Not your Mom’s Egg Salad Sandwich

I ALWAYS have plain non-fat or 2% greek yogurt in my refrigerator.  If don’t have greek yogurt in my refrigerator, I get frustrated and start feeling guilty.  I don’t drink much milk (except for in coffee or tea or if its flavored), so my calcium comes from other means such as yogurt, cheese, spinach, and best of all ICE CREAM!  It’s a staple for me to have in our house.  I use greek yogurt for both savory and sweet dishes.  My main go to use of greek yogurt is a berry breakfast parfait.  Quick and easy.  Some granola, yogurt, berries, nuts, and agave or honey, DONE!  Breakfast with protein, fruits, good fat, and calcium.  My second go to is smoothies.  But I’ve also made banana nut muffins with them before and they turned out pretty moist.  For savory dishes, I use them in dips that require mayo or sour cream.  Even if a recipe requires a dollop of sour cream and I don’t have any on hand, I’ll use my trusty greek yogurt.  My next savory adventure with greek yogurt will probably be tandoori chicken or mustard-yogurt marinated chicken, but the I haven’t tried it out yet.  I’m hoping my taste tester (the mister) is up for those adventures (he’s not a big Indian food fan).  Anyhow, after I started eating greek yogurt I couldn’t go back to regular Yoplait or Dannon yogurt basically due to texture alone.  Greek yogurt is so much CREAMIER plus it has more protein that regular yogurt keeping you fuller longer.

I wanted to have an egg salad sandwich for lunch the other day but without all the calories.  I still wanted a little bit of mayo flavor, so instead of using a two tablespoons of mayo, I used one tablespoon of light mayo (or fat free if you would prefer not to intake all those calories.  I used light because my husband doesn’t like fat free and it’s a compromise between regular and fat free.) with a tablespoon of non-fat greek yogurt.  Creamy and tasty!  You could even make this recipe without adding the mayonnaise, if you’re not a big fan of mayonnaise.  You could probably use the mayo and greek yogurt method for shrimp louie salad or tuna salads or like I mentioned above dips!  I have a great recipe for a greek yogurt dip that I’ll be sharing with you all next week (it’s actually making an appearance in the picture below).

NOT YOUR MOM’S EGG SALAD SANDWICH

recipe by me
makes one sandwich 

INGREDIENTS

1 hard boiled egg, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon non-fat or light mayonnaise
1 tablespoon non-fat or 2% greek yogurt
2 tablespoon chopped green onion
1/2 stalk of celery, chopped
Salt and pepper (to taste)
Wheat or multigrain bread (We’re eating healthy here people!)
Green of choice (I chose arugula because I like the peppery taste against the creamy egg salad.  In the UK they pair their egg salad sandwich with watercress)

DIRECTIONS

 Mix chopped egg, mayonnaise, greek yogurt, onion, and celery together.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Toast bread slices.  Assemble egg salad and greens between the bread slices however you desire.

bibimbap

No I’m not making a weird sound.  It’s the name of my FAVE Korean dish.  Why?  Because there is a beautiful GOOEY egg on top of seasoned vegetables, bulgogi, and rice.  Excuse me while I take a minute to wipe the drool off my mouth.  Doesn’t that just sound HEAVENLY?   I’m thinking about turning this recipe into a burger.  MMM… similar to the Royal Red Robin Burger (has a over easy egg on top of the burger patty), but with all the Korean fixins.  I can’t wait to try it out!

Bibimbap

The Toppings

Seasoned Bean Sprouts by Rasa Malaysia
About 1 1/2 cups

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
12 oz soybean sprouts
4 tablespoons minced green onion (scallions)
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil

DIRECTIONS

In a medium-size saucepan, with a lid, combine the water, salt and soybean sprouts. Bring to a boil. Reduce to low heat, cover with a lid, and steam the sprouts for 5 minutes.  Strain the sprouts and transfer to a mixing bowl.  Mix the sprouts with the green onion, toasted sesame seeds and sesame oil.

Seasoned Carrot Salad by Rasa Malaysia
About 1 cup

INGREDIENTS

4 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch matchstick strips
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil

DIRECTIONS

In a medium size skillet heat the sesame oil on medium heat. Add the carrots and salt.  Stir-fry the carrots for 2 minutes.

Seasoned Spinach Salad by Rasa Malaysia
Makes 1 1/2 cups

INGREDIENTS

1 pound (500 g) spinach, rinsed carefully
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt

DIRECTIONS

Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add the spinach and cook for 1 minute.  Strain the spinach into a colander and rinse with cold water. Take one handful of spinach at a time, and squeeze the water from the spinach. Lay the spinach on a cutting board and cut into 2-inch (5 cm) pieces.  Transfer the spinach to a bowl and add the sesame seeds, sesame oil, and salt. Mix well.

