Spinach Mushroom Breakfast Braid

Breakfast braid

Spinach Mushroom Breakfast Braid

Company is coming. It’s the holidays, company is always coming. Friends, family and loved ones from afar will pass through your doors. Some will stay just the day, some will stay awhile. You’ll stay up late talking, sharing memories and just, well, catching up! Then, morning comes all too early and you drag out of bed, head to the kitchen to get a pot of coffee going. After the first cup clears your cobwebs, you suddenly realize – you have to make breakfast for a dozen people! 12 hungry mouths to feed. OK, maybe you have more or maybe you have less, you still need to feed them! The thought of all those dirty pots and pans makes you want to crawl back into bed. Never fear, friends! The breakfast braid is here to rescue you. You can impress your family and still maintain a relatively clean kitchen.

breakfast sammy

Yummy!

The breakfast bunch –

ingredients

the ingredients

You’ll need a 13 x 18 baking sheet, which is NOT the one you see pictured. That pan is too small. I got out the right pan, later. The rest of the ingredients are eggs, chopped fresh spinach, chopped mushrooms, roasted red peppers, cheese, a refrigerated tube of pizza dough and some sesame seeds to make it pretty. You’ll need some butter to cook the eggs, too.

Cut a sheet of parchment paper to fit the baking sheet. This makes moving the breakfast braid much, much easier.

Preheat the oven to 425º.

Crack the eggs into a medium sized bowl.

eggs

Get crackin’!

If it’s your normal practice to add milk or water to your scrambled eggs, go ahead and do it. Sometimes I do, this time I didn’t. Give them a whisk.

eggs beaten

beaten eggs

Get out a skillet and melt some butter in it.

melt butter

melting butter

When it’s melted, swirl it around to cover. Then, pour in the eggs.

eggs

Add the eggs

As the eggs cook, push the solids towards the center, so they don’t cook all the way through.

push to the middle

push to the middle

You don’t want to cook the eggs all the way. You want them soft set. Runny. Yes, runny. They’ll continue to cook and they have to go into the oven.

soft set scrambled eggs

soft scrambled eggs

While the eggs are cooking, time to get the dough ready. Get your half sheet pan with the parchment paper on it. ( I got out the right pan) Pop the roll of pizza dough and spread it out onto the pan.

dough spread on pan

spread out the dough

Gently stretch it to fit the pan. Pinch together any tears that happen. Get a knife and carefully make diagonal cuts about 2 inches apart, along both sides of the dough, leaving about 4 inches solid in the middle.

cut the dough

cut diagonally towards the center

Time to build the layers. Start with the chopped fresh spinach. Evenly spread the spinach down the center of the dough.

spinach layer

start with the spinach

Add a layer of mushrooms, keeping it all in the center.

layer of mushrooms

mushroom layer

Pile the eggs on next.

egg layer

Add the egg layer

Let me share my latest find with you, a vegetarian cheese. A great tasting, vegetarian cheese.

Red Apple kosher cheese

vegetarian cheese!

 This is Red Apple Naturally Good Kosher Cheese.  It looks like all the cheeses in their Naturally Good Kosher and Screaming Dutchman line are vegetarian. And, look at that easy to read label! Check your markets for this cheese. If they don’t carry it, ask them to!

Back to the recipe. Get your vegetarian cheese out and grate a cup’s worth.

grated gouda

Grate cheese!

Sprinkle the cheese over the eggs.

layer of cheese

cheese layer

Get a couple of red peppers out of the jar, pat dry and dice up.

roasted red pepper

diced roasted red pepper

Spread them over the top of the breakfast braid.

Roast red pepper layer

Roast red pepper layer

Now, fold one end of the dough up and over the filling. The end piece first, then the first piece on either side. Press the dough edges to seal it.

starting the braid

fold one end up and over the filling

Then, fold the next strip up and over the filling. Left, then right. Or right, then left. Just do one side, then the other. Leave gaps for the filling to show through.

braiding the bread

Braiding the bread

When you get to the middle of the breakfast braid, turn it around and start at the other end.

the other end

Fold up the other end

Continue folding one side, then the other until you reach the middle. then seal the dough edges down.

finished dough braid

Finished braiding

We need an egg wash, so separate out an egg white to use, or pour some liquid egg whites into a small dish. Whisk it with a fork. Brush the breakfast braid with the beaten egg wash, then sprinkle the entire top with sesame seeds.

sesame seeds

Brush with beaten egg white and sprinkle with sesame seeds

Bake the breakfast braid at 425 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Baked Breakfast Braid

All done

Let cool for 5 minutes, then slice and serve. This makes 6 good sized servings.

