Monthly Archives: April 2012

Italian Egg Drop Soup

Eating Well really has some good recipes. This one… It was okay. I liked it. My kids didn’t really. My husband ate it but didn’t take seconds or anything… So I’d probably only give it a 3 out of 5. I should probably note that I didn’t follow the recipe completely. I didn’t have freshly shaved parmesan cheese. I thought lemon sounded weird in it. I accidentally bought fresh ginger instead of fresh nutmeg… (I didn’t add the ginger and just used some ground nutmeg). So, it is probably a lot better when you try the real recipe here.

Anyway, I started with 1 and 1/3 cup of noodles.

I added water, chicken broth, green onion, nutmeg, and a can of chickpeas.

You let that boil for a few minutes. Then, you stir in four eggs (lightly whisked). Keep stirring the whole time so the eggs don’t get stuck in clumps.

And then you add spinach (yay!). Actually, you’re supposed to add arugula, but my husband isn’t a fan, and I was already kind of pushing the limits of what he and the kids would be willing to eat, so I went with spinach. You can never go wrong with spinach. Remember that and you’ll go far.

Finished product. Kind of tasty. I added some sesame oil and grated some pepper over it. We ate it with thinly-sliced ciabatta bread (baked with drizzled olive oil and sea salt). Ciabatta bread helps with everything, too (except my scale).

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You know when you buy way too many veggies for the week?

You don’t? Oh, maybe it’s just me. I get all ambitious and think I’m going to be making glorious meals for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner. Nutritionally balanced, culinary delights.

And then some nights we end up driving through McDonalds because I got home late and Jacob has baseball practice and Benjamin has turned into the Benjamonster because he’s super hungry and his tummy controls everything … and the veggies sit in the refrigerator.

So, I thought it would be brilliant to season the parchment paper so the bottom of my chicken didn’t miss out on any seasoning. It sounded good, but in reality, I don’t know if it made much difference. 🙂

I mixed some panko bread crumbs, dried basil, garlic powder, season salt, and black pepper. I added an egg and then patted the mixture onto thin-cut chicken breasts. The thin-cut breasts are a bit more expensive, but if you’re paranoid about meat like I am, it actually saves me money. When I buy regular chicken breasts, I never think they’re done, so I cook them until they’re inedible. See? Saving money! Oh, so I baked the chicken breasts at 400 for way longer than I needed to (half an hour? longer?) but because of the panko crumb topping, they didn’t dry out. Woo hoo!

I had garlic, carrots, kale, and more just begging to be used.

I started with some water in a pot. Easy, right? There was really no reason to add this photo. You know how to add water to a pot. It’s just that I think photos with water look cool.

I chopped up some red pepper, garlic, and onion and started sauteeing it in a drizzle of olive oil.

I had some super huge green onions… Sometimes I wander through the produce section at Meijer and try to find new veggies. This wasn’t one of those times, though. They were just completely out of regular green onions (bizarre, right?).

Once the red pepper, onion, and garlic mixture was a softened up, I added the entire bag of kale, covered it, and let it start to wilt.

I dumped the bag of carrots into the pot with water. I diced the super huge green onions and put them on top. And, because I was pretty sure my kids and husband wouldn’t touch the carrots (they only eat them when they’re cooked in butter and brown sugar), I added some sesame oil for a bit of flavor. Yum!

Washed and trimmed some asparagus.

Cooked the asparagus with some more red pepper. (Are you starting to understand how loaded my refrigerator was?)

And here’s what dinner looked like. Not to shabby, huh? My 7-year-old ate probably 3 helpings of the chicken and grimaced as he ate a teeny tiny bite of kale, a teeny tiny bite of asparagus, and then said he was full. I’m not sure if my 3-year-old ate anything. My husband ate the chicken and asparagus/red pepper mixture… and that was it.

So, I had a lot leftover. I put some of the leftover kale mixture in the bottom of an 8×8 casserole dish.

I added some whole grain noodles with tomato sauce (alright… I used pizza sauce… don’t judge!).

