how to perfectly poach an egg

March 19, 2015 in Blog, Breakfast, Fitfluential, Food, Review by lindsaymwright

I think I told you that we celebrated my mama’s birthday on Sunday with a special brunch.  A new (fabulous) restaurant opened in town and I’d been dying to check it out – her birthday seemed like the perfect occasion!  The Bowery’s menu is a fun mix of eclectic and traditional, all inspired by LOCAL ingredients.  The food was amazing – the company and fellowship even better.

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When I was deciding what to order, the Appalachian Benedict popped out at me.  A cornmeal biscuit?  Locally-sourced country ham?!  And lastly – A POACHED EGG!!  I’d never poached an egg by myself but I LOVE them.  The dish was amazing and I walked away with a mission – learn how to poach an egg.  (Biscuits would have to wait for another year day)

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As I’ve written about in the past, I’m partnering this month with Eggland’s Best to help shed light on their incredible egg.  March is National Nutrition Month and Eggland’s wants to show people how making the simple switch from an ordinary egg to an EB egg is going to give them SO MUCH MORE nutrition.  Compared to an ordinary egg, an EB egg has:

  • 10 times MORE vitamin E
  • 4 times MORE vitamin D
  • 3 times MORE vitamin B12
  • More than DOUBLE the Omega 3
  • 35% MORE Lutein
  • 25% LESS saturated fat
  • 60 Calories per large egg

You can find Eggland’s Best eggs in most any supermarket – I bought mine at Walmart.  With fresh eggs in hand, I got started.  Since I’d never poached an egg before I googled.  Naturally.  I found a million different recipes but landed on this one from Jamie Oliver since you can never go wrong with his advice (plus that accent….).  I LOVED this video tutorial and the tips that he included (I’m a visual learner).  10 minutes later, I had a couple of perfectly poached eggs.  I served mine atop some cheesy Ezekiel bread – an easy and nutritious breakfast (or lunch…or dinner)

The Perfectly Poached Egg

via Jamie Oliver

Tip #1 – USE FRESH EGGS!!

The best poached eggs are made with FRESH eggs!  Based on an independent study, Eggland’s Best eggs were shown to maintain freshness longer than ordinary eggs.  Jamie suggests getting the eggs towards the BACK of the line – they’ll be the freshest!  (also look for the “Best by” date on the side of the carton)

Tip #2 – BRING THE WATER TO A GENTLE SIMMER

Poaching is NOT boiling.  Boiling will smash the eggs all around.  Bring the water to an almost boil then reduce the heat.  <-Jamie does NOT suggest using vinegar (most recipes call for it) – he says it makes the eggs taste vinegary…makes sense.

Tip #3 – USE A BOWL TO DROP THE EGG

After your water is simmering, crack your EB egg into a bowl and THEN ease it into the water (rather than plopping it right into the pot).

Cook for 3 minutes at a low simmer.  Use a slotted spoon to retrieve your egg then gobble it up however you wish!

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There you have it!  The perfect (non-intimidating) poached egg!

QUESTION:  How do you like your eggs?  <-any which way!  Scrambled with cheese on top is my go-to though!

splendid…lindsay

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Eggland’s Best.

wordless what i ate wednesday

February 25, 2015 in Blog, Food, WIAW by lindsaymwright

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QUESTION:  Best thing you ATE yesterday?? <-those tacos above…it WAS Taco Tuesday so we had to celebrate!

splendid…lindsay

WHAT-I-ATE-WEDNESDAY-NEW-BUTTON-PEAS-AND-CRAYONS

a healthier no bake cookie!

February 24, 2015 in Blog, Blue Diamond, Dessert, Recipe by lindsaymwright

This post is sponsored by Almond Breeze Almondmilk.  All opinions are my own.

After several attempts and many (many) soupy cookies made (and eaten…we’re not crazies), I’m happy to say that I’ve finally created a healthier No Bake cookie recipe!!  While these cookies are known by many names (no bakes, stove tops, cow pies, Raggedy Robins), they’ve always been synonymous with SNOW DAYS in my family.  It snows, you make Stove Tops.  That’s just what you do.  This tradition can be both good and bad – good for the soul but bad for the hips.  The original recipe isn’t exactly healthy.

