• Fancy Grilled Cheese with Fig Jam


    I don’t know a single person who doesn’t enjoy a fabulous grilled cheese – whether it’s made with classic American cheese or something a bit more cheese chic.  I knew them for years as a kid as “Girl Cheese”  and my parents failed to correct me.  Nonetheless, I’m a super fan of anything melted onto bread (duh) so I decided to spruce up an old favorite to turn a plain old grilled cheese into a fancy grilled cheese with fig jams (I LOVE FIGS).  This baby is also packed with with dates, arugula and Prince La Fontaine Triple Cream cheese.  It’s sure to impress and delight even the pickiest eater.

    I eat far less “Girl Cheeses” now as I’m more concerned about my waistline than I was back in the day, and because my palette has become more developed I wanted to re-create an old classic in a new way that would be worth the calories.  This tasty sandwich is definitely a winner – let’s get to it.

    1. 2 slices of bread (I used Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Bread – it’s flour-free)

    2. 1.5 tablespoons fig jam

    3. 2 Dried dates, pitted and then quartered (you’ll want to flatten out the pieces into the sandwich)

    4. 1.5 tablespoons Prince La Fontaine Triple Cream cheese (or another triple cream)

    5. 1/4 cup washed and dried arugula

    6. 1/5 tablespoon Earth Balance (or softened butter) to coat the bread

    7. Sprinkle of sea salt

    1. Prepare to build your sandwich by having all ingredients at the ready, and heat a small frying pan to medium heat.

    2. On one piece of bread, layer the following: half of the cheese, half of the fig jam, and all of the dates.  Flatten the dried dates into the cheese, jam to keep your sandwich from becoming too tall to heat through properly.

    3. On the other slice, layer the following: the remainder of the cheese, the remainder of the fig jam, a sprinkle of sea salt, and the arugula.  Close the two pieces of bread together gently so you don’t lose any ingredients.

    4. Gently butter the exterior sides of the bread with softened Earth Balance or butter and place the sandwich into the heated pan.

    5.  Cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side, browning but not burning the bread.  If the bread begins to burn, turn down the heat of the pan.  Allow the sandwich to cook long enough for the cheese to properly melt.

    6.  Cut in half and enjoy the sweet and creamy goodness!  Yum!

    Serving Size: 1 Sandwich
  • Breakfast Bowl: Poached Eggs with Quinoa

    Can you say yummy in my tummy?  This breakfast bowl of poached eggs, quinoa, cheddar, arugula, and spicy sriracha sauce tops my list of complete breakfast meals that encompass everything good about home cooking: easy to make, ridiculously tasty, and super healthy.  Try this bowl out this weekend instead of going out for brunch and let me know your thoughts!  

    I’m a big fan of using whatever’s in the fridge to throw together a warm breakfast that combines veggies and a protein (or 2).  I’ll eat some bacon here and there, but it’s really not great for you so I like to stick to complete proteins like eggs and quinoa to get my engine going in the morning.  The melty mix that results from runny, poached eggs coming together with warm quinoa, a hint of cheddar cheese, and a squirt of sriracha makes for a hearty base that combines great with the fresh bite of arugula leaves.  This comfort food is better than the traditional fare – it’s warm and tasty without wasting your day’s worth of calories in one sitting.   Let’s get to the recipe!

    1. 2 eggs, poached over easy

    2. Handful of arugula leaves, washed and dried

    3. 1 c. of dry quinoa, and 1/2 c. of cooked quinoa in the bowl (see below for further explanation)

    4. 1/8 c. (or 2 tablespoons) of shredded or cubed sharp cheddar cheese off the block

    5. As much sriracha as you please (it’s spicy, be careful)

    6. Salt and pepper to taste

    1. A single cup of dry quinoa makes way more than 1 cup when cooked, so use the extra for whatever you want, and 1/2 of cooked quinoa in your bowl. Cook your dry quinoa (you’ll have enough for a couple servings this way) by bringing the quinoa and 1 1/2 c. water to a boil. Season with salt, and once boiling, cover with a lid, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Fluff with a fork and turn the heat off when your quinoa is ready (you should see these thin white semi-circles around every grain). Use caution when removing the lid as the pan will be incredibly hot and steam will pour out.

    2. While your quinoa cooks, wash and dry a handful of arugula and chop or grate 1/8 cup (or 2 tablespoons) of sharp cheddar cheese.  Set aside.

    3. Boil 2 cups of water in a small pan.  Once boiling, carefully crack 2 raw eggs directly into the boiling water.  75 seconds later, pull out the eggs using a slotted spoon to allow the water to drain, and rest on a paper towel.   Cooking the eggs for a little over a minute results in a well-cooked egg that has a runny yolk, but solid white exterior.

    4. Put the breakfast bowl together by layering the following: warm quinoa at the bottom, cheddar cheese, arugula, poached eggs.

    5. Top off the bowl with as many squirts of spicy sriracha as you like, then break the poached eggs so the yolk runs all over the bowl.  Stir everything together into a delicious mix-up and enjoy!


    Serving Size: 1 Bowl (with extra quinoa leftover for more) Difficulty Level: Easy

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