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Sourdough French Toast with Caramelized Apples

I have a serious question: if you were to choose a sweet breakfast item, what would it be?  Pancakes? Waffles? French toast? All of the above? (haha, I kid… maybe not).  I 9 times out of 10 would choose french toast, even though I prefer a savory breakfast like sausage and biscuits or a good ol’ scrambled egg.  Nevertheless, a sweet breakfast like french toast is perfect on a gloomy Sunday morning and is incredibly easy to make.IMG_0307

My favorite bread to use for this is sourdough.  What I love about sourdough is that it is a fermented bread so it actually does more good than harm to your digestive system, and your waistline.  Sourdough is made with wild yeast and lactic acid bacteria which helps to bake or leaven the bread in a natural way.  It also helps to make other nutrients available to you such as zinc, magnesium, and other important minerals our bodies need regularly.  (note: if you have never done a Spectracell blood panel to see your mineral levels, I highly suggest you do… 80% of humans are deficient in magnesium which is a MAJOR aid in providing us with deep sleep and adrenal support.. I’m no doctor, but I’m a nerd with this stuff and fully believe in naturopathic medicine..)  As all french toast recipes go, you make the egg dredge with three large eggs, cream/milk, and cinnamon.  I’m starting to cut back from a lot of dairy so I use coconut creamer from TJ’s (Trader Joe’s).  I blended this together and set aside.  I grabbed two medium sized gala apples (Gala work beautifully as they’re sweet but also tart and tend to break down quickly) and dice them into bite size.  I melt 2 tablespoons of butter and throw the apples in and let them do their thing.  After a few minutes and tossing the apples around in the butter, I add a very small dosage of brown sugar (you could use coconut sugar too) and a dash of cinnamon.  When the apples get soft and almost glossy, turn the burner off and set aside.

Heat 1-2 tbsp of butter in a separate pan and make your french toast as you would: dip the bread in the dredge, then into the pan, brown for 2 minutes on each side, etc.  Ladle the apples on top of the bread and drizzle with your favorite condiments, I used a small amount syrup and was a happy camper.  I can imagine whipped cream and some walnuts would be yummy too!  Nomaste 🙂

Sourdough French Toast with Caramelized Apples

Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword apples, breakfast, brunch, caramelized, foodie, french toast, savory breakfast, sourdough
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 1 person
Author nomastehungry

Ingredients

  • 3 slices Sourdough bread medium sized, brand of your preference!
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 1/2 cup cream or milk I used coconut creamer (found on my fav products page!)
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon powder
  • 2 medium Gala apples
  • pinch brown sugar

Instructions

For the apples

  1. Clean, cut, and dice up the apples into bite size chunks.  Heat a pan on medium heat, add 1 tbsp butter and let melt.

  2. Add apples in and toss to coat apples evenly.  Let sit and bubble for five minutes.

  3. Add 1/2 tbsp more of butter and stir.  Layer in the brown sugar and cinnamon powder (a pinch of brown sugar is enough) and mix together.  Continue to mix occasionally until apples are glossy and tender.  Set aside.

For the french toast

  1. Crack three medium eggs into a bowl and whisk. Add in cream or milk preference and cinnamon.  Whisk together.

  2. Heat 1 tbsp butter in a large pan and melt. Dip a slice of sourdough bread into the egg dredge then into the melted buttered pan.  Cook for two minutes on each side. Repeat for remaining bread slices.

  3. Ladle apples over the bread and serve with your favorite condiments (syrup, powdered sugar, whipped cream, walnuts). Enjoy!

Lemon Orzo and Vegetable Primavera

It’s the final countdown (until Thanksgiving), and I cannot wait to indulge in all my favorite goods: the sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, turkey, stuffing, and apple pie!  This happens to be my favorite holiday out of all holidays celebrated, especially because it brings people together.  Friends, family, and friends who are family – it’s a season to give thanks and be happy 🙂

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I always loved the idea of eating orzo, as it’s a super small pasta that goes with just about every kind of sauce.  The downside?  I never really know how to best prepare it.  Should it be in a cold salad?  Could I eat it like regular pasta with just butter?  Tonight’s dinner featured orzo as a kind of sprinkling of carbs that paired perfectly with the medley of sautéed vegetables.IMG_0031

Giving props to my SIL Ashley for finding a similar recipe and giving me inspiration,  I took it a different route: instead of roasting the vegetables and using mushrooms, I sautéed all of the veggies separately, using one pot over and over again, then mixing it altogether at the end with a touch of salt, pepper, and garlic.  I used zucchini, spinach, onions and shallots, cherry tomatoes, and bell peppers.  I started with the onions and cooked them until translucent then set aside.  Up next was the spinach: sautéed in butter and garlic, then the zucchini, and last the tomato/pepper mix.

