Baked Breakfast Tomatoes with Parmesan and Herbs

Tomatoes for breakfast? I thought it a little odd at first, but after seeing variations of this recipe across the Internet, I decided to try it. Turns out, it’s delicious!

I baked these tomatoes, but you can also broil them for a crispier top.  Keep in mind your cooking time will vary based on the size of your tomatoes and how soft you’d like them.  Mine were very large, and I wanted them to still be firm enough to eat with a knife and fork, rather than soft enough to spread on toast.

Serve with scrambled eggs, sausage, and toast of your choice. Enjoy!

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Baked Breakfast Tomatoes with Parmesan and Herbs

Ingredients

  • 5 large ripe tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • Italian seasoning (or other herbs of your choice, thyme or basil would be delicious)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Arrange tomatoes on a baking sheet, cut sides up.
  3. Thinly spread mustard on each tomato. Add Parmesan cheese in an even layer (use a spoon to spread the cheese all the way to the tomato’s edge).
  4. Add seasonings to your taste level.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, checking halfway through and rotating as necessary so cheese doesn’t burn.
  6. Let cool for a few minutes before devouring.

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Quick and Easy Fresh Blender Salsa

With a few simple ingredients and a quick spin in your blender or food processor, you can have fresh delicious salsa in just minutes!

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Ingredients

  • 3-6 large tomatoes
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 large green pepper
  • 1/4 cup pickled jalapeños
  • juice from one lemon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Directions

  1. Roughly chop the tomatoes, onion, and green pepper into large chunks.
  2. Throw all ingredients in a high speed blender or food processor.  Pulse on high until salsa reaches desired consistency.
  3. Store in airtight jars in the fridge. Serve immediately or chill overnight to enhance the flavors.

No-Mayo Chicken Salad

Chicken salad is a great dish for lunch or even an afternoon snack, but often it’s made with gobs of calorie-heavy mayonnaise. Personally, I’ve never like mayonnaise, so I’m always looking for alternatives.

Normally I’d swap it for plain greek yogurt, or even change it up a bit with hummus or avocado, but today I wanted something even lighter.  So I came up with this easy, healthy, flavorful version of chicken salad that’s great on bread, in a pita, or just over a bed of greens.

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Ingredients

  • 1 large chicken breast, cooked, cooled and diced (or shredded)
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1/2 cup minced red onion
  • 1/4 cup relish
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, herbs and spices. Set aside.
  2. In a larger bowl, stir together chicken, celery, onion, and relish.
  3. Drizzle lemon olive oil dressing on chicken mixture and stir well to combine.
  4. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Serve on bread or over a bed of greens (great with a little honey mustard dressing on top).

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Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce

Try this creamy, delicious, vegetable-packed alternative to traditional alfredo sauce on regular pasta or simple vegetable noodles. A great way to add extra nutrition to your dinner!

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Ingredients

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Wash cauliflower and chop into large florets.
  2. Boil in a large pot with 4 quarts of water until soft.
  3. Drain cauliflower, reserving 1/2 cup water.
  4. Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender or food professor and blend on high until smooth.

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Slow Cooker Roasted Vegetables

Want a healthy veggie side dish without using the stove or oven? Slow cooker to the rescue! In just a few short hours, you can have all the tenderness and flavor of roasted vegetables without ever turning on the oven.

This recipe is super versatile too–use any vegetable you want and change up the seasonings to suit your taste. Try white potatoes, celery, carrots and onion, or maybe throw together just broccoli and cauliflower. Multi-colored peppers and onions would be great for fajitas. Great creative and enjoy!

*Check out the video version of this recipe too!

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Slow Cooker Roasted Vegetables

Ingredients

  • Diced vegetables – I used the following:
    • 1 large zucchini, diced
    • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed
    • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1″ squares
    • 1/2 onion, sliced
    • 8 whole garlic cloves
  • 1.5 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp seasoning (I used poultry seasoning)

Directions

  1. Grease inside of 4-qt slow cooker with cooking spray.
  2. Add vegetables and oil to slow cooker and stir.
  3. Toss in seasoning and stir well to evenly coat all vegetables.
  4. Cook on HIGH 3-4 hours or LOW 5-7 hours.

3 Ingredient No-Bake Cereal Bars

These no-bake cereal bars use just three ingredients and are super versatile! Use whatever cereal you have on hand, and feel free to include extra mix-ins like dried berries, nuts, shredded coconut, or even chocolate chips–the combinations are endless!

Great for school lunches and afternoon snacks, these snack bars are stable at room temperature (though I personally like my straight from the fridge).  With no butter or marshmallows, these can be vegan too!

Whip up a quick batch today and enjoy!