Seasoned Zucchini Salad by  maangchi

INGREDIENTS

2 small zucchinis
pinch of salt

DIRECTIONS

Cut 2 small size zucchinis into thin strips, sprinkle them with a pinch of salt, and then mix them together. A few minutes later, sauté them in a pan over high heat. When it’s cooked, it will look a little translucent. Put it on the platter.

Shitake Mushrooms by maangchi

INGREDIENTS

5-7 Shitake Mushrooms
1 tsp of vegetable oil
2 tsp of soy sauce
1 or 2 tsp of sugar
sesame oil to taste

DIRECTIONS

Slice shitake mushrooms thinly and sauté with 1 tsp of vegetable oil. Add 2 tsp of soy sauce and 1 or 2 ts of sugar and stir it for 2 minutes. Add some sesame oil, and put it on the platter.

Bulgogi – Marinated Beef

INGREDIENTS

1 pound of rib eye meat, cut into thinly sliced strips
1/4 cup of Korean BBQ sauce (I used the premade marinade; however, you could make your own)

DIRECTIONS

Marinate thinly sliced rib eye meat with the Korean BBQ sauce for at least an hour.  Heat grill or skillet to a high heat.  Grill of stir fry for 2-3 minutes.

Fried Egg – Sunny Side up or Over Easy (The key here is don’t overcook the egg.  You’ll want a nice runny yolk)
Sesame Oil
Gojuchang (Red pepper paste, can be found in Asian Markets)
Sesame seeds
Cooked rice (long grain or sushi rice is ideal)

TO ASSEMBLE

Place the rice in a bowl.  Arrange the vegetable toppings and bulgogi on top of the rice.  Add the fried egg on top of the toppings.  Sprinkle sesame oil and sesame seeds.  Then add gojuchang paste as desired to the dish.  ENJOY!

pasta and bread

HEAVEN!  pasta, noodles, bread, potatoes, and rice… are pure HEAVEN.  I HEART CARBS!  I’m one of those people that will NOT give up carbs during a diet (I’d die if someone told me I had to give up carbs).  Everything in moderation.  I’ll decrease my carbs intake but I won’t cut it out of my diet completely.  I have given up rice one lenten season and then potatoes another lenten season and it was TORTURE.  I have thought about giving all carbs up together for 40 days, but I just don’t know about all that… (yeah I know, I sound horrible)

One of my favorite all time breakfast sandwiches is a Italian Egg Sandwich.  I came across it while looking for recipes on foodnetwork.com.  With the right type of bread (ciabatta, focaccia, french, italian, etc.  basically anything with a crunchy crust) this meal is WONDERS.  You can easily use sliced bread, but I suggest toasting it well so you can get the crunch texture against the egg and sauce.  Also, I add proscuitto or ham to this dish for some added protein, and of course some spinach (I didn’t have either in my photo, so I did without them).

Italian Egg Sandwich (by Giada DeLaurentiis)

INGREDIENTS
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 large egg
Salt and pepper
1 slice rustic white bread (1/2-inch-thick)
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan
1/4 cup warm marinara sauce, drained of excess liquid (store bought or homemade)

DIRECTIONS

Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a heavy small skillet over medium heat. Crack the egg into the skillet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover and cook until the white is firm and the yolk is almost set, about 4 minutes. Season with salt.

Meanwhile, toast the bread until golden brown. Rub the garlic over the toast. Sprinkle with the Parmesan. Spoon the drained marinara sauce over the Parmesan. Top with the egg. Place the open-faced sandwich on a plate and serve.

When I’m away for a week or two, the refrigerator is bare.  The husband will buy the essentials if he needs them or just go out for dinner.  So when we got back from Virginia for my girlfriend’s wedding/work week, there wasn’t much in the refrigerator, so I had to do the pantry/freezer challenge game.  Thank goodness for pasta, cheese, eggs, and frozen vegetables and meats.  😛  Yes I always have that in stock.

We actually haven’t gone out for Italian in a while.  Just haven’t tried any Italian places here.  Olive Garden is good, but I can’t say we know where it is and it’s just much cheaper and HEALTHIER to cook your own Italian foods using the internet as a tool to look up Italian recipes.  When I first started to learn how to cook I’d always use chicken breast.  Chicken Parmesan, Chicken Katsu, etc.  You name any type of chicken breast dish, I probably would have made it.  I used Tyler Florence’s chicken parm recipe because it’s just packed with flavor.  I however did not use the marinara sauce as part of this recipe.  I had on hand some marinara sauce in the pantry (I did have canned tomatoes I could’ve used but I was just lazy) and used that to pour over the chicken parmesan as well as incorporate that into my faux baked zitti.  I say faux because I didn’t have any ricotta cheese to make this.  I just used mozzarella and parmesan and mixed that into the sauce and pasta.  And to be healthy, I cut up some lettuce, sprinkled some parmesan cheese and almonds on top and drizzled some olive oil and balsamic vinegar to make a simple salad.

