Breakfast!!! Whole Wheat Toast with Avocado Cream topped with a Poached Egg

Start the day off right with this easy, DELICIOUS breakfast. I just love breakfast…I really do. If I had to choose I’d say it’s my favorite meal of the day. This breakfast takes 5 minutes to make and is super easy. Don’t be  afraid of poaching an egg. Just simmer some water, add a tablespoon of vinegar, stir the water and gently place the egg in. Cook 2 – 3 minutes depending on how easy or hard boiled you like them. 

Start by making the avocado cream and mash a ripe avocado in a small bowl:


Add Greek yogurt and a dash of your favorite hot sauce, garlic powder and salt:


Mix it all together and put it on your toast:


Poach your egg and put it on top:


Enjoy!

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Portland, OR

I visited Portland for the second time this past September. The first time was a little over a year ago. Although the city itself has changed slightly in regards to its infrastructure, my experience was far better than the first. The reason? There are several. 

No. 1 – I met my beautiful niece for the first time ­čśŹ She made me an aunt!! #WednesdayFiona Isn’t she cute?!?!

No. 2 – The Pearl. I fell in love. The district is full of life with shopping, food, breweries, coffee, parks and more right out your front door. 

Check out that delicious, fall off the bone lamb shank from Deschutes!! Wow was it amazing! This was their special that day. My husband got the Elk Burger, which was excellent as well. 

And the parks!

No. 3 – The lifestyle. The housing and apartment we stayed in was beautiful. We rented a 2 bedroom/2 bathroom apartment on Hoyt Street in the district. It’s owned by a company called Stay Alfred. They own several properties across the US and I will vouch for this one. Also, everything in Portland is family friendly.  A lot is pet friendly too. 

We like our craft beer!! Although Deschutes was my favorite all around when considering both food and brew, Rogue is a must try as well as 10 Barrel and Fat Heads close behind when in the immediate area. 

One final thing I’ll say about the lifestyle is the city’s and it’s residents commitment to the environment. Great job Portland!!

No. 4 – Culture. There’s a little bit of everything and a true melting pot. My favorite melting pot is, no surprise, the shear number of food trucks you will find that literally took over a whole city block. If the group can’t decide what type of food they all want…Portland’s food truck alley has the solution…Thai, Chinese, Iraqi, Mediterranean, African, Israeli, Mexican, Vietnamese to name a few. There’s a host of vegan, vegetarian, organic, gluten free, paleo and other options available as well. 

I could not write this post without talking about Pok Pok. I’m salivating at the very thought of their chicken wings. OMG. 5 stars. This is a must when visiting and I will go here each time I’m in the city. 

Back to culture…this Chinese garden we found…

We ended our trip by relaxing on our roof top terrace the last night…of course with an adult beverage in hand…grilled some chicken to put on top our organic salad and called it a week. And what a week it was.

My husband and brother in law put the cherry on top by buying a gigantic box of Voodoo Doughnuts (balancing out the organic salad). This is one more thing you have to do/eat/visit while you’re here. Holy crap! I’ll miss you Portland and hope I’ll be back soon!

Cast Iron Vegan Chili

I made this for all my vegan and vegetarian friends and family. Not all meals have to have meat and some taste even better without it. If you are a carnivore, just give this a try and you’ll realize what I mean.  Look at the vibrant colors! You see onions and red, yellow and purple bell peppers. 

Add the carrots for some orange…

Put everything together…

I’m really enjoying a local farm stand this summer that’s right down the road from me. All ingredients came from there and I believe one of the reasons this dish tasted so delicious. The fresher the better! 

