It is a truth universally acknowledged that I am a super lazy breakfast casserole maker. Which is why I basically refuse to try new recipes, because they all have, like, a billion ingredients (which makes them expensive) and require way too much prep work. So it’s pretty unusual for me to take on this recipe on a Thursday night for Friday morning department breakfast.
But boy, am I glad I did.
While this requires a tad more prep than my usual recipe (mostly cooking up the potatoes), it was super yummy and totally worth it. The prep probably only took 30 minutes total, and I was also getting a coffee cake in the oven as well so I could have cut that down a bit with some focus. The spice mix is awesome, and the tortillas add a great texture along with the black beans. This is definitely going into my regular breakfast rotation.
It’s also worth nothing that this is really doggone healthy as well. Full of protein and fiber, and weighing in at around 100 calories per serving (assuming a 15-serving pan…probably more like 130 calories per serving if you have hungry people). It was super filling and stuck with me all morning. I had a second helping for a late lunch, in fact.
I made a few changes to the original recipe, including omitting the bacon out of laziness—also, turkey bacon doesn’t quite have the same effect. I considered adding ground beef instead, but I was both lazy and cheap. And honestly it doesn’t need it. I also left out the cilantro (meh) and added cheese because…duh. There’s a lot of flexibility in this recipe, so if there’s something you’re dying to add or substitute, go for it. I’m not the boss of you.READ THE POST
It’s sweet corn season!!!
I was so stoked when my CSA box this week included four ears of sweet corn. Fresh corn is the best. It can be a side dish, elevate even the most mundane pasta, and even become a dessert (and yes, you better believe this is happening in the near future).
In fact, I was so excited about the first corn of the season that I actually cooked on a Saturday night. That may not sound earth-shattering, but anyone who knows me knows that Saturday night is reserved for Chinese food. Specifically, one of three dishes from House of Chan five minutes from my house. I call at around 5:02, pick it up 15 minutes later, and am comfortably ensconced on my couch shortly thereafter. So for me to choose cooking on a Saturday night is pretty major.
And this pasta is totally worth it. The sweet corn, summer squash, and onions meld with the mascarpone, Parmesan, and starchy water to make a comforting yet not heavy-feeling chunky sauce that covers the noodles and sausage for the perfect pasta marriage. Add a little fresh basil and I’m in heaven. The fact that it all came together in less than half an hour? Even better.READ THE POST
So, I really am struggling with calling this cake.
It’s honestly not that sweet at all. It’s got a light crumb, and feels a lot like a zucchini or banana bread (maybe a bit less moist than banana bread).
I was really intrigued by the sweet and savory combination, with the rosemary. To be honest, the flavor didn’t bowl me over, mostly because I felt like the chocolate overwhelmed things a bit. It was simple and good, but not earth-shattering.
I’m a sucker for rosemary, and fresh herbs in general, and love the idea of using them in baking sweets. As I was eating this, I kept re-imagining it as a slightly different flavor combo, particularly citrus and herb. Maybe lemon and rosemary, or grapefruit and thyme? Something a little punchy to contrast with the earthiness of the herbs. Let me know if you have ideas! But regardless, this really was a lovely breakfast treat, and got totally devoured at work in an hour or two.READ THE POST
I’ve amassed a fairly impressive arsenal of gluten-free dessert recipes over the past few years, since my friends John & Bridgette went GF. And one of the biggest things I usually look for in these recipes is that they’re naturally free of gluten, rather than using weird ingredients to try and approximate the texture and taste of wheat recipes.
That’s why I’ve developed quite an affinity for almond meal. It’s super yummy, plus it has an awesome grainy texture—not perfect for every type of recipe, but helps provide a “crumb” to certain cakes and pastries. It’s also pretty easy to work with and really forgiving. I’ve kind of been on an almond cake kick lately for myself, because the flavor is perfect for this summer-to-fall transition time we’ve been in.
Which brings us to the uber-moist flavor bomb we’re talking about today…
This recipe is from Cookie + Kate, and as soon as she posted it, I was dying to give it a try. The almond cake is the star, and is taken up a level by the combination of orange zest and cinnamon in the batter, and the maple syrup makes it super moist. It’s also literally the easiest batter to throw together. Then the slightly-sticky cake is stopped with a roasted fruit compote, which provides additional juice dripping down into the cake. I went with pears and raspberries, which in hindsight was way too much juice to deal with. But you can use whatever strikes your fancy. This is awesome as leftovers, particularly for breakfast.
