Tag Archives: eggs

Real Food Basics: The Perfect Omelette

30 Mar

omelette

Sometimes, you just have to go back to the basics. Farm fresh eggs, 100% real butter, and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Yup, I’m talkin bout omelettes.

They’re perfect for a midnight snack, breakfast, dinner, lunch…ok, so pretty much any meal. I love them alone, or with any number of tasty fillings (mushrooms, green onions, tomato–yum!).

I’ve always been a big omelette fan, but it wasn’t until the summer before I left for college that I started making them myself. The entire summer, at exactly 11pm, I would cook an omelet. I ate it on the couch, watching TV (and probably relishing in my freedom from high school). Perfection.

Last week, while I was watching season one of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, I started looking up clips from Jamie’s older UK shows on YouTube. I stumbled on this short video, in which Jamie does a great job of showing how to cook the perfect omelette.

Jamie Oliver’s Perfect Omelette

• 2-3 large eggs, preferably free-range or organic
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• olive oil
• pat of butter
• a small handful of grated Cheddar cheese (optional)

Place your pan over medium heat. Add a little bit of oil and a knob of butter. Let it melt and give it a few shakes to coat the pan. Break the eggs in to a small bowl, add a pinch of salt and pepper. Whip with your fork and pour the eggs in to the pan. During the first 20 seconds, use your fork or spatula to draw the eggs in a bit so that the uppermost egg gets redistributed (this allows the eggs to cook more evenly). After 30 seconds, use your fork or spatula to loosen the egg one last time. Turn the heat down a little, and grate a bit of cheese on top of the omelette. Let it set over low heat a bit more, until the softness of the eggs just begins to turn. Go around the edges to loosen the omelette, then tilt the pan so the omelette slides slightly away from you. Put the spatula under one side and flap it–and you’re done!

eggs

You can do what I did this morning, and savor the simplicity of the eggs, butter and cheese–or go crazy with some of the following fillings:

Turkey/Chicken Sausage, Soyrizo, Bacon, Zucchini, Bell Peppers, Scallion, Mushrooms, Basil, Onions, Roasted Red Pepper, Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives, Avocado, Sundried Tomatoes, Sour Cream, Salsa

I love Jamie’s method because it’s quick and easy, without using fancy techniques. Of course, there are plenty of different approaches, but this one produced the best omelette I’ve ever made.

Of course, I guess I’ll have to try it at 11pm to really be sure…

Real Food Wednesdays

Simple Real Food Goal: Eat More Greens

13 Oct

Fresh Greens

Today I’m starting a new series on Real Food Wednesdays: Simple Real Food Goals. Real food (and eating better) has come up in a number of conversations lately, and the biggest obstacles that people express are either that they don’t know how or it seems too difficult. So, for my next few real food posts, I’m going to talk about simple (and easy) ways that you can add more real food to your diet and eat better.

Goal number one? Eat more greens.

We all know we should do it. Green veggies (especially leaf vegetables) are a great resource for iron, calcium, vitamin C, carotenoids (which help reduce the risk of cancer), folic acid, Vitamin K, and other vitamins and minerals. You can almost always find them in local farmer’s markets, though the varieties will change with the season. They come straight out of the ground (well, unless they’re hydroponic) and don’t typically undergo any processing. Here are a few easy ways to add them in to your meals:
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Keep Your Fridge Stocked

Greens in a Salad Spinner

One of the hardest things about eating greens consistently is that it sometimes feels like it “takes too much effort” to wash, dry, and prepare the leaves each time you want to use them. They also have a tendency to wilt more quickly than hardier vegetables, so if you forget about them in your fridge, you’ll often find forlorn looking leaves. I came across this tip for keeping greens fresh (and easy to access) while reading Jamie Oliver’sCook With Jamie.”

First, buy a few different kinds of greens: butter leaf lettuce, Romaine, and spinach are all good first picks. Fill your clean sink (or a small dish tub) with water, and submerge the leaves, giving them a good swishing to make sure they’re clean. Then, spin them in your salad spinner (or dry with a dishtowel). Pull out one of your vegetable drawers from the fridge, line it with a clean dishtowel or two, and place the clean greens inside.

