BACON-SPINACH SHIRRED EGGS

This was one of those breakfast-themed dinners of which my guys are so fond. And they were not at all disappointed with this recipe which is amazingly tasty–better yet, easy to put together. Though I served it in individual casserole dishes, it works equally well in a large casserole dish. Enjoy!

Bacon Spinach Shirred Eggs

spray olive oil

2 cups baby spinach

8 eggs

4 strips bacon, fried and chopped

1/4 cup half-and-half

sea salt

ground black pepper

paprika

1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees; lightly coat casserole dishes with spray olive oil

2) Assemble individual servings as follows, dividing ingredients equally between dishes; place spinach in bottom of dish, crack 2 eggs on top, scatter with bacon, drizzle with half-and-half, and lightly sprinkle with salt, pepper, and paprika

3) Bake eggs in oven 20-25 minutes until whites are firm and yolks are set to your preference; scatter Parmesan cheese over top and bake additional 2 minutes until cheese melts; remove from oven and serve (see…easy!)

Servings: 4

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MIXED BERRY-RICOTTA-SOUFFLE OMELETTES

Anything with berries lights my guys’ appetites. Yes, they hesitated when I told them I was stuffing an omelette with those juicy beauties, but–hey– they gave it a try. And loved it. Thumbs up!

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1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

10 egg whites

2 tbsp honey

2 tsp cornstarch

1 tbsp vanilla extract

4 tsp butter, divided

2 cups mixed berries (I used frozen and thawed)

1) In small bowl, beat ricotta cheese until smooth; set aside

2) In large bowl, beat egg whites until they form soft peaks; gently fold in ricotta cheese, honey, cornstarch, vanilla extract until just combined

3) To large, non-stick skillet, add 1 tsp butter and melt over medium heat; spread one-fourth of omelette mixture in skillet (about 8″ diameter, leaving a minimum 1″ clear around edges); cook 3-4 minutes until lightly browned, flip and cook 2 more minutes; scatter one-fourth of mixed berries over top, fold omelette over, and cook additional 2 minutes to warm berries through; transfer omelette to plate and repeat for remaining three omelets (Note: to speed process, use two skillets; and, yes, you may need to send the omelettes on a quick trip to the microwave before serving); serve with or without maple syrup

Servings: 4

CHICKEN-BISCUIT BAKE

Wonderful winter fare! The bacon in this dish adds a nice note to the chicken, peas, and carrots, and who can resist biscuits (in this case, the ultra-convenient Pillsbury)? Thumbs up again 🙂

Chicken Bacon Bake

6 slices bacon, chopped

1 large red onion, chopped

1 cup chopped carrots

2 celery stalks, chopped

3 cups chopped deli-roasted chicken

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

6 tbsp butter

6 tbsp all-purpose flour

3 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup half-and-half

3 tbsp sherry (yes, I used cooking sherry)

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1 can biscuits (I used Pillsbury 8-count Flaky Layers)

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees; lightly grease large baking dish

2) In large skillet over medium-high, cook bacon 5-6 minutes until crispy; add onions, carrots, and celery and cook 5 minutes until veggies soften; remove from heat

3) Evenly spread chicken over bottom of baking dish, followed by cooked veggies and peas; set aside

4) In same large skillet over medium heat, melt butter; whisk in flour and cook 1 minute; gradually whisk in chicken broth and cook 4-5 minutes, whisking often, until sauce thickens; whisk in half-and-half and, whisking often, cook 3 minutes; whisk in sherry and nutmeg and remove from heat

5) Pour sauce over chicken-veggie mixture; separate biscuits horizontally into 2 layers and arrange on top of chicken-veggie mixture (I used 5 of the 8 biscuits and also halved them vertically); bake in oven 20 minutes until filling bubbles and biscuits are browned; remove from oven and serve; yum!

Servings: 6

GRILLED TURKEY-SWISS-ARTICHOKE SANDWICH

Like turkey. Adore Swiss cheese. Love marinated artichokes. And so a grilled sandwich featuring all and more. A fabulous hit with my guys–four thumbs up!
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1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp chopped parsley

8 slices good quality sourdough bread

8 oz thinly sliced deli turkey

1 cup fresh baby spinach

8 slices Swiss cheese

1-12 oz jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and quartered

4 Campari tomatoes, sliced thin

4 tbsp butter

1) In small bowl, mix mayonnaise, lemon juice, and parsley; spread mixture over four slices of bread

2) Assemble each of four sandwiches as follows, dividing ingredients evenly between them: top bottom slice of bread (with mayonnaise mixture) with turkey, spinach, Swiss cheese, artichokes, tomatoes, and top slice of bread

3) Add butter to large skillet (I used a grill pan) and heat over medium; add sandwiches and grill each side 4-5 minutes until cheese melts and sandwich is warmed through (you may have to do in two batches); serve

Servings: 4

BLACK BEAN-FETA SOFT BREAKFAST TACO

Don’t let the name fool you. This is dinner–in a big way. Not only is this breakfast taco fabulously easy and quick to prepare, but it’s incredibly tasty.

