Tuesday, February 26, 2013

chickpea, potato, zucchini hash with baked eggs inspired by Eating Well

My husband goes crazy with the amount of tearing out and stashing of recipes that I do. What can I say? I am a happy hoarder when it comes to tucking away recipes I want to try on a rainy day... Pinterest has somewhat saved me on this front. I have a "recipes I want to try" Pinboard, where I now stash many a tantalizing recipe, so he doesn't trip over the piles.

The latest one to catch my eye was chickpea potato hash from Eating Well. I made it last night as a Meatless Monday meal, even though I was totally burnt out when it came to cooking. I thought I was going to try to live off our freezer stash this week, but somewhere between Odyssey of the Mind pick-up and Tae Kwon Do drop-off I caught a second wind, zipped to the market for the few ingredients, and whipped it up. So good. Like, this is a must-add-to-your-meatless-repertoire kind of meal.

I made slight modifications to their recipe:

Potato-Chickpea-Zucchini Hash with Baked Eggs
(makes 6 servings-- reheats well the next day for leftovers)

5 oz box Earthbound Farms Baby Kale, rough chopped
2 small yellow onions, chopped
1 or 2 Tablespoons curry powder
1 Tablespoon sea salt
4 Tablespoons olive oil
15 oz. can chickpeas rinsed and drained
2 medium zucchinis, finely chopped
6 organic eggs
tzatziki sauce, for serving (optional)

In a mixing bowl, combine the potatoes, kale, onion, curry powder and salt. Mix with tongs.

In a large fry pan, heat the olive oil, then add the potato mixture and press down. Cook, without stirring, for a few minutes. Add the chickpeas and zucchini, and stir to combine. Press mixture down into pan with the back of a spoon/spoonula. 

Reduce heat to medium-low. Using the back of a measuring cup, create 6 divots in the potato mixture. Crack an egg into each divot. Cover the pan with a lid and cook until egg is set. If you like your eggs soft-set, this will only take about 5 minutes. I wanted ours more firmly set so it took about 8-10 minutes.

Serve warm with a dollop of tzatziki (homemade or store-bought). 

construction project sneak peek: art area

I know it's been a while since I've posted photos of the kitchen project... those counters that (still) make me swoon are in and just waiting for me to slice and dice on them... but they've been covered by all sorts of tarps while the electrical work is completed, doors are hung and everything covered in a thick sheen of painters' dust. Not really the stuff of photos. So, in the meantime, I'll share another exciting space that's coming together: remember the alcove way back when?

Our architect turned a teeny tiny bedroom with a pitched roof line into functional storage area for art supplies and work space for the kids (as well as laundry room, folding space, a cedar off-season clothing closet, linen closet and cleaning closet-- miracle workers when it comes to squeezing stuff in), our designer recommended an eco-friendly floor that is kid-friendly, and our contractor is making it all come together. To say my kids are excited about this special space for them would be an understatement.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

food crush: nothin' but granola cookies

I realize that my last post was about a cookie... and a crush. Really, we'll get back to savory stuff soon. And I promise to stop swooning over sweet things. I promise. But in the meantime, I must share this little find because it is soooo good. (And we all know that when something delicious, easy, and made with real ingredients, there's a high likelihood that I'll develop one of my crushes...)

Just about every Saturday, we drive several hours to ski. 

And while this makes our Saturday outings look very sexy/dramatic, the normal gig is: waking up really early... quickly popping a hearty breakfast of something I made ahead like protein pancakes or a frittata down 4 hatches... assembling a picnic lunch... piling the kids and all of our season rental ski equipment into the car.... and driving several hours with my 6-year-old dictating what we'll listen to on the radio. Because the food at the local mountain is pretty nasty (unless you're a fan of blue sports drinks, chicken tenders and hot dogs), I load up on healthier, yummier options. 

So, yesterday, I popped a box of these "granola cookies" into our vittles bag, alongside Hint waters, homemade wrap sandwiches, Walter Stewart's Market's wheatberry salad, carrots, apples, cucumber slices, clementines, Deep River chips and Odwalla smoothies.

I'd love to say I had the time-- or interest-- in baking homemade cookies before this weekend's adventure. But I didn't. My 10th birthday cupcake baking on Friday zapped me of all my baking energy for the week, maybe month. So, these were the perfect treat. Made with: almonds, rolled oats, 72% dark chocolate, honey, coconut oil, organic sugar, olive oil, oat flour, water, vanilla, sea salt, espresso powder and cinnamon, this box of about 14 little nuggets is crush-worthy, don't you think?

Oh, and they were enjoyed again today at my "graduation celebration". Yes, yours truly is officially a certified health coach focused on helping you feed your family well. Not so different than before, just a little more educated!

Follow-up: Ha! See, this is why my crushes are so fabulous. Remember that LPQ granola bar I told you about a while back? Same maker as these granola cookies!! I knew the name sounded familiar. See, I know a good thing when I eat it. Stick with me kids.... 

and the winner is....

