Sweet Potato Egg Muffins

OK so my last two post have been breakfast/brunch items and this is no different BUT who cares because breakfast is amazing, anytime of the day. I have been making egg cups for one of my clients that I do weekly meals for and I try to switch it up and make them with different ingredients and different ways, sometimes I scramble the eggs then put in the muffin tins or I drop the egg right into the muffin tins, or I’ll do just egg whites and load it with cooked spinach, onions, peppers, sausage, cheese, scallions, fresh thyme and so on.  My mom called me the other day and whenever she sees something she thinks ill like on the Food Network she will call and tell me alllll about it.  She was watching Ree Drummond, from the AMAZING blog and now TV show The Pioneer Woman made hash and eggs cups in a muffin tin.  She made shredded potato hash and lined the muffin tins with hash and then the egg mixture on top and bake.  I thought it was a pretty cool idea.  It’s great to make a lot and store and have for breakfast on your way out the door for the week.  I figured I’d test it out on my client who loves eggs cups.  He prefers to eat on the healthy side so I knew fried white potatoes wouldn’t work here.  So I thought of using sweet potatoes instead and bake them instead of frying.  I also added maple brown sugar breakfast sausages and that worked so well with the sweet potatoes.  My client LOVED and requested it again the next week.  My tip, store in air tight container in the refrigerator or freezer and pop in the microwave in the morning and start your day on a good foot and happy stomach!

Sweet Potato Egg Muffins

Special Equipment: 2 non stick muffin tins, baking sheet

1 dozen eggs

4-5 sweet potatoes

1 lb breakfast sausage (I used a maple brown sugar flavor)

2 TBS onion powder

1 TBS garlic powder

1 Teaspoon paprika

2 TBS olive oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

Cooking / baking spray

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Peel and cut potatoes into 1 inch cubes. Place in a bowl and sprinkle with 1 TBS onion powder, garlic powder, paprika and salt and pepper. Add olive oil and toss together. Line the baking sheet with foil or parchment and lightly spray, then spread out the sweet potatoes and bake for 30 minutes.
  3. While potatoes are in the oven, cook the sausages, either in a pan or bake in oven. Whisk the eggs with a whisk or fork and season with the remaining onion powder, salt and pepper.
  4. Cut sausages into pieces and set aside. When the potatoes are done, turn the oven done to 350 degrees. Spray each cup of the muffin tins (you can be generous here).  First divide the sweet potatoes among the cups, mine came to about 5-6 pieces each.  Take the back of a spoon or your fingers (best tool in the kitchen) and mash the potatoes into the bottom of the tins.  Then add the pieces of sausage on top of the potatoes.  Then pour the egg mixture into each cup (be careful not to overfill).
  5. Bake for about 15 minutes. Cool on a baking wrack and then store in an air tight container. ENJOY!

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If you make this, (and you should) take a picture and hash tag on facebook or instagram #PersonalDish 🙂

Sweet Potato Hash with Sausage

hmmmm.. doesn’t it just SOUND amazing??  Caramelized onion, fresh thyme, juicy sausage and incredible sweet potatoes come together in a perfect marriage for this amazing anytime of the day meal.  In the morning, you can throw a fried or over easy egg on top for a quick breakfast, for lunch it becomes the main attraction and so perfect heated up on its own, and for dinner it makes an excellent side dish to chicken, beef,  fish, tofu, hearty salad… ummm you get the point!  This is great meal to make in bulk, and ahead of time as it keeps well in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to a month (but it won’t last that long..trust!) This whole meal comes together rather quickly, and not to many ingredients, if you’re a vegetarian substitute the sausage for tofu, simply cook up the tofu before adding to the sweet potatoes and onion mixture. So go ahead, get in your kitchen is and make this..now!! Enjoy folks 🙂

Sweet Potato Hash with Sausage

Ingredients

1 lb Italian style sausage

4-5 Sweet potatoes

1 yellow onion, chopped

Fresh Thyme

1 TBS paprika

2 TBS oregano

Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Peel and cut potatoes into bite size cubes (don’t need to be perfect but you want the same size pieces so it cooks evenly) Put in a pot and cover with cold water, then bring to a boil and let simmer for 10-15 minutes.  You want it to be soft and tender but not in a “mashable” state.  Test with a fork and taste, you want a little bite, not completely soft.

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2. While the potatoes are cooking, heat a pan on medium heat and cook the sausages fully.  Once they are done cut into pieces (about 1 inch)

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3. In the same pan you cooked the sausages, add the onions and thyme to pan and cook until onions are soft and slightly caramelized.  Drain the potatoes and add to the pan with the onions, cook for about 4-5 minutes, season with salt, pepper, paprika and oregano.  Add the sausage, mix all together and serve, or store in air tight container in the fridge for up to a week or longer in the freezer.

