On-The-Go Omelet Muffins

I have a coworker who’s always thinking up really good ideas for new products. The problem is, they already exist.

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So far, she’s wanted to invent a dog collar that has a bow tie on it, and wipes that can be used in place of a shower after a run.

It’s fine though – she’s learning new things about the world every day. I feel a little bit of the same way with these omelet muffins. I know they’ve been a “thing” for awhile. I do. But I just discovered them and I’m not going to lie – it blew my mind a little.

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How could breakfast be this easy? These things even trump oatmeal for simplicity.

Mind. Blown.

Apparently it doesn’t take much.

What You Need:

  • 6-8 eggs, cracked into a large bowl
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 sliced scallions
  • 1 cup diced fresh tomato
  • 1 cup chopped fresh spinach
  • 1/4 cup chopped jalapenos (optional)
  • 1/2 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt

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What You Do:

Preheat oven to 350F

Literally just crack the eggs and mix them with all the other stuff, pour into a muffin tin and bake for about 20 minutes or until they begin to brown and crisp on top.

Serve with ketchup or hot sauce or whatever.

Easy!

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Spanish Rice Baked Stuffed Heirloom Tomatoes

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Do you KNOW how many recipes there are in the world for stuffed tomatoes where the stuffing is nothing more than breadcrumbs and some salt and pepper? I’m sure it’s delicious, really. You could put bread product in basically any food and I’d eat it for days. But I feel like I couldn’t quite get away with serving mostly breadcrumbs to Mike for dinner.

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Besides – there are so many awesome ways to stuff a tomato, right? I was going to do quinoa and kale for this recipe, but got to thinking about other grains and other dishes and remembered suddenly how much I loved Spanish Rice when my mother would make it when I was a kid. (If my mother is reading this, I want to be candid that I do realize I could be remembering this incorrectly and perhaps I did not love it as a kid, but I certainly consider it a food that I recall eating as a kid and enjoy eating today. So same thing, right?)

I also wanted to share this adorable farm stand that I discovered while running to work one day. (These are the perks of not driving – I tend to pay more attention to what’s going on around me). Check this out:

 

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This person keeps a little bucket near the veggies for your money and it’s completely an honors-system operation. I love it. So I got a few of the tomatoes for this meal from this little stop on my way home.

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This dish is super yummy and has the added benefit of providing probably all the lycopenes a person needs for a successful week! The rice you use is completely up to you. I used Jasmine because as I have mentioned it is by far my favorite type of rice, but I imagine a wild or brown rice would also be spectacular in this dish.

What You Need:

  • 5-7 medium red tomatoes or heirloom tomatoes if you can get your hands on them
  • 1 small onion, chopped OR 1/2 of a medium-large onion, chopped
  • 2 small garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped (optional)
  • 1 small or 1/2 of a large red or green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1-8oz can diced tomatoes in their juices
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tsp cilantro (finely chopped fresh or ground)
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/8 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

What You Do:

Preheat your oven to 350F.

Bring the vegetable broth to boiling in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to a simmer and add the rice. Cover and let simmer for 10-15 minutes or until liquid is gone and rice is cooked.

While the rice is cooking, heat a 2 tsp olive oil in a medium skillet and add the chopped onion, garlic, jalapeno (if using) and bell peppers. Stuffed Tomatoes (2)

Let simmer, stirring frequently, until softened and cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside.

Take your tomatoes and using a small paring knife, slice off just the very top to remove the stem area.

Cut in a circle around the perimeter of the inside of the tomato, basically hulling out the middle stem part and goopy insides, being careful not to slice into the body of the tomato or through the bottom.

Using a spoon, scoop out the insides and carefully clean around the inside to open up a nice space for filling, still being careful not to cut into or damage the body of the tomato.

Arrange the hollowed-out tomatoes in a large baking dish with a small amount (1/4 cup) of water in the bottom.

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Combine the onion mixture with the rice mixture, and add the diced tomatoes and chopped cilantro, and stir up well to make the stuffing. Add salt and pepper and mix again.

Using a tablespoon, scoop the stuffing into the hollowed-out insides of each tomato, packing it down and letting extra stuffing flow out the top of the tomatoes.

Combing the panko breadcrumbs and shredded Parmesan cheese and sprinkle over each tomato.

Bake for about 45 minutes or until the tomatoes are pinched and the breadcrumbs begin to brown.

Add more water to the bottom of the baking dish if necessary after about 20 minutes.

Enjoy!!

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Pro Tip: As noted above, I think this would be marvelous with another rice such as wild or brown! Also, in a pinch you can use salsa instead of diced tomatoes and just add less garlic and probably nix the cilantro.

Healthy Black Bean Power Brownies

I have an obsession, along with 103,000 other people (and that’s just on Facebook!) with Chocolate Covered Katie and her healthy dessert blog. This obsession is borne from a life-long addiction to desserts and internal struggle between cravings and being healthy. Sure, I exercise multiple times a week. I run long distances and get up early to squeeze in a workout before heading to the office.

But when I delve into a pint of Ben and Jerry’s at night following a heaping plate of dinner food, I hear that nagging voice in my head letting me know I’m probably undoing all the good I had done earlier.

The solution to this battle between desserts and being healthy is to combine the two. Healthy desserts. And that is exactly what Chocolate Covered Katie does on her blog. My latest indulgence is brought to you today in the form of chocolately, ooey-gooey brownies made with – wait for it – black beans.