Annie Long Sullivan (comment #8), you are the lucky winner of Sucre's delectable 15 macaron give-away!! Please email me so I can get your shipping address! Lucky you!! Enjoy this sweet treat! 

I wish I could have a box sent to all of you!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

a big smile mid-week: macarons from sucre

Oh dear. I have another food crush. I mean, a girl cannot live on green smoothies alone, right? And oh how I do love a French macaron... the kind that is crisp on the outside and slightly chewy on the inside. Mmmm.

This pretty box of 15 decadent macarons was waiting on my doorstep when I came out of our latest construction meeting. The sweet folks at Sucre wanted to give one of my lucky readers a box as a treat. I thanked them for the generous offer, but told them I always have to try anything I'm going to give-away or possibly recommend. My job is tough, but someone has to do it.

And that is how I ended up with macarons on my doorstep. Trust me, my life is not nearly as glamorous or decadent on a daily basis.

The taste-testing is done. {And no, I am not going to take another photo and show you how many I ate with my afternoon tea.} Suffice it to say that this goes down as one of my better work days, or days in general.

Packaged to travel well, these macarons will absolutely brighten someone's day. Trust me, I know this firsthand. I cannot wait to have Sucre send a 15-piece box of their Signature Macarons to one lucky full plate blog reader! If you would like to win this special treat, please leave me a comment on this post letting me know why you're a busy mom who deserves a little something decadent and special mid-week. I will use random.org to choose one winner on Sunday, February 24th at noon (Eastern time). Winner must live in contiguous United States. Sucre will ship the macarons directly to you. Lucky you!!

Monday, February 18, 2013

back on track smoothie

back on track smoothie:
frozen organic spinach + banana + pineapple + fresh mint + water

goes perfectly with a morning of decluttering / organizing

Thursday, February 14, 2013

with love

I have a sweet recipe to share if you want to show those around you some love...

and a very funny story behind these scones. Two years ago, I was racing to head out of town with my mom. It was our second year in a row going to Miraval, and I was feeling like Supermom. The morning of our flight I woke up early and baked a batch of scones for my younger son's class... realizing too late that I had used salt instead of sugar in the first batch. But did I throw them away? No. I still wanted to be Supermom (and make my flight), so I cut a sliver off each one, trying to figure out which had come from the doozy first batch and which were from the normal second batch and I sent them in to school.

To say they were a failure would be an understatement. In fact, I am pretty sure the teacher told me they were like salt licks. Hey, you win some you lose some. As long as you try. Speaking of... all of you busy moms try awfully hard 365 days a year. How about today you find a little time to show yourself some love? A walk with a friend, a virtual or real coffee date, maybe something as decadent as a facial or a massage? I kind of got a jump-start on that today, and I plan to continue it tomorrow... what you doing to take good care and love your (awesome, Supermom) self today?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

We love our TEAchers

get it? Valentines gift for my children's (beloved) teachers...

jambalaya in a jiffy

A few posts ago (before we got on our red food streak), I excitedly told you about this packaged meal helper that had become my latest food crush. It had caught my eye on a recent grocery marketing trip, but I must admit that I was totally skeptical... but ha, I love when I discover something great. {Insert little pat on the back.} Once I knew the product was excellent, I stocked up on a few more... and then I came home to a care package of several more boxes the other night, sent to me by the nice folks at cooksimple. For me, they're kind of a safety net in the pantry. But, in honor of Fat Tuesday (I will look for any excuse to make a special meal)...

and because one of our carpenters gave me these homemade sausages today (I'm telling you people, I have the most amazing crew working on my kitchen right now-- one carpenter makes me pickles, the other makes me sausages, and if you haven't seen the construction pics yet, check 'em out-- boy, those pics need updating, but anyway-- homemade sausages from one, homemade pickles from another and the world's most gorgeous kitchen...). OK, anyway, back to dinner. A jambalaya kit + homemade sausages can mean only one thing: jambalaya!

But wait-- jambalaya in less than 20 minutes! As in, spend the afternoon studying for your last nutrition exam, and help your little one finish his Valentine's, and have a virtual coffee date with a friend while the kids are playing, and still manage to have a dinner everyone loved on the table at a reasonable time.

Jambalaya in a Jiffy
(4 generous servings)

3 smoked sausages, chopped*
28 oz. can diced tomatoes
2 1/2 cups water
1 package cook simple jambalaya

My instructions are pretty much the same as the box: saute sausage in a bit of olive oil, then add tomatoes, water, and brown rice/spice packet. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer, stirring once or twice during the 18 minute cook time, until the rice is done. How easy is that?

*You may not have a carpenter who also moonlights as a sausage maker... if not, I recommend Wellshire Andouille Sausage if you like spicy, or Wellshire Farms Smoked Linguica for a milder variety.