Don’t judge.READ THE POST
So, I had this post all written and ready to publish, then it mysteriously disappeared. Like, hit save and *poof*—everything was gone. So you’ll have to take my word that it was probably the most interesting, witty piece of food writing known to man.
Or probably not. Guys, my brain is totally fried. Looooong hours, too much on my plate, getting ready for travel, not sleeping well. I know from experience that the way I’m living right now is a no-fail recipe for gaining weight (I have last fall to prove it). I’ve had absolutely no time or energy to cook, but I knew that if I didn’t make something I’d end up having a Farm Burger #4 chicken burger every day for lunch. Which…hello, 15 pounds.
So this caught my eye a few weeks ago. I’m a sucker for chicken salad. All of it. All the kinds. But I tend to be lazy about making it, because it takes a number of ingredients and then I eat it so fast. Plus, it’s not always the healthiest.
The ingredients for this chicken salad were super simple. And more importantly, healthy. I didn’t even cook my own chicken breasts. Just saute up cooked chicken with some spices, zest the lemon, slice the scallions, and you’re rockin’ and rollin’. It’s light and fresh and perfect for August in Georgia (and a healthy work lunch).READ THE POST
You just can’t go wrong with a well-grilled marinated chicken breast. It is endlessly versatile—eat it fresh off the grill, re-heat with some veggies, throw it in a stir fry, make chicken salad.
This marinade is one of perfect simplicity…the balsamic vinegar helps slightly break down the meat, allowing the spices and garlic to really soak in, and the honey to make it super moist. But none of it overwhelms.
These suckers are so juicy and flavorful, but can go with just about anything!READ THE POST
Yeah, I went on something of a muffin-baking bender a couple months back. In a couple of weeks I made these double chocolate banana muffins and these healthy apple muffins with cinnamon-sugar topping, and somehow these guys fell off the radar.
Yeah, you’ll notice that there are two whole wheat, apple-y, cinnamon-y muffin recipes.
I made the first recipe for work, the one with the crunchy topping. It got rave reviews, but the pictures I took were terrible so I knew I’d need to make it again to get better shots.
So I pulled the ingredients together, started stirring everything together, and was like, “Wow, I must have been really out it when I made this the first time, because I don’t remember some of these steps!”. Then I got the batter together and started to spoon it into the muffin tins, and was worried about how much more liquidy it was than the last time I made it.
Some of you can see where this is going…
Yeah, not the same recipe.
So this is the second recipe, the one I made on accident. I loved the streusel topping, and the muffins were SO moist. Definitely recommend this one!READ THE POST
My co-workers are probably sick of hearing the word “nachos”. Don’t ask me why, but I’ve been weirdly obsessed with eating them non-stop for going on two months now.
I always make my family’s meat and beans recipe. I could eat it morning, noon, and night. And have done so. Don’t judge.
But I’ve never made chicken nachos before. I’ve only ever had them once or twice at a restaurant, but I was still craving nachos one Sunday and decided I needed to try something new.
I looked up a bunch of nacho chicken recipes, but kept coming back to the Pioneer Woman’s, so that’s what I decided to try. It also was fairly simple compared to the others, fewer steps and less time overall.
One of the great things about nachos is that the toppings options are basically unlimited. Generally I go pretty plain—meat, beans, and cheese—but these called for some extra awesomeness.READ THE POST
This recipe is the perfect blend of hearty winter fare and bright spring veggies…
It’s kind of weird that I’ve never made a risotto primavera, given my love of risotto. But when I was home for Passover this year, we were trying to come up with a delicious side dish and my mom mentioned risotto. We thought about all the veggies we had, and all the fresh herbs, and I decided that it was the perfect idea.
I’ve said this a million times, but people always think risotto is so difficult. But it’s not! It just needs a little TLC…you can’t rush it, but 90% of risotto is in gently stirring. You get too rough with it, try to turn the heat way up to rush it, and that’s when things go south.
Plan for an hour. But it’s an hour of stirring, drinking wine, talking to guests—it’s the perfect dinner party dish.READ THE POST
My thirst for brussels sprouts shall never be quenched!
