Saturday, April 26, 2014

simple spring asparagus with olive oil fried eggs

Spring is finally here in the Northeast, and organic asparagus is popping up in the produce section. 

Pair that with me wrapping up Mark Hyman MD's 10-Day-Detox, making a real effort to eat super healthfully and fill my plate with nourishing whole foods, and you've got my recent favorite: olive oil fried eggs over broiled asparagus. 

The recipe is quick and easy… but not one my children have warmed up to yet. So, on nights when I want this for dinner, I pull one of my homemade freezer meals out for them, like baked taquitos, chili, or power green pesto.

When my husband first saw me making this he announced that "there's no way I am eating all of that asparagus" and "is that all we are having?".

Note that he later proclaimed the meal, "really good" and "more filling than I thought it would be". 

The trick is to get really good eggs. If you have chickens or a farm near you, lucky you. I don't, but I did find Happy Eggs at our local market… and they happened to have a deal where you got 1/2 dozen eggs if you bought some amount of groceries, making dinner almost free! {Except for the exorbitant bag of speciality foods I purchased in order to get the free eggs… this is the sort of logic that drives my husband nuts.}

Anyway, back to our simple springtime recipe. You can absolutely roast/broil the asparagus ahead of time. I did this earlier in the afternoon when I was waiting on the school bus, then I just left it out on the counter {at room temp} so it was good to go when I came home from baseball, tennis and tae kwon do chauffeuring. 

When we got home, I warmed about 1 1/2 - 2 Tablespoons olive oil over medium heat and fried the eggs until the whites were fully set, and the yolks would still be runny. {You can fry your eggs longer if you don't like the yolks runny. Of course, be mindful if salmonella is of concern to you.}

I served our eggs and asparagus with a side of the pickled red onion that I had leftover from Day 1's dinner from the 10 Day Detox (which was Roasted Salmon with the Onion Relish; that's my amazon affiliate link). If you're not doing the detox and/or don't have any of the relish leftover, you could also serve it with some jarred artichoke tapenade, a sprinkling of shredded Parmesan, some lemon zest, or crumbled cooked bacon. Or you could just serve them as is. If you leave your yolks a little runny they become a decadent sauce over the asparagus. 

Olive Oil Fried Eggs over Asparagus
(serves 2 as an entree)

  • 1 1/2 lbs asparagus (usually 1 large bunch)
  • olive oil
  • 4 eggs
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • optional accompaniment(s): pickled onions, artichoke tapenade, lemon zest, Parmesan, bacon

Snap the tough bottom end of asparagus spears. Line them up, single layer, on a lightly oiled rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle asparagus with sea salt and pepper. Broil until asparagus is tender and lightly charred, about 6-8 minutes, shaking tray and/or flipping asparagus at halfway point. Asparagus can be made ahead, and served room temp, or chilled. Divide asparagus between two plates.

In a fry pan, warm olive oil over medium heat. Crack eggs into pan, sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, and cover for about 2 minutes. Remove lid, and continue to cook eggs until whites are completely set and yolk is set to desired firmness. (For runny yolks, this will be another 2-3 minutes… longer if you want your yolks set too.) Transfer two eggs per plate, placed on top of your asparagus. Drizzle with cooking oil, if you'd like. Serve with pickled onions, or any other choice of accompaniment for extra flavor, or simply enjoy as is.  Enjoy for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

another rave review… and more bonus hours to relish

Shhh… it's been quieter than normal around here because I've been doing a little digital detox while I am treating myself to round two of Dr. Hyman's 10 Day Detox {if you're curious about my first experience, click here}. But, I just had to pop on to share a recent rave review of my Stock Your Freezer in a Snap Program.

Trust me when I say that having a stocked freezer is the key to happiness when spring sports roll around. Last night, after a back-to-back school baseball game, then a town baseball team practice {and a wildly exciting tour of various playgrounds for my younger child}, I put some of our frozen "Power Pesto" into play. The kids had decadent Power Pesto Grilled Cheeses and my husband and I had {detox-friendly} baked cod {which I defrosted before heading out to the games} with a nice thick crust of this pesto. Both baked while homework was getting done and I was restoring order to the laundry room {not the sexiest use of my "bonus hour", but a necessary one}. Anyway, delish. And it sure beats take-out.

Want to learn how to make a big batch and freeze it too? I walk you, step-by-step, through shopping, cooking, freezing and thawing nourishing meals, like this Power Pesto, in my Stock Your Freezer in a Snap Program.