Chicken Parmesan (adapted by Tyler Florence) with Faux Baked Zitti

The recipe below is just for the chicken portion.  Remember I used store bought marinara.  So feel free to go to foodnetwork.com for the original recipe.  My variations are in red.


INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 3 tablespoons
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 skinless, boneless, chicken breasts (about 11/2 pounds)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon water
1 cup dried bread crumbs
1 (8-ounce) ball fresh buffalo mozzarella, water drained
Freshly grated Parmesan
Dried Italian seasoning
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Get the ingredients together for the chicken so you have a little assembly line. Put the chicken breasts side by side on a cutting board and lay a piece of plastic wrap over them. Pound the chicken breasts with a flat meat mallet, until they are about 1/2-inch thick. Put the flour in a shallow platter and season with a fair amount of salt and pepper; mix with a fork to distribute evenly. In a wide bowl, combine the eggs and water, beat until frothy. Put the bread crumbs on a plate, season with salt and pepper, as well as dried Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and onion powder.

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high flame in a large oven-proof skillet. Lightly dredge both sides of the chicken cutlets in the seasoned flour, and then dip them in the egg wash to coat completely, letting the excess drip off, then dredge in the bread crumbs. When the oil is nice and hot, add the cutlets and fry for 4 minutes on each side until golden and crusty, turning once.

Ladle the tomato-olive sauce marinara (store bought or homemade) over the chicken and sprinkle with mozzarella, Parmesan, and basil. Bake the Chicken Parmesan for 15 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly. Serve hot with spaghetti or baked zitti (see recipe below).

Faux Baked Zitti

INGREDIENTS

Penne or Zitti pasta
Store bought marinara sauce
Parmesan and mozzarella cheese (shredded)

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cook pasta based on instructions on the box minus 2 minutes for al dente (as you’re placing this into the oven to cook for a little longer).  When cooked drain the pasta and put back into the pot.  Pour the marinara sauce onto the cooked pasta.  Sprinkle some (not all) cheese into the pot.  Stir to incorporate all the ingredients together.

Take a cake pan or casserole pan and grease it.  Place the pasta into the dish, top with remainder of the cheese and place it into the oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling.

My husband and I are carb eaters but we can’t finish a box of pasta between the two of us in one sitting so I usually just use half the box and use the other half for later.  I didn’t go to the supermarket the next day and had given the chicken parm leftovers to my husband so I decided that I wanted pasta still but include some frozen veggies, but I didn’t want to do a simple primavera pasta (plus I didn’t have any tomatoes or bell peppers for that).  I decided to make baked veggie pasta with bechamel sauce and of course with salad.  This top the salad was topped with sundried tomatoes, pine nuts, and parmesan cheese.  Drizzled of course with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Veggie Pasta Bake

INGREDIENTS – measurements are estimate as I did this to taste and was for two servings

2 tbsps Butter
1 Garlic clove, mince
1 tbsp Flour
1/2 tsp, ground nutmeg
1/4 cup Half and Half
salt and pepper.
Shitake Mushrooms (you can use fresh or dried.  I used dried mushrooms and rehydrated them), sliced
Chopped Spinach (you can use frozen or fresh.  if using frozen, make sure you squeeze out the water)
Frozen peas, veggies
Parmesan and Mozzarella cheese

DIRECTIONS

Cook pasta based on instructions on the box, minus 2 minutes for an al dente bite of pasta.  Drain pasta.

Preheat oven at 350 degrees F.

Meanwhile, heat a sauce pan over medium heat.  Melt butter in pan.  When the butter is melted, place minced garlic into the pan.  When the garlic is fragrant add flour into pan to make a rue.  When the flour has cooked through (the brown the flour, the nuttier the flavor), whisk in the half and half into the pan until thickens.  When the sauce thickens, add nutmeg and salt and pepper.   Turn off the heat and add the vegetables and pasta.  Mix thorough and place into a oven-proof pan.  Sprinkle parmesan and mozzarella cheese over the pasta.  Place into oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling.

Pretty easy through your pantry into a pot recipes right?  There’s another pasta I’m dying to try soon that I found on seriouseats.  Will post it as soon as I try it.