Bacon Fried Rice

This is a childhood classic.   My mom would make this fairly regularly when we were growing up.  It’s a great way to reinvent leftovers.  This is perfect if you have some leftover rice from getting take-out, or just make a bit extra and save it for this.  Day old rice is perfect in this recipe.  Other than the rice and bacon, you can add whatever you like.  Frozen peas were classic growing up, but whatever veggies you have on hand will be great in this.  It comes together quickly in just one pan, now that’s what I call comfort food!

Bacon Fried RiceBacon Fried Rice (A Seat at the Table)

Serves 6-8

  • 3 slices bacon, diced
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil, divided
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 4 cups chopped kale
  • 4 cups rice
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • salt and pepper, to taste

In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium high heat with about 1 tsp canola oil (this helps the bacon crisp).  When bacon is cooked, add the onion and sauté until translucent, then add the carrots and celery.  When the vegetables are tender, wilt the kale.  Add the rice and mix well.  When the rice begins to stick to the bottom of the pan, add the remaining oil, and mix well.  Make a space in the skillet and pour in the eggs.  Scramble the eggs briefly, then mix them into the rest of the fried rice.   Pour soy sauce over the top and season with salt and pepper, then mix well.  Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.  Serve immediately and enjoy!

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Egg and Veggie Scramble

We all know we should eat more veggies, so here’s an easy way to start the day’s veggie count early.  This is also a great way to use up some of the veggies in your crisper.  Since this was served for breakfast on the last day at the beach house, we were eager to use up some of the leftover veggies and eggs.  Served with Easy Homefries and a fruit salad, this was the perfect last meal at the beach.

Egg and Veggie ScrambleEgg and Veggie Scramble (A Seat at the Table)

Serves 5

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 large zucchini, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 5 eggs, lightly beaten
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • dill, to taste

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat.  Add the onion and cook until beginning to soften.  Add zucchini and bell pepper, cook for a few minutes until beginning to brown (try not to stir it too frequently so it has a chance to crisp up on the bottom).  Add spinach (in batches if necessary), and carefully fold in with veggies until beginning to wilt.  Pour in the eggs and stir together until eggs are no longer runny, season with salt, pepper and dill.  Serve immediately.

 

Spinach Pesto Strata

This strata was something that I whipped up because we had guests coming to the beach, a loaf of bread getting stale, and some egg whites leftover from the German Chocolate Cake.  This is a great recipe to make for company since you assemble it the night before and bake it off in the morning.  I didn’t have a recipe for this, so below are just estimates for amounts.  I was a little skeptical of whether this would turn out, but it actually turned out great and was a big crowd pleaser.  It’s also a great multi-meal option, so while I served it as a breakfast, it would definitely work for lunch or dinner too.

Spinach Pesto StrataSpinach Pesto Strata (A Seat at the Table)

Serves 6-8

  • 1 loaf stale bread (I used half of a French baguette and half of a whole wheat boule)
  • 3 cups fresh spinach (thawed, drained frozen spinach would also probably work)
  • 6 egg whites
  • 10 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup pesto

Grease a 10×13″ pan with cooking spray.  Cut the bread into large bite-sized chunks, and add 1/3 of the bread to the prepared pan.  Layer about half of the spinach over the bread, add another 1/3 of bread, the remaining spinach and then the remaining bread.

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg whites, eggs, milk, salt, pepper and pesto.  Carefully pour the mixture evenly over the bread and spinach.  Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning remove the strata from the fridge and preheat the oven to 350°F.  Bake for about 30-45 minutes, or until set, a knife inserted into the middle should be mostly dry.  If the strata starts to brown too quickly, cover with foil and continue baking until set.

Smoked Turkey and Cheese Brunch Torte

This was an awesome recipe my mom found in Taste of Home years ago and she’s been eager to make it ever since.  Easter’s potluck breakfast was finally her opportunity, and it was awesome!  Sadly she didn’t even get a chance to try her creation, so I made it again so she’d get to try it.  This is definitely a great standby and would be just as good made vegetarian with some extra spinach and mushrooms or whatever vegetables you have on hand (asparagus?  roasted butternut squash? sautéed cabbage?).  When I made this I used one layer of provolone and one layer of smoked Gouda which was delicious and added extra smokiness.

Next time I plan to try it with a lot more spinach, the recipe only called for 6oz, but I used a full package of spinach and still didn’t think it was enough.  I’ll also try this next time with 1/2 egg whites just to lighten it up a bit and because the egg is not a major flavor, so I think it’d be fine with egg whites substituted in.