This salad is surprisingly hearty, with the crunchy and chewy sprouts and given a boost from the walnuts. I will say that I was a little nervous about this salad, since to me brussels sprouts are one of those things that always need cooked in order to be eaten. But overall it was delicious, filling, and super healthy!READ THE POST
That’s right, we’re still on a healthy kick! And it’s delicious!
This recipe had been calling my name for a while, but getting decent brussels sprouts is kind of hard right now, and I also kind of avoid chicken when I can. Chicken’s kind of boring.
This chicken isn’t boring at all—it’s got a richness from the balsamic, a crunch from the walnuts, and serious fiber from brussels sprouts. It came together super fast and made for great work lunches for a few days.
Throw in a side of spaghetti squash and butternut squash and you’re on healthy overload! Seriously, the whole thing is a 20-minute meal, was super easy, and totally delicious!READ THE POST
When I first saw this recipe, I was suuuuper excited, because I love french onion soup. I mean really lurve it.
I will say that this pasta doesn’t quite live up to that level of insane richness, but the idea is still there.
You start by caramelizing onions down to the point of sweet jamminess, then add broth (and a little wine in my case). Let those flavors hang out for a while, let the pasta soak up all that delicious liquid, and top with arugula and parmesan. Done.
My one complaint with this dish is that I feel like the onions end up getting lost in all the broth…I was hoping for more onion. I think if I made this again I’d use at least one more onion, and I’d look at using something more like the melty Gruyere that true French onion soup uses, vs. parmesan (which never melts quite as luxuriously for me). But all-in-all, this was warm and comforting.READ THE POST
So, we basically got like two weeks of fall in Georgia before it got COOOOLLLLD! But those two weeks were really beautiful.
This tree outside my window is absolutely glorious, like flame.
And these leaves form an awesome natural stoplight.
The changing of the seasons has also meant that the grocery stores and my CSA box have been all-gourds-all-the-time. I got a couple beautiful butternut squashes and, since I finally learned how to peel and disassemble them last winter, I was actually excited to try out this recipe.
Also, sage. Because sage is always the answer.
This sauce is deceptively creamy and rich, but doesn’t have any cream or milk, or even cheese until the very end. The leeks form a super flavorful base, and the pureed butternut squash is like butter and cream and squash all in one. This was a super easy and healthy dinner.
READ THE POST
I don’t know if this is weird, but I’d never had acorn squash before I made this. In fact, I’m not even sure what prompted me to pick one up at Trader Joe’s last week. But it was just sitting there all cute and bumpy and green and orange, and I just had to have it.
My first thought was roasting it, and after perusing some recipes, I definitely knew that was the right choice. But rather than just roasting the halves, I found this delightful recipe that called for slicing it up (cuts down on baking time), tossing with some oil, salt, & pepper (as you do), and sprinkling with some fresh thyme and parmesan.
Sometimes it’s the simple answers that are the best.
I can be guilty of getting too fancy with pasta sometimes, trying crazy combinations of ingredients or always trying to think of something new. Pasta is the blank canvas, the starting place for a thousand meals. And sometimes I think I’ve tried them all. But when I saw this recipe, I was struck by its simplicity and also how all the flavors complemented each other so well.
It starts, as many things do, with a base of sauteed shallots and garlic. From there all you do is add balsamic vinegar for depth and bite, toasted nuts for protein and crunch, and some parmesan cheese to top it all off. It all comes together in about 15 minutes, and is a warm and comforting dish any time of the day or night.READ THE POST
I have to squeeze in one last burst of summer!
I got these beautiful heirloom tomatoes at the farmer’s market and I wanted to do them justice. After thinking about different ways to use them, I decided that the best way to taste them would be a simple tomato and mozzarella salad.
A burrata would have been the best cheese choice, but it’s basically impossible to find. So good ol’ buffala mozzarella did the job. I would have liked basil in there but couldn’t find any at the store so I chopped up some spinach instead—for color as well as a little healthiness.READ THE POST
Every Friday morning our department eats breakfast together. We wander in at different times, sit down, heap up a plate, and talk about our weekend plans, Betsy’s newest crazy celebrity gossip, and (in the fall, since you can’t get away from it) what SEC teams are playing that weekend. It’s a lovely, longstanding tradition, and part of it is that every week it’s someone’s turn to provide the food. We all take turns, and usually I try to cook something for the crew.