Serves 8

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup each dry black and pinto beans, rehydrated according to the instructions (or use canned beans and will equal about 3 cups total after draining)
  • 2 ears corn (or 1 can of corn)
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped small
  • 3 bell peppers, largely diced 
  • 3 fresh tomatoes, diced
  • 13 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 3 oz Tom paste
  • 28oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 Tbls olive oil
  • Pink Himalayan Salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 jalape├▒os, roasted and diced small for garnish
  • red onion, diced small for garnish
  • cilantro or parsley, for garnish

What to do:

  1. If you’re using the dried beans like I did, you’ll need to start this the night before or follow the instructions for the quick cook. 
  2. In a large cast iron Dutch oven, heat the olive oil on medium. 
  3. Saut├ęe the onions and bell peppers with some salt and pepper about 5 minutes until slightly soft. 
  4. Reduce the heat to medium low and add the the carrots and garlic. Saut├ęe another 5 minutes stirring frequently. 
  5. Add the fresh tomatoes, a little more salt and pepper, stir and simmer until you see the liquid expel from the tomatoes. 
  6. Boil the corn, let cool, slice off with a knife and add to the pot. 
  7. Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and paste, stir until combined and add all the spices and nutritional yeast. Reduce the heat to low and stir again. 
  8. Simmer on the lowest heat for an hour to hour and a half stirring occasionally. 
  9. Serve in a bowl with the garnishes listed or whatever you choose. Feel free to add some hot sauce for some heat if you don’t do the jalape├▒os ­čśë

Side note: You can roast your own jalape├▒os directly on your stove top. Be sure to char all sides, let cool, peel the char and diced away. Very simple and can be done with any kind of peppers. 

Enjoy!

    Tomatillo Verde Sauce

    Talk about a versatility…this sauce is the epitome of it. You can put this on top of tacos, eggs, salads as your dressing, dip, you name it. 

    What you see above is the Verde Sauce on top of a salad I threw together with the various things I had in my refrigerator. I also had left over shredded pork from pork tacos the night before (which also had verde on it ­čśë) that you see on top. 

    The pork tacos were quasi tacos because I’m really trying to cut carbs and sugar from my diet. I used Boston Bib lettuce for the wrap but a mini romaine lettuce would also be perfect. The recipe for the pork is here. I topped everything with tomatoes, avocado, red onion, fresh cilantro, carrots, and a little extra salt and pepper to the pork. 

    As for the Verde Sauce itself…

    What you’ll need (and remember I make in bulk to freeze some for future so feel free to cut it in half):

    • 18 Tomatillos 
    • 2 jalape├▒os 
    • 4 cloves of garlic
    • Juice of one lime
    • fresh cilantro to taste
    • S & P

    What to do:

    1. Boil a pot of water that will hold tomatillos and jalape├▒os. 
    2. Remove the husks off the tomatillos and run them under water until clean.  Also, clean the jalape├▒os.
    3. Boil the tomatillos and jalape├▒os for 10 minutes and strain. 
    4. Place them in a food processor with the remaining ingredients. 
    5. Pulse until smooth. 

    Use it for whatever you want and enjoy!

      Prosciutto, Avocado, Spinach, & Heirloom Tomato Egg Scramble | Start The Day Off Right

      Did you ever wake up on the weekend or your day off and think, “I’m going to make a killer breakfast”? However, you don’t have a clue what that killer breakfast will be or what you can throw together that’s in your fridge to make it “killer”. Well…here it is. 

      All you need is a somewhat salty meat (ham, bacon or in my case a slice of prosciutto that I had left over), a variety of veggies, eggs and a spicy sauce if you’re into that kinda thing. In my opinion, the spicy sauce is the killer part. It brings it all together. 

      Serves 2 people

      What you’ll need:

      • 4 eggs, whisked
      • 1 Tbls milk
      • 3/4 avocado, cubed
      • 1 slice prosciutto, finely chopped 
      • 5 grape size heirloom tomatoes, sliced in halve lengthwise 
      • 1 cup raw spinach, chopped 
      • 1/2 Tbls butter
      • Fresh ground black pepper 
      • Garlic powder
      • All season salt
      • 2 sprigs of parsley for garnish

      The spicy sauce:

      • 2 Tbls plain Greek yogurt
      • A few dashes of your favorite hot sauce, depending on how spicy you like it
      • Garlic powder
      • S&P

      I also served breakfast with a lightly toasted bagel, cherries & mini yellow plums that I got from a local farm. They were delicious!

