Ramekin Eggs: How to Perfectly Bake Eggs

Ramekin Eggs

I recently discovered how to bake eggs in the oven using ramekin dishes, and it’s an interesting and unique way to whip up your weekend eggs. I have been getting tired of regular scrambled eggs lately – they have been too bland for my super sophisticated palate. Baked ramekin eggs remind me of a cross between a poached and over-easy egg. They’re gooey in the middle but not completely runny. The best part about making ramekin eggs in the oven is that they come out like one of the molded eggs from a McDonald’s breakfast sandwich, except that it’s made fresh by you! Nice job.

Ramekin Eggs Sandwich

These eggs can be made by themselves or topped with any combination of ingredients. I wouldn’t try to fit more than 3 or 4 extra ingredients in there though, if you do, it will get too crowded and it won’t cook evenly. I went with broccoli, cheddar cheese and turkey sausage this past weekend. It turned out egg-celent.

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Quick and Easy Quinoa with Avocado Dressing

Quinoa with Avocado Dressing

Between travel and work, the past couple weeks have been busy and action-packed. It’s a huge cliche, but there are not enough hours in the day. Since I’ve been strapped for time, I’ve also been eating out more and subsequently spending more money on food than necessary. To get back on track, I decided to make something super easy for lunches this week. I baked some chicken and veggies, and whipped up this Quick and Easy Quinoa with Avocado Dressing. It took less than 30 minutes to make and only had 5 ingredients, leaving plenty of time to enjoy the weekend.

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Easy Braised Guinness Lamb Chops with Rosemary Sweet Potatoes

Braised Guinness Lamb Chops

I recently discovered how versatile beer is for cooking. I typically fall back on IPAs, pale ales or anything with hops. Though, with St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, I decided to break out the Guinness and make these Braised Guinness Lamb Chops with Rosemary Sweet Potatoes. I have been cooking with beer frequently, and have been pleased with the results (check out this Slow Cooker Beer Chicken to see what I mean). This recipe did NOT disappoint either. The sauce was rich and tangy, and the lamb was tender. It was exactly what I was looking for in a St. Patrick’s Day recipe.

Braised Guinness Lamb Chops Cut

The recipe is easy to make too. It’s what I would call an “easy braise” – you will be done in about an hour. Plus, you’re idle for most of that hour so you can enjoy it hanging with friends or watching The Office like I did.

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Greek Yogurt Apple Salad

Greek Yogurt Apple Salad

A few weekends ago I drove about an hour and a half to go to an Apple Orchard outside of Chicago. Picking my own produce (apples, berries, and peppers) for the week was fun, and the low prices really made the long drive worth it. We walked away with well over 20 apples, two containers of berries and a few peppers for about 20 bucks. Now, I’m sitting on more apples that I know what to do with, so I decided to make a simple version of a Fall apple salad – Greek Yogurt Apple Salad.

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Homemade Pop Tarts with Honey Blackberry Filling

Homemade Pop Tarts Main

I ate pop tarts every single morning as a kid. Cold, never toasted, and with a glass of milk – it was my go-to. Feeling nostalgic,  I decided to re-make my childhood favorite and created these Homemade Pop Tarts with Honey Blackberry Filling. They came together surprisingly easily, and tasted better than my go-to breakfasts of yore.

I took “homemade” very seriously in this recipe and scratch-made everything: the dough, the filling AND the frosting. The best part is that I only used 8 ingredients:

  1. flour
  2. salt
  3. butter
  4. cold water
  5. egg
  6. blackberries
  7. honey
  8. powdered sugar

To me, the extra work to scratch-make everything was worth it, and it was a fun weekend activity. Cooking and baking can be pretty relaxing sometimes. Though, if you are in a bind you could also just pick up some store-bought dough and jam (for the filling) and make this a lot easier on yourself.

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Simple Garlic Green Beans

Simple Garlic Green Beans Main 2

Simple Garlic Green Beans are one of my go-to sides. I typically try to prepare some meals in bulk so I don’t always have to worry about cooking during the week, but this is one recipe I have no problem whipping up mid-week. It hits all the criteria for being healthy, simple and economical:

  1. Healthy: green beans are packed with antioxidants and vitamins
  2. Simple: this recipe only has 3 ingredients and it takes 10 minutes to make
  3. Economical: a serving cost less than $1

The best part about this simple recipe is that it does not taste simple. In my opinion, garlic is the best way to add flavor to any dish, and it does not dissapoint with these green beans. It’s a major step up from just popping a bag of frozen green beans into the microwave, and much healthier than the famous Thanksgiving side – green bean casserole.

