Monday, January 28, 2013

I'm egging myself on

Since last week I've been pantry and fridge/freezer shopping. I barely spent anything in the market except cat and cleaning supplies. So tonight I re-mixed Melissa's French eggs and had a fabulous dinner. This time, kind of with an Italian theme.

Melissa's French Eggs Italian Style
I made 8 eggs this time because I did some experimenting.  You see some of my friends do not like to know there is a yolk in their egg. As a test I scrambled 2 eggs with this recipe and they'll be going to work with me tomorrow to see whether I can convince them that yolks are yummy. Here's my recipe but the possibilities are endless. This is just what I used from the ingredients I had on hand.

3 Italian sweet sausages crumbled
1 T olive oil
3/4 red pepper sliced
3/4 green pepper sliced
2 scallions chopped
8 large eggs
8 tsp half and half
cooking spray
red pepper flakes
Parmesan cheese

Spray your muffin tin (I used my new square brownie pan) with cooking spray. Set aside and pre heat oven to 425 degrees. In large skillet over medium/low brown sausages, peppers and scallions in the little bit of olive oil. Add a dash of salt and pepper and some red pepper flakes. Make sure the sausage is cooked through.

Remove from heat, let cool a bit and get ready to assemble. You'll be utilizing eight of your compartments. In each of the eight holes place a small helping of the sausage/pepper mixture.

Top 6 of the sausage filled tins with an egg and top each with 1 tsp of fat free half and half.

And if you're experimenting like me, beat 2 eggs with a tsp of fat free half and half. That's what I had on hand., but you know any milk product will work.

 And top all with cheese.

Bake nine minutes. Let cool a bit because they're a little hard to get out of their little nooks when they're super hot. I garnished my dish with some leftover cooked sausage and raw scallions, but I do believe a teaspoon or 2 of marinara sauce would be heavenly.

I say give this a try and I'll let you know how the scrambled version went over, reheated at work tomorrow. Thanks for reading!

*****Here's my update on the scrambled version. When I took them out of the tins last night, they seemed like they had set up properly, so I wrapped them up and reheated them the next morning in the microwave for 1 minute like I do with the "yolky" eggs. Well, they were slightly under cooked  So if you're scrambling, cook about 12 minutes in the oven, and nuke for 1 minute to re-heat. I believe that will work.****

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Ultimate Nacho Mac and Cheese

I've been under the weather for the last few weeks, and when I started feeling better, like wanting to eat solid food again, you know I went for the the most comforting thing I could think of, an ooey, gooey cheesy casserole. My friend Dana Ramsey made a dish called Nacho Mac and Cheese and that sounded right up my alley. But I took her recipe a step further and made her side dish a main course by adding seasoned ground beef and all the toppings you'd add to nachos. I also tried to cut some of the calories and carbs and was ever so happy with the results.

Serves 6-8
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni, I used Dreamfields
1 pound 2% Velveeta cheese
1 can Rotel Original Diced Tomatoes and Chilis
2 tsp canola oil
3/4 pound ground sirloin
1/2 package taco seasoning mix
3 six inch corn tortillas quartered, I used low carb, high fiber
1/2 can fat free re-fried beans
1 small can chopped chilis
1 T Mrs Dash Southwest Chipotle Seasoning Blend

Use them all or choose your favorites
shredded iceberg lettuce
chopped tomatoes sliced olives
lite sour cream
chopped avocado
chopped scallions
chopped cilantro

Prepare elbows according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, brown meat and taco seasoning in canola oil and chop Velveeta into 1/2 inch cubes.

When pasta is done, drain in colander and place back into the warm pot you cooked it in. Add the chopped cheese, can of Rotel, seasoned beef, and can of chilis. Stir to combine and leave on stove top while you put together the bean nachos.

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Take your corn tortilla wedges and spread with the re-fried beans and sprinkle each little chip with the Mrs Dash seasoning. Now you're ready to assemble the dish. Place warm cheese/pasta/meat mixture in casserole dish dusted with cooking spray. Top with bean coated tortillas. Here's the dish ready to go into the oven.

And here it is after it's baked uncovered for 25 minutes. Creamy, crunchy, toasty and oh! so good.

The beauty of this casserole is that the top becomes crunchy and the inside stays creamy. Serve this as you would any nacho dish- lots of toppings, so that with each bite, you can try something new. Dig in and enjoy!
I sure did.