Tag Archives: egg recipes

Sriracha Roasted Red Pepper Deviled Eggs

Got hard boiled eggs? Make Sriracha Roasted Red Pepper Deviled Eggs at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

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Wasabi Deviled Eggs

Got hard boiled eggs? Make Wasabi Deviled Eggs at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

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Beet Pickled Quail Eggs for Easter

Beet Pickled Quail Eggs for Easter at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

I’m in the middle of remodeling h-e-l-l. Actually, I shouldn’t complain, because it hasn’t been too bad, since we started with a small project first – the kids’ bathroom. Yet it seemed as soon as my husband and his friend, Guy, started working on one thing, they would break another. Like cutting into a pipe and flooding the bathroom, which meant that the living room ceiling had to be repaired and repainted. Then they, along with the plumber and electrician, used my two vacuums like shop vacs, and broke them both. Then the bathroom lighting had to be done twice. The toilet that wasn’t supposed to be installed by the plumber, was indeed installed, and was broken in the process. I’m not even going to tell you about the fight with the painter regarding his quote and the trim.

Then the kitchen remodeling started with a reminder call. But I didn’t even know we were on the schedule to get our counter tops done that day! First, I had to reschedule my daughter’s hearing test appointment. No biggie. Then I had to camp out with my dog, Nellie in our bedroom, because as soon as the workmen left to get something from their truck and came back into the house, she'd growl at them like they were breaking in. Such a silly dog!

It also meant no cooking for a few days, since we had to wait for the plumber to come and hookup the sink and the electrician to hook up the stovetop. Luckily, I have another wonderful recipe from the April 2014 issue of Martha Stewart Living to fill in while my kitchen is closed for a few days. This one is perfect for Easter, parties, and picnic season – Beet Picked Quail Eggs with an amazing picture by Jennifer Causey.

Beet Pickled Quail Eggs picnic at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Just because it’s Easter doesn’t mean you have to stick with chicken eggs. Any sort of eggs will do. Martha Stewart Living suggests getting quail eggs at dartagnan.com, but I’ve had good luck finding fresh and canned quail eggs at Asian markets. (My mom puts quail eggs in salads and quail eggs in pho soup are amazing.) Canned quail eggs are pretty affordable, too.

Martha Stewart Living April 2014 recipes at This Mama Cooks! On a DIet - thismamacooks.com

I love the idea of dying the egg whites with the beets. Some people use beets or other foods to dye eggs shells. Or they gently crack the hard boiled egg before dyeing to form a cracked pattern on the egg white. They use foods such as:

  • Blueberries or red cabbage for blue
  • Skins of red onions or yellow apples for green
  • Skins of yellow onions or paprika for orange
  • Carrots, turmeric, chamomile, green tea or orange peel for yellow
  • Coffee or black tea for brown
  • Grape juice for purple

If you’re interested in using foods or plants as natural food dyes, About.com has instructions on how to do so.


  • 1 small red beet, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 1 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon juniper berries 1 dried bay leaf
  • 24 quail eggs
  • Hot sauce, celery leaves, and flaky sea salt, for serving


  1. Bring beet, 1 cup water, vinegar, sugar, coarse salt, juniper berries, and bay leaf to a boil in a small pot, stirring until sugar and salt are dissolved. Let cool completely. Pass through a fine sieve; discard solids.
  2. Cover eggs with 1 inch of water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil; remove from heat, cover, and let sit 3 minutes. Transfer to an ice-water bath until chilled. Drain and peel eggs.
  3. Place eggs in a container. Top with beet vinegar. Cover; chill 4 to 5 days. Slice in half and serve with accompaniments.
Prep Time: 45 Minutes
Cook Time: 120 Hours
Total Time: 120 Hours 45 Minutes
Servings: Serves 8
  • Serving size: 3 quail eggs

Recipe and photography used with permission.

Skillet Baked Eggs with Potatoes, Pesto & Sun Dried Tomatoes

Skillet Baked Eggs with Potatoes, Pesto & Sun Dried Tomatoes at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.comIt’s Secret Recipe Club time once again! This month’s assignment was to cook up something from Adventures in All Things Food by Andrea Kruse. I’m not sure how she has time to blog as she has three kids under the age of six. Plus I’m sure living on a farm keeps her super busy, too.