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They’re only slightly tweaked from this recipe on Chocolate Covered Katie – she’s basically a genius so I can’t really improve upon what she’s done here. I omitted some sugar and added flax seeds and a couple options for the flour mix. No biggie.

Enjoy!

Preheat oven to 350 F

What You Need:

  • One 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup quick oats OR whole wheat flour OR gluten-free flour OR cooked quinoa
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup or honey
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp whole flax seeds (chia seeds or hemp seeds or any other seeds you like work here too)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips

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What You Do:

Put everything into a food processor EXCEPT the chocolate chips and flax seeds. Blend well, stir in the chips and seeds, and then pour the batter out into an 8X8 brownie pan.

Bake for about 18-20 minutes. Let cool well for about 10-15 minutes before serving.

 

 

 

Pro Tip: Substitute the oil for applesauce maybe? I didn’t try it this way but it’s worked for brownies and cookies I’ve made in the past. If you do this, let me know how it goes!

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Vegetarian Polenta Stuffed Poblano Peppers

It’s that time of the month where I have to do a serious assessment of what’s in the fridge. I hate nothing more than reaching into the crisper drawer to grab the tomatoes I bought to make sauce and finding that some – or, GASP!, all – of them have gone bad.

My only consolation is being able to feed my rotten food to the worms in my vermicompost bin, but it’s still food I needed for dinner and no longer have!

My stray vegetable roundup this week resulted in this comfort food dish that was fairly quick to make and perfect after a long day at work.

Preheat Oven to 300F

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What You Need:

  • 5-6 poblano peppers
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Half a small onion
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 cups kale
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 2 cups water
  • 3-4 cups tomato sauce

What You Do To Make the Polenta:

Boil 2 cups of water. When it boils, add 1 cup cornmeal and immediately remove from heat as the cornmeal will thicken super quick in the bioling water. Don’t be alarmed, this literally takes a matter of seconds.

Stir until thickened and add additional water if necessary (I usually have to) to make it creamier. Your polenta should be creamy and easy to stir when complete.

What You Do To Make the Filling:

Slice the tops off the poblano peppers leaving as much pepper on as you can. Cut the pepper in half lengthwise and clean out the seeds and veins.

013Lay the peppers out on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes. Flip them about halfway through and take out when the skin starts to pinch.

While the peppers bake, warm olive oil in a large pan on medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and simmer, stirring frequently, until translucent and soft.

Add any other veggies you want. I added 2 chopped serrano peppers for a little kick and the kale, stirring it until it was steamed and reduced.

Add the onion mixture to your polenta, stirring until well mixed.

Place each pepper in a baking dish with sides, and spoon the polenta mixture into each poblano pepper. Top with tomato sauce and goat cheese, and bake until cheese is melted.

Pro Tip: Consider adding cooked sausage or your favorite kind of bean to the polenta mixture for some protein!

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Delicious Homemade Tomato Sauce

I have a teeny tiny obsession right now with making tomato sauce. For a long time, homemade sauce fell victim to a list of foods I was simply too intimidated to try and make. This list has been whittled down substantially in recent years, but once included homemade sushi, balsamic reduction, kale chips, homemade croutons, and roasted garlic (I know, I know. The directions are in the name. I still couldn’t do it).

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Ready for oven baking!

But tomato sauce has officially been not only removed from that list, but is a new all time favorite. What I love about homemade sauce is that it can be a different kind each time, depending on what’s in the fridge, or what I’m in the mood for. Absolutely anything can go in sauce – or nothing at all! I love pouring fresh, homemade sauce over spaghetti squash or pasta with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, risotto or a timeless favorite – English muffin pizzas 🙂

This is the basic recipe. Obviously the more sauce you want, the more tomatoes you have to use. Below the recipe are a bunch of other ingredient options, but they’re all just suggestions so go nuts with your vegetable drawer and experiment! This is one dish you cannot mess up.

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Preheat your oven to 400F

What You Need:

  • 10-15 large plum tomatoes
  • Half a sweet onion, sliced
  • 3 small cloves of garlic or 2 large ones
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

What You Do:

Halve all the plum tomatoes, slice the onion (can be done roughly, it’s all getting blended up at the end), mince the garlic.

Pour the olive oil into the bottom of a ceramic or glass baking dish and use the facedown half of one plum tomato to spread it around. The bottom of the dish should be very thinly coated with oil. You don’t need a lot because the tomatoes produce a lot of juice as they’re baking.

Line the bottom of the baking dish with the plum tomatoes, face down. On each layer, sprinkle the garlic and onions so they are intermixed.

Bake for 40 minutes or until the tomatoes are pinched and soft when poked.

Load everything into a food processor and blend until well mixed and there are no visible chunks. Use desired amount on your food, and freeze leftover sauce for easy defrosting and use with your  next meal!

Pro Tip: Add any of the following ingredients, singularly or in combination, to the baking dish to make different and tasty sauces. I have tried all of these, so I can testify they are all delicious.

  • Basil (goes great in all sauces regardless of ingredients)
  • Mushrooms
  • Eggplant
  • Sun-dried tomatoes
  • Zucchini squash
  • Hot peppers or sweet peppers (or both! or, if you’re obsessed with spicy foods like me, add hot peppers to every homemade sauce dish for a little ziing!)
  • Shallots
  • Sausage (add cooked sausage when the sauce is ready to serve, or blend it into the sauce in the food processor)
  • Scallions
  • Artichokes