Eggs in Chickpea Hell

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1 c tomato sauce (I used vodka sauce because I always have it)
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 pinch each of clove, cinnamon, and ginger
1 egg
1/4 c Parmesan cheese

Heat the tomato sauce over medium heat. Add the chickpeas and spices and cook for 10-ish minutes, or as long as it takes to shower. You’ve had a long day and need a shower. Crack the egg into a ramekin to make sure you don’t break it or get any shells in it, then slowly pour it into the sauce. Sprinkle the cheese over the egg, then cover and cook for 3 minutes. Can be served over rice or as-is.

Mario Batali has an “eggs in hell” recipe that’s a lot like this, but I wanted chickpeas in mine, so . . . this recipe got a very clever name . . .

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QUICKIE: Honey-lime chicken

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4 tbsp honey
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp soy sauce
dash Cayenne
1 lb thin-sliced chicken

Mix it all up, then stir-fry. You could increase the volume and use this for a grilling glaze, too.

Sautéed spinach and carrots with poached eggs

3-4 oz fresh spinach
1/2 c sliced carrots
balsamic vinegar and olive oil
2 fresh eggs*
salt, Cayenne to taste

Saute the carrots on medium heat with the oil and vinegar until they soften. Reduce heat to low, then add the spinach. Cover and let the veggies steam while you poach the eggs.

Bring a pot of water to boil. Feel free to add a little white vinegar, as it’s supposed to help the eggs stay together. I never do. Crack each egg into a small bowl. Once you’ve got a rolling boil, stir the water until it’s swirling like a whirlpool; this helps the egg stay together, too. Add each egg carefully and cook for 1:30 to 2 minutes, or until all the white is opaque. I like my poached eggs really soft and runny, so feel free to poach for longer, but not too much: the runny yolk on the veggies is crucial.

Put the veggies on a plate, then place the eggs on top. Top it all off with a sprinkle of salt and Cayenne. I love this, because it feels decadent, but it’s really pretty cheap and easy, if you can poach an egg, and you can. Don’t cheat and get one of those double boiler things like my mom used to have. They’re cute, and they make really nice soft-boiled eggs, but they don’t have the softness or richness of poached eggs.

*Fresh eggs hold together better than old eggs.

Creamy Chickpea Casserole

1 onion
3 strips bacon
8 oz cream cheese
6 oz plain yogurt
1 egg
1 c Parmesan cheese, divided equally
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 15 oz cans chickpeas
Italian herbs
salt and pepper
1/2 c Panko bread crumbs
olive oil

Dice bacon and cook until crispy. Dice onions, add them in, and cook until translucent. Meanwhile, mix the cream cheese, yogurt, egg, 1/2 of the Parmesan, lemon juice, and herbs. Add in the bacon, onions, and chickpeas, and mix well. Pour into a greased 9×9 pan. Mix the bread crumbs and the rest of the cheese with some herbs, salt, and pepper. Top the chickpea mix evenly, and pour on a little olive oil. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.

Dude, you don’t even know how freaking delicious this is. It’s creamy and crunchy, and it’s very filling. Best of all, the only real carbs are the bread crumbs (chickpeas don’t count. They don’t count, I say!!), and chickpeas are cheap and full of lots of good nutrients. Seriously, you should all make the heck out of this. It reheats and freezes well, too.

Pork ‘n’ Beans

3 slices bacon, diced
1 onion, diced
1 10 oz can* black beans
dashes of cumin, Cayenne, salt
balsamic vinegar (optional)

Cook the bacon until crispy. Drain off a little of the excess oil, then cook the onion until translucent. Add the beans and spices, and cook for however long you like. You can just heat it through, or you can stew it for a while until the flavors get all combined. Serve with rice, toast, whatever. Add balsamic vinegar if you love it.

Funny story, I was complaining on Twitter about having “nothing” to eat, and then I rattled off all the food in my house, and I decided bacon, onion, and beans sounded awesome. It is.

*I’ve tried many times to cook dried black beans, and I have failed each time. If anyone has any tips on how to cook dried beans and actually getting them soft, let me know.

Crustless Quiche (Breakfast Bake)

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butter
panko breadcrumbs
8 strips bacon
1 large sweet onion
2-3 green onions
6 eggs
1 c whole milk
1 to 1.5 c gouda cheese
thyme, cayenne, salt, pepper as you like it

Butter a glass baking dish, either 9×9 or 9×13. Be generous with the butter. Spread a thin, even layer of panko on the bottom of the dish. Dice the onions and bacon and cook until the bacon gets crispy and the onions start to caramelize. Spoon the mixture into the dish in a relatively even layer. Grate the cheese and add about half of it on top of the bacon and onions. Beat the eggs, milk, and seasonings until thoroughly mixed and maybe a little bit fluffy; don’t worry too much about the texture. Pour the eggs over the ingredients already in the dish and add the rest of the cheese to the top. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes or until the egg has completely set and the cheese is nice and melty and brown. Let it cool for about 15 minutes before serving.

