Birds Nest Pancakes

Birds Nest pancake

Pancake bird’s nest and veggie sausage patty

Hey Lori, what’s the good eats word ?!!

Many years ago your Dad Charles introduced me to the bird’s nest breakfast by cutting a hole in a piece of bread and dropping an egg in it. Breakfast game changer! I love it and have made it many times since. I’ve never been a big fan of pancakes, too bready and sweet, but a dippy egg in the middle balances the sweet with savory and is a good alternative to bread onboard – just add water and presto.

pancake with hole

Make up a batch of pancake batter as usual and heat a skillet on low. Add a generous pat of butter to coat the pan. You’ll need a round object that will withstand resting in the pan heat for a minute (glass or metal) to create the hole you’ll drop the egg into, nothing too big. Pour pancake batter around the edge of object, letting the batter set up a minute before removing your egg place holder. Drop your egg in the pillowy center. You’ll want the pancake and egg to do most of it’s cooking on this one side before flipping to quickly finish off the other side. The batter will puff up and bubble when ready to flip. Now the tricky part – flip with a spatula careful not to break the yolk! Keep the heat low. Cook for a couple more minutes, just enough to finish setting up without over cooking the yolk.

osprey

The osprey are back in the Chesapeake from their winter hiatus south, busy repairing their waterfront nests atop navigational sign posts from winter damage. Gotta take their lead this year and follow them south!

Pesto Spinach & Feta

spinach and feta

I was craving spinach pie without all the fuss of phyllo dough so I made this spinach and feta mixture that I used as both a topping on mini spinach pizza pies and filling for an easy breakfast scramble made underway while towing a neighbors sailboat to a mooring ball down the bay.

red onion and garlic

Sauté red onion and garlic in olive oil. Thaw and press out as much liquid from a bag of frozen chopped spinach, add to sauté, warm through. Add 1-2 Tbsp of pesto sauce and stir covering spinach mixture evenly. Top with a couple spoonfuls of garlic and herb feta crumbles.

  • Chopped Red Onion
  • Clove of minced Garlic
  • 1 bag of chopped Spinach (drained if frozen)
  • 1-2 Tbsp jarred Pesto
  • 3 Tbsp Garlic & Herb Feta cheese crumbles
spinach pizza pie

Mini Spinach Pizza Pies

spinach scrambled egg filling

Flavorful leftover spinach filling used for breakfast.

spinach egg scramble

Spinach pesto and feta egg scramble cooking underway.

breakfast tortilla

A warming breakfast tortilla with salsa, yogurt and diced avocado.

katt & jazzy

Katt & Jazzy

Thomas Shoal Lighthouse

Passing the festive Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse

Seafood Cobb Salad

Seafood Cobb Salad

The marina and restaurant next door has a Seafood Cobb Salad on its menu that is killer. Though expensive to eat out, this salad still has pricey ingredients to make at home though for a much bigger portion and left over ingredients. It’s nice on special occasions, like for this past Easter Sunday dinner. It’s such a rich and luxe salad on its own, it doesn’t need a dressing though I think creaming some avocado with a bit of lime juice would work well as a simple dressing.

  • 3-4 cups Baby Spinach / salad greens
  • 1 ear of Corn off the cobb
  • 1 Avocado Sliced
  • 1/8 cup chopped Red Onion
  • 2 Hard Boiled Eggs sliced
  • 6 Strips chopped crisp Bacon (fat trimmed & broiled)
  • 3-4 Tbsp Blue Cheese
  • 1/3 cup of Lump Crab Meat
  • Peeled and steamed seasoned Shrimp (3-4 per person)
  • 1 filet of Blackened Seared Tuna cubed (optional)

seafood salad

Red lentils and black rice with creasy greens

Around this time of the year creasy greens or Barbarea verna (mustard family) show up in large quantities in the lower fields. We had several friends over this past weekend and they all went home with a bag. They taste a little mustardy, a little sweet, a little bitter. Reminiscent of very young collards, but wilder.

It is best to pick them when they’re about to bloom, so they are not quite as bitter.

Our lower field, usually used for harvesting Hay.

Our lower field, usually used for harvesting Hay.

 

They are drooping a little in this picture because we had an unexpected frost last night. Even the narcissus are drooping.

The greens should be picked before the yellow blooms pop.

The greens should be picked before the yellow blooms pop.

Any part of the greens can be eaten, steamed or fresh. You could also cook them into a frittata. The green buds are the sweetest, so I put them into a salad.

Excellent source of vitamin A, K and B2

Excellent source of vitamin A, K and B2

They will keep in the fridge in a freezer bag with a paper towel for 4-5 days.

Black rice is a super food – no gluten, fat or cholesterol.

