Kale, Arugula and Red Onion Quiche

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Wanna know my favorite thing about quiches? They’re one of the only egg dishes that makes for a fantastic leftover. Wanna know my other favorite thing about quiches? They are great for breakfast, lunch, dinner AND snacks! Feel free to play with the ingredients in this recipe, its meant to use your favorite combinations. I like an artichoke, feta combination and a caramelized onion, sausage and sage quiche too. A rule of thumb is to keep the filling ingredients (minus the cheese) to three or less. This way, it doesn’t overpower the egg mixture and make for a chewier quiche. The recipe below is a healthy version of a quiche. Most recipes use heavy cream, but I substituted skim milk in this one which came out healthy and delicious. Enjoy!

Kale, Arugula and Red Onion Quiche

1 store bought pie crust, defrosted

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cups of kale, stems removed and roughly chopped

1 cup of arugula, roughly chopped

1 clove of garlic, minced

1/2 cup of grated parmigiano reggiano

1 cup skim milk

3 eggs

1 pinch of red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat your oven to 350. Add your olive oil to a large saucepan and heat over medium-high heat. Add kale, arugula and onions, cooking down for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute and a half. Season with salt and pepper and set aside, off of heat. In a separate bowl, combine cheese, milk, eggs, and red pepper flakes. Whisk to combine. Once cooled, add the kale, arugula and onion mixture and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange your pie crust in a  greased pie pan, trim the extra edges and pour in egg mixture. Cook in oven for 20-25 minutes until eggs are set.

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Mason Jar Pickles

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I’ve become a huge pickle lover this summer. After I tried some homemade pickle spears at a Sunday market in Chicago, I decided to make my own. I bought some pickling spice at The Spice House and immediately went home to make these sweet and spicy homemade pickles! Adjust the sweetener or Serrano chilies for a sweeter or spicier version.

Mason Jar Pickles

1 cup white vinegar

1 cup water

2 tablespoons honey

1.5 tablespoons salt

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 tablespoon pickling spice

2 large cucumbers, slices 1/4 inch thick

1 small onion, sliced

2 Serrano chilies, halved

Combine all ingredients except for cucumbers, onions and chilies into a saucepan. Bring to a boil and then simmer for two minutes. In a large jar layer the cucumbers, onions and chilies, leaving about a half an inch of space at the top. Pour the brine over the vegetables and stir to remove air bubbles. Let cool until it is room temperature, then cover and refrigerate. Enjoy 24 hours later for all flavors to meld.

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Swiss Chard Tacos with Radish-Mango Salsa

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Healthy version of a taco anyone? This Swiss chard taco was the first dish I made this summer from a visit to the farmer’s market! Since I moved to Lincoln Park, I am much closer to Green City Market, one of the largest farmer’s markets in the city. It was the first time I’ve been and it turned out to be a really great one with tons of local farmers and vendors. Upon overhearing a fellow shopper ask for a chocolate croissant and get denied, I learned that this market does not sell or use any ingredients from anywhere further than 500 miles. Since chocolate is grown past 500 miles from Green City Market, it’s not sold there at all! Pretty cool, huh?! Unless you are craving a chocolatey breakfast treat like that guy. I did, however, get myself a regular croissant and was more than pleased.

In my hour and a half of wandering, I made three purchases: Swiss Chard, Radishes and some Carrot Habanero hot sauce, all of which I used in my cooking last night!

Here is the mountain of beautiful chard I got to choose from:

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And here is what I happily brought home:

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I have always loved radishes but I’ve never cooked with Swiss Chard before. I have heard over and over again that it is a delicious summer ingredient to feast on. Acting on my Mexican food craving I decided to make some healthy tacos out of it. They turned out to be really delicious and fresh-tasting.

Swiss Chard Tacos with Radish-Mango Salsa

For the tacos…

1 bunch Swiss chard

1 large yellow onion, sliced

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup vegetable broth

Pinch red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon cumin

Salt and pepper to taste

Spinach tortillas

Feta Cheese or Queso Fresco

For the salsa…

1 bunch of radishes, sliced into discs

1 mango, diced

2 tablespoons minced onion

2 tablespoons minced jalapeno

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

1 garlic clove, minced

1 lime, juiced

1 teaspoon garlic powder

Salt and pepper to taste

Start by heating oil in a pan over high heat. Turn heat all the way down to low and add onions, stirring frequently until golden brown. Add the garlic during the last couple of minutes until cooked through. Remove onions and garlic and add Swiss chard to the same pan, turning up to medium-low. Add the vegetable broth and cover. Let cook for about 10 minutes until wilted. Add onions and garlic back into pan and stir in red pepper flakes, cumin and salt and pepper. Serve in a warm spinach tortilla and top with the radish-mango salsa and the feta.

