How to make a quick meal from eggs and random vegetables

There are some nights when all I have available to make dinner are eggs and random vegetables. To be honest on some of these nights I end up calling out for pizza, but most times I end up making a Frittata. Since I know that you probably have nights like these as well, I thought it would be a great idea to share this recipe with you so you have a healthy alternative.

The Frittata is a simple egg dish that can be made on a stove within 30 minutes. The fun part is that it can be made out of leftovers and make great leftovers themselves. You can even make them out of leftover spaghetti.

The Basics of a Frittata

I got my first Frittata recipe from a book called How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman, and this book gave me a good grasp of the basics that I’m going to share with you. So here goes:

  • Oils: 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil.
  • Onions and Garlic: Onions are a great way to build flavor into this dish. You don’t have to use garlic if you don’t have the time to peel and mince it, but it also adds great flavor. If you have the time, let the onions really cook on medium heat for about 3 to 5 minutes to let the natural sugars come out. Trust me you will taste the difference.
  • Meat: For this you can use any kind of meat and you don’t need a lot of it. I like using bacon and sausage here. Yes they are fatty, but a little indulgence every now and then can be a good thing. Add some salt and pepper at this stage to beef or chicken to start building flavor into the meat. If you are using sausage that is already smoked, add it after the vegetables. If the meat is raw put the meat in before the vegetables to let it cook, then add the vegetables.
  • Vegetables: Like the stir-fry from the other poat any vegetables you have on hand will do. Again no cucumber, you don’t want watery eggs. Also for vegetables like spinach that release water when cooked, steam them first and drain the water before adding it in so you don’t end up with watery eggs.
  • Eggs: 1 per person.
  • Spices to taste: Again like the stir-fry I still focus on our traditional combo of salt, pepper, curry and thyme.

So Here is How to Make It

My version of the Fritatta is more of a bunch of vegetables held together precariously by a few eggs. Granted I could use more eggs, but I focus on no more than 2 servings of the Animal or Plant Protein per serving. Also note that the recipe serves four. I always make enough to serve four because it is easier to work with.

Frittata

Serves Four

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil [you can use vegetable oil instead]
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 12 scallions (spring onions), chopped
  • 2 chili peppers, deseeded and diced (I used a jalapeno, and you can use 1 rodo if you are brave)
  • Thyme, curry, salt, and pepper to taste
  • 4 oz sausage (or meat of your choice)
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • Thyme, curry, salt, and pepper to season the eggs
  • 2 oz cheese (optional)

Instructions

  • Heat the oil over high heat in a large and deep frying pan
  • Add the onion and garlic, stir them into the oil, and lower the heat to medium
  • Add the spring onions and jalapenos, stir them in, and cover to let the steam from the vegetables cook them down for about 5 minutes
  • Add the spices to taste here
  • Add the sausage or your meat of choice and let cook for 2 minutes
  • Season the eggs to your taste
  • Add the eggs to the vegetables. Use a spoon to move the vegetables around so that the eggs can fill the spaces and hold the dish together
  • Top the eggs with the cheese if you are using and lower the heat to low
  • Cover and let cook till the eggs are set. This will take between 5 to 10 minutes

That’s it!!!

You can enjoy it at breakfast with some bread.

Breakfast Frittata

Or at dinner with even more vegetables or with plantain.

Dinner Frittata

Take Action

If you plan to make this dish, I want to know – what non-starchy vegetables would you want to use to make your Frittata?

P.S. Like what you just read? Then subscribe to get my weekly newsletter in your inbox. You’ll get the link to weekly blog posts along with exclusive newsletter content that helps you get the body you want without extreme workout programs or restrictive meal plans. Subscribe by entering your first name and email address in the boxes below and clicking the “subscribe” button.

