Make Ahead Egg Bites (Healthy Breakfast On the GO!)

One of my sweet little employees came to me about a month ago and told me that she was taking charge of her diet and wanting to start a healthy lifestyle!!  And then she began to tell me about these cute little egg cups she was making that helped her start her day off right.  I had seen them on Pinterest but never tried them.  However, as she continued to go on and on for several days about just how yummy they are…I decided heck…I gotta try.  Especially since I have a VERY hard time getting myself to eat breakfast!  I am prone to choose 10 extra minutes of sleep over making breakfast.  Which is dumb because 10 minutes of sleep won’t help much…but eating breakfast will haha!  However, now if I take the time to make a batch of these at the beginning of the week, I don’t have to choose!  Cause all I  have to do is warm a couple of these guys up and I can down them in 60 seconds flat…and have healthy energy for my day!  PERFEEEECT!

Adapted from fatgirltrappedinaskinnybody!!

So, here is what you need for just 6 Bites (I was running low on eggs, so feel free to double it or more!)

  • 6 pieces turkey bacon, (Optional.  I made half of mine with, half without…and both were gloriously wonderful.  The bacon ones had the added salt and smoky flavor…but the non-bacon ones had a delightful flakey brown crust of sorts.)
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 1-2 Tbsp Plain Greek Yogurt (For a creamy factor, and to stretch it if you are low on eggs like I was!)
  • 2 Tbsp Cubes Sharp Cheddar Cheese (Grated would work too.  I just like the cute little cubes)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • A sprinkle of your favorite herb or seasoning (Optional.  I think I may have added just a sprinkling of Mrs. Dash or something similar)
  • Dash of Sriracha…..also optional, but come on, Sriracha is wonderful!
  • 1 Tbsp(ish) of butter
  • Mini Muffin Pan

And here’s how you do it (easy peasy):

  1. Preheat your oven to 350*
  2. Put your bacon in a pan just for a couple of minutes until it is starting to brown and crisp but is still bendy.  This step is optional but a lot of the commenters recommended it 🙂
  3. Whisk together your eggs, yogurt, cheese, salt, pepper, sriracha, and seasonings of choice until nice and creamy.
  4. Smear butter on the inside of all the little muffin cups you will be using.
  5. Wrap bacon around the inside of your cups if you are using it.
  6. Pour the egg mixture into the cups until about 3/4 full.
  7. Slide into your oven and bake until golden brown and not jiggly.  Check around 20 minutes, but may take up to 30.  🙂
  8. Enjoy the ease and deliciousness of healthy breakfast habits!!

 

Peectures!

Preheat your oven to 350, and get your bacon started!  Toss it in a pan for a few minutes until just starting to brown and crisp up but still pliable.  You can also crank some fresh pepper on it as you do so.  Peppered bacon is my new favorite!!

Photo

Add the rest of the ingredients (minus the butter) in a bowl…

Photo (3)And whisk until smooth…

Photo (4)Smear butter around in the every muffin cup you will be using.  Wrap bacon inside the cups if you are going that route (again, with and without are both fantastic, I don’t think I could pick a favorite!)  Fill each cup 3/4 full with the egg mixture.

Photo (5)Slide into preheated oven and bake until browned and no longer jiggly.  Start checking it at 20 minutes, but it could take up to 30.

Photo (6)Yum!

Photo (8)See what I mean about the lightly browned, flakey crust on those guys?

Photo (7)But then, who can really resist bacon….?

Photo (9)Without?

Photo (11)With????
Photo (10)WITHOUT?!?!?

I have an idea…how bout you make some, and let me know what YOU like better?  🙂

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“THE BEST” Chicken (or Leftover Turkey!) Barley Soup

Why do I call it “THE BEST” you ask?!  Well…because of this…

Photo (7)Hahahahaaaa.  I think instead of being a post about “Feeding Mr. Rodgers,”  this should be “Pleasing Mamma Monaghan.”  The original idea was to create a chicken noodle soup without noodles.  Haha, I tend to cook classic foods without their main ingredient I have noticed.  Mr.  Rodgers loves chicken noodle soup…especially on days like the ones we have been having.  Cold.  Wet.  Dark.  Well I wanted to leave out the noodles for health reasons, but still wanted something nice and tasty other than just veggies and meat.  And I began to reminisce on my childhood when my mamma would make barley soups, so I thought I’d try it out.   Well my mamma in law decided to try a bowl…and promptly informed me that there might not be any left when I came home from work that night.  She then packaged it up and put it in the fridge for me…and I found this note.  Hahahah.  So sweet and fun!  And it really didn’t last very long either.  She devoured it, and I am so glad, cause she’s not a big eater so I love it when she goes crazy on healthy foods!!

