Salsa Omelette

I’ve made a couple new exciting discoveries lately.

1.  Happy Hour Oysters are seriously awesome.  Buck a shuck?  I think I will.

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2.  These chips from Trader Joe’s are amazing.  There’s flax seeds in them… so that means they’re healthy.  Yup!

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3.  A guilty pleasure:  The Carrie Diaries.  The prequel to Sex & the City.  I forgot how dramatic high school is, and I LOVE it.

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4.  THIS list of 50 Nacho recipes.

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and 5.  I LOVE corn tortillas.  I don’t think I’ll ever buy any other type again!

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While one might think that corn tortillas = tacos (and they may be right), corn tortillas to me = eggs.  It’s the perfect crispy, salty, warm vessel for eggs.  Goodbye english muffins … hello corn tortillas.

My new favorite thing to do is to saute up one or two corn tortillas (2 are only 80 calories! omg!) with some sea salt and stuff them with eggs.  Scrambled eggs, fried eggs, and now even a delicious omelette covered in salsa.

Salsa Omelette

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon Butter

3 slices of Onion, chopped

1 Jalapeno, chopped

1 handful Fresh Spinach

1 handful Grape Tomatoes, sliced in half

2 Egg Whites & 1 Egg

1/4 cup Reduced Fat Cheddar Cheese

Red Pepper Flakes, Ground Pepper & Sea Salt

1-2 small Corn Tortillas

2 Tablespoons Salsa (I use Jack’s Special from Wegman’s… its the BEST)

Directions:

1.  Heat the butter in a medium sized skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and jalapeno.  Stir and cook for a few minutes before adding the spinach.

2.  Meanwhile, scramble the egg whites, and egg into a separate bowl.  Add the water and scramble with a fork.

3.  Switch the heat on the pan to medium so you don’t burn the eggs.  Pour the egg mixture into the pan.  Let sit for about 4-5 minutes.  Make sure to tilt the pan so the uncooked egg covers the entire pan.

4.  With a spatula or silicone scraper, lift the sides of the egg up to make sure it’s not sticking. (If it is, forget the omelet and just scramble it up… it will taste just as good!)  When there isn’t much runny egg left on the top, add the cheese, then lift one side up and flip it on the other (creating a half moon shape).  Let cook for another 4-5 minutes or until it looks like there is no runny egg left.  You might want to put a lid on the pan… it will help with the cooking time.  Season w/ Salt, Pepper, and Red Pepper Flakes and remove from the pan.

5.  Add a few drops of olive oil to the hot pan and place a corn tortilla or two onto the pan.  Season with sea salt.  Flip after two minutes of cooking.  Add the salsa and tomatoes to the omelette and enjoy!

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Try one of my other favorite Omelettes!

The Ultimate Jewish Omelette

The Ultimate Jewish Omelette

Portobello Omelette

Portobello Omelette

Salami Omelette

Salami Omelette

Sandy & Salsa Soup

WHEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  It’s been a while.

Things have been absolutely crazy for a little while over here.  Hurricane Sandy (that bitch!) tore apart most of the East Coast this week, including Philly and my home away from home- Atlantic City.  Us North-East-Coasters always watch these weather events go down far away down south, in Florida, the Caribbean, New Orleans, etc.  Wow, was it crazy to see it happening in OUR HOME!

Besides my original cheer (and dance around the house) when I found out my work (who NEVER EVER closes) was not going to open on monday, things were pretty scary.  It rained and rained and got windier as the night went on.  I had to take little Stelly outside on a leash- I was afriad she’d blow away!  Somehow, despite a few flickerings, our electricity stayed on- which it never does.  We were very lucky!

No word yet on the shore house.  The people who live upstairs in our house evacuated Ventnor before the storm, and if you’ve EVER watched the news this week, you will know that you can’t exactly get back to the Jersey Shore right now.  I am hoping for the best, and our house is on the 3rd block from the beach… so crossing our fingers on that one.

Here’s a little bit of what you’ve missed while I was MIA/without internet/Sandy-fied:

1.  Dave bought me an AWESOME cookbook including tons of recipes from famous restaurants and Philly Chefs… don’t know what to make first!

2.  Some great pics from Philly pre-Sandy!  On the right is Eastern State Penitentiary, the haunted prison in Philly where we we did the Halloween Tour this past weekend… spooky-scary!

Took some great pics in the city… on the left we have City Hall and the right is the ominous Eastern State Penitentiary

3.  Love these Instagrams!  Had to share.

Check out these Insta-Gems: On the left is Marty, the cutest puppy ever… checking himself out in the mirror and on the right is a great “TBT” of my sister and I!