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Enjoy!

Veggie Burgers

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So I finally moved out of my East Lakeview apartment in Chicago and into my fresh, new, love-the-location Lincoln Park apartment! One of the BEST things about my new place is the size of the kitchen. All this extra counter space made me especially excited to cook my first meal. I decided to make some veggie burgers and start off healthy! I adapted this recipe off the blog Oh She Glows and they turned out to be quite the delicious dinner.

Veggie Burgers

1/2  cup red onion, diced

4 large garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup chopped spinach

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 eggs

1 cup oats

1 cup bread crumbs

1 cup grated carrots

1 cup grated beets

1 can of black beans, rinsed

1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley

1/3 cup walnuts, toasted and  chopped

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon oregano

Salt and black pepper, to taste

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sauté the onion, garlic and spinach in olive oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Toast the walnuts in a dry skillet for about 3 minuets. Place all ingredients except spices into a large mixing bowl and stir well. Season the mixture with the spices and salt and pepper. With wet hands form the dough into patties and place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for a total of 30 minutes, flipping once. Serve on toasted buns with your choice of toppings. I went with pepperjack cheese, avocado and BBQ sauce! Enjoy!

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Egg Salad

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I hope everyone had a great Easter Sunday! I know I did, and I am still stuffed from the second helpings I had at Easter brunch! Now that Easter is over and all those dyed eggs remain, I thought I’d make some egg salad. This is a healthy version using mustard, lemon juice and very few egg yolks so you can feel guilt-free for lunch!

Egg Salad

10 hard boiled egg white

2 hard boiled egg yolks

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon yellow mustard

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon minced onion

1 tablespoon minced red pepper

1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning

Salt and pepper

Chop the hard boiled eggs. Stir in the two types of mustard and the lemon juice. Add the onions, red peppers and Old Bay seasoning and stir until well combined. Finish by seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve on pumpernickel bread with lettuce.

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Asparagus and Poached Eggs

If anyone is guilty of splurging too much lately it is me! So after all my crazy-calorie-blasted meals, I decided to take it easy and eat as healthy as I could this week. I enjoyed baked chicken, roasted brussel sprouts, oatmeal with banana slices and lots of broccoli! Yesterday after a long walk home from work, I decided to make asparagus with poached eggs. I’ve never had this before but it sounded appealing so I decided to go for it! It ended up being really satisfying and delicious. While this is typically a standard Italian breakfast, it can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch and dinner too!

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Asparagus and Poached Eggs

Ingredients:

6 stalks of asparagus, woody ends cut off

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

½ teaspoon garlic powder

2 eggs

2 tablespoons white vinegar

1 tablespoon parmesan

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Removed woody ends from asapargus and place on a greased cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Roast, turning once for 25 minutes.

Poaching the eggs can be tricky. I always make sure to crack each egg in a separate bowl and allow to sit in a tablespoon of vinegar each for five minutes. Placing them in a bowl is key as this allows for an easy “slide-in” when placing into simmering water. Another key is the whirlwind method is stirring the water in the same direction until it creates a little water tornado. You then slip the egg in the center of the whirlwind, one at a time. It comes out perfect for me every time. For additional instructions I think that Smitten Kitchen demonstrates it best.

Once asparagus is roasted and eggs are poached, place asparagus on plate and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Top with the poached eggs and finish with salt and pepper. ENJOY!

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Greek Chicken Skewers and Tzatziki Sauce

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When I studied abroad in 2009, my favorite place that I got to visit was Greece. I never thought I’d love any kind of food more than Italian, but the food in Greece really rivaled it! I ate my heart out from everything from the gyros to the fish to the flaming cheese. Now I have a bunch of favorite Greek restaurants that I frequent in Chicago (my favorite is Avli in Winnetka), and love cooking with Mediterranean flavors since its always healthy and flavorful. Here is a really easy dish that’s low in calories but high in deliciousness!