Black rice is a super food – no gluten, fat or cholesterol.

 

My salad accompanied this delicious dish, with black rice, and red lentils, cooked with red potatoes and portabella mushrooms. The dressing consisted of lemon juice and olive oil with some salt and dried dill.

Put one cup of black rice and one and 3/4 cup of water in a skillet. Bring to a simmer and cover for 35-40 min. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 min.I like to eat my rice with some yummy sour pain yogurt.

The red lentil dish  combines:

  • 1/2 cup red lentils
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped
  • a couple of dashes of cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper
  • a dash of cumin
  • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • Peanut oil (or vegetable oil)

potato

I browned the red potatoes and garlic in peanut oil. When tender, I added chopped mushrooms, cayenne pepper, cumin, salt and pepper, red lentils and stock. Covered the pan and let simmer for 15 minutes or until lentils were tender and soft and the stock completely absorbed.

 

Pina Colada Smoothie

pina colada smoothie

Behold! The Pina Colada Smoothie!

Hey Lori, Do you like pina coladas and getting caught in the rain?…. Such a cheesy song but it can’t help but make me smile.

I hear ya about wanting to trim down with salads and smoothies. I’ve been trying to replace some meals with smoothie shakes, it’s fast and easy. You are right about needing to add enough protein and good fat to make a smoothie substantial enough to hold you over. This mornings smoothie was one of my favorite tasting ever! It confounds me I haven’t made it before. Pineapple is a good known weight loss food, high in vitamin C. Banana for creaminess. Yogurt and almond milk for protein and calcium. Coconut oil for good fat and lowered blood sugar spikes and other health benefits.

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1/2 cup plain lowfat yogurt
  • 1 cup plain almond milk
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 3 drops vanilla extract

And if you’re not much into health food but are into champagne… you can add dark spiced rum. 🙂

Ginger Jicama & Fruit Salad

IMG_3698 jicama salad A departure from my usual salads I thought I’d try a new vegetable, Jicama. Jicama (pronounced HICK-ah-mah and fun to say!) is a root vegetable, but so crunchy, full of water and slightly sweet and nutty it could be confused for a fruit. It tastes like a combination of radish and apple. Pairing the jicama with fruit, tart citrus, zing of ginger and earthy walnuts makes for a nice light and bright morning  salad. I think I’ll cube the jicama and apple instead of strips, they reminded me of french fries ha! Looks appetizing next to barnacles, eh?!

  • 1 Jicama – Outside skin removed and diced
  • 1 Apple (Gala) peeled and diced
  • 1″ piece of Ginger peeled and grated
  • 2 Mandarin oranges – peeled, segments cut in half
  • 1/4 cup of chopped Walnuts
  • 1/2 juice of fresh squeezed Lime
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper

Shitake Collards

We have an awesome farmers market here in Athens, partially because of the variety, but mostly because they always have lots of fresh mushrooms and greens. Here is a recipe that went so well that I was reminded how much I love cooked greens.  I might eat this till I get back to the size I was before I ever got pregnant. Not only that, it is vegetarian, unless you consider that a mushroom is both plant and animal family.

shitake collards

  • Shitake mushrooms
  • Collard greens or kale
  • Soy sauce or aminos
  • Fresh diced garlic and ginger to taste…Strong flavor
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Peanut oil, sesame oil (drizzled)

 

Shitake

Shitake: rich in iron and B vitamins

While your collards are cooking, prepare your shitakes. Fresh chopped ginger and garlic in a pan with a blend of sesame and peanut oil (light oils for high heat). Brown the ginger and garlic before tossing the shitake in, add a few drizzles of soy sauce. Don’t over cook! The combination of these flavors..divine, both sweet and savory.

collards

collards: detox support and antioxidants

After tearing the leaves from the thick center stalks, I steamed my collards in a 1/2 inch of water, a tablespoon of peanut oil (or oil of choice flavor) and dash of salt. They cooked on low for 20-25 min. I did give it a stir or two. I personally think people over cook their greens…as long as they have a soft texture and are still green they are ready.

Sesame seeds: minerals and cholesterol lowering

Sesame seeds: minerals and cholesterol lowering

 

Put some of the greens in a dish, drizzle with soy sauce. Top with shitake mixture. A dash of toasted sesame seeds. Delicious!!!!

pasta eggplant and greens with roasted peppers

pasta eggplant

I made a delicious pair of dishes both using roasted bell pepper.

Spinach dill linguini. Thin slices of eggplant broiled in the oven with olive oil and tons of garlic, some salt. I removed them from the oven and stacked fresh mozzarella cheese and roasted bell pepper on top and baked again till the cheese melted. Place those yummy nuggets on top of the pasta and drizzle some more olive oil. Pepper with oregano, basil and cracked pepper.

