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MVP Quiche + Random Kitchen Tips

Savory Spice Shop recently invited me to be their guest chef for a Back to School cooking demonstration. Whenever I do one of these, I always like to remind my audience that I am a Registered Dietitian by occupation, and self-proclaimed chef taught mostly by…the internet. Plain and simple: my cooking demos are more like Mr. Wizard meets Molly Shannon and nothing like Martha Stewart decorating a gingerbread house.

One of the many things I love about cooking demos is that I can 100% relate to my audience and vice versa. I know what it’s like to feel a little overwhelmed or flustered in the kitchen, and I’m not trying to hide it. Instead of saying, “check this out, so easy, happy trees,” my approach looks more like, “Oh, that didn’t turn out so great…but here is how we can fix it.” Truth bomb: you are going to mess up…a lot. BUT there is always a way to make it right. I have learned so much about cooking through trial and error; therefore, I bring a not-so-traditional perspective to the kitchen table.  Not only do I incorporate ways to add nutritional value to meals without losing the flavor or quality of the dish, but I also share pointers that your glorified Top Chef may not think to share because it seems like common sense.

Let’s be real…you can feel like a real idiot in a kitchen pretty quickly if you don’t know what you’re doing. It’s a humbling place for many…including myself. If only these little kitchen walls could talk…

Home Depot: $3. Click picture to purchase. Disclosure: Not an advertisement. You’re welcome.

 

 

Self-Taught Chef Tip #1: Never cut an onion again without a pair of these babies…

 

 

 

 

 

 

In preparing for a cooking demo, I like to come up with fun, relatively simple recipes that I have yet to share on P&P. This gives the demo attendees first dibs on tasting the new treats, and for this particular event, attendees also received little goody bags containing the recipes and spice samples used in each one.

Today I am sharing the recipe for Miniature Veggie Pizza Quiche, aka MVP Quiche.  The other three recipes from the cooking demo will post soon, so make sure to check back to grab those as well. The MVP Quiche recipe can be a little bit tricky; therefore, I have included a few tips to help you stay out of the disaster zone. Good luck!

MVP (Miniature Veggie Pizza) Quiche *Crustless

Serving size: 1-2 mini quiche; Servings approximately 6
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25-30 minutes
Ingredients
  • extra virgin olive oil spray
  • 12 large eggs
  • 2 cups chopped vegetables (I used bell peppers, red onion, broccolini, & mushrooms)
  • 1/2 cup marinara or pizza sauce
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon Savory Spice Pizza & Pasta Sprinkle *salt free
  • 1 teaspoon Savory & Spice Granulated Onion
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Generously coat silicone muffin pan with olive oil spray and set aside. *
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and spices.
  3. Sauté vegetables and evenly distribute into 12 muffin cups.
  4. Pour egg mixture over vegetables into each muffin cup. **
  5. Dollop each cup with 1/2 tablespoon of pizza sauce.
  6. Top pizza sauce with a little sprinkling of mozzarella and spices.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
  8. Allow quiche to cool in the muffin pan (~30 minutes) before carefully removing each one with a spatula or small knife.

Recipe Notes

*You will need a silicone muffin tin. The standard muffin tin simply doesn’t cut it. Trust me. I’ve tried. Purchase one here on Amazon. 

**Before you pour egg mixture into muffin cups, place a baking sheet underneath the tin. This will help you transfer the pan into the oven without slinging your uncooked eggs all over the kitchen. Been there, done that.

Storage: Place quiche in an air-tight container and store in the refrigerator. For desirable freshness, eat within 2-3 days.

Freezing: If you’d like, place quiche in a freezer bag and store in the freezer for longer keep.

An Exception to the Breakfast Rule

Breakfast is my thing. Especially on the weekends. And because it’s nearly impossible to find a place that has exactly what I want without me customizing my order to the annoyingth degree, I usually opt to create my own breakfast spread at home.

Here is my rationale:

  1. Breakfast can be simple and low-maintenance to make and clean up if you do it right.
  2. The complexity of how many ways you can order eggs (and bacon, for that matter) can put you, your server and the cook staff in quite the pickle. Side note: If I had a nickel for the number of times I have ordered eggs over medium and they end up rubbery because I over describe my preference, or like a dam just broke because I downplayed the importance of the over-medium characteristic, I’d be a rich lady. Alas, when you dine out, you have to expect these things…
  3. Sometimes it’s just too much brainpower to find something you enjoy (you need to be excited about your food!) while still maintaining some type of balanced, nutritious diet.

