  Reduce heat to medium low; fry for 3-4 minutes, or until yolks are set but not overcooked.  Using a spatula, try to push tomatoes down to soften them with the heat.  Meanwhile, chop chives into small disks.

When eggs are cooked to desired consistency, slide onto slice of bread and top with smashed or sliced tomatoes.  Sprinkle with chopped chives, salt, and ground pepper to taste.  Enjoy immediately, though be wary of hot tomatoes! 🙂

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Fruitful Black Rice

Making this recipe was only the second time that I’ve consumed black rice, but I’ve been hooked.  If you’ve never had black rice before, the very act of cooking it will be an excitement to you–the rice turns its water a deep purple and magenta hue.

I created this recipe after leafing through Heidi Swanson’s Supernatural Everyday cookbook, which  has a similar recipe using sweet cherries.  Raspberries were all I had on hand, so that’s what I used instead.  The raspberries give the rice salad a bit more of a tart flavor which I balanced with a generous crumbling of goat cheese and walnuts.

The colors of this salad are so beautiful–the deep black rice, bright red berries, green basil, white cheese–that it looks like a delicacy.  However, it is surprisingly easy to make.

Enjoy this dish as a show-stealing side.

Recipe inspired by Supernatural Everyday

Serves 4

1 cup black rice (or other dark grain)

1 cup raspberries

1/4 cup olive oil

1/8 cup white wine vinegar

1/8 t salt

1/3 cup chopped walnuts

2 handfuls  baby spinach

goat cheese

Bring 1 cup rice and 1 3/4 cup water to a boil in a pot; cover and let simmer for 35-40 minutes.

While rice is cooking, whisk olive oil, white wine vinegar, and salt together.  Add 1/3 cup raspberries and whisk until berries have blended into dressing.  Using a fine mesh strainer, separate the liquid dressing from raspberry seeds.  Save the liquid for later.

Once rice is done cooking, stir in baby spinach in a large bowl.  Once spinach is slightly wilted, add nearly all of the dressing and toss to combine.  Add in a little over half of the walnuts and most of the remaining raspberries.  Crumble in as much goat cheese as desired.

Serve topped with extra walnuts, goat cheese, raspberries, and a generous portion of basil.

Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding

Am I the only person who doesn’t know what a chia pet is?

Well, now I do.  But honestly, when I first heard about chia seeds, “ch-ch-ch-CHIA” did not blare through my brain the way it seems to for some people.

I first used chia seeds by adding them straight into my water-bottle and sipping them throughout the course of the day.  Sometimes I stir them into my morning yogurt too.  The seeds absorb liquid and turn gelatinous.

Chia seed pudding is a sweet and creamy breakfast, snack, or dessert, yet it is loaded with health benefits.  Chia seeds boast fiber, protein, and healthy omega fats.  Their ability to absorb water allows for continuous hydration.

If you’ve never tried chia seeds, I encourage you to jump on board.  Flax seeds have a somewhat nutty taste, but chia seeds literally taste like nothing.

This easy pudding is a great place to start.

Recipe

Yields 3-4 servings

2 cups almond milk

2/3 cup chia seeds

3/4 t vanilla extract

2-3 t sweetener (I used agave nectar)

fruit, nuts, spices, or other garnishes

Combine almond milk, vanilla extract, and chia seeds in a large bowl and stir.  Let sit for 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so.  Once mixture has taken on gelatinous/tapioca-like texture, add sweetener and refrigerate.  Serve chilled, topped with fruit, nuts, cinnamon, and more sweetener, if desired.

Sweet Sunflower Seed Butter

I found this recipe on Heidi’s blog (101cookbooks.com).

And now here it is on my blog.

To say I love cinnamon would be an understatement.  I add it to my food whenever possible.

Heidi uses vanilla bean paste, but I made this with good old vanilla extract.

The only downside to this treat is the loud sound of your food processor 🙂

Recipe Adapted from 101 Cookbooks:

Ingredients:

1 cup raw sunflower seeds

2-3 T canola oil (sunflower oil might be better)

3 t vanilla extract

2 t ground cinnamon

1-2 T cane sugar

Toast sunflower seeds on a rimmed baking sheet in an oven at 325˚F until “golden and fragrant,” about 7 minutes.  Let cool for 10 minutes.

In food processor, pulse seeds with 1 T oil.  Continue to pulse, drizzling in remaining oil.  Add in vanilla, cinnamon, and sugar.  Pulse until desired consistency, scraping down sides of blender as needed.

Delicious as a spread on a crisp apple 🙂

Israeli Couscous with Chard Pesto

Hello again!

It’s been over a week since my last post.  I’m finally home after a lot of traveling!

One of my favorite parts of summer is all the fresh produce.  Tomatoes are at the top of my list.  I know it’s a little early, but I couldn’t resist snagging some at the supermarket.

This salad is studded with orange, yellow, and red tomatoes of various sizes.

Green grains seem to be on my mind a lot lately.  This recipe is inspired by a similar one from Food & Wine magazine.  I was in the mood for rainbow chard so I swapped that for the arugula that F & W uses.  This version is also a bit quicker in that the pesto is made from raw chard rather than blanched arugula with toasted pine nuts.  Why not minimize our time in the kitchen this summer?

Enjoy this dish as a side or main course.

Happy eating 🙂

Recipe:

{Inspired by Food & Wine Magazine}

For couscous:

2 cups Israeli couscous

1 to 2 cups tomatoes of various sizes

Olive oil, for drizzling

Bring 2 1/2 cups water to boil in a sauce pan; add 2 cups Israeli couscous.  Cover and let simmer for 8 minutes.  Once cooked, toss couscous with a drizzle of olive oil.  Spread out couscous on a baking sheet to prevent clumping and allow it to cool.

While couscous is cooking, slice tomatoes into 1/2 to 1 inch pieces.

For pesto:

2 cups Swiss or rainbow chard

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 cup olive oil

1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

2-2 1/2 cloves garlic

Salt and pepper, to taste

Wash  rainbow or Swiss chard.  In a food processor, pulse chopped walnuts and garlic with chard.  Add  olive oil and grated parmesan cheese.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

In a large bowl, combine couscous, tomatoes, and desired amount of pesto.  Toss to incorporate pesto, and serve extra pesto on side (for those who want more!).  Serve cold or at room temperature.