Smoked Turkey and Cheese Brunch TortSmoked Turkey and Cheese Brunch Torte slice (A Seat at the Table)

Serves 8

Adapted from Taste of Home (April/May 2011)

  • 2 tubes (8oz each) refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 2 pkgs (or more) fresh baby spinach
  • 1 pkg (8oz) fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 7 eggs
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 lb thinly sliced smoked turkey
  • 1/2 lb sliced provolone cheese
  • 24 oz jar of roasted sweet red peppers, drained, sliced and patted dry

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Place a greased 9″ springform pan on a double layer of heavy duty foil.  Wrap pan securely with foil.

Open one tube of crescent rolls and shape to press into the bottom of the prepared pan.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until set and just beginning to brown.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet sauté mushrooms in olive oil over medium-high heat.  Once mushrooms have had a chance to brown, add in the spinach and toss together until spinach has wilted.  Remove to a paper towel to drain and pat dry before using.

In a large bowl, whisk together 6 eggs, parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning and pepper.Smoked Turkey and Cheese Brunch Torte (A Seat at the Table)

Layer the prepared crust with half the turkey,cheese, red peppers, spinach, mushrooms, and egg mixture.  Repeat layers.

Use the remaining tube of crescent rolls to form a crust on top.  Beat the remaining egg and brush over the dough.

Bake for 45 minutes, then cover with foil if it’s browning too quickly, and let cook for an additional 15-20 minutes.  Carefully run a sharp knife around the edge to loosen.  Let stand for 10-20 minutes before slicing (the longer the better…I have no patience for letting food sit, so you can see how oozy delicious it is hot).  Serve hot or at room temperature.  Enjoy!

Fried Egg Sandwich

So, real life is keeping me from spending much time on menu planning, grocery shopping and cooking, so today you get a real life recipe.  This is what I’ve been eating this week.  It’s one of those super easy dishes that you come up with when you’re staring at your fridge trying to figure out what you can throw together in about 10 minutes.  For me, this usually involves eggs.  I prefer to eat eggs for lunch or dinner, since even scrambling eggs feels like too much work in the morning and I usually prefer something sweet early in the day.  And the best eggs involve a runny yolk!  Yum!  However, if you’re not into that kind of deliciousness, just give the eggs a little longer in the skillet to your desired done-ness.  Also, I simply can’t have eggs without dill, it’s a wonderful combination.

Fried Egg Sandwich

I also use the word sandwich here loosely…open-faced sandwiches are best in my mind, so if I’m eating at home, it’s going to be an open-faced sandwich, the proportions are just better when you can pile on the toppings without weighing it down with too much bread per bite.

Fried Egg Sandwich

Serves 1

  • 2 eggs
  • salt, pepper, and dill to taste
  • 2 slices bread (I prefer rosemary or olive bread, but whatever floats your boat)
  • goat cheese (or favorite cheese)
  • handful of spinach or arugula

Crack both eggs into a small non-stick skillet that has been sprayed lightly with cooking spray, and season with salt, pepper and dill.  Cook over medium-high heat for about 1 1/2 minutes, or until the egg has turned white and it starts to bubble.  While it’s cooking, toast your bread.  Once the egg appears cooked, carefully flip the eggs.  If you like a runny yolk, Runny Fried Egg SandwichI recommend turning off the heat now and just letting it sit on the hot burner while you prepare the rest of your sandwich.  If you want it done a little more, let it cook for 30-60 seconds and then remove from heat.  When your toast is done, spread your goat cheese over both slices (if you’re using a harder cheese, I’d recommend melting it in the toaster while you’re toasting your bread (assuming you have a toaster oven)).  Pile on some spinach, and then top with the fried eggs.

 

Zucchini and Bacon Frittata

I’m a big fan of eggs. I think they’re great for any meal.  I recently whipped up this frittata for my dad’s retreat.  It’s easy to make ahead and is easy to customize for whatever your dietary needs might be.

Zucchini and Bacon Frittata

Serves 6

  • 3 slices bacon
  • 1 large zucchini, diced
  • 2 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 9 eggs
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease a 9″ pie pan with cooking spray and set aside.

In a large skillet, fry bacon.  When crispy, set aside on a paper towel to removed excess grease.  Carefully wipe off most of the grease from the pan, then sauté zucchini and tomatoes until tender.  Spread vegetables out in greased pie pan.  Top with crumbled bacon.  In a large measuring cup whisk together eggs, salt and pepper.  When vegetables and bacon are cool, poor egg mixture over the top.  Place in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, until golden on top and eggs have set in the center.

