it’s a wrap

day two: added tabasco

So. This isn’t much of a recipe, but I feel like I have to post it since I’ve eaten this egg and avocado wrap four times in the last week. Yeah– it’s that good! And a super fast meal to make for breakfast, lunch or, dare I say, brunch.

day 3: with goat cheese

It’s endlessly customizable: a handful of baby spinach leaves would boost the nutrient content and I’ve used a variety of cheeses from shredded Mexican blend to goat cheese crumbles. I think the key for me is the habanero lime tortilla (a Trader Joe’s specialty), but any flour tortilla would do.

day one: the original

egg and avocado wrap
printer-friendly recipe
makes 1 wrap

Pat of butter
2 eggs, beaten
Salt & pepper
8″ flour tortilla
1/2 avocado
2 tablespoons cheese
Tabasco sauce, optional

Melt the butter in a medium pan over low heat. Add the beaten eggs and season with salt and pepper. Stir the eggs with a spatula in the pan until cooked through and season with salt and pepper to taste. While the eggs are cooking, place the tortilla on a plate. Scoop the avocado half onto the tortilla and gently mash and sprinkle a little salt on top. Add the scrambled eggs to the tortilla and top with cheese and Tabasco sauce, if using. Roll up the wrap like a burrito and enjoy!

Posted in breakfast, cheese, eggs, meatless monday, random, vegetarian | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

stud muffin

comfort food

My sister and Derek both requested that I make meatloaf, so I figured this was a chance for me to tweak my tried and true recipe. A big worry of mine when I make meatloaf is it cooking all the way through without getting dried out. These mini meatloafs, aka meatloaf muffins stay nice and moist and the whole being wrapped in bacon part doesn’t hurt either.

everything but the meatmeatloaf mixbacon-linedready to bakesaucedmeatloaf muffins

I made some other tweaks to my original recipe including adding an onion to the mix and using dried breadcrumbs instead of milk-soaked bread. The meatloaf was a hit and serving it up with peas and mashed potatoes made for the perfect comfort food meal as we enter the fall season.

bacon-wrapped meatloaf muffins

meatloaf muffins
printer-friendly recipe
makes 12 muffins (serves 4-6)

1 small onion, quartered
Handful flat leaf parsley (about 1/4 cup)
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon milk
1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt or cajun seasoning
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 1/3- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
6 slices thin cut bacon, halved
1/2 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Tabasco to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Finely chop the onion and parsley in a food processor. Thoroughly combine the onion/parsley mix, breadcrumbs, cheese, egg, milk, seasoning, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Add the ground beef and gently stir to combine (use your hands!). Line a muffin tin with the halved bacon slices. Divide the meatloaf mixture into 12 balls and place in the muffin tin.

Make the sauce: add ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, hot sauce and worcestershire in a mixing bowl. Stir together. Top each meatloaf muffin with a spoonful of sauce prior to baking, reserving the remaining sauce for serving.

Bake muffins for 20 minutes. Using tongs, place the muffins on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Top with additional sauce before serving.

Posted in beef, dinner | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

travel snacks

rosemary roasted almonds on

Healthy snacks are sometimes hard to come by. Never has this been more evident than while I’ve been doing the Whole 30 diet. During a quick trip to Miami this weekend I went prepared! I had some plantain chips and a Larabar (my favorite’s the cherry pie bar, what’s yours?). I was ready to go.

I did not think about the return trip. An incredibly early flight meant I didn’t really eat breakfast and the airport was barren of any snack remotely healthy. Sugary snacks and crispy chips were everywhere, but not a single piece of fruit, applesauce squeeze pack, pouch of olives, or anything fresh to be found. I don’t quite no why I’m surprised, but I am. How is this STILL a problem when everyone seems to be more health conscious lately?

simple is best for snacking

Alex bought me a back of plain almonds in his attempt to fight the inevitable hangry (angry out of hunger) situation. There’s nothing wrong with almonds. I like them a lot, but sometimes I get bored with them. Let’s face it, they’re not exactly an exciting snack. Prepackaged flavored almonds tend to have added sugar, which isn’t Whole 30 approved, nor does it make any sense. Why is there sugar in salt and vinegar, wasabi, or smokehouse almonds? It just seems unnecessary.

I brought the remains of the large bag home and decided to dress them up a little. Some herbs, spices, and a little oven power brought out delicious flavors in these little guys that make them exciting, and a little irresistible. They’re perfect for snacking or adding to a cheese plate, if that’s your thing. Guests will love them at upcoming holiday parties, too!

roasted and spiced


rosemary roasted almonds
makes 8 servings

printer-friendly version

2 cups almonds with skins, unroasted and unsalted
2 tablespoons rosemary, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Combine the almonds with the olive oil, rosemary, paprika, and salt in a bowl. Toss until the almonds are evenly coated with the oil and spices. Spread the almonds in a thin layer onto a parchment, foil, or silpat lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, shaking them half way through. Make sure to check on them in the last few minutes to ensure they do not burn. Cool completely before serving.