But she wasn’t the only one thrilled with it.  It truly was perfect for our rainy day and the flavor was beyond wonderful and comforting.  I used chicken breast, but here is the beauty of a soup like this…you can use whatever meat you have laying around.  So tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  Why not re-purpose the left over turkey into a barley soup?  Not only delicious…but oh so frugal!  And a good way to get the kids to eat the same thing for days without realizing (or complaining about) it, eh?

So…I think this was adapted from marthastewart.com.  But honestly, when you look up Chicken Barley Soup recipes…they are pretty close to identical so I can’t remember for sure which one I based this off of haha!

 

Here’s what you need!

  • 3 Tbsp Butter or Coconut Oil
  • 4 Large Carrots, Diced
  • 4 Celery Stalks, Diced
  • 3-5 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 1 Onion, Diced
  • 2-3 Lg Chicken Breasts, Cut into cubes (or about 2 Cups cooked Turkey!  Or meat of choice!)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 6 C Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 5 Sprigs Thyme
  • 1 C Barley (I did not use quick cooking because I wanted to let it simmer!  You can use either and just adjust the time/wait for it to get tender)

 

And here’s how you do it!

  1. Prep all your veggies!
  2. Melt your butter or coconut in a large pot over medium heat and add all your veggies except the garlic.  Cook until starting to get tender; about 8 minutes.  Add garlic and stir in, cooking another 30 seconds.
  3. Cut up your chicken and season with salt and pepper.  Add to the skillet and cook a few minutes, until starting to brown. (If you are using leftover meat, you just have to throw it right on in there!)
  4. Add chicken broth and thyme.  Bring it to a boil then add the barley.  Now cover and reduce; letting simmer until you are ready to eat!  (At least 15 minutes so the chicken gets cooked through, but I let mine simmer for a good part of the morning while I did laundry and such wifely things!  Gotta love mornings off!)  How easy as that?!  Easy as pie!  Speaking of pie…you will probably be regretting all the pie you eat on Thanksgiving, so this recipe will be really good for upset tummies and trimming for expanding waist lines, haha!!!  Enjoy!

 

Prep your veggies!

PhotoMelt your butter or coconut oil in a big ol’ pot…

Photo (1)

Add onions, carrots, and celery and cook until tender, about 8 minutes.  Add garlic and cook another 30 seconds or so, until fragrant.

Photo (3)Add your meat source…be it chicken breast, left over turkey, browned ground beef…don’t forget a little salt and pepper!

Photo (4)

Add chicken broth and thyme….

Photo (5)Bring to a boil, add barley, reduce heat, and simmer till done!  At least 15 minutes but can be simmered as you do your laundry until you are ready to eat!  😉

Photo (6)Yummy yummy in your tummy, healthy healthy for your body!! Hopefully you will find a note kind of like this on top of your soup!!

Photo (7)❤  LOVE IT!

 

Chronicles of a Chipotle Pepper; Entry 4: Southwest Style Meatball Skillet

This is a recipe I pinned from cinnamonandspiceandeverythingnice.com, because I thought it looked delicious!  (Spoiler: It was!).  The funny thing is, I had already decided to make this dish before I even realized that it called for a Chipotle Pepper in Adobo Sauce…I originally didn’t plan for it to end up in this series!  How fun is that?!  It was just…meant to be!  😉

I did change it up just a bit, because I was feeling energized and creative that evening, but however you make this its gonna be great.  I just watched a special on travel channel about meatballs.  Apparently it is a revolution.  I unknowingly joined the revolution.  The meatball revolution.  You should join too.  And make this skillet!  All you need is a little quinoa and you have a whole meal.  We both LOVED the flavor of these meatballs.  They were moist and packed with tastiness!  You gotta try!

