Farmer’s Market Friday:Spinach Omelet Stuffed with Herbed Goat Cheese and Roasted Tomatoes

I have been busting at the seams to share this recipe from “Homemade Summer”, a cookbook I received recently. This cookbook is full of delicious seasonal summer recipes like fresh herb salads, preserved lemons, and fig ice pops . I am in  love with the hilarious illustrations and photography in this sweet cookbook.

In . love.

I knew I would have to use some of my Farmer’s Market cherry tomatoes and spinach for this one.

homemade summer

This Spinach Omelet with Roasted Tomatoes and Herbed Goat Cheese is  the perfect brunch recipe for summer, and since you can make it ahead of time and chill it, it makes an absolutely stunning dish to take to a party or shower! Who would ever think to roll up an egg omelet into a beautiful savory, pinwheel? The result is phenomal. (Sidenote: I was not planning on blogging about this, so I took a few hurried pics with my iphone on Mother’s Day before it was devoured….not my best photography here, ok?) Sidenote #2: I messed with the recipe a bit and made substitutions to make it my own.

spinach  omelet 2

 

 

It sounds a little scary, but I was completely amazed  by how easily this recipe came together. The trick is to break this recipe up into 2 days.

On day one, you will roast these plump, tart cherry tomatoes until they are caramelized and sweet as sin. You will want to pop every one into your mouth once you pull them out of the oven. I am warning you, friends. I roast tomatoes often in the summer, and store them in the refrigerator in a jar of olive oil for a quick addition to pizzas, pastas, salads and sandwiches.  But I usually end up eating half of the roasted tomatoes right out of the oven…

tomatoes

 

On day two, you will assemble the pinwheel omelet portion of the recipe .

tomatoes on omelet

Serve this omelet with some toast points, biscuits or blueberry muffins  for a beautiful brunch. Mimosas are recommended, too.

omelet breakfast

mimosas

 

Spinach Omelet Stuffed with Roasted Tomatoes and Herbed Goat Cheese

Serves 8
Prep time 1 hour, 30 minutes
Cook time 3 hours, 12 minutes
Total time 4 hours, 42 minutes
This rolled up spinach omelet with herbed goat cheese and roasted tomatoes is a beautiful addition to any brunch.

Ingredients

  • 20 cherry tomatoes (sliced in half)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 14oz spinach
  • 5 eggs, whites separated from yolks in separate bowls
  • 1/2 cup chives, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons thyme, chopped
  • 2/3 cups ricotta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons self-rising flour
  • 4oz goat cheese
  • 4oz cream cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ricotta cheese

Directions

Step 1
Day One: Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Toss the halved tomatoes with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and minced garlic. Spread out on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 3 hours, stirring once each hour.
Step 2
Store roasted tomatoes in a jar filled with olive oil
Step 3
Day Two: Separate eggs into 2 bowls, whites in one, yolks in the other. Blanch spinach in boiling water for 10 seconds and then drain. Squeeze out as much water as you can from the spinach.
Step 4
In the large bowl of a food processor, combine the 1 T ricotta, spinach, egg yolks, pinch of salt and process for 1 minute, until spinach is chopped into homogenous tiny pieces.
Step 5
Meanwhile, whip your room temperature eggwhites on high with a hand or stand mixer in a clean metal bowl , until they form stiff peaks. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Step 6
Fold the egg white mixture into the spinach mixture carefully.
Step 7
Now, spread the spinach mixture with a knife on a rectangular cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake 12 minutes.
Step 8
While this is cooling, beat together the ricotta, goat cheese and cream cheese in a medium bowl. Add in chopped herbs. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Step 9
Spread the cheese mixture onto the flat spinach omelet while it is still in the pan. Press the roasted tomatoes into the cheese mixture. Carefully begin to roll the short end up towards the other end.
Step 10
With seam side, down , chill for at least 20-30 minutes covered in plastic wrap. Serve or leave it in the fridge well-covered for up to 24 hours.

Easter festivities

Easter, Passover, Springtime. Whatever you are doing or celebrating this weekend, you can still make these fun treats! Get the kids involved in this project or make these just because you want an excuse to have fun in the kitchen.

cookie nest close-up

I baked these precious sugar cookie nests for our new neighbors. Ok, actually they have been our neighbors for 3 months now and my lazy butt has not met everyone yet….slacker.

I learned a few lessons in the kitchen making these. Read:I failed miserably on the first go-around.