Posted in meatless monday, paleo, random, snack, vegan, vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

gimme s’more


There is something about a s’more that reminds me of Summer. And also the movie The Sandlot. But mostly Summer. It’s the traditional method of making them, I suppose. The thought that you heat the marshmallow to a golden brown over a bonfire and then press it in between two graham crackers along with a bit of chocolate.

just a few ingredients

I mostly remember making s’mores in the microwave as a kid. Let’s get real, I didn’t come across a bonfire in my suburban summers more than once a year and that’s far too infrequent to eat these delicious summertime treats. They still create fond childhood memories, though.

melty puffs

These cereal treats seemed like common sense for any and all s’mores cravings during the non-summer months or non-bonfire having times (aka almost all the time). Remember when I made cereal treats from non-rice cereal? Well these are a lot like those, except even better because they’re reminiscent of s’mores.

stir it up

The base is any graham cracker-type cereal. I use the Three Sisters graham crackerz cereal as it’s made with whole grains (which obviously makes me feel ever so slightly less badly about feeding them to people) and also incredibly delicious without having any artificial badness in them. There’s no real baking required, so they’re pretty fast and easy to make. Just a little stove top time and you’re done!


I’ve been packing them in Alex’s lunch for his first week of school and I like to think they’ve made his long days a little more bearable.

tasty squares

s’mores cereal treats
makes 9 servings

printer-friendly version

3 tablespoons butter
1 bag large marshmallows (about 35-40 pieces)
5 cups graham cracker cereal (Golden Grahams or similar)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided

In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, add the marshmallows. Stir often with a spoon that has been sprayed with oil to prevent sticking. Once the marshmallows have heated and are no longer holding their shape, remove the pot from the heat. Add the cereal and 3/4 cup chocolate chips. Stir everything together until it’s all evenly coated. Empty the contents of the pot into an 8″ x 8″ pan that has been coated generously with oil. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips on top and use a spatula or potato masher to gently but evenly press the cereal mixture into the pan. Place in the refrigerator to cool for at least an hour before serving.

Posted in dessert, snack, vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

smooth operator


I love smoothies. I probably have them 3 to 4 times per week and would have them more often if it didn’t require washing a blender (yeah, yeah, I’m lazy). My usual smoothie thickener is plain Greek yogurt. I love the creaminess that it adds as well as the tangy flavor. I’ve recently been experimenting with using Medjool dates as a sweetener in my smoothies– previously, I have used honey on occasion but generally rely on ripe fruit (mainly bananas) to provide sweetness.

all in the vitamix

This chocolate smoothie has a secret ingredient that adds a ton of creamy richness: avocado! Now I love avocados in all forms, but have never thought to use them in a sweet application. You can’t taste the avocado at all, but it makes the smoothie thick and creamy and oh so delicious. Give it a try today!

chocolate avocado smoothie

chocolate avocado smoothie
printer-friendly recipe
adapted from Against All Grain
makes: 1 smoothie

8 ounces almond milk
1/2 cup crushed ice
1 ripe banana
3 Medjool dates, or 1 tablespoon honey
1/2 avocado (about 1/4 cup)
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons peanut or almond butter
2 teaspoons ground flaxseed
2 teaspoons chia seeds

Add all of the ingredients to a high-speed blender (I used my Vitamix) and blend until smooth (30 seconds to 1 minute).

Posted in beverage, meatless monday, paleo, snack, vegan | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

peck of peppers

chicken dinner

Do you ever just Google ingredients so that the internet will help you come up with a recipe for dinner? I typed in “chicken and peppers” and came across this lovely little number. The beauty of cooking is to tweak recipes to suit your likes as well as your preferred ingredients.

veg rainbowchicky chicky

Working with what we had (a plethora of chicken and peppers after a stock-up run to Costco), I was able to whip up this dinner in minutes. I served the chicken with whole wheat couscous doctored up with a couple chopped scallions. A quick and easy meal, thanks to the internet.

balsamic chicken & peppers

balsamic chicken and peppers
printer-friendly recipe
adapted from Williams-Sonoma
serves: 4

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 bell peppers, seeded and julienned
1 onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3-4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup minced fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper. In a large fry pan over medium-high heat, warm 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the chicken and cook, turning once, until golden brown, about 7 minutes total. Transfer to a plate. In the same pan over medium-high heat, warm the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the bell peppers and onion and sauté until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the vinegar, half of the basil and the dried thyme and stir, scraping up the browned bits from the pan bottom. Return the chicken and any juices from the plate to the pan, spooning the peppers over the chicken. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the chicken is opaque throughout, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the remaining basil, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide among 4 plates and serve immediately.

Posted in chicken, dinner | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

sweet enough

salty sweet

My Whole 30 voyage continues. It’s been a whole week! Things were a little rough last week as I had some virus that was going around, but overall it’s been kind of easy. Already being in the habit of cooking every day helps immensely.

There aren’t many Whole 30 approved starches, but sweet potatoes are one of them due to their nutrition and high fiber content. I’ve always loved sweet potatoes, so baking them into sweet, salty fries with a hint of cinnamon seemed perfect.

giant matchsticks

It’s getting cooler, go ahead and turn your oven on…

sweet potato fries
makes 1-2 servings

printer-friendly version

1 medium sweet potato
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the sweet potato into 1/2-inch slices, then cut eat slice again into 1/2-inch sticks so you have “fries”. Toss the sweet potato sticks with olive oil, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Place on an even layer on a parchment lined baking sheet in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes. Serve warm with your favorite dip or spread!

Posted in appetizer, dinner, meatless monday, paleo, side dish, vegan, vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment