Spinach and Feta Quinoa Quiche

Good Morning, friends!  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  I can’t wait to share this Meatless Monday recipe with you!  Before I do that, I have to admit that while I’ve shared a few Meatless Monday recipes already, I’ve always wondered, who started it?  I decided to do some googling, and found that “Meatless Monday” started during WWI as a way to get citizens to conserve for the war effort.  It started up again in WWII for the same reason, and then was brought back in 2003 as the healthy initiative we know it as today.  Pretty cool, right?

us food admin 1

Anyway, today’s recipe fits right into the new “Meatless Monday” campaign.  It’s vegetarian, healthy, and really tasty!  Also, I think that having a warm breakfast is such a treat, especially this time of the year.  It’s only just begun, but I’m already way over waking up and getting ready for work in the dark and cold.  How about you?

Although this quiche can be served room temp, Continue reading

Green Sunrise Smoothie

 

 

Green Sunrise Smoothie

photo 3

So, I know I promised that the next time I tried to do a green drank, I’d be brave and use Kale instead of Spinach… but this recipe just sounded too good to ruin!  I’m sorry!  I lied.  But it’s okay because now I have another awesome spinach smoothie recipe for you that is SO YUMMY.  I promise.  I actually think this is my favorite one.  Thank you, Rachael Ray!

And I guess I should warn you…

If you’re all like WHOA what is up with the super healthy green smoothie?!  I should definitely tell you that as of MONDAY, Dave and I are starting our back to healthy eating habits/lifestyle.  We had a few months off track and now we’re back on!  I made this yummy smoothie for us for breakfast and it will definitely be in our rotation.

Green Sunrise Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (fresh or frozen) Mango Chunks 
  • 1 Cucumber, peeled and seeded
  • 3/4 cup Apple Juice (I used organic, no sugar added)
  • 1/2 cup (packed) Baby Spinach
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh Mint Leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh Lemon Juice (I used 1 packet True Lemon)

Directions:

1.  Put ingredients in a blender and blend for two minutes until everything is combined.

Slightly adapted from Rachael Ray

Trader Joe's frozen fruit is my favorite.  It's so cheap too!

Trader Joe’s frozen fruit is my favorite. It’s so cheap too!

This stuff is awesome.  Dave's Mom introduced me to it years ago.. it's great to have in the pantry!

This stuff is awesome. Dave’s Mom introduced me to it years ago.. it’s great to have in the pantry!

sunshinesmoothie.jpg

 

Seared Scallops w/ Warm Tuscan Beans

I have literally been sitting here every day this week staring at this recipe trying to think of something creative to talk about.  There’s just  nothing up there.  I blame insurance.

For those of you who don’t know yet- I started a new career this summer.  I am now an insurance agent!  It’s going really well so far- I am so much happier than I used to be at my old job, I’m making money, helping people, on my own schedule working from home… it’s all good.  Except I’m losing my mind… well at least my creativity.

the cutest health insurance image out there

the cutest health insurance image out there

Don’t worry, I’m still eating and cooking up lots of good food.  I just don’t have the time or creativity to sit down and write about it for you!  BOO!  So anyway, forgive me.  Now take a minute to read about this really fabulous recipe that deserves a more interesting blog post than me telling you about my job.  It really does deserve more.  Sorry bout that scallops!

Seared Scallops w/ Warm Tuscan Beans

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
  • 3/4 lb Sea Scallops
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 cup Onion, chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup Dry White Wine
  • 1 cup Chicken Broth- fat free/low sodium
  • 1  can Cannellini Beans or other white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (6oz) package Baby Spinach
  • 2 tablespoons Fresh Basil, chopped

Directions:

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon  of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Rinse scallops and pat dry with a paper towel.  Sprinkle scallops evenly with salt. Add scallops to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until done.  Remove scallops from pan placing on a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
  2. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil and onion to pan; sauté 2 minutes. Add pepper and garlic; cook 20 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in wine; cook 1 minute or until most of liquid evaporates. Stir in broth and beans; cook 2 minutes. Add spinach; cook 1 minute or until spinach wilts. Remove from heat; stir in basil.
  3. The original recipe suggests dipping grilled garlic bread into the brothy beans.  (I garlic-ified leftover hamburger buns for us!)  Here is their recipe:  Heat a grill pan over medium heat. Brush 1 tablespoon olive oil evenly over 4 (1-ounce) slices French bread. Add bread to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Rub one side of each bread slice with cut sides of a halved garlic clove.

Recipe slightly adapted from:  Cooking Light

Pat the scallops dry then season with sea salt

Pat the scallops dry then season with sea salt

Sear the scallops in a hot pan with just a little bit of olive oil.  Don't touch them until you are ready to flip.  You'll get a nice crust like these have.

Sear the scallops in a hot pan with just a little bit of olive oil. Don’t touch them until you are ready to flip. You’ll get a nice crust like these have.

Beans, spinach... nice and brothy... yum!

Beans, spinach… nice and brothy… yum!

The finished product.  Don't forget some crusty garlic bread to dip!

The finished product. Don’t forget some crusty garlic bread to dip!

Scallops are such a treat for me- I absolutely love them.  This recipe was different from how I normally cook my scallops and both Dave and I really enjoyed the change.

Now- who needs health or life insurance?!  Maybe some extra business will help with my creativity 😉

Check out some of these other seafood recipes…

Crabcake Mac & Cheese

Crabcake Mac & Cheese

Clams w/ Israeli Couscous

Clams w/ Israeli Couscous

Seared Scallops & Shrimp w/ Creamy Linguine

Seared Scallops & Shrimp w/ Creamy Linguine

 

 

Tropical Green Smoothie

I’m new to this whole “green” obsession.  The green drinks, smoothies, Kale chips, etc.  I just can’t fully commit to it.  Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love green veggies but I just can’t get myself to remember to put kale in my smoothies or my zucchini in my brownies.  It just isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when I’m thinking with my sweet tooth.

It's not easy being green!

It’s not easy being green!

In my second or third attempt to jump on this green bandwagon, I made Dave and I smoothies for breakfast and finished them off with a pop of green.  And as it turns out, a little green will do the trick.  (It’s so pretty too!)  This one even got the good ol’ Dave Stamp of Approval so we might have to make this one a habit.

Tropical Green Smoothie

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

1 6oz contanier of Fat Free Plain Greek Yogurt

1-2 Cups Spinach

1/2-1 Banana 

1 cup Frozen Peaches

1/2 cup  Frozen Mango Chunks

1/4 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk

1 Tablespoon Ground Flax (optional)

Directions:  Place everything in a blender and let it whirl until smooth.  Garnish with some fresh peach if you’d like!

P1010905

P1010906

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Tropical Green Smoothie

My blender tends to get gunked up pretty often so if that happens, take a rubber scraper and try to mix it around.  Add more almond milk if it’s looking too thick.  The best part of it all is that your don’t taste any “green”!  The spinach flavor is completely covered by the sweet and tangy peaches and mango.  This smoothie is sweet, delicious, and packed with nutrients!

You could even be braver than I am and try this recipe with Kale?

 

 

Dak Bokkeum w/ Spinach (Korean Stewed Chicken)

com·fort food
noun
  • 1.  food that provides consolation or a feeling of well-being, typically any with a high sugar or other carbohydrate content and associated with childhood or home cooking.

What’s so great about comfort food is that it can really be anything.  It’s all personal.  Comfort food is about what makes YOU feel good.

It might be warm and gooey like home baked chocolate chip cookies.

It might be cheesy and creamy like a mac and cheese.

It could even be crispy and crunchy like deep fried chicken.

For my boyfriend Dave and I… comfort food is Asian Takeout.  Thai, Indian, Szechuan, or plain old Chinese… any type will do the trick.  It’s just so darn comforting.  Add some spice and you’ll probably make something that we’ll consider our “favorite meal ever”.  We just love the stuff.

I’m so excited to share this recipe with you not only because it’s delicious, but because I found it on a Cooking Light Comfort Food collection.  I couldn’t believe this was on there… right up our alley.  This unique Korean chicken dish is on the same list as some pretty soul-soothing recipes like Chicken Noodle Soup, Pot Roast, Meatloaf, and so many more.  It was just sitting there on the webpage screaming for me to make it.  So I did.