Lesson #1:You cannot miniaturize the nests by using a mini muffin tin. It. won’t. work. The mini nests will turn into muffins, not  nest- shapes. Oops. Use a full-sized muffin tin or  you can just make simple round cookies like the ones below. If you are short on time, these cookies are the way to go. You could use a store-bought sugar cookie dough to save time, but you know I would never advocate such a thing. psshhh.

cookie nests

Lesson #2: Lock up your dogs so they don’t swipe the sticks of butter off of  the counter.

Ok, now that I just saved you from trying those bright ideas, let me give you another idea to celebrate the season!

Natural egg dyes.

Why not use what you have in the fridge and avoid those unnatural dyes?

Onion peels from both red and white onions, beets, greens, carrots,  and turmeric can create such rustic and gorgeous dyed eggs.

Have you ever seen an herb-stenciled egg?  I was planning to make mine herb-stenciled  and then realized it requires pantyhose. Who the heck wears those anyway in this day and age?

Happy Easter and Happy Springtime, Friends,

Lydia

Sugar Cookie Bird Nests

Ingredients

  • 2 batches of your favorite sugar cookie dough(or make your own with this recipe)
  • 1 bag dark chocolate chips (12 oz)
  • 1 bag sweetened, shredded coconut
  • 10 drops green food coloring
  • 1 bag M&M eggs or other small candy egg

Sugar cookie dough

  • 1.5 cups butter, room temperature
  • 3 eggs (room temperature)
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 4.5 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt

Directions

Step 1
Make your homemade sugar cookies -see steps 6-10! If you are using a pre-made dough, follow step 10 and bake your cookies. Meanwhile, melt the bag of chocolates in the microwave slowly, stirring every 30 seconds, or in a double boiler over the stove.
Step 2
Let the chocolate cool . Place bag of coconut in a bowl, and dye the shredded coconut with the food coloring. Stir until coconut is green.
Step 3
Let the sugar cookies cool and then spread the surface(or base of nest) with a neat, circle of melted chocolate. Drop one spoonful of coconut "grass" onto the chocolate and cover the chocolate patches with coconut. Repeat for all the cookies.
Step 4
Dip the very tip of the bottom of a candy egg in the chocolate. Place the chocolate end of the egg onto the coconut nest on the cookie. Place 1 more egg onto the nest after dipping it in chocolate. Repeat with all the cookies.
Step 5
Let the cookies sit at room temperature for a few hours to let the chocolate dry and the eggs set on the "grass".
Sugar cookie dough
Step 6
Beat together the softened butter and sugar with a mixer until fluffy.
Step 7
Beat in eggs 1 at a time.
Step 8
In another bowl combine dry ingredients(flour, salt, baking powder).
Step 9
Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Add vanilla.
Step 10
Drop balls of 2T of dough onto a greased cookie sheet. Or alternatively(if you want cookie nests) roll out the cookie dough 1/8 inch thick. Cut out circles of dough with a biscuit cutter ( 4-5 inch diameter circles of dough) and press these into greased muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-12 minutes or until they are slightly browned.

 

Light Egg Salad Sandwiches

Lately I have been so tired of the same old lunch items: avocado sandwich, veggie burger pita, or leftovers. I needed something different this week.

Eggs to the rescue!

I don’t usually eat eggs for lunch, but realize they are an  even more frugal, muscle-building  alternative to  lunch  meats or cheese.

We don’t keep lunch meat in the house, so lately I have been reaching for the eggs for a quick meal. Yes, egg salad smells eggy, and your coworkers might turn up their noses at your egg sandwich but who cares? Enjoy it.

egg salad

I realize mayonnaise is not exactly healthy, but now that you can buy the kind made with olive oil and no corn syrup, a dollop here or there is not so bad.

This egg salad incorporates fresh plain Greek yogurt, boiled eggs, some olive oil mayo, and….a secret ingredient.

Tofu.

And it is delicious, y’all.

Remember tofu takes on the flavor of most anything you add it to, so some chopped tofu is really just a protein-packed filler to make the eggs go further and lower the fat content.

Although, more and more studies are showing no correlation  between eggs and cholesterol, so enjoy your fat in the yolks.

I don’t think I’ll be eating anything but this at lunch-time for a while. I apologize in advance to my coworkers, but they tempt me all day with donuts and pizza so this is just payback.

The chickens were intrigued while I was photographing the sandwich, so it was difficult to get a photo that did not have a chicken eyeing my sandwich.