How to whip up quick healthy meals with this simple cooking method

Today we are going to shift over into cooking. Regardless of whether you are married or not, most of us think of healthy food as food that you have to struggle to put down and food that you are not excited to eat again. The emphasis on this recipe being “husband-approved” is because when it comes to eating, men can be very picky. For instance:

  • I like my food fresh, no microwaves for me
  • Or I don’t want brown rice I don’t like the texture
  • Or even, I’m not trying to lose weight, so why do I have to eat healthy

In Comes Stir-Frying

Stir-frying leaves all three objections in the dust and here is how:

  • It Saves Time: You can make stir-fries fresh in less than 45 minutes. If you don’t use meat and use eggs or canned beans, this drops to 30 minutes. So you can make fresh food without sleeping in the kitchen
  • What Brown Rice?: There is so much stuff going on in a stir-fry that you barely even notice that it is there, trust me I have tested it 😉
  • Healthy Eating Isn’t Just about Losing Weight: Eating a stir-fry healthy foods that can have you feeling satisfied and energized for hours

Cooking and eating stir-fries are is a great way to fill your diet with unprocessed whole grains, vegetables, meats, and unsaturated fats. And this is what healthy eating is all about. Let’s bring this back to your goal of losing weight, getting a flat stomach, or getting into your favorite dress. Stir-fries can help you achieve these and more because:

  • They are a super convenient way to eat healthy because you can make them with almost anything you have on hand
  • They are almost impossible to mess up. I didn’t know how to cook very well when I first started to lose weight, and I never messed up a stir-fry
  • They are traditionally packed with vegetables, so you can get more food on fewer calories than the traditional meal of rice and stew or swallow and soup. This means you feel satisfied and not deprived while eating less and eating healthy food
  • And when they are done right, you can actually get your day’s worth of vegetables in one sitting, but I generally shoot for at least two servings of vegetables per one serving of a stir-fry. So let’s get down to how to make one

The Basic Components of Stir-Fries

Now that you know how stir-fries are good for you and what they can do for you it’s time to get into how to make one yourself. Instead of focusing on a recipe, I want to show you how you can build one with the ingredients you have at home right now. Stir-fries consist of:

  • Oils: 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil. Use 2 tablespoons only if you are cooking for more than two people. Canola oil is a great unsaturated fat alternative here
    Flavorings: Garlic, onions, and/or ginger are a great way to get the pan started before the meat goes in
  • Meat*: Diced chicken or beef. Add some salt and pepper at this stage to start building flavor into the meat. Beef will take longer, but regardless you should cut your meat into small pieces so that it cooks up faster
  • Vegetables: Any vegetables you have on hand; the only one I don’t use cucumber much as it hasn’t given me great results, but anything else would work .
  • Eggs (Optional): 1 per person, or if you are not using any other meat use 3 for two people
  • Brown Rice: If you don’t like the texture of brown rice, I promise you it gets lost in everything else and you only get the occasional chewy texture. Also because there are a lot of other ingredients, you don’t need too much. I recommend ½ cup of brown rice per person. You can use white rice if that’s all you have
    Spices to taste. I’m still getting used to spice combinations, but I still focus on our traditional combo of salt, pepper, curry and thyme and I throw in one more for good measure. I’ve used turmeric, saffron, cardamom among others

Based on the guidelines above, you can come up with a large number of stir-fry variations so that you don’t get bored. The key here is to use your creativity and what you have on hand to make a delicious and healthy meal.

Time Saver Alert

Doing an hour or so of prep on the weekends will save you a ton of time during the week because all you will be doing is adding the ingredients as they are ready to go in, no chopping necessary! Here are some suggested time savers:

  • Prep Your Meat: Similar to vegetables you can prepare your meats by cutting them into bite sized pieces over the weekend.
  • Prep Your Vegetables: Cut up a variety of vegetables during the weekend and you can use during the week. You can do this for just about any vegetable and you can store it in the freezer or fridge. If it is in the freezer, you can bring into the fridge in the morning to use for dinner.
  • Cook Your Rice Ahead: You can make a big batch of brown rice over the weekend and use it to make fresh stir-fries during the week. It is the only thing that takes a long time to cook out of all the ingredients.
  • *Use Legumes: Use canned beans instead of meat. Just make sure you drain the water from the can and rinse the beans to reduce the salt content as most of them tend to be packed with a lot of salt. Since the beans is already cooked, you can add it towards the end. You can also use pre-cooked beans similar to rice [/textblock]

A Quick Note about Vegetables

Try and cut them to about the same size so that they cook evenly. You should also add them in a certain order so that the vegetables that take longer to cook can have the time to cook and so that you don’t end up with mushy vegetables for those that don’t take as long. Here is the order I suggest:

  1. Hardy vegetables like carrots and green beans. Let them cook for about 3 – 5 minutes
  2. Other vegetables like green pepper, cabbage, and green onions
  3. Leafy greens like ugwu and spinach

Here is a sample recipe to give you an idea of what a meal will look like.