For a limited time, my Stock Your Freezer in a Snap Program is being offered at 50% off, to encourage even more moms to give it a try! Click here to find out more, and to order the instantly downloadable program that wins rave reviews.

P.S. No, that's not cod. That's Chicken with a Pesto Crust. In my haste to fold something like 14 loads of laundry, I forgot to take a photo of our Pesto Crusted Cod. But, the next time we make it {since it will definitely stay in the spring rotation being so easy and delicious} I'll try to remember to snap a pic for you all.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

ahh, those "bonus hours". bliss, i tell you.

photo credit:  Real Mom Nutrition

OK, so I am not the only one who swoons when dinner is figured out simply by opening my freezer door. Check out what Real Mom Nutrition had to say about my "Stock Your Freezer in a Snap" program.

Oh, and she's giving away a copy too, so head over there and see if this is your lucky week!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Baked Eggs and Sausage in Hash Brown Cups

This winter, I mastered the art of the make-ahead breakfast. Each and every week, I did a few minutes of  cooking on Friday, and reaped the rewards of leisurely mornings on Saturday and Sunday. OK, truth be told, we were hustling everyone onto the ski mountain by 8am, so the mornings weren't really relaxing per se, but knowing breakfast was taken care of {not to mention, delicious and nourishing}, made these family ski weekend mornings much more fun.

This was one of the family favs. Made with just 3 ingredients, these are a keeper. Click here for the recipe. 

First, you spray 12 muffin cups with your choice of cooking oil spray, then press thawed hash browns {that you have squeezed as much water out of as possible} into the base and up the sides of each cup. Sprinkle each has brown cup with salt & pepper. Pop the tin into a 375 oven for about 30 minutes, or until the potato cups are crisp.

You'll see that the potatoes "shrunk" a bit. That's totally fine.

Simply top each potato cup with a few slices of sausages. We like Applegate's Chicken-Apple or Chicken Maple ones.

Next, crack a medium egg in each cup. I say medium because if you try to fit a large or jumbo sized egg it'll probably overflow the muffin cup… not a big deal, but it's kind of messy. I mean, if you can avoid trying to catch slimy egg whites as they roll off the muffin tin all over your counter, you might as well…

Then the muffin tin goes back into the oven for about 10-15 minutes for soft-set eggs and 16-18 minutes for hard-set eggs. Gently run a butter knife around each egg cup to remove it from the tin, and serve them warm.

I typically made them hard-set because then they became a breakfast you could pick up with your hands. And when you're 7, that is wildly exciting.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

{Kid-Pleasing} Spinach Tomato Gnocchi Soup aka "Sure-I'll-Join-You-In-The-Yard-For-A-Glass-Of-Wine-Because-Dinner-Will-Only-Take-A-Few-Minutes-To-Make" Soup


This soup could be called: "It's--Finally-Spring-in-CT-So-We-Are-Out-And-About-But-It's-Still-Nippy-Soup-Weather" Soup.

Or, it could be called: "Sure-I'll-Join-You-In-The-Yard-For-A-Glass-Of-Wine-Because-Dinner-Will-Only-Take-A-Few-Minutes-To-Make" Soup.

Or: "Spinach-Tomato-Gnocchi" Soup. Whatever you want to call it, my kids loved it. My husband loved it. And I loved it…. especially since it went from grocery bag to table in less than :30 minutes.

"Sure-I'll-Join-You-In-The-Yard-For-A-Glass-Of-Wine-Because-This-Spinach-Tomato-Gnocchi-Soup-That-Everyone-Loves-Will-Only-Take-A-Few-Minutes-To-Make" Soup
{makes 8 servings}

2 T olive oil
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
6 cubes Dorot frozen garlic OR 6 cloves or garlic, chopped
6 cubes Dorot frozen basil OR 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil 
15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
11 oz organic baby spinach
1/2 cup roasted {or sun-dried} tomatoes in olive oil*
2 quarts organic chicken or veggie broth
16 oz package gnocchi 
optional: 2 T cooked and crumbled bacon {good if you have leftovers from breakfast}

In a large pot or Dutch oven, sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil until the onion is lightly browned, 3-5 minutes. Add all other ingredients and bring to a rapid simmer. Simmer soup until spinach is wilted and gnocchi is cooked, which only takes a few minutes. Serve warm. You're welcome! 

The soup will freeze nicely, though you may want to wait to add the gnocchi if you are making a big batch. Just keep the gnocchi on hand, and add it when you are heating up a batch.

*These were the tomatoes I used. Handy to have a ginormous jar of these in my fridge to pop into various recipes…

Oh, and P.S. it's delicious with a drizzle of sriracha over the top.