If it’s cold outside…

Weather prediction for tomorrow: COLD

That's the HIGH, not the low

That’s the HIGH, not the low

Our current cold snap has really made it hard to for me get moving in the mornings. I’ve found that a cup of hot tea and a hearty warm breakfast do wonders. Even so, I didn’t prioritize breakfast after I moved out on my own. It got forgotten most of the time, and on the mornings I remembered to eat before I ran out the door, it was often leftover pasta from the night before or an Ensure drink (good nutrients, but far too much sugar). Now that I’m actually paying attention to what I eat, breakfast has become a priority. After making my bean and kale soup, I had 3/4 of the bag of kale leftover. I decided to try to incorporate it into my breakfast. I searched the web for breakfast skillet recipes, and found one I liked here. It didn’t call for kale or greens, but I figured it wouldn’t be too hard to add some.

Breakfast Veggie Skillet

You’ll need:

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil (I just poured a dollop in the pan)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion (about half an average-sized onion)
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup corn (I used canned unsalted corn; the original recipe called for frozen.)
  • 1 cup drained, rinsed black beans
  • a good handful of kale, chopped with stems removed (maybe around 1 cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin (I used several pinches of cumin until it tasted right.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (I like spicy foods, but not early in the morning, so I didn’t use a full 1/2 teaspoon)
  • (original recipe calls for a pinch of coriander, but I left it out and it still tasted good.)
  • 10 oz can diced tomatoes with green chilies, drained
  • 2 large eggs (or if you’re using Egg Beaters like I am, 1/2 cup of egg substitute)
  • 2 oz queso fresco, crumbled (I had none and used goat cheese.)
  • cilantro and avocado if desired for garnish

Instead of eating this with a fork, I wrapped it in Mission Jalapeno Cheddar Wraps (found in grocery stores beside tortillas). This tasted amazing, but shot the calorie count through the roof. If you’re watching calories, either forgo the wrap or use a low-carb tortilla.

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Heat the oven to 400F.

In a large oven-safe skillet, heat the oil until shimmery. Add onions and cook until softened & translucent. Add garlic, corn, beans and kale and cook for 2 minutes, until kale begins to wilt and garlic is fragrant.

Cook just a bit longer than this-kale edges should drop, but not be soft

Cook just a bit longer than this-kale edges should drop, but not be soft

Add spices to taste and tomatoes & chilies. Though the original recipe doesn’t call for the tomatoes to be drained, I drained them. If you’re using kale, you may not want to drain the tomatoes completely as the extra liquid will help the kale cook down. Increase heat to high until liquid boils. Reduce heat to med-low and simmer for 10 minutes or so.

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My skillet is absolutely huge & at this point the bean mixture was spread thinly through the pan. I piled it up in a flat-topped dome in the center of the skillet before adding the eggs. This worked perfectly & made a much nicer looking dish. If you’ve opted for whole eggs, gently break the eggs over the skillet mix. If not, measure your egg substitute & pour evenly over it. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Add garnishes, wrap (optional), and serve.

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My other half eats meat, so he had a turkey sausage patty in his wrap and loved it.

My wrap (no meat)

My wrap (no meat)

His (with meat)

His (with meat)

Enjoy!!

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A Healthy New Year’s Eve

Monday was New Year’s Eve, and it was in the 20’s when I got up. I don’t really do well if it gets below sixty, so I was cold. After I got off work I decided to make something nice and warm for dinner.

My Car Windshield

My Car Windshield

I really have been trying to eat healthier since I went to my doctor’s. (I promise! The butter was a fluke.) So I decided to make a vegetable and bean soup. I found the original recipe here.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion (I used 1/2 of an onion)
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 carrot sticks, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth, divided
  • 7 cups kale (Mine was purchased stemmed & chopped. If yours isn’t, you’ll want to do this)
  • 3 (15-ounce) cans of beans (The original recipe called for 1 can of black beans and 2 cans of cannellini beans. I had neither & used 2 cans of kidney beans and 1 can of white northern beans. It turned out fine.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary (I went cheap & used a hearty sprinkle of dried rosemary.)

I typically do most of my chopping while cooking, but in this particular recipe there wasn’t a lot of spare time to chop. I made it work, but it would probably be much easier if you have the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic pre-chopped. Just a heads-up.

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and swirl to coat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery. Saute for 6 minutes or until tender. (I use the onion as a guide. If it’s translucent, it’s good to go.) Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and the garlic, cook for just a bit (30-60 seconds).

At this point, my mouth was watering. It smelled delicious!

At this point, my mouth was watering. It smelled delicious!

Pour in 3 cups of the vegetable broth and all of the kale. It is going to look like the soup is entirely made of kale. It’s not; I promise. Kale cooks down quite a bit.

If you have a blender, place 1 can of beans and the remaining 1 cup of vegetable broth into it and blend until smooth. If not, use a potato masher and mash the beans into the 1 cup of broth. Once there are no more whole beans, it’s ready to be added to the pot. I don’t have a blender, so here are my beans:

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Add the mashed bean/broth mix, the other 2 cans of beans, and the black pepper to the soup. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes. Add remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, red wine vinegar, and rosemary.

I have a thing for thick soups-if it’s not nearly a stew, I won’t eat it unless I can drink it. It has to be one extreme or the other. I was prepared for this to be a little thinner than I like, so I’d prepared a pot of orzo to serve the soup over. This is actually a pretty thick soup, so it didn’t need the orzo. I love carbs though, so I still served the soup over the orzo.

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Wonderful warming soup!

Wonderful warming soup & orzo!

I love the way this tasted. It’s very filling, but doesn’t leave me feeling stuffed. Next time, I might use a little less rosemary, and a bit more garlic and add some basil.

When reheating leftovers, I added a bit more vegetable broth as it thickened up quite a bit as it sat. I have had two meals for two out of this, and have enough for at least one more.

Hopefully this will warm y’all up just as much as it did me!!