Entrée, Fall

BOWL PREP

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The crusts of a p&j. The butt of a burrito. The shards of Cleo’s egg that she ALWAYS asks for in the morning and barely eats. I hate wasting food, nor do I like making different meals at one time, so I often end up being the garbage disposal to the ends of my kids’ meals. Not dinner, but throughout the day, guilty. I went in to solve my own problem by taking my own advice. If I want to eat well through the day, I need to set myself up for success.

I have been using the same Pyrex containers for years. Maybe ten years? The glass is durable and, does not stain. I have a variety of sizes for all sorts of circumstances. So when they asked me to write a post about how I use them? No question, because it’s a product I am already using daily. When I am taking good care of myself and thinking ahead, and not wanting to eat butts of burritos, I meal prep. If I have food ready, or pieces that get me halfway towards a meal, I am much more likely to eat something well-rounded and filling than a bunch of snacks that still leave me wanting a meal.

These glass Pyrex containers have snap, air tight lids, so I can pop them in the freezer or fridge and not worry about things leaking. It keeps the food fresh longer, and also allows for an easy reheat. I can simply remove the lid and place the dish in my preheated toaster oven. You should not be putting plastic in the microwave - bad for the plastic, bad for the food, bad for you. If my leftovers are something I am not able to reheat on the stove-top, I lay a paper towel over the top and warm it in the microwave. The non-porous glass containers do not stain or smell from acidic products, are better on the environment and while they may be heavy to take on the go, it is a fair trade for how long they last and the whole fridge-to-oven reheat option.

On Sunday afternoon, I dedicated one hour to prep a few things that I knew would make for quicker meals during the week. This may look like a lot, but much of it is hands off. You layer the work. The squash roasts in the oven while you whiz up the pesto. I start the rice and lentils then shake up the vinaigrette and pull out pom seeds while they cook. My plan:

- prepared salad greens (kinds that can be eaten raw or cooked, such as kale and cabbage)

- cilantro pistachio/pepita pesto

- chili maple delicata squash (recipe below)

- pomegranate seeds

- steamed brown rice + lentil mixture

- dijon maple vinaigrette

This leaves me with two meal options that will take under 5 minutes to prepare from here: a big green salad with squash and pom seeds and nuts with the vinaigrette, or rice and lentil bowls, again with more squash, I can sauté some of the greens if I’d like, top with the pesto and then I can easily throw on a little cheese or avocado. The pasta dish that is linked for the cilantro pesto is also amazing and you are 80% of the way to that recipe with these prep pieces too! Use the delicata in place of the butternut and you just need to cook some noodles. The greens I packed are ones I like both in salads, and are not compromised when heated, so they can be either sautéed or dressed for the salad. Tender greens (like butter lettuce, spring mix, arugula) don’t keep as well for me after being washed and stored.

These prepared pieces lasted me the better part of the week for lunches and parts of dinner thanks to my Pyrex glass storage. I also started making a big batch of oats that can easily be reheated with a splash of almond milk, and these pumpkin muffins for breakfast and snack. I’m reminded that I always want to keep my fridge stocked!

This post was sponsored by Pyrex. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting me in working with brands, so that we may continue to create content for you.


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Chili Maple Delicata Squash

The beautiful thing about delicata squash is that you can eat the thin skin, so it makes prep so much faster. I cut them in half, seed them, then cut into half moons, or just into coins, and spoon away the seeds from the center circle.

2 medium delicata squash

1 Tbsp. avocado or extra-virgin olive oil

2 tsp. maple syrup

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. chili powder

Preheat the oven to 425’ and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the squash into 1/2” half moons or rings, and remove the seeds. Place all the squash on the prepared sheet and drizzle on the oil, maple, salt and chili powder. Toss everything to coat and spread them in an even layer. Roast for 20-25 minutes until tender and browned in parts.

Remove to cool before storing.

They will keep for a week, stored in a covered container in the fridge.