Welp.  It snowed last week.

So….cookies were needed.

What’s a girl with hips to do?? 

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I knew I wanted to create a healthier version and it still TASTE like the real cookie.  Honestly, I didn’t want to sub in bananas or applesauce or add chia seeds or flax.  I’d rather eat fewer cookies and have them taste good than completely change up the recipe, so I simply made a few changes to the original.  For example, I subbed in natural peanut butter (versus Jif or Skippy that has added sugar) and I reduced the amount of butter and sugar (the sugar is actually cut in HALF and they still taste amazing AND set up!!!).  I also used 100% cacao cocoa to give the cookies an added antioxidant punch.

If you’ve made these cookies before, you’ll know that they’re extremely TEMPERAMENTAL.  If even the slightest thing is off, they’ll either get too hard or be a soupy mess.  I’m happy to say that even with the substitutions I made, they still set up perfectly.

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One of the best changes I made was substituting Blue Diamond Almond Breeze for the cow’s milk.  Lactose tends to cause me belly issues so I’ve tried to limit the amount of dairy I get (probably for the past three years or so).  Blue Diamond’s unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk has just 30 calories in each cup (!!!!) and ZERO grams of sugar (to compare, a cup of whole milk contains 100 calories and 17 grams of sugar).  I don’t know about you but that can really change up the nightly bowl of cereal.

Or in this case, you can eat more cookies ….which is always a good thing.

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Healthier No Bake Cookies

Ingredients

  • 3/4 stick of butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 3 tbsp. dark cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup Blue Diamond Almond unsweetened Vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Combine butter, sugar, cocoa powder and almond milk in a saucepan.  Heat to boiling.  Allow to boil (rolling boil) for 2 minutes.  Take them off the heat.  Add in peanut butter, oats and vanilla.  Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper.  Allow to set up for 30 minutes.  Enjoy with a glass of almond milk! ;)

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QUESTION:  Ever had “No Bakes”?  What do YOU call them?  Other ways you substitute almond milk in recipes (I’m all ears)?

splendid…lindsay

creamy smokehouse chicken dip

January 28, 2015 in Blog, Blue Diamond, Food, Recipe, Review, Snack by lindsaymwright

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds.  For more Game Changing Snacks, visit Blue Diamond Almonds on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Happy Wednesday!

Since the big game is this coming Sunday, let’s talk football today, shall we?  Or rather, let me tell you how little I actually know about the sport.

Lindsay’s Football Facts

1)  Football was invented in 1609 when two dueling countries decided to fight over an actual pig.  Hence the name, “pigskin” when we’re talking about the football*.

2)  The quarterback on every team must meet the following criteria or be kicked out of the league:  1) be “Nebraska-handsome”, 2) must date a super-model or actress and 3) must use the phrase “my hands are my work” in at least one conversation a day*.

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Two facts.

*I actually have no idea how football got started or if “Nebraska-handsome” is a thing…(but it should be).  My mother uses the phrase, “My hands are my work!” when she doesn’t want to do manual labor.  She’s a dental hygienist so I guess it kinda makes sense.

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Blue Diamond Almond recently sent me some of their Wasabi & Soy Sauce and Smokehouse almonds to try out.  Umm…YUM to both flavors!!  Then they challenged me to come up with a GAME DAY snack in preparation for the big game on Sunday.  True to my core, I chose the easiest recipe I could and made some fun substitutions.  After playing around for at least 5 minutes in the kitchen, Creamy Smokehouse Chicken Dip was born.  It’s PERFECT for your football crowd – tangy, creamy and packed with protein!  The finely chopped almonds add flavor and a little bit of texture.  We ate our dip with Blue Diamond Nut Thins and celery sticks.

Give it a go (and then get over here and fill me in on this football stuff).

