My Favorite Five - Ingredient Breakfast Sandwich

I discovered the breakfast sandwich by chance.  It wasn't at McDonalds or another fast food place.  It was something my mom would make on slow Saturday mornings for herself to sit and enjoy.  I remember one morning at our place on the lake in Hot Springs, Arkansas, waking up and walking into the den to find mom taking her first bite of that eggy cheesy sandwich.  It looked like she was loving it and so, of course, I was curious.  I asked for a bite and was hooked!  After that, slow Saturday mornings (which typically meant the ones at the lake because all other Saturday mornings I was up at the rink at 5:45 AM skating) meant egg and cheese breakfast sandwiches.  It wasn't anything over the top, simply 2 slices of whole wheat bread, egg and American cheese, but to me it was just a touch away from gourmet.  

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Today, I still love a good breakfast sandwich, but I like to play around with ways to mix and match ingredients & flavors and, of course, find ways to make it simple and workable for busy schedules.  The other weekend after a good Saturday morning run and nothing on the calendar in the near future I decided to bring out the breakfast sandwich for a little Saturday morning brunch.  I've tried different recipes in the past but this one is my favorite so far.  I have made this particular recipe for Kyle and my dad, and both gave it a thumbs up.  

The thing about this sandwich is that while yes, it does take more time to make as opposed to pouring yourself a bowl of cereal or topping some yogurt with fruit, it's still relatively quick and simple.  If you really want to simplify, you can make the goat cheese - tomato spread the day before to have ready to go or you could even make these guys a night or two before, wrap them tightly and then freeze them to be quickly heated up the next morning before heading out the door!

So, whether you're looking for a slow savory Saturday morning breakfast or a quick and simple bite to grab and go, I think I've got you covered with this small but mighty 5 ingredient breakfast sandwich.

Happy Fueling!

 

 

My Favorite Five - Ingredient Breakfast Sandwich

Makes 1 sandwiches (but makes enough goat cheese spread for 2 sandwiches)

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 whole wheat English muffin

  • 1 tablespoon goat cheese

  • About 4 sun dried tomatoes, packed in oil, lightly blotted to remove some of the excess oil, and diced

  • 1/2 small avocado

  • 2 eggs

DIRECTIONS:

 1. Toast one English muffin in a toaster.

1. Toast one English muffin in a toaster.

 2. In a small bowl crack two eggs and whisk together, adding a pinch of salt.

2. In a small bowl crack two eggs and whisk together, adding a pinch of salt.

 3. In a small mixing bowl, add the diced tomatoes and 1 tablespoon of goat cheese.  4. Mash and mix together with a fork until the two ingredients are well incorporated.  5. Set aside.

3. In a small mixing bowl, add the diced tomatoes and 1 tablespoon of goat cheese.

4. Mash and mix together with a fork until the two ingredients are well incorporated.

5. Set aside.

 6. Heat a small non-stick pan on medium-low heat.  7. Add your 2 scrambled eggs to the pan, letting them get firm on the bottom, but turning the pan frequently to let the liquid uncooked egg spill over to the outside of the pan and cook.  8. Push the sides of the eggs down as you go to keep the eggs in a thin circle shape at the bottom of your pan (this should only take a few minutes).

6. Heat a small non-stick pan on medium-low heat.

7. Add your 2 scrambled eggs to the pan, letting them get firm on the bottom, but turning the pan frequently to let the liquid uncooked egg spill over to the outside of the pan and cook.

8. Push the sides of the eggs down as you go to keep the eggs in a thin circle shape at the bottom of your pan (this should only take a few minutes).

 9. Once there is barely any liquid left on top, fold over one side of the circle so that the outer side is touching the center line - like in the picture above.

9. Once there is barely any liquid left on top, fold over one side of the circle so that the outer side is touching the center line - like in the picture above.