Greek Chicken Skewers and Tzatziki Sauce

For the chicken…

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3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 and 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, grainy

1 red onion, cut into 2-inch pieces

Directions: Mix the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, herbs and mustard until well combined. Cut chicken into 2 inch cubes and let marinade in lemon/garlic/herb mixture for 1-2 hours in the refrigerator.  Once marinaded, Preheat oven to 350 degrees and  begin to skewer chicken and onions, alternating between one chicken cube to two onion slices. Place in greased baking dish and bake in oven for about 15 minutes and turn to other side. Bake for another 15 minutes or until cooked through.

For the Tzatziki…

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2 cups of fat free Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon vinegar

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 English cucumber, peeled, seeded, and minced

2 tablespoons fresh dill

Directions: Combine all ingredients and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serve the meal with warmed pita bread and enjoy!!

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Triple A Salad (Arugula, Avocado and Apple Chips)

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As we are all in our 22nd day of the New Year I thought I’d inspire some healthy-delicious eating! We had a whole bunch of extra arugula in the fridge so I took myself to my favorite grocery store, The Fresh Market, for some salad-like inspiration.  The first thing I saw were these amazing looking Fuerte avocados that felt perfectly ripe.

 

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After that I thought about how great avocado’s go with lime and cilantro (think guacamole goodness) so that is what I picked up for the dressing. I wanted some crunch to my salad and got some of the Fresh Market’s homemade green and red apple chips. I went on home and whipped up this yum-yum salada!

Triple A Salad

Arugula

1 large Fuerte avocado or 2 Hass avocados

3/4 cup apple chips, crumbled

 

For the dressing:

1/2 cup of fresh cilantro

3 limes, juiced

1 tablespoon grainy Dijon mustard

1 cup of canola oil

Salt and Pepper

 

Combine cilantro, lime juice and mustard in blender. Slowly combine canola oil until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate for 20 minutes.  Toss arugula greens with dressing until well coated. Top with avocados and apple chips and ENJOY!

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Shrimp and Rice Cakes

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Hope everyone had a great holiday filled with family, fun and FOOD! I know I did. The only post-holiday dilemma I seem to run across is left overs. This year, we had a giant shrimp cocktail platter for our appetizer that was fresh and delicious. The only problem was that there was a lot of fresh seafood leftover that we had to eat before we left for vacation the next day. I decided to whip up some shrimp and rice cakes for dinner and they turned out great! I served these for dinner but I think they’d be perfect for a quick, crowd pleasing appetizer too! I adapted the recipe from Old Bay, my favorite seafood seasoning from Maryland.

Shrimp & Rice Cakes 

3/4 cup flour

2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup cooked shrimp, chopped

2 teaspoons shallots, chopped and sauteed until translucent

1/2 cup cooked brown rice

1/2 cup milk

3 tablespoons butter, melted

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped

1 cup of panko breadcrumbs

Sauce:

1 cup of low fat sour cream

1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning

Set oven to 350 degrees.

Begin by removing tails from the shrimp and chopping into small pieces.

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Add cooked and cooled rice, flour, Old Bay seasoning and baking powder to the chopped shrimp and stir to combine.

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Next, add the wet ingredients: milk, butter and eggs and stir to combine. Sprinkle in basil.

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Form into flattened patties and dip both sides into panko bread crumbs until well coated. Arrange on a greased cookie sheet.

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Bake for 6 minutes and then flip the cakes to other side, allow to bake for 4-6 minutes on opposite side.

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Serve warm with sour cream and Old Bay sauce and ENJOY!

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Pumpkin Chili

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There is no better fall flavor than pumpkin and no better cold weather, warm your bones dish than chili….this recipe marries the two! I loved coming back from work last week after bearing the windy cold and sitting down to this comforting, warming meal. If you like the spicy, zippy flavors of chili and the sweet, melty flavor of pumpkin than look no further. The pumpkin puree makes the chili have a velvet-like texture and the pumpkin pie spice adds an awakening sweet flavor. By using extra lean ground beef you can cut lots of calories to make this dish easy on your waistline! You can make this right on your stove or even in your crock pot!

Pumpkin Chili

1 pound extra lean ground beef

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes with juice

1 can black beans, drained

1 can kidney beans, drained

1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree

1 cup chicken stock

1/2 tablespoon chili powder

2 teaspoon cumin

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp red pepper flake

1.5 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

hot sauce to taste

Brown the ground beef in a skillet over medium high heat. Drain excess fat. Add chopped garlic and onions and cook until translucent. Add your tomatoes, beans and pumpkin purée and stir until combined. Let simmer for 5 minutes before adding chicken stock and spices. Stir in chicken stock, spices and hot sauce to taste. Simmer, covered, on medium low for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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Enjoy!