Breakfast Braid

Breakfast is ready

This is so easy and so versatile. You can change up the fillings, even make them for lunch or dinner. If there’s a crown at your house, it’s no more trouble to make 2 or 3 at the same time. So, relax, enjoy your coffee. You’ve got this breakfast thing under control!

Spinach Mushroom Breakfast Braid

Spinach Mushroom Breakfast Braid

Spinach Mushroom Breakfast Braid
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
A refreshing change to ordinary breakfast sandwiches.
Ingredients
  • 1 tube refrigerated pizza dough
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cups lightly packed chopped spinach
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • ½ cup diced roast red peppers – jarred or fresh made
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten.
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425º.
  2. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit a large baking tray. Unroll dough onto the parchment paper and pat into a 10 x 15 inch rectangle. With a sharp knife, make diagonal cuts about 2 inches apart along both long sides of the dough, leaving about a 4 inch solid center.
  3. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the beaten eggs and cook until soft scrambled, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Arrange the chopped spinach down the center of the dough. Add a layer of sliced mushrooms next. Spoon the soft set scrambled eggs evenly over the dough center for the next layer. Top with the shredded cheese. Sprinkle the roasted red peppers down the center, as the last layer.
  5. Bring the end piece of dough, up and over the filling end and bring the top strip of dough over the filling. Press the edges to seal. Braid dough over top of filling by alternating strips from each side. Fold the bottom edge up and over the end, sealing it with the last two edge strips.
  6. Brush the breakfast braid with a beaten egg white and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake at 425º for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes, slice and serve.

 

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Tomato and White Bean Salad

Tomato and white bean salad

Tomato and white bean salad

Spring has sprung. Although most of the country is still covered up with snow, the calender says that Spring is here. I know it has sprung here in Florida. Everything has a golden layer of pollen on it. Allergy season is here. Flowers are blooming, bees are buzzing, I’m sniffling and sneezing. Yup, it’s Spring.

To welcome the change in seasons, I made this light and refreshing salad. It’s been a particularly hot past couple of days and I wanted something easy. Something I could whip up and let chill in the fridge while I was out mowing the grass. That, is this bean and tomato salad. So, while I’m waiting for my allergy pills to kick in, I’ll teach you how to make it for yourselves.

White bean and tomato salad

Tomato and white bean salad

Here’s the fixings.

white bean and tomato salad

Let’s get started!

You’ll need 2 cans of cannellini beans, a pint of cherry type tomatoes, fresh basil, feta cheese, extra virgin olive oil, agave sweetener (or honey or any sweetener), some salt and pepper, and some white balsamic vinegar. If you don’t have any white balsamic vinegar, got ahead and get some. This stuff is so good. Sprinkle a little bit in with the yolk mix, the next time you make deviled eggs! You’ll be amazed at how good this stuff makes them. If you’re sure you don’t want to go out and buy the white balsamic vinegar, use a white wine vinegar, or rice vinegar. Stick with something clear. Regular balsamic vinegar will make the salad an unpleasant dark color. We don’t want that.

Start off by draining the cannellini beans. Rinse them off, if they have a lot of bean starch in the can.

drain beans

Drain the beans

While they drip dry, get out your cutting board. Time to cut the tomatoes in half.

halving the tomatoes

Slice the tomatoes in half

Get out a large bowl and dump the drained beans into it.

Bowl of beans

Put the beans into a bowl

Dump the tomato halves in there, too.

add the maters

Add the tomatoes

Measure out a half cup of feta cheese and dump it in also!

adding feta

Add in the feta

Stack up about 20 basil leaves, roll them up and slice them thinly. That’s called a chiffonade.  I learned this from the television cooking shows. They love to chiffonade things!

Chiffonade the basil

Chiffonade the basil

You know what’s next, don’t you? That’s right, add them to the bowl.

salad

Pretty colors!