Dak Bokkeum w/ Spinach (Korean Stewed Chicken)

Recipe Makes:  4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup gochujang (Korean chile sauce)*
  • 1/4 cup (1/2-inch) slices green onion bottoms
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
  • 2 tablespoons minced peeled ginger
  • 2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch strips
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked short-grain white rice (I used Wegman’s Aztec Blend: Ancient Grains, Red Rice, Brown Rice, and Split Peas)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3/4 cup slices green onion tops
  • 1 (5-ounce) bag fresh baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Directions:

  1. Combine the first 8 ingredients in a large bowl. Stir in chicken. Cover and marinate 30 minutes.
  2. Cook the rice according to the package directions.
  3. While rice cooks, bring 1/3 cup water to a boil in a Dutch oven. Add chicken mixture; bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Uncover and simmer 10 minutes or until mixture thickens, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in green onion tops and spinach. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve with rice.

Recipe from:  Cooking Light 2012

*Note about Gochujang: Gochujangis an indispensable Korean sauce based on fermented soybeans and chiles. You’ll find it in Asian markets, or seek out Annie Chun’s brand, which is more widely available.  Or just use some Sriracha like I did!

**Note about serving size:  Dave and I like everything we eat to be super saucy.  This recipe above will make four servings.  I halved the chicken and the rice but kept the rest the same.  This way, there was a ton of spinach and extra sauce.  If you want to make four servings and have it be extra saucy like me… just double the sauce/marinade section.

Sweet lookin' marinade we've got here!  Whisk it up and add the chicken.

Sweet lookin’ marinade we’ve got here! Whisk it up and add the chicken.

What it looks like after a half hour.  Give it a good stir or two.

What it looks like after a half hour. Give it a good stir or two.

I really like Wegman's Ancient Grains blends.  They are hearty, healthy, and more interesting than boring old brown rice :)

I really like Wegman’s Ancient Grains blends. They are hearty, healthy, and more interesting than boring old brown rice 🙂

This recipe gets a few bonus points for asking me to use my dutch oven

This recipe gets a few bonus points for asking me to use my dutch oven

Ta-Da!!

Ta-Da!!

What was really exciting to me about this recipe is that it calls for Chicken Thighs.  This might seem normal to most people, but I have a hard time getting Dave to eat anything but white meat when it comes to chicken.  I decided to just go for it and the sauciness and sweet/spicy smell permeating through the house would convince him to eat it.  And it did.  And he liked it.  Go figure.

Now, what I want to know is what is your favorite comfort food?  Leave me a comment, I’d love to try some of your favorite feel-good recipes!  

Here are a few of my personal most comforting recipes on the blog so far…

Crabcake Mac & Cheese

Crabcake Mac & Cheese

Spicy Asian Chicken Noodle Soup

Spicy Asian Chicken Noodle Soup

Blue Cheese & Spinach Orzo

Blue Cheese & Spinach Orzo

BBQ Deviled Eggs

BBQ Deviled Eggs

Marin Joe’s Special

Forever ago, I was watching one of my Food Network shows when Tyler Florence introduced me to one of the best things he’s ever eaten:  The Marin Joe’s Special from Marin Joe’s in Corte Madera, CA.

He's sexy and he knows it!

He’s sexy and he knows it!

Seeing as I won’t be traveling to Corte Madera, CA anytime soon, I decided I had to try this one out myself.  It sounded so easy… “Hamburger, Spinach, Eggs”.  Three things I love to eat.

My grand idea of trying out my first recipe as seen on “Best Thing…” was spoiled when I told Dave the three simple starring ingredients.  What I got back was a different simple three words, “That. Sounds. Disgusting.”, and put the recipe back in my book of hundreds.  I forgot about good ole Marin Joe’s until one night during our “Lets not go food shopping and save money” week.  I had ground beef… a huge bag of spinach… and we always have a plethora of eggs.  Perfect.

And would you have guessed… Dave ended up loving it?  We both did!

