Quinoa Risotto Baked Tomatoes

Creamy quinoa risotto stuffed baked tomatoes make a perfect vegetarian main course! This filling dish is sure to warm any heart.

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Quinoa Risotto Baked Tomatoes
Author: Ruthy Kirwan
Ingredients
  • 1 small acorn squash seeds removed
  • for the quinoa risotto:
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups tap water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • for the baked tomatoes:
  • 4-6 large tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • olive oil to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 450* and slice the acorn squash down the middle. Remove the seeds with a spoon, then place the squash on a baking sheet or wrap in aluminum foil and roast for 30 minutes, or until the flesh is soft and can be easily pricked with the tip of a knife or a fork. Set aside and let cool slightly. When the squash is cool enough to handle, mash the squash and reserve one cup. Any squash left over will freeze beautifully. (The squash can be roasted and mashed ahead of time)
  2. for the quinoa risotto:
  3. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, melt the butter over medium heat and add the onions, cooking until they are soft and translucent. Add the garlic and quinoa and stir until the garlic is very fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the cup of mashed squash, vegetable stock, heavy cream, and tap water and stir to combine. Turn the heat to low, and cook, uncovered and stirring often, for at least 1 hour to 2 hours. The risotto is ready when most of the liquid cooks away and the grains are soft all the way through.
  4. for the baked tomatoes
  5. Preheat the oven to 350*F. Cut a hole in the top of each tomato and, using a paring knife or a serrated spoon, dig a hole into the tomato, taking care not to pierce the bottom. Fill this cavity with the finished risotto, and top with a layer of panko breadcrumbs. Drizzle the breadcrumbs with a little olive oil.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes or until the skin on the sides of the tomato has just started to split and the flesh is hot. If the breadcrumbs are not crispy enough, broil the tomatoes for a minute or two until the breadcrumbs have browned.
  7. Serve hot.

Make Ahead Breakfast Egg Muffins, 3 Different Ways

I am LOVING these easy, low-carb make ahead breakfast egg muffins on busy mornings! I just make a tray ahead of time, pop in the freezer, and we can eat them for a healthy breakfast throughout the week. This post has three different kind of fillings ideas, too!I am LOVING these easy, low-carb make ahead breakfast egg muffins on busy mornings! I just make a tray ahead of time, pop in the freezer, and we can eat them for a healthy breakfast throughout the week. This post has three different kind of fillings ideas, too!

These easy, low-carb, make ahead breakfast legg muffins a just the thing for busy mornings!

They’re so easy to make the night before and then pop into the freezer once cool. You can also fill them with leftovers, extra veggies, and CHEESE.

The word ‘cheese’ is capitalized because cheese is life around here.

 

And did I mention the leftovers part? Other than glorious cheese, using up leftovers is totally my jam.

Shredded chicken from tacos? Add it in with some onions and cheddar.

Leftover spinach from dinner’s salad? Toss with some tomatoes and add it in!

Leftover roasted broccoli? Add those babies in!

It’s up to you, and I love that.

These make ahead breakfast egg muffins are made 3 different ways.

I played around with the fillings, but I have a basic ratio for you: For every four cups, you’ll need:

2 eggs

2 tablespoons milk (doesn’t even have to be dairy! Coconut milk worked great in these muffins)

2 tablespoons filling, whatever you choose that to be.

That ratio will vary slightly depending on your filling, but it’s pretty standard. Just double it or triple it depending on how many breakfast egg muffins you feel like making!

A note about the coconut milk I used in these breakfast egg muffins:

It totally works just like milk! Those of you who have always been down with milk alternatives probably knew this, ut if you’re like me, or you’re new to the world of living dairy free, this may make your day.

Make sure it’s unsweetened (for no other reason than vanilla egg muffins might be…. odd tasting. But you do you, boo). And try other plant based milks, like almond milk, or cashew milk, or even soy milk.

The world is your milk oyster.

Below, I’ve written out the ‘recipes’ I used, although like I said earlier, making a make ahead breakfast egg muffin is more about playing around with ratios than anything.

But this is a recipe post, and thee shall have a recipe.

But I’d love to know what kind of combos you guys dig! Have you tried making make ahead egg muffins? Have you tried making eggs with plant based milks?