My mom makes something like this every year for Christmas breakfast, but she uses a layer of bread at the bottom and sausage instead of bacon. It’s been one of those months where I feel really close to my family, so I was craving something familiar, so this happened. Also, I haven’t found a meat market I like in my new neighborhood, so eggs are my go-to protein these days. Like regular quiche, you can add whatever you’ve got to this, and it’d be good. I want to try it with Italian sausage and bell peppers.

Quiche à Frigo Vide

1 deep-dish pie crust
6 eggs
1 splash (1/4 cup?) of milk or cream
1 pack bacon (approx. 10 slices)
6-8 oz. kale
1 handful fresh parsley
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
dashes of thyme, nutmeg, and Cayenne

Pre-bake the pie crust at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes*. Cook the bacon and crumble. Chop up the kale and wilt it for a few minutes in a saucepan over low heat. Chop up the parsley. Whisk the eggs, milk/cream, and spices, making sure it gets a bit fluffy. After the things you cooked are cool**, add them, the parsley, and half of the cheese. Add it to the pie dish***, top with the rest of the cheese, and cook at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, or until the egg sets. Let it cool for 5 minutes before cutting. Serve hot, cold, or at room temperature. Quiche is just awesome like that.

I love quiche. It seems fancy, but it’s just eggs and whatever’s in your fridge in a pie crust. It’s also a good way to sneak in some vegetables. I’m moving in a week or so, so I’m trying to just get rid of stuff, and the quiche willingly took all my extra food and made something delicious. Add or remove whatever you like: good additions are onion, tomato, spinach, chicken, leftover fish, etc. Use more cheese, if you like, but that’s all I had left.

*This is optional, but I feel like it keeps the bottom of the pie from getting mushy.

**Otherwise, you’ll cook the egg, and you don’t want to do that yet.

***You’re about to cook it anyway, so what does it matter if the hot pie crust gives it a head start?

Spicy chicken mac ‘n’ cheese

2 chicken thighs
most of a box of macaroni*
1 stick of butter
1/2 cup flour
1 to 1.5 c milk
1 c sharp cheddar cheese
a good bit of Cayenne pepper (maybe 1.5 teaspoons? I didn’t measure.)
a serious bit of paprika (maybe a tablespoon)
salt and pepper
1/2 c panko bread crumbs
a few tablespoons sharp cheddar

Boil the chicken thighs. I might use more chicken next time, but it was clean-out-the-freezer day, and I had two thighs left. Once they’re cooked through and soft, drain and shred them. Boil the macaroni until almost cooked. Drain well. While the pasta’s doing its thing, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the flour and make a quick roux, just until the mix smells like cooked pie dough. Add the milk, stir well, and let it thicken up a little. Taste it and make sure it’s good n spicy. Turn off the heat and add the cheese, Cayenne, and paprika. Mix it with the drained pasta and shredded chicken and add that glorious slop to a well-oiled baking dish. Toast the panko with a little butter and salt, then sprinkle it on top of the casserole. Add the extra cheese, too. Bake it at 350 for, like, 15 minutes, until the cheese is alllllllll gooey, just how we like it.

I seriously felt like Paula Deen the entire time I was making this. Comfort food to the EXTREEEEEEEME!

*It’s midterms, so you’ll be craving mac n cheese this weekend. Save some for yourself.

Tuna Fried Rice

1/2 cup dry rice
1/2 large sweet onion
2 cloves garlic
1 5oz. can tuna
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp lemon juice
1-2 tsp dry sherry
2-3 tbsp soy sauce
salt, pepper, Cayenne to taste

Cook rice according to directions*. While the rice is doing its thing, mince the onion and garlic, and drain the tuna. Heat a wok or a large skillet with a little oil and cook the onion and garlic first, until the onion is soft. Then add the tuna to warm it through, then add the rice, then the egg and the liquids. Stir fry until the egg’s cooked. Season to taste.

Sometimes, you are a broke grad student who doesn’t feel like going to the grocery store, so you use up what you’ve got. I might add some scallions or bell pepper next time Also, if you have cats, they will go INSANE while you’re cooking this.

*This guy has an excellent method for making awesome rice that doesn’t stick: add however much rice you’re cooking to a pot, then add enough water so that when you touch the top of the rice with your index finger, the water comes up to the first knuckle. Seriously, regular rice never sticks or burns this way!

QUICKIE: Fake Curry

1/2 can chickpeas
1/3 to 1/2 cup pasta sauce (I used vodka sauce because that’s what I had)
1-2 tablespoons soy sauce
dash Cayenne
dash ginger
tiny pinch of cloves
chives (optional)

Mix everything together until heated through and serve over rice, pita, naan, whatever. So tasty and so cheap! If I had some tumeric and cumin, I’d have added that, and if you like cilantro (I think it’s nasty), Wikipedia tells me that’s a good addition to curry.