 10. Now fold over the other side so the outside of the opposite side touches the center as well - see picture above.

10. Now fold over the other side so the outside of the opposite side touches the center as well - see picture above.

 11. Now fold over the other sides to create a small square pocket.

11. Now fold over the other sides to create a small square pocket.

 12. Now flip the square pocket over with a spatula and cook for one more minute so that any uncooked egg gets cooked. I usually flip it and then put a lid on top to trap steam in and cook it quickly without drying it out.  13. Now that it's cooked, turn off the burner and remove skillet from the heat.

12. Now flip the square pocket over with a spatula and cook for one more minute so that any uncooked egg gets cooked. I usually flip it and then put a lid on top to trap steam in and cook it quickly without drying it out.

13. Now that it's cooked, turn off the burner and remove skillet from the heat.

 14. Spoon your avocado out into a small bowl ....

14. Spoon your avocado out into a small bowl ....

 15. .... and roughly mash with a fork. I like mine to have some small avocado bites in there!

15. .... and roughly mash with a fork. I like mine to have some small avocado bites in there!

 16. Begin to assemble your sandwich by spreading 1 tablespoon of the goat cheese - tomato mixture on the top half of your English muffin.  17. Place the egg pocket on the bottom half of the English muffin.

16. Begin to assemble your sandwich by spreading 1 tablespoon of the goat cheese - tomato mixture on the top half of your English muffin.

17. Place the egg pocket on the bottom half of the English muffin.

 18. Dollop 1 tablespoon of mashed avocado onto the top of the egg and spread out gently with your spoon, knife or whatever utensil you are using.

18. Dollop 1 tablespoon of mashed avocado onto the top of the egg and spread out gently with your spoon, knife or whatever utensil you are using.

 19. Add the top to your English muffin, goat cheese spread - side down and press gently.

19. Add the top to your English muffin, goat cheese spread - side down and press gently.

 20. Voila! The perfect Egg Sandwich!

20. Voila! The perfect Egg Sandwich!

 21. Slice if you'd like or dive in and enjoy!

21. Slice if you'd like or dive in and enjoy!


WHAT'S IN THIS??

Egg:  protein, lutein, vitamin D, choline, vitamin B12

Avocado:  monounsaturated fat, vitamin E, potassium, fiber

Sun dried tomato: vitamin C, vitamin K, niacin, iron, magnesium, potassium

Whole grain English muffin:  fiber, protein, carbohydrate, 

Goat cheese: protein, fat, calcium, phosphorus


Mushroom, Thyme & Goat Cheese Pizza

If you've been following along, you know that I have been working on, and loving I might add, this new pizza recipe.  The idea started from a magazine clipping I found in my old binder of recipes collected throughout college and grad school.  However, I've added and edited and played around with so many ingredients since then that I can't actually remember what the original recipe was, other than the fact that it used thyme and goat cheese.  Today I'm sharing with you the recipe results of many tests and tastes.  While this recipe is how I like it best, you can make a variety of little ingredient changes and I bet it will still be wonderful!  In fact, I alternate between two varieties and I want to share that quickly with you before diving into the recipe..

VARIETY #1:  THICK CRUST

Goat Cheese Thyme Pizza.JPG

One way I make this, and actually the first way I ever tried it, is on Whole Foods fresh pizza dough that I roll out and use for my crust (I hear Trader Joe's has a fresh whole wheat pizza dough too that is really good).  This version makes a thicker fluffier crust that yields a delicious pizza where the toppings kind of bake into the bread.  Ahh, so, good!  Not only is this option delicious but it can also be an easy way to get more calories and carbohydrates in your young growing athlete that has daily games and practices, depleted energy stores, and increased energy and nutrition needs. This option does take a little more time because you have to flour a surface and roll out the dough, but if time allows, I think it's absolutely worth it!  And, because it has a thicker crust, you or your athlete can throw on more favorite toppings!

