In A Pickle

Pickles can be pretty, too!

Pickles can be pretty, too!

I wish getting back into healthy living/weight loss was a 100% empowering moment. It’s a good moment- don’t get me wrong- but it’s not 100% empowering, especially if you’re someone like me. This is a marathon I’ve signed-up for a dozen times. Thus far, each time found me a) falling to the asphalt, grabbing my ankle, and limping off to the sidelines (less common), or b) starting the race strong, but being completely distracted by a taco cart on the sidelines of the race… mmmm… delicious tacos… and before I’m done licking Tapatio off my fingers I’ve completely forgotten I was supposed to be running a race (far, far more common). When I start this anew I feel like I have to acknowledge that this is something I’m an expert at failing at. And it’s totally killing my Xena-like war cry. So I’m not gonna right now.

So yeah. I haven’t updated in a while. But I’m back. Now let’s make pickles.

These quick house pickles are delish- even for people who don’t generally like pickles in a jar. It’s a great way to enjoy veggies without a dip or squirt of ranch dressing. Recently I entertained and made a platter of heirloom carrots, french green beans, red onion, and Persian cucumber pickles. It looked very chic and took almost no effort. There were no leftovers, but the pickled onions would have been fantastic on a sandwich or a turkey burger.

For the Stuffs:

  • 1- 1 1/2 lb of veggies. This can include almost anything. Carrots, onions, green beans, cucumbers, cauliflower, broccolini, asparagus, zucchini. Run Wild!

For the Brine:

  • 1 1/4 C Cider Vinegar
  • 1 C Hot Water
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 1/3 C Sugar or 1/2 C Agave Nectar
  • 2 TBsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 TBsp Whole Peppercorns, give them a good smashing
  • 1-7 Cloves Garlic, Chopped (I love garlic so I used a lot)
  • 1 Bay Leaf

1.) Dissolve the Sugar or Agave into the hot water. Add the peppercorns, bay, garlic, salt, lemon juice, and cider vinegar. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.

2.) Cut/trip your veggies so they’re uniform in size. If using carrots, green beans, cauliflower, broccolini, or asparagus, blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes. This really helps get a nice texture and color.

3.) Pack your veggies tightly into your pickling containers of choice (I used several tupperware containers) and pour the cold brine over them. Refrigerate for 24 hours. Serving size is 1 Cup.

Eat within a week. These are not the kind of pickles that hang out in your fridge for an eternity! 1 week tops!

Calories: 60  – Fat : 0 grams –  Carbs: 15 – Fiber: 4 grams – Protein: 1 grams

(Nutrition info given for pickled carrots)

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Garlic Brocoli with Sharp Cheddar

Apologies for the iPhone pic- but you can detect the hint of cheesiness lurking underneath 😉

Like most kids, I hated broccoli growing up. I remember watching Velveeta commercials when I was little, and seeing electric orange goo slather in ribbons over broccoli. Then the people in the commercial would eat the broccoli by the forkfuls, as though it wasn’t disgusting. My kiddie palate imagined Velveeta was an Excalibur of cheesy flavor that would slay all the icky bitterness of vegetables far and wide. Why oh why wouldn’t my mom buy this miracle cheese?!

She was right not to, of course, because Velveeta is quite gross. But my instincts at least were correct. Even though I like broccoli now, cheese still improves on it’s flavor. And since I can’t eat a lot of cheese anymore, I better make all that cheese count. Sharp and strong-flavored cheeses make every scant ounce pack a bigger punch. Buy a nice aged full-fat kind- It’s covering a lot of broccoli.

  • 3 Cups Broccoli florets
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 oz Sharp Cheddar, grated
  • 1/4 C Onion sliced thin
  • 1/4 C Water
  • olive oil cooking spray
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • pepper or red pepper flakes to taste

1.) Coat medium sized saucepan with cooking spray (make sure you have a lid handy for the saucepan, bonus if it’s a transparent lid). On medium low heat, saute onion until just turning translucent- About 4 minutes.

2.) Add water, salt, and garlic and cover until you see the mixture begin to simmer. Add all the broccoli and cover again. Once every minute use thongs to toss the broccoli in the saucepan to prevent the broccoli on the bottom from overcooking. Re-cover with lid after each stir until the broccoli is just cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. Florets should be bright green and you should be able to pierce the thickest stems with a fork.

3.) Uncover saucepan and take off the heat. Quickly sprinkle grated cheddar over broccoli and toss broccoli to coat. Grind pepper to taste. Serve warm.

Serves 4

Calories: 87 – Fat: 5 grams – Carb: 4 grams – Fiber: 2 grams – Protein: 4.5 grams

Veggie Egg White Omelets and Breakfast Stratege-ery

I recognize that a recipe for an egg white omelet is kind of lame. Almost everybody knows how to make an omelet, but it’s my first posted recipe. I’m on training wheels :).

Start your morning right, and set yourself up for a week of sauteed veggies!

Egg white omelets are a filling way to start and end the day. I saute a big batch of veggies and only use 1/4 for my single omelet. The rest of the sautéed vegetables I save for easy omelets later in the  week, or even salads, sandwiches, or an easy side-dish. Just about any mix of veggies will do, just try to cut them all in a similar shape/size so they cook in the same time.

  • 4 Cups sliced veggies. (I used red onion, carrot, and bell pepper)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh herbs. (I used cilantro)
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 Tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 oz Reduced fat Cheese, grated (I used a cheddar/jack combo)
  • pepper to taste
  • red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Olive oil cooking spray

1.) Slice up your veggies and set them aside in a bowl. Toss with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Use your hands to massage the oil and salt into the veggie mixture. This seasons every little slice, helps pull out water more quickly from the vegetables, and stretches the relatively small amount oil. The result: quicker cooking and a more luscious ‘mouth feel’.

2.) Heat a non-stick skillet on medium heat. Add the coated veggies and saute just until tender. Throw the fresh herbs in and then return sautéed vegetables back to the bowl. Carefully wipe down the pan and put back on medium heat. Coat with olive oil cooking spray.

3.) When pan is hot, add egg whites. When egg whites are almost cooked-through, add cheese and 1/4 the sautéed veggie mixture to one side of the pan. Flip egg whites over top to create the typical omelet semicircle shape. Sprinkle salt to taste. Serve on a warm plate with Tapatio!

Serves 1