I diced some of the leftover chicken and added it on top.

And then… Oh, well, um, I added some shredded cheese. A lot of shredded cheese. You should be a better person and skip this step. 🙂

The next night I baked it at 350 for about half an hour, and it was splendid. (The kids ate around the kale, of course…)

And the remaining kale? Yes, there was a lot of it!!! I divided into single-serving bowls, added an egg cooked in olive oil, and had my lunches prepped for the week!

Have you tried kefir?

I first read about kefir a couple of years ago on a blog called Passionate Homemaking. I didn’t find the exact post I’d read, but here’s an article she posted with some info on kefir. The truly funny thing is that her current blog posting is about green smoothies. Ha ha. Funny. How random!

So, anyway, this post is about smoothies, of course. I’m pretty addicted. I look forward to one each morning, and I have to admit I’m a little sad when I don’t have one. I recently decided to “splurge” with a breakfast sandwich and was sadly disappointed. It didn’t taste as good as I an anticipated, and I just felt kind of “blah” afterwards. Smoothies are way better.

So moving on… I started with frozen blueberries and pineapple.

Added the mandatory bananas.

Here’s the kefir. I really only added maybe 3/4 of a cup… Maybe 1/2 a cup? It’s super thick so it didn’t spread between the berries as much, so it looks like there’s a lot more in there.

I mixed it up and then added some kale (trying to branch out from spinach).

And the chia seeds (I think I’m seriously addicted)…

Verdict? Well, kale just doesn’t blend up as much as spinach. Spinach has a sweet, smoothness about it and kale is curly and slightly bitter. I have to say I definitely prefer spinach in my smoothies.

The Easiest Snack Ever!

Okay, it might not be the easiest, because I suppose you could say grabbing a granola bar is pretty easy. I guess I mean the easiest if you’re actually making something… Or maybe you’d argue that whipping up some Greek yogurt and fresh fruit would technically be making something, and that would also be easier than this. Fine, *darn* it! This isn’t easy! It takes a bit of time! But, it’s so worth your 10-15 minutes. 🙂

Start with some soft taco shells (the whole wheat ones would be better, but I figure this is still a step up from fried tortilla chips and this brand is sooooo delicious), some salsa, and an avocado or two.

Slice your tortillas with a pizza cutter.

Toast those babies in the oven… I did them at 400 for about 10 minutes and then broiled them for a minute.

Mash up some avocado.

Pour on some salsa.

Mix it up. It might not be beautiful, but haven’t you learned not to judge by appearances? This ugly little dish is heaven in your mouth!

This is attempt #20 at a photo of guacamole on a baked chip. They all came out blurry. 😦

Anyway, I love eating this. The avocado has some heart-healthy fat in it, it’s relatively guilt-free (in moderation, of course). My 7-year-old LOVED the tortilla chips just plain. I have made them in the past by misting them with olive oil and sprinkling on seasoning… but I like the plain ones quite a bit, too!

Super Easy Fish ‘N Farro Dinner!

Some nights (okay, a lot of nights) I am just not in the mood to cook. I want something fast and easy. I don’t want to read a recipe. I don’t want to hover over the stove nursing some delicate creation… I just want it done.

If you feel like this, maybe you should grab a bag of farro. It’s good for you, it’s easier than rice, and it’s something a little different so it sounds cooler (that applies for almost anything in life– your welcome for the life lesson!). I added some water and chicken bouillon to mine. Some day I’ll break the bouillon habit –so much salt!– but for now, it makes my food tasty.

I grabbed a box of frozen fish… Already seasoned, already trimmed/prepped/whatever. Not too bad fat and calorie-wise, and you just open the box and stick it on a baking tray!

Good old Gorton’s. It was on sale at Meijer, which made it even better!

I added a bag of already washed and cut broccoli to the farro.

Once the everything was done, I added a little salt and pepper to the farro/broccoli mixture and it was ALL DONE! Woo hoo!!!

See? I told you it was easy!