 

So, here’s what you need for the Meatballs:

  • 1 lb Ground Turkey or Beef (I used turkey because it’s what I had in the freezer)
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4 C Ezekiel Bread Crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp Chile Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Chipotle Chile Powder (Optional)
  • 1 tsp dried Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 Tbsp Dry Cilantro (Note, I used these two because I didn’t have any fresh.  It tasted great, but if you have fresh go for it!)
  • 1/2 Tbsp Dry Parsley (Note, I used these two because I didn’t have any fresh.  It tasted great, but if you have fresh go for it!)
  • 3 Pieces Turkey Bacon
  • Salt and Pepper…of course
  • 1 Tbsp Butter or Coconut Oil

And for the Skillet:

  • 1/2 Large Onion, Diced
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Chipotle Pepper, Minced (With tsp of sauce)
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1 C Corn
  • 1 1/2 C Black Beans
  • 1 (15 oz) Can Diced Tomatoes in juices
  • 1/2 C Broth (Beef or Chicken)
  • Tbsp Lime Juice
  • 8 oz Tomato Sauce
  • 3 Pieces Bacon
  • 1 C Uncooked Quinoa

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. First things first:  Bacon.  We don’t want the bacon to be soggy…but we don’t want it to be too black either since it is going to continue cooking.  So get out your big cast iron skillet and get it cooked (all 6 pieces) until it is just barely starting to get browned.  Just a few minutes!  Now cut it into little strips for both uses: meatballs and skillet.
  2. Grab all of your meat ball ingredients (except the butter or coconut oil) and combine them in a bowl (including half of the bacon you just cut up!).  Form into balls (the original says golf ball sized!)
  3. In same skillet, melt the butter or coconut oil…hopefully you still have some of the bacon grease in there too, even though turkey bacon is lean it still produces a little of that goodness!!  Very carefully add the meat balls and cook for a couple minutes, turning to get a brown around the outside.  Remove from the skillet for now.  If you are using beef, you will need to drain some of the fat off at this point, but leave some to cook the veggies in.  🙂
  4. Add onion and cook until beginning to become transparent.  Add garlic and cook about 30 seconds more.
  5. Add Chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, paprika, and cumin.  Stir and cook about a minute more.
  6. Add corn, beans, tomatoes, broth, lime juice, tomato sauce, salt and pepper and mix well.  Return meat balls to the pan along with the remainder of the turkey bacon.
  7. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, preferably covered.  Serve over a hot steamy pile of quinoa (to cook that, just boil 2 C water, add quinoa, and simmer for 12ish minutes ;))

Yaaaaay yummy!  Seriously super delish, we brought it to the church the next day for lunch cause we were going to be working there all day…and just ate it out of the Tupperware with a fork and enjoyed ourselves immensely.  The Rodgers family has joined the Meat Ball Revolution.  Will you?!

 

After you have partially cooked your bacon to just barely browned status, add all of your meatball ingredients (minus butter) to a bowl and combine.

Photo (8)Form into golf ball sized meat balls…

Photo (9)Heat butter or coconut oil in a large cast iron skillet.

Photo (10)Gently add meat balls…

Photo (11)Cook just a couple minutes, turning to get a browned color on the outside.

Photo (12)Remove from skillet.  If needed, drain some excess grease from the bottom of the skillet, but leaving just enough to cook your veggies in.

Add your onion. and cook a few minutes until beginning to become translucent.  Add garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds.  Stir in Chipotle Pepper, Adobo Sauce, Paprika, and Cumin.  Stir and cook about a minute more.  Add corn, beans, tomatoes, broth, lime juice, tomato sauce, salt and pepper and mix well.

Photo (14)

Add meatballs back to the skillet, along with the turkey bacon.

Photo (16)Bring to a simmer, and let it cook about 10-15 minutes, preferably covered.

Photo (18)Yummy!

Photo (19)Pile on top of hot quinoa and enjoy!  We sure did!

Spiced Rack of Lamb With Pomegranate and Honey over Garlic Mashed Cauliflower

Sounds super fanc, right?  Well.  It is, haha.  And yes, I said “fanc” on purpose.  Apparently shortening your words when you speak is really cool, so I’m totes trying it out.

Wow.  I don’t know what just happened.  Let’s move on.

On to lamb.  I LOVE lamb. I had barely had it until this past year.  I can honestly say I only remember having it in one dish: gyros.  And even then it was not often, and usually mixed half and half with beef.  But then I made it for the first time with our Rack of Lamb with Garlicy Pesto…and my life was forever changed.  We were HOOKED.  However, because of the price tag, we don’t get to enjoy it often.  Well.  I had a little extra in the grocery budget this month.  So I bought a rack of lamb.  And did a little happy dance.  And discovered this little beauty from myfoodbook.com.  And did another happy dance.  🙂

Because of my crazy schedule, I had to wait a few days to cook this, and I almost went mad with anticipation knowing this beautiful piece of meat was waiting for me in the fridge!  But I tell you what, it didn’t disappoint!  I don’t know how I have gone without lamb for these past few months!  Yummy.

