Egg McMufftin

The perfect high protein, low carb breakfast - The EGGToday was day one of my Atkins Diet, so I had to spend a little time making breakfast since I could not just grab a banana and go. I have been wanting to try out the eggs and bacon in a muffin tin recipe for a while now and what better time than when I am on a low carb high protein diet. Since it was my first time making them I made 3 just in case I screwed one up. Plus, for the sake of the photo, I thought 3 Egg McMufftins would balance out the look of the plate. I only ate 2 of them and half an avocado for a total of about 3.5 net carb breakfast. Making these little guys was so easy. They are pretty much idiot proof and they come out super cute! You could easily make a bunch of these for an army of people if necessary. Not that I have an army, since it is just the Hubs and me, but you never know. Someday I may have an army or maybe a football team and this recipe will come in handy.

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 pieces of bacon
  • 2 grape tomatoes (chopped)
  • 2 pieces of spinach (chopped)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 an avocado
  • Tabasco (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray.
  3. Cook bacon in the microwave for about 2 minutes and 15 seconds so it is almost fully cooked, but still bendable. Dab off excess grease and let bacon cool until you are able to handle it by hand.
  4. Wrap bacon pieces around the edge of the muffin tin.
  5. Put half spinach and half of the tomato in the bottom of the tin.
  6. Break one egg in each tin.
  7. Salt and pepper to taste and add the rest of the tomato and spinach on top.
  8. Cook on middle rack for 12-15 minutes depending on your desired yolk consistency.
  9. Serve immediately with avocado and Tabasco if you fancy.

The perfect high protein, low carb breakfast - The EGG

NOTES: You could also add cheese to this recipe or even add some other veggies if you like, such as onions, mushrooms or bell pepper. Try breaking your yolk and mixing all egg ingredients together in a separate bowl before adding to the muffin tin. This way they become little bacon wrapped omelets. Such a fun, cute and easy recipe.

How-To Cook Beets

I love love love beets. I am so sad I spent the first 27 years of my life never having tasted them. What a waste! I definitely have a lot of beet eating catching up to do. So to get started I thought I needed to learn how to cook them at home. That way I could use them as snacks and in salads more frequently. I did a little research and learned that there are many different ways to prepare beets. You can bake, boil, roast or even steam them. I picked the two methods I thought would possibly suit my cooking style and decided to do some trial runs to see which way I liked them best. I chose to boil one batch and roast the other. Here are the processes. [Read more…]

Broiled Zucchini and Potatoes

You guys know I am always looking for some good potato recipes. For one they make for a great side dish for any meat recipe, and secondly my Hubby loves them. I came across a potato dish on the Food Network today that just might work in my house. It uses red potatoes (skin on) and zucchini and herbs, which I like, because sometimes I get a little bored with the bland color of skinned potatoes all by themselves. Boring! I also like that since the veggie and starch are mixed together in on dish, I only have to make one side. Saves me some time, work, cleanup and money. Check it out.

Ingredients

  • 4 small new potatoes (red or white, about 1 ½ inches in diameter)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (feel free to add more if you like)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 2 small zucchini, cut in ½ lengthwise (about 1-inch wide by 5 inches long)
  • Pinch kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan

Directions

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the potatoes and cook until just tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the potatoes and let cool. When cool, cut the potatoes in half.

Place a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the butter, garlic, thyme and rosemary and let cook until the butter melts, about 2 minutes. Meanwhile, season the cut sides of the zucchini and potatoes with salt and pepper. Carefully place the zucchini and potatoes cut side down in the melted butter. Let them cook until golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes.

Preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place the browned zucchini and potatoes on the baking sheet cut side up. Sprinkle the tops with the Parmesan. Place in the broiler until the cheese is golden brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate and serve.

  • Source: Giada De Laurentiis
  • Prep Time: 15min
  • Inactive Time: 20min
  • Cook Time: 30min
  • Total Time: 1hr 5min
  • Recipe Yields: 4 servings

Roasted Bell Peppers

Knowing how to roast your own bell peppers is a good skill to add to your repertoire. You can use them on sandwiches, blend them into sauces or soups, puree them with other vegetables to create spreads, on salads, or just simply eating a roasted bell pepper all by itself is also delowcious. I found a great and simple how to on Spicie Foodie. Check it out!

Ingredients

  • Bell peppers (red, yellow and orange are the best tasting)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Dried basil (optional)
  • Dried oregano (optional)
  • Dried thyme (optional)

Directions

Step 1. Preheat the oven to 200c or 392f , line a baking sheet with baking paper then set aside. Rinse and slice the peppers in half then cut off the stem and seeds. Mix the spices in a small bowl until well combined.