Did you make that with MY eggs?-says Sage the chicken

“Did you make that with MY eggs?”-says Sage the chicken

Right now I have some “healthy” flourless blondies in the oven, and if they are not a complete disaster, I will share soon.

Light Egg Salad Sandwiches

Serves 8
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 15 minutes
Allergy Egg, Soy
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish, Salad
Misc Serve Cold, Serve Hot
This lighter twist on herbed egg salad has a secret ingredient!

Ingredients

  • 1 dozen eggs
  • 1 block extra firm tofu, drained but not pressed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil mayonnaise
  • 2-3 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
  • 1.5 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh dill, chopped (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion, rinsed
  • toasted wheat sandwich bread or ciabatta
  • spinach for garnish

Note

To lighten this recipe, leave out half of the eggs yolks (after the eggs are boiled)!

Also, you can serve this egg salad on top of salad greens with a balsamic dressing for an even healthier and lighter meal.

Directions

Step 1
Bring a pot of water to a boil, and place the eggs in the water. Turn the heat to low and cover for 10 minutes.
Step 2
After 10 minutes, pour out the hot water, rinse the eggs in cold water, and fill the pot with cold water and 1-2 cups of ice.
Step 3
In 5-10 minutes, start peeling the eggs.(The cold should make the egg shrink from the peel).
Step 4
Meanwhile place your tofu in a medium-sized bowl and smash with a fork. Toss in all of the boiled eggs and mash, mash , mash it all together.
Step 5
Add in other ingredients.
Step 6
Serve atop toasted bread.

 

 

 

 

Carb-Loading Peruvian Style

Besides bringing back a nasty rash on my face and arms from Peru, I brought with me plenty of knowledge about Peruvian food, and items like quinoa, a bag of Lydia-made chocolates, some delicious jam of Andes -mountain wild berries, a tea made of the husks of the cacao bean, and some dried peppers and spices.It was worth the  attention we received from US Customs in the Miami Airport.

I planned on making a few of our favorite dishes when I got home,  and finally after a month, I have a new  recipe for you to try! They call it “cuy”.

I call it a large rat….and someone’s  pet…Just kidding, we are not making cuy on here, people.

Let’s talk about Aji de Gallina now, which is much more pleasant than cuy.

A couple weeks ago, I finally had some time to tinker with this  Peruvian recipe using the Peruvian pepper powder, aji amarillo.

Runners and active peeps, listen up, because this recipe is carb-heavy and low on fiber, which in our case is a good thing the night before a race. Usually, I am enthusiastic about stuffing myself with as much fiber as possible , but the night before a race or long run,   us running-folk stay away from fibrous foods and need to load up on simple carbs .

2BlueEgg’s version of Aji de Gallina

 

This dish is delicious, with a  slightly spicy chicken cream sauce over rice with a side of potatoes, boiled egg, and garnished with black olives.

You can make this with dried chile pepper powder or any dried pepper powder, but it is traditionally made with a ground yellow , fairly mild pepper called aji amarillo.

This recipe is simple and makes a huge amount, so you can eat on it all week if you have a marathon coming up or simply eat it, unbutton your pants and chill on the couch watching Seasons 1 and 2  of Downton Abbey, no marathons required.

I created this version on my own after learning it from both my cousins’ Peruvian cook in Argentina  and from a restaurant in Peru. Mine uses white bread, but I think I prefer it using saltines.

I ate this dish the night before my twenty mile run , and it certainly did its’ magic, because I had  a perfect long run and felt energized all day afterward. Let’s hope it and a pasta diner 2 nights before the race will fuel 26.2 miles !

 

Aji de Gallina

Serves 8-10
Prep time 24 hours
Cook time 1 hour
Total time 25 hours
Allergy Milk, Tree Nuts
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Freezable, Pre-preparable, Serve Hot
Try this chicken dish for a change from typical chicken and rice. Aji amarillo pepper, eggs, olives, chicken, potatoes, and rice combine to make one flavor-packed Peruvian meal.

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken (whole)
  • 4-5 tablespoons chopped kalamata olives
  • 6 cups white rice (cooked)
  • 1lb golden potatoes
  • 4 boiled eggs
  • 7 slices of white bread
  • 1.5 cups fat-free evaporated milk
  • 6T walnuts (chopped finely)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 large onions (chopped)
  • 4 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 3 tablespoons aji amarillo powder or chile powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1-2 cup chicken broth or stock

Note

A Dairy Free version:You could replace the evaporated milk in this recipe with almond milk, and replace the cheese with nutritional yeast.

