My love affair with Onions! aka Saturday Brunch Celebration…..

IMG_20200801_114802_496

What is it about this vegetable that even though it makes my eyes tear up, I still chop, chop, chop?! Its aroma, its amazing flavor….the wonderful accompaniment alongside other ingredients that elevate a simple quiche to an experience….quite simply, an onion’s caramelization makes me happy. Yes, onions make me happy, even though they make me cry. Quite a conundrum, wouldn’t you say? But I will not give them up!

In celebration that Hurricane Isaias is not going to visit South Florida, as soon as I came home from running early morning Saturday pre-storm errands, I found myself in the kitchen, chopping a large white onion as I envisioned an onion and potato Spanish style quiche. Off came the outer layer, and I continued cutting it, even though my eyes were irritated by the syn-propanethial-S-oxide the onion released when I chopped it.

I sauteed the onion and chopped some leftover mini red potatoes into small pieces, as well as a third cup of bacon.  As soon as the onion started caramelizing, in went the potatoes with a dash of Himalayan Pink salt, a teaspoon of ground rainbow peppercorns, and the bacon.  In a bowl, 5 large eggs were beaten with 3/4 cup of almond milk, as well as one teaspoon of salt and pepper.  As soon as the onions, potatoes and bacon were cooked through, they were placed in an oven safe quiche plate, covered  with half a cup of chopped parmesan cheese, and the egg mixture.  It cooked for 45 minutes at 375 degrees. I could smell the wonderful aroma emanating from the kitchen, as I did some housekeeping.

Needless to say, I rushed to put together a colorful plate so I could finally take a bite of this amazing onion quiche, and did not withhold a sigh of wonder at the flavors that burst on my palate.  The combination of the caramelized onions, with the potatoes, bacon, eggs and cheese was amazing and so filling! I will certainly make this again, as it was quite delicious. And yes, in case you are wondering, I just had one slice. It was enough, alongside 1/2 of a meat empanada, a few cherries, grapes and one kiwi. A cup of cafe au lait with almond milk finished this wonderful brunch.

What did you have for lunch today? Happy Weekend, everyone!

IMG_20200801_131708_456

 

 

Sumac-Jalapeno-Chicken Omelette!

20200620_085722

It’s Saturday morning and there are things to do, clothes to wash, things to put in place, and Brunch to be had, so while the clothes were washing, I scavenged through my fridge and out came:

1 piece of chicken, which was cooked in a Sumac-Tomato-n-Bourbon sauce earlier this week

3 eggs

1/3 cup organic shredded Mozarella cheese

dash of sea salt, dash or two of freshly grated black peppercorn (I love pepper!)

1 small slice of chopped jalapeno

All these ingredients went into a bowl and after mixing them well, in they went into a small stovetop pan, where the omelette cooked till it was browned on the bottom after I  sprinkled some Sumac on top – I have to just say a huge “Thank You” to Marsha, a great friend, who always happens to bring me an interesting ingredient to work with. I have fallen in love with Sumac! The flavor it brings to any dish is incomparable to any other spice I have cooked with – it superbly enhances the overall taste, from the amazing chicken cooked in a Sumac-tomato-n-bourbon sauce, to the delicious omelette for this morning’s brunch!

20200620_095634

What exactly is Sumac? The sumac bush, native to the Middle East, produces deep red berries which are dried and ground into powder. It can literally be used in just about anything, but it does have a tangy lemony kind of taste, and as I adore lemons, it’s my new favorite spice to use.

In the meantime, had my fun going through the fresh fruit I bought at Aldi’s. I washed a few grapes, strawberries, and blackberries; sliced four pieces of sharp Cheddar cheese, and in a small bowl placed 2 dollops of the strawberry-nectarine sauce.  As I love crispy English muffins, I toasted it twice and put a spoonful of the strawberry-nectarine sauce and the fresh fruit on top….alongside a good cup of coffee with almond milk, and what can I say?

20200620_085934

It was an Amazing Saturday Brunch! Brunch is one of my all time favorite meals to put together because it’s fast, delicious, and so practical. And because I used chicken in the omelette, I know it will be hours before I’m hungry, which makes it super practical when you have a long “to do” list.

What did you have for breakfast this morning?

 

Saturday Brunch….all about the greens and fruits in the fridge!

It’s Saturday morning and I woke up with lots of energy, so I started cleaning, organizing, and washing clothes….then at the first promptings of hunger, went to the kitchen and decided to make my crust-less green veggie mini quiches, while waiting for the washer and dryer to finish its work.

What exactly did I put in these mini green wonders? Everything but the kitchen sink! In true fashion, it’s all about what you have handy.

