I’ve been waiting for the perfect moment to show off my new skill, and I think now’s the time. Only a few months ago, I poached my very first egg. For some reason, it had seemed to me like a tough thing that only restaurants could do, but then in my food science class I learned how anyone can perfectly poach an egg in less than 2 minutes. Instead of the usual eggs benedict, which can be really heavy from the hollandaise, I put my poached egg on a flavorful, crispy quinoa cake. Say hello to my new favorite brunch dish.
Nutritional highlights: For some of you, you look at that runny yolk and think “yum!”. For others, (and I used to be one of them) you think it’s terrifying. But egg yolks are not something we have to be afraid of. A whole egg only has about 70 calories and a lot of the great nutrients are found in the yolk. And yes, there is cholesterol, but a number of studies have shown that the dietary cholesterol in eggs doesn’t necessarily translate to an increase in blood cholesterol levels. I think the real health issue with eggs is when you get an omelette in a restaurant that is swimming in butter. That’s why poaching is so great–no added fat. Served over these quinoa cakes gives you even more protein to keep you full all day.
Quinoa Cakes with Poached Eggs
adapted from Annie Eats
- 1 cup dry quinoa (or 2 cups cooked)
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- ½ tsp. coarse salt
- 1/3 cup minced fresh chives, plus more for garnish
- 2 large shallots, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- Olive oil, for frying patties
- Greens to serve over like arugula or spinach
- Shaved Parmesan
- 6 poached eggs (one for each patty)
- Salt and pepper
It’s January 11th and still no snow (with the exception of that little Halloween teaser). Usually, when the snow comes, I start making soup and stocking my freezer for winter hibernation. Not that I want it to start snowing, but I realized today that I was ready for the warm comforting soups that come along with winter. This is a hearty white chicken chili, a recipe that will definitely stay in my rotation from now on.
Usually when I make soup, I’m chopping for hours…carrots, onions, celery, garlic, etc, etc. But this recipe was so easy and was done in less than an hour. It starts with sauteed onions, then garlic and spices, then canned beans, chiles, and chicken broth, a jar of salsa, and some diced chicken. I know, there are a lot of cans and jars involved here, but sometimes short cuts are OK, especially when they taste this good.
Nutritional Highlights: You take a bite of this soup and assume there’s cream in it because it’s so thick and, well, creamy. But that comes from the pureed beans, which add fiber and protein, not fat like a cream based soup. It’s a hearty soup, and will keep you warm and full all day.
White Chicken Chili
adapted from Burnt Carrots
- 4 chicken breasts (or you could shred a rotisserie chicken if you don’t have time to cook the chicken)
- 4 cans of great northern beans (low sodium if possible)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 8-10 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cans diced green chiles
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 jar salsa (I used medium heat)
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels
- Low sodium chicken stock, as needed
- Optional garnishes: shredded cheese, avocado, cilantro, red onion, etc…
If you told my 9 year-old self that in 15 years she would like, dare I say LOVE, broccoli, she would probably say you were crazy. I always hated broccoli. So much so that my sister Jenna and I had an unspoken deal–any night we were served green beans (her least favorite) she would stealthily pass them to me under the table, and any night there was broccoli, she would sneakily eat mine. But with this roasted broccoli there would be no deal, because it’s that good…for broccoli lovers and loathers alike. So if your new years resolution is to eat your veggies, this would be a great place to start.
Lemon-Parmesan Roasted Broccoli
adapted from Ina Garten
- 4 to 5 pounds broccoli
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted (I did this in the toaster on tin foil while watching closely)
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves (about 12 leaves)