Now you have an entire drawer of ready-to-use greens at your disposal, which means that before your next meal, you can easily grab a handful or two, throw on some other chopped veggies and a bit of dressing, and you’re good to go!

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Green Smoothies

Green Smoothie

Green smoothies are super easy to make–my favorite recipe is from Sara at Walk Slowly, Live Wildly: blend two frozen bananas, pineapple chunks, a handful of frozen fruit, 1 cup of water, and a dash of honey together, then add a handful of greens (and now you can pull them out of your oh-so-convenient green fridge drawer). Blend well, and you’ve got two tall glasses of a tasty smoothie treat that also includes a serving of greens. I know the green color is a little crazy, but I promise it’s delicious (and if it weren’t for the color, you’d have no idea there were any greens in it)!

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Throw Them in a Hot Skillet

Sauteed Eggs and Spinach

Greens taste delicious when sauteed with a little butter and garlic, and they’re a quick vegetable side for dinner. After you’re done cooking a meal, add a bit of butter to your still-hot skillet and toss in a few handfuls of greens. Stir them around and cook until they’ve wilted nicely, but still have a nice deep green color.

You can also add them to any egg dish–they add a nice note of flavor to omelettes and scrambled eggs. Just put your greens in the skillet first, cook them down a bit, and add your eggs.

Once you have fresh greens on hand, it’s easy to add a salad to your meal, or toss them in to a variety of dishes. Just a few extra servings of greens goes a long way towards eating more real food and giving your body more of the nutrients it needs.

Real Food Wednesdays

Real Food Wednesday: Mini Veggie Frittatas

14 Jul

Mini Veggie Frittatas

These mini frittatas are super simple and a great way to spend a little weekend time preparing for the busy work week. I feel like I’m always running short on time in the mornings, so whenever I can make breakfast in advance, I go for it.

Frittatas are also a great way to use up extra eggs and vegetables that you don’t want to spoil. They’re a flexible recipe, so you can change them up depending on which ingredients you have around. Spinach, tomatoes, peppers, onions, even sausage or chopped up bacon will all work well as fillers.

You can also bake them a number of different ways–I like to use my silicone baking cups, but they work just as well in a buttered muffin pan (or even a pie/tart pan, if you’re having company over and want a regular frittata). Use them for a quick breakfast, or serve them as an appetizer or brunch side.
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whisked frittata mix

Mini Veggie Frittatas

Ingredients

• 8 eggs
• pinch of black pepper
• pinch of kosher salt
• 2 tablespoons of milk or cream
• 1 medium tomato or 4-6 cherry tomatoes, diced
• two green onions, thinly sliced
• a bell pepper (any color), diced
• a handful of cheese (I used goat cheese)
• a generous pinch of chopped herbs (I used basil)

Set your oven at 370º F. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs with the kosher salt and black pepper until smooth and frothy. Whisk in the milk (or cream), then add the veggies, herbs, and cheese and stir until well mixed.

Use a 1/4 measuring cup to fill your baking cups (or muffin tin) so they are 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 15-20 minutes (until the egg is firm and just slightly browned on top).

ready to bake frittatas

Allow to cool, then place in a resealable bowl or bag and keep in the fridge. They’ll be good for 3-4 days (if they make it that long–I made these Sunday and they’re already gone, with a little help from Mr. Jones and his midnight cravings). To reheat, just place in the oven or a toaster oven for 2-3 minutes.

Real Food Wednesdays

Friday Faves

9 Jul

Friday Faves
1 :: I’ve been wanting to start painting with watercolors again, and these popsicle cards from FineDayPress are a great inspiration.

2 :: It’s sold out now, but hopefully Katie Daisy will do a reprint of her “Wild Air” print. Check out her site for some more incredible illustration work.

3 :: This house tour from Design*Sponge featuring Jack and Lulu’s house features their amazing home office. I love the vintage desk chairs and pops of bright green.

4 :: For those breezy summer days at the beach, it’s always fun to have a pinwheel. This step-by-step pinwheel DIY from Style Me Pretty includes a free printable download. Try making a few and putting them in a flower pot for some fab front porch decor.

5 :: I’m finally wanting more skirts in my closet, especially as the days get hotter. ModCloth has a pretty wide selection, and I love this Shades of Summer skirt. It’s got just enough of a “fiesta” feeling without being too crazy.