      What to do:

      1. Prep your ingredients and put a large saut├ęe pan on medium heat. 
      2. Saut├ęe the prosciutto for 2 minutes, add the avocado and tomatoes and saut├ęe for another 2 minutes. 
      3. In the meantime wisk the eggs, milk, garlic powder, all season salt and pepper in a small bowl. 
      4. Clear a space in the center of the pan and melt the butter, mix everything together and add the eggs. Top with the spinach, cover and turn the heat down. Make sure the eggs evenly dispurse in the pan. 
      5. Cook on low for 3-4 minutes and gently take large sections of the egg and flip them. It’ll break apart don’t worry it’s ok. Just try to flip as big of a piece as possible. I did it in 4’s. 
      6. Fold over one large piece on top of another for one serving. Do the same for the second serving. Top with the sauce, parsley for presentation and serve with you favorite sides. 

      Enjoy!!

      Teriyaki Chicken Stuffed with Napa Cabbage, Eggplant & Shiitake Mushrooms

      I’ve been feeling a bit creative in recent days but I’m not an artist by any means, except when it comes to food. I decided it was time to come up with a new original recipe and so here is where I landed. 

      I’ve learned that fabulous tasting food takes time…sometimes. This is sometime. There are several steps and it takes a good amount of time and patience to make this dish but I promise it will be worth it. I wouldn’t be able to make this on a work day simply because it would mean we would eat dinner about 8pm and my toddler wouldn’t be to happy with that. This is on top of the prep the day before.

      I hope you enjoy this as much as we did!!

      I also served this with a Cucumber & Cabbage Slaw that I found on Pinterest.

       

      What you’ll need:

      • 6 chicken breasts, pounded thin and/or butterflied 

      Teriyaki Marinade…

      • 1/2 cup soy sauce
      • 2 Tbls rice wine vinegar
      • 4 Tbls sesame oil 
      • 1 Tbls brown sugar
      • 1 Tbls quality honey (see P.S. below)
      • 1 tsp ginger, minced
      • 2 garlic cloves, minced
      • ground black pepper 

      Stuffing…

      • 1 medium eggplant, cubed small
      • 1/2 Napa cabbage, sliced thin
      • 8 oz shiitake mushrooms, sliced thin
      • 2 small chilies, your choice of how spicy, diced very small 
      • 1 medium onion, diced
      • 3 cloves garlic, minced
      • 1 Tbls ginger, minced
      • 1 tsp olive oil
      • 1 Tbls butter
      • ground coriander
      • dried oregano 
      • S&P

      Coating…

      • 6 rice paper wraps or spring roll skins
      • 2 eggs, beaten
      • panko bread crumbs, white or wheat 
      • fresh ground pepper

      Topped with…

      • Roasted red peppers, diced
      • green onions, diced
      • cilantro, optional

      What to do:

      1. Prep the marinade by whisking all ingredients in a bowl. Place in a freezer bag to which you will add the chicken. 
      2. Butterfly and/or pound the chicken and add to marinade. Put in fridge for at least 6 hours and up to 24 hours. 
      3. Later on or next day, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. 
      4. Saut├ęe all the ingredients in the “stuffing” by first heating the olive oil, then onions, mushrooms and eggplant for 5 minutes. Next add the chiles, garlic and ginger for 2-3 min ties stirring constantly. Next add the Napa cabbage (you may need to add a little water to stem for a bit) and cover for 2-3 minutes. Set aside for next step. 
      5. Prep to stuff and wrap the chicken. Take out the chicken marinade, put some water in a shallow plate to rehydrate the rice paper, layer a sheet tray with foil and spray with oil. 
      6. Lay out each chicken breast and layer 1/2 with the stuffing. Hydrate one wrap in water. Fold over the chicken and, once limber but not mushy, wrap with the rice paper. THIS IS DELICATE! Take your time and don’t rip the wrap. Place on the sheet tray. Repeat for each breast. 
      7. Prep the rest of the coating and lay it out. Starting with the breast you wrapped first, dip each breast in egg and then in panko. (The wrap needs time to set and stick to itself. If you do this step too soon the rice paper will come off.)
      8. Bake for 30-40 minutes depending on the size of the breast. The liquid should be clear when done. 
      9. Plate and put on the toppings. 

      Enjoy!


      P.S. This is great quality honey!!!

            Fresh Figs Wrapped in Prosciutto with Blue Cheese

            So simple, so delicious. Try these and you won’t be disappointed, I promise. I first made these last thanksgiving and used goat cheese instead of blue cheese. Both are equally as good and really depends on your preference of cheese. My husband doesn’t like goat cheese, so, since it was just the two of us tonight…I went with blue. 