 

VARIETY #2:  THIN CRUST

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My second variety is made on the Trader Joe's already-made whole wheat pizza crust that you find in the bread aisle.  I mostly like this version because of how quick and simple it is.  Wednesday night I cooked this variety for some girlfriends.  I got home around 6:00 p.m. and only had to focus on prepping the toppings.  Once the girls were over, I assembled the pizza and popped it in the oven for about 20 minutes and it was done.  I don't know about you, but that's my perfect idea of entertaining on a weeknight - a dish that everyone will enjoy and that allows you to be present with your company, not have to put all of your attention on cooking.  This is the variety that I'm going to share with you today!

PIZZA TAKEAWAY...

I always hear people say, "oh pizza is bad".  Oiy, feels like a punch to the stomach.  While, yes, some pizzas provide less fueling and health - promoting ingredients than others and when eaten too often, in too big of quantities over a long period of time can promote weight gain and other health concerns, I cannot say that pizza is "bad" and here is just one of my examples why.  This pizza uses a whole wheat crust from Trader Joe's (or something similar), easy to make homemade blistered & crushed tomatoes, sweet caramelized onions, soft crumbly goat cheese and fresh thyme.  And, while this is one of my favorite flavor combos, it is just one example,.  You can put any variety of your favorite veggies, cheeses and herbs and spices on here or throw in some chicken or lean ground beef if you want.  A perfectly fueling & filling option if you ask me!

So, here you go, my Mushroom, Thyme and Goat Cheese Pizza..

Happy Fueling!

Taylor

 

Mushroom, Thyme & Goat Cheese Pizza

INGREDIENTS:

TJ's crust.JPG
  • 1 Trader Joe's whole-wheat pizza crust
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil + 2 teaspoons olive oil + 1/2 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons olive oil (last 2 tsp optional)
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes
  • 6 - 8 ounces of mushrooms (your choice - I love picking a variety!), chop larger ones but smaller ones can be left whole
  • 1/2 of a medium white or red onion, sliced into half moons
  • 4 to 6 ounces of crumbled goat cheese
  • 1 1/2  tablespoons of fresh thyme
  • Juice from 1/2 of a lemon
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

1.  Preheat the broiler on high.

2.  Line a medium-size rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

3.  To a medium-size skillet, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil and heat on medium-low heat.

4.  Add mushrooms to the heated skillet and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until softened.

 5.  While the mushrooms cook, in a medium-size bowl toss the cherry tomatoes with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.  Spread the tomatoes out on half your lined baking sheet.  6.  In the same medium-size bowl toss the onion slices with 1 teaspoon olive oil.  Spread the onions out on the other half of the lined baking sheet next to the tomatoes.  7.  Place the baking sheet in the oven and let cook under the broiler for about 10 minutes, until onions and tomatoes begin to charr and the tomatoes burst.  Mix with a heat-proof utensil about half-way through.  8.  Once mushrooms are done cooking, turn off the burner and set aside.  9.  Once tomatoes and onions are done cooking, remove from the oven and turn off the broiler.  Gently crush the tomatoes with a fork (being careful not to squirt yourself with tomato juice!) and set aside.  10.  Change the oven setting to Bake at 400 degrees F.  

5.  While the mushrooms cook, in a medium-size bowl toss the cherry tomatoes with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.  Spread the tomatoes out on half your lined baking sheet.

6.  In the same medium-size bowl toss the onion slices with 1 teaspoon olive oil.  Spread the onions out on the other half of the lined baking sheet next to the tomatoes.

7.  Place the baking sheet in the oven and let cook under the broiler for about 10 minutes, until onions and tomatoes begin to charr and the tomatoes burst.  Mix with a heat-proof utensil about half-way through.

8.  Once mushrooms are done cooking, turn off the burner and set aside.

9.  Once tomatoes and onions are done cooking, remove from the oven and turn off the broiler.  Gently crush the tomatoes with a fork (being careful not to squirt yourself with tomato juice!) and set aside.

10.  Change the oven setting to Bake at 400 degrees F.  

 11.  Place pizza crust on a pizza stone or a large baking sheet and brush with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil.  12.  Then spread the tomato - onion mixture in a thin even layer, leaving a little room on the edges.

