Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Restaurant Review: The Egg Shop

It should be surprise by now that I have a little obsession with eggs. The most commonly used grocery staple is popping up on top of dishes all over the city for breakfast, lunch and dinner but let's be honest, the tried and true best use of eggs is during breakfast. Long are the days I can pop into a deli and order a bacon, egg and cheese so when given the opportunity I jump at the chance to order one.

The Egg Shop is a not so secret gem in SoHo with 1-2 hour waits every weekend. My first attempt to eat there was a fail, having come from spin class with no chance of waiting over an hour without fainting. This time I got it right. My friend and I swung in to put our name on the list then went next door for Nutella and Banana covered gluten free but loaf. Mmm mm. 60 minutes and one cocktail l later it was time for Egg Shop! :)

The restaurant holds only about 30-35 guests and the kitchen is basically the size of mine... With 5 guys whipping of dishes left and right. 

I knew right away I was ordering a bacon, egg and cheese and made a last minute game time decision to add avocado to go along with their tomato pepper jam. They served it on a toasted gluten free English muffin.  It was damn good!! The egg arrived already cracked and running down the sandwich. I tossed caution to the wind and picked the hot mess of a sandwich right up and started stuff my face. (Judge away. If you barely got the chance to indulge you'd do the same!) 

Every bite was delicious. Runey yolk, smoky bacon, creamy avocado and the perfect little kick of tomatoe pepper jam. I could die a happy girl eating that every day. 

To go with my B.E.C. I ordered the strangest looking blue vodka drink, complete with egg whites. I wasn't a huge fan but that's ok... My Sammy more than made up for it. And you can mark my words... I will be a new frequent guest of Egg Shop!! 

Eggplant-Turkey Pizza Burger

Like several other times over the last few months, my eyes have driven my produce selection at the grocery store. I can't look at the brightest, greenest veggies and just walk away. I know I'll use them in some way. This week, I walked away with fresh broccoli, cherry tomatoes, red pepper and eggplant among other delicious foods.

I was in the mood for something Italian inspired so I sautéed a bunch of cherry tomatoes, peppers and onion with garlic. Next, I thinly sliced the eggplant, brushed each side with olive oil and sprinkled on some salt, pepper and garlic powder and pan fried them until softened. While that was cooking I balanced broccoli and set aside. 

Ok, so now what? I thought about how to compose my meal and remembered I had frozen turkey burger patties in the freezer and shredded mozzarella in the fridge - pizza burger it is! And who needs a bun when you can use eggplant as a make-shift bun! :)

After cooking the turkey, I layered two eggplant slices on my plate then spines on a scoop of my tomatoe and pepper mix followed by the turkey burger. I sprinkled on some mozz next then another layer of tomatoes and peppers and topped with two more eggplant slices. And of course, broccoli seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder was my side dish. 

Not only was this a guilt free meal but every bite was super juicy! If you have some time on your hands you could easily roast the veggies instead of pan frying. Half the work and just as delicious! 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Veggie and Egg Pizzas!

I'm always looking for quick and healthy yet equally delicious dinners during the week. I've been on a big veggie kick lately so I do all my prep work on Sunday's then make different meals using the veggies throughout the week.

Last week I opted for super easy pizza using corn tortillas. To make a sauce, I sautéed 1/4 onion with half of a red pepper and two plum tomatoes. Once fully softened I put the mixture on the tortilla. Next, I sautéed chopped zucchini, eggplant, spinach and broccoli until tender and put them on top of my make-shift sauce. Next I sprinkled on a little cheese and tossed the pizza in the microwave for one minute. (Could I have baked this so it was crunchy, yea. But that defeats he purpose of a quick meal.) ;) 

My last step is the best step. I fried one egg and placed it top. I LOVEEEE when the yolk cracks, running down the mound of veggies adding the perfect creamy mix to each bite. 

Trust me, you definitely need to make this one night! You can literally use and veggies you have: kale, mushrooms, carrots, corn, etc. So good! 

I've also made a version using asparagus and tons of red pepper instead of broccoli and eggplant. Super delicious!

Yes, I ate both of these. Oink oink. 

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Turkey and Pepper Zucchini Pasta

I have been on a spiralizer spree lately. First was  "spaghetti" and meatballs which was delicious. This week I wanted to mix it up and have careless tacos. So I skipped the shell all together and put my taco toppings on zucchini noodles.