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Olive oil spray

4 large flour tortillas

2 tbsp olive oil, divided

8 eggs

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

3 green onions, sliced thin

1 cup diced red bell pepper

1-15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup salsa

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

1 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped

1) Spray olive oil over large skillet and heat over medium-high; warm tortillas, both sides, until lightly golden; set aside

2) In medium-sized bowl, lightly beat eggs with salt, pepper, and green onions

3) Add 1 tbsp olive oil (reserving 1 tbsp) to same skillet and heat over medium; pour in egg mixture and, stirring occasionally, cook until scrambled and just done; remove from heat, cover, and set aside

4) Add reserved 1 tbsp olive oil to small skillet and heat over medium-high; add red bell pepper and black beans and cook, stirring often, 3 minutes; stir in salsa and, when warmed through, remove from heat

5) Assemble breakfast tacos as follows: divide egg mixture between flour tortillas, top with black bean mixture, feta cheese, and cilantro; serve

Servings: 4

CRANBERRY-SAUCED TURKEY BURGERS ON STUFFING

My guys get tired of buns, and with Thanksgiving behind us and Christmas ahead, I thought I’d serve up burgers on stuffing. And, while I was at it, I added cranberry sauce. Delicious!

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1 cup diced red onion

1/4 cup Craisins

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1 egg, beaten

2 tsp fresh minced sage

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1-1/4 lb ground turkey

1-6 oz pkg Stovetop stuffing, prepared per package instructions

1 cup whole cranberry sauce

1) In large bowl, mix: onion, Craisins, bread crumbs, beaten egg, sage, salt, and black pepper; mix in ground turkey until well combined and shape into four patties, about 3/4″ thick

2) To large skillet over medium heat, add turkey patties and cook 4-5 minutes each side until cooked through

3) Meanwhile, prepare stuffing mix according to package directions and heat cranberry sauce in small saucepan over  medium heat until warmed through

4) Divide stuffing between four plates, top with burgers, followed by cranberry sauce; serve

Servings: 4

MEATBALL TORTILLA SOUP

It should be obvious by now that my family is not only big on soup, but fans of tortilla soup in particular. This recipe is extra special owing to the meatballs. Of course, the addition of potatoes, carrots, and corn doesn’t hurt either. Give this delicious, filling, all thumbs up cool weather meal a try (adapted from Sunset Edible Garden Cookbook’s “Tortilla Meatball Soup”).

Meatball Tortilla Soup

4 corn tortillas, cut in half, then into 1/2″ strips

cooking spray (I used olive oil)

1 lb ground beef

1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced

1/4 tsp sea salt

1 tbsp olive oil

1-1/2 cups chopped onion

2 cups small-diced red potatoes, unpeeled

1 cup 1/4″ thick carrot slices

5 cups chicken broth

2 tbsp chopped jalapeno peppers

1 red bell pepper, diced

1-1/4 cup frozen corn

1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

1) Preheat broiler

2) Place tortilla strips on baking pan, lightly spray with cooking oil, and broil 1-2 minutes until golden brown; using spatula, turn and broil additional 1-2 minutes

3) To large bowl, add ground beef, panko breadcrumbs, egg, chipotle chile, and sea salt; mix well and form into 1″ diameter meatballs (about 35)

4) Add olive oil to large soup pot and heat over medium-high; space meatballs slightly apart in skillet and cook 7-8 minutes, turning occasionally to brown all sides; when no longer pink in center, transfer meatballs to paper towel-lined plate and cover with foil to keep warm

5) To same pot, add onion, potatoes, and carrots (you may have to add a bit more olive oil); cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until vegetables start to soften; add broth, jalapeno pepper, red bell pepper, and corn; bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cook 15 minutes until vegetables are tender

6) Add meatballs to soup and cook 5 minutes; remove from heat, ladle into bowls, top with tortilla strips and cheese, and serve

Servings: 4 hearty dinner-sized portions