11.  Place pizza crust on a pizza stone or a large baking sheet and brush with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil.

12.  Then spread the tomato - onion mixture in a thin even layer, leaving a little room on the edges.

 13.  Top pizza crust with mushrooms, crumbled goat cheese and fresh thyme.  This picture was from a trial where I added the mushrooms raw.  You can do this if pressed for time, but I thought the mushrooms had a better texture and were more thoroughly cooked when sauteed before adding to the uncooked pizza crust.  14.  Place prepped pizza in the 400 degree oven and cook for about 20 minutes until the crust is crispy and the cheese has melted.

13.  Top pizza crust with mushrooms, crumbled goat cheese and fresh thyme.  This picture was from a trial where I added the mushrooms raw.  You can do this if pressed for time, but I thought the mushrooms had a better texture and were more thoroughly cooked when sauteed before adding to the uncooked pizza crust.

14.  Place prepped pizza in the 400 degree oven and cook for about 20 minutes until the crust is crispy and the cheese has melted.

 15.  Remove from the oven and slice into 4 to 6 triangular slices (or however many you want!)  OPTIONAL - you can whisk together the lemon juice and last 2 teaspoons of olive oil and drizzle over the pizza before slicing and serving.  It adds a little pop of flavor!  

15.  Remove from the oven and slice into 4 to 6 triangular slices (or however many you want!)

OPTIONAL - you can whisk together the lemon juice and last 2 teaspoons of olive oil and drizzle over the pizza before slicing and serving.  It adds a little pop of flavor!  

 16.  I always like pairing my pizza with a different salad.  Sometimes I keep it simple with spinach and extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and sometimes I throw together lots of mix-ins and a fun dressing.  Anything works!  17.  Serve and enjoy!

16.  I always like pairing my pizza with a different salad.  Sometimes I keep it simple with spinach and extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and sometimes I throw together lots of mix-ins and a fun dressing.  Anything works!

17.  Serve and enjoy!

Cookbooks I'm Currently Loving

I think it might be safe to say that I am officially a collector of cookbooks.  I wouldn't say this is as much by choice as it is the fact that my friends and family all know how much I love cooking and so that seems to be the most frequent gift I receive for holidays, Birthdays, etc.  I'm not complaining in the slightest, though, because I do love getting them.  Each book has its own flare, its own twist on a recipe, and with each new book I get new ideas and new excitement to try something new.  

I don't go to many cooking classes and I never went to culinary school, although I did debate about going to culinary school before completing a dietetic internship.  Anyway, with that said, I don't have that official training, but what I do have is a history of experience.  I've always taken on new recipes, as easy or as difficult as they may have been, with a curious excitement and a small pinch of determination - almost like I was facing a new challenge or mastering a new skill in a sport.  Sometimes a recipe would fail and sometimes it would turn out perfectly.  But that's the thing about cooking.  Just like trying to master a new skill, technique or element in a sport or trying to find the solution to a problem at work, even when you fail or hit a dead end, you still learn from that.  You learn what NOT to do and sometimes that is more memorable than when you do something the right way.  So, without culinary school in my foreseeable future, I'll continue to cook from my cookbooks, trying new flavors and techniques and learning as I go.  

With that said I have received some great cookbooks lately.  When I'm not creating my own recipes, I'm learning and drawing inspiration from some of these other books.  Today I'm giving you a list of them so that you have a place to turn to if you ever need new ideas or inspiration.  I enjoy them for unique reasons.  However, I think the common thread is that they contain some fairly simple recipes that don't take a ton of time to prepare and, at the same time, are full of flavor because they use lots of fresh herbs and spices.  So here you go, in no particular order,...