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3 Ingredient No-Bake Cereal Bars

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cereal
  • 1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp brown rice syrup

Directions

  1. In a microwave safe bowl, combine brown rice syrup and peanut butter. Microwave on HIGH for 15 seconds, stir, microwave for another 10 seconds. Stir until combined and completely smooth. (The brown rice syrup heats up quickly, so keep an eye on it!)
  2. Place cereal in a large mixing bowl. Pour peanut butter mixture on top. Stir with a large spatula or wooden spoon until all cereal pieces are coated and everything starts sticking together.
  3. Pour cereal mixture into a greased 8″ x 8″ baking dish and spread into an even layer.
  4. Chill in the fridge 30-60 minutes or until set. Turn out onto a cutting board and slice into bars.
  5. Store in an airtight container.

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HappyCooking!

Southwest Chickpea Poppers

This quick and easy snack is crunchy, flavorful, and boasts both fiber and protein! While you can certainly munch on them by the handful, these little nuggets of nutrition are just as tasty in a party snack mix or on top of salad.  Bake up a batch this week and enjoy!

Southwest Chickpea Poppers

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Ingredients

  • 1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp taco or chili seasoning mix*

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Drain, rinse, and blot dry the chickpeas. The drier the better.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together chickpeas and olive oil. Add seasoning and toss to coat evenly.
  4. Spread in an even layer on a lined baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes and allow to cool before handling. They will get crunchier as they cool.

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*Make your own taco seasoning mix by combining the following ingredients in a small bowl:

  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 4 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp oregano

For other great homemade seasonings and mixes, check out Fend for Yourself: 60 Simple Recipes for Beginner Cooks.


 

HappyCooking!

Chocolate Nut Smoothie

chocolate nut smoothie

This delicious smoothie is full of healthy nutrition that makes it great as a quick breakfast to-go! Not only does it taste great (hello chocolate), it’s got two types of nuts and a secret vegetable–zucchini!

Chocolate Nut Smoothie

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Ingredients

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1.5 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3-1/2 cup diced zucchini
  • 3 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp whole almonds
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 4-5 ice cubes

Directions

Blend it up and enjoy! Makes 2 smoothies.

Microwave Greek Quinoa Salad

Quinoa is a healthy, hearty whole grain that’s versatile and delicious! Don’t be intimidated if you’ve never cooked quinoa before–you can do it in the microwave! Make a large batch on the weekend and enjoy it all week in a variety of dishes.  Get creative and don’t be afraid to try something new.  Quinoa can be enjoyed hot or cold, sweet or savory, as a side or the base of a main dish.

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In today’s recipe, we’re making a nice summer salad with Mediterranean flavors that’s best served chilled, making it perfect for hot July days. (Video also available.)

Microwave Greek Quinoa Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups water or broth
  • 1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1/2 roma tomato, diced
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp lemon juice (fresh is best for flavor but bottled works too)
  • 2-3 Tbsp crumbled Feta cheese
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp salt and pepper
  • Optional: 1/4 cup diced cucumber and sliced black olives

Directions

  1. In a large microwave-safe bowl, stir together quinoa and water. Cover and microwave on HIGH 6 minutes. Stir and microwave covered an additional 2 minutes. Let stand 5-10 minutes in the microwave to finish cooking.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  3. Scoop one cup cooked quinoa into a medium mixing bowl.  Drizzle lemon olive oil dressing on top and mix well.
  4. Gently stir in bell pepper and tomato (along with cucumber and olives, if using). Top with Feta cheese.  Chill for 1 hour before serving.
  5. Store in the fridge up to 3 days.

 

This recipe can also be made with couscous and is found in my book The Mighty Microwave on Amazon.

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HappyCooking!

 

Breaded Eggplant Parmesan Fries

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Ready for eggplant season? Not sure how the heck to prepare eggplant? Give these tasty eggplant Parmesan fries a try. They’re easy, delicious, and a great way to incorporate some seasonal produce.

Just keep in mind that the larger the eggplant, the thicker the skin and the more bitter the taste.  Try to pick the smallest, youngest eggplant you can find.

You can check out the video too, if you want to see how I bread my veggies and avoid the messy “club hand.”

Breaded Eggplant Parmesan Fries

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Ingredients

  • 1 eggplant, about 10 oz
  • 1/2 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 3 Tbsp grated or shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Cut eggplant into 1/4″ wide strips.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together egg white and water. In another larger bowl, combine bread crumbs with salt, pepper, and parsley.
  4. Dip eggplant fries into egg white mixture one at a time, then evenly cost with breadcrumbs. Transfer to a cooking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes. Flip over, lightly coat with cooking spray, and top with Parmesan cheese. Bake an additional 5 minutes.
  6. Serve with a side of marina sauce and enjoy!

HappyCooking!