Pasta with Eggs

Between work and the early evening shuffling to tae kwon do, gymnastics or whatever else, getting a healthy dinner on the table quickly feels overwhelming at times. You too? One of my go-to weeknight dinners when I'm short on time has just four ingredients, takes less than 30 minutes to pull together and is really affordable. Here's my favorite part: all five of my family members love it! 

Spinach noodles with egg

Spinach noodles with egg

eggs

Pasta with Eggs came about one night when I started making carbonara and realized that I didn't have bacon. The process to make it is nearly identical, but this version has neither bacon nor cheese. Since that evening, this has become a staple in my house and my kids love to take the leftovers for lunch. Eggs are versatile, delicious, and nutritionally dense. One large egg has a satisfying 6 grams of protein and is high in vitamin B2 so even when I'm serving what seems like plain pasta for dinner, it is anything but plain. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that eggs are dear to my heart. (also, collecting them with my daughter on a recent farmstay was seriously cool!)

But back to the pasta... the four ingredients you'll need are pasta, eggs, butter and salt. I'm sharing my recipe with you now and hope that it serves you as well as it has served me for years. You can make it completely dairy free by substituting oil for butter. 

Here's what you'll need: 
1 pound of pasta (fresh or dry will work) 
3 whole eggs plus 1 egg yolk
2-3 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1 teaspoon of coarse salt

Here's how to do it:
1. Cook the pasta as directed, reserve 1/8 cup of the cooking water and set it aside. Drain the rest of the pasta and set it aside as well. Here I'm using fresh spinach noodles, but really, anything will do. I've also made this with gluten free, bean pasta and it's delicious!

cooked and drained pasta.jpg

2. Add the butter to the pot that you used to cook the pasta and turn the heat on medium low. 

melt butter

3. Add the pasta back to the pot and stir to combine the melted butter. Add the reserved cooking water and then slowly add the eggs. 

adding eggs to pasta

4. When you've added the whole eggs and the egg yolk, stir with a wooden spoon to break the yolks, add the salt and combine into the pasta. 

raw eggs in the pasta

5. With the heat still on medium low, keep stirring until the eggs just cook. It will form a rich, creamy sauce. Taste it to determine whether you'd like to add more salt (or add pepper). You might have some small egg clumps. That's okay. They're still delicious! Check to make sure the temperature on your stove isn't too high. 

Stirring Pasta with Eggs

6. Have patience. It takes about 7-10 minutes of low heat for the sauce to set. These are best eaten immediately, but my kids also love them cold for lunch the next day. 

Enjoy! 

Pasta with Egg

Strata, Your New Best Friend

Eggs

If there's one thing all 5 of us always agree on, it's eggs. Strata is basically a frittata with bread and I love it because I can make it ahead of time and just reheat for dinner and I can also pop it into the lunchboxes! Score! 

I've made strata with spinach and with broccoli. I've made it with cheddar cheese and goat cheese. I've made it with olives and chick peas. But the version I keep coming back to has just tomatoes, basil and cheese. It's like having an egg and tomato sandwich with cheese, only better. Way better. Here's another thing I love about strata: it's a great way to use up bread that's getting stale. (here's another use for that)

Strata

Here's what you'll need: 
10 large eggs
1/2 cup of milk
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups of crusty bread, cut into one inch cubes
1 pint of grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Optional: 1/2 cup shredded cheese or goat cheese

Strata slice

Here's what to do:
1. Preheat the oven to 375 F
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and salt
3. Add the bread and combine so that the bread is totally soaked in. You can pop this in the refrigerator for 2+ hours or proceed from here. 
4. Add the tomatoes, basil (and cheese, if using) to the bowl. Combine thoroughly. 
5. Heat olive oil in a large oven-safe skillet (I prefer cast iron) over medium heat. Swirl the oil to coat the bottom and the sides. 
6. Pour the mixture into the skillet, and make sure everything is evenly spread. 
7. Bake until the eggs are completely set and the edges are golden brown, about 35-40 minutes. 
8. Let the Strata cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes.
9. Use a spatula to flip it out of the pan onto a board and serve. 

Back to School (again!)

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September kicks my butt every year. And though every August I try to will it away and tell myself that this year will be different, it never seems to work out that way. 

The fact is, everything is a struggle in September. It stinks to get back into a routine, and it's hard work to figure out who has to be where and when on which day. On my crankiest days, I even have a problem adjusting to the weather change — and I love fall. 

Its underatandable, then, that just a month or so into a new school year, parents are already over packing school lunch.

Listen, I'm totally with you. I'm over here trying to get my work done, showing up for curriculum night, returning long overdue library books and remembering to buy sneakers in the right size for each kid (how on earth do feet grow so quickly in summer?!). I might have three brain cells left to dedicate to lunch packing. 