Some of my favorite pictures on her blog are of her farm, from the snow on the old tractor to all the chicken adventures! Of course, there’s food. Some of it’s inspired by what they’re growing, like Prune Cake. Still others are just things she likes to eat like her recipe for Skillet Baked Pesto & Tomato Taters, which is what I decided to cook up. It combines things I love, too, like eggs, pesto and sun dried tomatoes. Plus, it gives me an excuse to finally break in my 10” Lodge cast iron skillet! [affiliate link]

Speaking of pesto, I can’t wait until summer when we have basil growing in the garden so we can make our own from scratch. I have a few pesto recipes here at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet:

Skillet Baked Eggs with Potatoes, Pesto & Sun Dried Tomatoes at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

This Mama’s tips

Since regular potatoes give me a tummy ache due to my food sensitivities, I decided to use baby purple potatoes instead. I love how regular grocery stores are carrying a variety of potatoes now, including fingerling and baby sized potatoes. You can use red, purple, gold or whatever variety of baby potatoes that suits your fancy since you don’t have to peel them. (Just remember to wash them!)

I also substituted country ham for the bacon, since I’m obsessed with it nowadays and always have some in the refrigerator or freezer. If you prefer bacon, use enough to cover your 10” skillet. (Andrea used 4 pieces in her recipe.)

If you have a 12” skillet, increase the amount of ingredients a bit and you should have room for an extra egg or two. When I served this up for a late lunch in my 10” skillet, I found that one egg was plenty of food for me, but that my husband wanted more. (He and my daughter, Lucie, shared another portion.) Next time, I’ll serve this with a side salad and some crusty bread or gluten free toast, so everyone feels satisfied.

Skillet Baked Eggs with Potatoes, Pesto & Sun Dried Tomatoes at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Skillet Baked Eggs with Potatoes, Pesto & Sun Dried Tomatoes

Based on Skillet Baked Pesto & Tomato Taters from Adventures in All Things Food


  • 1 large slice country ham (piece or pieces big enough to cover entire 10” skillet)
  • 16 baby purple potatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup prepared basil pesto
  • 4 eggs


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. If the sun dried tomatoes are dried, soften in very hot water for 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Heat 10” cast iron skillet or oven safe frying pan over medium heat. Place slice of country ham and heat until ham starts to render and curl at the edges.
  4. While country ham is cooking, thinly slice baby purple potatoes in a food processor.
  5. Remove country ham from the pan and place on cutting board. Trim fat from edges and set aside. Dice ham and set aside.
  6. Place sliced potatoes in skillet. Cook on medium heat until potatoes are soft, stirring occasionally. If you feel there isn’t enough grease in the skillet leftover from cooking the country ham, place some of the trimmed fat back into the skillet. (This can be removed later.)
  7. Once the potatoes are soft, turn up the heat to medium high to brown. Add the minced garlic.
  8. When potatoes are browned, turn off the heat and remove skillet from the burner.
  9. Evenly sprinkle the top with sun dried tomatoes. Then spoon the pesto over the top in evenly distributed dollops.
  10. Using a spoon, create 4 small wells in the potatoes. Break 1 egg into each well.
  11. Sprinkle the top with diced ham.
  12. Place the skillet in the oven till the eggs have set – 9-12 minutes depending on how firm you like your eggs.
  13. Serve straight from the oven.
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 25 Minutes
Total Time: 35 Minutes
Servings: Serves 4
  • Serving size: 1 egg plus surrounding potatoes

Mediterranean Style Shakshuka

Mediterranean Style Shakshuka at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Shakshuka (or shakshouka) is a staple of Middle Eastern cuisine. It’s traditionally done in a cast iron pan with a tomato based sauce and eggs as the main ingredients. I’ve seen it made with everything from chickpeas to potatoes and done with Middle Eastern or Mediterranean spices, meats and cheeses. How ever you make it, it’s a show stopper – gorgeous yellow yokes, beautiful green leaves and the red sauce served in a skillet are sure to have everyone oohing and awwing. Since shakshuk features eggs, it’s often served as a breakfast or brunch dish and served with pita, gluten free toast, or crusty bread to sop up the sauce. You could also serve it for lunch or dinner with a side salad. And it’s perfect for the holidays since it’s red and green!