My Favorite Go-To Cookbooks During This Season of Life

 

Love Real Food, by Kathryne Taylor

This has been my most recent cookbook received.  I got it from a friend for my Birthday this year and am loving it.  Yes, it's all vegetarian recipes, but you can easily add meat or fish to any of the dishes if you would like.  If you've been following me on Instagram, you know I've been making a lot of her dishes lately.  So far they are full of flavor and packed with great vegetables.  Some nights my husband and I will have it vegetarian as is and then the next night we'll incorporate the leftovers with grilled chicken, beef or fish.

Some of my favorites?  Her Burrito Bowls,  Roasted Cauliflower, Farro & Arugula Salad w/ Lemony Tahini,  Guacamole with Toasted Pepitas & Chipotles Sauce

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The Sprouted Kitchen, by Sara Forte

Another gift from a friend, this has some yummy and unique recipes.  I've still got a ways to go, but this book is always in the mix when planning out or getting inspiration for meals in upcoming weeks.

Some of my favorites?  Her Green Herb Shrimp with Summer Squash Couscous, Soba Bowls with Tea-Poached Salmon, and Creamy Millet with Roasted Portobellos

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The Yellow Table, by Anna Watson Carl

This book is fairly new, but has already become a go-to for repeated recipes or for new ones.  Not only am I loving the food, but I also love her story that goes along with it.  Still working through this one as well, but so far I have found a few staples from here that I still put on the menu when I know the week will be crazy.

Some of my favorites?  Her Apricot-Dijon Baked Chicken, Tuscan White Bean Soup with Swiss Chard, Red Quinoa Salad w/ Butternut Squash & Spinach, Roasted Vegetable Ratatouille

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So Easy, by Ellie Krieger

When I tell people about this cookbook it always starts something like, "This got me through grad school".  Often I would get home around 7:00 and be able to throw one of her recipes here together in 30 minutes.  And they were always so good and seriously so easy!  I tested them on my family all the time and had approval from the men and women alike.  I think it looks like my most loved cookbook off the shelf - pages torn, sauce splatters, and, of course, lots of hand-written notes about each of the recipes :)

Some of my favorites?  Her Tomatoe Shrimp & Orzo, Roast Tenderloin with Grainy Mustard, Porcini Crusted Filet Mignon (made this filet for Kyle for his birthday and he LOVED it too)

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The Food You Crave, by Ellie Krieger

This was one of the first cookbooks I started using at the beginning of grad school / my dietetic internship.  She has some dishes here that I still turn to when entertaining or just cooking for myself and my husband.  I've had the book since 2008 and love it even more now that it has all of my notes on pages from meals past - what we loved about a dish and what we would do differently the next time.

Some of my favorites?  Her Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Rosemary, Chocolate and Wine Sauce, Fettuccine with Creamy Red Pepper Sauce, Maple Mustard Chicken Thighs

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Cook Like a Pro, by Ina Garten

Ok, so I might be getting ahead of myself here because this cookbook hasn't actually come out yet.  However, I LOVE her Cook Like a Pro segment on the Food Network and I'm going to see her on her book tour when she comes to Dallas.  I think this is the segment where I found the salmon tacos I make.  She keeps things simple and does a lot of explaining in these episodes.  I can't wait for this one!

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What cookbooks are you currently loving??  I'd love to know!  Always looking for new ideas...

Happy Fueling!

Taylor

A Spice Mix That I'm Currently Loving

            The Roasted Salmon Tacos by Ina Garten

           The Roasted Salmon Tacos by Ina Garten

 

Remember back in the spring when I made those roasted salmon tacos by Ina Garten?  If you missed it, I made them right before Cinco de Mayo and they were one of my best discoveries yet.  If you are looking for a simple & delicious taco recipe I hiiiighly recommend you try this one.  It was basically "love at first bite" for me and this spice mix and after dinner I started to think up what else I could use it with. 

 

     Super Simple & flavorful Chili Lime Shrimp Salad!

    Super Simple & flavorful Chili Lime Shrimp Salad!

 

 

 

Since then, I've used the rub for my Chili Lime Shrimp Salad.