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Breakfast, Entrée, Gluten Free, Spring

A STUDY ON FRITTATAS

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Brunch for a group. Inexpensive dinner. Cook once, reheat through the week breakfast. Put a slice in a tortilla or between toast and you’re off. Frittatas are just the best. Especially for some who always have leftover bits and hate waste.

*raises hand*

Too much zucchini? Trying to set yourself up to start your day with protein? Frittata! I saved a few videos in my story highlights if a visual helps. I believe a frittata is one of those meals that can go so many directions, that once you understand how they work, you can make them out of all sorts of things.

I am going to add some bullets here, because honestly, it’s just easier to shoot off opinions that way than try to craft sentences that go together. Once you have the basics down, you can make up your own creation. I would love you to chime in with your favorite combos or your tips below! If you’re one for a crust, I’m a big fan of this recipe.


 

Things I know about frittatas:

  • I like the vegetables inside to be cooked. The key to not having a water logged frittata, is cooking some of the water off of the vegetables first. You can roast or saute, and then cool. This includes greens, though they literally need about 30 seconds. Any meats need to be cooked in advance before adding too.

  • I’m going with a ratio of 2 eggs per person for one serving. You can do a 4 egg frittata for 2 in an 8” pan, 4-6 people in a 10” pan and upwards. The thicker you make the frittata, you’ll need to increase the baking time. Just keep giving the middle a little tap and pull it when it’s no longer liquidy. I keep a lower heat to try to keep the bottom from burning.

  • I strongly suggest using a nonstick or well-seasoned cast iron pan (I LOVE this pan - crisps, frittatas, casseroles, the best)…or the whole thing can be baked in a well greased, oven-proof dish. I suppose that would be called an “egg bake” but whatever, does it matter?

  • Cheese. I tend towards sheep or goats cheeses, and those both work well in frittatas. They are lower in fat, so can dry out, but with a short, low oven time, they do fine. You just don’t want a super dry cheese, in my opinion. Parmesan is ok, but it is so dry, you will not get any pockets of creaminess, it will mostly just taste like delicious salt, which is not a terrible thing by any means. If you choose a meltier cheese like cheddar, I def like most mixed in and a little on top.

 

Prep ahead

Let’s say you’re hosting the following morning or trying to get a leg up on Christmas morning (or just a Monday :)

Whisk all your eggs, dairy, seasoning in one bowl you can keep covered in the fridge. Have all your add-ins cooked and ready (zucchini sauteed, sausage cooked, tomatoes roasted, whatever). Pull them all out while preheating the oven, and then proceed with the recipe from there. Gently warm the pan with the fillings in it, add the egg mixture, pop it in the oven.


Favorites

sauteed mushroom, greens and goat cheese
roasted tomatoes, greens, pesto, goat cheese
roasted zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, little bit of minced red onion, feta
just steamed asparagus, tons of herbs, goat cheese
crowd pleaser: potatoes, bacon, greens, white cheddar


GREEN VEGETABLE FRITTATA

Serves 4

I am listing the vegetables I used here, inspired by what I had in the fridge. You really can put anything in a frittata…ok, most thing. Be sure that the vegetables have a similar cooking time, if you’re sauteing everything together. For example, potatoes take longer to become tender than zucchini, so while you can mix these two, you need to start the potatoes off first, and then add the zucchini after the potatoes have been going for 10 minutes, so you don’t burn the zucchini or turn it to moosh. Things like peppers and tomatoes cook the same, assorted greens are typically quick, etc.

Ingredients

1 small leek
1 small zucchini
1 small bundle of broccolini

extra virgin olive oil
sea salt

8 eggs
1/3 cup heavy cream (canned coconut milk works as a non-dairy option)
dollop of pesto or sour cream (or non-dairy alternative), optional
fresh ground pepper
3-4 ounces soft goat cheese
fresh green herbs, for garnish

Instructions

Clean the leek and trim the zucchini. Chop the vegetables small. Heat a drizzle of oil in a medium nonstick or seasoned cast iron pan. Add the vegetables, pinch of salt and saute until tender, and cooked down, about 6 minutes. Turn off the heat and let them cool down. Move them around occasionally to release any steam pockets.

Preheat the oven to 325’.

