Category Archives: Fuel

Foodie Friday – Veggie, Sausage and Egg Casserole

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Happy Friday y’all!  Instead of hitting the pavement for some miles this morning, I grabbed a knife and went to work in the kitchen!  Sometimes your scheduled workout just doesn’t sound like a good idea and this morning was one of those.  Fridays are tricky because I don’t have class so I always try to schedule a long run for these mornings.  But I also tend to forget that by this day of the week I’m pretty wiped out from school, work and training the rest of the week ….. So far this semester Friday workouts have happened ZERO times.

I’ve come to terms with these kind of mornings and instead of wasting the whole day, I have to be up by 9 (pretty late!! It’s awesome).  And then, rather than take advantage of a rare day off of training (“take advantage” meaning, eat whatever the hell sugary, awful-for-me food that I normally wouldn’t on a training day), I use that time and energy to do something that will instead get me closer to my goal. Sometimes I’ll foam roll, sometimes I’ll clean around the apartment but this morning I worked on this recipe :).  It was really nice to not have to rush to eat before catching the bus, or cook something while I’m still in my sweaty running clothes!

Veggie, Sausage and Egg Casserole

This casserole was inspired by this recipe from Prevention.  I made it slightly healthier by using skim milk instead of 2%, omitting the salt (you truly don’t need it!) and throwing in an extra veggie!

  • 1 package of Spicy Italian Turkey Sausage links
  • 2 heads of broccoli
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 small zucchini
  • .5 c skim milk
  • .5 cup parmesan cheese
  • 8 eggs
  • Pepper to taste

Begin by pre-heating the oven to 350 degrees.  Next, remove the casings on the sausage links and put the meat into a skillet (sprayed with non-stick spray if you don’t have non-stick pans 🙂 ).  Don’t be afraid if you’ve never used this kind of sausage before – it’s not too hard to get it out of the casing!  Using a wooden spoon, break the links up into pieces.

Brown the meat!

Brown the meat!

While the sausage is cooking, chop your veggies!  Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and then thinly slice.  Chop the onion and red bell pepper and for the broccoli, lay it on its side and slice the florets off.  In between vegetables, return to the skillet to move the meat around.  Once your veggies are chopped, line the bottom of a casserole dish (I used an 11×17) coated with non-stick spray, with the sausage.  Remove the grease from the pan and add the chopped veggies.  Allow the veggies to cook for about 10 minutes or until soft.

Chopped veggies!

Chopped veggies!

Cook em up!

Cook em up!

While the veggies cook, use a whisk to blend the 8 eggs, milk and cheese together in a bowl.

Eggs - great protein source!

Eggs – great protein source!

Dump the veggies evenly over the sausage layer, adding cracked black pepper to the top.  Next, pour the egg mixture into the dish evenly over the meat and veggies.  Don’t worry if the eggs don’t come to the top of the chopped stuff, the eggs will fluff up in the oven!

The eggs are in!

The eggs are in!

You can see the shredded cheese nicely coats the top of the veggies!  Mmmm that’s gonna taste so good!

Into the oven!

Into the oven!

Place the casserole dish in the 350 degree oven and let the ingredients bake for 40-45 minutes (or until the eggs are firm).  When it comes out, the eggs will be nice and fluffy, the cheese perfectly melted and the veggies just a little crispy!

Perfect!

Perfect!

Allow the dish to cool – maybe while you clean up the kitchen, check your emails or hop in the shower – before slicing into 10 rectangular servings.  I had to have two pieces the mixture of spicy sausage and cheesy vegetables was so good!

Delicious!

Delicious!

This was such a delicious way to get 4 different kinds of veggies and a heaping serving of protein in at one meal!  If you don’t like zucchini or really LOVE spinach, you could easily modify the vegetables you put in.  Same with the sausage – maybe you prefer sweet, or leave it out entirely if you’re a vegetarian!  So many ways to shake this dish up 🙂

Enjoy your Friday!

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Foodie Friday: Grapefruit, Avocado and Quinoa Salad

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It’s the weekend and it’s blazin’ hot here in Texas!  For January anyway…..If I had it my way it’d be 20 degrees cooler for the upcoming 30K on Sunday but doesn’t look like it’ll happen.  Because of this temperature surge, I was craving something crisp and cold for lunch.  I’ve been eyeing this salad from the blog Skinnytaste.  Author Gina, creates healthy but delicious recipes, takes beautiful photos and includes Weight Watchers point values for any of you following that plan.

Be sure to check out her pictures - better than mine!

Be sure to check out her pictures – better than mine!

Ruby Red Quinoa Salad

I love grapefruits.  This time of year always reminds me of the pink citrus fruit because my grandparents would send us big boxes of Texas grapefruits. Lucky girl, now I can just buy them at my neighborhood grocery store!  And they are HUGE.  I hope the crop lasts a while, especially now that I’ve thrown them into a salad mix.

