Cheesy Spinach and Bacon Breakfast Strata

I love a good hearty breakfast, especially for mornings when I go into work early and have a long wait until lunch. I also love when I can make a big batch of something and eat it all week, since I like when I only have to cook once! This breakfast strata is perfect for that. It makes enough servings to last all week, so you can grab it and heat it at work. It has the perfect combination of carbs, fat, and protein to keep you full until lunchtime rolls around. You can switch up the cheese, veggies, and type of bread to really make this your own. I think this recipe will be on repeat for me a lot this winter!

fullsizerender-2

fullsizerender-3

fullsizerender-4

Cheesy Spinach and Bacon Breakfast Strata

Adapted from: Cooking Light Magazine

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices bacon
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups diced onion
  • 1 cup frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 slices bread, toasted, cut into 1-in. cubes (I used whole wheat)
  • 3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar
  • 3/4 cup milk (I used soy)
  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

1.) Cook bacon in large skillet until crisp. Transfer bacon to a towel-lined plate and chop into small pieces. Add onion and garlic to drippings in skillet and cook until browned and soft. Add spinach and tomatoes and cook until soft.

2.) Spray an 8-inch square glass baking dish with cooking spray. Add bread cubes, bacon, veggie mixture, and cheese to the dish evenly. In a bowl combine milk, yogurt, eggs, egg whites, mustard, salt and pepper and whisk together.  Pour over the bread mixture, cover, and chill for 8 hours or overnight.

3.) Preheat oven to 350 F. Uncover dish and let strata sit at room temperature while oven heats. Bake until top of strata is browned and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Advertisements

Broccoli Bacon Mac ‘n Cheese

I just realized that my last three recipes were all full-blown comfort meals…I don’t mind it at all! This time of year certainly calls for warm meals that make you want to stay inside and forget about the cold New England weather outside. This mac and cheese was the perfect winter recipe – it has plenty of cheese while sneaking in a bunch of veggies! Then the addition of crumbled bacon is the perfect topping. Enjoy and stay warm!

img_5582

img_5581

fullsizerender-1

Broccoli Bacon Mac 'n Cheese

Adapted from: Cooking Light Magazine

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (or more if desired)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup milk (I used soy)
  • 1 10-oz package frozen butternut squash puree, thawed
  • 10 oz uncooked pasta
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

1.) Heat a large skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook bacon until crisp and remove from pan onto a paper towel-lined plate.

2.) Add onion and garlic to bacon drippings and saute until soft. Add stock, milk, and squash and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.

3.) Add pasta, cover, and reduce heat. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add in broccoli. Cook until pasta is done and sauce is thickened.

4.) Add 1 cup of cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle bacon and the rest of the cheese on top.

Hearty Veggie Chili

I’m finally on winter break from grad school, which means I have time to catch up on blogging! I always say I’ll find time to blog during the semester and then all the homework and work and life gets in the way. So now is my catch up time! I made this chili when it first started getting cold this fall. It is very filling and the addition of grains give it a richer, heartier taste. You’ll forget there is no meat in it! It’s the perfect recipe for Meatless Monday or just for those who love veggies!

img_5378

img_5380

img_5379

Hearty Veggie Chili

Adapted from: Cooking Light Magazine

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 cups mirepoix mix (chopped celery, carrots, and onion)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 10 oz mushrooms, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 3/4 cup uncooked freekeh (or another grain, like wheat berries or quinoa)
  • 1 bottle beer
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained

Directions:

1.) Heat a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the olive oil. Once hot, add the green pepper, mirepoix mix, jalapeno, mushrooms, and garlic. Saute for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables begin to brown.

2.) Add the tomato paste and spices (through paprika), cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the diced tomatoes, corn, and beef broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

2.) Cook freekeh (or other grain) according to package instructions. Add the cooked freekeh, beer, soy sauce, and beans to the chili and cook for 20 minutes. Serve topped with your favorite ingredients.

Mediterranean Veggie Bowl

Switching up my salads weekly is like a game to me. How can I combine my favorite toppings in different ways to make a delicious salad that I don’t mind eating all week? Usually I try to base them off salads I’ve had in a restaurant or seen on Pinterest. Last week was a Pinterest copy-cat recipe – a Mediterranean salad bowl. I added all my favorite “Mediterranean” toppings (as well as avocado…I just can’t have a salad without it…) on a big pile of greens and it was delicious! Since I topped with hummus, I don’t think it really needed dressing, but I tried to make one anyways. I used tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, a little milk, and some sriracha. Kind of random, I know. It was ok but not fantastic – so Mediterranean dressing ideas are welcome!

Also, I fully planned to make the falafels from scratch, but ran out of time. Story of my life! So the ones I used were in the frozen section at Trader Joe’s and they’re really really good. But if you make them from scratch, I’m jealous of you. Someday I will have time to do that too. 🙂

img_5269

img_5268

Mediterranean Veggie Bowl

Adapted from: The Minimalist Baker

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups spring mix
  • 1/4 cup cucumber, diced
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • 1/8 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/8 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2-3 falafel patties
  • 1/4 cup hummus
  • Dressing (optional)

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven and bake falafel (frozen or homemade).

2.) In a big bowl, add spring mix. Top with the rest of the toppings and the warm falafel. Enjoy!

