Breakfast...my go-to choice here is a smoothie and a hard-boiled egg. The beauty of this plan is that I make a full batch of smoothies up and boil/peel all of my eggs on Sunday so all I have to do is grab them out of the fridge in the morning and enjoy while I'm getting ready (see - efficient with morning getting ready time too!). My smoothies are pretty straightforward...for 5 smoothies I puree 2-3 bananas, a mix of 2-3 frozen fruits (blueberries, pineapples, peaches, mangos, whatever you prefer), about a cup of OJ, another 1-2 cups of almond milk, a Tablespoon or so of wheat germ and a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg. If you want higher protein then you can also add a couple spoonfuls of almond butter or peanut butter. Basically you want a full blender to make 5 servings...then pour them into 3 glasses (freeze the other two so they last until the end of the week) and put saran wrap on the top, making sure to push the saran wrap down to the surface of the smoothie so no air gets in and pop them in the fridge. For the eggs I simply boil them up, peel them, sprinkle them with salt and pepper and pop them in an air-tight container in the fridge. In the morning I just microwave my egg for about 20 seconds (I prefer them a bit warm, stir up my smoothie (they can separate a bit in the fridge) and enjoy! All of this prep takes 20 minutes max once you get in a routine. Easy breezy.
Roasted red peppers are one of those ingredients that immediately elevate a dish to gourmet. So sweet, so smoky and so amazingly delicious. The problem is, however, that we like to eat them quite often and the store bought roasted red peppers are quite expensive and usually soaking in oil. So a few years ago we tried our hand at making them at home and haven't turned back since. If you have a gas stove they're incredibly easy to make, much healthier, less expensive, and...bonus...make your house smell incredible.So let's get started! Place a clean red pepper directly on the flame of a gas stove set to medium-high. Using heat-proof tongs, turn pepper as each side begins to burn and blister until entire pepper is blackened and crisp. Usually about 1-2 minutes per side or about 5-7 minutes in total. Sometimes you need to use the tongs and hold the pepper over the flame at an angle to get in the crooks if it's a bit more more misshapen.
I love this trick for how to finely shred Brussels Sprouts so I thought I would share it. It's much easier than chopping them with a knife to get them this small and consistent...and kind of fun too! Perfect for my favorite Kale & Brussels Sprout Salad Recipe.
The video's only a little over a minute, so take a quick watch and enjoy.
So this year, I got two items that I wanted to share. Not because I'm promoting specific brands or getting anything at all from the manufacturers but because they honestly have made my life in the kitchen easier and more comfortable. Both of which are extremely important! The first was a gift from my mom and the second a gift from the fabulous hubby...
The more I blog & talk about SavoryGirl the more I hear people assuming that I must have an amazing kitchen to do as much cooking and entertaining as I do. Ha ha, I wish! The reality is that I live in a tiny 1 bedroom apartment in San Francisco with a tiny and not very cooking friendly kitchen so I thought I would show you around my kitchen and provide some thoughts on how to make fabulously healthy & gourmet meals regardless of the kitchen you have. Really, if a small kitchen is set up properly it can be your best friend and you can stop cursing it's compact size...lots of famous chef's got their start in very difficult tiny kitchens after all! The high-level points on the video are below, but it's short and sweet so click above to watch.
I'm sick of crying like a baby every time I chop onions, aren't you? I mean, I have tried every trick in the book. Partially freezing the onion first, keeping the root intact, holding a piece of bread in my mouth to absorb the gas that the onion's now broken cells are emitting, etc... And to be perfectly honest, I am an efficient and effective onion chopper so I do it pretty quickly too! But despite my knife skills I am extremely sensitive to the gas that onions emit so I am crying like a baby within a few cuts....like mascara running down my face crying. And that just sets me up to chop a finger off since I can't see what I'm doing despite my good knife skills!
So I say, enough is enough! And poor Christian shouldn't have to be the designated onion chopper in our family all the time. So despite how ridiculous it makes me look, I have been chopping onions happily for the past month wearing my swimming goggles. Ridiculous? A bit. Effective and time-saving? Absolutely.
...stays together. Isn't that the way the saying goes? No? Huh. Well, that's how we feel in our house at least. And honestly, it's one of the main ways that we are able to crank out so many delicious home-cooked meals while both being extremely busy working professionals. So my SavoryGirl tip for today is two-fold.
First, if you haven't yet found your partner in life when you're thinking about who to settle down with make sure it is someone who has similar life goals to you. Now this may sound obvious, but I can't tell you how many people I have watched be upset when their husband is content eating fast food for dinner but the wife wants to spend time/money/energy on home cooked meals and then ends up bitter because she feels under-appreciated (or vice versa).
- Balance meat, fish and vegetarian meals throughout the week with a slightly heavier emphasis on the latter two
- Seasonal menus...so for the most part you won’t see corn on the cob in the winter, for example. To be fair...I do eat bananas and pineapple all year round even though those are never in season here really
- Keep in mind that I live in CA, so what’s in season for me (strawberries in the winter!) may not be in season for you...when that is the case I encourage you to choose frozen or canned alternatives.
- Leftovers! I’m a huge believer in leftovers so they are regularly incorporated into the menus.
- Remember that we’re only a family of 2, so if you also want to incorporate leftovers you may have to double or triple the original recipe
- If you don’t love leftovers as much as we do and want to skip that, feel free to dig back in the archives to find a substitute recipe...or add a “DIY night or a recipe of your own (and please share!)
- “DIY” Nights - on some nights there won’t be a detailed recipe to go along with the dinner and instead it will indicate “DIY” in parentheses, which means “Do It Yourself” or in other words, wing it! Experiment and create your own recipe for that dinner...these are often quick and easy dinners at my house or things that I have made a million times and can do on autopilot.
- Eating Out - I also build in nights to eat out...because trying new restaurants is is just as important and fun to me as trying new recipes and cooking...especially when you live in a great food city like San Francisco!
- Of course, you don’t have to eat out on the same night as I am so feel free to rearrange the menu to fit your schedule or pick an archived recipe to skip the eat out night all together.