Sometimes you need a bowl of soup. A quick one.
But soup is notorious (or is nefarious a better word?) for being best when cooked for all the hours over low heat.
I don’t have time for that when I’m hangry. (My auto-correct keeps trying to change that to “hungry” but I really do mean hangry).
So here you go. A soup that takes literally five minutes, one sauce pan, and an egg to whip up. “Easy” seems too descriptive a word. But “tasty?” Now that word doesn’t even come close.
EASY EGG-DROP SOUP
In a saucepan heat 2 cups of chicken stock to boiling. Add a dash of salt. Turn burner off.
In a small bowl, whisk 1 egg until frothy and then gently and slowly pour the egg into the hot (but no longer boiling) stock. stir gently with a soft spatula and then let sit for three minutes. Serve topped with diced scallions or other favorite herb blend.
Potatoes and eggs are usually the ubiquitous American breakfast food, but if eating clean has taught me anything, it’s that anything can sub-in when it comes to meal norms. And this ‘typical’ breakfast food works just as well for dinner. Especially if you throw in a grilled steak topped with arugula, or something similar.
But for today, this was breakfast. And it was beautiful.
You can mix up the sides endlessly because sweet potatoes play nice with so many flavors and textures. Salad . . . fresh fruit . . . crudités . . .pickled beets . . . a few slices of uncured salami . . . there really is no end to the options.
In my case, it was yellow tomatoes and a slightly overripe avocado.
Hey, whatever works!
SWEET POTATO HASH WITH A SOFT EGG
1 peeled and shredded sweet potato
1 teaspoon onion flakes
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Peel and grate/shred one sweet potato and set aside.
In a skillet over med/high-high, heat olive oil until hot (but not smoking). toss in onion flakes and allow them to caramelize. Then toss in grated sweet potato and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Turn to coat with olive oil and allow the heat to brown the edges before scraping the pan, turning again, and allowing to brown once more. Scrape and brown the potato until it begins to crisp. Then, with a spoon, hollow out two “nests” in the bed of hash and crack one egg into each nest.
Slide the skillet into a 400-degree, preheated oven and bake the hash and eggs until the egg yokes are covered with a thin while film and the whites are firm.
Remove from oven and plate with fruit, veggies, or meat.
You know when you’re so hungry because you forgot to eat breakfast or plan for lunch and it’s 2pm and you’re ready to eat your arm?
Yah. Good times.
Well, this one’s for you.
Prep and cook time: 10 minutes flat. Boom.
You can eat and just tuck that Hangry back in a little.
The world is safe for another day.
I love how a good scramble can do that. *wink*
GARLICKY CHICKEN AND FRESH TOMATO SCRAMBLE
Note: This recipe is super versatile. Fresh out of chicken? Turkey works. Or pork. Or last night’s steak. Or even a can of tuna. Not a meat person? No biggie. Leave it out.
Meat of some kind, about 1/2 a cup, or not! (See note above).
1 fresh tomato
1 teaspoon diced garlic
1 teaspoon onion flakes
Pepper to taste
1 teaspoon clarified butter
In a frying pan over medium heat, melt butter and toss in meat. Turn and coat and then toss in garlic, onion, and diced tomato. Simmer and mix until everything is heated through and smells AMAZING. Crack two eggs right into the pan, and using a spatula mix it around a little to combine all the ingredients. Then allow the whole thing to cook, covered, for about three minutes or until everything has set. You shouldn’t have any runny eggs.
Serve hot with your favorite fruit or veggie.
Sometimes dinner needs a little extra something, yaknow? I’m all for spice rubs, but my heart finds its home in sauces. And when you’re looking to dress up some chicken breasts, or pork tenderloin, or heck, even a pile of spaghetti squash, a savory-sweet applesauce really brings a lot to the table. Pun intended.
4 apples, peeled and diced
1 onion, diced
1/2 cup prunes or apricots
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons clarified butter
begin by peeling and dicing your apples. —I like to make this sauce out of whatever fruit is starting to show its age in my fruit basket. Can’t let those mealy bruised apples go to waste!