  • 1 white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 10 oz. box of frozen chopped spinach (easier than chopping fresh spinach any day!)
  • 6 finely chopped portabella mushrooms
  • about a cup of chopped fresh broccoli
  • Italian sea salt and freshly grated black peppercorn
  • a handful of frozen peas

How does this start? I begin by cooking the onion with a dash of sea salt and freshly grated black peppercorn, while the frozen spinach cooks.  Once the spinach is done, I drain it and add it to the onion and allow it to mingle, while adding in the fresh broccoli and portabella mushrooms.  I let it cook for about 2 minutes or so, until the broccoli starts turning that bright beautiful green color, and turn off the heat.

In two separate bowls, I add

  • 4 beaten eggs
  • at least 1 cup of almond milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup organic shredded cheese (whatever kind you have in your fridge)
  • and then I choose one bowl into which I add bacon bits and more cheese, while in the other bowl, it has more veggies than the egg and milk mixture.

Then using a cupcake pan, with a large spoon, I fill them up to a little over brimming, as when this cooks, it will decrease in size as the eggs cook.  It’s good to leave them in a 350 degree oven for at least a good 45 minutes, so that it’s well done and not runny.

I typically take it out of the oven and choose to wait at least a good 15 minutes, as when it’s just taken out, it’s piping hot and will disintegrate should you choose at that time to unmold them. I use a knife to first cut around and then a nice large spoon to take them out.

The day before I had gone to my neighborhood Aldi’s, and saw that the nearby French bakery, Bonjour! was open…..so after loading the car with my groceries, I ran over to see what they had….and ended up purchasing two amazingly decadent French croissants….yes, totally decadent.

So once the mini quiches were not as hot, I sliced a croissant and in went a mini quiche, creating a new style of breakfast sandwich, which was gone in just a few minutes.

The pleasure of not having to run out the door for errands led me to take my time and get creative with the fruits at hand, so I cut up a large kiwi, sliced strawberries, and created mini skewers with red grapes and fresh pineapple pieces.

End result? A delicious brunch, with plenty of leftovers – as you will have at least a dozen mini individual quiches that you can eat as a snack, as a meal with a side salad, with fruit, or use any bread to create a sandwich, or eat them as is, either hot or cold.  I love having these, as it’s a super fast meal to put together any time.

I hope you will make these for you and your family.  They are a treat, as you’re having a meal which is healthy (healthier if you leave out the croissant, of course!) and very filling.

Have a great Saturday!

 

Scrambled eggs with broccoli – Green Saturday morning delight!

April 20-2019 002

What comes together in a blink of an eye for a quick Saturday breakfast? Scrambled eggs, of course! As I’m working hard at leaving carbs out of the equation, I reached for the broccoli staring at me when I opened the refrigerator door. Come with me, and chop, chop, it was ready to be included in the pan with the eggs.

Since the beginning of this year, I have not eaten bread, biscuits, or toast! This has truly been quite an experience, and frankly, one that I never thought I would be able to sustain for a very long time.  I come from a carb-happy family, in which bread, biscuits toast and/or crackers are incorporated into each meal….each meal! My Aunt Neni, who I adore, doesn’t understand how I can have a meal and not finish it off with a piece of bread – yes, you read that right….that’s her “after dessert” treat!

I chose this green path for my health and I am happy, thrilled, shocked that I was able to lose 10 lbs within the first couple of weeks – totally unheard of as that had never ever happened before.  Yes, I jump started a cleaner way of eating using Dr. Gundry’s The Plant Paradox.  I am so grateful for this book – the recipes are super easy and delicious, and as I love to cook, I’ve tweaked some of them according to my personal taste.

But back to the eggs…what did I put in them?

A small handful of shredded Gruyere

2 chopped chicken and apple sausage breakfast links, Applegate Naturals – found them at Whole Foods and had to try them, and

a dash of freshly ground pepper, and that’s it! No added salt of any kind due to the sodium in the breakfast links, and after the eggs were almost done, the chopped broccoli went into the pan, and Voila! A delicious breakfast without bread.

Yes, I can eat meals without bread, Tia Neni!

A Healthy Alternative for Brunch after a good Insanity Workout!!!

Another morning workout left me wilting and soon after I had to run to the kitchen to see what I would come up with in order to re-fuel this body.  Out of the fridge came:

2 eggs

asparagus

1 tomato

chicken

1/8th cup crumbled bacon

and from the cupboards, salt and pepper.

Heating a pan on high, after a light olive oil spray, went the asparagus with tomato, a dash of salt and black pepper, which I allowed to cook for about 5 minutes.  While that was cooking, I whisked the two eggs with the crumbled bacon and cut up some leftover baked chicken (half a cup, cubed).  As soon as the asparagus was cooked, in went the chicken and the eggs and everything got cooked together. When the eggs were done, I integrated them together and you could say that I created my own style of “fritata” with these healthy options.

I found that I had some flat bread in the fridge, so out came one which was placed on the plate and the veggie mix went on top.

It was healthy and delicious!