Quick and cheap: egg salad BLT

Hi friends, how’s life? Did you watch the Boston Marathon? I’m always so proud that this amazing race is in my city. And since I live very close to the finish line, I always get a little emotional seeing all the runners. I know how close they are to this incredible accomplishment and I’m so so excited for them!

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Anyways, the marathon was the highlight of my week so far but the rest of the week as always revolved around food.  Since I do a lot of recipe testing for my express lunch time lessons, I wanted to share one of my favorite quick and cheap recipes that’s perfect for lunch or a casual dinner – an egg salad BLT. This recipe was originally featured in Best of Cooking Light and it was love at first bite. I adore how light yet creamy the egg salad is, and the addition of lemon zest really brightens it up. Also, I’ve used nonfat Greek yogurt in place of sour cream on many occasions and it works wonderfully.

Side note: Martha Stewart’s method for hard-boiled eggs creates perfect eggs every time.

The best part? The contrast between creamy eggs, juicy tomatoes and crispy, salty, smoky bacon. Oh yes! :)

egg salad BLT

What are your favorite quick and cheap recipes? Please share with all of us in the comments!

 

 

 

Coconut and basil steamed mussels

It’s January 5, 2012. While I hear the gyms are packed (like they are every year in January) and every show on the Food Network seems to be about healthy recipes (btw, although olive oil is deemed a healthy fat, its use still appears to be a little too liberal in those healthy recipes), for me – 2012 so far has just been a number I’m not used to typing Smile I’m still on track with my P90X workouts (at home, away from crowds – LOVE) and I am no stranger to healthy cooking. Those chocolate cravings, which need constant “attending to” (read: feeding)? Yup those are still there too.

I wonder how many people really wake up on January 1 and find themselves with a list of resolutions that require immediate action. Do they have a clear plan? Are they overwhelmed? Do they have a good support system to help them? I hope so!

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I’m the kind of person that attacks goals with intensity. I research, I plan, I write out mile-long to-do lists and schedules and then I go at it. This is how I’m approaching my new business (I promise to share the details with you – very soon!) and it’s been exhilarating (so exhilarating in fact that I am having trouble falling asleep thinking of a million different things I could offer and cute little touches that would make me unique). The best part? I get to eat my “research.” Open-mouthed smile [Ok some of it, unfortunately my extensive research in the logo design process has been inedible, and more expensive than originally anticipated. If only I could pay designers in cookies… or mussels. Ha!]

Coconut and basil steamed mussels is a Cooking Light recipe I’ve had bookmarked since June 2009. Mussels are such a fun protein to make and healthy to boot! It’s high in protein, low in fat and calories and when made right – so juicy, plump and delicious. I also love how these little guys absorb whatever broth you cook them in. They turn into little sponges of flavor. Yum!!

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I doubled the amount of mussels the recipe called for (they normally come in 2lb bags – why not cook the whole thing?) and added a few good handfuls of fresh baby spinach (together with the basil) for good measure. Adding baby spinach to pretty much everything is one of my favorite ways to sneak extra veggies in! The spinach soaked up some of the yummy broth as well. Awesome!

This broth was creamy and slightly spicy and had a bit of Thai flare. We loved it with big hunks of bread to soak up more broth. A quick, restaurant-worthy, healthy meal right at home! Red heart

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Those white dots, by the way, are salt. I guess I got really up close and personal with the mussels Winking smile

Do you feel the effects of the new year? Are you overwhelmed, excited or just indifferent?

Healthy and Sane quick and cheap: loaded potato soup

Before I forget, thank you for taking the 1 question survey from last week. It looks like almost 5 times as many people would love to see some Russian recipes here on Healthy and Sane. Very exciting! You can expect to see the very first  post soon.

Now onto more relevant things…

How was your Thanksgiving? Did you host this year or traveled to see family or friends? Did you make anything delicious? I stuck to my plan and made an apple pie and roasted brussels sprouts with pomegranates and vanilla-pecan butter. I popped the pie out of the oven right before heading on a drive to my sister-in-law’s for dinner… the hot pie smelled SO incredible the whole way there. I looked pretty ridiculous sitting there with oven mitts and hugging a pie but I’d do it all over again just for the smell.

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The pie recipe came from the Joy of Cookingcookbook – I made the flaky pie dough recipe using 100% butter (shortening freaks me out) and “Apple Pie II” recipe to be able to do a lattice top. I just think it looks prettier and it gives the apples a chance to steam through the holes. Oh and since I made this pie last week as well I learned that I didn’t like their recommendation of refrigerating the strips first. They became too hard to maneuver. Just cut them up right before topping the pie. Worked for me!

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Looks better than my first pie, right? I’m happy to say I’m pretty comfortable making a pie now… and just like the recipe said – the dough was nice and flaky. Very exciting! The recipe happens to pre-cook the apples as well so you can make the dough and apples the day before and then assemble and bake the whole thing the day of your party. Nice and easy!

apple-pie

Bobby Flay’s brussels sprouts recipe was also a hit with everyone, including brussels sprouts haters. Yay! Although Adam and I preferred the more savory version with capers and anchovies.

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Ok, ok, so this post actually has a point (more Thanksgiving pictures of all the fair and puppies and kids will go up today on the Healthy and Sane Facebook page, so check it out if you want more!). I wanted to share a quick and cheap recipe with you that may utilize ingredients you already have at home. Maybe you’re too tired to cook anything elaborate after last week’s feast. Maybe you just got home from your travels and haven’t gone grocery shopping yet…or maybe – like me- you try to avoid all stores at all cost during this holiday weekend so now that your Thanksgiving leftovers are gone, your fridge is looking a little bare. This recipe from Cooking Light for loaded potato soup is for you then! It’s creamy, hearty, healthy; it comes together in a cinch… and it’s delicious. Very delicious!

load-potato-soup

I made this soup a few weeks ago. It was supposed to be a quick dinner. I had no plans of blogging about it… until I had the first sip. I knew it was a winner and I just had to share. The potatoes are “baked” in the microwave while the bacon is fried. I of course omitted the onions but instead of adding oil, I left a little bacon grease in the pan before adding the broth, milk and the rest of the ingredients. I think this is what gave it that extra smoky flavor that provided a lot of depth to an otherwise simple dish. Seriously, make this soup this winter. I promise you’ll love it! Smile

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What other healthy, quick, cheap and delicious recipes would you recommend? I’d like to make it a regular feature on Healthy and Sane. Plate

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