RECIPE: World’s Best Fried Egg Sandwich

You may or may not know that I am an ovo-vegetarian, which means I only eat plants and eggs. It’s a lifestyle I enjoy — works for me.

I’ve made a lot of egg sandwiches over the course of my lifetime, but I stumbled upon this combination yesterday that blew me away. It includes gluten-free bread, which is part of my diet this year, as I am reducing my ingestion of wheat in 2014 to see what that does to my system, but you could, of course, use any kind of non-descript bread. I say “non-descript”, because a rye, for example, would give the sandwich a different flavor profile, which may be better — or not.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 slices of Udi’s Whole Grain gluten-free bread, toasted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp to 1 TBsp sriracha, to taste (I like Trader Joe’s and I use a lot of it)
  • 1 TBsp mayonnaise (I used a local organic one)
  • sliced tomato (I always use campari tomatoes)
  • baby greens (I used an organic spring mix)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Put the bread in the toaster.
  2. Heat and oil a pan and add the egg. After it sets a bit, crack the yolk. I prefer not to scramble mine, or to blend the yolk and white before frying. I like the white and yolk to mostly stay separate. Once it’s almost completely set, flip the egg and turn off the pan.
  3. When the toast is done, put the mayonnaise on one slice and the sriracha on the other.
  4. Place the greens on the sriracha side, top them with the tomato (4 slices works well, if you are using camparis), and then add the egg atop that.
  5. Put the mayo’d slice of bread on top of everything.

Man, that is good eating.

RECIPE: World’s Best Cinnamon Schnapps

I enjoy making schnapps. When I make it myself, I can control the quality of the ingredients and the strength of the liquor. What’s not to like? Okay, maybe the waiting is the hardest part, but that’s the only downside. Saves me money, too.

Limoncello is still my favorite, but I know cinnamon has been pretty hot lately, so I wanted to give that a try.

I tell you, I think I nailed it on my first attempt.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 liter Everclear
  • 12 to 15 small cinnamon sticks, or 5-6 giant ones snapped in half or thirds
  • 2/3 cup organic light brown sugar
  • 1.5 liters purified water

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place the cinnamon sticks into a widemouth 1.5 liter wide-mouth resealable jar.
  2. Pour the Everclear into the jar.
  3. Store the jar in a cool, dark place for a month (it might not need that long, but I didn’t get around to the next step until a month had passed).
  4. Once the cinnamon infused Everclear is ready, start to heat 1.5 liters of water in a pot.
  5. Add the light brown sugar to the pot, and continue to stir as the pot heats.
  6. Once the sugar is completely dissolved, turn off the heat and let the sugar water cool.
  7. Once the sugar water is cool, remove the cinnamon sticks from the Everclear.
  8. Filter the Everclear to remove any excess solids. You can do this using cheesecloth or a clean coffee filter.
  9. Divide the Everclear equally into 3 quart-size Ball jars.
  10. Divide the sugar-water equally into the same 3 jars, to mix it with the Everclear.
  11. Enjoy the World’s Best Cinnamon Schnapps however you prefer do drink it.

I like it straight at room temperature. The alcohol content of this recipe means this schnapps will get slushy in the freezer — or, at least, mine did — but keep it in there, if you like, and you’ll have ice already built in.

There’s one other thing: Enjoy!

RECIPE: World’s Best Gluten-Free Pasta Dish

Every once in a while I come up with a really good recipe. When I do, I like to pass it along.

Gluten-Free PastaI say “I like to pass it along”, because, well, there are a couple reasons I don’t do it:

  1. Some recipes I’ve been meaning to pass along — like my no-sugar-no-fat-added banana-apple waffles — but I just haven’t found the time.
  2. Most recipes I make are one off. That is to say, I don’t measure anything, and I often add things along the way, and forget what’s in them, so there is no way for me to accurately tell you about it.

But this one for the World’s Best Gluten-Free Pasta Dish is one that — while I didn’t measure — I can figure out about the right numbers to give you a chance to make it.

And so, without further ado, here it is.

NOTE: When I say “gluten-free” I am referring to the pasta. If you need things to be completely gluten-free, you should probably use a tamari-style soy sauce, and check on any other ingredients.