I definitely don't have all of the answers, but I have some tips up my sleeve to share with you, and I promise, they don't require more than three brain cells to process.  If you're looking for some lunchbox inspiration, head over to Instagram, where I share loads of lunches regularly. If you're looking for allergy friendly ideas, I've got you covered

Produce Prep

1. Cut your fruit and veggies in advance. Just do it. If setting aside the time is hard, I understand. It's probably not the best thing to do on, say, a Monday morning before school and work. How about at some point on the weekend though? Buy your produce during the week and set up shop with your cutting board and your knife for 20 minutes on the weekend. Your future self will be incredibly grateful. I love produce prep not only because it makes my lunchpacking and cooking easier, but also because it's quiet solo time for me. I take it where I can get it, so I'm calling it a win-win. 

Packed Lunch

2. Stop reinventing the wheel. You really don't need to come up with something new and interesting for lunch all the time. Your kids can do all of that heavy lifting for you. If it's a busy week ahead for me, I let my kids know what's available for them to choose based on what I know I'll have time to pack. Sometimes that's yogurt, fruit, veggies and frozen waffles. Sometimes it's more elaborate. My kids use the LaLa Lunchbox app, but however you hand over the reigns to your brood, make it a system that works for you. 

Using LaLa Lunchbox

3. Meal Plan. The LaLa Lunchbox meal planning app is the only one that involves kids in the process of choosing what's for lunch. It's a fun, simple and interactive platform that engages kids, empowering them to make better choices when it comes to the food they eat. For parents, it generates an easy-to-use grocery list to help them stay organized and on top of their lunch game. The best part is, it's free to download (only available right now on iOS). Give it a try and let me know what you think! 

School lunch can be challenging, but we're in this together. However you handle it at your house, I'm wishing you the best.  

Pancake Egg Muffins

With summer quickly drawing to a close, the back to school season is looming large in my head. This year, my kids are in three different schools, and my eldest has leave the house by 7:00! The logistics are pretty daunting. 

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I contemplated the situation over a leisurely cup of coffee recently and considered two things that my kids love: muffins and eggs. Then it hit me... what if I combined the two? With pancake batter! Perhaps this could help the morning madness? 

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After several attempts, I've perfected the recipe and I'm so excited to share it with you. If you make the pancake batter in advance (it will keep for several days in the fridge), these are ready in 20 minutes. That's usually how long it takes for my kids to finally get around to finding their socks! Pancake egg muffins are delicious and fun to eat, and on those mornings when things feel even more crazed than usual, an out-of-the-ordinary breakfast can lighten the anxiety in the house. Bonus: they're perfect for the lunchbox! 

Heres what you need: pancake batter (recipe below), eggs and a muffin tin.

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For the pancakes:

  1. 1 cup flour  
  2. 1/2 cup oat flour
  3. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  4. 1 teaspoon baking sofa
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 2 large egg
  7. 1 cup buttermilk (or plain kefir) 
  8. 5 tablespoons melted butter (or avocado oil)
  9. 2 tablespoons maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 350. Mix all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl until the batter is smooth. Grease a muffin tin and pour a bit of batter into the bottom of each. Crack one egg into each and cover the top with more batter. Bake for 16-18 minutes, depending on how runny you want the eggs. 

Use the remaining batter for pancakes (and freeze them for later if you'd like). as an alternative, you can bake these with fruit instead of eggs. Banana slices and fresh peach are in our current rotation. 

If you make these, tag me on Instagram. I'd love to see!  

Enjoy!  

 

 

 

Camp Lunches

Summer is in full swing here and I've been enjoying the glorious sunny days, feasting on farmer's market gems and generally trying to slow down and smell the roses. 

In the meantime, I'm still packing lunches daily. If you missed our post about making summer lunches easier, have no fear, here you go. The kids are still picking their foods with the LaLa Lunchbox app, (FREE to download!) making my busy life easier, and we're incorporating loads of delicious summer produce. We post daily pics on Instagram, so go ahead and check that out for some fresh ideas every day. If you're here looking for a little inspiration, take a peek below at some of the recent camp lunches: 

hummus with celery, cukes and radishes, black olives, turkey jerky, crackers, coconut chips, cherries and fig

hummus with celery, cukes and radishes, black olives, turkey jerky, crackers, coconut chips, cherries and fig

mango and cherries, wafflewiches with sunflower seed butter, raspberries, yogurt and cereal, green beans and a thumbprint cookie

mango and cherries, wafflewiches with sunflower seed butter, raspberries, yogurt and cereal, green beans and a thumbprint cookie

eggs, wax beans, cherries, apricot, raspberries, strawberries, kiwi and chocolate chips

eggs, wax beans, cherries, apricot, raspberries, strawberries, kiwi and chocolate chips

Leftover chicken drumettes, cherries, watermelon with mint, salad, sunflower seed cookies

Leftover chicken drumettes, cherries, watermelon with mint, salad, sunflower seed cookies

tortellini, plum, nectarine, blueberries, leftover corn and a brownie bite

tortellini, plum, nectarine, blueberries, leftover corn and a brownie bite

Want more camp lunch inspiration? Right this way...