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How to Cook Over Medium Eggs

How to Cook Over Medium Eggs cooked

The over medium egg is often over looked for more popular egg preparations. Scrambled, over easy and sunny side up eggs are all great in different applications, but for me not much beats an over medium egg. It’s on par with baked eggs, and here you will learn how to cook over medium eggs quickly and easily.

If you don’t know what an over medium egg is, the best way to describe it is as an over cooked, over easy egg. Instead of a super runny yolk, you’re left with a slightly runny, slightly solid yolk. If indecision is your thing, this egg is for you.

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Irish Coffee with Coconut Whipped Cream

Irish Coffee with Coconut Whipped Cream

I was awoken last Saturday by construction workers at 8:00 AM. I’m a morning person, but even for me 8:00 AM on a Saturday was rough. Frustrated, and with nothing else to do, I headed out to the grocery store to pick up what I needed to make something for Economical Chef. St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner, so an Irish Coffee seemed right. This isn’t your every day Potato-eating Guinness-drinking Irish Coffee though, it’s Irish Coffee with Coconut Whipped Cream.

Yes, coconut whipped cream. It’s actually surprisingly easy to make. I used canned coconut cream, but I heard full fat coconut milk will work too if you can’t find it. Besides boasting a unique and tropical taste, according to the world wide web, coconut cream has a handful of benefits, most coming from its “healthy fats”:

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Blanched Swiss Chard in Light Garlic Butter

Blanched Swiss Chard

Blanched Swiss Chard in Light Garlic Butter is the perfect side dish for lunch, dinner or even breakfast. The natural bitterness of Swiss chard is minimized by the blanching process, and the garlic butter adds a light, savory flavor to this leafy side dish (while still keeping it healthy). This recipe scores a 10 and I look forward to making it again.

Blanched Swiss Chard Score
Photo From: Guy Speed

I actually just got home from a week-long trip across the Southwestern United States – visiting Nevada, Arizona and Utah. National Parks were the focus of the trip and I saw Grand Canyon National Park and Zion National Park. The sites and hiking were incredible.

Blanched Swiss Chard - Travel Blanched Swiss Chard - Travel Blanched Swiss Chard - Travel

With travel also came a lot of eating out and spending. It was minimized by following these tips, but eating out and spending more than normal is unavoidable when traveling. So, now that I am back home and back in my routine I am trying to cook and eat as healthy and economically as possible to make up for a week of traveling, eating out and spending.

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4 Ingredient Healthy Banana Pancakes

healthy banana pancakes

Simple and healthy banana pancakes are getting a lot of attention these days. I decided to jump on the bandwagon and created these nutty and wholesome 4 ingredient banana pancakes. They come together in about 10 minutes, so there’s really no excuse for skipping the most important meal of the day.

The simplicity of these pancakes also make them super dietarily friendly – they’re gluten and dairy free. More importantly, they’re healthy and wholesome, check out the high level nutritional info:

Per Serving:

  • 325 calories
  • 14 g fat
  • 10 g sugar
  • 10 g protein

What’s your initial take on the nutrition here? Here’s what I think:

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Let’s Make Rustic Oven-Baked Zucchini Cakes with Our Chef!

Oven-Baked Zucchini Cakes

For a while I’ve been wanting to make homemade tater tots – they’re trendy and everyone loves a good tot. I wanted to make my own recipe, something a little healthier, like a broccoli version similar to this one. Last weekend I decided to give it a shot, but I was fresh out of broc and had a zucchini staring me down in the fridge.  Zucchini tots it was. Only, I was feeling especially lazy and didn’t break out the food processor. Instead, I went the “rustic” approach and roughly chopped up a zucchini and shallot for this recipe. I quickly realized these were not going to hold up in tot form, but like any great “chef” I pivoted quickly and opted to make these Rustic Oven-Baked Zucchini Cakes instead! They turned out perfect, honestly. I was surprised, but they tasted like a savory potato pancake, except slightly better for you.

I added quinoa to the recipe last minute too. It was not cooked quinoa. I think it worked out well though, despite the fact that most baked goods with quinoa call for the quinoa to be pre-cooked. I thought it did a nice job of absorbing some liquid out of the Zucchini Cake and also providing a soft crunch in the finished product.

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