Mediterranean Shakshuka at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

I’ve decided to make my shakshuka recipe as easy and healthy as possible. One note on the eggs. Some people like runny eggs, some don’t. If you have a mixed group, serve  the “runny” people first, then stick your skittle back in the oven for a few more minutes. Or serve the shakshuka in oven safe bowls and put those back in the oven for a couple of minutes to firm up the eggs. Either way, everyone’s happy.

Mediterranean Style Shakshuka at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Mediterranean Style Shakshuka

Inspired by Michael Anthony's Shakshuka with Swiss Chard from Food & Wine, November 2013


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 ounces pancetta, meaty bacon or country ham, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans Contadina tomato sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • pinch crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 (10 ounce) container baby spinach leaves
  • 6-8 large eggs (depending on sized of skillet)
  • 1/2 cup feta, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • Pita, gluten free toast, or crusty bread


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large oven safe skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the meat, onion and garlic, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent – about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato sauce, dried basil, dried oregano, crushed red pepper, salt and ground black pepper. Simmer until the sauce is thickened – about 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, using a steamer basket over boiling water, steam spinach leaves until wilted – about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove steamer basket from boiling water and rinse spinach with cold water. Drain leaves and set aside.
  5. When sauce has thickened, removed skillet from stovetop. Add spinach leaves a handful at a time to the skillet, creating a “nest” for the egg with a hole in the center. Depending on the size of the skillet (I used a 11 3/4 inch one) you should be able to create 6 to 8 nests.
  6. Carefully crack eggs one at a time into each nest. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake the eggs for 10 to 12 minutes until the egg whites are just starting to set.
  7. Slide the skillet from the oven rack and sprinkle with feta and parsley. Place back in the coven and cook for 3 more minutes until egg whites are set and the yolks are still runny.
  8. Serve with pita, gluten free toast, or crusty bread.
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 35 Minutes
Total Time: 50 Minutes
Servings: Serves 4 to 6
  • Serving size: 1 to 2 eggs

The “real Meg Ryan’s” world famous spaghetti sauce

Like my Mediterranean Style Shakshuka recipe is variation on the real Middle Eastern shakshouka, look what happens when this reporter looks for the “real Meg Ryan.” Either way, we both make a real good sauce with Contadina!

Here are more real good recipes from Foodie and  Contadina!

Every mealtime masterpiece starts with Contadina and ends with a clean plate. Our mission is to gather families together around the dinner table with our delicious, Italian-style recipes and carefully-sorted Roma-style tomatoes.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Contadina via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Contadina.

Mexican themed brunch: Chorizo Breakfast Casserole and Healthy Horchata

Chorizo Breakfast Casserole at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

For a lot of us who eat gluten free diets, it’s very important that we’re getting fiber from sources like vegetables since we’re not getting it from grains. Of course, even those of use who aren’t gluten free have problems getting enough fiber in their diet. That’s why I decided to partner with Benefiber® as a brand ambassador, because getting enough fiber in your diet is important.

What I really like about Benefiber Powder is that it can be added not only to drinks, but to your cooking! And not just the obvious things like smoothies or sprinkling it on your morning breakfast cereal. You can also use Benefiber in anything from soups to baked goods. Unlike most other fiber powders, Benefiber Powder is grit-free and non-thickening. It’s also taste-free, gluten free and you can use it in hot or cold foods. The only thing you can’t put Benefiber powder in is carbonated beverages!

To learn more about Benefiber, check out their FAQs at benefiber.com/faqs/. You can also connect with Benefiber on Facebook.

A Mexican brunch - Chorizo & Egg Breakfast Casserole and Healthy Horchata

Mexican themed brunch: Chorizo Breakfast Casserole and Healthy Horchata at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

As a Benefiber Brand Ambassador, I’ve been asked to create some brunch  recipes using Benefiber. I wanted to keep the dishes healthy, easy to make for weekday morning work meeting or teacher appreciation party, and delicious, of course. My family loved the Chorizo & Egg Breakfast Casserole. You can prepare this the night before and bake it that morning. If you cannot find chorizo at your local grocery store, make your own homemade chorizo using ground beef, pork or something leaner like venison or buffalo.