Now, to make the dressing. You’ll need a small jar. I just reuse an old salad dressing jar. Measure out the white balsamic vinegar.

making dressing

White balsamic vinegar

Then, pour it into the jar. Measure out the extra virgin olive oil. Oh, do yourself a favor. Find one of these tiny measuring cups. They make measuring multiple table/teaspoons so much easier. They’re easy to find. I found this one at my grocery store.

evoo

EVOO!

Pour it into the dressing jar, too. Measure out the agave sweetener.

agave

agave syrup

Pour it into the dressing jar, too. Measure out the salt and pepper. I’m into Pink Himalayan salt right now. Why? It’s pretty to look at. That’s why. It’s supposed to have more minerals and be better for you than regular table salt, but, salt is salt, use it sparingly. Too much salt is a bad thing. I also use a four color peppercorn blend. It’s pretty, too.

salt and pepper

pretend this picture is in focus

Add it to the dressing jar. It makes a cool glop in the bottom. Hey, I’m easily amused!

dressing mix

See the salt & pepper glop?

Close it up and shake it up!

Dressing mix

Dressing mix

Pour the dressing over the tomato & bean mix.

dressing the salad

Mix in the dressing

Pour the salad into a pretty serving bowl. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

put into serving bowl

Put into a serving bowl.

This mix travels well, if you have a covered dish dinner to go to. To serve, place a few lettuce leaves on a plate and add about a cup of tomato bean salad mix over it.

tomato and white bean salad

Tomato and white bean salad

Tomato and White Bean Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: salad
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
A light and fresh salad. Perfect for lunch, brunch or a light dinner.
Ingredients
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes
  • 2 -15 ounce or 19 ounce cans of cannellini beans, drained
  • ¼ cup shredded fresh basil
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 ½ Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon agave
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
Instructions
  1. Cut the cherry tomatoes in halves. Place halves in a bowl. Add in the drained cannellini beans, basil and crumbled feta cheese.
  2. Pour vinegar and extra virgin olive oil into a small jar. Add in the salt and pepper. Cover and shake vigorously. Pour over bean and tomato mixture. Combine well. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Arrange a few lettuce leaves on a plate. Top with ¾ cup of the tomato and white bean salad.

This tomato and white bean salad also pairs will with fresh cooked orzo pasta. That makes a tasty dinner.

 

 

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Sesame Ginger Slaw

Sesame Ginger Slaw

Sesame Ginger Slaw

Cole slaw. I love it. When we go out for dinner and I’m offered the choice of a side salad or slaw? I’m going with the slaw. Maybe, I just love cabbage. What I don’t love, is a mayonnaise based dressing, all-the-time! Change it up. Give me something different. Something that will make me go – wow! I like wow. Wow is good. This sesame ginger slaw is wow. Try it, you’ll be hooked. I needed something to serve to my vegan friends, and that left mayonnaise out of the question. I know there are vegan options available. But, the store was so far away, and I’m kinda lazy, so I went with what I had on hand. The result was a light, refreshing, simple to make slaw, that will make you go wow!

The ingredients:

sesame slaw ingred

The line up

You’ll need 8 cups of shredded cabbage. There’s also 4 scallions, a knob of ginger for grating, some dijon, rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil, black sesame seeds and agave syrup. There’s no need to haul out the heavy food processor. All you need is a cutting board and a knife. Turn the cabbage upside down, cut through the cabbage on each side of the core. Next, cut the core out of the center silce and toss it (the core) away. Lay one half, face down and slice it into thin strips.

shredding cabbage

Shredding the cabbage

Then, cut in half in the opposite direction.

shredded cabbage

cut,cut,cut it up

Cut up the rest of the cabbage in the same manner. Dump it all in a large bowl. Take your scallions and slice them on the diagonal, very thinly.

slice scallions

slice, slice, slice it up.

Throw them in the bowl with the cabbage.

cabbage

Use a big bowl!

Time to make the dressing. Get out a nonstick fry pan. Use at least a 10 inch pan. Heat it over medium for a bit, then, add the black sesame seeds. I used black because the color contrasts against the cabbage nicely.

toasted sesame seeds

Toasting the black sesame seeds.