4.  Dad and I made home-roasted Poblano Peppers for a recipe I’ll share with you soon!  My Dad is a PRO at roasting peppers and he helped me out big time.

Roasted Poblanos were great… definitely going to be doing this more often!

5.  Started my new diet at work for M-F, drinking this awesome healthy protein shake for lunch now.  Spiced Chai?  Cappuccino?  Yes please!  Made Tilapia, those yummy peppers, and enjoyed take-out from my fav. Thai place, Silk Cuisine!

All the good food …

6.  We had more than enough cuddle time with our little Stella May who was afraid of the windy storm!  

Stelly-Bear 🙂

7.  Last week while I had to drive Dave to hockey practice for THE LAST TIME (yes- he got his boot off and can DRIVE!), I ran via the Schuylkill River Trail all the way to our new apt… and back to the trail… and to the Art Museum and back to Penn!  5.5 miles, and the farthest I’ve ever ran alone.  🙂  And also wanted to share my newest find on Pandora, remixes from Daft Punk’s TRON soundtrack.  WHOA.  Great running tunes!

Map My Run! And sharing with you one of my favorite Pandora Discoveries… amazing workout stuff.

8.  Dave’s sister Rachel is housing a homeless Poodle named Ellie during the storm!  She works at a Vet and they are very close to finding this sweetie a home.  I couldn’t stop petting her 🙂

Ellie is soooooooo sweet and adorable!!!

 

Finally, one of the recipes I tried out during this week was this Cooking Light Spicy Tomato & White Bean Soup.  Soup seemed to be the perfect choice for the rainy day!

Spicy Tomato & White Bean Soup

aka Salsa Soup

Recipe slightly adapted from:  Cooking Light

Ingredients:

1 (14-ounce) can Fat Free, Low-Sodium Chicken Broth
2 teaspoons Chili Powder
1 teaspoon Cumin
1 (16-ounce) can Canenelli Beans
1 medium Poblano Chile, halved and seeded
1/2 Onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
1 pint Grape Tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped Fresh Cilantro
2 Tablespoons fresh Lime Juice
1 Tablespoon EVOO
1/2 teaspoon Salt
Cilantro sprigs (optional) 

Directions:

  1. Combine 1 cup broth, chili powder, cumin, and beans in a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat. Combine remaining broth, poblano, and onion in a food processor; pulse until vegetables are chopped. Add onion mixture to pot.
  2. Add tomatoes and cilantro to food processor, and process until coarsely chopped. Add tomato mixture to pan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat; stir in juice, olive oil, and salt. Garnish with cilantro sprigs.

My thoughts on this soup:  um… hello… this is SALSA!  While I was making this soup, Dave was keeping me company.  We kept on talking about how it smelled just like our favorite fresh salsa.  Dave took a glance at my chopped veggies… looks just like salsa.  I picked up the recipe and took a glance over it at the ingredients… and YES IT IS SALSA.  

Although it was a little strange to be eating super chopped up hot salsa, it was really tasty and take a look, it’s really healthy too.  I ate this at work the next day for lunch and it was really filling too.  

Looks like salsa, right?

 

The white beans add texture and make it more filling!

 

 

I hope you all have power and fared well during Hurricane Sandy!  

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

 

 

 

Roasted Tomato & Spinach Pasta

Recently, I’ve heard a lot of talk about roasted or grilled tomatoes.  Now, this may not be a new concept but it definitely is to me.  Up until last year, I had a terrible fear of tomatoes.  I wouldn’t touch a raw tomato.  They disgusted me.  Long story short, I eat them a LOT now and decided to take my Saturday night home alone as the perfect opportunity to try them out.

Roasted Tomato & Spinach Pasta

Recipe by:  It’s Good to be the Cook

Serves 1

Ingredients:

1 Serving (check your bag) Yolk-Free Egg Noodles (i used a handful)

1 Handful Cherry Tomatoes

1/2 Onion, sliced into very thin rings

1 cup Frozen Spinach

1/2 teaspoon Minced Garlic

1 Lemon

1 teaspoon – 1 1/2 teaspoon Olive Oil

1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper

1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes

1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt

1 Tablespoon Parmesan Cheese, grated

Directions:

1.  Cover a baking sheet with foil and preheat the oven to 400.  Spread out the onion rings and tomatoes onto the baking sheet.  Spray with oil or Pam Spray.  Sprinkle salt and pepper.  Roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes, checking after 10.

