Wednesday, September 26, 2012

50 Ideas for Breakfast on the Fly

I'm finally back into the swing of school and classes and most of the other things that go along with rising a little earlier.  Even though I need to be out of the house a little earlier, I also like to have breakfast before I leave for work.  Most likely due to years of my mother, "Now, you know breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  You can't learn on an empty stomach".  I'm sure you heard it too.  While I want breakfast, I also need it to be quick and hand-held is a good idea.  It doesn't have to be pretty, just nutritious and quick.

I realize smoothies are the 'in thing' and I do like them.  But in the morning, I'm just not 'with it' enough to handle motorized moving parts, aka, a blender. 

While meandering through the web, I found this idea on food network. It was titled 50 Breakfast on the Fly.  My first thought was that old song, 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover.  Okay, back to food.  I thought it was an excellent idea.  Most of the ideas are pretty basic and made with common ingredients.  Just quick and easy ideas to help you eat breakfast. 

I picked #13, Breakfast Egg Salad Sandwich.  Here are the ingredients.  One hard boiled egg, 1 tablespoon mayonnaise and 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (or whatever is in the frig).  Chop the egg, add mayonnaise and mustard.  Mix thoroughly.  This can all be done the night before, meaning an extra 5 minutes of sleep.  For mine, I also added about of an avocado and a dash of hot sauce. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Eggplants and Tomatoes

Summer is almost over and I have not posted anything on eggplants.  Well, you know I just can't let that happen.  After all, eggplants will soon be out of season and I don't feel that you should wait a whole year to eat eggplant.

Eggplant is one of my favorite vegetables.  Until recently, the globe eggplant was the primary one available in the United States.  Now we have a wider variety, such as, Japanese, Thai and Rosa Bianca.  For more unusual varieties, check out your local farmers market

While eggplant Parmesan is an excellent dish, there are numerous ways to use eggplants.  The nice thing about eggplants is that they don't have a lot of flavor, therefore, they are able to blend in with other ingredients, such as tomatoes and zucchini. They can be sautéed and used on pizza, in lasagna, and in sandwiches. Eggplant is a component of the Greek dish, briam and the French dish, ratatouille

For this recipe, I went to the blog, Olive and Tomato.  I don't generally recommend many blogs, but this is one I like.  The blogger is Elena Paravantes, a registered dietitian, born in the US, but now residing in Athens, Greece.  Ms. Paravantes blogs on the Greek-Mediterranean diet.   This recipe is adapted from one that I found on her blog.

Tomato Topped Eggplants

Serves 4 to 6.

2 to 3 eggplants
Extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups chopped tomatoes, preferably heirloom
½ cup chopped roasted red pepper
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon sugar, optional
4 to 6 ounces Feta cheese, crumbled

1.  Slice eggplants crosswise, into ½-inch thick slices (do not peel).  Place eggplants in a colander, salt and allow to sit for about 1 hour.  This will help to reduce the bitterness and collapse plant cells, allowing the eggplant to absorb less oil.

2.  Heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat.  Add onion and cook until  translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute.  Add tomatoes, red pepper, salt, pepper, and sugar.  Cook until most of the moisture has evaporated.  Set aside.

3.  Rinse the eggplant slices and squeeze out the water.  Brush eggplant with olive oil.  At the point, the eggplants can be sauteed or grilled.  Set aside.

4.  Place eggplants on a baking sheet.  Top with tomato mixture and feta cheese.  Drizzle with additional olive oil.

5.  Bake in a  350°F oven until heated through, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Note:  The tomatoes and eggplants can be cooked in advance and assembled and baked later.

If you want more ways to use eggplants, check out this information from Cooking Light

Thursday, September 6, 2012

What's In My Lunch Box?

School is now into it's third week and I need to break out of my yogurt and granola rut.  Not that I think yogurt and granola are bad, but sometimes you just need something new and different.  So this week, I decided to go outside of my normal lunch.  I decided to try an old favorite, Waldorf salad, with a new twist.  I started with a recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks, Food to Live By and decided to add my own twist to it.  I started by adding rotisserie chicken, so it's off to a headstart already.  I used dried cranberries instead of raisins.

So here is my version of Chicken Waldorf Salad.  Make this and you will not be trading your lunch with little Billy.

Chicken Waldorf Salad

Serves 4.

cup plain yogurt or sour cream
cup mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon honey
2 cups shredded, cooked chicken (rotisserie or leftover)
1 small apple, chopped
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup walnuts
½ cup thinly sliced celery
1 bag (3 ounce) spring greens

1.  In a small bowl combine yogurt or sour cream, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, and honey.

2.  In a medium bowl combine chicken, apple, cranberries, walnuts and celery.  Stir to combine.  Add dressing and toss to coat. 

3.  Serve salad on top of spring greens.