Step 2. Rub the peppers with a little bit of olive oil on both the outside and inside.Sprinkle and rub in a little bit of the spice mixture on both the outside and inside of each pepper. Place the peppers outer side up on the baking sheet.

Step 3. Roast in the center of the oven for about 30-45 minutes depending on the size and thickness of the peppers. Turn the peppers halfway through or once the top begins to blacken and continue to roast until the pepper is completely soft. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Once cooled peel off the blackened and rough skin.

Step 4. Leave as is, or slice and dice to use as you like.

Notes: I served as is, with matching roasted tomatoes as a delowcious side to go along with my Lemon Herb Chicken. It was a hit with the Hubby!

Progress, Money & Luck… Sounds Good To Me!

Well as I promised, The Hubby wrote a post about his delowcious New Years Day Dinner that he cooked all by himself. Man I wish I would have documented the play by play. I am sure it would have been very entertaining. Surprisingly, everything tasted really good. Not that I did not have complete confidence in my Hubby, but I am not the biggest fan of the items on the menu. Pork, Turnip Greens and Black Eyed Peas. (The food not the music group mind you… Either way, I don’t like either of the them. Or at least I did not think I did.) Well, without further adue, I present to you, my husband. Enjoy!

New Years Dinner

Written By: The Hubby

So since I had yet to cook in this marriage, and it was New Years Day, I figured why not. It was a good way to celebrate the fact that we have eclipsed the marriage threshold of 72 days set by Kim K. Plus, I don’t mind cooking every once in a while, because at least then I know whose hair is in my food.

Now I am not one to simply leave 2012 up to chance. No I feel as if destiny is what you make it. And when you make: Pork, Turnip Greens, and Black Eyed Peas, then your destiny is progress, money, and luck in that order.

I have truly attempted to make one of these items in my entire life, black eyed peas, and from what I could remember, they turned out well. (The opening of the can went off without a hitch and the heating of the beans went fairly well with a nice consistent heat throughout.) Below is my attempts at all three on the first day of 2012.

Pork

With no experience in the area of pork, I set out in search of a pork recipe in the world’s largest recipe book, the internet. My initial thought was to look for a roast recipe as opposed to say chops, because I had intentions of cooking this pork dish within my much beloved Dutch Oven. (Note to anyone who is a novice cook, if you can find a recipe that involves a Dutch Oven, USE IT!  Nothing is able to cover up your inexperience better than a Dutch Oven.) Nothing really seemed to be what I was looking for, especially the portion size, as most pork roasts dishes call for 4 to 5 lb roast. I was looking for something smaller, as I know the old lady had no plans of eating any of these dishes. She’s not a fan of Pork or Greens, thus the reason I was cooking. I was able to get a lean cut of pork loin from my local grocery store butcher that weighed in at 2 lbs. The following recipe is one I developed to use with said 2 lb roast.

 Ingredients

  • 2 lb. Pork Loin
  • 1 whole cooking onion (yellow onion)
  • 1 whole red delicious apple
  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • Salt
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • ½ cup of Apple Cider Vinegar (If you are not a vinegar fan, substitute 1 cup of Apple Juice in place of the ½ cup of apple cider vinegar.)

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Run pork loin under hot water for a quick clean.
  3. Mince Garlic Cloves.
  4. Cut small slits  in the top of the roast. (This roast will be cooked fat side down so thus the side without the fat layer is the top.)
  5. Insert about half of the garlic into the slits cut into the roast.
  6.  Melt butter and the remaining garlic in a small microwavable cup or dish for approximately 30-45 seconds.
  7. Pour melted butter and garlic mixture over roast and rub into top.
  8. Place roast into Dutch Oven.
  9. Chop onion into thin rings.
  10. Chop apple into thin slices.
  11. Place chopped apples and onions on top and around the roast in the Dutch Oven.
  12. Pour the Apple Cider Vinegar over the roast.
  13. Place top on the Dutch Oven and cook for approximately 1 ½ hours, basting the roast in its own juices every 30 minutes or so.
  14. Make sure to check the roast with a meat thermometer to assure that the internal temperature has reached a minimum of 160 degrees F. For pork 160 degrees is considered to be done while 170 degrees is considered to be well done.
  15. Once the roast is finished let it sit for approximately 10 minutes before cutting.

Greens

As I expect many are, I am not the biggest fan of greens (or turnip greens in this case) unless they are truly southern greens. And southern greens to me means bacon and onions. So when I found the following recipe for southern style greens on epicurious. It is by Leon’s “World’s Finest” In & Out B-B-Q House, on Galveston Island. I figured it would work, and it probably would have had I known what I was doing. The greens ultimately were great if they were greens. They ended up being mostly onions and bacon, which is not a bad thing, but it could have been better. Below I listed a few lessons learned, so you don’t make the same mistake.

There were two issues I had, and both were with the greens themselves.

