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.

Steak and Blue Cheese Salad

Who says salad has to be boring?  This salad is packed with a ton of flavor and feels decadent with just a few special add-ons.  I find that the steak on this really makes it a filling and satisfying salad, perfect for lunch.  Blue cheese adds a great salty, pungent flavor that pairs nicely with the steak and makes this salad extra special.  Not into stinky blue?  This would also be great with feta or extra sharp cheddar.

Steak and Blue Cheese SaladSteak and Blue Cheese Salad (A Seat at the Table)

Makes 1 large salad

  • 3 cups spinach
  • 1/4 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1/4 cup chopped cucumbers
  • 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup snap peas, chopped
  • 1 oz blue cheese, crumbled
  • 3 oz Asian Marinated Flank Steak
  • Salad dressing, to taste

In a large bowl, add all ingredients and serve.

Spanakopita Quinoa

Hello, Delicious!  This is a must make.  This super delicious dish is packed with flavor and definitely filling.  Quinoa is a good protein source, containing most of the essential amino acids our bodies need from food sources.  And while I have heard complaints that quinoa is boring, this is anything but boring!  There’s a little spice to it, and a ton of flavor from garlic, onions, spinach, dill, and best of all, feta.  This all mixes together into a creamy serving of deliciousness.  You’ll definitely want to be making this.  Pair it with a simple Greek salad, or grill up some vegetables or chicken to go with it and you’re all set!

I originally made this using a pot and a skillet.  However, I think the spinach would wilt enough just being mixed with the hot quinoa, so I’ve adapted the recipe so you’ll only have to use one pot.

Spanakopita QuinoaSpanakopita Quinoa (A Seat at the Table)

Serves 6

Adapted from An Edible Mosaic

  • 1/3 cup pine nuts (or almond slivers), toasted
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (divided)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1/8 – 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 tsp dried dill
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 cups water (or broth)
  • 8-10 oz baby spinach
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped (or 1 1/2 Tbsp dried)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 6 oz Feta cheese, crumbled

In a medium pot, toast nuts over medium heat until fragrant and flavorful.  Remove from pan and set aside.  In the same pot over medium-high heat, add 2 tsp olive oil, 2 cloves minced garlic, and chopped onion.  Sautee until onion is soft and translucent.  Remove contents from pot, and place in a large serving bowl.

Return pot to burner and add 2 tsp olive oil.  Add remaining garlic and quinoa.  Toast the quinoa for a couple minutes until fragrant, stirring regularly.  Add salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, dried dill and oregano, mix well.  Add water, stir, then cover with a lid and reduce heat to medium-low, simmering for about 10-15 minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed.

Meanwhile, in the large serving bowl with the onion-garlic in it, add the remaining ingredients.  Once quinoa has finished cooking, add the hot quinoa and mix well.  The heat from the quinoa will wilt the spinach.  Garnish with toasted nuts and serve.

Strawberry Spinach Salad

This salad is great.  If you’re not a salad person, give this a try.  It’s a wonderful combination of sweet and savory.  This is one of my aunt’s favorite salads, and when she got married she asked the caterers to make this for the reception.  The caterer (and everyone else) loved this recipe so much he asked if he could keep it in his repertoire for other clients.

Not only is this beautiful and delicious, it’s a great healthy combination.  Iron (from the spinach) is absorbed better when it’s eaten with vitamin C (from the strawberries).  So as strawberries begin to show up everywhere, pick some up and make this spring flavored salad…you might just love it enough to have it at your wedding.

Strawberry Spinach SaladStrawberry Spinach Salad (A Seat at the Table)

Serves 6-8

  • 1 bag fresh baby spinach
  • 1 pint strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Add spinach to a large bowl, top with sliced strawberries and toasted pecans.

Dressing:

  • 1 cup veg oil
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp poppy seeds
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar

Combine all the dressing ingredients in a blender and blend until it turns a pale pink (from the red onion).  This makes a large amount, at least enough for 3 or 4 salads.  Store dressing in the fridge, but bring to room temperature before serving (this will make it easier to pour).  Toss with salad just before serving and garnish with some toasted pecans.

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.

 

Turkey, Spinach, and Quinoa Lasagna

Lasagna is a great winter food.  It’s cheesy comfort on a plate.  It’s also a great way to sneak some more vegetables into your diet and served with a side salad, it’s downright nutritious and delicious.

I was intrigued by this recipe since it added quinoa to the mix.  And actually in the final product I didn’t really notice the quinoa.  But I like the idea especially if you make a vegetarian lasagna, it’s a great way to add some extra protein.  I added some zucchini and onion, but you can add whatever vegetables you have on hand, just sauté them up and mix them in with either the tomato sauce or the ricotta.  I went ahead and doubled the recipe below and made two 9×13″ pans of lasagna, it takes a little bit of extra time, but then you’ll have a spare that you can share, freeze or serve for a large crowd.