 

 

 

 

      Originally vegetarian dishes.  But the Chili Lime              Chicken on these Burrito Bowls was delish!

     Originally vegetarian dishes.  But the Chili Lime              Chicken on these Burrito Bowls was delish!

 

 

I have also used it on chicken, which I added to a fall vegetable salad one week and burrito bowls another.  Both recipes were from the cookbook Eat Real Food by Kathryne Taylor.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Why do I love this spice mix???  I love this spice mix because:

  1. There are only 3 ingredients!

  2. These 3 ingredients happen to be items I always have in our kitchen, so that's (1) less thought and (2) less groceries to buy.

  3. It takes no time at all to prepare!


This spice mix has come to the rescue several nights already and it is guaranteed to stick around as one of my go-to simple flavorings for meats and fish to add pizzaz to even the simplest weeknight dishes.  Here's how you make it.  I hope you enjoy it and that it helps you get some deliciously simple meals on the table like it has for us!

Happy Fueling!

Taylor

 

CHILI LIME SPICE MIX

Chili Lime Spice Rub.JPG

By Ina Garten

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt (or less if you prefer)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Mix all of the ingredients together in a small bowl.  
  2. Toss with shrimp, salmon, chicken or flank steak.  
  3. Cook your seasoned protein of choice.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

 

NOTE:  This original recipe was for about 1.75 pounds of salmon. (to serve 6)  You could double or halve the recipe depending on how many people you are serving.  I have done both and it's turned out delicious either way!

Spinach & Feta Stuffed Salmon

The other week we had a friend couple over for dinner and I got to test our my Spinach & Feta Stuffed Salmon again.  It was a crowd pleaser and, therefore, a keeper.  I used my original recipe that I included in my "Dinner Without a Plan" post but doubled the ingredients so that it could serve 4. I've included my updated recipe below.  Hope you enjoy it!

Stuffed Salmon and veggies.JPG

 

spinach & feta stuffed salmon

Serves 4

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 cups of fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts 
  • Four 6-ounce salmon filets (I used Coho salmon)

 

DIRECTIONS:

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  1. In a medium-sized skillet, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil.
  2. Add the fresh spinach to the skillet and cook until the spinach starts to wilt down, about 4 minutes or so.
  3. Add the ricotta cheese and feta cheese to the spinach and mix until it is all starting to melt and blend together and the spinach is completely wilted.
  4. Meanwhile, while the spinach mixture heats, add your pine nuts to another small skillet and toast on medium-low heat until they start to brown and become fragrant, about 4 minutes (watch these and you'll know when they are done.  They start to brown and you can smell the nuttiness - so good!).  You don't need to add any oil to the skillet because as the nuts heat they release their natural oils into the pan. I would actually take them off the heat before they are completely toasted because you will be toasting them again with the salmon and you don't want them to burn. When the pine nuts are done add them to the spinach & cheese mixture, incorporating well with a rubber spatula, and set aside.
  5. Now prep the salmon.  Lay the filets out on a cutting board or baking sheet skin side down.    Next take a small sharp knife and cut a slit lengthwise down the top of the filet, making something like a pocket to stuff some of the spinach mixture in.
  6. Divide the spinach mixture up evenly between the four salmon filets, stuffing each with a good portion of the spinach mixture (and some will rest on top of the salmon like in the picture).
  7. Spray a grill pan with vegetable oil or canola oil, heat it to medium-high heat and turn the oven broiler on high.
  8. Once the grill pan is hot, add your salmon filets and let those cook for about 5 to 8 minutes until you start to see it cook / turn light pink from the bottom up.  
  9. Place your grill pan with the salmon filets under the broiler and let that cook for about 1 1/2 minutes or until the filets reach your desired doneness.
  10. When the filets have cooked to your desired doneness, use oven mitts to take the grill pan out of the oven.  Allow the salmon to rest while you plate the rest of your meal. 
  11. Serve the salmon hot and enjoy!

 

Happy Fueling!
Taylor