The beauty of this dish is that there’s so much flavor from the chorizo and salsa fresca that you don’t have to add any seasonings to the dish – not even salt. As far as the added Benefiber? No one had any idea it was added as there was no weird texture or flavor.


  • 1 (16 ounce) container salsa fresca
  • 1 red onion, cubed
  • 1 sweet potato, shredded (leave skin on)
  • 6 eggs
  • 8 1/2 ounces egg whites
  • 1/3 cup Benefiber powder
  • 1 pound chorizo
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach
  • Queso fresca, crumbled (optional garnish)
  • Cilantro, finely chopped (optional garnish)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray a 9″ x 13″ baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Drain salsa fresca in a fine mesh colander. Set aside.
  3. Shred sweet potato using a food processor with shredding attachment. You could also do it by hand with a box grater if you’re strong enough! Set aside.
  4. Place eggs, egg whites and Benefiber powder in a medium bowl. Whisk until combined. Set aside.
  5. Removed chorizo from casings, if necessary. Cook chorizo in a large skillet over medium-high heat, using a spatula to break into small pieces. Cook until browned and cooked completely through.
  6. Add onion and shredded sweet potato. Cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
  7. Add salsa fresca and spinach to skillet. Cook until spinach begins to wilt, about 4 minutes.
  8. Pour chorizo mixture into the prepared 9″ x 13″ baking dish. Using a spatula, spread evenly.
  9. Pour whisked eggs over the top. Make sure to mix the eggs into the chorizo mixture with a spatula.
  10. Place in preheated oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes. When done, the casserole middle should not be wiggly in the middle and the edges should be lightly browned.
  11. Remove from oven, garnish casserole with a light sprinkling of crumbled queso fresca and chopped cilantro if desired
  12. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Cut and serve.
Prep Time: 40 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 10 Minutes
Servings: Serves 8
  • Serving size: 1/8 of casserole

Healthy Horchata

Healthy Horchata at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

I paired the spicy Chorizo Breakfast Casserole with a traditional Mexican drink designed to cool off your palate – horchata. I made horchata the easy way – instead of soaking rice overnight I just used rice milk. Much more convenient! I also sweetened it with stevia instead of sugar or agave to reduce the calories. What I love about horchata, besides that it’s dairy free, is the combination of cinnamon and vanilla. It feels sort of Christmassy even though it’s a cold drink that’s served all throughout the year.  If you’re making this for Sunday brunch, feel free to add a little rum to it!

Healthy Horchata

Makes 4 8-ounce servings


  • 4 cups plain rice milk
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup stevia
  • 2 tablespoons Benefiber powder
  • pinch salt


  1. Place all ingredients in a pitcher or large measuring cup with a spout.
  2. Whisk until combined and pour into glasses.
  3. Drink immediately. If contents settle, stir with a spoon.

I’m a Benefiber® brand ambassador. I’ve been compensated for my work and all opinions are my own.

Greens, Eggs & Ham Flatbread Pizza

Greens, Eggs & Ham Flatbread Pizza at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

I’m always on the lookout for food products that make it easier to get dinner on the table, like premade pizza crusts. That’s why I was excited to come across Flatout Flatbread’s Thin Crust Flatbreads Artisan Pizza at Walmart. (Find the store nearest you that sells Flatout’s Thin Crust Flatbreads here.)

I’ve been a big fan of Flatout Flatbread’s other products and was sad to give them up when I went gluten free. However, with Flatout’s Thin Crust Flatbreads, I can use these for my family and save my much more expensive gluten free pizza crusts for me. I’m sure my family will find these a bit more delicious, too.

I especially like individually sized flatbread pizzas since you can custom make them with everyone’s favorite pizza toppings – perfect for picky kids or those with food sensitivities or allergies. Flatout’s Thin Crust Flatbreads also make great party appetizers – just cutting them up into smaller, bite sized pieces. Finally, Flatout’s Thin Crust Flatbreads can be used on the grill as well as the oven.

A Seattle and Dr. Seuss inspired pizza

When I was in Seattle, I had the most wonderful salad – a chopped sirloin patty served on romaine lettuce with a runny egg on top - at Von's GustroBistro. Marvelous!

