Veggie and Cheese Frittata

Frittata2

Frittatas are super simple, can be made with almost anything you have in your fridge and are the perfect meal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. When I’m feeling lazy and need something to eat in a pinch, frittatas are one of my “go-to” meals. Despite a little bit of cheese, they are also pretty healthy as well since you can load them up with a ton of delicious fresh veggies and herbs.

There really isn’t a specific recipe you need to follow in order to make a delicious frittata. It’s really a matter of grabbing some eggs, cheese, meat, and veggies OR any combination of those and get cooking. I generally like to make a twelve egg frittata because I love the leftovers! Don’t have a crowd to feed? Use fewer eggs. As for the mix-ins, include as many (or as little) of all the things you love to eat as you want. I’m partial to onions, cheese, spinach, peppers, and potatoes but feel free to change up my “recipe” and be as creative as you wish. Some other great additions are breakfast sausage, bacon, various cheeses, fresh herbs, and literally any veggie you can think of. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • Pat or two of butter, for pan
  • 12 large eggs
  • 12 tsp heavy cream or half-and-half
  • 2 cups of assorted veggies/meats/herbs
  • 1/2 – 1 cup shredded cheese
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

Crack all of the eggs into a large bowl, add in the cream/half-and-half and salt and pepper. Whisk until well combined.

Heat up a large skillet over medium heat. Add the butter to the pan and allow to melt. Add the vegetables to the pan and cook until slightly softened.

Lower the heat to medium-low and turn on the oven broiler. Pour the eggs into the pan and using a rubber spatula, continue to move the eggs around until they begin to cook. Gently lift the eggs/frittata with the spatula while tilting the pan to allow the uncooked egg to run underneath the and set. When the frittata looks set around the edges and mostly cooked, sprinkle with the shredded cheese, remove the pan from the stovetop and place under the broiler. Cook until the eggs slightly puff and are set in the middle.

Slice into wedges and serve.

*If using potatoes, be sure to cook them first or they will remain hard once the frittata is done cooking. To quickly cook a potato, use a fork to poke a few holes all over a cleaned, unpeeled potato. Place in the microwave and cook on high for about 5 minutes. Flip the potato and cook for another 3-5 minutes, depending on size. Allow to cool, peel (if desired), and cut into chunks. Add to the pan once the other vegetables are done softening. 

 

Pesto Pasta with Chicken and Grilled Summer Veggies

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Pasta salads are the perfect light, easy, summer meal. They come together quickly, make a nice dinner or side dish, and they are a great way to use up all of the delicious vegetables that are growing in your garden. For this recipe I used a mix of zucchini, red bell peppers, corn on the cob, and green onions but you can substitute any or all of these with whatever favorite vegetables you have on hand. Pasta salads are extremely versatile in that you can add in whatever meat, cheese, dressing, and veggie that you like and it will always turn out delicious.

Because I had a nice amount of basil growing in my yard I decided to make a quick and easy fresh basil pesto . It takes only minutes to pull together and it’s the perfect “sauce” for both the pasta and to season the chicken that I added into the salad. The fresh grilled vegetables are really what amps up this salad to awesome, they impart such a nice, sweet element to the dish. I happen to love fresh mozzarella, preferably from my local Italian deli, but in a pinch I do use pre-packaged “fresh mozzarella” from BJ’s. For this recipe I threw in some of the fresh mozzarella pearls, teeny tiny little balls, from Bel Gioioso. They aren’t as amazing as true fresh mozzarella but in this dish where they are tossed together with pesto, chicken, pasta, and fresh veggies they work just fine.

If you don’t have time to make everything for this dish all at once you easily make much of it in advance. The pesto will keep for 5-7 days in the fridge, the vegetables can be grilled and diced ahead of time as well as the chicken. When you’re ready for dinner just boil the pasta and toss everything together. Super easy!

Ingredients

  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into 1″ thick slices
  • 2 ears of fresh corn on the cob
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into sixths
  • 4 green onions, trimmed and sliced thin
  • 4 tbs olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup fresh mozzarella pearls (or torn up fresh mozzarella)
  • 1 lb penne pasta
  • 1 lb chicken breast, cubed and cooked
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • fresh parsley, for garnish
  • 3/4 cup pesto

Instructions

Heat the grill to medium-high. Toss vegetables in the olive oil with a little bit of salt and pepper. Grill corn, turning periodically, for about 10 minutes or until slightly charred in spots. Grill the pepper and zucchini slices for about 4-6 minutes, turning once. Remove from the grill and set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. In a skillet, heat the remaining 2 tbs of olive oil over medium heat. Add in the cubed chicken and season lightly with salt and pepper. Saute until slightly browned and cooked through. Towards the end of the cooking, add in 2-3 tbs of the pesto sauce and stir to combine. Set the chicken aside on a plate and cover to keep warm.

Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to package directions. Drain and run under cold water to cool off the pasta just a bit, you don’t want it steaming hot.

Combine the cooked pasta, chicken, mozzarella balls, green onion, and grilled veggies. Toss gently with the pesto until well combined. Season with salt and pepper as needed and garnish with fresh parsley. Serve warm, at room temp, or cold.

summerpasta3

 

Mommy’s Chicken Soup

chicken soup

There is nothing better when you’re feeling a little under the weather than a hot, steaming bowl of homemade chicken soup. It is so warm and comforting and for me, it always reminds me of being a kid. I grew up on my Mom’s chicken soup, it was a staple in our house in the wintertime and one of the meals I’d often request if I got to choose. It’s a very basic, simple recipe but it’s just perfect!

I use to make this on the stovetop and let it simmer most of the day until the chicken was cooked through and falling from the bone. The problem is, cooking it this way binds you to the house for hours so instead, I starting making it in my Crock Pot. It comes out great every time and you’re free to go about your day and then come home to a nice, hot meal. I usually cook this on low for about 7 hours or until the chicken easily falls from the bone. If you get a late start and are pressed for time, you can also cook it on high for about 5 hours or again, until the chicken falls from the bone. You can even cook it with frozen chicken, you will just have to adjust the cooking time and let it go a touch longer.

This soup will keep for about 2-3 days in the fridge and it can also be frozen. If you freeze it, you may need to add a little more stock to the pot when you warm it back up. Also, do NOT add the pasta directly to the pot of soup. The pasta will absorb all of the broth and become mushy so I keep the pasta separate and add it it to the individual bowls as I am serving.

Ingredients

  • 1 box (32 oz) of good chicken stock (I like Kitchen Basics brand)
  • 2 cups of cold water
  • 2 large bone in split chicken breasts
  • 2 cups of petite baby carrots or about 2-3 carrots sliced
  • 3 ribs of celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbs parsley
  • 1 package of wide egg noodles or orzo pasta

Instructions

Place the chicken in the bottom of the Crock Pot then add all of the veggies and seasonings. Pour in the chicken stock and water. Cover and cook on low for about 7 hours or until the chicken falls easily from the bone.

Towards the end of the cooking, boil the pasta and set aside. You can a little olive oil to the pasta to prevent it from sticking and forming a clump.

Remove the chicken from the Crock Pot and using two forks, pull the chicken from the bone. Discard all of the bones and skin and then return the chicken to the pot. Adjust seasonings as needed.

Place a scoop of pasta into a soup bowl, cover with a hearty ladling of soup, and serve hot. Enjoy!

chickensoup