Sample Recipe: Egg and Vegetable Stir-Fry

Egg and Vegetable Stir-Fry
Simple Egg and Vegetable Stir-Fry

Time: About 30 minutes with prep i.e. chopping and mincing

Serves 2

Note: You can easily scale this up. This means that if you are cooking for four, multiply the ingredient amounts by 2 and so on.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon oil (vegetable or canola works)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 inch ginger, minced
  • 1 large bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 large eggs, whisked separately in a bowl, you can add some spices here to give it taste before it joins the rest
  • 1 cup of cooked brown rice
  • 2 cups spinach, chopped
  • Curry, thyme, pepper and salt to taste
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric

Method

  • Heat up your oil in a pan over high heat. You don’t need a special pan. You just need one that can handle high heat and contain the ingredients.
  • Add the garlic and ginger and stir for a minute, don’t let it burn
  • Add the bell pepper and let it soften, this takes about 3 minutes
  • Add the egg and stir it in while it fries to scramble it
  • Then add the brown rice and let it heat up
  • Finally add the spinach and cover the pan to let it all steam together. Leave for about 3 – 5 minutes
  • Add spices to your taste, and voila, you are done

This meal tastes great when it’s hot and fresh, but just as good as leftovers. Note that if you use meat you will add it after the ginger and garlic, and also note that the meal will take longer to cook.

Happy Experimenting!

Take Action

Head to the comment’s section and let me know what your favorite go to healthy meals are OR if you are struggling to eat healthy, what is your challenge? Let me help you find a solution.

How to make a “healthy” bowl of indomie noodles

This morning, I decided that it was an indomie kind of day. And since my mom had hooked me up with a whole carton of the pepper chicken flavor, I was all set. Healthy eating is a lot about making sure you prioritize the foods that are good for you and put those that are not so hot on the back burner. But since we are all human, there will be times when all that we want to eat are foods that are usually on the sh*t list of foods. Indomie is one such food and will be the focus of today’s post.

24 - What to Do When You Want Indomie

I had mentioned a while back that while Indomie was on my list of non-negotiable foods, I decided to keep away from it altogether because it didn’t have any redeeming qualities and here is why I said that:

  • The pre-portioned packs are huge. For instance the small sized pepper-chicken is the equivalent of five grain servings
  • It is fried. While noodles can be made by frying or hot air drying, the ingredients list of indomie and the fat content clues me in to the fact that they are probably fried. Oil is the second ingredient and the small pack of pepper chicken has 15 grams of fat
  • It tastes amazing i.e. It’s one of those “once you start, you can’t stop” kind of foods for me

So the question becomes, how in the world can indomie be made part of your new lifestyle? Here is how to hack indomie so that you can have it on those rare days that you want to have it:

  • Only go for the small packs. The super packs are just asking for trouble
  • Consider one small pack two portion sizes. If you are cooking for yourself only, get a container ready so that you split it and pop it in the fridge immediately. If you are cooking for your family, assign one pack to two people
  • Skip the oil. There is no need for it as indomie already has oil
    Add some good stuff; I mean vegetables. While you can’t put earrings on a pig and call it a princess, you can dress it up a bit. I suggest going for low cal veggies like tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, green onions, and cucumbers
  • Add some meat. Go for a boiled egg per person or one piece of sardine [not the entire can] per person

We crave what we crave, and if Indomie happens to be one of your things, now you know one way you can enjoy it without guilt.

Take Action

I want to know. Share your plan to incorporate your “not so healthy” foods into your new and improved healthy lifestyle.

 

How to enjoy the non-negotiable foods you love

How to enjoy the non-negotiable foods you love - Team by EJ

The reason why diets don’t work for a lot of us is because they usually don’t include the foods that we love to eat. These are foods that I call non-negotiable foods. This means that for however long that you are dieting, you’re overriding one of the ways that you get enjoyment.

A Lifestyle Change on the other hand requires moderation i.e. understanding that you can have what you want in moderate amounts rather than nothing at all. The difference between both is subtle, one says none at all while the other allows some.

This brings me to the topic of non-negotiable foods. When overhauling your eating habits, your first step should be to write a list of foods that you think you cannot live without.