Salad with sirloin patty and egg at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

I started brainstorming about doing something similar with a pizza – greens, eggs, and ham like the famous Dr. Seuss story, Green Eggs and Ham! Instead of ham, I decided to use diced prosciutto since it would be easy to evenly sprinkle it over the flatbread. For greens, I used a mix of arugula and spinach, but feel free to experiment and use your favorite lettuce greens. I also used Flatout’s Spicy Italian Thin Crust Flatbread. If it’s too spicy for you or your family, use Rustic White, Heritage Wheat, or Rosemary & Olive Oil instead.

Greens, Eggs & Ham Flatbread Pizza at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Also, I should warn you there are hazards serving not fully cooked eggs to family and friends. If you have concerns, you can bake the egg until it’s cooked through. Or you can use slices of hard boiled eggs on your pizza instead. (Adjust cooking times accordingly to just melt cheese, cook greens, and warm egg slices.)

How to make Greens, Eggs & Ham Flatbread Pizza [VIDEO]

Check out these Flatout recipes from This Mama Cooks! On a Diet:

Greens, Eggs & Ham Flatbread Pizza at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Greens, Egg & Ham Flatbread Pizza


  • 1 Spicy Italian Flatout Thin Crust Flatbread
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup diced prosciutto
  • 1/2 cup shredded pizza cheese (I used a mix of parmesan, asiago, fontina, and mild provolone.)
  • 1 cup mixed greens (I used spinach and arugula.)
  • 2 eggs
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Using a pastry brush, brush on olive oil on one side of flatbread.
  3. Place flatbread oil side up on to a baking sheet or pizza peel.
  4. Evenly sprinkle prosciutto then shredded cheese on to flatbread.
  5. Cover the flatbread with greens. Make two small “wells” in the greens on either end of the flatbread to hold the eggs.
  6. Place in oven for 5 until cheese starts to melt. (If using a pizza peel, slide flatbread on to a pizza stone.)
  7. Remove pizza from oven. Carefully crack eggs into your wells in the greens. Gently put the pizza back in the oven.
  8. Continue baking for 13 minutes until the egg is cooked but still runny.
  9. Carefully remove the flatbread pizza from oven and sprinkle just the egg with a little salt and pepper. Allow to rest for a minute or two.
  10. Cut in half and serve. You can use pieces of crust to dip into the yolk. Or you can break the yolk and spread it over the surface of your pizza if you like.
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Total Time: 30 Minutes
Servings: Serves 1 to 2 people
  • Serving size: 1 to 2 servings

Greens, Eggs & Ham Flatbread Pizza at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Easy and healthy Mother’s Day brunch recipe: Avocado and Feta Frittata

Easy and healthy Mother’s Day dish: Avocado and Feta FrittataIf you’re a follower of my Instagram feed, you may have noticed that I make breakfast frittatas several times a week. That’s why this recipe from Avocados from Mexico really appealed to me as a delicious and easy-to-make Mother’s Day brunch dish.

You can make this even healthier by substituting egg whites for some of the eggs. (Use 3 tablespoons egg whites for one regular egg.) Another way to health up this dish is to used sundried tomatoes that aren’t packed in oil. You’ll need to soften them up by soaking in hot water for 15 to 20 minutes or so before chopping them up for the recipe.

Avocado and Feta Frittata

Recipe courtesy of Avocados of Mexico


  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 avocado from Mexico, halved, pitted, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, divided
  • 1/3 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 cups baby arugula, divided


  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat eggs with salt and pepper.
  3. Stir in half of the avocado, half of the feta and half of the tomatoes, and set aside.
  4. Heat oil (can be from the tomatoes) in a 9-inch oven-proof skillet over medium heat.  Stir in 1-1/2 cups of the arugula until wilted, about 30 seconds.
  5. Add beaten egg mixture. Cook until eggs start to set, lifting sides a bit to let uncooked egg run underneath, about 5 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and tomatoes.
  7. Transfer skillet to broiler. Cook until eggs are set, 1 to 2 minutes; remove from broiler.
  8. Sprinkle with remaining avocado and arugula. Serve hot.

Recipe and picture courtesy of Avocados from Mexico and used with permission.