This is an awesome recipe packed with protein from the beef and eggs and it even includes your veggies too!

Before you’re turned off by the eggs just like Dave was, let me reassure you, this doesn’t turn out to be scrambled eggs on top of a hamburger.  The eggs are mixed into the ground beef and turn into more of a thickener.  Eggs combine all of the other ingredients together and make it just deliciously rich.  Seriously, try it.

Marin Joe’s Special

Ingredients:

1lb Lean Ground Beef 

1/2 Onion, thinly sliced

1 clove of Garlic, thinly sliced or crushed

1 Jalapeno, seeded and sliced

1 bag Baby Spinach (or more!  I had a giant bag so I used a ton)

3 Eggs

1/4 cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese

Directions:

1.  Add ground beef to a large saute pan.  Chop into small pieces as it cooks.  Add the onion, jalapeno, and garlic.  Saute with the grease from the ground beef.  Season with Salt and Pepper to taste.  

2.  Once the beef is cooked through, pile on the raw spinach.  Mix into the meat and heat while stirring until the spinach becomes slightly wilted.  

3.  Stir the eggs together in a small bowl.  Once the spinach is slightly wilted, add the eggs to the pan.  Stir constantly until the eggs are completely mixed in and no longer runny.  If you stir it constantly- it won’t turn into scrambled eggs 🙂

4.  Serve in a bowl and top with Parmesan cheese.  

Recipe slightly adapted from:  Marin Joe’s Restaurant

Ground beef is sauteed and chopped up with the onion, garlic, jalapeno with salt and pepper.

Ground beef is sauteed and chopped up with the onion, garlic, jalapeno with salt and pepper.

I told you, I love spinach! This was during the time we had a giant 3lb bag from the Italian Market, so I def. used more than a normal 5oz bag.

I told you, I love spinach! This was during the time we had a giant 3lb bag from the Italian Market, so I def. used more than a normal 5oz bag.

Stir the spinach until it becomes slightly wilted, and then add the eggs.

Stir the spinach until it becomes slightly wilted, and then add the eggs.

In go the eggs!  Don't be afraid :)

In go the eggs! Don’t be afraid 🙂

Anything topped with fresh parm is okay in my book...

Anything topped with fresh parm is okay in my book…

See how good this looks?!  It was the perfect speedy dinner after a long run in the neighborhood.  And I do have to say, I can very much appreciate a one-pan dinner every once in a while!

Take a bite!

Take a bite!

Take a peek at these other recipes I’ve tried from the Food Network:

Blue Cheese n Spinach Orzo from Robert Irvine

Blue Cheese n Spinach Orzo from Robert Irvine

BBQ Deviled Eggs from the Neely's

BBQ Deviled Eggs from the Neely’s

Chicken in Peanut Sauce from Mexican Made Easy

Chicken in Peanut Sauce from Mexican Made Easy

 

 

Spinach-Artichoke Lasagna & April SRC Reveal

I am so excited to share this recipe with you for this month’s Secret Recipe Club Reveal day.  This is the FIRST Lasagna I’ve ever made!  I was really nervous but it turned out to be perfectly creamy, cheesy, and delicious.

The Secret Recipe Club (secretly) pairs bloggers up with each other every month.  We can pick ANY recipe that our assigned blogger has ever made, take it and try to make it ourselves.  Everyone reveals their partner and the recipe on the same day so we can all see what has been made!  This is the third month I’ve participated and I love it.  It’s a great way to meet new bloggers, try new recipes, and get others to try yours too!

This month, I was given the assignment to try a recipe from Holly who is the amazing woman behind the blog PheMOMenon (adorable).  Holly has three kids and the cutest Bulldog puppy, I don’t know how she does it all!  I enjoyed reading her story including how she met her husband-  he was her instructor on her very first skydive… love it!

After browsing so many recipes, I finally had to pick The Spinach Artichoke Crab Dip inspired Lasagna.  While her original recipe sounds so outrageously tasty, I couldn’t cough up enough dough on this week’s shopping trip to buy good crabmeat… so I left that out.  I also didn’t make the full size since I was only feeding three for dinner.  What I ended up with was an amazingly cheesy, creamy, absolutely fabulous lasagna recipe that I am going to make again VERY soon.  WOW!

