quinoa vegetable bake

Quinoa Vegetable Bake

Oh, May. ‘Tis the month to put that last-chance effort into getting that perfect (or passable) summer body. Goodness knows I’ve been attempting to dial down the occasional junk and up my veggie and protein counts. I’ve been going to the gym at 8 a.m. on Saturdays and doing an hour of cardio and lifting, followed by a nutritious breakfast.

quinoa vegetable bake

Then I’ll ruin it by doing something like going down to Ice & Vice for the second time in a week and eating more Food Baby and Opium Den.

It’s always a struggle.

quinoa vegetable bake

This Quinoa Vegetable Bake is great for many reasons: It makes a great lunch or dinner, it makes an acceptable savory breakfast, and it stores well throughout  the week.

Maybe I should talk to the guys at Ice & Vice into turning this recipe into one of their ice cream flavors, so I can kill two birds with one stone? Eh? Maybe?

Quinoa Vegetable Bake
(Serves 6)

Ingredients:

– 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed and uncooked
– 1 cup water
– 1 large carrot, shredded
– 1 small zucchini, diced
– 2 cups broccoli florets, finely chopped
– 1 small yellow or white onion, finely chopping
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 2 eggs
– 1 cup fresh mozzarella, cubed small
– Cheddar cheese, shredded, for topping (optional)

Before We Get Started…

I’ve baked this recipe in a few different vessels, but have had the most luck in an 8″ x 8″ inch pan, a standard bread pan, or a pie pan. If serving for guests, it’s fun to present it in different fashions.

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease baking pan. Set aside.

2.) In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil and add quinoa; reduce water to a simmer, cover saucepan, and cook for 15 – 20 minutes or until quinoa has absorbed liquid and cooked through.

3.) Combine quinoa with all vegetables, eggs, and mozzarella in large bowl and mix until incorporated. Spread into baking pan and place in oven. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving. Top with shredded cheddar cheese, if desired.

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Shakshuka [Single Serving]

I love some good alliteration, don’t you?

Shakshuka is something that I’ve grown a love for, especially as my hatred of runny yolks has cooled significantly over the past few years. About two years ago, for a quick post-work dinner, I impulsively decided to spoon some marinara sauce over some sliced hard boiled eggs, and I found it to be a odd yet satisfying choice. My former roommate Emily (whom I miss every single damn day) had an enthusiasm for Shakshuka, telling me about her love for it and how she’s had it in Israel many a time.

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Oh hey there, typical tiny Manhattan Kitchen…

I now regret not attempting to make a full-size of this recipe when you were around, Em! What a fool I was!

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I promise, if and when I get myself down to Raleigh-Durham to visit you, I’ll make you a skillet. You don’t have to share it with anyone!

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In the meantime, I’ll just craft a recipe for all of us single eaters.

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Shakshuka

Shakshuka [Single Serving]
(Serves One…if you were unable to deduce that)

Ingredients:

– 1 to 2 eggs
– 1 cup crushed tomatoes or 1 cup marinara sauce
– 1 tablespoon tomato paste
– 1/4 small yellow or white onion, diced
– 1/2 bell pepper, diced (pick your favorite color!)
– 1 clove garlic, minced
– 1/4 teaspoon cumin
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– Cilantro, for garnish (optional)
– Feta, for garnish (optional)
– Salt and pepper, to taste

Before We Get Started…

– It is entirely possible that you don’t have tomato paste. Goodness knows that I normally don’t have any on reserve. You can skip adding it, but I think it adds an extra depth of flavor. If you would like to create your own, there are many articles available via search engines regarding substitutions and creating your own tomato paste. However, for this individual-sized serving, I’d suggest going out and getting that small can of tomato paste. I got mine for 79 cents. Haaa.

– This recipe is best baked in an 8″ – 9″ oven-safe skillet or a ramekin with a 2 cup capacity.

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 375°F.