I am LOVING these easy, low-carb make ahead breakfast egg muffins on busy mornings! I just make a tray ahead of time, pop in the freezer, and we can eat them for a healthy breakfast throughout the week. This post has three different kind of fillings ideas, too!
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Make Ahead Breakfast Egg Muffins, Three Ways
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 

Use the recipes below as guidelines; depending on your fillings, your egg muffins mixtures may make one or two more muffins than what is described below. Typically, the different recipes below will make about 4 muffins each. 


Servings: 3 people
Author: Ruthy Kirwan
Ingredients
For the Sundried Tomatoes and Spinach:
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced sundried tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons shredded spinach
  • 2 eggs whisked
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
For the Asparagus and Cheese
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced asparagus about 3 trimmed stalks
  • 2 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 eggs whisked
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
For the Spanish chorizo and potato
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced Spanish dry-cured chorizo sausage
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced white potato
  • 2 eggs whisked
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
Instructions
Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to 375*F
  2. Spray a muffin tin with vegetable or coconut oil, or line with paper liners.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the bottom of each muffin cup.
  4. Combine the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper together in a bowl.
  5. Evenly pour the egg and milk mixture on top of each, evenly distributing between each. Leave at least 1/2" space below the rim of the cup.
  6. Bake 8-10 minutes, or until the center has set and is no longer jiggly.
  7. Remove and let cool, then remove from the muffin tin.
  8. Eat immediately, or store, tightly covered. These will last up to 6 weeks in the freezer if tightly wrapped, or up to 5 days in the fridge.
 

Grilled Peach, Tomato and Mozzarella Salad

 I love this simple grilled salad of peaches, tomato, and mozzarella as a side for barbecues- or when you just want to take advantage of perfect summer produce!

Grilling brings out an inherent sweetness in tomatoes, and it highlights the sugars in peaches. Rounding out the entire dish is creamy, milky mozzarella, drizzled with a zing of balsamic vinegar and garnished with chopped fresh herbs.

Grilled Peach, Tomato, and Mozzarella Salad highlights summer produce like none other! This grilled salad is a perfect barbecue side, and the grill highlights a sweetness in the tomatoes that works perfectly with the perfumey peaches, topped with creamy mozz and a splash of balsamic vinegar.

Here’s how good this grilled salad of peach, tomato, and mozzarella is:

I ate it standing at the counter in my kitchen, using only my fingers. It’s one of those, “Ok, one more bite – and then I’ll stop” kind of salads. But… I didn’t stop.

The combo practically sings together at the end of a fork; a grilled salad of caramelized tomato, sweet, perfumey peach, topped off with milky mozz and a splash of vinegar and I swear, it’s like your taste buds threw a party. A party with a smoky bbq, a radio of summer tunes playing in the corner, and friends standing around gripping sweaty glasses of cold drinks while the sun beats down.

In other words, summer.

Grilled Peach, Tomato, and Mozzarella Salad highlights summer produce like none other! This grilled salad is a perfect barbecue side, and the grill highlights a sweetness in the tomatoes that works perfectly with the perfumey peaches, topped with creamy mozz and a splash of balsamic vinegar.

Perfect, delicious summer. It’s the start of August and that makes me feel panicked that I only have one month-ish left of summer to enjoy!

So with that in mind, head to the farmer’s market for sun-ripened produce, fire up the bbq, and make this grilled salad. Your taste bud party will thank you.

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Grilled Peach, Tomato, and Fresh Mozzarella Salad
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 

Grilling brings out the sweetness in peaches and tomatoes, and the milky creaminess of mozzarella with a zing of balsamic vinegar brings it all together. Great salad for summer evenings on the grill!

Servings: 2
Author: Ruthy Kirwan
Ingredients
Ingredients
  • olive oil for brushing
  • 1-2 ripe peaches pitted and sliced into rounds
  • 1-2 heirloom tomatoes stem removed and sliced into rounds
  • to taste large grain sea or kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 oz fresh mozzarella torn or sliced into rounds
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano or basil leaves torn
  • 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Instructions
Instructions
  1. Line a grill with aluminum foil and brush with olive oil or spray with nonstick cooking oil.
  2. Brush each slice of peach and tomato with olive oil on both sides and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Arrange the slices on the aluminum foil, leaving a little space between each slice.
  4. Grill for about one minute each side, until grill marks appear and the fruit has softened slightly.
  5. Place the grilled slices on a plate and scatter with fresh mozzarella. Sprinkle with the oregano or basil, drizzle with balsamic vinegar, and serve immediately.

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20-Minute Roasted Baby Potato Salad with Green Beans

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Super Creamy, Extra Cheesy Macaroni and Cheese

There's only 15 minutes standing between you and the creamiest, dreamiest macaroni and cheese! This is way better than anything you'd get out of a blue box.

There's only 15 minutes standing between you and the creamiest, dreamiest macaroni and cheese! This is way better than anything you'd get out of a blue box.

There's only 15 minutes standing between you and the creamiest, dreamiest macaroni and cheese! This is way better than anything you'd get out of a blue box.

There's only 15 minutes standing between you and the creamiest, dreamiest macaroni and cheese! This is way better than anything you'd get out of a blue box.

There's only 15 minutes standing between you and the creamiest, dreamiest macaroni and cheese! This is way better than anything you'd get out of a blue box.

Macaroni and Cheese is the ultimate in comfort food, and this recipe does not disappoint!

Creamy, cheesy, delectable- this is not diet food, make no mistake. I sincerely hope you’re not making this super creamy macaroni and cheese if you’re planning on having a bikini ready body soon!

But we can all afford a little indulgence here and there, right? Bonus, this is a perfect quick weeknight dish to make, and easy enough to throw together when you’ve got hungry little people clinging to your legs and whining for graham crackers.

I know this, because that is my life most nights at about 6pm, and this mac and cheese rivals anything out of a blue box. It’s also a great way to use up some leftover cheese, if you have any laying around!

If you make a point to start boiling the noodles and then starting the sauce, there’s a good chance you’ll have everything ready at the same time. And since the sauce clocks in at just under 15 minutes, that means there’s only a quarter of an hour standing between you and the creamiest, dreamiest, cheesiest mac and cheese ever.

Want to sneak some healthy stuff in there? I’ll often toss my super creamy macaroni and cheese with wilted spinach, or peas, or chopped asparagus. My picky toddler painstakingly removes every single shred of “green”, but at least I know I’ve done what I can to pretend she’ll willingly eat vegetables.

There's only 15 minutes standing between you and the dreamiest creamy macaroni and cheese ever! This homemade stovetop mac and cheese is so easy, a great kids recipe, and quick enough to make for a weeknight meal.
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Super Creamy Extra Cheesy 15-Minute Macaroni and Cheese


Servings: 4
Author: Ruthy Kirwan
Ingredients
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup white flour
  • 2 cups whole or 2% milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces shredded mozzarella
  • 8 ounces American cheese
  • 4 cups cooked macaroni pasta (about 2 1/2 cups uncooked)
Instructions
  1. In a large bottomed pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and cook until the flour has turned a light brown, the color of milky coffee (about 3-5 minutes) 

  2. Slowly whisk in the milk, taking care to whisk clear any lumps that might appear. Add the salt and stir to combine.

  3. Add the cheese in 2 to 3 batches, stirring well between each addition. The sauce is ready when all the cheese has been added and the sauce is smooth, with no lumps.

  4. Toss the cheese sauce with the cooked macaroni pasta until coated. Serve warm. 

  5. This macaroni and cheese will keep stored in the fridge in a tightly covered container for up to one week. 

Recipe Notes

If you use 2% milk here, make sure you use American cheese or another cheese with a high milky fat content; you need that extra fat in there or the sauce will break. 

**Please note that 4 cups of cooked macaroni and cheese is equal to about 2 1/2 cups uncooked pasta. To save time, I start boiling the pasta and then make the sauce; that way they will both finish around the same time. Make sure the pasta is well drained before stirring it into the sauce. 

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Chimichurri Sauce (Makes a Great Marinade!)

Looking for a great marinade for your steaks, chicken, or other items for the grill? Then you’ll love this chimichurri sauce!

Disclaimer: I freaking love chimichurri sauce, so I’m about to wax all poetic about it. It’s such a perfect marinade or dipping sauce for grilled foods – all fresh, herby flavors with a spicy kick!

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23 Quick and Easy Vegan and Vegetarian Dinners

If you’re looking for quick and easy vegan and vegetarian recipes to make for dinner, fast – then look no further!

I’ve reached into the far corners of the foodie interwebs and assembled this awesomely huge list for you all today. Most of these recipes are ready in under 30 minutes, from start to finish!

Meat-free, fresh and tasty, super easy and quick to make. Yep – I think you’re gonna love these. (more…)