I do have to thank Holly not only for the recipe but for the boost of confidence she gave me when her post warned me not to be discouraged by the “béchamel” I’d be making.  It was so easy.  Also, I loved her diagram of the lasagna… so cute.

Spinach-Artichoke Lasagna

Recipe slightly adapted from:  PheMOMenon

Ingredients**:

For the béchamel:

3 cups 2% Milk
6 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
1 Shallot, chopped very fine
4 cloves Garlic, minced or chopped very fine
1/4 cup AP Flour
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
1 teaspoon freshly Ground Black Pepper
1/4 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
1 12oz package shredded Cheese- Italian/Pizza mix or Mozzarella, divided (about 2 cups for the sauce and another cup for the topping) 

For the Filling:
1 lb package Frozen Chopped Spinach, thawed and drained/squeezed dry (I used fresh spinach, cooked it, and then drained and chopped)
1 12-oz jar Marinated Artichoke, drained and chopped into small pieces 

For the Lasagna:

1 box Barilla Oven Ready Lasagne Noodles 

Directions:

1.  Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 9x13x3 inch pan with Cooking Spray and set aside.  

2.  Place a dutch oven or large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the butter and melt completely. Add shallots and garlic to the butter and cook for 3 minutes until softened.

3.  (Make the Bechemel! Key here is whisking) Add the flour to the pan and cook while whisking for 3 minutes. Slowly add the milk while continuing to whisk. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 5-7 minutes or until a little bubbly and slightly thickened (the cheese will make it a lot thicker, it will be more of a gravy-like consistency at this point). Whisk in the salt, pepper and red pepper if using.

4.  Remove the pan from the heat and add all but about 1 cup of the shredded cheese.  Stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is thick and smooth.  (You’re going to want to go swimming in this stuff at this point.  OMG)  Stir in the drained/dried chopped spinach, chopped artichokes and stir to combine.

5.  I had 15 sheets of Lasagna in my box.  I did mine with 4 layers of sauce, 3 layers of noodles (slightly overlapping), and 1 layer of cheese.  

Order:  Sauce – Noodle – Sauce – Noodle – Sauce – Noodle – Sauce – CHEESE!

6.  Cover the baking dish with foil.  Bake for 50 minutes, then remove the foil and let bake for another 10-15 min to brown the top a bit, depending on how you like it.  Remove the pan and let it rest for 5 minutes or so before serving.  

**Pay attention!**  The original recipe was for two lasagnas which would be way too much for us.  I split the recipe in half.  I totally did not have enough filling.  SO, learn from my mistake (not fatal, but should be corrected) and double the bechemel/filling and use a smaller baking dish in order to have a more perfect lasagna.  Like I mentioned, this is also the first time I’ve ever made one, so there has to be some learning curve, right?!  (I should have listened and just made the whole batch and eaten the rest as dip or with a spoon!!!)

Chop chop

Chop chop

Couldn't you just eat the entire pot just like this?

Couldn’t you just eat the entire pot just like this?

Oven-Ready Sheets are easy to use!

Oven-Ready Sheets are easy to use!

Here's what it looks like coming together...

Here’s what it looks like coming together…

Layers are ready for the oven

Layers are ready for the oven

I made this for Myself, Dave, and our friend Diana and the three of us devoured it.  It is seriously so good.  Like I mentioned above, I didn’t have enough sauce to completely cover the bottom of the dish which made the first layer crispy.  Of course this made it taste freakin’ amazing… but in terms of lasagna, it certainly wasn’t supposed to happen!

I could have eaten this entire sheet...

I could have eaten this entire sheet…

What an amazing dish!

What an amazing dish!

I am a loser and actually googled what to serve on the side of Lasagna... we had a delicious baguette with some seasoned EVOO!

I am a loser and actually googled what to serve on the side of Lasagna… we had a delicious baguette with some seasoned EVOO!

Thanks Holly for such an awesome recipe!!!  I can’t wait to read more of your blog 🙂

Click below to see so many other creative/delicious recipes from today’s SRC Reveal: