Foodie Friday: Avocado Toast w/ Andrea

I recently stopped by my bestie Andrea's home for brunch, and she made some of the most delicious goodies ever for us to eat! We drank almost an entire bottle of champagne, caught up about what's been going on in our lives (a whole lot!), and ate till we were stuffed. After I left, I knew I needed to share at least one recipe from brunch with you! 

Avocado toast has been making the rounds as the "it" item to make these days. It's filling, and perfect for bread lovers like me. Since you use avocado instead of butter, cheese, or jam, it's a bit more healthy for you as well, and you can doctor it up to fit your favored flavors! 

Avocado Toast

~ 2 slices of your favorite bread (Andrea likes Companion
~ 1 avocado
~ Olive oil
~ Fresh lemon
~ Red pepper flakes
~ Salt and pepper

Andrea's recipe is adapted from the popular weblog Smitten Kitchen, which you can find here. Essentially all ya gotta do is toast your chosen bread slices so they're just a bit crispy. While they're toasting, mash your ripe avocado in a bowl, and then spread across your toast. Drizzle with olive oil, squeeze fresh lemon over the avocado, and then sprinkle your salt/pepper/red pepper flakes on top. It's simple, it's delicious, and ridiculously hard to mess up. Unless you burn your toast almost every time like I do (and I don't like it burnt!). 

Andrea also cooked up an incredible veggie hash and topped it with a pan-fried egg as the main course, but lemme tell you - I could eat avocado toast all day long and not complain.

Have you jumped on this toast train yet? What other toppings might you choose?

Hashtag Bunch: Surf 'n Turf with Crab Classic

When I cook at home, I tend to stick to the same few recipes or food combinations over and over again. This usually happens because I find something tasty that is easy and quick to prepare. For instance, I've been baking kale chips at home a lot recently. But sometimes I end up bored of the same ol' stuff. When Trans Ocean offered me a coupon to try one of their Crab Classic products, I said "Sure, why not!?" I'm always down for something new, especially when it's on the healthy side of food options! Fun facts: 100% gluten-free facility and is certified heart healthy by the American Heart Association. I invited my friend Andrea over for brunch, and we decided to try something else new - poaching eggs! A past roommate of mine used to do it often, but I've never tried it on my own. And voila! We nailed it on the first try.

Poached Egg Over Crab Legs & Roasted Veggies

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: Total: 45 minutes
~ Trans Ocean Crab Classic, Leg Style
~ Eggs - Freshly-bought is best!
~ Spinach
~ Avocado  
~ 1-2 Sweet Potatoes
~ 1/2lb Brussel Sprouts
~ Suggested Extra For Poaching: 1 tbsp Vinegar, 1 tsp Lemon Juice, Salt

Andrea doesn't eat meat of any kind, so she brought a roasted veggie recipe to make as well. For the veggies, set your oven to heat to 450 degrees, and then wash both your sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts. Chop the sweet potatoes into small cubes (you can leave the skin on or remove it - up to you!). Cut the stems from the brussel sprouts, and then cut into halves, removing the loose leaves as they fall off. In a bowl, combine the veggies with 2 tsp of olive oil, a sprinkling of salt and pepper, and a tsp of dried oregano. If you don't feel like cleaning up your pan later, lay aluminum foil on your baking sheet. Spread your veggies out on the sheet, and pop in the oven. Depending on your oven, they can take between 30-45minutes to roast fully. At the halfway mark, remove from the oven and gently flip the veggies and turn the pan around. 

While the veggies are firing up, get ready to poach your egg! You don't need to be in a hurry because the veggies will take at least a half hour, so drink a couple mimosas and swap girl talk like Andrea and I did! 

If you have a deep yet wide sauce pan, that would be best, but my medium-sized pot worked just fine. Fill your pot to just about 1-2 inches from the top, and begin to heat on the stove. You'll want to bring the water to an almost-boil, and then reduce to a simmer. A poached egg is essentially an egg yolk wrapped in a cocoon of the egg white, so you'll want to help the white coagulate. Ways to help this along: Adding vinegar, salt, and lemon juice to your water. Both the vinegar and juice will add flavor to your egg, so be aware you'll have a tart egg if you choose to do this. I used apple cider vinegar because that's just what I had in the cupboard. 

It's best to use eggs you've bought very recently, or as fresh as possible. I chose a carton at Schnucks that is sourced from a farm in my state, so that I know the eggs did not have to travel far. You'll also want to keep the egg cold until you are reach to poach it. To most easily slip the egg into your pan of water, gently crack the egg into a small ramekin or bowl, being careful not to break the yolk. Get your pot of simmering water ready by swirling the water into a light whirpool - this will help keep the egg in one spot while the white hardens. Slip the egg from the ramekin into the middle of the whirpool, and then lightly keep the water spinning with a spoon around the egg for several more seconds. Poached eggs take between 3-5 minutes to set, and mine definitely took a full five minutes. The water will get cloudy so you can't see what's happening, but don't poke your egg! You don't want to disturb it in any way.