Meatless Monday: The Passionate Vegetable cookbook review and a recipe for California Fiesta Quinoa Salad #meatlessmonday #glutenfree

California Fiesta Quinoa Salad from The Passionate Vegetable cookbook

Has your family participated in Meatless Monday yet? Maybe you’re reluctant to because someone in your family thinks veggies are yucky. Or maybe you’re just perplexed on how to cook up a vegetarian dish that’s filling and will be liked by all family members. That’s why you have to check out the new cookbook by Suzanne Landry, The Passionate Vegetable. Her health inspired recipes  promise to revitalize your life whether you’re a vegetarian or a meat lover.

You can tell that Suzanne is a health educator, because The Passionate Vegetable is as educational as it is inspirational. The cookbook includes a simple guide to food nutrition, suggestions for healthy vegetarian meals, transition recipes for the meat lover (love this!), and a guide to remaking your pantry to be healthier and vegetarian friendly. The Passionate Vegetable contains over 145 recipes including breakfasts, salads, soups, grains and bean dishes, and entries, as well as a chapter devoted to meat and healthy treats and desserts. It also features fantastic food photography for some but not all her recipes, unfortunately. Recipes I’m looking forward to making include Ratatouille over Spaghetti Squash and Roasted Fresh Figs with Goat Cheese.

Summer salads

With the weather getting warmer, I’m on the lookout for recipes that require a minimum of cooking and are more on the light side. This recipe from The Passionate Vegetable for California Fiesta Quinoa Salad fits the bill, since you can make it ahead of time in the morning when it’s cooler. Quinoa makes a terrific main dish since it’s an excellent source of vegetarian protein and it’s gluten free. Suzanne suggests adding leftover quinoa salad to scrambled eggs – just before the eggs set hard, add 1/4 cup and give it a stir. She likes this egg and quinoa salad dish for breakfast, but you could make it for lunch or dinner, too!

California Fiesta Quinoa Salad

Recipe from The Passionate Vegetable by Suzanne Landry from Health Inspired Publishing

Serves 6

Salad ingredients:The Passionate Vegetable

  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4  teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4  cup tomato, chopped (1 medium tomato)
  • 1/4 cup celery, chopped (1 stalk)
  • 1/2  cup cucumber, seeded and chopped (1 medium cucumber)
  • 1/2 cup scallions, chopped (4 scallions)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, cleaned and chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn, blanched
  • 1/2 cup cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup black olives, pitted and diced (Kalamata are the best!)

Dressing ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1   teaspoon hot red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
  • 2   tablespoon red wine vinegar or 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2  teaspoon sea salt


  • Boil 2 cups water and add salt. Thoroughly rinse quinoa in strainer. Place in boiling water, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 20 minutes or until grain is fluffed and water is absorbed.  Remove from pot into a large bowl and allow to cool before adding vegetables.
  • Slice tomatoes into 1/2-inch slabs and remove most of the seeds.  Then cut tomatoes into sticks and crosswise into ½-inch cubes.  This will give you evenly sized tomato pieces that won’t get mushy if the salad isn’t eaten right away.
  • Cut celery by slicing down the rib in the center of the stalk. If the stalk is large you might want to cut it in thirds. Then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces.
  • Slice cucumber lengthwise into 4 strips and then remove center seeds. Chop these strips into 1/2-inch pieces. Remove root ends of scallions and cross chop into 1/4-inch pieces. Toss cooled quinoa with all remaining vegetables, beans, and olives.
  • Mix vinegar, oil, hot pepper flakes, and salt together.  Toss lightly with salad.  Refrigerate for an hour before serving.  This will last 5 days in the refrigerator.

Recipe and picture used with permission.

Healthy St. Patrick’s Day snacks: Avocado Deviled Eggs

Avocado Deviled Eggs at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Looking for some green party food for St. Patrick’s Day that’s also healthy and naturally gluten free? This recipe healthens up a party classic – deviled eggs – by substituting avocado and plain yogurt for mayonnaise. You can sprinkle the tops with chives or blend them in for a punchier green, too!

This would also make a terrific healthy snack when the kids are reading Green Eggs and Ham at school.

Do you have a go to healthy recipe for St. Patrick’s Day?

