Hi friends! Welcome to Erika’s Eats. Please keep in mind that I have minimal cooking experience and am teaching myself along the way, which is partially the reason this blog came about. Some recipes will be healthier than others, but hopefully you’ll find one or two that catch your fancy!
Weekly Veggie Egg Bake
I usually make a variation of this easy egg bake on Sundays and divide it up into 5 pieces for the work week ahead. I like to include Canadian bacon or cheese some weeks, but you can certainly make it veggies only. I vary the ratio of full eggs to egg whites or egg beaters based on what I have available in the house at the time, as well as the types of veggies I use, though my favorites are asparagus and broccoli, and now kale too.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Using a medium saucepan and steamer basket, steam about 2 cups of broccoli and half a bunch of asparagus spears, stems trimmed. This takes roughly 7-10 minutes.
- Note: If I am using frozen veggies (like the mixed country blend with peas, carrots, corn and green beans) I’ll just microwave them in a bowl with a couple tablespoons of water for 3 minutes or until soft. This is great back up if you didn’t get to the grocery store! If you are using Kale or Spinach, you are going to want to wilt the leaves first (aka microwave with a spritz of olive oil for 1 minute).
- Meanwhile, in a 4 cup beaker, whisk together 3-4 whole eggs with 2 – 2 ½ cups of liquid egg whites or egg beaters (you can always pour a little extra on top at the end if you think you need more).
- Optional: Prep some shredded cheddar cheese and diced Canadian bacon for inclusion.
- Coat a baking pan with nonstick spray, making sure to get the sides. I like to use this olive oil version.
- If needed, chop your broccoli into smaller pieces and cut your asparagus into roughly thirds and lay them out on the pan. (If including meat or cheese, sprinkle these on top of the veggies).
- Pour egg mixture evenly over the veggies, so that all veggies are mostly covered.
- Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean in the center.
- Let cool before cutting up for the week!
Ground Italian Chicken (& Pasta)
I had never really considered ground chicken as a protein option until discovering that it can turn out moist and flavorful! I am thrilled to have found something other than boneless, skinless, chicken breasts that is still healthy, but more satisfying than ground turkey experiments have been for us in the past. The first time I made this, I ate it on its own with steamed vegetables so the pasta is definitely optional, though extra delicious.
- Mix 2-3 tablespoons of Italian Seasoning with 1lb lean ground chicken.
- Note: I used the Italian Seasoning spice that came on my spice rack, but you can certainly look up recipes to make your own blend.
- Heat a medium-large nonstick skillet with 1 tablespoon of sesame seed oil.
- I had also never cooked with sesame seed oil before this experience and not only did it smell good, but it infused the meat with more flavor.
- Add chicken to heat and break into bite size chunks as it cooks through (I would keep these on the larger size, think mini meatballs, it keeps the moisture in).
- Voila, chicken is done in 10minutes! Pair it with pasta and a tomato sauce, or veggies or both and call it a night!
When we made this chicken for a second time, I did it in the Ninja. I cooked the chicken through first the same way as above, then added in cooked whole wheat macaroni noodles (the only pasta we had on hand, but you could use any chunky pasta). I added about a cup and a half of a garlic tomato sauce, one 16oz can of diced tomatoes, and a handful of chopped kale. For good measure, I threw in an extra tablespoon of Italian Seasoning plus red pepper flakes for a kick. It was delicious and this was my post-10k meal.
Whole Wheat Pizza with Fresh Mozzarella
When I say I love pizza, I mean I could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner and still want it for dessert. While we have a delicious local pizza place that we order from, they haven’t hopped on the thin crust/whole wheat/gluten free bandwagon so I was looking for a homemade version that was quick and easy and didn’t come with the extra grease. Enter Stop & Shop’s whole wheat pizza dough.
- Preheat oven according to directions on dough – I believe it is 400 degrees.
- Spray a large, rimmed baking sheet with olive oil or nonstick.
- Remove dough from plastic bag and stretch until evenly spread in all areas to the size of the sheet (I think this is the trickiest part!)
- Using a spoon, spread about 1 ½ cups of organic pizza sauce (I used the Nature’s Promise brand) across the dough. You can get close to the edges and make it more of a flatbread, or leave room for a crust. I really like crust. J
- Add any other toppings of choice – for hubby I added a few pieces of pepperoni.
- Add thin slices of fresh mozzarella throughout. Again, you can use as much cheese as you like. I typically buy the presliced balls or “logs” and munch on some while I’m prepping this.
- Top with freshly sliced basil.
- Bake for 10-15minutes depending on the level of crunchiness you like.
- Take out and inhale immediately.
As with everything, moderation is key. I think hubby and I split this in two the last time we ate it which was probably not so healthy of me, but you could certainly pair it with a side salad or steamed vegetables to round the nutrition out. I think this would be a fun one to prep ahead of time, leave in the fridge, then when you have friends over you pop in the oven, chop into bite size pieces and delicious, easy hot appetizers are served.
Bruschetta Baked Chicken
This recipe’s level of effort all comes down to the bruschetta you use. If you’d like to make a homemade version (which is my goal for next time) then this is the recipe I looked at originally. If you know you’re going to be in a time crunch and want to get something healthy on the table with minimal prep, then carry on with this version.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Smother two boneless, skinless, chicken breasts in olive oil
- Note: You can double, triple the recipe as needed, just make sure you have enough Bruschetta and mozz!
- Place chicken on baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes or until almost cooked through
- Pull chicken out of oven and add a heaping of bruschetta mix on top of each breast
- If you want your mozz melted, you can add it at this step too
- Cook for 10minutes more
- Remove from oven and serve with side of rice, and more bruschetta or veggies
Whole Wheat Rotisserie Style Quesadillas
Let’s face it, Rotisserie chickens are a quick and easy dinner option, but when you’re a household of two (not including our fur-kids), we always end up with more chicken than we need – enter week-night quesadillas.
2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
4 medium whole wheat tortillas
Shredded cheese to your heart’s content
Spinach, arugula, or any other type of veggie you would want to include – optional
- Prep your ingredients for easy access and heat a large nonstick pan to medium-high heat (even for nonstick pans, it’s smart to spray with nonstick spray)
- Layer first tortilla and evenly spread desired ingredients on top before adding second tortilla
- Note: The whole wheat variations aren’t as sticky as the white flour ones, so I would recommend putting cheese around the edges to help stick the tortillas together
- Layer second tortilla on top
- Cook until bottom tortilla is a golden brown, then flip and cook until all inner ingredients are hot and melted
- Slice up and serve!
- Note: These cool down pretty quickly so I would suggest putting foil over the finished ones if you are making a batch.