Full disclosure: my older son loved it, my younger son found this meal too spicy. To temper the spice, I added a dollop of sour cream to his bowl.... which I am sure is sacrilegious when it comes to jambalaya, but it worked! If you'd like to get your hands on some of these dinner kits, they have a well-stocked shelf at Whole Foods in Darien, Amazon sells them for my Idaho friends who do their grocery marketing via Amazon (which I think is so funny), otherwise you should check to see if they sell them at your favorite supermarket! I did not receive any compensation for this glowing review, but they did send me 4 other varieties to try... and rumor has it, they're offering the same sweet gift to a few of my readers, so stay tuned!!

Monday, February 11, 2013

post-Nemo dinner from the freezer, fridge and pantry: Mediterranean Chicken

Surely I was not the only one wondering if they were on candid camera today when I strolled into the produce aisle of our local Whole Foods and found this. Alright, so my green smoothies were going back to frozen spinach. {My husband can make all the jokes he wants about the horror of not having arugula, kale and baby spinach...} Anyway, it wasn't until I arrived home with the kids at 6pm that I realized without my normal Monday stock of fruits and veggies our dinner ingredients were slim. (Understatement.) Freak out? No. Take-out? No. (At least not tonight.)

A quick inventory of the freezer (chicken) + pantry (diced tomatoes, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes and kalamata olives) + fridge (1/2 a bottle of white wine, 1/2 a tub of Feta, and a lonely package of fresh mint-- though you could totally use dried mint) and voila: dinner assembled in minutes. Preheat the oven to 375, and all you do is pop all of the ingredients into a baking dish, give it a stir so the flavors blend while cooking, and bake it for 20-25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. How easy is that? And you'll just have to trust me that my house smells sooooo good as it's cooking! This is actually a variation of a Mediterranean Shrimp video I shot a while back, so check that out, if you'd like. Might be nice as a Valentine's meal if you're looking for something special, that's still super easy. Here is tonight's dinner in pics, for those who like a visual:

If you end up with extra, this meal freezes nicely too. I plan to serve ours over couscous... if I remember, I'll snap a pic.

post-Nemo snow day activities

School delay... or another closure? Here are two ways to make the most of the white stuff.

Build an igloo! 
My (Supermom) friend hauled out plastic storage bins (the kind I use to organize our playroom) and had the kids packing them with snow to build an incredible igloo. How cool is this finished product going to be?!!

Make snow candy
Fill a cup with snow, top with a drizzle of maple syrup....

Voila! A delicious treat for your igloo makers.

What are your favorite snow day activities?

"you rule" Valentines

How awesome are this year's Valentines for classmates?  

Sunday, February 10, 2013

easy entertaining + white bean-bacon dip with rosemary

This post is about an easy app.... but it's also about something else. A few months ago, my husband offhandedly announced that he was in charge of throwing the Y Guide "Squaw's Night" (aka: the annual couples gathering for his father-child group). Seriously? You volunteered?! I can't remember the last time we hosted a dinner party, let alone planned a large social gathering for people, some of whom I don't even know? Add in my nutrition coursework, a renovation project, lots of volunteer work, two kids, and the brewings of a business launch and.... "this is all you," I said. Now, for someone who likes to entertain, staying out of it was no easy feat. But, for the first time (probably ever), I did. And you know what? Everything went just fine. No, better than fine. 

Our house not being an option mid-renovation, he rented out a paddle hut, emailed everyone asking them to bring an appetizer and wine, and picked up a keg, plastic cups and paper goods... and that was it. No fretting about the menu. No renting a coat rack. No scurrying around before the guests arrived. No one noticed that the wine glasses were the size of Solo cups and the cocktail napkins were luncheon size (white no less, no pattern to coordinate with the theme... or maybe he was cleverer than I, seeing as how we all had to park in snow drifts after Nemo had blown through the night before?)...Anyway, the party was perfect, and not because of anything I did. Whenever the need to micromanage or over-plan arises, I must remember this soiree. 

So, I know I promised a bunch of you the appetizer recipe, after teasing you with a photo on the FB page. It's easy and everyone loved it, so I hope you do too... 

White Bean-Bacon-Rosemary Dip
(makes about 3 cups)

two 15 oz can cannelloni (white) beans, drained and rinsed
a few sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves removed from stem
1 lemon, zested and juiced
6 pieces of bacon, cooked 
3-4 cloves garlic
2 Tablespoons olive oil
salt & pepper

In a Cuisinart, combine all ingredients and pulse until desired consistency. Serve with veggies, crackers or chips of your choice.

To assemble 36 phyllo cups of dip (pictured above and below):
about 2 cups of dip (save the rest for after school snacks...)
3 packages of Athenos phyllo cups (heated 5 minutes at 350 to crisp them up)
2-3 fresh rosemary sprigs, leaves removed
3-4 strips cooked bacon, rough chopped

Place a dollop of dip in each phyllo shell and top with a piece of bacon and a sprig of rosemary.