Meatless Monday Meal Idea: Eggs are not boring

Well, by themselves eggs can be sort of boring if you eat them a lot. But if you change up the sides, you won’t get tired of them. Think about different salads, maybe some hummus or other dips, roasted potatoes are always good and eggs with asparagus is a classic.

meatless_monday_eggs

 

Here are some ideas for delicious sides.

Simple Caprese Salad

A fancy caprese with bacon (not meatless monday!)

A bunch of variations on caprese salad

White bean dip

Black bean dip

Guacamole hummus

Asparagus with brown butter and parmesan

There’s still time to hit up the neighborhood farmers markets in Chicago!

Most of the markets run into the middle to end of October.  Our fave, the Green City Market is year round – once it gets cold it moves from the south end of Lincoln Park (approximately 1790 N. Clark) to inside the Nature Museum at 2430 N. Cannon Dr. in Lincoln Park. There are lots of other city sponsored markets, too! Chicago farmers markets are great- most of the vendors have signs explaining where the stuff came from and how it was grown. Lots of things come from less than 100 miles away! The best tomatoes and peaches outside of home grown come from these farmers markets- they are really really good. Sooo much better than the ones from the grocery store- even the ones that LOOK like they’d be tasty usually taste like nothing compared to locally grown super fresh ones.  So, yeah! There’s still time for you to grab some yummy fresh, local produce and make a salad or a pie.

colorful bell peppers from chicago farmers market
P1030129

IMG_5768rt

P1070676rt

farmers market sunflowers

farmers markets in chicago

farmers market sun flowers

How do you make toasted bread crumbs for salads?

I love toasted bread crumbs on salads. They add a sort of oldey timey restaurant fanciness, a nice crunch, and some added texture to what can sometimes be boring salads. They are a good substitution for bacon bits (it’s true!) because of the crunch factor. They’re easier to make and easier to eat than croutons and I like them better.

Here’s how I make them.

I always keep small pieces of stale bread, too small to do anything with pieces, and the ends of store bought loaves in a bag in the freezer. When I want to make bread crumbs I take a couple pieces out, microwave them for about 20 seconds to defrost them, and put them in the food processor for a few spins.

To make toasted bread crumbs I heat up a swirl of olive oil in a skillet, add the crumbs in a single layer, add a minced clove of garlic and maybe some dried herbs- I like a basic Italian seasoning. I cook them on medium, stirring the whole time (they burn easily). As soon as they smell nice and are golden brown I remove the pan from the heat and remove the bread crumbs from the pan (they will still cook in the hot pan and might burn).

I let them cool off a little then add them to salads. You could also use them in soups. They keep for up to a week in the fridge and a couple of slices of bread will make enough for 4 or 5 salad servings.

Yum!

I’m super into these toasted bread crumbs now but aside from salads and soups, where else can I use them??

how do I make toasted breadcrumbs for salads

Toasted bread crumbs make a delicious topping for salads.

Healthy meal ideas

Happy new year! Like almost everyone else, my new years resolutions usually involve plans to eat healthier. One year I actually did it! My idea of healthy eating doesn’t involve “low fat’ or “low carb” or anything else “low”. It consists of natural, fresh, minimally processed REAL food. Like Michael Pollan says ” eat food, not too much, mostly plants”.  In the past I’ve talked about how I do this on a reasonable budget.

So, here are lots of ideas. Not only are these basically healthy ideas, but they’re also mostly really easy and quick.

Warm potato and arugula salad, Whole Foods roasted lima beans, caprese salad, chicken salad with grapes (roast chicken, mayo, plain yogurt, sliced grapes):

Healthy meal.

Healthy meal.

I make roast chicken a couple times a month. One chicken will last 3 or 4 days and can be used in many different ways. This is a “bowl” with the roast chicken, some steamed broccoli, and warm pasta salad with tomatoes, feta chunks, basil, and olive oil.

Chicken pasta bowl

Chicken pasta bowl

Nothing is easier to make than eggs. Here’s a fried egg, some oven roasted potatoes, and a nice big green salad with veggies.

Eggs and salad

Eggs and salad

Fried eggs again. This time with a composed salad of greens, orange bell peppers, feta, and grape tomatoes. I also made some tzatziki, some hummus and some whole whole wheat pita.

Eggs again!

Eggs again!

Chicken posole and a green salad with lots of veggies. For dressing I usually just use olive oil and vinegar.

A big green salad and some chicken posole

A big green salad and some chicken posole

The best and easiest black bean soup, green salad with leftover roast chicken.

Black bean soup and grilled chicken salad

Black bean soup and grilled chicken salad

I really like one bowl meals. One of the healthiest things you can eat is mixed veggies. This is onions, broccoli, orange bell peppers, and corn sauteed in some olive oil. I probably either servied this in a bowl of rice and black beans or in a taco.

Veggie bowl

Veggie bowl

I hope these ideas help you in your quest to eat healthier. Let me know what you eat when you want to be healthier!

Recess Eatery, Glendale, CA

Pretty much every time I go to L.A. we have a meal or two at Recess in Glendale. Everyone loves it because the food is good and the atmosphere is casual and modern.

Last time I went to Recess I just had a latte and some toast with jam. It was really good jam!

Last time I went to Recess I just had a latte and some toast with jam. It was really good jam!

My brother had the breakfast burrito and some fresh fruit.

My brother had the breakfast burrito and some fresh fruit.

Another shot of the nice bread and jam.

Another shot of the nice bread and jam.

Recess also serves a great lunch.

Scott Road panini from Recess in Glendale.

Scott Road panini from Recess in Glendale.

A special wrap from Recess in Glendale.

A special wrap from Recess in Glendale.

Mom always has the ahi salad!

Mom always has the ahi salad!

The sweet potato fries at Recess are soooooo good!

The sweet potato fries at Recess are soooooo good!