I cooked the orzo as I would regular pasta, then added it to the vegetable mix, tossing the whole dish with some fresh squeezed lemon, olive oil, S&P (Salt and pepper).  Crumbled mediterranean feta sat atop the beaut and we couldn’t have been happier at how this came out!  This will for sure be part of the rotation of meals.  Bon appetít!

Lemon Orzo and Vegetable Primavera

Course Dinner
Cuisine Greek, Vegetables
Keyword dinner, easy, orzo, pasta, vegetables
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6
Author nomastehungry

Ingredients

For the vegetables

  • 1 cup Orzo
  • 1 zucchini sliced then halved
  • 2 bell peppers orange and yellow
  • 1 pkg fresh spinach
  • 1 large onion or onions and 1 shallot, sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes sliced
  • 1 cup feta
  • 3-4 tbsp oil I used avocado oil

For the dressing mixture

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1 half squeezed lemon
  • 1/2 tbsp pepper

Instructions

  1. In a large sauté pan, drizzle one tbsp oil into the pan and turn heat onto medium. Add the sliced onion and shallot mixture to the pan and cook until fragrant and translucent (should be able to see through the onions), approximately 8-10m.  Set aside.

  2. Add a tbsp of butter to the same pan and pour in the spinach.  Cook until leaves are wilted and soft.  Season with garlic powder and set aside.

  3. Pour another tbsp into the pan.  Layer in the sliced zucchini and cook until browned and the zucchini starts to sweat (10m).  Set aside.

  4. Add in sliced tomatoes and bell peppers and cook until fragrant and the tomatoes begin to soften.  Layer back in all of the other cooked vegetables.  Drizzle a pinch of salt and pepper, add garlic powder.  Stir to blend.

  5. Meanwhile, boil a pot of water (3-4 qts).  Add in the cup of orzo and cook for 8-9 minutes depending on packaging. Drain and pour into vegetable mixture.  Mix well.

  6. Drizzle the lemon olive oil mixture into the pan and stir to spread the dressing.  Sprinkle crumbled feta on top and serve immediately.

Baked Garlic Buffalo Wings

When Football season kicks in (see what I did there? Kick? No? Okay…), it seems like there’s only two options for food: burgers and fries, or wings.  I love me some good ol’ fashioned buffalo wings, fried to perfection and drenched in hot sauce. Boneless or on the bone, they’re so freaking delicious.  I’m of the “ranch dip” type rather than blue cheese, but that’s not a problem in our home.  I’m proud to say that this recipe calls for five ingredients: wings, avocado oil, cassava flour, garlic powder, and hot sauce.  THAT. IS. IT.IMG_4274

I played around on the internet to see how other food bloggers and foodies make their wings, and realized that everyone except for moi have a wire rack.  Rather than running out to the local 99c store to buy a cheap one, I just prayed that a lined baking sheet pan with sprayed aluminum foil would work.  Honestly? It did, and it did taste pretty damn good.  I started by cleaning and pat drying my wings (I got them from an online meat-delivery system Butcher Box, I highly recommend them if you want to ramp up the quality of your meats – plus, they have add ons like bacon and breakfast sausage… mmmm, sausage.)

After drying the wings, I tossed them in avocado oil (this oil has a high smoke point and will not burn in the oven) and coated with a generous layer of garlic powder.  Lastly, I added 1/3 cup of cassava flour to crisp the wings as they bake.  Grease a pan (or use a wire rack) and lay the wings down skin side up, bake for 50 minutes at 400 degrees, and then toss in your favorite hot sauce (I’m not sure of the brand we used but it was really yummy).

The beauty about eating wings is that it is versatile and goes with just about any dipping sauce, any sides, and of course celery and carrots.  Now go throw on your Giants jersey, crack open a Corona, and enjoy them wings!

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

I’m a fall girl, 100%.  I could deal with being in warmer weather, if I lived super close to a beach, or in Florida.  Living in New York, and experiencing all four seasons, Fall is absolutely my favorite.  The leaves change, the holidays approach, the smell of pumpkin and apple pie, and SOUP.  I could eat soup everyday, and I love all varieties.  This one in particular reminds me of Panera’s chicken and wild rice, and its hearty, filling, and good for the soul!IMG_4174

I broke out the crockpot for this guy, as I usually do for soups because I love a slow cooked meal, especially in the Fall/Winter seasons.  Crockpot meals are the best because you literally throw everything in at once, checking in every so often, and stir.  With this recipe I used Trader Joe’s Basmati and Wild Rice blend that comes with dehydrated veggies and seasoning, bay leaves, organic chicken breast, fresh carrots, and celery.  For the broth I used 2 cartons of bone broth.  Bone broth is an old tradition of boiling poultry or beef bones, getting all the gelatin and collagen from the bones, for hours (like, upwards of 10-15 hours).  Bone broth has so many benefits and nutrients our bodies need, which is why I’m so glad that it’s readily available in Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s.