Whisk the eggs and cream (or non-dairy alternative) well. Lots of air in there, keep whisking. Whisk in a dollop of pesto or sour cream, if using, and a few grinds of fresh black pepper. If you like spice, a dash of red pepper flakes. Crumble half your cheese in here.

With the heat on low, distribute the vegetables around in your nonstick pan and pour the egg mixture on top. Let it sit for a couple minutes just to set the bottom. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top, and put the pan on the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 16-20 minutes until the center juuuuust stops jiggling. Better to pull it out on the side of underdone.

Let it cool down, garnish with tons of fresh herbs. Serve with toasty bread and fresh tomatoes if you have them.

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Bread, Breakfast, Gluten Free, Feeding Babies, Snack, Summer

GLUTEN FREE ZUCCHINI MUFFINS

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Loves! I posted about this zucchini loaf/muffins I've been working on over on Instagram and you were like hungry little wolves insisting that I post the recipe asap. So, here we are, a few weeks later, which is as asap as it'll get around here. 

Because most of the cooking I do is simple assembly and layering basics rather than advanced skills and technique, the dishes I write for work *usually* turn out by the second time I test them. I can often run this success rate with baking by just tinkering with other recipes and changing the flavor profile. However, I have made about 8-10 rounds of zucchini carrot muffins, all edible, but certainly not eligible to post on the internet with my name on them. I tried to make them maple sweetened (too much moisture), all almond flour (too heavy, also wet),  I squeezed the moisture out of the veg and still, resembling a frittata more so than a muffin, and so on. I mentioned in this peanut butter oatmeal entry a couple weeks ago that my kids are all about baked goods, so I will not rest until I can pack vegetables in them!

I'm not going to say what we have here is perfect but I am happy with where they are and I need the tweaking to just be done. I have a painter friend who says sometimes she just needs to call the piece finished. Lacquer it, take a picture, and move on, even when she knows she *could* keep working on it, because she can end up ruining it instead. I listen to podcasts of entrepreneurs who suggest to put things out there; let people see them and use them and respond, instead of keeping your project quiet, hoping you get closer to perfect. So, if you do make these, tell me what you did or what you would change. I love chatting about food in this space with ya'll, so if you have tips, share them with others in the comments.  

gluten free zucchini muffins - shredded zucchini

GLUTEN FREE ZUCCHINI MUFFINS

Makes 10

I have used super fine brown rice flour in a baking before and many of you noted that it is a bit tricky to stock. I buy it here, but there are alternatives. If you do not need these gluten free, simply use unbleached all purpose flour in its place. I would still suggest using the almond flour or meal in combination, as it keeps the muffins more tender. These are on the low end of the sweet scale, if you want them more of a treat, add a few more tablespoons of sugar. 

The timing is written for 10 muffins, and I find their delicate nature is best in that format. You can bake the batter in a greased loaf for closer to 45 minutes, sticking a toothpick in the center to make sure it isn't too wet.
This muffin tin is my favorite forever and ever.

Ingredients

2 eggs
1/3 cup avocado or coconut oil
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt

3/4 cup almond flour
3/4 cup superfine rice flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup cane sugar
1 cup grated zucchini, about 1 medium/large
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chunks

turbinado sugar, to finish, optional

Instructions

Start by grating the zucchini (I do a blend of small holes and large holes on a box grater because I can't decide). Preheat the oven to 360' and grease a muffin tin. 

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, oil, vanilla, vinegar and buttermilk or yogurt, until well combined. Add the almond flour, rice flour, baking soda and powder, salt, cinnamon, sugar and stir until combined. Add the zucchini and chocolate and fold it in.

Fill the muffin tins about 2/3 full (they don't rise much) and sprinkle turbinado sugar on top, if using. Bake on the middle rack for 18-20 minutes, or until golden around the edge and a little tap on the center bounces back at you. 

Remove to cool completely. Keep covered at room temperature for 2 days, or in the fridge any longer than that.

A split and toasted muffin is the best muffin, but straight out of the hand is delicious too. 

gluten free zucchini muffin
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