Spinach, Feta & Sun-dried Tomato Breakfast Wrap

(Becky, the Mama)

It’s FUN Friday and I thought we’d celebrate with a story-in-pictures today.

When my grandson Georgie met Greg’s sister’s granddaughter Jena last week at our family beach vacation in Oregon, it was like at first sight. They hit it off like peas and carrots, or, to go with today’s recipe theme: like spinach and sun-dried tomatoes.

Jena and George reading the story of Brave, from Nonny’s Nook

It was fun for me, a grandmother of five little boys under age six, to be around a little girl.  Her Aunt Stephanie told me that Jena came up to her and said, excitedly, “I get to go to the beach with Grandma Gail!”  Then she paused, worried and added, “But I don’t know what to wear!”  This is something I’ve never heard my grandsons say.

She told me her favorite part of the beach is getting to wash all the shells. “I love washing things!” she said.  Again, not something that any of my grandsons has ever said to me.

We went for a walk to the beach one night and I captured this picture of the two of them, in little boy blue and little girl pink, cresting the hill just before going down to the beach. George never goes anywhere without a stick and made sure that Jenna had one, too.

“Don’t grow up too quickly, lest you forget how much you love the beach.”– Michelle Held 

Once we got to the beach, the kids wrote their names in the sand,  and then they decided to draw their own hopscotch games.

This is a little 5 year old boy’s drawing of hopscotch:

This is a little 6 year old girl’s drawing of it.

On the way home Jena walked by my side,  nicely and daintily,  as she observed George in front of us: skipping, hopping, running,  and fighting invisible enemies with his stick sword, Ninja-like.  Impressed with his boundless energy, Jena called out,  “George, are you hopped up on vegetables or Mountain Dew?”

Me (Nonny to the kids), having a blast with my beach buckaroos. We’re all hopped up on something better than Mountain Dew: veggies, the beach, and fun with family!

As it turned out, George was “hopped up on” vegetables that particular night, as he loves them, especially salads.  But I am sure he was also “hopped up” on being at the beach with his beloved family and a darlin’ fun little girl on a perfect summer’s eve.

Speaking of veggies, one of my favorite new tasty and healthy breakfast treats is Starbuck’s low fat, high nutrition vegetarian feta and spinach wrap with sundried tomatoes. It’s made with an egg white omelet (did you know there are only 25 calories in ¼ cup of egg white?), feta, spinach and sun-dried tomatoes, wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla and “sealed” in a Panini maker.

I made my own version today, and it tasted exactly like the Starbuck’s version.  I not only enjoy them for breakfast but they make great high energy snacks, that will hop you up almost as well as Mountain Dew, and make you much healthier! (And only 150 calories!)

Spinach, Feta & Sun-dried Tomato Breakfast Wrap

fresh spinach, whole wheat tortillas, chopped sundried tomatoes, organic egg whites (these are in a carton) and feta or goat cheese

Makes One

Ingredients:

Whole wheat tortilla

1/4 to 1/2 cup egg whites, depending on how thick you like your omelet

1 T. crumbled feta or goat cheese

3 or 4 spinach leaves

4 t. chopped sun-dried tomatoes (I prefer them packed in oil.  I had a sun-dried tomato tamponade on hand so I used that)

About a teaspoon of olive oil to coat pan

Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

Lightly moisten the flour tortilla (I just wet my hand and pass it over both side of tortilla) and then cook in small skillet (lightly coated with just a smear of olive oil) on both sides until pliable and warm.  Set aside and keep warm under a plate or paper towel.

In the same small skillet, add the egg whites and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.  Place feta cheese down the middle of it.

When the egg is set, roll it up and put in the tortilla.  Warm the spinach leaves in the pan for just a few seconds and then place them alongside egg white.  Add the sun-dried tomatoes.

Roll up and then carefully place seam down in the skillet.  Hold it down for a few minutes with a spatula until it is crispy and sealed.  Turn it over and let the over side get brown.   Serve immediately.

Variations: Vegans can use scrambled tofu and skip the cheese or use a vegan cheese. Try other veggies such as artichokes, sautéed onions or potatoes. Use whole eggs.

This was printed from: We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook
The site URL: http://welaughwecrywecook.com
The Title: Spinach, Feta & Sun-dried Tomato Breakfast Wrap
The URL: http://wp.me/p1UwM9-yW
© Copyright 2012 – All Rights Reserved


Bloody Mary Veggie Soup (Vegan)

Becky’s Bloody Mary Soup — Creamy, loaded with vegies and tastes AWESOME!

My husband had surgery on Thursday for a deviated septum and to keep him company while he rested in the living room, breathing like Darth Vader, I went on a nonstop experimental cooking spree.

I suddenly morphed into one of those chefs on America’s Test Kitchens, except that I cook without cleaning as I go, so it looked like unsupervised Kindergarteners were allowed to play with food on my counter tops.

I made this mess in less than 20 minutes. I do this sort of thing with amazing regularity.

At one point I was happily and furiously cooking when I lost my grip on a slippery lemon just before it became airborne and hit me in the head. My mother warned me about hot stoves, boiling water, and sharp knifes when explaining kitchen safety,  but nobody told me to beware of flying citrus.

I am most interested lately in cooking with foods that are known to help lower blood pressure.  My BP was up last week and all medications I’ve tried thus far make me feel like a sloth with a migraine. I’m determined to try to let “food be my medicine” as best I can, and see if I can wrestle those numbers down without pharmaceuticals.

So when Greg said he’d like some tomato soup,  I got inspired and created a super-healthy vegie-tomato soup, chocked full of foods known to  help lower blood pressure.  When I took a sip,  it was truly delicious. Something about it reminded me of Bloody Mary mix, so I added some typical Bloody Mary ingredients (Worcestershire, celery seed, lemon, hot sauce)  to jazz it up even more, then used chopped celery as a garnish and a celery stick as a “stirrer.”  Cute, eh?  And the taste?  Amazing!  It was so good that after Greg and I enjoyed hot soup for lunch,  I sipped a nutritious, warm mug full at mid-afternoon for a snack.  Today I enjoyed it cold, adding tiny diced cucumbers and a little parsley as a gazpacho-like treat.

The basic recipe can be played with dozens of ways, adding bits of veggies that are on hand in your crisper.  Hot or cold, I’m proud to share this soup that is as tasty as it is healthy.

Creamy Bloody Mary Soup

Becky’s Bloody Mary Veggie Soup

Serves 4-6 

Ingredients:

28 oz. can crushed tomatoes with basil

2 cloves garlic

½ red onion

1 red bell pepper

1 carrot, rough chopped

1 stalk celery, rough chopped

1 handful fresh spinach (about a cup, loosely packed) (You may also use fresh basil if you have it on hand, instead)

1 ½ c. veggie broth (or chicken broth)

1 ½ c. almond milk (don’t substitute dairy milk as it may curdle)

2 t. organic sugar (or brown sugar)

½ t. salt

1 t. pepper

1 t. Worcestershire sauce (Look for vegan Worcestershire sauce, if you are a vegan purest, as many contain anchovies,)

1 t. celery seed

Juice from ½ fresh lemon

Dash hot sauce (Tabasco or Buffalo Sauce)

2 stalks celery diced small, for garnish (about 1 T. in each bowl)

Celery stalks with leaves attached for garnish, one in each bowl

Directions:

In large blender or food processor put ½ the can tomatoes, garlic, onion, red bell pepper, carrot, celery and spinach and 1 c. veggie broth.  Blend on high until as creamy as you your machine will get it.

Pour mixture into large pan, add rest of can of tomatoes (the crushed tomatoes will add some texture to soup, but if you prefer it smooth, whirl in the blender as well)  and rest of veggie broth, almond milk, sugar, salt and pepper.  Bring to boil, stirring often.  Turn heat down to medium and simmer for five minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Worcestershire, celery seed, dash hot sauce and juice of ½ fresh lemon.  Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.   Garnish with a tablespoon of chopped celery and stick of leafy celery and serve.   Delicious with grilled cheese or grilled roasted veggie  sandwich.

