Eggs Cooked Inside A Bell Pepper…Yes, This Is Real!

I tend to eat mostly the same breakfast. Either I make myself a green smoothie like this one I linked to, or I have some sort of oatmeal, almond butter and berry concoction, or its my favorite homemade breakfast burrito, which is eggs scrambled with spinach, avocado and salsa and wrapped in an Ezekiel tortilla. Sometimes I run out of ideas for breakfast that are quick and healthy…then I found this one and modified it and created my own.photo

Eggs in a bell pepper, who would have thought? Not only is this delicious, it is also grain-free for all of those with celiac disease, gluten intolerance, or just afraid of gluten, in general and it is paleo-friendly (being grain free and all!). Not to mention there is no milk product in this recipe, however you can garnish it with a little cheese of your choice, although I prefer sliced avocado on mine. I call this Breakfast Stuffed Bell Peppers, mostly because I associate eggs with breakfast. You can totally eat this for lunch or dinner if you prefer.

Breakfast Stuffed Bell Peppers

(this is a 1 person recipe but you can make more just double or triple the amounts!)

1-2 eggs and 2 egg whites

1/4 of a chopped white onion

1 cup spinach, chopped

1-2 tbsp. salsa of choice

1 medium sized bell pepper

Directions

Sauté the onion and spinach in 1/2 tsp olive oil. Season with salsa after onion and spinach are sauteed. Distribute mixture evenly into pepper halves. Add 2 tbsp egg whites. Bake in oven at 375 for approx 30 min or until eggs are set.

ENJOY!

 

Roasted Root Vegetables Sauteed with Tomato and Swiss Chard

Well, it’s January and we are exactly two days into the New Year. One of my “resolutions” in this year is work on this website and come up with more recipes. This recipe right here is season friendly and delicious, but I must warn you, assuming you buy fresh ingredients to use here, it is very time consuming. But like all things that take time when you put your heart into them, it is worth it.

It’s winter, and this is the time of year root vegetables really shine.

So what are root vegetables? They tend to be the ugly, dirty underdogs of the grocery store. You usually have to wash and peel them to make them look pretty, unless you buy them pre-washed and cut up already. They include beets, potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnip, celery root, parsnips and rutabaga.

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Most root vegetables are high in complex carbohydrates, which break down into sugar in your body to give you energy and the ability to function properly. They are also high in fiber and phytonutrients, and normally are low in fat as well as in calories. Additionally, they are generally high in vitamin C, beta-carotene, and contain essential minerals such as potassium, phosphorous, magnesium and small amounts of iron.

Another health benefit of eating root vegetables is that they can help you to lose unwanted weight. The high amounts of nutrients and soluble fiber they contain will help fill you up and keep you from craving other not-so-good-for-you foods.  The fiber also helps your digestive system and cleans it out to increase your energy levels.

So how can you cook these root vegetables? Well, you can make a vegetable soup or stew, you can roast them with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, OR you can do what I did below…

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Roasted Root Vegetables Sauteed with Tomatoes and Swiss Chard

2 of each of the following: Parsnips, Golden and Red Beets, Turnips, Rutabaga, Celery Root and Carrots
1 head of garlic, the cloves separated and peeled
6 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1 large tablespoon tomato paste
1 28-ounce can of whole peeled tomatoes
2 cups (packed) swiss chard, chopped (you can use kale if you’d like)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning or dried oregano
Black pepper and sea salt to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 450°F. Into a large roasting pan, mix together the vegetables, garlic, 3 Tbsp olive oil. Sprinkle with salt. Roast for 45-50 minutes, turning the vegetables over in the pan halfway through cooking.

Meanwhile in a Dutch Oven or a deep cooking pan, heat 3 Tbsp of olive oil over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions and sauté until the edges of the onions just begin to brown. Stir in the tomato paste, and cook a minute longer. Using your hands, tear the canned tomatoes into large pieces as you add them to the pot. Add the remaining liquid from the can into the pot. Stir well. Add the Italian seasoning. Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat to the lowest possible setting. Cover the pot and let cook gently while the root vegetables are roasting.

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When the root vegetables are ready (they should be browned on the edges and easily pierced with a fork), remove from the oven. Add swiss chard to the pot of tomatoes. Simmer until the greens are wilted, about 5 minutes. Stir in the root vegetables. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

ENJOY!

 

Spaghetti Squash Pizza! Yes, It’s Real!

When it comes to pizza, many of us have seen it all. First, there was pizza. Just regular white dough pizza. That was the pizza of my youth. That was the Friday night-best friend-sleepover- birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese-order Dominos freshman year with my girlfriends-pizza. But after that, pizza got more complicated. Sure, there was the super un-healthy-extra sodium laden-cheese stuffed crust that many fast food entities fell victim to serving. However, then came…HEALTHY pizza. Or healthier. Pizza was being served with WHOLE WHEAT crust, so it was heartier and had more fiber. Restaurants (and patrons) were eating it up. Next, everyone became afraid of wheat, and pizza turned up a new phenomenon..gluten free crust! So you could have a pizza that didn’t have any wheat in it all! (And no fiber, but its GLUTEN-FREE so who cares, right? 😉 )

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Well, a new age has dawned, and pizza is now not only gluten free…it can be essentially DOUGH-FREE and be considered a pizza! Sure, you can have a pizza with a crust made from spinach or cauliflower…or even spaghetti squash! A veggie based pizza! Sounds crazy, right? It kind of is…so of course I wanted to attempt to create this spaghetti squash crust pizza.

