Sweet Potato & Brussels Sprout Grain Bowls

IMG_7914After a couple of food and drink-filled trips to Chicago and Louisville this year, I've been trying to get back in the groove of eating healthily (at least for breakfast and lunch.) One big thing that helps me do this is prepping at the beginning of the week—if I can just throw some vegetables, grains and dressing in a bowl when lunchtime rolls around, I'm much more likely to go for that instead of a grilled cheese (though of course, there's a time and place for grilled cheese too.) I prefer a ratio of 3:1 vegetables to grains, but you can adjust according to your preference. I typically make this on Sundays, and then it lasts me the entire week for lunch!

Sweet Potato & Brussels Sprout Grain Bowls (serves 6)

1 cup quinoa

3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

1 teaspoon black pepper, divided

1 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved

1 teaspoon fish sauce

6 eggs

Dressing:

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup rice vinegar

2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons peeled and minced ginger

2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

 

Sliced cabbage, quick pickles, or other greens of your choosing

Salted roasted peanuts

Hot sauce

 

  1. Make quinoa: Add quinoa and 2 cups water to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then cover and simmer until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 425°. Spread sweet potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Roast for 30-35 minutes, until tender and browned.
  3. Spread Brussels sprouts on a rimmed baking sheet. Toss with remaining olive oil, salt and pepper and roast for 25-30 minutes, until very crispy. Toss with fish sauce.
  4. Make dressing: Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  5. Add eggs to a saucepan filled with water. Bring to a boil, then immediately turn off heat and let eggs sit in pan for 5 minutes. Remove from pan, rinse under cold water and carefully peel.
  6. To serve: Add quinoa, sweet potatoes, and Brussels sprouts to each bowl and drizzle with dressing. Carefully cut each egg in half and add to bowl. Add additional vegetables, hot sauce and peanuts as desired.

The Ultimate BLT

_MG_4067Hi everyone. Terribly sorry for the month-long absence -- I must admit that I don't really have a good excuse, except that between work and going home to Minnesota for the holidays, December simply got away from me. Combine that with very short daylight hours, and it makes it a little difficult to take photos. In any case, I'm back just in time to give you the perfect thing to make for your (hungover) New Year's Day breakfast (or dinner). Minimal prep time + the magic combinations of egg, bacon, tomato, and arugula = happiness. This does also make a lovely meal when you are not hungover, just so you know._MG_4062 In other holiday news, Minnesota was very cold and snowy, but quite lovely for Christmas. My family had our usual meals of Swedish meatballs, mashed potatoes, and lefse. I know, super Scandanavian. Did you have a good Christmas? Are there any foods that you always eat at Christmas or New Year's? I would love to know! And happy New Year to you all!_MG_4081

The Ultimate BLT (inspired by a recipe in Food & Wine's newest cookbook, America's Greatest New Cooks) (Serves 1)

3 strips bacon

1/4 cup mayonnaise

3 tablespoons assorted herbs, such as basil, chives, or thyme, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

2 eggs

1 teaspoon butter

2 large slices good bread, such as  a country loaf or a baguette

1 tomato, sliced into 1/2-inch thick slices

1/2 cup arugula

Preheat oven to 350. Place bacon on a baking sheet and cook in oven until crispy, 5-7 minutes. Remove from pan and place on several paper towels on a plate to drain.

In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, herbs, and garlic clove (there will be extra). Toast bread, and spread herb mayo on one side. Add bacon, tomatoes, and lettuce.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. When it starts to foam, crack eggs into pan. Season with salt and pepper, and let cook until just beginning to set but middle is still runny, 1-2 minutes. Carefully flip eggs over to cook other side and cook for 30 seconds, until whites are just set but yolks are still runny (if you prefer your eggs cooked more, leave in pan for another couple of minutes).  Place one egg on each half of sandwich, top with other slice of bread, and serve immediately._MG_4071

Arugula Salad with a Fried Egg

At some point, these 98 degree days have to end. Of course, I will be missing them in winter, but for the moment I am running out of sundresses to wear. Dinner has become whatever I can throw together in a few minutes, preferably with little to no cooking time. This salad comes together quickly, and can easily become a main course with the addition of sliced ham, avocado, and a fried egg -- which makes everything better, clearly. I love the contrast of the crisp, peppery arugula with creamy avocado and the tart vinaigrette. You can also poach the eggs for a slightly healthier version of this salad. Arugula Salad with a Fried Egg

6 oz arugula

2 ears corn

2 oz prosciutto or Ibérico ham, thinly sliced (optional)

1 avocado, diced

Handful walnuts, lightly toasted

2 shallots, diced

1 teaspoon whole-grain mustard

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Pinch sugar

2 tablespoons good quality olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

2 eggs

1 tablespoon butter

 

On a grill, roast corn until kernels turn bright yellow and are slightly charred, about 7 minutes per side. Alternatively, roast corn in oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Let cool then cut off kernels with a serrated knife into a large bowl, then season with salt and pepper. Add arugula, toasted walnuts, avocado, and ham and mix well. In a small glass or jar, whisk shallots, mustard, vinegar, and sugar until blended. Slowly add olive oil in a steady stream while whisking, and mix until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper, then add to salad and toss well.

Melt butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Crack egg directly into pan and season with salt and pepper (one at a time is easiest). Cook until white is about half-way set, approximately 1 minute. Flip egg over with a spatula and cook until white is set but yolk is still runny, about 30 second (longer if you like your eggs cooked more). Repeat with remaining egg. Add salad to two bowls, then top each with an egg.