1 lb of ground turkey 
1 packet of taco seasoning 
1 tbsp olive oil 
1 clove garlic, minced or crushed
1 cup frozen corn
1 red bell pepper
1 onion
3 zucchinis 
Greek yogurt for topping

1) Spiralize three zucchinis, saving and chopping nubs of zucchini that does not fit in spiralizer. Set "noodles" aside.
2) Over medium high heat, cook turkey until fully browned. Turn off the heat then add 1/4 cup of water and 3/4 of the taco seasoning packet. Stir until water is absorbed and season evenly covers the meat. 
3) In the same pan, add the olive oil and heat for about one minute. Add onion, pepper, zucchini and garlic to the pan and saute for five minutes. Toss in frozen corn and rest of taco seasoning packet and cook until all veggies are tender. When veggies are cooked through, add turkey back to pan to combine flavors.
4) To serve, top a serving of zucchini noodles with taco/veggie mix and garnish as desired. I added Greek yogurt instead of sour cream and served it with a side of asparagus. It was DELICIOUS!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Spiralize it!!!

I'm pretty obsessed with pasta but on my "get that summer body ready" journey, over indulging in carbs are a big no-no. To help inspirie me to eat healthier I've been following a bunch of healthy Instagram pages. I keep seeing posts for zucchini noodles. Yes, noodles made from raw zucchini... Covered in bolognese! (Can I get a hell yea!??) After about 15 posts I had to know how it works. I went on Amazon and ordered myself a cheep spiralizer and two days later it was time to cook!

This little gadget fits in your hand and has one end for fine noodles and another for a little bit thicker ones. All I had to do was trim the end of the zucchini and push it into one end of the spiralizer. With a little squeezing and turning, noodle like strands of zucchini started to fall onto my cutting board. 

I have to admit, this process took a little effort and you end up with little numbs of zucchini that won't fit through the spinner but the way I see it... More calories burned and extra squash for the sauce! This is great for quick meals using any long skinny veggie like yellow squash and carrot. There is another version of the spiralizer that stands on a table top and had a handle so you can spin anything from beets to apples. I'm sersiousy debating on upgrading already. I can't stop thinking of all the things I could turn to noodles!! 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Gluten Free Polena Cakes with Sausage and Veggies

Need a quick, easy and healthy dinner idea? I have you covered. All you need on hand is a pre-cooked tube of polenta from Trader Joe's (or any other grocery store...but we all know I only shop one place) and some veggies. This meal is great to make at the end of the week when you don't want your produce to go to waste!

2 tbsp olive oil
1 tube of precooked polenta
1 lb sausage, ground (or links with casing removed)
1 red pepper, diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 onion, diced small 
1 cup mushrooms, diced
2 handfuls of fresh spinach
Garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Balsamic glaze

1) In a sauté pan over medium high heat add sausage and cook until fully browned, about 8-10 minutes. Make sure sausage breaks into small piece as you cook. 
2) Prepare polenta for cooking by slicing into thin discs, about 1/4" in thickness. Place one tablespoon of oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Season each side of polenta cake with salt, pepper and garlic then add polenta, in layer, to the heated pan. Cook until heated through, about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from pan and set aside. 
3) In the same pan used for polenta, add remaining tablespoon of the oil and all veggies. Cook until tender and spinach has wilted. Season with salt and pepper. 
4) To compile the dish, plate two to three pieces of polenta then top with sausage then finally top with veggie mixture and a little balsamic glaze!


Monday, April 13, 2015

Restaurant Review: The Wren

Nothing beats a good brunch. All I need is a cup of coffee, a mimosa and a good meal and I am a happy girl. I've been brunching all over the city the last few months but this meal was one of my faves: Kale and Warm Mushroom Salad from The Wren. It was incredible. Kale topped with warm pickled shiitake mushrooms, crispy bacon and soft boiled egg topped with a buttermilk dill dressing. So frickin' delicious. I think I might have eaten the whole bowl in less than 10 minutes.

I would highly recommend The Wren to everyone - gluten free or not. They served two toast-to-share options: one was avocado and hard boiled egg and the other bacon and ricotta. Both looked bangin! And coffee is served via French press which always tastes better in my opinion.