My egg sank all the way to the bottom of the pot, which made me slightly panic because I thought that meant it would stick down there! After a few minutes, I carefully lifted the egg with a slotted spoon to check on it. The white was still a bit too jiggly, so I placed it back into the water and set up my plate. I made a little bed of fresh spinach and made a little stack out of the Crab Classic crab legs, and quickly realized it was in the shape of a hashtag! I decided to build a sort of big "breakfast plate" like you might order at a restaurant, so I also sliced up a fresh avocado to have on the side. By then, I figured my egg was ready.

Once again, with care, I used a slotted spoon to pick up my egg. Everything looked intact and perfect! I moved the egg into the little crab leg nest I had made, and removed the veggies from the oven. The colors all turned out to match each other, and that made me smile. I dressed up my poached egg with hot sauce as Andrea fried an egg for herself. After she was finished, we sat down and caught up over our delightful brunches. I feel like mine was my own little version of "surf 'n turf," and I enjoyed it very much!

Thank you again to Trans Ocean for inspiring me to try new things in the kitchen, which ended up with acquiring some pretty badass new egg-poaching skills! And thanks to my bestie Andrea for having fun with me on a Sunday afternoon while we made a delicious mess. 

This post was sponsored by Trans Ocean.Trans Ocean provided me with a coupon to try their product in exchange for sharing a recipe via blog post. All opinions & photos are my own. 

Tasty Tuesday: Turkey with Arugula & Squash

Good morning, loves! I've been yapping here and there about wanting to be a bit more healthy in all aspects of my lifestyle. I started with cutting back on drinking in December. No longer dating a man whose life revolves around bars and alcohol helped a lot. In January, I conquered a 30-day yoga bender. I was eating a little bit more "clean" during January, but I wasn't really ready to commit. I can only tackle one intense mountain at a time, and doing yoga every day really can zap your energy. The first week and a half of February has, quite honestly, been a recovery period. Now, I'm ready to really get my act together and start cooking more at home, and making better food choices altogether. This doesn't mean I'll completely cut out my lovers Pizza and Wine. It just means that when I'm not getting down with them, I'm being a good girl!

A recipe I made a few times during the late fall really hit the spot with me when it came to using lighter ingredients and fresh veggies. My friend De often cooks with turkey or salmon burgers, so I thought I'd give one a try! I picked up a package of turkey burgers, grabbed a gorgeous yellow squash, a plump yellow onion, and headed home. With minimal prep work and a quick cooking time, this is a perfect recipe for people like me who want something filling but with little effort. For as little as I "cook" at home because I'm a single gal living essentially on her own (my roommate isn't home much), I'm an expert at kitchen pantry chef life. I can throw stuff together without much forethought, and I'm rarely disappointed. This is one of those happy accidents!

Turkey Burger on a Bed of Arugula & Squash

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
~ Turkey Burger, thawed
~ 1 Large Yellow Squash
~ 1/2 Large Yellow Onion
~ 1/2 Fresh Lemon
~ Handful of Arugula
~ Fresh Feta Cheese
~ Your Favorite Seasonings To Taste
   ... I chose salt, pepper, paprika, and thyme. 

Let's jump in! It's always important to wash your veggies. After you've done that, slice up your squash nice and thin, and chop your onion. Toss the squash in a bowl with a tablespoon of olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and paprika. Add both the squash and onions into a non-stick pan, and crank your burner to medium. Sauté until translucent. Transfer back to the bowl you tossed the squash in, and cover to retain heat. 

Gently set your turkey burger patty into the heated pan. Sprinkle with salt, freshly cracked black pepper, and a bit of thyme. Now, I don't have a heat thermometer, so I heated the patty until browned on both sides - about 3-4 minutes each, and that did the trick.

Get your plates ready, mates! Lay down a pretty little pile of your arugula, and slide that patty on top. Spritz with some freshly cut lemon for a citrus zing. Transfer your squash and onion into a ring around your turkey burger, and then plop some feta cheese on top. Because, why not? Cheese basically goes on everything. Especially feta. Grab a fork and knife, and dig in! Does that taste fresh or what? I love how fast you can prepare something like this. 

Do you have any "throw it together real quick-like" recipes? What about recipes you can't stop making again and again because they're easy and healthy? Let me know!