Don’t walk off! This only takes 2 to 3 minutes. Stir them around and when you smell the toasty goodness, they’re done. Pull them off the stove. Save a teaspoon for garnish, just before you serve the salad. Time to grate the ginger.

grated ginger

grate ginger

I don’t waste time peeling it. I keep the ginger in the freezer and just pull out a chunk when I need it. I just run it across the grater and the brown peel just stays on the top. Nothing but great, grated ginger on the other side!

Get out a small bowl. To it, add the dijon, toasted sesame oil, grated ginger, agave syrup and rice vinegar.

sesame slaw dressing

sesame slaw dressing

Add in the toasted sesame seeds and whisk it all together.

sesame slaw dressing

Dressing is done

Now, if you’re not going to serve the slaw right away or you’re going to take it somewhere, cover up the dressing and stuff it in the fridge. You don’t want to dress the slaw until you’re ready to serve it. Cabbage does funky stuff to dressings. It makes them all watery and yucky. So, wait to dress. The slaw, not yourself. Unless, that’s how you roll. When you’re ready to serve the slaw, pour the dressing over the cabbage scallion mix and toss to coat. Sprinkle those reserved toasted sesame seeds over the top to purty it up.

Sesame Ginger Slaw 2

It’s right purty!

You can eat this by itself, like I did, right after I took it’s picture or serve it as a side for sandwiches, grilled tofu, dinner omelettes, or whatever! It’s a wow slaw, so wow somebody with it!

Sesame Ginger Slaw
Author: 
Recipe type: salad
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
A simple, refreshing vegan slaw that's easy to make.
Ingredients
  • 8 cups of chopped cabbage
  • 4 scallions
  • 1 Tablespoon black sesame seeds – divided.
  • 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 Tablespoon agave syrup
Instructions
  1. Place chopped cabbage in a large bowl.
  2. Slice the scallions on the diagonal. Add to the cabbage and toss to combine.
  3. Using a dry, nonstick fry pan over medium heat, toast the black sesame seeds. Stir occasionally 2 to 3 minutes or until fragrant.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the rice vinegar, Dijon mustard, grated fresh ginger, toasted sesame oil and the agave syrup. Add in the toasted black sesame seeds, reserving 1 teaspoon for garnish. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. When ready to serve, whisk dressing and pour over cabbage mix, tossing to coat. Sprinkle top with reserved sesame seeds and serve.
  5. NOTE: If you are not serving to vegans, honey may be substituted for the agave syrup.

 

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Grilled Avocado, Tomato & Onion Sandwich

Grilled Avocado, Tomato & Onion Sandwich

Grilled Avocado, Tomato & Onion Sandwich

Today’s post is a salute to the ever popular sandwich! A sandwich, sammich, or even the Rachael Raysim – sammie, everything tastes better between two pieces of bread. From the simple peanut butter & jelly, to the complex Dagwood, sandwiches are a mainstay of our diets. Sandwich creators are breaking new grounds every day! Would you have thought of using a donut as a hamburger bun? I wouldn’t have. That’s probably a good thing. Take a look at the sandwiches listed on the menu of your favorite eatery. There’s double this or triple that, resulting in a sandwich that is a big as your head! You would have to have a flip top mouth to eat it! Stay away from those double or triples and make this sandwich at home. Save some money and have a delicious, good for you, meal in minutes.

It’s sammich time:

Grilled avocado sandwich ingredients.

Grilled avocado sandwich ingredients.

You’ll need 4 ciabatta rolls, or any sandwich roll, a couple of avocados, a red onion (because it’s prettier than a yellow), a big tomato, some mayo and some provolone cheese. Applegate is vegetarian friendly. As always, you can use what you have on hand. Maybe a spicy chipotle mayo and a pepper jack cheese, uh-huh!

Now, if you happen to be a grill master, fire up the barbeque and grill everything outdoors. Otherwise, get out your grill pan, large fry pan, or George Foreman grill and get ready to grill. We want a medium heat, so that everything cooks without burning. Pour a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a dish and get out a  pastry brush. If necessary, slice the ciabatta rolls in half. Brush a little olive oil over the insides of the roll

oil the bread

Brush on a little oil.

and place them face down on your grill pan.

grilled ciabatta

Grill your buns.

While they’re getting toasty, Slice all the veggies into 1/2 inch slices and spread the out on the cutting board or platter. Check the rolls. Are they nice and toasty?

toasted ciabatta

Great grill marks!

