Baked Eggs with Mushrooms, Spinach & Bread

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_MG_5631I firmly believe that you can never have enough egg recipes. My personal favorite way to eat eggs is over-easy, atop a piece of avocado-slathered toast with a little hot sauce, but every now and then I like to switch it up a little. This recipe looks impressive, uses one pan, and can be expanded exponentially to accommodate a crowd – really, what's not to love? You could also add bacon for a smoky flavor, or switch the vegetables for other items you prefer. The only thing I really insist on is the croutons and runny eggs. A perfect winter breakfast, if I do say so myself._MG_5637

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Baked Eggs with Mushrooms, Spinach & Bread (serves 2)

2 T. olive oil

1/2 baguette or other rustic bread, torn into bite-size pieces

2 T. butter

1 leek, rinsed well and thinly sliced

10 oz mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced

4 oz spinach, chopped

4 eggs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat oil over medium in a sauté pan. When hot, add bread and toast until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

In a cast-iron or oven-proof pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add leek, and sauté until soft, about 8 minutes. Add mushrooms and season with salt an pepper, sautéing until browned, about 8 minutes. Add spinach and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and add croutons and toss. Carefully make four small wells in vegetable mixture, then crack eggs directly into each well. Place pan in oven and cook until eggs are just set, 6-7 minutes. Serve immediately.

Orecchiette with Brown Butter, Sausage and Kale

_MG_5640You know those restaurants where, no matter what mood you are in, it makes everything a little better? Where the food isn't too fancy, but delicious and comforting every time, and where you know you'll be treated well. For me, that restaurant is Frankie's 457 in Brooklyn. Of course, it helps that they have the loveliest garden in the five boroughs, with an outdoor bar and string lights (I'm always a sucker for string lights) that makes you feel like you have escaped the city to a magical place. Needless to say, it's one of my favorite restaurants and the one thing we order from there every single time is orecchiette with spicy sausage and broccoli rabe. _MG_5653It's always the perfect combination of greens, buttery pasta and spicy pork sausage – and last week, I realized it probably wouldn't be so difficult to make at home. (Spoiler: it's not – in fact, it might be mine and Ari's new favorite weeknight meal). I swapped the broccoli rabe for kale since that was all my grocery store had, and I think that it makes an excellent substitute – but you could just as easily stick with rabe, or try another hearty green like collards or Swiss chard._MG_5643

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Orecchiette with Brown Butter, Sausage and Kale (adapted from Mario Batali, serves 4-6)

1 lb orecchiette

4 tablespoons butter

1 lb hot Italian sausage, casings removed

1/2 bunch kale, de-stemmed and roughly chopped

1 tsp. red pepper flakes

1 cup grated Pecorino cheese, plus more for garnish

In a large pan, bring salted water to boil. Once boiling, cook pasta according to box instructions until al dente, then drain and reserve 1 cup of pasta water. Set aside.

Meanwhile, melt butter over medium heat in a large sauté pan. Cook until it starts to brown and smells a little nutty, 5-7 minutes. Pour all but about 1 tablespoon into a small bowl. Return pan to heat, and add sausage. Cook until brown, breaking it up with a spoon as you go, about 8 minutes. Add kale and red pepper flakes to pan, seasoning with salt and pepper. Cook until wilted, 5-7 minutes, covering if necessary.

Add pasta to sausage and greens, then add pasta water, reserved butter and Pecorino and toss to coat. Serve immediately with additional Pecorino and red pepper flakes.

Mango, Banana, & Kale Smoothie

_MG_4118In the spirit of New Year's resolutions, I have been trying to up my intake of vegetables. A really easy (and relatively painless) way to do this is just to add some greens to a smoothie. This has become my go-to breakfast lately, and I think it's more filling than a mix of just fruit -- plus, you get lots of your vitamins for the day in before 9 am. Kind of a win-win situation, I would say. You can also substitute spinach or another leafy green for the kale if you prefer._MG_4122 Mango, Banana, & Kale Smoothie (serves 2)

1 cup fresh or frozen mango, cut into 1-inch pieces (if you use fresh, add a handful of ice)

1 banana, cut into 1-inch pieces

1/3 cup orange juice

1/3 cup almond milk

1 1/2 cups fresh kale, cut into small pieces.

Combine all ingredients in a blender and purée on high until smooth, 1-2 minutes. Serve immediately, adding ice if necessary.