Wife Life: Savory Sausage Scramble recipe

I am making a lifestyle change and part of it is seriously limiting starchy carbs and junk food. You know how most diets have cheat days? Well I’ve had a cheat LIFE, and it’s time to hunker down. But I love breakfast and everyone knows the best part of breakfast is carbs. I usually have a big breakfast on the weekend which typically includes a sausage, egg and cheese biscuit, or some Eggo waffles and bacon. I’ve already been incorporating a green smoothie several times a week, so making that my Monday-Friday mainstay isn’t a big deal. And I do love oatmeal topped with fresh berries & a splash of cream, or sliced banana, shredded coconut, and honey. But what about when I want something savory instead of sweet?

This recipe is actually adapted from my brother in law. He made it the last couple times I came to visit my sister and it’s not only delicious, but satisfying. I prefer chicken sausage and included my favorite brand, but of course you can sub out turkey sausage or even a meat substitute. Same with the cheese. You can also change this to make it an omelette. Have fun with it!

SAVORY SAUSAGE SCRAMBLE
Serves: 1 
Ingredients:

2 eggs
2 links Applegate Farms chicken & apple sausage
2 mini sweet bell peppers
1-2 tsp shredded Mexican cheese blend
Salt
Pepper
Butter

1. Cut of stems from peppers, remove inner seeds, and chop to your preference. Cut the sausage into bite size pieces. 
2. Crack the eggs into a bowl and add pepper to taste. Whisk until well mixed.
3. Melt some butter in a small pan over low heat (you only need about a teaspoon).
4. Pour in the eggs, sausage, and peppers. I don’t like my cheese to stick to the pan so I sprinkle it on in the last few seconds, but you can add it at this step. 
5. I like a soft scramble so I keep the heat really low and the eggs are on for a minute or two. If you like more solid eggs, 30-60 seconds on low-medium heat will do.
6. Plate and enjoy! 

I love this recipe because it tastes similar to the egg skillets I sometimes order at brunch, but without the potatoes or too much cheese. If I don’t have the peppers, I’ll do just the eggs and cheese but add a sprinkle of Trader Joe’s Everything But The Bagel seasoning. I don’t like Mexican for breakfast (weird, I just have a mental block) but you could also do this southwestern-style and add avocado & salsa.

Wife Life: Southern Vegetable Soup recipe

While you’re planning your Thanksgiving menu, don’t forget to think about the weekend! You don’t want to be fighting the shopping crowd at the drive through, and the leftovers always go quicker than you think. During my cleanse at the start of the month, soup was my dinner for the day. I hate soup normally because it’s not hearty enough. Especially vegetable soup–the canned version tastes like baby food! So I had to adapt this to be hearty and satisfying. It’s perfect as is for the day after Thanksgiving when you’re emerging from a turkey coma and want something a bit lighter. I plan to make this ahead of time so I have a few quick and easy meals ready for after Turkey Day.

Roll that beautiful bean footage! Actually, the soup does not photograph well but it’s delish.

SOUTHERN VEGETABLE SOUP
Makes 6-8 generous servings

Ingredients:
1/2 lb fresh green beans
1/2 lb okra
4 cloves garlic
1 bunch collard greens
1 bunch scallions
28-oz can diced tomatoes, low sodium
32 oz chicken stock 
1 tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil
Pepper
Italian seasoning

Note:  Frozen veggies will do if you don’t have fresh, but I encourage you to buy fresh if you can. If you have leftovers, the fresh veggies won’t get mushy as quickly. 

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Wash and chop all your veggies, as small as you want. I like larger pieces so I have something to chew. The collard greens will be a bit unwieldy, just make sure you run the water over both sides of each leaf (perfect time to use the hose attachment on your sink) and wipe down the leaves to dry them. This will take care of any dirt that is hiding in the nooks and crannies. If you like, you can save all the spare veggie bits to make vegetable stock (I’ve never done this but I saw this tip on Facebook).