2.) Pour oil into a large skillet and warm over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and pepper and sauté until onions are translucent, approximately 4 – 5 minutes; if garlic starts to brown too fast, lower heat. Add tomatoes (or sauce), tomato paste, and cumin. Stir to combine. Simmer for 4 – 5 minutes. Transfer tomato mixture to ramekin or oven-safe skillet. (See Before We Get Started…; though it is an extra skillet to wash, it’s much easier to cook the tomato mixture in a larger skillet than a smaller oven-safe skillet.) 

3.) With the back of a spoon, make an indentation in the tomato mixture. Crack egg(s) into indentation, being sure not to break the yolk(s).

4.) Place skillet or ramekin in oven and cook for 18 – 20 minutes or until whites are set and yolks are thick but runny. If preferred, at the ten minute mark, baste egg whites lightly with the tomato mixture, taking care not to disturb the yolk; return to oven to cook for the remaining time.

5.) Remove from oven. Top with cilantro and feta, if desired. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately, preferably with thick toasted bread.

Breakfast Bake

Potato & Pepper Breakfast Bake for One

On my Instagram account a few days back, I posed a question to some of my followers in which I asked what I should put for my second blog post. A vast majority wanted me to post a recipe for Brown Butter Cinnamon Rice Krispie Treats. This guy I know pretty well, Adam*, makes some pretty spectacular ones, loved by my friends, roommates, family, and co-workers alike.

…then the perfectionist in me didn’t like any of the photos I had taken of them in prior weeks and will wait until I’m blessed with better natural lighting.

Still, would y’all really complain if I decided to put a shredded potato, red bell peppers, and a baked egg in a cast iron skillet, would ya?

breakfast bake

Didn’t think so.

A few weeks ago, I had some of my close foodie friends over for a small brunch at my apartment. Though my brunch preferences always lean towards the side of French toasts and pancakes, I knew I was baking for fans of savory brunch bites and connoisseurs of Yolk Porn. I am a big fan of cast iron skillets, if I may sound like a somewhat typical food blogger AND a Millennial female. *sigh* But really, who doesn’t love cooking ware that can go straight from stove top to the oven? It saves me time and dishes! I found a recipe online for a cast iron skillet-cooked breakfast bake, and it’s hard to go wrong with a carb, vegetable, and protein cooked together in one felt swoop. It was a hit among my friends, even if I did overcook the yolks.** I found myself craving it again in the weeks after this brunch, but didn’t want to whip out a 13″ skillet just for myself. Thank you, Lodge, for the creation of your 8″ cast iron skillet. You know how to make a girl happy.

breakfast bake

* – He’s been stalking me pretty consistently for almost three years now. I’ve just given up. After all, he loves washing my dishes after I cook.

** – I hope my friends have forgiven me. If they haven’t, they’ve done a great job hiding their deep-seated animosity.

Potato & Pepper Breakfast Bake for One

Ingredients:
– 1 Russet Potato, scrubbed and eyes removed
– 1 tablespoon butter
– 1 red bell pepper, diced
– 1 small white onion, diced
– 1 egg
– 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
– 2 garlic cloves, minced
– Salt and pepper, to taste
– Chopped cilantro or parsley for garnish (optional)
.

Before We Get Started…

– Preheat oven to 350 °F.
– This dish will work best as noted in an 8″ – 9″ cast iron skillet. Should you not have one, modify as follows: Complete Step #2 in a non-stick skillet. Add contents of the skillet to a lightly greased 8″ x 8″ baking pan. Continue with Step #3.

Directions:

1.) Shred potato and add to a large bowl; add enough cold water to cover. Let stand 5 minutes; drain and pat dry.

2.) Melt butter with oil over medium heat. Add pepper and onion, sautéing for 5 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and sauté for an additional two minutes. Stir in potatoes and cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.

3.) Remove skillet from heat. Use the back of a spoon to make an indentation in the potato and pepper mixture; crack the egg into this indentation.