Roasted Veggie Lentil Bowl

This recipe was sort of based off of this recipe of mine while also trying to recreate a grain bowl I had at B.Good. So what that means is I threw it together, hoped for the best, and it turned out really well! This makes a great lunch and can be served cold like a salad or you can heat the lentils and veggies before serving. You can also add any ingredients you’re in the mood for! I think next time I might try making a spicy vinaigrette to go with it…I like adding some heat 😉

IMG_4382

IMG_4381

Roasted Veggie Lentil Bowl

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup lentils, dry
  • 2 cups butternut squash, cubed
  • 10 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup onions and peppers, cut into strips
  • 3 avocados
  • 6 cups salad mix
  • 1 carton cherry tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup dried cherries (or another no-sugar-added dried fruit)
  • 3/4 sunflower seeds
  • 3/4 cup crumbled cheese (feta, goat, etc.)
  • Salad dressing of choice (I like a classic olive oil/balsamic vinaigrette)

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray baking sheets with cooking spray and spread out butternut squash, mushrooms, and onions and peppers. Drizzle with a little olive oil and whatever seasonings you’d like. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until soft, moving veggies around every so often. Keep an eye on the mushrooms, which cook quicker!

2.) Cook lentils in a small sauce saucepan by combining 1 cup dry lentils with 2 cups water. Bring to a rapid simmer, then reduce to low and let simmer for 20-30 minutes or until fully cooked. Add a little salt and remove from heat.

3.) Assemble salad in a large bowl: add 1 cup salad mix, top with about 1/2 cup lentils and 1/3 cup veggie mix (heated if you’d like), then top with 1/2 an avocado sliced, a handful of cherry tomatoes, and 2 tbsp each of sunflower seeds, dried cherries, and cheese. Drizzle with dressing of choice and enjoy!

Avocado BLT Pizza

Anyone who knows me sees that I eat avocado pretty much every day (it might be an addiction). I also looooove bacon and goat cheese, which luckily doesn’t hurt my stomach at all. So this recipe was right up my alley! You might be thinking “Avocado instead of pizza sauce? What??” but I promise it’s just as glorious as it sounds. And so easy to make! This is a great recipe to whip up on a Friday night when you don’t want to cook. Just keep some pizza crusts in the freezer and you can have this pizza ready in less time than delivery!

IMG_2805

Avocado BLT Pizza

Ingredients:

  • 1 pizza crust (I usually buy the frozen ones)
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 4 slices bacon, pan fried and crumbled
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese
  • Handful of arugula

Directions:

1.) Bake pizza crust according to instructions.

2.) Mash avocado in a small bowl with garlic, red pepper, and salt and pepper. Spread on baked pizza crust. Top with halved cherry tomatoes, bacon crumbles, and goat cheese. Bake for another 5-10 minutes or until cheese begins to melt.

3.) Top with arugula, cut into fours and enjoy!

Buffalo Chicken Salad with Lightened-up Ranch Dressing

I LOVE buffalo sauce. I find it funny that I used to hate anything spicy, and now I’m buying jars of jalapenos and Frank’s Hot Buffalo Sauce like it’s going out of style. Oh how things change! I also love my salads, so I figured why not combine my two loves into one? I prefer making homemade ranch dressing because it’s much healthier, I know all the ingredients, and I can make it lactose-intolerant friendly. Store-bought ranch (even the ranch seasoning packets) almost always have buttermilk as an ingredient, so I have to stay away from that. Not everyone with lactose intolerance can handle yogurt, but it doesn’t give my stomach any issues, so I used yogurt as the base for this dressing. It’s so yummy and tastes even better once it sits in the fridge overnight! This is one of those “I am claiming this is a recipe but it’s really a handful of things thrown together to suit my tastes” type of recipes. Which means you can adapt it to match your tastes too – like it less spicy? Use mild buffalo. Want to make more chicken? Just up the amount of sauce when baking. Like your dressing thicker? Use more yogurt. Go wild!

IMG_2790

IMG_2791

IMG_2792

IMG_2794

Buffalo Chicken Salad with Lightened-up Ranch Dressing

Adapted from: The Skinny Fork

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 lb. chicken breast tenderloins
  • 1/2 cup Frank’s Buffalo Sauce (I like hot!)
  • 1 lb. salad mix
  • 1 carton cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 4 tbsp blue cheese crumbles
  • 4 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp mayo
  • 2 tbsp milk (I use soy)
  • 1-2 tbsp dried dill flakes
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard (optional)
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

1.) Spray a 9 x 13 glass baking dish with cooking spray. Lay out tenderloins and smother in buffalo sauce. Bake for about 20 minutes or until center is no longer pink. Let cool and shred chicken.

2.) To make the dressing, combine the yogurt, mayo, milk, dill, garlic, mustard, and salt and pepper in a bowl. Whisk together. Feel free to add more of any ingredient as necessary, adding more milk to thin it or more yogurt/mayo to thicken. Put in a jar or container in the fridge; it will last about a week!

3.) In a large bowl, make your salad! Top salad mix with a handful of tomatoes, diced pepper and cucumber, and 1 tbsp each of sunflower seeds and blue cheese crumbles. Top with 1/4 cup of shredded chicken and the amount of dressing you would like. Enjoy!