Whites vs Yolks – Quick, Easy and Fun to Separate

My mother-in-law sent me this great video for how to quickly and easily separate egg whites.  It put a big smile on my face.  I couldn’t wait to show and test at home.

I had bought a bottle of water just for the purpose and had it waiting in the kitchen.    A few days passed and then I walked in to the kitchen to see my husband had just cracked a half dozen eggs in a bowl for scrambled eggs.  I quickly stopped him and set out plates.  He was a bit taken back and I showed him the video.  He’s used to waiting for me to take photos but not set up an experiment in the middle of his breakfast making.  He watched and was pretty impressed too.  We set out plates and dumped some eggs.  My husband was concerned we were going to waste some of his eggs on the plate and wondered why we could just do in the bowl.  We decided to test that too.

When we tried getting the yolks out of the bowl, it sucked up more than the yolk. Yuk.

However the plate method worked perfectly – just like the video. (Thanks Grandma) I couldn’t wait to share this great tip.  Think of all the meringues.  And all those moms with babies who aren’t yet eating egg whites.  It was fun and kind of addictive.   My daughter and I didn’t want to stop.  We eventually did and scooped them all back in the bowl, so dad could scramble.

Share

5 Essential Foods for Life – Outside Magazine

 

One of my assignments in a college writing class was to write an article for Outside Magazine.  If my memory is correct it was about rafting down the American River.  (It was a long time ago).  However when I was sent this article and slideshow from Outside Magazine about some important foods to have in your pantry I felt compelled to share.  For nostalgia sure.  But also because these are some of my family’s favorites and were always trying to get more of these items in our diets.  To see the entire article and slide show with recommendations for choosing and preparing these foods click here.

Here’s an excerpt…

You’re getting older. It’s time to accept the fact that you can’t stay out for last call, then make it up for a 6:30 A.M. mountain-bike ride. And enough already with your daily routine of coffee-and-bagel breakfasts, takeout lunches, and pizza-and-beer recovery meals. A study in the International Journal of Obesity found that the highest rate of adult weight gain happens between ages 25 and 35—roughly one pound per year.

And on top of your slowing metabolism, you’re producing fewer digestive enzymes, meaning you can’t absorb nutrients as easily. Here’s the good news: you can still run and bike like a 25-year-old—as long as you’re smart about what you put in your body. What’s more, quality food needn’t be expensive, and prepared right, it’s much faster than waiting for the delivery dude.

The key is simplifying your meal plan. Instead of spendy, ad hoc grocery runs, develop a set of go-to recipes and stock your pantry with all the ingredients you’ll need. More importantly, anchor those recipes with high-quality, nutrient-rich staples—these five. —Jen Schwartz

1. SALMON

For a day-to-day routine, there’s no better source of animal protein than salmon—just four ounces packs roughly 30 grams. That same fillet has more than 250 percent of the recommended daily amount of vitamin D, which is necessary for the absorption of calcium and protects against a range of cancers. It’s also loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which are thought to boost brain function. Plus, this iconic fish is notable for what it lacks: mercury. Its levels are significantly lower than nearly every other popular species, including tuna, sea bass, cod, and halibut, which means it can be consumed regularly.

2. EGGS

No food is as misunderstood as the mighty egg. Eggs are rich in 13 essential vitamins and minerals, everything from A and E to B complex and D. They also contain high-quality protein, antioxidants, and the brain-boosting nutrient choline. “But the cholesterol!” critics shout, pointing to research on heart disease, including a 2012 study that claimed eggs were as bad for your arteries as smoking. But that study looked at correlation, not cause and effect—in other words, plaque buildup was observed to occur more frequently in people who regularly consumed eggs, but those people were just as likely eating their eggs with bacon, too.

Most agree that the human body absorbs protein from eggs better than from almost any other food. So embrace moderation. Six large eggs per week will give you roughly 36 grams of protein and as much as 1,500 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids—and still limit the fat that contributes to plaque buildup in arteries.

3. QUINOA

The United Nations declared 2013 International Year of Quinoa—and for good reason. The gluten-free seed contains sky-high concentrations of anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, which tackle tissue-damaging free radicals. And unlike wheat, barley, and oats, quinoa is a complete source of protein. Compared with processed pastas, quinoa has roughly four times the amount of iron and twice the calcium, yet takes the same amount of time to cook.