Avocado Deviled Eggs at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Avocado Deviled Eggs


  • 6 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and cut lengthwise
  • 1 fully ripened avocado from Mexico, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1 tablespoon plain low or no-fat yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced jalapeño
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
  • Chopped chives (optional)


  1. In a small bowl, place egg yolks; add the avocado and mash until smooth.
  2. Stir in yogurt, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper, and mix thoroughly.
  3. Stir in jalapeño and onion, then spoon into egg white shells, dividing equally.
  4. Arrange on a serving plate. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 hours. (Don't serve long after 3 hours as the avocado will start to darken.)
  5. Garnish with chives, if desired.
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: 35 Minutes
Servings: Yield: 12 deviled eggs
  • Serving size: 1 deviled egg

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FREE egg recipe eCookbook from Eggland’s Best (offer ends February 15!)


Eggland's Best recently released their second original eCookbook, Your Best Recipes featuring the top 20 recipes from the first nation-wide Eggland’s Best “Your Best Recipe Contest.”   These delicious recipes were chosen from thousands of entries submitted by at-home chefs and bloggers, and each recipe highlights a creative way of using Eggland’s Best eggs.

The eCookbook, a $9.99 value, is available via a free eCookbook download only through February 15, 2013. That’s TOMORROW!!

Here’s how to download your FREE eCookbook:

  1. Visit Eggland’s Best special promotion page and connect your Facebook account to "like" Eggland's Best on Facebook.
  2. Once you've connected your Facebook account, click the red button to download your eCookbook.

The eCookbook features gorgeous food photographs and recipes for appetizers, main courses, breakfast and dessert. Some of the recipes on my “To Cook” list are Israeli Salad with Tahini Lemon Dressing, Grilled Shrimp & Asparagus Avgolemono (Greek Egg Lemon Soup), and Korean Bibimbap Salad.

Hurry! This free eCookbook download offer is only available through February 15, 2013.

Denver Egg Mug Scrambler


Recently, Egg Beaters launched their new Three Cheese product, made with all-natural, 100% real egg whites and a blend of cheddar, Swiss and provolone cheeses. It’s a terrific product to help you make a quick, delicious and healthy scramble or egg based dishes like quiche and breakfast casseroles. Egg Beaters Three Cheese has more protein – and fewer calories – than any other mainstream breakfast option. It also allows you to enjoy three times the food for the same calories as shell eggs.

Try using Egg Beaters Three Cheese in this mug scrambled egg dish. It’s a quick and easy way to serve eggs to your family on those busy weekday mornings. Prepare the ingredients the night before so your older kids can make it on their own while you’re making coffee or getting dressed.

Denver Egg Mug Scrambler

Recipe Courtesy of Egg Beaters

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1


  • PAM® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
  • 2 tablespoons chopped frozen bell pepper and onion strips
  • 1/2 cup Egg Beaters® Three Cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped thin-sliced lower sodium honey ham


  1. Spray inside of large microwave-safe mug with cooking spray. Add vegetables. Microwave on HIGH 30 seconds; blog vegetables dry with paper towel.
  2. Add Egg Beaters and ham to mug; mix well.
  3. Microwave on HIGH 45 seconds. Stir; microwave 45 seconds more or until set. Serve immediately.


  • The scrambler puffs up and fills the mug while cooking. It falls quickly once removed from the microwave.
  • Use a large (15-ounce) microwave-safe mug to hold the ingredients and to reduce the chance of overflow. Mugs that are wider and shorter work best. A 2-cup glass measure may be used as well.
  • Microwave wattages vary; adjust cook time as needed. Cook the scrambler until the egg is set.

Recipe and picture used with permission.

Breakfast Tacos with California Ripe Olives #kitchenplay

breakfast tacos

To celebrate National Taco Day, Kitchen PLAY and California Ripe Olives have challenged me to create a taco recipe. My family and I love to make breakfast tacos with whatever leftovers we have in the fridge, like carne asada or maybe leftover pork chops along with the eggs, peppers, cheese, salsa, and whatever else we have on hand. So adding California Ripe Olives seemed like a natural fit! I’m ashamed that I hadn’t thought of it before.

I’ve tried to health up this breakfast dish by using egg whites and adding just a little cheese to each taco instead of a large amount with the cooked eggs.