  1. I only used one bushel, or set, or wrap or whatever you call it, of turnip greens from the grocery store. I would say that you likely need three of these to complete this recipe. It will seem like quite a bit at first, but the greens will cook down a lot.  Trust me!
  2. When cooking the greens check them several times to make sure they reach the proper tenderness. I over cooked them (leaving them in the boiling water approximately 19 minutes). I would estimate the 15 minutes is the appropriate amount of time or maybe a little less.

So hopefully through my mistakes, yours will turn out better and actually be greens. The recipe is as follows:

Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch turnip greens
  • 1 small turnip, peeled and diced
  • Dash of sugar
  • 6 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • Louisiana hot-pepper sauce

Directions

Wash the greens in several changes of water in the sink until no more grit is seen. Chop the greens coarsely. Bring a large pot of water to boil and add the greens, the turnip, and the sugar. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes, or until tender. Drain.

In a large skillet, sauté the bacon until it gives up its grease. Add the onion and cook 7 minutes until the onion is soft. Toss the greens with the bacon and onion. Add the lemon pepper and salt. Serve with Louisiana hot-pepper sauce.

Black Eyed Peas

Now for the difficult part, the Black Eyed Peas.

Ingredients

  • 1 can of Black Eyed Peas
  • Your favorite hot sauce

Directions

Open can of Black Eyed Peas. Add to pot on stove top set at simmer. Add a dash of hot sauce. Cook until warm.

Happy New Year!

Grilled Vegetable Basket

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms
  • 1 zucchini, cut into ¼-inch thick slices
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into ¼-inch thick slices
  • 1 Vidalia or white onion, cut into ¼-inch thick rings
  • ⅓ cup bottled balsamic vinegar salad dressing

Directions

Preheat the grill to medium, or preheat the broiler. If using a broiler, line a baking sheet with foil.

Combine all of the ingredients in a shallow dish and allow the vegetables to marinate while the grill or broiler heats up.

Put the vegetables in a grilling basket or, if broiling, transfer the vegetables to the prepared baking sheet. Grill or broil, 4 inches from the heat, turning once, until the vegetables are cooked through and lightly charred, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve. (Feel free to use a stovetop grill.)

Notes: Tastes delowcious with Paula’s Spicy Mayo Chicken Breasts!

  • Source: Paula Deen
  • Prep Time: 10min
  • Cook Time: 2omin
  • Total Time: 30min
  • Recipe Yields: 4 servings

Sausage and Gorgonzola Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus ¼ cup
  • 12 ounces turkey sausage, casings removed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped oregano leaves
  • ¾ cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1 cup (4-ounces) Gorgonzola
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
  • 6 large portobello mushrooms, stems removed

Directions

Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill.

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add the turkey sausage and cook, stirring frequently, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the mascarpone cheese. Add the thyme, oregano, bread crumbs, ½ cup of Gorgonzola, ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Stir until all ingredients are combined.

Brush the mushrooms on both sides with the remaining oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the mushrooms, stem side down, for 3 minutes. Turn the mushrooms over and grill for 2 minutes until tender. Fill each mushroom with the sausage mixture and top with the remaining Gorgonzola. Return the mushrooms to the grill and cook until the stuffing is warmed through and the Gorgonzola starts to melt, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Notes: The assembled mushrooms can also be placed on a baking sheet and cooked under a preheated broiler until warmed through.

  • Source: Giada De Laurentiis
  • Prep Time: 20min
  • Cook Time: 20min
  • Total Time: 40min
  • Recipe Yields: 6 servings

Stuffed Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 2 vine-ripened tomatoes
  • Salt
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan
  • ¼ cup olive oil

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Slice tomatoes in half horizontally and scoop out pulp and seeds. Salt insides and rest upside down on a sheet pan lined with a wire rack to extract juices, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix together bread crumbs, garlic, basil, pepper, ¼ cup of the grated Parmesan and oil. Stuff tomatoes with the filling, sprinkle with remaining Parmesan, and bake until tomatoes are cooked through and tops are golden brown, about 30 minutes.

  • Source: Sunny Anderson
  • Prep Time: 20min
  • Cook Time: 30min
  • Inactive Time: 30min
  • Total Time: 1hr 20min
  • Recipe Yields: 4 servings

Roasted Asparagus

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds fresh asparagus
  • Good olive oil
  • Kosher salt, plus extra for sprinkling
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Break off the tough ends of the asparagus and, if they’re thick, peel them. Place the asparagus on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, then toss to coat the asparagus completely. Spread the asparagus in a single layer and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Roast the asparagus for 25 minutes, until tender but still crisp.

  • Source: Ina Garten
  • Prep Time: 10min
  • Cook Time: 25min
  • Total Time: 35min
  • Recipe Yields: 8 servings