If you have no white bread:A couple sleeves of saltines would substitute well.

Directions

Step 1
Bake your chicken in the oven ahead of time or even 1 day before at 375 degrees until the juices run clear.
Step 2
Once chicken is cool, remove all meat from bones and chop it.
Step 3
Meanwhile, saute your onion at high heat, then medium heat until nearly caramelized(should be brown). Boil your potatoes until fork tender and set aside.
Step 4
Toss in the chopped garlic to the onion mixture and saute for 2 minutes. Then deglaze the pan with 1/2 cup of chicken broth.
Step 5
Stir in the pepper powder
Step 6
Soak the bread in another dish in the evaporated milk for 5 minutes, then tear it up into small pieces
Step 7
Add the bread and rest of the milk to the onion mixture.
Step 8
Stir for 1 minute, then transfer to a blender or food processor until pureed.
Step 9
Return to the pan on low heat, and add another 1/2 cup of chicken broth or more, depending on how thick you want the sauce.
Step 10
Keep it hot, and add the chicken pieces. Warm on low to medium heat just until chicken is hot.
Step 11
Serve immediately over rice. Garnish with boiled potatoes, sliced boiled egg, and kalamata olives!

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Frittata

Ahhhh, summer in Savannah.

Tybee Island July 4th

beach days, sangria , guacamole, bumper crops of tomatoes, eggplant, peppers,  squash, fresh watermelon juice,  perusing the farmer’s market, waking up 6 days a week at 5:00 a.m. to squeeze in a workout before it hits 90 degrees, and melting in an  old house that won’t dip below 80 degrees

 

It has its pluses and minuses.

 

One of the pluses is creating recipes that do not require an oven. I love coming home, warming up charcoals on the grill, tossing on some veggies and burgers and keeping the kitchen oven OFF( in addition to making milkshakes and eating ice cream, but let’s stick to HEALTHY today, shall we?)

An influx of 5  pounds of tomatoes out of the garden, as well as a potluck with 150 hungry runners called for only one thing: frittata.

I  turned the oven on and sipped my ice cold green tea while the temperature in my house reached 89 degrees. But it was worth it.

The picture below does not do it justice because it was snapped with my phone as I was rushing around trying to label food before the runners arrived.Sorry:-( I wasn’t going to even post it, but you need to see what a frittata looks like, don’t you?

You may opt to leave off the fancy blue labels that I like to call sticky notes, but it adds to the overall charm. ‘Twas my last-minute idea, obviously.

For those of you who whine, “Eating healthy is so expensive“. Observe.

Eggs: free-range $5 or free if you have your own chickens= $0

Tomatoes grown at your house=$0

1 bag frozen spinach=$2

fresh thyme from your garden=$0

6-8 oz Feta cheese=$3.50

salt and pepper=$0 (Let’s hope  you have that in your house already.ok?)

water from the sink=$0

 

Total cost if you have your own eggs & tomatoes: $5.50, cost per serving ~$1.10

Now go start planting your own mini garden!

I leave you with an a recent , incredibly interesting blog post from my favorite healthy eating blogger Sarah B at My New Roots on the little known  health  benefits of eggs. Egg yolks can improve your vision,too, and we could all use more foods to keep peepers peepin’! Sarah’s article will encourage you to put the egg-white fad to rest and jump on the egg-yolk bandwagon again. If you want to lighten it because you are concerned about calories, replace 1/2 of the yolks with an additional 6 egg whites.

Enjoy, friends. (Excuse the Instagram, less- than -perfect  photos today. …)

 

Summer Veggie Frittata

Serves 4-5
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 55 minutes
Allergy Egg
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Breakfast
Misc Freezable, Serve Cold, Serve Hot
A summery, colorful, and cheap frittata recipe.

Ingredients

  • 8oz feta cheese
  • 1 2 eggs, free range is possible
  • 1/2 cup plain almond milk or milk
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes (sliced in half)
  • 1 bag bag of frozen chopped spinach
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme (chopped finely)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • .5 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

Step 1
Scramble all the eggs in a large bowl until combined and yolks are mixed well.
Step 2
Season with salt and pepper.
Step 3
Add in milk,crumbled feta, spinach and thyme. Stir until combined.
Step 4
Pout mixture into a greased, 9 by 13 inch pan.
Step 5
Sprinkle the cherry tomato halves over the mixture evenly.
Step 6
Bake at 350 degrees until entire mixture puffs up and the center is not runny or moving when you shake the pan. approximately 30-45 minutes. It will vary.