So let’s get down to it!  Just a little note….the original is served with a garlic yogurt sauce.  Mr. Rodgers and I aren’t huge fans of plain Greek yogurt.  But I mixed up the sauce in an effort to be brave and try it anyways…and then decided I didn’t want to be brave anymore haha!  Then I had an idea…which I am very thankful for.  I was already planning on serving this dish with mashed cauliflower…which I usually make creamy with sour cream.  So instead of sour cream, I just used my garlic yogurt sauce and BAM!  Garlic yogurt mashed cauliflower.  EAT IT!  No, really.  Eat it.  Do it.  You won’t regret it.

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1 Rack of Lamb
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • 2 tsp Coriander
  • 2 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Rosemary
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 Head Cauliflower
  • 1 C Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1/2 – 1 Stick Butter
  • 1 Pomegranate
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • 2 Tbsp Roasted Almond Flakes

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Mix together all you seasonings in a small bowl and rub all over your rack of lamb.  Set in the fridge until you are ready to cook, preferably about half an hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 400*
  3. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat, with the coconut oil in the bottom.  We are going for a nice char, so I would make it closer to high heat than medium.  HOWEVER, if you don’t like the crispy dark crust on meat…go for more like medium.  🙂
  4. Toss in your lamb and cook about 2 minutes per side, just till you get your desired amount of char…or “brown.”
  5. Slide the skillet into your oven and cook about 20 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, chop your cauliflower into florets and toss into a pot of boiling water until tender, about 10-15 minutes.
  7. Mince garlic and stir into Greek yogurt.
  8. Drain cauliflower and dump into a blender, in shifts if needed.  Add half a stick of butter or so, your yogurt mixture, salt and pepper, and blend till creamy perfection.  Taste and adjust salt, pepper, and butter.
  9. Put a pile of mashed cauliflower on each plate, top with a piece of lamb or two, then sprinkle with pomegranate, almonds, and honey!!  DIG IN!  Bam!

Peectures:

Photo (9)Gather your spices and combine in a small bowl.

Photo (10)Cover that rack of lamb with that rub!!  Set in fridge until ready to cook!

Photo (11)Preheat oven to 400*.  Melt 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat.

Photo (12)Toss in your lamb and cook about 2 minutes per side until you have your desired amount of char/brownness.  We like ours crispyyyy!

Photo (13)See?  Yes, it looks pretty dark, but it turned out perfect!  Slide into your oven and cook about 20 minutes.

Chop your cauliflower into florets and toss in boiling water for 10-15 minutes, until tender.  Meanwhile mince garlic and stir into yogurt.  Drain cauliflower and toss in a blender with yogurt mixture and about 1/2 cube butter, and salt and pepper.  Blend until creamy.

Photo (14)Creamyyyyy.  Picture doesn’t do it justice unfortunately.  Now plop a big spoonful on your plate…

Photo (15)Slice lamb between bones, and place one or two on top of the mashed cauliflower…

Photo (16)Sprinkle with pomegranate “seeds,” almonds, and a drizzle of honey.  Perfection!

Photo (17)I was so worried I had over cooked it, but it turned out just how we liked it!!  This was definitely a man pleaser!

Photo (18)What do you think?

Photo (19)This not only renewed my love for lamb, it also renewed my love for pomegranate.  I had given up on pomegranate because I kept trying to drink pomegranate flavored things and never liked it.  But I gave it a try for this recipe, and realized just how wonderful and not at all like the “pomegranate flavoring” it was.  I had forgotten!

Photo (20)Yums!  Enjoy!

Tips for Healthy Eating!!

Just a quick little post to share an idea I had with you.  I don’t know why I hadn’t done this before, because already these two little steps have helped us immensely.  As you well know, I love eating healthy.  I love COOKING healthy.  But being a dance teacher, a Postal worker, a food blogger, a wife, and an assistant manager trying to make my store better…causes a person to be quite busy.  Busy isn’t bad, especially when you are busy with good things.  But busy and healthy are very hard to harmonize.  Can I get an amen?!  Well it just got easier, because of these little preparations that only took a few minutes!!  Let me show you 🙂