4. KALE

No green compares with the nutrient-to-calorie ratio of this dark leafy vegetable. It has off-the-charts levels of vitamins K, A, and C and is a good source of fiber—one cup has nearly 25 percent of the daily recommended amount. Per calorie, kale has more iron than beef and more calcium than milk, and it trumps broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cabbage for its broad range of flavonoids, compounds that help prevent muscle inflammation and cancer. All of which are compelling reasons to stock up on it, but here’s the best: as a cooking staple, kale is endlessly flexible. Throw a shredded handful into soups, casseroles, or frittatas. You can even use it in smoothies and juices.

5. CHICKPEAS 

For the money, these little nuggets, also called garbanzo beans, are unbeatable. They’re rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber (the former makes you feel full and helps regulate blood sugar, the latter keeps you regular); you need both for a healthy diet, and two cups of these legumes pack 100 percent of the daily recommended amount. And just half a cup contains five grams of protein and ten different vitamins. Chickpeas are also wildly versatile. Just ask the guys behind the blog (and forthcoming book) Thug Kitchen, which offers profanity-laced recipes and kitchen tips that dispel the notion that healthy cooking is a realm of rarefied luxury. “Chickpeas, garbanzo beans, whatever you want to call them, they do all the heavy lifting in my kitchen,” says the site’s anonymous founder.

Share

Breakfast Burritos for Dinner

When I need a quick dinner that my kids are going to be happy about I make burritos.  Super easy and quick and usually can wrap up some left over veggies or meats with some beans and voila!  However lately I’ve been mixing up burrito night with another favorite dinner theme – “breakfast for dinner”.

These breakfast burritos were a bit hit and made use of my half eaten veggies such as broccoli, red peppers and zucchini.  You can really put anything you want in them.  Feel free to swap out beans for cooked sausage, chicken or ground turkey too.  Next time I’m going to let my kids not only fill and wrap them up, but scramble the eggs too.  This might give me a night off in the kitchen!

This is one of those recipes that doesn’t need a recipe, but here’s one any to get you and your kids started.

Breakfast Burritos for Dinner

Makes 8 Burritos

1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1 red pepper chopped, about ¾ cup

1 head broccoli chopped, about 1 cup

8 eggs

8 flour or corn tortillas

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

 

optional fillings and topping

quacamole/avocado

tomatoes

salsa

sour cream

 

Pour the drained can of black beans into a small saucepan and cook over medium-low until heated through.

In a large bowl, scramble the eggs together.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat.   When hot add vegetables and cook until softened, about 3 – 5 minutes.

Pour the eggs into the hot skillet with vegetables and continue to stir, so egg does not stick.   Scramble until cooked to desired wetness.  About 3 minutes.

Heat the tortillas in the oven until soft and warm. Lay the tortillas flat and spoon black beans, followed by eggs, and a sprinkle of cheese.  Roll the tortillas into burritos.  Add topping of your choice.

 

 

Share

Which Came First…The Dye or the Stickers? With Deviled Egg Recipe

Last year I dyed Easter eggs with natural dyes.  I was so excited and felt so green, as I boiled onion skins, tumeric, greens and blueberry juice for my hard boiled eggs.  The thing was I was lonely.  This is because it takes so long for the color to appear (some over 30 minutes) and needs to be done over a hot stove.  I thought the eggs came out lovely and like real hen eggs (pastel yellow, purple and green), but my kids lost patience and interest.  Most families are used to the plopping the egg into the fake dye and getting instant color…bright color.  My kids were dissappointed last year and the grandparents answered their call for “the fast, bright colors” this year by sending a princess dye kit and a star wars dye kit.  The farthest thing from natural you could get.  Luckily the kids arranged the dyed eggs in my real nests for photos, and skipped the yoda and tiara stickers.  So the eggs weren’t “natural and green”, but my family had fun and they still became yummy delived eggs.

I decided to try a new deviled egg recipe which incorporated fresh crab.  I’ve had the recipe cut out for some time and never made it (I do that a lot).  My husband and I loved them, but my kids not so much.  They wanted the “regular” ones.  I guess you never know how your crowd will react when messing with a holiday.  Oh well, there were more for my husband and I.  Happy Easter.

Crab Deviled Eggs, Inspired by MarketBar Restaurant in San Francisco

6 hard boiled eggs, peeled

2 cups spinach leaves, well rinsed

4 ounces fresh lump crab meat

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon white ine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon suagr

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon finely ground pepper

Place wet spinach in a small saute pan and saute over medium heat until wilted.  Press out liquid with a tea towel and chop.  Set aside.