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 oz (dry) Tinkyada brown rice spaghetti, broken in half (unless you really like whole spaghetti)
  • 30 young, thin (size of a smallish drinking straw) asparagus spears, less if you have thicker ones
  • 2 Tbsp (or to taste) of your favorite soy sauce, I prefer to use a non-GMO soy sauce like Polar
  • 1.5 Tbsp (or to taste) Huy Fong sriracha
  • 2 or 3 medium tomatos, diced
  • 1 handful baby kale, chopped OR similar volume of kale tips
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1.25 cups slightly sprouted mung beans (less than 1-inch sprouts, about 1.5 to 2 days into sprouting)
  • Splash of lemon juice

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Put the pasta water on to boil and heat up a grill pan or your grill.
  2. Once the water is boiling, add the pasta. Set your timer for 13 minutes. (NOTE: The package directions say 16 minutes, but we’ll work that out in step 8 below. If you don’t use Tinkyada brand, check the cooking instructions on your package, and shave 2 or 3 minutes from it.)
  3. Once the grill is hot, add the asparagus. Leave the spears on just long enough to add dark marks, but don’t cook them through. This should take no more than 2 minutes.
  4. Remove the asparagus to a cutting board, and cut off and discard the woody bottoms, then cut the rest into slightly larger than bite-size pieces, i.e. don’t destroy them. 3 or 4 cuts is all you need.
  5. After 13 minutes, drain the pasta, and return it to the pot.
  6. Add the soy sauce and sriracha to the pasta. Stir to coat.
  7. Add the rest of the ingredients EXCEPT the lemon juice. Stir to mix.
  8. Cover the pot and let it sit for 5 minutes. This will warm up the uncooked ingredients and cook the pasta the rest of the way. (NOTE: I use cast iron, so the pot holds its heat. If you use a type of cookware that cools faster, you may need to leave your pot on the stove on “warm”.)
  9. Serve in shallow pasta dishes. Add the splash of lemon at the table for just the right touch of acid.

TIME NEEDED
30 minutes, including prep

NUMBER OF SERVINGS
2 large, 3 medium, 4 small

RECIPE: Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Beets, Apples, and Carrots

I hang out in The Ultimate Reset post-Reset Facebook group, because a lot of the participants are like-minded people, who care about health and fitness, and many of whom also choose to eat little to no animal protein.

Often they will post recipes, or links to them, and this recipe is one I saw — originally posted  in that Facebook group by my friend Suzanne Winkler of GoneVegan.US — that I thought I’d put my own spin on. I almost didn’t try it, because of the apples, which seemed weird to me in a savory dish. And then there’s the cinnamon, which I like, but, again, in a savory dish?

But that is why I like to try things I don’t think I’ll like, because you know what? Sometimes it’s delicious, and that is the case here. Not too sweet and it paired well with some rice and beans.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb sweet potatoes or yams
  • 1 lb beets, any variety
  • 3 medium-sized carrots
  • 3 small gala (or your favorite) apples
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinammon
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • salt to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. You can peel the produce if you like. I don’t peel.
  3. Wash and dry all produce, then cut it into good size chunks, about an inch cubed (or larger). They need to be big, because we’re roasting them, so we need them to be large enough to withstand the heat. Don’t obsess about the size, though, because the little crispy bits can be very tasty.
  4. Place all produce into a 1 gallon plastic bag or a large bowl with the oil, and mix well to coat.
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well to coat completely and evenly.
  6. Place everything in a single layer on a large sheet pan and put it into the preheated oven.
  7. Cook for 15 minutes. Flip everything with a spatula, if you care to.
  8. Cook for another 10 minutes.

Makes 2 large servings.

You can experiment with this by using olive oil, green chile powder, or other spices, but I think the cinnamon is the key. I say a tablespoon of it in the directions, but you should really have enough to coat everything thoroughly, so make sure that happens. The aroma while this is cooking is heavenly.

RECIPE: World’s Best Oatmeal – slow cooked

If you’ve been following along, you may know that I’ve recently gone to a mostly plant-based diet. I still allow myself eggs, whey protein, and fish, but not much of those.

Why have I done this?

Well, after I completed The Ultimate Reset, a 21-day detoxification process, which involved my learning more about plant-based nutrition (and during which I lost 2 inches off my waist along with 10+ pounds), I felt so good that I decided to see if it was sustainable by staying mostly vegan. I enjoy the food quite a lot, so I am looking forward to the next year or so of this near-vegan experiment.

In the course of my post-Reset diet, then, I adapted this recipe for oatmeal from one that was posted in a Facebook group.

It involves slow-cooking, which may or may not be necessary, but I think it’s gotta help blend the flavors, right?

INGREDIENTS

  • 2/3 cup steel-cut oats
  • ¼ cup ground flaxseed
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp Himalayan salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbs coconut oil
  • 4 cups water
  • ½ cup unsweetened dried apricots, chopped
  • ¼ to ½ cup cup toasted pumpkin seeds
  • Sweetener like raw honey, stevia, or agave nectar to taste (if necessary — I didn’t use any)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Add all ingredients except sweetener and pumpkin seeds to small slow cooker. Stir to combine. Cook on low for 2 to 6 hours (those small slow cookers vary temperature-wise), until liquid is gone.
  2. Mix in sweetener (if desired) and spoon into serving bowls.
  3. Sprinkle top with pumpkin seeds.

Makes 2 large servings.

You can use whatever fruit and nuts you like. I think a green apple and some walnuts would be tasty. Or maybe some raisins and pecans. Up to you. Enjoy!