            What you’ll need:

            • fresh figs, green or black
            • blue cheese block
            • prosciutto, sliced a little thicker than thin
            • toothpicks

            What to do:

            1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
            2. Lay out your ingredients
            3. Smear the blue cheese over the prosciutto 
            4. Wrap the fig and hold together with a toothpick (the one you see below is double wrapped with prosciutto. I preferred just one layer but my husband liked the double…you choose)
            5. Bake for 20 minutes or until sizzling all around. 

            Enjoy!!!

              Trottole Pasta Salad´╗┐

              I’m all about pasta this weekend! I used  Simply Balanced Organic Trottole Pasta for this recipe. It’s a fun shape and all the good stuff you add to a pasta salad incorporates well into it. You can pretty much use any type of pasta for this dish if you can’t find this type. Some good alternatives would be farfallepenne or even multi colored radiatore! Remember to always salt your water when boiling pasta!!

              If you want to make this a vegan dish, use a vegan friendly pasta. 


              What you’ll need:

              • 16 oz Trottole pasta
              • 1 medium Eggplant, roasted and diced
              • 2 Carrots, chopped small (I used my Kitchen Aid Spiralizer if you have one)
              • 5 Kale leaves, chopped fine
              • 2 Green Onions, chopped into thin rings
              • 4 oz Tomatoes, grape or cherry, halved (optional)
              • Juice of 1 Lemon
              • 1 Tbls dried Thyme
              • 2 Tbls Garlic Powder
              • 1 small can of sliced black olives 
              • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
              • S & P

              What to do: 

              1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
              2. Begin to boil the water for the pasta. 
              3. Remove some of the skin on the eggplant with a peeler, dice and place on a sheet tray with olive oil and S & P. 
              4. Bake for 15-20 minutes until completely soft, remove and let cool. 
              5. Boil the pasta according to the instructions, drain and let cool. 
              6. Meanwhile, prepare the carrots, kale, onions, tomatoes and lemon juice and add all into a large bowl. 
              7. Add the eggplant, thyme, garlic powder, S & P to the mixture. Combine thoroughly. 
              8. Once the pasta has cooled, add it into the mixture with more olive oil and toss. Put in more or less oil and S & P to your taste. 

              Enjoy!!

                  Kale & Basil Pesto with Orecchiette & Chicken

                  Some of the simplest dishes are simply the best! Pesto is one of my favorite things to eat when the weather is hot and humid. It’s light and requires no “cooking” itself. Although, the pasta and chicken does but not much!

                  What you’ll need:

                  • 4-5 Leaves of Kale (flat or curly – your preference)
                  • 1 bunch of fresh Basil
                  • 3/4 lb of Orecchiette
                  • 2 Chicken Breasts (or Tofu for a vegetarian option!)
                  • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
                  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese, divided
                  • 1/3 oz of pine nuts
                  • Cherry or Grape Tomatoes, sliced in half, optional
                  • S & P

                  What to do:

                  1. Bring water to a boil for the pasta.
                  2. Cook according to the directions.
                  3. Separately, place the chicken in a pot, cover with water and boil until cooked through for about 10-15 minutes. (If you’re using tofu, prepare according to the directions and cut into small cubes. Saut├ęe with a little olive oil and S & P. 
                  4. Meanwhile, prepare the pesto. Combine the kale, basil, 1/2 cup of cheese, pine nuts and oil in a food processor and put on high until it becomes a paste. (If you prefer a thinner sauce add more oil). 
                  5. Drain the pasta and remove the chicken from heat. 
                  6. Chop or shred the chicken. 
                  7. In a large bowl, mix the pesto, chicken (or tofu) and pasta and until evenly combined. 
                  8. Add S & P to taste. 
                  9. Add in the tomatoes and top with the additional cheese on each plate. 

                  Feta and Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms

                  Well, it’s been a while since my last post. I guess I’ve been busy!!  I’m really glad summer is here. There are so many healthy and yummy things to eat this season. Here is one of them, although, I make them year round ­čÖé This is great for vegetarians and could even be converted to […]