Cut hardboiled eggs lenghtwise and keeping white intact, carefully remove the yolk with a small spoon.  Mash the yolks in a bowl with a fork.

Add remaining ingredients (including spinach) to egg yolks and mix well.  Adjust seasoning.

Spoon heaping teasoonfuls of egg/crab mixture into hollowed egg whites.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Share

Let Them Crack Eggs

There’s usually a pecking (yes, pun intended) order in most kitchen.  As the oldest seems to do more of the actual hands on food prepping.  Makes sense as the older kids’ are the more coordinated, responsible and careful.  Well not always…

In the case of eggs at my house, there’s a new chef in town.  My son had always been the egg cracker.  Actually not always.  He wasn’t interested until he was about 5 and wasn’t so worried about getting “yuck” on his hands.  While he liked to do it, the egg didn’t always make the bowl.  It’s o.k. as it’s all part of the process of learning (patience as the adult and hand eye coordination as the child). 

While making pancakes on Sunday my daughter asked for the first time if she could crack the eggs.  I quickly looked at my son to see what his reaction would be.  Jealousy? Territorialism? Chalance? Indignity?  Surprisingly he was all for it and explained the steps with enthusiasm to his sister.  We were all quite impressed, both with his attitude and her ability.  While this rookie had certainly seen many a cracked egg, she was sucessful the first time… all in the bowl with only a bit of shell. 

Here are a few things to do to get ready for your child’s first, and really every, egg crack…

1. Set up your cracking chore at a table or sink with safe stool, where your child can easily see and reach.   

2. Have a separate clean bowl for cracking.  This allows easy removal of any shell pieces.  Rather than adding directly to say cookie batter and trying to fish out shells among other ingredients.

3. Have a kitchen towel ready.  This is both for any mishaps on hands (most are not a fan of the ticky feeling) and/or counter.

4. Have an extra bowl, garbage bowl, compost crock or sink, ready for the shells.  Don’t make your child guess as to where to put or drip the shells.

5. Have extra eggs on hand, in case egg(s) misses the bowl.

6. Have fun and keep a sense of humor.

7. Clap and praise.

Share

Final Challenge Day

 

So yesterday was the final day.  Although probably the easiest.  We were so busy, there was not much time for eating.  The days started early, as my son had a 9 a.m. soccer game.  Once again I only finished half my bowl of oatmeal.  We were out of berries, bananas and nectarines, so it was plain.  The kids and my husband finished the last of the granola (there’s a bit left of the Mighty Bites) with milk, and the kids had plain yogurt sweetened with brown sugar and cinnamon.  We all had a quick glass of O.J.

We were headed for miniature golf after the game so I packed a quick lunch/snack of sunflower butter and fruit spread sandwiches, along with some trail mix, and sliced apples (last 2) and cheese.   We also had my son’s friend with us.  Luckily there was enough bread.

Later we went to friends’ to swim.  My kids were offered some snacks of crackers and cheese, grapes, watermelon and grape juice.  It looked good, but I passed and luckily had some apple slices left-over.  I explained about the hunger challenge and they said, but you’re not paying for this.  Seems I could eat what was offered at someone else’s house right?  Then I started to think about all the places you could go and sample food if you wanted.  Even when I shop at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s there’s usually something to taste and nibble.  In fact sometimes my kids want to go back repeatedly.

Many that I spoke to about the challenge had stories about college or struggling days on their own away from home.  Remembering back, you had a certain amount of money and knew how to budget to feed yourself.  It often meant lots of baked potatoes, spaghetti, PB&J and boxed macaroni and cheese.  And let’s be honest you had to factor in beer.  One friend joked that the beer would be a name brand favorite at the beginning of the month and then get more generic and watery by the end of the month.

So dinner tonight was a kid favorite – breakfast for dinner.  I still had 6 eggs so why not?  If you remember I was just under $99, then I went to the store and bought the fish and tortillas, putting me at about $106.  Well I decided to buy (from my own pantry) a can of pureed pumpkin for $2.29 to make my kid’s favorite pu,pkin pancake recipe.  Getting everything out I realized I wasn’t going to be able to make the usual pumpkin pancake recipe as I needed to use 4 eggs.  Luckily I had created a recipe for a mom who wanted to give her son (who was allergic to eggs) pancakes  and out it my book, The Petit Appetit Cookbook.  Aha!  I will add the pumpkin to get the veggie factor in and please my kids, to the “no yolking around pancakes” recipe. (see my new recipe below).   I made a double batch which makes quite a few.  Left-overs will be welcome as a lunchbox snack or a quick re-heat for breakfast. 