Turkey Spinach, and Quinoa LasagnaTurkey Spinach and Quinoa Lasagna

Serves 6-8

Adapted from Chasing Some Blue Sky

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1 jar (24oz) tomato pasta sauce
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 pkg frozen spinach (I used about 10oz, but next time I’d use the whole 16oz bag), thawed and squeezed to remove excess liquid
  • 3 cups low-fat ricotta
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup grated parmesan
  • 8 oz mozzarella (sliced or shredded)
  • 8-12 no-boil lasagna noodles

In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat.  Add diced onion and sauté until it begins to soften, then add zucchini and garlic.  Sauté for a few minutes until veggies begin to brown.  Remove veggies to a plate while you cook the turkey.  In the pan add a little more olive oil if needed and cook the ground turkey, breaking it up into small pieces as you go.  Once the turkey has cooked through, add the vegetables back in and add tomato sauce, balsamic and wine.  Let simmer while you assemble the ricotta mixture.Turkey Spinach and Quinoa Lasagna with Salad

In a large bowl, mix together strained spinach, ricotta, eggs, cooked quinoa, spices, and parmesan.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

To assemble, scoop about 1 cup of the tomato mixture into the bottom of your 9×13″ pan.  Lay noodles in a single layer over the tomato mixture.  Scoop ricotta mixture over noodles, top with tomato mixture, then sprinkle with a thin layer of mozzarella, repeat with noodles, ricotta, tomato and mozzarella, until your pan is full, ending with the layer of mozzarella on top.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until top begins to brown and cheese is melted.

Cabbage and Lime Slaw with Toasted Peanuts

I’m a big fan of cabbage and love finding new ways to eat it.  Cabbage is wonderfully inexpensive and goes a long way.  I made this for Tuesday and have already made it again to go with our Thanksgiving leftovers.  The lime is refreshing and tart, the peanuts add a sweet crunch, and the edamame and some extra protein.  This slaw also incorporates spinach which is a lovely addition adding not only color but vitamins, iron and calcium.

This recipe mixes salt with the cabbage and rests for one to two hours, which was a new-to-me technique to help soften the cabbage so it’s not quite so crunchy.  If you don’t have time you can skip this step or just do it for as long as you have time for.

Cabbage and Lime Slaw with Toasted Peanuts

Serves 10

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

  • 1/4 head red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 head green cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 cups spinach, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups frozen edamame, thawed
  • 1 1/2 limes, juiced
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup unsalted peanuts, toasted and chopped

In a large colander, mix sliced cabbage with kosher salt.  Let sit 1 to 2 hours.

In a large bowl, toss together cabbage, spinach and edamame.  Whisk together lime juice, mustard, cumin and oil.  Pour dressing over slaw just before serving and toss to mix.  Top with toasted peanuts.

Whole Wheat Spinach Bread

I tried making this bread for the first time.  While it didn’t rise at the end as much as I expected, the bread was flavorful and hearty.

Whole Wheat Spinach Bread

Makes 2 loaves

Adapted from Bless this Mess

  • 1 pkg (10oz) frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp yeast
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

Thaw and squeeze out as much moisture from the spinach as possible.  Put the spinach, water, yeast, sugar, salt, olive oil, garlic powder, and whole wheat flour in a large bowl.  Stir to combine, adding more flour until you can’t stir it anymore.  Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead in the remaining flour (or as much as you can).  The dough should be smooth and elastic.  Form dough into a smooth ball and place on a lightly floured board and cover loosely with plastic wrap and a clean tea towel.  Allow the dough to double in size, about 45 minutes to an hour.

After the dough has doubled, divide it in two equal parts.  Shape into two rounds or two long french bread-style loaves.  Place the loaves on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Cover with a towel and allow the dough to rise again until almost doubled, about 1 hour.  Preheat the oven to 400°F.  Once the dough has risen, bake for 40-50 minutes until the bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.  Allow bread to cool on a wire rack before slicing.

Lentil Spinach Cups

I’ve had this recipe tucked away for a few years; I can’t believe I haven’t made these sooner, they’re so good!.  These come together really quickly and are a lovely vibrant green.  They’d make a great appetizer or light meal.

I also conquered one of my cooking hang-ups (you know those things that seem really impossible to do right, even though it shouldn’t be hard),  I cooked lentils.  While not an impressive feat, lentils have been one of those things that I couldn’t seem to do properly.  When I’ve cooked them in soups they totally disintegrated, or they never got tender!  But I decided to give it a try with these cups, and 25 minutes later I had delicious, tender lentils!

Lentil Spinach Cups

Makes 10 cups

Adapted from Muffin Tin Mania

  • 1/2 cup dry black, brown or green lentils
  • 6oz bag baby spinach
  • 1 large green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg (preferably freshly grated)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil, add lentils and a pinch of salt.  Let boil for about 10 minutes, then reduce to a simmer and cook for another 10 minutes or until tender.  Drain and let cool.

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Grease muffin tin (even if they’re non-stick) and set aside.

In a food processor, pulse spinach until finely chopped.  Add ricotta, Parmesan, eggs, nutmeg, salt and pepper and process until well combined.  Stir in cooled lentils.  Scoop into greased muffin tin (will probably fill about 10).  Bake until set, about 18-20 minutes.  Let stand for a few minutes before removing from the muffin tins.

Enjoy!