To be fair with you, it was not very hard. HOWEVER, my problem with this concept is spaghetti squash has water in it, and no matter how much you try to strain out EVERY LAST DROP…you. just. can’t. So at the end of the day this is a tasty concept and I do recommend it, but bring a fork along with you, because you do actually have to use a fork with this pizza.

At the end of the day, ONCE IN AWHILE, there is nothing wrong with having good ole’ fashioned regular pizza. But if you are the kind of person who craves pizza on a regular basis, this is a very worthwhile recipe to try. You could also play around with the toppings. Sliced chicken, green peppers and kalamata olives was a close second choice to this bad boy.

Spaghetti Squash Pizza

Crust

4 cups cooked spaghetti squash (2 small)
1 cup mozzarella (partly skim/shredded)
1 egg
2 egg whites
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp oregano, dried
1 tsp italian seasoning, dried
sea salt & pepper

Toppings

1 cup mushrooms, chopped
1/4 onion, diced
1/4 cup pizza sauce
1 cup fresh spinach, torn
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (shredded)

Preheat oven to 400F. Line pizza pan with parchment paper (VERY IMPORTANT!). Set aside.
Press your spaghetti squash in a strainer to get out any excess moisture (or use cheesecloth).
In a large bowl, combine spaghetti squash, mozzarella cheese, egg & egg whites, garlic, and spices. Mix together until well combined.
Let it sit for a few minutes – if you notice a lot of liquid gathering in the bottom of the bowl then drain it off.
Press the squash mixture evenly into the prepared pizza pan.

Bake at 400F for 12 – 15 minutes, until the crust appears more or less dry.
While the crust is baking – saute the mushrooms and onion in a fry pan until mushrooms are soft and onions are translucent. Remove from heat.
Remove pizza crust from oven.

Spread the pizza sauce over the crust. Spread your onion and mushrooms and spinach over the sauce. Top with the Parmesan cheese.

Return to 400 degree oven and bake another 10 – 15 minutes or so – until cheese is bubbly and edges of crust are browned.

Let sit for about 10 minutes before cutting. You can use the parchment paper to slide it off the pan to make it easier to cut.

Also, I didn’t mention this before, but because spaghetti squash has water in it and no amount of straining will entirely get rid of it, this pizza is going to be best eaten with a fork, or at least part of it. It is delicious nonetheless!

Enjoy!

Goji Cranberry Green Smoothie…A Festive Cleansing Drink :)

I was visiting my parents all last week for Thanksgiving in the San Francisco area. As a family, we tend to eat fairly moderately, so I didn’t feel like I overindulged so much on turkey and pie. What I did indulge on was BREAD. That San Francisco sourdough will be the death of me, I tell you!

At any rate, I am back home and cooking in my own kitchen again. I came up with this little recipe after I went to the grocery store yesterday. As I was re-filling my refrigerator and putting some things in the freezer, I realized I had taken a bag of fresh cranberries I had opened before I left town and put them in the freezer so they wouldn’t be rotten when I returned. I thought about them before I went to bed last night and decided they would be added to a green smoothie I intended to make in the morning.

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Now I am not always a green juice or smoothie drinker, but ever since I purchased a Vitamix about a year ago, I have really enjoyed creating my own and bringing them places with me in mason jars. I prefer the smoothie version of green juices, because I like to get all the fibers, vitamins and minerals that are found in the skin of most of my favorite fruits and veggies. This smoothie may or may not be a filling breakfast for some. I do add a scoop of my friend Sophie’s raw vegan protein powder called Green Dream and a tablespoon of flaxseed oil, since the healthy fat helps our bodies absorb the vitamins from the fruits and vegetables more readily.

Using cranberries in a smoothie is also a seasonal thing. It will make your smoothie taste more tart, but on the plus side, cranberries are known for fighting cancers and contain proanthocyanidins, which help block urinary tract infections.

Goji berries are something I also do not normal add to smoothies. They can be pricey, but I ran a turkey trot race when I was home for Thanksgiving and they gave us sample bags in our race gift bags, so I figured this would be a clever way to use them. Goji berries, like other berries, are known for their antioxidant properties and are said to help with mood, sleep and energy levels. If you are interested in purchasing some, I recommend this site for some of the best prices.

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GOJI CRANBERRY GREEN SMOOTHIE

1 cup water

1 head of romaine*

1 cup kale or spinach*

2 celery stalks*

1 piece of raw ginger

1/2 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen (fresh preferred)*

2 tbsp. goji berries

1/2 banana

1 tbsp. flaxseed oil

1 tbsp. Philosophie Green Dream (optional)

Blend and enjoy!

*I do recommend using organic produce wherever possible 🙂