Lunch edition: eggs and PB&J

So my lunch time eats last week were pretty random.  I’m already getting a little stuck coming up with easy ideas for lunch (mostly because I’m not bothering to make something special just for lunch).  So here are a couple of things I put together.  If you have lunch ideas, pass them my way!  Also, if you have a thermos that you love I’m in the market and could use recommendations!

Last week I made some hard boiled eggs.  I like my eggs a little underdone so the yolk isn’t all dry and boring.  I packed a little container of salt and pepper and dill (love dill!) to dip my eggs in, then peeled and packed two hard boiled eggs in a tupperware.  Easy and tasty.  Paired with some Greek Salad and an apple, it was quite the tasty meal.  It’s also convenient if you like to break your meals up into multiple snacks, or have to grab bites in between working.

I also made some Curried Egg Salad (my usual egg salad with about 1/2 tsp curry powder for 6 eggs) with my hard boiled eggs, so I had that on a sandwich one day (I forgot to take a picture since I ate lunch with my boss).  I paired that with some steamed broccoli from the night before and some carrot sticks with hummus.

When I really ran out of ideas, I went to the trusty stand-by of peanut butter and jelly.  I’m a big fan of PB&J, so really it was more of an excuse to get to eat than a lack of inspiration.  The hardest part about having PB&J for lunch is that I’m not getting my veggies in!  So I packed some carrot sticks and hummus, an apple with sharp cheddar cheese and had my PB&J as dessert.  

Shakshuka-Eggs poached in Tomato Sauce

I’ve been intrigued by this dish for a while.  Recently when I was in Boston I tried some and knew that it would be a dish Sister would love.  So when she and Chris were visiting last week, it was the perfect chance to try it.  We had Chris’s parents over for brunch and I think everyone really enjoyed this dish.

We didn’t have any jalapenos, so I didn’t make this dish spicy.  But I will definitely be making it again and want to try it with a spicy kick to it.

Shakshuka (Eggs Poached in Tomato Sauce)

Serves 6

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 jalapenos, stemmed, seeded and minced (optional)
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed then sliced
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 large (28oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (15oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup feta, crumbled
  • 2 Tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • warm pita, for serving

Heat oil in a large 12″ skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onions and jalapenos (if using) and cook until soft and golden brown, about 5-6 minutes.  Add garlic, cumin, and paprika, stirring frequently for a few minutes until garlic is soft.

Add tomatoes and about 1/2 cup water into the pan and reduce heat to medium.  Simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens, about 15 minutes.  Season sauce with salt.

Crack eggs over the sauce so that eggs are evenly distributed across the sauce’s surface.  Cover skillet and cook until yolks are set, about 5 minutes.  Using a spoon baste the whites of the eggs with tomato sauce, being careful not to disturb the yolks.  Sprinkle shakshuka with feta and parsley.  Serve with pita for dipping.

Italian Squash Quiche

My aunt and cousins have returned from Japan!  To help their transition home I made a quiche.  The girls really like quiche, so it’s a convenient anytime of day meal.  Since this was for kids I kept the flavors pretty mild.

Italian Squash Quiche

Serves 6-8

  • 1 pie crust (I like pillsbury)
  • 1 large summer squash, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 Tbsp pesto
  • 1 cup Italian blend shredded cheese
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup cream or half and half
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp dill
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Roll out your pie crust in a 9″ pie pan.  In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat.  Add sliced squash and pesto.  Cook squash until tender.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg whites, milk, cream and spices.  Layer the squash and cheese in the pie dish then pour on the egg mixture.  Carefully transfer the pie dish to the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes.

Savory Zucchini Cakes

We bought a bunch of big, beautiful zucchini and summer squash the other day on the way home from the beach.  We didn’t really have a plan for them, but I stumbled upon this simple recipe for savory zucchini cakes.  I liked that the ingredient list is short and it comes together really quickly.  I’ll definitely be making these again and again.

Zucchini Cakes

Makes about 8 patties

Adapted from Just Putzing Around the Kitchen

  • 1 large zucchini, grated and drained
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 cup panko
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp red curry powder
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced (optional)

Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.  Grate the zucchini and squeeze out the excess liquid.  Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well.  Form into about 8 patties and place on prepared cookie sheet.  Broil on low for about 5-10 minutes, flip and broil for an additional 2-4 minutes.  Serve immediately.