Variations: Try other veggies in this basic recipe.  Add chopped cucumber,  chopped green onion and/or diced tomato and serve it cold, like a refreshing gazpacho.

This was printed from: We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook

The site URL: http://welaughwecrywecook.com

The Title:  Bloody Mary Veggie Soup

The URL: http://wp.me/p1UwM9-ic


Marinated Portobello Burger

Marinated Portobello Burgers

When I was about 12, I went on a ski trip with my family. While hanging out at the base, some older teens hollered out to me and my brothers “Hey, you want some shrooms?”

I giggled and naively said, “Those guys must be on drugs or something. Why would they think we want some mushrooms while we are skiing?”

My big brothers busted out laughing.

I didn’t know how right I had been until they finally stopped laughing to explain to me what the “shrooms” those dudes spoke of were.

Lucky for me, I didn’t like mushrooms and would have turned down the offer even if my big brothers hadn’t been there to fill me in.

Nowadays, I might be in trouble if someone hollers out and offers me some shrooms, though.

It turns out after more than 25 years of hating mushrooms, I’ve discovered I actually love a good shroom!

The first time I ordered a Portobello Burger was shortly after going vegan. It was the only thing on the menu I could eat, so I figured I’d give it a try. It was thick, chewy, flavorless and spongy. I stayed away from portobellos after that and eased my way into the land of shrooms with baby bellas sauteed in evoo and garlic.

Recently we were at the new plant-based cafe in Dallas, VSPot, and I decided to try their marinated portobello burger. Some people at the neighboring table were raving about it, so I thought I’d give the portobello one more go. It was so succulent it almost melted in my mouth. The mushroom was cooked down really thin so you would never have guessed you were biting into a thick spongy portobello cap.

Tonight I made my own portobello burger and I have to say, it was awesome. The flavors are quite different than the one we had at the VSpot and I didn’t manage to get it quite as thin, but it will definitely hold me over until our next visit!

Wanna shroom?

Rachel’s
Marinated Portobello Burger

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 Portobello Mushrooms, stems removed and gently wiped clean with a damp sponge
4 Buns (I used Whole Grain Ciabatta Sandwich Rolls from our store’s bakery)
1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 cup of Braggs Aminos (or soy sauce)
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
Topping suggestions: sauteed spinach, caramelized red onions, roasted red peppers

Mix the marinade in a bowl. Pour into a gallon sized zip top bag and add the portobello caps. Shake it up to cover the mushrooms and place in the refrigerator. I let mine marinate for about 5 hours, but I think you could go as little as an hour if you’re short on time or as long as 8-10 if you want to marinate them while you’re at work.

Heat a skillet on medium heat with evoo covering the bottom. Put the mushroom caps in 1-2 at a time bottoms down and with a spatula or the bottom of a sauce pan, gently hold the mushrooms down. Don’t apply too much pressure at first or you’ll tear the edges. Turn the mushrooms over and continue applying gentle pressure. Repeat turning back and forth every few minutes for about 10 minutes until the mushroom cap is only a few centimeters thick.

I ate mine on ciabatta rolls that I smeared with Vegenaise (vegan mayo) mixed with minced garlic and toasted on a lightly oiled saute pan (this gives the bread a nice crunch), topped with sauteed spinach and garlic and caramelized red onions. I thought I was going to need a protein like some beans to add to this, but I was plenty full after one mushroom burger and a side of sauteed yellow squash and zucchini.

This was printed from: We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook
The site URL: http://welaughwecrywecook.com
The Title: Marinated Portobello Burger
The URL:http://welaughwecrywecook.com/2012/03/27/marinated-portobello-burger
© Copyright 2012 – All Rights Reserved


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