I played around with the different lengths of time and temperature, but the end result:  cook on low for 6 hours and add in water or broth as needed.  This recipe in particular requires a good amount of liquid, and a 1/2 cup heavy cream or 1/2 and 1/2 at the end, hence the “creamy” part of the recipe.  I didn’t season with any salt or pepper until it was almost ready to be served, as I wanted to be sure the seasoning wasn’t overpowering.  To create the shredded chicken, I took the chicken breasts out about 30 minutes before the soup was done, shredded with two forks, and added it back in.  Serve with a slice of baguette and you’re ready to feast!

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Course Dinner
Cuisine Soup
Keyword Chicken, Fall, Hearty, Soup, Wild Rice
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 10 minutes
Servings 8 cups
Author nomastehungry

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Organic chicken breast
  • 1 pkg Wild rice
  • 2 cartons Chicken bone broth
  • 3 stalks Carrots sliced
  • 3 ribs Celery chopped
  • 1/2 cup Half and half
  • 3 Bay leaves

Instructions

  1. Chop/slice the carrots and celery. Set side

  2. Layer the chicken, celery, carrots, and package of rice into a medium size crockpot.

  3. Pour in the cartons of bone broth into the crockpot.  Cover and set to low for 6 hours

  4. Add in more water as need and desired if the liquid becomes absorbed as the soup cooks.  Stir occasionally.

  5. 30 minutes before the soup is done, take out chicken and shred with two forks. Add the chicken back into the soup.

  6. Pour in the 1/2 cup of half and half and season with salt and pepper.  Taste and add more as desired.

  7. Serve with a slice of french baguette and enjoy!

When in Europe, eat everything! Part II: Amsterdam

Proust!

That’s how you say “cheers” in Dutch, as Ian our incredible tour guide told us while we had seven (yes, SEVEN) beers at the Heineken Experience in Amsterdam last week.

I would be remiss if I did not vouch for how beautiful and charming of a city Amsterdam is.  Of course there’s the taboo “coffeeshops” and the Red Light District, but if I’m honest, the food was really spot on and I loved everything we ate during our time in ‘Dam.

*P.S.: I had fries every day in Amsterdam. No shame.*


Amsterdam

  • Loetje Restaurant: This spot was literally right outside of Amsterdam Centraal station and of course we got lost finding it.  We were so hungry!!  After finally stumbling in (and passing it twice…) we sat at the bar: Troy ordered his Heineken and I ordered my champs (shocker, I know).  We sat and ordered the infamous Bitterballen (fried balls of some sort of bechamel sauce with beef in them), Kaasstengels (fried cheese sticks), and burgers with frites in a MAYO. DIPPING. SAUCE. Let me repeat for those in the back…MAYO DIPPING SAUCE.
  • De Foodhallen:  This is incredibly similar to Dekalb Market Hall or Smorgasburg (only indoors).  So many local and delicious vendors rent space to showcase their foods in the south of Amsterdam.  We figured why not, we love food and love walking so let’s combine the two and venture about an hour from the Anne Frank House to eat some food… YASSS. *pictured in order: Shanghai dumplings, pulled pork sandwich on sourdough with slaw, “Fresh and Funky Dog” with tzatziki sauce and relish, chicken kebab pita with the fixings.
  •  Mook Pancakes: We were in need of some sweet and blog-worthy pancakes (or waffles) and research brought us here.  We LOVED our pancakes.  Three large stacks of buttermilk pancakes with banana/chocolate/PB and the other (mine) with grated coconut/banana/strawberries/blueberries. I had to be like the cool kids and get a fresh pressed ginger shot (which nearly killed me) and a cappuccino. So yum!
  • Heineken Experience: Now, this did not involve food but it was one of the highlights of our Eurotrip.  We opted for the VIP tour (#ballin) and got a private tasting in a private bar.  It was unreal.  We learned the history of the beer, the production, how secretive their “A” yeast is, and that really fresh, cold Heineken actually tastes good.  Planning a trip to Amsterdam? You must go here.

     

    Stay tuned for Eurotrip Part III: London…where our AirBnB was a hot mess and we ate at three (yep, three) different food markets!