Easy, healthy, sometimes indulgent recipes

Archive: Dec 2015

Egg White Omelet

It is finally Christmas Eve and guests are set to arrive soon. This is such an exciting time of the year, but with all the Holiday parties, cookie swaps it is an eating fest.  I am always in this “in between” place, looking to have something light and healthy and also ready to start making the big Holiday dishes.  I decided to start the day with this easy, vegetable egg white omelet.

Egg White Omelet
I finished my grocery shopping for the big day so in an attempt to avoid the craziness at the grocery store, I pulled out a few things that I had both in my garden and in my fridge.
My items on hand are baby spinach (one of the two things growing in my winter garden), egg whites, portobello mushrooms and feta cheese.  I could write several pages about how much I love feta cheese, but I’ll hold back on that. It may seem too crazy.  It may be too early in this blog to reveal the deep love of feta cheese.  I especially love feta cheese mixed with eggs but I think it is even better with egg whites because a little goes a long way. Egg whites which can be very bland and they get transformed by the salty, bold flavor of feta.

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Spinach Lasagna Rolls

This is an old recipe for lasagna rolls that I have been making for so many years that I have lost count.  The original inspiration for this recipe actually came from the first cookbook I ever owned. I received a Pasta Light cookbook from my sister in law when I was a freshman in college.  I used that book so much that none if it is even legible, but some of the recipes I either memorized and most often used as an inspiration for a new recipe.  These rolls are an example of that inspiration.  This has all of the flavors of lasagna but it is not as heavy and it is quicker to make. These rolls work well as a make ahead meal because they can be prepped, stuffed, rolled and either frozen for later use or simply refrigerated and paired with sauce, then baked that evening. You can also use your favorite marinara recipe or use jarred sauce in place of the sauce that this recipe calls for.  I typically make my marinara in large batches and will often use that instead of what is in this recipe, but this works in a pinch because the sauce is part of the dish.  What I love about this dish is that it is so easily customizable. It can easily be made gluten-free by using gluten-free lasagna noodles. In this recipe, I am using whole grain lasagna noodles, but whatever you have on hand works just fine. Additionally, the ham can be omitted for an amazing meat free dish.

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Basic Dinner Rolls

Nothing speaks of comfort at home like fresh bread baking in the oven. I always bake rolls or any type of bread last so when everyone is walking towards the dining table, they are welcomed by that amazing aroma. I associate this with home because I grew up in a city covered in small bakeries.  It is hard to describe how amazing it is to walk down the street, on a cold, dreary evening and have your day brightened by a mix of savory and sweet baked goods spread through the streets.  I like replicating that kind of an experience when I can and especially during Holiday season. I  have also realized that the easiest way to feed a crowd is to have the oven do the work and just churn out the fresh goods. Isn’t it true that everything tastes so much better when there is a basket of warm bread or rolls on the table?

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Pecan Pie with Bourbon Spiked Cream

Easy and light pecan pie perfect for a casual fall evening or a big Holiday gathering.

pecan pie

It is impossible to have any kind of Holiday gathering in my family and not have pecan pie. It is not tied to just Thanksgiving.  Any Holiday is  an excuse to have this pie.  Sometimes this pie is requested at birthdays.  One half of my international family did not grow up or even taste pecan pie until well into their adulthood.  In my family, it  is considered the queen of all pies.  When I was growing up,  our dessert was baklava that my grandmother carefully hand-made, and by hand-made I mean every layer was made from scratch.  I think on some level flavors in  pecan pie are a distant cousin to her baklava that none of us can ever make just right.  My parents have come close, but I have not.  So for now, I settle for making a pecan pie and it seems to make everyone happy.  Over the years, I have made variations that have chocolate. Anyone who knows me, knows that I never turn down chocolate, but in this case, I prefer this pie in its original form.  While I have tasted some amazing pecan chocolate  combinations, there is something special in the simplicity and boldness that pecans bring to this dessert. It is almost as if the chocolate overwhelms the pecans so I just keep it simple. Who knows though, maybe I just didn’t make the pecan chocolate combination correctly?

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