Grapefruits steal the show in this salad

Grapefruits steal the show in this salad

I used Gina’s basic idea for the salad and added chicken for some extra protein and staying power.  Quinoa is a source of protein, and especially good one for being a grain (great vegetarian option)

Here’s what you’ll need for this simply delicious salad:

  • Spinach
  • 1/2 of a Ruby Red Grapefruit, cubed
  • 1/3 c cooked quinoa
  • 1/4 of an avocado, cubed
  • 4 oz roasted chicken
All the toppins!

All the toppins!

I cooked 1/3 of a cup of dry quinoa which yielded about 1 cup of cooked grains.  I used the extra throughout the week for second helpings of this salad or as a base for chicken and veggies.

Same story with the chicken.  I roasted several breasts in the oven at 400 for about 35 minutes – rubbed in olive oil and salt n pepper.  Then I used individual servings for the salad all week, or for dinner some nights.

For the grapefruit, use three sections for the dressing and chop the rest to throw on your salad.

For the dressing:

  • 1.5 tbsp champagne vinegar
  • 1.5 tbsp olive oil
  • Juice from 3 sections of grapefruit
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Makes 4 servings: use throughout the week!
Delicious, easy and healthy!

Delicious, easy and healthy!

So far so good on the attempt to cook more!  And yes, I’ll include salads in that category 🙂

Big weekend plans?!

 

Foodie Friday: Black Bean Quesadillas

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It’s Friday!  I survived the coldest week yet in Austin, the first week of the semester and first full week back in town.  This morning I met my friends Tiffany and Brandon (also running in the Livestrong Marathon) for an 8 miler around their neighborhood.  Everything felt pretty good though I do find my joints feel stiffer in the cold.  The weekend plan is to do 5.2 tomorrow and 21 on Sunday……yikes!

One of my resolutions goals this year is to make at least one new recipe each week.  My thinking behind this resolution is that I’ll be more conscious about spending money (both by eating out less and not wasting as much from the grocery store), I’ll eat more healthfully and maybe I’ll learn a thing or two in the kitchen…..(like how to chop an onion or properly boil an egg).  But, I also made that same resolution last year and it didn’t happen.  Time to try again!  This week’s recipe comes from Cooking Light’s Weeknight Cookbook.  I whipped up these Black Bean Quesadillas (can you tell my stomach is still in Mexico?!) last Saturday as my pre-3M Half Marathon fuel, and had plenty left over for a few meals during the week!

Black Bean Quesadillas (BBQues.) and Corn Salsa.

Quesadillas

1 tbsp Olive Oil

1.5 tsp minced garlic

2 c chopped plum tomatoes (I used cherry – it’s what I had in the fridge)

.5 c chopped fresh cilantro

1 (15 oz) can black beans

4 multi-grain tortillas

3/4 c preshredded Mexican or taco cheese

Salsa

1 c frozen whole kernel corn

.5 c chopped fresh cilantro

2 tbsp fresh lime juice

.5 tsp minced garlic

1 red bell pepper, chopped

I had the black beans and garlic on hand already but everything else cost me less than $20 (and it fed me five times!).  I broke the recipe down into two steps – first, the quesadilla filling (including chopping the red pepper) and second, making the salsa while the quesadillas cooked.

  1. Preheat the broiler for the quesadillas
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the garlic and sautee for 30 seconds.
  3. Add tomatoes, cilantro, and beans, cooking for 5 minutes and stirring occasionally.
    Filling Ingredients

    Filling Ingredients

    Blending the flavors.

    Blending the flavors.

  4. Spread a sheet of foil over a baking sheet and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  5. Place the tortillas (4) on the baking sheet and spoon 1/2 c bean mixture and 3 tbsp cheese onto one side.  Fold in half.
  6. Lightly coat the tops of the tortillas and broil 3 minutes or until tortillas turn brown.
    Fillin' the tortillas

    Fillin’ the tortillas

    Into the oven.

    Into the oven.

    Nice n toasty.

    Nice n toasty.

  7. While they’re broiling, I had time to make the salas.  Combine all the salsa ingredients in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil over high heat and cook for 2 minutes.
    Salsa on the side

    Salsa on the side

     

Mmmm these were delicious.  Between the beans and tortilla I had plenty of carbs for the 3M race the next day, plus veggies in the form of tomatoes and red pepper!  I wrapped the three remaining tortillas in foil for three separate lunches throughout the week, and used the leftover bean mixture in an omelet one morning for breakfast!  5 meals from that 🙂

Pre-Race Dinner with salsa and guac!

Pre-Race Dinner with salsa and guac!

Have a great weekend!  I’ll be sure to let y’all know how the long runs go this weekend….