My salad

Butter lettuce – oh so mild and tender – cucumbers, marinated artichoke hearts, roasted bell peppers, raw pumpkin seeds, dash of cayenne, cracked rainbow pepper, sprinkle dried dill, whole flax seeds, lime juice, oil, salt, and a smear of goat cheese. peppery and refreshing.

I definitely relate to your pain with the winter, we had yet another snowstorm yesterday.xo

Winter in southeastern Ohio

Winter in southeastern Ohio

Sail Mix

sail mix

It’s snowing again today… what the heck, ENOUGH WITH THE SNOW ALREADY! It’s suppose to be Spring! The last of the cold weather feels like the remaining miles of a marathon. I deserve a T-shirt  that says “I SURVIVED 12 WINTERS ABOARD” or something like that, who knows.. I’ve lost count.

sail mix

I’m not sure how this will go over with your sugar-free detox but this is a snack mix I’ve been making for a while now. It’s basically a knock off of a ‘Ginger Zinger’ trail mix I like that goes for $6 a (1.25 cup) bag. If you do get a sweet tooth craving, dried fruit is a decent option. I found Aldi’s to be the cheapest supplier of nuts around. I get a bag of walnuts (or cashews), roasted almonds, mixed berries and raisins. From Trader Joes I get the specialty items: uncrystalized candied ginger and hazelnuts. Then I make a big batch and portion them into 1/4 cup snack bags, or else its way easy to over indulge. Makes for a good snack on the go to help keep from getting famished.

  • 1/2 cup of oven roasted unsalted Almonds
  • 1/2 cup of dry roasted unsalted Hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup of shelled Walnut halves
  • 1/2 cup of Mixed Dried Berries (cranberries, blueberries and cherries)
  • 1/4  cup of Raisins
  • 1/4 cup of chopped of Candied Ginger

Jumble it all up, makes 10 servings. With all the leftover bagged nuts and berries you can make it several times over again.

summer sailing

Sail On Silver!

Detox juice and fiber fritters

That’s it, I am done. I have been eating way too much sugar. I woke up this morning with a resolution…to cut out sugar for a month, or at least till I am not craving it so badly. This momma needs a detox juice. The timing is right, the air is feeling warm and my mood as well. No need to wallow in bad TV and Belgium chocolate bars the size of my head (thank you Trader Joes). I will be posting my juices and salads from this point on, hoping that someone out there in the eathers will appreciate and feel inspired by the food that is not only gorgeous to look at, but will increase energy, and kill some bad parasites along the way.

Black plum, Walnuts, cucumber, spinach, blueberries, almond milk with cinnamon

Black plum, Walnuts, celery, organic coconut oil, cucumber, spinach, blueberries, almond milk with cinnamon

Basically, I dove into the fridge, freezer, and pantry to mix together some food that would not only compliment each other, but give me some protein. I always keep almond milk in the fridge and it has a ton of protein, including the walnuts and coconut oil. I also have issues with blood sugar levels, and nuts are great for that. They sustain you and maintain your glucose levels. Blueberries are full of antioxidants, and I keep a massive bag of them in the freezer that has survived me all winter. The cinnamon (also natural insulin) helped blend these flavors together and I can assure you with the help of this versatile spice, I did not miss any sugar.

juice blend

Here is my lovely. The cool thing is, it replaced my afternoon snacking and lunch and I did not feel hungry. There is a lot of fiber in this drink, but the texture did not bother me.

black eyedI made a juice again later in the day with some fresh collard greens, spinach, honey crisp apple, frozen raspberries, carrot, cucumber, celery, blueberry juice, walnuts, almond milk and cinnamon. Yes, quite a combination, but it was good. What made it even better was straining the juice prior to adding nuts and raspberries and putting the fiber mixture aside for later. For dinner, I mashed up some left over black eyed peas from my squash recipe, added some toasted sesame seeds and made fritters.

left over mixI saw a program the other day about food waste. One of the things that was mentioned in this program was the amount of fruits and vegetable throw away that restaurants produce from prepping. We compost our left over non-meat items, but sometimes have thrown away scraps of veggies and fruits that may not be appealing in a salad. If you have a solid blender (which I do), these parts can be pureed. Here, I have added non-glutinous rice flour, toasted sesame seeds, a shake of cayenne for metabolism and a couple of pinches of cumin.

fried mashThe mixture is separated into small ( and I mean soup spoon sized) patties, and fried in a combination of vegetable and sesame seed oils. done mash

The cooked left over fritters are garnished with a cucumber and marinated artichoke salad and yogurt blended with some fresh lemon juice.

majestic cowThis majestic white cow watched me drive past on my way into town. Lots of little black calves spotting the hills.