2. Heat up a tablespoon of your preferred oil and toss in the minced garlic and scallion whites. This will caramelize them a bit and give the broth a richer, more roasty flavor.

3. Once the garlic and scallions are fragrant, add in chicken stock, tomatoes, and all your chopped vegetables. Season with a generous amount of pepper and Italian seasoning. I use Italian because it’s a nice mix of several herbs like parsley, rosemary and thyme so I don’t have to buy individuals of those.  With the chicken stock, you really don’t need any salt.

4. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 30-45 minutes.

5. Serve and enjoy!

VARIATIONS

This is just a base but you can make any soup with a combination of chicken, beef or veggie stock and your favorite vegetables. You can add shrimp and link sausage to this one for a sort of jambalaya stew. You could do a crab boil soup. You could sub out the okra for zucchini and add some meatballs for an Italian stew. The possibilities are endless!

 

Wife Life: Pesto Parmesan Salmon Recipe

Since fall hit I’ve been a real domestic, cozy mood. I had so much energy  this week from that hour of extra sleep that I tried something new. Salmon is one of my favorite foods but I usually make it one of three ways–sauteed with salt & pepper, with a honey ginger soy sauce, or crumbled up in fried salmon croquettes (one of my favorite childhood recipes from my mom). I was coming off a 3 day vegetarian cleanse so I just wanted a different taste. Pesto sauce is one of my kitchen MVPS and it didn’t disappoint. I served this with a lemon orzo and roasted brussels sprouts. Very Italian, but no bread in sight! Best of all, G-Dub even liked it. Salmon is his least favorite fish (unless I make the croquettes) because “it always tastes like salmon” but the strong flavors in this dish made it more palatable for him. It’s a win win! 


PESTO PARMESAN SALMON WITH LEMON ORZO

Gorgeous crust on that salmon, nice char on the brussels sprouts and you can see the seasoning on the orzo. Yummy! (P.S. Don’t come for me and my paper plate. I recycle!)


Servings: 2 
Prep Time: 2 minutes    Cook Time: 20 minutes
Ingredients
2, 4oz salmon filets 
1 cup orzo
2 tbsp panko crumbs
2 tsp basil pesto sauce
2 tsp parmesan cheese
2 tsp butter
1 tsp lemon juice
Olive oil (spray or bottled, either is fine)
Italian seasoning
Pepper
Salt
(Note: I don’t measure spices because I just sprinkle until it looks seasoned)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a small pan or oven safe dish with just enough olive oil to coat it. You don’t need more than 1 teaspoon of oil if you’re pouring from a bottle.
  2. Put on a pot of water (about 2 cups). Lightly salt the water and put on medium high heat to bring to a boil.
  3. While the water is on, mix together the panko breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese in a bowl. Add a dash of salt and pepper.
  4. Season the salmon to taste with the Italian seasoning. Place the salmon in the pan skin side down (if your salmon has skin, otherwise don’t worry about it). 
  5. Spoon the pesto over each piece of fish in a thin layer. Top with breadcrumb mixture and sprinkle any leftovers into the pan then put in the oven.
  6. Set your timer for 20 minutes if you like your fish well done, 10 minutes if you like it medium and 15 for medium well.
  7. When your water starts to boil, add the orzo and then lower heat to a simmer. Stir occasionally. Pasta should be done in about 10 minutes.
  8. When the orzo is cooked, drain the water off like you would spaghetti. Return to the pot and add lemon juice, butter, and Italian seasoning to taste. 
  9. Serve pasta alongside orzo and your vegetable of choice. Top the orzo with the breadcrumbs from the pan. Mangia!

As you can see, we had our dish with roasted brussels sprouts. I didn’t include them in the recipe because it’s literally throwing them on a sheet pan, sprinkling on some salt and pepper and a couple sprays of olive oil PAM. They’ll cook in 20 minutes along with the salmon. Super easy, super quick and super tasty!