6 :: I have a bunch of eggs in my fridge right now, and I think they’re going to head to the oven in this Herb Frittata from Nourished Kitchen. Simple, quick, and a great big breakfast!

Simple, Quick Breakfast Picks

30 Jun

Breakfast used to be one of my least favorite meals of the day. Growing up, I thought all breakfast-related foods tasted the same, and since I already had an aversion to sauces (or anything drippy), I usually chose the average bowl of cereal for my morning meal. Eventually I expanded my repertoire to include omelets (and even spent the entire summer before college perfecting them as a midnight snack). Pancakes and waffles soon followed, and now the only breakfast item I still can’t manage is biscuits and gravy.

Even though I’ve opened up my breakfast palette, there are still certain options that always work best for me. I don’t like to spend too much time cooking in the morning (especially when there’s sleep to be had), so I try to stick with what’s fast and easy. Here are a few of my favorite real food breakfasts:

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Yogurt and Berries

Fruit and Yogurt

My tried-and-true pick, it really doesn’t get easier than combining berries and yogurt in a bowl. It’s also a great way to work some fermented probiotics into your diet. The best option is to make your own yogurt, but until I get a yogurt maker I’m relegated to the store-bought stuff (I tried making some without a yogurt maker but it was not a success). Stoneyfield Farms makes great organic cream top whole milk yogurt–these days, it’s hard to find yogurt that isn’t made from skim or fat-free milk.

I usually just buy a pint of whatever berries are on sale or in season and use them to top yogurt throughout the week. Right now I’ve been enjoying blueberries (and the antioxidants that come with them). I’ll often add some granola to the mix as well. This is a great on-the-go option: just put your yogurt and berries/granola in a small resealable container and take it with you to work or school. It’s much more affordable (and healthier) than the pre-packaged yogurts (which are typically full of sugar and loads of crazy ingredients).

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Spinach Scramble.

Spinach and Egg Scramble

On days when I have a little more time to cook, I like to do an egg scramble. I put some butter in my skillet and add a handful of spinach to it while I whisk together three eggs (with a dash of raw milk to make the eggs nice and frothy). Once the spinach is cooked down, I add the eggs, along with any other veggies (chopped scallions, peppers, and tomatoes are all great additions). I use my wooden spoon to scramble everything, and top it off with a good crumble of goat cheese.

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Oatmeal with Apples

Soaked Oatmeal

While this dish is really easy to make, it does take a bit of forethought to remember to soak the oatmeal. This is a good Sunday morning breakfast because I’m more likely to get it ready during the weekend. There are tons of great soaked oatmeal recipes out there, but my favorite is the one below from Lyndsay at Passionate Homemaking:

1 1/2 cups uncooked rolled oats
1 1/2 cups water (to just cover the oat)
1 Tbsp acid medium (kefir, whey, or yogurt)
1/8  cup ground whole wheat flour (this helps break down the phytates more quickly)
1-2 Tbsp ground almonds or other nuts, optional
Other toppings: ground flax seed, pumpkin seeds, chopped apples, raisins, shredded coconut flakes

1. I soak my oatmeal in a glass quart size jar. I fill it with the oats and just cover slightly with fresh filtered water. But you can use any various container.

2. Add your acid medium, and nuts, as desired. Soaking the nuts helps to break down their unique phytates as well.

3. Cover with lid and shake to combine. Easy! Takes a matter of 3-4 minutes to get those oats soaking away. Put in a cupboard and allow to soak.

Ideally, it is best to soak oats for 24 hours, because they have the highest level of phytates. Oftentimes that doesn’t happen at our house, but I try to at least get it soaking the night before to get a good 12 hours in.

After soaking, heat up an additional 1 1/4 cups of water. After it boils, add the soaked oats, and any additional toppings you desire. We love chopped apples, raisins and shredded coconut. Turn down temperature to a simmer, and allow to cook for 5 minutes or so. Remove from heat and top with ground flax seeds, if desired. Serve with butter, honey and fresh milk for a wonderful nutritious breakfast!

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These are just a couple of ideas, but there are many other great breakfast options out there. There’s no excuse for skipping this important meal–or eating empty junk that will start your day with a slump!


Real Food Wednesdays

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