4.) Move skillet to oven and bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until eggs are set.* Serve immediately!

* – Baking for 20 minutes will get you a very hard yolk and delightfully crispy potatoes, if that’s your thing. For me, you’re damn straight it is!

oatmeal close up

Baked Fruit Oatmeal with Coconut & Chia Seeds

May I start off with a confession?

I have been tossing and turning over what my inaugural post for Seek Satiation should be. Let’s be honest here, people: this could make or break me! PRESSURE! This blog has been a long time coming, being put off by various life events, namely a two year year-round master’s program. I’ve made plenty of fancier recipes that, likely, will show up in this site in the coming weeks and months. I’ve created plenty of recipes to cater to eaters of all types, from carnivores to vegans, from cheese-addicts to religious Paleo eaters, from Whole 30 followers to those that just don’t care how much cholesterol they just consumed. My former grad school classes have been echoing in the back of my head: how can I make this food blog a Blue Ocean kind of food blog in a Red Ocean of food blogs? What are my deliverables? What will garner the most traffic for ad revenue? Why do I have to be so ‘Type A’ sometimes?!

Finally, I sat down, drank some chamomile tea, took a deep breath, I settled on a simple recipe for baked oatmeal.

Why?

Because I already had photos of baked oatmeal with good natural lighting.

End of story.

Ha!

baked oatmeal

This baked oatmeal recipe is based off of one from a childhood friend turned globally-based yoga instructor. I’ve modified my version from Yoga by Candace’s recipe for Baked Oatmeal with Fruit and Coconut. When I first attempted her recipe last year, I followed it to a T, and it was beyond fantastic. In the past, I’ve made very rich baked oatmeals with eggs and cream, but I have not made one like that since, thanks to this recipe. Fresh out of the oven, it’s akin to a guilt-free fruit crisp. My parents request it each time I come home! What’s great about this recipe is the ability to easily customize it. I have made it with Candace’s ingredients, which are berries, peaches, and coconut. I have also made it with bananas, apples, nectarines, pears, and mangos. (Though, not necessarily together!) I’ve made it with flaxseeds, I’ve thrown in some chia seeds, and I always top it with shredded coconut if I have it. I have drizzled with with maple syrup, and I have dabbed it with cinnamon-infused plain Greek yogurt. Hell, I’ll even drip a little heavy cream on it every now and then. It makes for great leftovers; if I make a batch, I can get two or three breakfasts out of it. (Score!) Usually, I just go the “plain” route when making it on an average day, as I find the availibility of blueberries and strawberries to be pretty universal. Still, for something so relatively plain, it’s still going to garner a hearty “thank you!” from both your tastebuds and your tummy.

baked oatmeal

Baked Fruit Oatmeal with Coconut & Chia Seeds

Ingredients:
– 3 cups oatmeal*
– 1/2 cup water**
– 1 tablespoon cinnamon
– 1 tablespoon maple syrup
– 2 cups blueberries, rinsed
– 1 cup strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and chopped
– 1 tablespoon chia seeds
– 1 cup shredded coconut (optional, but highly recommended)
* – Traditional oats should be used, not quick-cooking oats or steel-cut oats.
** – In my experience, sometimes 1/2 cup of water works, but add an additional 1/2 cup of water if the mixture seems to dry; do not over-saturate, but make sure they are wet.

Before We Get Started…

-Preheat oven to 350 °F.
– Have a 9″ x 9″ pan, non-greased, ready to go. A smaller or larger baking pan will work, but this always works best for me.

Directions:
In a large bowl, combine oats, berries, chia, cinnamon, maple syrup, and water. Mix gently, taking care to make sure the oats are saturated and the fruit is in tact. Spread oatmeal mixture into baking pan. Sprinkle coconut on top. Bake 40 – 45 minutes, or until the coconut flakes are lightly browned.