Now, if it were up to me, I’d make pancakes or a coffee cake and call it a day. But my co-workers tend to prefer things a little more on the savory side. Since I don’t eat ham or pig bacon or sausage, it narrows my options a little. I’ve done a few breakfast casseroles, though most breakfast casseroles take a million ingredients, have way too many steps, and are EXPENSIVE!
But last time I was super pressed for time and had to figure out something the night before, then found this recipe. I loved that it only took a few ingredients, and the idea of feta in the casserole. I decided to give it a try and was surprised by how good it was. It got scarfed, and it’s definitely going into the regular Friday breakfast rotation!READ THE POST
Heirloom tomatoes in season are seriously one of my favorite foods. In fact, I got to have a fancy dinner last night and there was an heirloom tomato and burrata salad that I could have eaten gallons of. I was in paradise.
So last week at the farmer’s market when I saw these gorgeous big lumpy heirloom tomatoes, I had to get my paws on them immediately. Thoughts of juicy chunks of tomato swimming in creamy, salty ricotta and tossed with al dente pasta danced through my head. I had plans.
Then plans changed, and I had friends coming over that night, last-minute. Since they’re gluten-, dairy-, and egg-free, I had to make some adjustments to my master plan.
I racked my brain to find something that they’d be able to eat and would still do these beautiful tomatoes justice. I landed upon a simple risotto, with a few adjustments to accommodate their health challenges (namely, I left out the butter and parmesan—sad, but necessary). I was worried it wouldn’t be nearly creamy enough, but it was still totally delicious.
My love of risotto is legendary, and I’ve never understood why people are so scared to make it. Yes, it’s time consuming and takes a little TLC, but it’s also very straightforward, not difficult at all. It’s the perfect dish to put on the stove when you already have people over and want to just stand there and drink wine and chat and stir constantly. Or heck, make your guests stir and drink wine and chat while you put the rest of the meal together. This version lets the tomatoes be the star, with a supporting cast of fresh basil and balsamic vinegar to add just a little extra.READ THE POST
I’ve really slipped on my healthy breakfast train the last month or two. I had family in town, then was out of the country for a couple weeks, and have been buried under work and lack of sleep. So I just haven’t had the time or energy to do much baking or cooking to prepare for each coming week. Thankfully, over 4th of July weekend I finally got back on track with these beauties.
I really haven’t done a lot of baking lately, partly because when I use my stove and oven it makes my kitchen feel like Death Valley during the summer. My A/C can’t come close to keeping up. But I decided it was worth it to give these guys a try. I mean, coffee and chocolate in a muffin together?? Sign me up!
As much as I love whole wheat flour, I was a little nervous about using it exclusively, since sometimes that can make things a little too dry and dense. I shouldn’t have worried, though—these were moist and light even as reheated leftovers at work the next day. And the dark chocolate chips are these gooey little nuggets of awesome. For something that literally takes like 5 minutes to stir together, the return on this is totally worth it!READ THE POST
This is seriously one of the best things I’ve eaten in a while. I had such high hopes for this recipe, and am inordinately happy that I wasn’t disappointed.
Sure, traditional pesto is made with basil, garlic, pine nuts, and parmesan, but the word basically comes from the Italian verb pestare, which just means “to pound or crush” (i.e. what you do with all these ingredients). Typically you’d make pestos with a mortar and pestle (from the same verb) but most of us are way too lazy to do that on a regular basis. Because food processors are magical.
While I’ve tried kale pestos, spinach pestos, and all kinds of different nuts in the sauce as well, this is a very different take on the traditional dish. You start with sweet, juicy fresh corn cut right off the cob. Cook some bacon and leave the drippings in the pan to start the flavor profile. Saute some minced garlic in it to release its amazing aroma. Add a dash of red pepper flakes for just a hint of bite. And finish it off in the food processor with pine nuts, fresh parmesan cheese, and olive oil to make a creamy sauce that clings to the noodles like its life depends on it.
This dish doesn’t take long overall—the longest part is cutting the corn off the cob, which I’m pretty slow at (partly because I value my fingers). Once that part’s done, the rest moves quickly and you can have it on the table in less than half an hour. While you could use many different kinds of pasta, I think a long flat pasta like linguine or tagliatelle is best for this (though I break most of the noodles in half before cooking).READ THE POST