 

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Sunday Brunch: Sausage, Spinach, Sundried Tomatos and Cheddar Cheese Frittata

The title says Sunday brunch but really you can have this for dinner any night of the week. I recently made this frittata for a client that I cook for on a weekly basis. Its filling, delicious and easy! One of the first things I made back in culinary school was a onion frittata and I was so nervous it wouldn’t flip out of the pan correctly, the anxiety was on HIGH that class haha! But it came out great and that’s because I had an excellent non stick pan. That is the key here, and once you have that the rest is piece of cake. Frittata by the way is a big omelet started in a non stick heavy duty pan and finished in the oven to blow up and be nice and puffy. Similar to a quiche but with no crust. You can add any kind of toppings your little heart desires, so its great when you want to get rid of herbs and vegetables in your fridge! For this one I used sweet Italian sausage, spinach, sundried tomatoes and cheddar cheese. The process is always the same, you want to cook your filling in the same pan you cook the frittata in then add your egg mixture, cook in pan and then finish it off in the oven. Then you invert on to a plate. Try this combo or one of your own for you next brunch party or week night dinner!

 

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Sausage, Spinach, Sundried Tomatoes and Cheddar Cheese Frittata

Preheat oven to 350. Use a non stick, oven safe frying pan.
10 Eggs
2 lbs spinach, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 lb Sweet Italian Sausage
8 ounces of sundried tomatoes
8 ounces of cheddar cheese, shredded
Butter or oil

1. Crack eggs in a bowl and whisk until frothy and well combined. Add salt and pepper to taste and set aside in the fridge
2. Cook the sausages on medium heat all the way through, cool on a plate then cut in small pieces
3. Next heat a heavy duty non stick pan on medium heat, drizzle oil or a few teaspoons of butter around the pan. Add spinach to pan and cook down and season with a little kosher salt, next add onions and cook until translucent. Add in the cooked sausage and tomatoes. Mix all together and cook for another minute or two.
4. Add egg mixture to the pan and let sit for 1 minute. Using a rubber spatula go around the edges of the pan once, then go from one edge to the middle of the pan, letting the middle liquid go to the edge. This will ensure the middle is cooking and as well as the edges. When you see sold pieces of egg forming, turn off heat, add shredded cheese on top and transfer to the oven for 15-20 minutes. The egg mixture will rise and the edges will be a dark brown. You can use toothpicks to see if the middle is well cooked.

5. Let cool in pan completely.  Then take a plate or cutting board and put over the pan and flip over.  Frittata should come out easily.  Then flip over again on to a plate.  Cut in triangle pieces  and serve with a simple salad.

 

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Spicy Cucumber Salad

I made this simple cucumber salad at my Memorial Day BBQ and it was a big hit (except for my best friend Tracey, who is super pickyyyy.. who doesn’t like cucumbers??) Cucumbers have great nutritional value, low in calories and helps reduce bloating, so it’s perfect after a day (or weekend) of over eating. This salad has a nice spicy kick to it and the longer it sits in the fridge the better! I would make it the night before need it and enjoy the next day!

Spicy Cucumber Salad

4 Cucumbers (leave skin on and cut as thinly as you can, if you prefer use a mandolin)
2 garlic cloves, chopped fine
2 jalapeños, seeded and chopped fine
4 limes
1/4 of extra virgin olive oil
1 TBS red hot chili flakes
Kosher Salt to taste

1. Place the cucumbers in a large bowl. Add the chopped garlic and chopped jalapenos. (NOTE: use gloves to cut open the peppers and scrape all the seeds out so the salad it is not TOO spicy!)
2. In another bowl cut the limes and squeeze out as much juice as you can. Add the chili flakes, salt and oil. Whisk with a fork until combined.
3. Add dressing to the cucumbers and toss everything together. Place in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight.

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Quick Lunch Salad– Kale, Grilled chicken, and Roasted chickpeas

I came up with this salad the other day while I was in a panic in the morning realizing that I forgot to prepare a lunch for the day. I have been trying hard not to buy lunch and thought I would have to that day. But I had a few things in my fridge and had a “make it work” moment and it turned out to be great! The night before I had grilled up chicken breast to have for a salad or to add to a quick pasta dish. I had a kale which I love for salad because it hold up to salad dressing well without wilting and is packed with nutrients and flavor. I had roasted chickpeas the day before(which is my new thing..love it) and a good chunk of blue cheese I had bought the other day. So I thought if I just pack all this up I can assemble a pretty good salad for lunch. All it takes is a little preparation the night before and you have nice gourmet salad and be the envy of all your coworkers who are drooling over your lunch! Pack the chicken in one container, and the vegetables in another. I always make my own dressings so I know what exactly is in them and they often taste better then store bought, but this is your lunch so do whatever makes your stomach happy!