Do the same with the onions and the dried fruit.
Then in a saucepan, over medium heat, melt the clarified butter and toss in the apples, dried fruit, and onions, stirring until they begin to brown/caramelize. Sprinkle cinnamon over the fruit and onions and then add just enough water to cover the fruit. Set it back on the stove and bring to a gentle simmer. Stir occasionally and continue to simmer, uncovered, until the fruit softens. Add water as needed, simmering all while while until the fruit melds and becomes a thick, chunky sauce. If you prefer a smoother applesauce, use an emulsion blender to emulsify.
Spoon generously over meat, vegetables, or even dessert.
(I love it over a heavy greek yogurt!)
“Winner winner chicken dinner.”
That phrase originated, or so the tale goes, from a chicken dinner served in Las Vegas that used to cost less than $2.00. The usual bet at the time was $2.00, so when you won, you could afford the chicken dinner. Hence “Winner, winner, chicken dinner!”
This particular recipe costs less than $2.00 a serving, and considering how good it tastes, I’d say that definitely makes whomever cooks and eats this particular recipe, a winner.
So, there you have it. Congratulations!
SKILLET BAKED LEMON-GARLIC CHICKEN BREAST
WITH SAUTÉED ARUGULA AND SPINACH
4 chicken breasts
2 cups fresh arugula
2 cups fresh spinach
1 teaspoon clarified butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
for the marinade:
1 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh garlic
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons white cooking wine
In a glass dish with a lid, (or a gallon-sized ziplock bag) mix up the marinade and immerse chicken breasts. Allow them to soak, refrigerated, for 8 to 12 hours.
Heat your oven to 400-degrees and warm a large cast-iron skillet. Drizzle in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until the pan is well-coated and then lay the marinated chicken breasts evenly in the pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven, turn the chicken, sprinkle the other side with salt and pepper, and return to the oven for another 10-to-15 minutes, or until the breasts begin to brown.
Will the chicken is finishing, melt clarified butter in a pan over med-high heat and toss in arugula and spinach. sprinkle lightly with salt and toss again until the greens begin to wilt. Remove from heat and plate with finished chicken.
I very nearly destroyed dinner last night.
This happens to me sometimes when I forgot that I put something in the oven and it overcooks. In a big way.
Fortunately, I was cooking squash. And squash are redeemable. I mean, with a name like squash, they almost have to be, right?
They were going to be a side dish, but instead they became the main dish. And it was serendipity all around. —A happy accident. And also delicious. Worthy of sharing.
ROASTED ACORN SQUASH SOUP
2 medium-large acorn squash
32oz/1 qt chicken broth
1 15oz can of whole-fat coconut milk
1 tsp onion flakes
1 teaspoon fresh garlic
3/4 teaspoon of salt (moire or less, depending on taste preference)
2 tablespoons clarified butter
In a 400-degree oven roast the squash until the rinds are blackened. About an hour or more. —I simply pierce the rinds with a sharp knife so they can vent while cooking, and place them whole right on the rack (with tinfoil underneath to catch drips). I find they are easier to de-seed post roasting. I’m all about simplifying the process.
When they have finished cooking and the rinds are blackened, remove from the oven, allow to cool, then slice open, and scoop out the seeds. scoop the cooked squash from the blackened rind and set aside.
In a soup pot over med-high heat, melt clarified butter and simmer garlic and onion flakes until cartelized. Add the acorn squash, broth, and can of coconut milk. With an emulsion blender (or in a standard blender) emulsify until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with rosemary, or parmesan, or both!
When I look back on my history with meal planning, I don’t have a great track record. But I’m trying. Progress not perfection. That’s what this is all about, right?
And “this” incudes healthy eating/cooking/noshing/foodblogging . . .
You’ve probably noticed I post a lot of whole30 friendly recipes here at EatWriteRepeat and that’s because I’m trying to practice what I preach. So as you head into your week and your grocery list grows on the sticky note taped to your fridge, here’s five meals (Healthy! Tasty! Whole30-friendly!) to help you in your own progress-not-perfection meal-planning endeavors.