2.  Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to directions on the bag.  If you use the same kind I did, it does not take very long.  Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup of the pasta water.  Set aside.

3.  Heat the spinach in the same pot you cooked the pasta.  Add the pasta back in with all seasonings, 1 teaspoon of Olive Oil (or more if you’d like… I don’t like it to be too greasy), the lemon juice, garlic and Parmesan cheese.  Add the tomatoes and onions once they are done cooking.  Stir to combine and heat thoroughly.

I even snitched a few of the roasted onions while I was cooking… they were sooo good!

The tomatoes were a nice touch. Roasting them brings out the sweetness!

Although this recipe isn’t anything TOO outrageous, roasting the tomatoes and onions was a really easy way to spice up a really simple pasta dish.  I actually had a piece of frozen salmon waiting for me too… so I stuck that on my grill pan with some salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.  I didn’t do too bad for a night of doing nothing all by myself!

Healthy Dinner Idea: Veggie Quinoa & Poached Eggs

Every time I look at these photos I want to make this for dinner again.

A couple weeks ago, after cooking up some Quinoa for the first time… I used the leftover plain Quinoa in a few different ways.  My favorite dish I made out of the leftovers was for sure this Veggie Quinoa with a Poached Egg.  Since I’ve discovered Poached Eggs this winter, I’ve been obsessed!  They’re so easy and yummy and I just love them so much.  I’ve also used them in this Breakfast Baked Potatoes Recipe.

Although I normally would try to have only 1/2 of a cup of Quinoa (it’s really good for you but high in calories), I made this meal after a big workout and was really hungry.  Since quinoa has so much protein, I decided to bump it up to a full cup and add some Veggies to make it seem like even more food.  This meal actually has a total of 38 grams of protein!

Veggie Quinoa w/ Poached Eggs

Recipe by:  It’s Good to be the Cook

Ingredients:

1 Cup Quinoa, cooked

1 Cup Broccoli, cooked

1/2 Cup Cherry Tomatoes, halved (I used the orange ones!)

1/2 Cup Onions, sauteed

2 Eggs

1 Tablespoon Reduced Fat Parmesan

1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice

a few Leaves of Fresh Basil (I had some around so I threw it in!)

Seasonings:  Sea Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder

Directions:

1.  Take the cooked Quinoa, Broccoli, Onions, and Cherry Tomatoes and mix them together with 1 Tablespoon of Lemon Juice and the Basil & Seasonings to taste.  Top with Parmesan Cheese.

2.  Poach 2 Eggs.  (Directions from me here or a different way here).  Remove with a slotted spoon and place ontop of the Veggie Quinoa mix.

MMM I can’t get enough of poached eggs!

Stelly is always my helper in the kitchen!

Mom’s Baked Tomatoes

Until just a few months ago, I’ve had a pretty irrational FEAR of tomatoes. I hated…. HATED raw tomatoes to the point where they actually physically disgusted me.  This past fall, I tried a grape tomato in a salad one night when I was out to dinner and I’ve been cured ever since.

A few weeks ago, Dave and I traveled to Baltimore to visit our friend, who took us to the best farmers market ever (more on that soon!).  We brought home the sweetest, juciest, biggest, most flavorful tomatoes EVER.  We’ve been eating them in salads, pasta, eggs, and even plain.  They are the best tomatoes I’ve ever had.  They are what a tomato should be.

Although it felt wrong to cook these special toms, I just had to have my Mom make her famous Baked Tomatoes… something I’ve missed out on my entire life!  They were so fabulous.

Check out the color on these babies!

Put them large cut side-up on a baking sheet in foil (so the cheese doesn’t burn on your sheet!

Mom’s Baked Tomatoes

A Recipe by:  It’s Good to be the Cook’s Mom
Ingredients:
2 Tomatoes
Spray Butter or Oil
Salt & Pepper 
2 Tablespoons Seasoned Breadcrumbs
2 Tablespoons Shredded Cheese (any type)
1 Tablespoon Parmesan Cheese
Directions:
1.  Slice off the top and bottom (where the stem was) of the tomato, without removing very much.  This is just to create a flat surface.  Now slice each tomato in half, by width.  Stick the tomatoes, large cut-side up on a foil lined baking sheet.
2.  Season the tomatoes with salt & pepper.  Spread 1 Tablespoon of bread crumbs onto the top of the tomato.  Lightly spray the breadcrumbs with the oil or butter.  You don’t need much.  Now, spread the shredded cheese ontop, then the parmesan cheese.  Season again.
3.  Stick them into an oven preheated to 400 degrees.  Bake until lightly browned ontop.  
4.  Let cool before you eat them.  They’re going to be super hot inside!