Grilled Chicken Kale Salad
1-2 cups kale, cut up in bit size pieces, hard stem removed
2 pieces of chicken breast, cooked and cut into thin slices
Few pieces of thinly sliced red pepper and onion
2 TBS of roasted chickpeas
Few crumbles of Blue cheese

Assemble a bed of kale on a plate making a slight dome shape. Add the grilled chicken around the dome, then the peppers, onions and chickpeas around and on top of the salad. Add the cheese last and drizzle with your favorite dressing or the yogurt dressing below!

Creamy Yogurt Dressing
1 cup Greek plain yogurt
juice from 1 lemon
fresh thyme, sage or Italian season blend
3 TBS red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Add everything to a small bowl and whisk with a fork or small whisk, add salt and pepper to taste.

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Photo May 07, 1 17 58 PM

Completely addictive roasted sweet almonds

Hello People! Sorry its been a few weeks since my last post, had some computer issues (which im still dealing with) and work has been busy! But I wanted to get back in the swing of things with these amazing almonds.  I love to snack, and this is one of my favorite things to snack on during the day.  These almonds take me back to when my mom used to take my brothers and I to downtown Boston and she would always buy us the fresh hot nuts from the roasted nut stands.  It was one of my favorite things to eat and always looked forward to it.  One of the things I love about certain foods is the history and nostalgia behind it and how one thing can bring you back to when you were 8.    The smell is enticing and I wanted to create that in my own kitchen.  I had almonds but you could use a mix of nuts or one that you love!  Its super quick and easy.  These are sweet but you could make them savory or spicy! (hmmm sriracha roasted almonds anyone?)

 

Roasted Sweet Almonds

2 cups  whole almonds

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon  kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 and prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat.

1. Heat a saucepan to medium heat and add sugar.  Let that melt ( you can add a few drops of water here).   Add your nuts and stir with a rubber spatula.  Then add the salt and cinnamon.

2. Transfer nut mixture to the prepared baking sheet and put in oven for about 5 minutes or until your house smells like a roasted nut factory! Enjoy!

 

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This is what it looks like when it comes right out of the pot and ready for the oven

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Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

I LOVE sweet potatoes, in any form, mashed, cut up in little pieces for a breakfast hash, candied for  Thanksgiving, in a pie, fries, but my hands down favorite is roasted. There is truly nothing better than sweet potatoes put in an high oven and roasted to perfection. You can add a little butter and cinnamon but I like it just the way it is, it’s sweet enough that it doesn’t require much of anything.  In restaurants I have seen where they like to “kick up” a baked sweet potato with junk like marshmallows, and not that there is anything wrong with marshmallows but sweet on top of more sweet is just gross and a good way to ruin a perfectly good vegetable.  Not to mention the spike in calories.  Sweet potatoes already have a great amount of nutrients, why not compliment it with even MORE healthy goodness?  I got this great idea from a post on Pintrest. You split open a perfectly baked sweet potato and stuff it with this lime cilantro infused black bean and corn mixture.  The idea is genius, delicious AND couldn’t be easier!   This is a great side dish or main dish.  Try it tonight..seriously DO IT!

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

4 Sweet potatoes

1 can of black beans, drained

1 can of corn or frozen corn, cooked

1 orange or yellow (or red or green) bell pepper, chopped

1 small or 1/2 of a big red onion, chopped

3-4 limes, juiced

1/4 cup of cilantro

2 tbs honey

a few dashes of hot sauce

3 TBS of olive oil

Course salt and pepper to taste

1. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.  Put potatoes on sheet and roast in oven for 30-40 minutes

2. Meanwhile make your stuffing.  In a bowl mix the onion, pepper, corn,  and beans.  In  separate bowl whisk together the lime juice, honey, hot sauce, oil and salt and pepper.  Add dressing to the bean mixture.  Keep refrigerated until potatoes are done.

3.   Take potatoes out when they are soft and tender throughout.  (you can prick with a fork to test)

4. Using a pairing knife split open lengthwise and cut 3 quarters of the way down.  Making enough room for the stuffing.  Add  spoonful’s of the bean mixture to each potato.  You can add more lime juice to the top or more hot sauce (ME) or even a little feta cheese if you have it!   Its so incredibly refreshing and so good! Enjoy!! (Tip- make extra stuffing and add it to fish, chicken or beef for a great topping!)

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Recipe adapted from: HERE