While these are rib stickers I also wanted to make eggs.  Thinking of TopChef, I made eggs two ways.  One way was over easy, my son’s favorite.  While the other was a simple omelet with cheese (one thing I still have plenty of), my daughter’s fav.  A typical breakfast for dinner night would also have turkey bacon, but not tonight.  That’s was o.k.  We were all so tired from the day’s activities, no one missed it. 

Pumpkin “No Yolking Around Pancakes”

 Makes about 15 (5-inch) pancakes

 2 cup organic wheat flour

2 tablespoon organic cane sugar

1 Tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 1/2 cups organic milk

1 tablespoon expeller pressed canola oil

1/4 cup canned pumpkin puree 

In a medium mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. 

In a separate bowl, whisk together milk and oil. 

Add milk mixture to flour mixture all at once.  Stir with a rubber spatula until just blended.  If batter is too thick, thin with milk.

Heat a large non-stick skillet or griddle over medium heat.  Lightly grease skillet with cooking spray or melted butter. 

For each pancake, pour about 1/4 cup batter onto hot griddle or skillet.  Cook until bubbles form on top of pancakes and bottoms are golden and set.  Flip with spatula and brown other sides until golden.   Warm finished pancakes in a 300 F oven, while continuing to use batter to make more batches.

 

Share

Happy Mother’s Day! (with Organic Greek Frittata Recipe)

From Lisa Barnes

There seems to be three camps of moms on mother’s day…one that likes to celebrate with family, one that likes to celebrate without and one that tries to juggle both.

The first like to be surrounded and reminded of their children and their own parents – getting multiple generations together for usually brunch or dinner. Then there are those (usually with young children) who like to take the day off from being a mommy. Many I know do a relaxing spa day alone or with other mom girlfriends and then go to a romantic dinner with their spouses. The ones that like to try to fit everything and everyone in (like their daily life) tell me they’re doing a lunch or spa without children in the morning and then are joined for a family celebration in the evening.

If you’re a Dad – ask your wife what she’d prefer. One year I celebrated mother’s day by shopping by and for myself. I thought it would be nice and relaxing but it was so depressing. I watched families going into restaurants for brunch and missed my husband and kids (they had a fun day without me!) and also missed my own mom who doesn’t live close by. I came home and said I never wanted to do Mother’s Day alone again. Of course I like the alone time – just give me the day off before or after.

Anyways if you’re lucky enough to celebrate with your own mom and family, here’s a lovely and easy fritatta recipe to make at home. And if you’re in the mood for someone else to make brunch, make reservations fast (OpenTable.com can help). If you live in the Bay Area I would suggest Foreign Cinema. They have a wonderful brunch, excellent mimosas and bellinis for mom, and a great 3 course children’s menu.

Happy Mother’s Day! (Here’s a photo of my mom with my daughter)

Organic Greek Frittata
A frittata is an easy, yet elegant dish, to serve for friends and family – perfect for a Mother’s Day brunch. Adding couscous to the frittata makes it heartier, and gives the eggs a bit of a crust. Cut the frittata into wedges and your children will think it’s an egg pie.

1/2 cup water, plus 1 tablespoon water – divided

1/3 cup uncooked couscous

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

5 cage-free, organic eggs

2 teaspoons expeller pressed canola oil

1/3 cup slivered oil packed sun dried tomatoes

1/3 cup chopped nicoise or kalamata olives

1/4 cup diced organic onion

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a small saucepan bring ½ cup water to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in couscous, remove pan from heat, cover, and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff and separate with fork.

Combine the 1 tablespoon water, salt, pepper, and eggs in a medium bowl and whisk together. Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes, olives, and onions and sauté until soft, about 3 minutes.

Remove pan from heat and stir in couscous and egg mixture. Level mixture with rubber spatula. Sprinkle cheeses over top. Bake in oven for 10 minutes, or until set and cooked through. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut into wedges with knife or pizza cutter.
~~
Lisa Barnes is author of The Petit Appetit Cookbook: Easy, Organic Recipes to Nurture Your Baby and Toddler and lives in Sausalito, California.
Image Credit: Tiny Feet © Orangeline | Dreamstime.com
OrganicToBe.org | OrganicToGo.com
Lisa’s Posts
[Permanent Link] [Top]

Share