With that being said, every rule usually has an exception or two. In my 10+ years of living in Charlotte, NC,  I have finally found my exception to the breakfast rule.

Drumroll, please…

Put your forks together for The Suffolk Punch! This hot spot opened up in Fall of 2017 and lucky for us, they serve brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. This means I’m not in my kitchen as much on the weekends, and it is delightful to say the least!

In addition to being delicious, TSP is nutritionally aware, aka THEY GET IT. Their entire menu is non-GMO, organic and/or local whenever accessible, and completely soy-free.

One of my biggest things as a dietitian is not selling anyone on just the concept of “healthy.” Why? Because healthy is both complicated and too vague; it’s not a one-size fits all. Not to mention it’s not exactly top of the list when trying to figure out brunch plans with friends. The good news is that you can eat well, be healthy AND look forward to meals without being stressed out. It’s not easy, but with the right information (and dietitians having your best interest in mind!), you can find great, balanced options while navigating quickly through all the crazy myths and food marketing schemes that are out there to make things much more complicated than they need to be.

So let’s start HERE, and try one of my top three TSP brunch favorites!

The Veggie Burger is the first thing I tried at TSP. I have tried many a veggie burgers in my time, and this one is a flavor explosion and a must-try! Comes with arugula, house-made BBQ sauce, and goat cheese crema…YUM!

Usually when I find something I like on a menu, I stick with it. But my second visit to TSP I actually ventured out and tried the Chiliaquiles. Holy molé (get it???)…out of this world good, and also gluten-free! Corn tortillas (crispy!), guajillo sauce, queso fresco, pulled chicken, peppers, fried eggs, onion, salsa verde. Oh my.

The Roasted Vegetable Hash is a nutrition power house if you ask me. Gluten-free and loaded with seasonal, local farm vegetables topped with fried eggs.

If your mouth isn’t already watering enough, torture yourself a little more and check out their Full Brunch Menu.

The Suffolk Punch is taking reservations for Mother’s Day. Don’t miss your chance to check them out and wow the moms in your life. If you are a regular, you know how packed it gets on the weekends, so make sure to call today to grab your spot!

(704) 319-8650

2911 Griffith St
Charlotte, NC 28203

On the Light Rail
@ New Bern Station

*All images by Josh Vasko | www.joshuavasko.com

Goats

Quick backstory on the recipe name. This recipe started out as To-Go Oats. Then, a dear friend of mine started calling it To-Goats which quickly (naturally) morphed into Goats. It has nothing to do with goats, which actually makes sense because my friend who came up with the name is a hip millennial now living in Cali with a true knack for meshing words into new words that have nothing to do with the original meaning. Basically, Goats is our inside joke, and now you’re all in on it.

As a writer and a fellow recipe hunter, I understand that if you are choosing to land on a recipe post, you are likely just interested in obtaining a recipe. Therefore, I will only share a quick blurb, followed by the sought out recipe and nutritional information including any helpful tips that I find pertinent.

So without further ado, I give you Goats!

Goats

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup Rolled Oats
  • 1 tablespoon Chia Seeds
  • 3/4 cup Unsweet Almond Milk, Soy Milk, Oat Milk, Regular Milk, etc. (your choice!)
  • 1-2 tablespoons Greek Yogurt
Optional toppings
  • 1-4 to 1/2 cup Fresh or frozen berries
  • 1-2 tablespoons Unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1-2 tablespoons Nut butter (Big Spoon Roasters is my favorite!)
  • Raw honey or pure maple syrup
  • Cacao powder
  • Hemp seeds

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl mix oats and chia seeds. Add milk and Greek yogurt. Stir to combine all ingredients.

  2. Cover the bowl, and place in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours.  *Note: set in the fridge overnight for a thicker consistency, but you may need to add a splash of milk in the morning depending on your texture preferences.

  3. Once removed from the fridge, add toppings of choice and enjoy

*Nutritional info below includes the “base” for Goats: rolled oats, chia seeds, soy milk and Greek yogurt (2%).

One last tip. For groceries, Trader Joe’s has all of your needs, and mostly ORGANIC on the cheap. Also, I cannot recommend Big Spoon Roasters enough. Low sugar, real ingredients, and freaking amazing. Gah I just love them! <3