Before…

…and After! YUM!

Fried Green Tomatoes

Wegmans just opened up in King of Prussia.  We have a new Wegmans!!!!!!!! YAYYYYY!

I have been a little bit addicted to shopping at Wegmans since we first visited the new location last month.  I cannot stop raving about their fabulous produce.

Giant boxes of blueberries, $4.99… same with Raspberries.  Locally farmed Zucchini and Squash.  So many types of melon you haven’t even heard of.  Pick your own green beans.  YUM!

When I spotted Green Tomatoes, I was inspired.  I had to try fried green tomatoes… you know… now that I don’t hate tomatoes and all.

Fried Baked Green Tomatoes

A Recipe by:  It’s Good to be the Cook
Serves:  4 (2 slices each)
Ingredients:
1 Green Tomato, thinly sliced into 8 even pieces
1/2 Cup Flour
1/2 cup Egg Beaters (or eggs, scrambled)
1 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
Salt, Pepper, Cayenne Pepper, Paprika, Garlic Powder
Directions:
1.  Combine a pinch of Salt, Pepper, and Garlic Powder into the flour.  Place the flour, egg beaters, and bread crumbs into 3 separate bowls/plates.  Preheat the oven to 400.
2.  Dredge the tomato slices one at a time, first in the flour, then in the egg, then in the bread crumbs.  You may have to press the Panko crumbs down onto the slices to make them stick.  Sprinkle with Cayenne Pepper if you’d like, and Paprika.
3.  Place the breaded slices of tomato onto a rack on a baking sheet.  The rack will keep the tomatoes from becoming soggy when you bake them.  Bake the tomatoes, checking and flipping them every ten minutes until they are crispy and starting to lightly brown.
4.  Remove from the oven and enjoy!  Dip in any sauce… ketchup, ranch, etc.

My Mom and I both thought these reminded us of fried Pickles?!  Weird!  They were so delish, and were a nice treat without being overly un-healthy.  You definitely don’t miss the frying of these… the panko combined with using the rack keep the tomatoes super crunchy and crispy.  I can’t wait to make them again!

Yup- they’re green!

Before baking… see the rack? It’s clutch! I used a baking sheet covered in foil underneath for easy cleaning.

Cinco de Mayo Corn Salsa

Ever since I started to eat tomatoes, I’ve had the urge to try to make fresh salsa.

For as long as I can remember, I wouldn’t even look at fresh salsa.  The chunks of raw tomato seriously disgusted me, and fresh salsa was just one thing I was missing out on for years and years.  With Cinco de Mayo quickly approaching and nothing to eat for dinner last night, Dave and I decided to give it a-go!

This recipe sounds like a lot of ingredients, but I promise it’s so easy and you probably have mostly everything already in your house.

Cinco de Mayo Corn Salsa

Recipe by:  It’s Good to be the Cook
Ingredients:
1 Can Whole Kernel Corn
1/2 Red Bell Pepper
1 Jalapeno Pepper
1 cup Grape Tomatoes
1 Avocado
1 teaspoon Minced Garlic
1 Tablespoon Fresh Parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon Sugar
1-2 Tablespoons White Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Lime Juice
a few shakes of Green Tabasco Sauce
1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt (or to taste) & Ground Pepper
a pinch Cayenne Pepper
Directions:
1.  Finely chop all veggies except the avocado.  Place in a bowl with the garlic, parsley, vinegar, lime juice, and Tabasco sauce.  Add the sugar, a little at a time and stir everything together.
2.  Add Salt, Pepper, and Cayenne.  Again, add everything a little at a time so you don’t overdo it.
3.  Pit and slice the avocado into small hunks, then add to the bowl.  You want to add this last so it holds its cubed shape.  If you stir it too much after this point, the avocado will mush up.  It will still be delish but it won’t be as pretty.
4.  Stir lightly and serve with tortilla chips!  I recommend UTZ Baked Tortilla chips or any Corn Tortilla.

Everything chopped!

all ready to eat 🙂

Results:  OMG!  Loved it.  Both Dave and I were impressed with our ability to throw this one together… together!  He was really helpful, besides just being a wonderful taste-tester…hehe.  This was the freshest “fresh” salsa ever (it was my first ever! lol) and had great bold flavors despite it not being very spicy.  You could remove or add more jalapeno, cayenne, or hot sauce to add or remove the spiciness.

Happy Cinco de Mayo!!