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Creamy Smokehouse Chicken Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 rotisserie chicken breast, shredded
  • 1/2 can of Blue Diamond Almond Smokehouse almonds, finely chopped
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened (I love using greek cream cheese – higher protein content)
  • 3/4 cup light ranch dressing
  • 3/4 cup pepper sauce (such as Texas Pete)
  • 1/2 cup barbeque sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Heat chicken and hot sauce in a skillet over medium heat, until heated through.  Stir in chopped almonds, cream cheese, ranch dressing and bbq sauce.  Cook, stirring until well blended and warm.  Mix in half of the shredded cheese, and transfer the mixture into an 8×8 pan.  Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 12-15 minutes.  Before serving, top with any remaining almonds you have.  Serve with celery sticks and/or chips.  <-Blue Diamond happens to make a SMOKEHOUSE Nut Thin but I couldn’t find it at the store I went to so I used their Sea Salt flavor – still great!

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QUESTION:  Will you be watching the big game on Sunday?  What are you making as far as food goes (and can we come over?)?

splendid…lindsay

crockpot chicken and beans

January 21, 2015 in Blog, Dinner, Food, Recipe by lindsaymwright

Y’all.

I feel silly even typing this “recipe” out.

Like I’m hanging my head in shame.

You see – I’m a simple cook (I’m use that term loosely) and I was raised by the best.  Growing up, we always had a hot meal and we ate at the table together as a family.  My mama (God bless her) can cook two things well and about four things that are edible.  I have the best memory of this one time that she made chuckwagon steaks (like frozen, fried patties of meat), burned them, put them on white buns, and served them with tator tots for dinner one night.  As soon as she dished up the plates, my daddy (who was raised by one of the best cooks I’ve ever known) just laughed and laughed at this dinner.  My daddy loves my mom so he grinned through every burnt bite.  A story we still talk about to this day (along with the time she threw his scrambled eggs out into the yard because he complained…but that’s a story for a different day…).  Anyway, I am my mother’s twin when it comes to the cooking thing.  We just can’t…so we don’t.

But this dish…this dish I can do (and I do do at least once a week Smile ).  I’ve perfected all the measurements and cooking times and I feel like this is MY dish.  The dish my children will tell all their friends about on the school yard.

My daddy’s grinning so big right now.

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CROCKPOT CHICKEN AND BEANS*

Ingredients:

4-6 boneless/skinless chicken breasts

1/2-3/4 cup BBQ sauce

1/4 cup Texas Pete (or other hot sauce of choice)

1 can (16oz) black beans, rinsed

Place chicken, bbq sauce and hot sauce into a crockpot.  Cook on low for 4 hours.  Shred chicken using two forks, pulling apart the meat.  Stir in the drained black beans.

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*We like this chicken as a main dish with a few sides, in quesadillas or atop a big salad.  Find what works for your family!

QUESTION:  Can you cook?  Bake?  Do you enjoy it?  <-no

splendid…lindsay

wiaw – a lot of green stuff

January 14, 2015 in 24 Day Challenge, Advocare, Blog, Diet, Food, WIAW by lindsaymwright

Hey.  Hi.  Hey-o!

I don’t have a whole bunch of time (about to head downstairs and train my MoveMore groups) but I wanted to sit down for a second and document some of the FOOD that we’ve been consuming around here lately.  Yesterday marked the end of a little mini-challenge that I had with myself (the 10-day Advocare Challenge for Nursing Moms if you’re interested) so we’ve been eating A LOT of green things.  Since our food color for the month of December was mostly brown…chocolate brown…a little green in the month of January was more than needed.  Lots of salads, eggs, crockpot chicken and green smoothies were consumed.  Travis and I both feel WAY better and plan to continue this green streak for a little while longer (aka I won’t be making brownies today…maybe this weekend Winking smile ).

A little look at what’s been going down:

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The biggest container of spring mix I’ve ever seen.

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Justin’s Vanilla Almond Butter on a sweet potato…try it!

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Crockpot Chicken (I need to share this recipe ASAP – we eat it at least once a week) and BBQ-flavored Good Beans

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I can’t get enough of this Nikki’s Coconut Butter.  It’s good on everything but best on warm/hot items as the oil tends to solidify when cold.  Just a heads up for when you buy it because you should!

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I love shrimp!  I cooked these in a little Kerrygold butter and Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute.

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Told ya.  Love it!

QUESTION:  What’s your favorite VEGETABLE??  <-I like spinach only because it’s so versatile.  But a roasted brussel sprout wins my heart.

splendid…lindsay

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