To save time I used already sliced California Ripe Olives. My children love to put whole olives on their fingers and eat them one at a time, however. So I always keep cans of both styles in my cupboards to use in recipes and as snacks. I also keep a supply of frozen, sliced peppers and onions in my freezer, which is another time saver. After all, who wants to spend time slicing and dicing peppers on a weekend morning?

Breakfast Tacos are perfect for using up leftovers and a great way to enjoy the taste of California Ripe Olives at breakfast time. You can connect with California Ripe Olives online at  Calolive.org, on Twitter at MissCAOlive and Facebook.

California Ripe Olives Twitter party

Join Kitchen PLAY, California Ripe Olives and some of your favorite food bloggers for a Twitter Party on October 16 at 7 PM ET where we’ll be chatting about this tasty, nutritious and versatile food, and testing our olive knowledge.  You’ll also be eligible to win great olive prizes, so RSVP for the Twitter Party here!

Also, beginning October 1, read all 10 posts at Kitchen PLAY celebrating National Taco Day with California Ripe Olives for clues. Each post contains an “olive fact” that may appear as a trivia question during the Twitter Party. A new post and fact will be revealed each day, Monday through Friday, until October 12. (Here’s my clue for you: California is currently harvesting the 2012 crop, which will continue through October!)

breakfast taco

Breakfast Tacos

Feeds a family of four


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 – 14 ounce package frozen bell pepper and onion mix
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced California Ripe Olives
  • salt and pepper to taste

For serving:

  • Corn tortillas – 2 to 4 per person
  • Cheese – shredded Mexican blend cheese and/or queso fresco
  • Seasonings – your favorite salsa and hot sauce
  • Avocado slices
  • Fresh lemon or lime wedges
  • Sliced California Ripe Olives
  • Optional: cilantro, raw onions (diced), fresh tomatoes (diced), or sour cream


  1. Heat oil in large sauté pan at medium high heat. Add frozen bell pepper and onion mix until hot and all water is cooked off.
  2. While peppers and onions are cooking, warm tortillas on a grill or frying pan on medium heat. Tortillas should be warm and flexible, not dry and crunchy. Keep wrapped in a clean dishtowel in a warm oven until serving time.
  3. Turn down heat to medium-low.
  4. Add eggs and egg whites. Stir to scramble and cook until eggs are nearly done to your personal preference. (I like mine a little moist.)
  5. Turn off heat and add olives to the pepper, onions and egg mixture. Stir to evenly distribute. Cook until heated through.
  6. Place egg mixture on a tortilla and add cheese, seasonings, and extra goodies. Fold and enjoy!

Note: if you find that your tacos are falling apart, double up on the corn tortillas. Also, make sure your tacos are made just before serving, otherwise they’ll get all soggy.

Celebrate National Taco Day!

Disclosure: I was compensated for my time and efforts to participate in this Kitchen PLAY event. All opinions and experiences are my own.

Thanksgiving leftovers: Easy Shrimp Fried Rice

Shrimp Fried Rice at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.comAre you still dealing with Thanksgiving leftovers? Fried rice may be the perfect way to use up those last bits of peas, ham or turkey from your holiday meal.

Recently, I had some leftover peas, rice, eggs and shrimp in my refrigerator. So I created Easy Shrimp Fried Rice with a little help from a packet of Fried Rice Seasoning Mix from Sun-Bird Seasonings.

I just followed the recipe on the back of the packet with a few substitutions like diced onion for green onions and gluten free tamari sauce instead of soy sauce. I healthed up the recipe a bit by using 1/3 egg whites for one of the egg and cutting back on the oil. I also used more shrimp and peas than the recipe called for since I wanted to use up my leftovers.

You can make this even healthier by using brown rice instead of white rice and adding more veggies. (Edamame or frozen mini lima beans would be a great substitute for the peas!)

Sun Bird Fried Rice

Sun-Bird Seasonings are a great way to make a quick, healthy meal from leftovers and whatever you have on hand in your refrigerator, freezer or pantry. What’s your favorite way to use up leftovers?

Disclosure: Guenther, the parent company of Sun-Bird, provided compensation for this post. All opinions and experiences are my own