Monthly Archives:

April 2012

Arugula Blue Cheese Egg Sandwich

McDonald’s buys 2 billion eggs per year in the U.S. alone, and you can guarantee a large percentage off those are landing on their popular breakfast sandwiches. While you won’t find me grabbing a McMuffin at any of the nearby golden arches, I do find that sometimes there’s nothing more satisfying than a simple egg sandwich.

When eaten in moderation, eggs provide a great source of protein that can leave you satisfied all morning long. For vegetarians, they’re an important source of B12, a vitamin needed for proper functioning of the nervous system and blood formation and absent in all plant sources of food. (Although, vegans, rest assured, B12 is pumped into nearly all fortified cereals).

My favorite part about egg sandwiches? They can be made from start to finish in less than 10 minutes. Even fancy schmancy, gourmet-sounding ones like this require very minimal effort. With just 5 ingredients, this egg sandwich will have you feeling like you’re dining out at your favorite brunch place, but without the 60 minute waiting time. The key here is quality. Cage-free (local if you’re lucky!) eggs, fresh arugula, blue cheese with a flavor-depth tailored to your preference, and chewy, bakery-caliber bread. This is the kind of breakfast I want to eat all day long.

Click here for recipe…

Roasted Red Pepper and Black Bean Dip

Just like with soup, I’ve found that there are endless combinations of ingredients that you can blend together to form a solid, irresistible dip. With soup, you’ve got your fundamental elements, which can vary to some degree, but will persistently be added for key flavor – i.e., garlic, onions, and celery. Same goes for spreads and dips.

I nearly always start out with a couple cloves of fresh garlic in the food processor (although not much more because raw garlic is pungent). Then I add a bean to create the bulk, making for a nice protein-centered base. Chickpeas, for a traditional hummus, black beans for a color-changer, white beans for a delicate or Italian spread, etc. etc.  Then I go for tahini, or olive oil, or sometimes even peanut butter to create the rich, much needed creamy element of the dip. From there, I’ll decide on the spices, and then add one or two herbs to freshen things up.

Then, I simply let the magic of the food processor take over and do the work. Creating a dip/spread is really a simple process that leaves a lot of room for creativity.

The one below is not too wild, drawing from many of the same spices used in hummus. Feel free to go out on a limb and add in some of your own spices…Maybe those ones hidden in the back of the cupboard that don’t get many opportunities to shine. If you want a safe route, or simply a recipe to follow so you can unwind, stick with the spices below that will guarantee a delicious spread. (Although, I will make you choose between using cilantro and parsley.) If you do decide to venture out onto your own route, trust me, you can’t go too wrong. Just start with a small dosage of whatever herb/spice you’re experimenting with and go from there.

Click here for recipe…

Curried Kale with Portobello Mushrooms

There are certain dishes that wow you with their results. This was one of those outcomes. I expected this to be a tasty side dish, but little did I know, I’d end up wanting to eat more kale than the other offerings I made for this night’s dinner. I admit I’m genuinely a kale fanatic, but rarely does it fully outshine the other green-slackers on my plate.

That being said, if you have trouble convincing yourself to eat your greens, this one’s for you. The kale ends up a little saucy, so aside from being a flavorful side, I could see this utilized in all sorts of dishes – from topping burgers to pasta. It’s only a matter of weeks till this leafy green starts popping up in gardens nationwide, so it’s time to get yourself hooked on cooking it up in the kitchen.

Click here for recipe…

Tofu Vegetable Summer Rolls

I’m not sure what I’m more excited about – the summer-like weather we’ve been having here in Philadelphia or the fact that I’ve discovered summer rolls can be successfully made at home. Unsurprisingly, the warm, dreamy weather had me laying outside, daydreaming of cool, fresh eats. My mind quickly wandered to summer rolls, one of my favorite Vietnamese-inspired eats, perfect for warm weather when you want something light.

After a trip to Whole Foods, I became a tad skeptical about how these would turn out. I knew all of the ingredients going inside wouldn’t let me down. But the WF man who directed me to the rice paper wrappers didn’t do much to boost my confidence about the item that would become their envelope. He told me that rice paper wrappers are tricky and wished me luck as I went my ways (flocking to the Kombucha aisle, of course). Luckily, the man was wrong. With a bowl of warm water and little finesse, rice paper wrappers really aren’t tricky at all. A little sticky, yes, and your results might not appear restaurant-perfect, but who cares. Eating at home is all about finding your own creativity anyways, which for me, included sautéed tofu in these summer rolls. Delish.

Click here for recipe…

Broccoli Rabe Chickpea Pasta

So I probably could’ve come up with a catchier title than this. Like Vampire Killer Broccoli with a Bite pasta… wait, is that really any better? Hah. Probably not. While sometimes I miss witty catchphrases and HEDs/DEKs, other times I’m thankful for SEO, which makes my job of titling blog posts a whole lot easier.

But seriously, this pasta isn’t for the vampire lovers. Nope, it’s for the garlic lovers and those who aren’t afraid of a little zing when it comes to their broccoli.

Broccoli rabe has a mustardy, bitter taste that holds up well against the depth of whole grain pasta, making it the perfect flavor-heavy veggie to pair with all the garlic in this dish. Because of its natural bite, this recipe needn’t more than a handful of other ingredients to make it complete. Simplicity at its best, but a far cry away from a straightforward plate of pasta and jarred sauce.

Packed with a triple dose of A power (vitamin A from the rabe, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory inducing action from the garlic), this one’s loaded with health-thriving acceleration too. You know, just in case you need a little more than garlic breath up your sleeve to fight off all those fanged creatures in your life.

Click here for recipe…

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