Good. Do the next two rolls. Set them aside while we grill the veggies. Brush a layer of olive oil on both sides. Sprinkle a little salt & pepper over them, too.

oiled veggies

Brush oil on the onions & tomatoes.

The avocados got their own board –

avocado oiled

Eat a few slices. I did.

Grill the onions, 6 to 8 minutes,

grilled onions

onion rings

flipping them halfway through, until they are soft.

grilling onions

Almost cooked

Remove them and pile them on your board.

onions

Just hanging out

Grill the tomatoes.

tomatoes grilled

grill the tomatoes

They only take about 2 minutes per side.

grilled tomatoes

grilling

Remove them to hang out on the board with the onions. Time for the avocados.

Grilled avocado

So good.

After about 2 minutes, flip them.

Grilled avocado slices

Flippin’ good.

Pile them on the board too, because it’s assembly time! Open all the rolls. Spread a layer of mayonnaise on the bottom half.

mayo layer

mayo layer

Add 3 or 4 slices of avocado. Add more if you didn’t eat a bunch of them already.

layer of avocados

layer of avocado

Layer of tomatoes –

layer of tomatoes

tomato layer

Layer on onions –

grilled onion layer

layer of onions

Layer of cheese –

layer of provolone

cheese layer

And close them up!

closed roll

Close them up

Let us pause for a moment and appreciate their beauty. LOng enough? Now, devour it! We had our with some Late July chips. You need to give those a try, too. So tasty.

Grilled Avocado, Tomato & Onion Sandwich

Grilled Avocado, Tomato & Onion Sandwich

5.0 from 1 reviews
Grilled Avocado, Tomato & Onion Sandwich
Author: 
Recipe type: sandwich
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
A delicious blend of veggies, grilled to tenderness, covered in cheese and piled on a toasty ciabatta roll.
Ingredients
  • 4 Ciabatta rolls
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Red onion, cut into ½ inch rings
  • 1 Large Tomato, cut into ½ inch slices
  • 2 Avocados, halved, pitted, peeled, and cut into ½ inch slices
  • 3 Tablespoons mayonnaise – divided
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 4 slices of Provolone cheese
Instructions
  1. Place a grill pan or large fry pan over medium heat. Slice ciabatta rolls in half and brush cut sides with olive oil. Grill, cut side down, 2 to 3 minutes or until lightly toasted. Set aside.
  2. Brush avocado slices, tomato slices, and onion slices with olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Repeat on the other sides. Grill onions, turning halfway through cook time, 6 to 8 minutes or until softened. Remove. Grill the tomato slices 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from pan. Grill the avocado slices 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from pan. Turn heat off.
  3. To assemble grilled avocado sandwiches: Divide the mayonnaise among the ciabatta roll bottoms. Spread to the edges. Place 3 or 4 avocado slices over the mayonnaise. Top with slices of tomato, onions and cheese. Cover with top halves of bread. Serve.

 

Grilled Avocado, Tomato & Onion Sandwich

Lunch time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Meatless Monday

Or – Vegetarians get no respect!

I need to channel my inner Rodney Dangerfield. We don’t get no respect, I tell ya, no respect. I just picked up this flyer from my local BJ’s Wholesale Club.

meatless is not meat less

You Keep Using That Word, I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means

Meatless Meal Solutions. I thought – Great! Coupons I can use! Then, I gave the coupons a look. Salmon, Tilapia, Clams. Not items that you would find on a vegetarian’s table for meatless Monday, or any other day.

How many times have you spotted a Meatless Monday recipe only to find that it includes fish, shrimp, or even chicken? Meatless – how complicated can this one word be? Turns out, it’s complicated.

The Merriam – Webster online dictionary defines meat as – “animal tissue considered especially as food”. But, also as – “flesh of a mammal as opposed to fowl or fish”. They also define fish as – “an aquatic animal”. Under fowl we have – “a bird of any kind” and “meat of fowls used as food”.

Confused? Me, too. Animal tissue, flesh, meat. I’m fairly sure that none of those words fit in with the concept of “meatless”.

So, until we get this whole meatless thing defined, be careful what you buy or eat. What you think is meatless, might not be without meat after all.

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