First off…breakfast.  I am SO bad about skipping breakfast, but I know it is so important!  It provides energy for my day and keeps me full so I don’t get hungry and eat something naughty.  But I am so bad at getting up that 10 extra minutes to prep.  Cause I like sleep.  And stay up too late.  So if I get anything it is a banana on the way out the door.  Which does not keep me going very long.  And I am not the only one that struggles with that in the Rodgers house hold.  Mr. Rodgers used to make gorgeous omelets every day.  But he has been doing so much at the church and working so hard, he hasn’t had time either!  So I decided that something MUST be done.  So.  Here is what was done.  😉

Photo (6)Welcome to my breakfast box!!!  Here I have pre prepped everything you could need for omelets, breakfast skillets, whatever…  I was going to get fresh basil, but they were out…so I decided to get something that lasts longer.  Basil and cilantro go bad so fast!!!  So I got basil and cilantro paste.  It can be whisked right into the eggs or stirred into the filling…whatever you desire.  And then I got a couple boxes of little snack baggies and went a-chopping.  Here are some ideas of things that I used for our pre-prepped breakfast box.  🙂

Photo (5)

  • Diced Bell Pepper
  • Halved Cherry Tomatoes
  • Sliced Mushrooms
  • Minced Red Onion
  • Sliced Green Onion
  • Chopped Spinach (I thawed some frozen stuff, cause I have a billion bags of it)
  • Minced Garlic
  • Cubed Sharp Cheddar Cheese

What would you chop up for your breakfasts?!

 

Alright one more idea.  Snacks.  I don’t think people realize the importance of snacks in healthy eating.  If you get too hungry, you are going to crumble.  You need small amounts of satisfying “goodies” to get you through the day, especially between meals.  Keeps your eyes on the prize.  But when you are in a rush, you either forget your snacks…or just grab a whole bag of whatever snack you want and end up eating way too much of it….and spending more money than you should and eating more calories than you need.  So…right when you get home from the grocery store…grab those snack baggies again, and make one of these!!!

Photo (7)A snack box!!!!

Now, obviously, you need to make sure the snacks you are getting are actually healthy.  We have roasted almonds, raisins (debatable, but are a better way to fill a sweet tooth), and multigrain crackers.  Pre portion your goodies so when you are running out the door, you can grab a baggie or two and so when you are a few hours away from lunch, you can bust in to one of these and be less tempted by the calorie filled, chemical filled convenience foods around you!!!

Photo (8)Ready to go!!!  I hope these little tips help!!

Garlic Roasted Cabbage Steaks

Boom.  It’s not often that your veggie side is the hardiest part of your meal.  We ate these along side a nice light soup…the crunch was fantastic, the garlic was so satisfying (since I always grew up eating garlic bread with soup…but I try not to eat bread much if ever…so this filled the little hole so I wasn’t disappointed!), and it really was something you can sink your teeth into!  Not to mention the fact that cabbage is awesome for you!  I don’t even really like raw green cabbage, but shoot…slathered in garlic butter and roasted till crispy and brown…I LOVED IT!  And so did Mr. Rodgers!!   I ever tossed the leftovers back in a hot oven a few days later and they were still good to accompany another meal!  Perfect 🙂  You should try!!!

 

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 Head Raw Green Cabbage
  • About 6 Tbsp Butter (You could use Olive Oil too, I’m just weirded out about heating olive oil because of some studies I have heard!  I don’t mind a little fat in the butter, but it’s up to you!!)
  • 2-3 tsp Garlic Powder, depending on your love level
  • Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Tbsp Powdered Parmesan (Optional)

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Remove outer leaf.  Using a sharp knife, carefully cut the cabbage head into inch thick slices, starting at the top of the head and cutting down to the “stem.”
  3. Lay “steaks” out in a single layer on a foil lined baking sheet.
  4. Melt butter in the microwave and whisk in the garlic powder.  Baste the top side of your steaks generously with half the mixture.  Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
  5. Slide into your preheated oven and cook for 30 minutes.
  6. Carefully flip cabbage steaks, baste fresh side with garlic butter, sprinkle on salt, pepper, and Parmesan, and return to the oven for 30 more minutes, or until crispy, brown, and to your desired tenderness.  Remove from oven and enjoy!!

 

Peectures!!

PhotoCut cabbage head into approximately 1 inch thick slices and lay out in a single layer on a foil lined baking sheet.

Photo (2)Baste generously with garlic butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast at 400* for half an hour, then flip and repeat basting, salt, pepper, and add Parmesan this time!  Return to the oven for another 30 minutes and BAM!  You’re done.  Easy as that!

Photo (3)Yummmmyyyy

Photo (4)I want one right now.  I’m kinda hungry!!  🙂  I hope you simply love this!!  What is your favorite cabbage recipe?