Potato, Ham, and Rainbow Chard Hash

Hash is one of my all time favorite breakfast foods! Using a cast iron pan is key, and letting it cook for a while so that the ingredients almost melt together and get crispy is also important. Top the hash with some runny poached eggs and you have the best breakfast ever (or dinner in my case tonight!) It is incredibly easy- you just have to have a little patience while it cooks down and does its thaang.

Ingredients: (makes about 2-3 servings)
2 large Yukon gold potatoes, cut into small cubes
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 yellow onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup rainbow chard, chopped
6 oz sliced ham, chopped (I used Applegate organic ham)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Eggs, for poaching
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or white vinegar, for poaching eggs (optional)
Olive oil

Add some olive oil to a cast iron pan over medium heat. Add the potatoes, stirring every minute or so to avoid them sticking to the pan too much. Once they start browning a little, add the smoked paprika. In a separate pan, saute the garlic in some olive oil for about 30 seconds, then add the onions and cook until translucent. Next add the bell pepper, then salt and pepper to taste. Lower the heat and let the onion/pepper mixture cook down until the potatoes are ready. You want the potatoes to be fork tender with a little brown on them. I cooked my potatoes for about 15-20 minutes before adding the onion and pepper mixture. After you add the mixture to the potatoes, continue to cook down for another 5 minutes or so, then add the rainbow chard, followed by the ham. Continue to stir the hash every couple of minutes, and in between mixing push everything down with a wooden spoon so that the nice cast iron pan can do its job and brown everything. In my opinion, the more you cook it the better it gets. Just taste it as you go and turn off the heat when you think it has reached its hash potential!

When the hash is about done, get a pot of boiling water going. Time for perfect poached eggs! Add the apple cider or white vinegar to the boiling water, this will help keep the egg fluffy. Crack the egg into a small ramekin and have it ready to go. Take a spoon and swirl the water to create a little whirlpool, then gently pour the egg into the center. This will help the egg keep its shape. Cook for about 1 1/2-2 minutes then remove with a slotted spoon. I usually pull it out and gently feel the center of the egg to make sure it is as soft as I like it. I get my local eggs from my CSA and I swear they taste so better then supermarket eggs. They seem to be creamier or something, I love them. Anyway, plate the hash and top with the poached eggs!

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Spaghetti Squash Crusted Quiche With Sausage & Potato

Spaghetti squash can be a lot of fun to cook with, you can really do a lot with it. I’ve had it prepared before with sauce and meatballs as if it were real spaghetti, in soups, and simply tossed with brown butter and Parmesan cheese. Tonight I went in a totally different direction and used it as the “crust” for a quiche. As much as I love the buttery crust that usually accompanies a quiche, the squash was a great alternative and added a lot of nice flavor!

Ingredients: (adapted from PaleOMG)
1 spaghetti squash
2 Italian sausages (I used sweet)
1 potato, thinly sliced
6 eggs, whisked
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
Small handful freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Coconut oil, to grease pan

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the squash in half the long way and place face down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cook for 30 minutes or until a knife easily pierces through. Remove from oven and let cool enough to handle. Scoop out the seeds and discard, then remove the rest by scraping with a fork. It will be stringy like spaghetti! Mix in the nutmeg and set aside in a bowl. Turn oven down to 350.

Slice the potato and add to a pot of boiling water, cook until tender but don’t over cook! Heat a little olive oil in a pan and add the garlic, cook for one minute then add the onions stirring until translucent. Next remove the sausage from the casing and add that to the pan, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Cook until browned.

Grease a pie pan with a little coconut oil (I have coconut oil spray from Trader Joe’s that I use for everything!) Add the squash and press down firmly on the bottom and sides of the dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and layer with potato slices. Mix the dried herbs into the eggs with a little salt and pepper, and pour that over the potatoes. Lastly, add the sausage and onion mixture. Place in oven and cook for 30-35 minutes or until eggs are set. Let cool a little before slicing, serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese on top.

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Bread & Muffins

Smitten Kitchen is one of my favorite food blogs- everything looks incredible. When I got some zucchini this week I decided to make her zucchini bread. It was absolutely delicious and extremely easy to make! I added the chocolate chips, but this would be great without them as well, depending on how much of a sweet tooth you have. Even with the chocolate chips added, I didn’t think it was too sweet at all. The recipe was enough to make 2 loaves or 24 muffins, but when I filled the one loaf pan it didn’t look like I would have enough for another full loaf, so I threw the leftovers in the muffin tin. Both came out great- I ate mine warm with butter, of course.

Ingredients: (from Smitten Kitchen)
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 cups grated zucchini
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or walnuts if you want a less sweet with a little crunch)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour your loaf pans or muffin tins. In a large bowl whisk the eggs then add the oil, sugar, zucchini and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients- flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients a few cups at a time and mix well. Divide the batter into your pans and cook for 50-60 minutes (test with a toothpick until it comes out clean.) If you go the muffin route instead, these will cook much faster in about 20-25 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes, then immediately hide in your room and eat the whole thing.

Fresh Nectarine Muffins

YUM. I haven’t made muffins in a while and I have no idea why that is. They are so good! Especially straight out of the oven with a little butter on top. These took no time to make and were nice and moist with the fruit inside. Instead of using buttermilk I went for Greek yogurt instead, which was a nice substitute!

Ingredients: (adapted from Pinch My Salt)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups plain Greek yogurt
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup fresh nectarines, diced

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients- flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together the yogurt, brown sugar, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla extract. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir until just combined, then add the nectarines. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin or line with paper cups and add the mixture evenly to each. They will fill almost to the top. Place in oven for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean!

Broiled Grapefruit with Brown Sugar

Last time I was visiting home, my younger sister Kendra made me an amazing breakfast treat: broiled grapefruit with brown sugar. Something I never would have thought to do, but it was so delicious! It was an especially nice way to enjoy fruit in the winter time. The sugar caramelizes a bit and the grapefruit gets super juicy. It’s magical. I wanted to share her special treat with you. It is very easy to make, and once you try it you’ll be hooked. Thanks k-bear!

Ingredients:
1 large grapefruit
1 teaspoon unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat the broiler. Cut the grapefruit in half and with a sharp knife cut the sections. In a small bowl mix together the melted butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Spread the mixture evenly across the top of the grapefruit. Place under broiler for about 3 minutes until the sugar is bubbling. Dig in!