In most cases learning the nutritional information or impact of these foods usually results in slowing down or stopping their consumption altogether. And in some other cases, you just learn to enjoy them in small quantities or in some other way.

Here is my example list of some of my non-negotiable foods and how I hacked them

Let’s start with Indomie

Indomie is a Nigerian brand of Ramen noodles. And I used to love indomie, but when I realized that indomie was deep fried, it dawned on me that it didn’t belong in my eating pattern.

You see, not eating fried food and not drinking my calories are two simple strategies I use to keep my eating pattern healthy.Plus, if we think about it, indomie is not VAFs™ so it was hanging in 10% food territory and it didn’t belong on my exclusive list of non-negotiable foods.

So Limiting indomie from my diet was a conscious personal choice rather than a rule from a diet book and it’s one that I’m happier and healthier for.

Then there’s fried plantain

Fried Plantain: This one was a biggie. I think my love of fried plantain is genetic. Due to the oil content, 2 fried plantain has about one serving of carbs if you’re in the counting game.Have you ever tried eating just 2 fried plantain? It doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of a proper meal. So I focused on what I loved about the plantain, the sweetness.

Instead of focusing on the fact that I “couldn’t have” fried plantain, I constantly remind myself that I can have it every once in a while and go for roasted or boiled plantain all the time. And I’ve even taken to adding a little bit of cinnamon and salt to take plantain to the next level.

And then the sweets!

Finally I love sweets, and going without something sweet for more than a week at a time has me chasing down a cheese cake like a dog running after a bone.Again, I focus on the base taste of cake and other sweets like it – the combination of buttery and sweet. One way I hack this is to have something sweet during the day.

An example is a slice of whole wheat toast with a pat of butter and a little jam. To me that combination tastes like cake and satisfies my sweet tooth for about 50 calories and some whole grains.

Hack your non-negotiable foods - Team by EJ

So how do you take action with what you just discovered?

Here are some ideas:

  • Understand what it is in particular that you love about each of these foods
  • Spend five minutes doing a bit of research to determine if these foods can fit into your eating plan
  • If they can’t fit, find clever substitutes that can still give you the satisfaction that you get from these foods

It’s all about going from the subconscious enjoyment of food to consciously choosing foods that are healthy and still give you enjoyment.

By the way, this isn’t the same as choosing cheat meals. That’s a whole different post in and of itself, but this is a great start.

Your next step?

Do you want a weight loss plan that helps you lose weight without feeling deprived? Then check out Weight Loss for High Achievers. It’s a great guide that can help you design a self-care routine that helps you eat healthy, lose weight, keep it off, all while taking care of those you love. Click the button below to learn more about the book, get a free preview, or get a copy for yourself. There’s an entire chapter…Chapter 7…dedicated to helping you get the results you want without feeling deprived.

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How to handle unsure food situations like a boss

How to handle unsure food situations like a boss - Team by EJ

If you spend time networking for your business or have any kind of social life, sometimes you’ll get invited to an event with a buffet line or a menu that you don’t have access to beforehand. These are what I call unsure food situations and your next conversation with yourself [yes you talk to yourself, we all do, it’s okay] goes like this:

Do I not go to this party/event because I don’t know what’s going to be served? What if they don’t have anything healthy to eat? What if they have all my favorites and I go all out? Maybe I won’t go, or I could make it a cheat day?

When your food choices are blurred, your first instinct to skip an event that could get you and your business visible or make it a cheat day are normal. But doing those things are knee jerk reactions that are inconsistent with what you need to grow your business while being a healthy boss lady.

The first reaction is to skip saying “I can’t handle this so I might as well skip it all together” while the second reaction to have a cheat day is saying “What lifestyle change? Let’s have a whole day of indulgence and go back to it tomorrow.” Both of those reactions don’t work because:

  • At some point there is going to be that one event that you can’t miss, and you would have had no practice in dealing with a situation like this when it inevitably rolls around
  • Habits are built by the things you do everyday, and having a full on cheat day flies in the face of the fact that habits cannot be put on a shelf and taken off when the need strikes. It takes consistent practice

Instead you should make a plan of how you are going to navigate the event without compromising the good habits you have built.

Here Are Some Actionable Ideas

  • Eat Around the Event: In the grand scheme of things, its just one meal and you are better off making sure that the food choices that you make for the other meals in the day are the healthiest that you can make. The other meals are the ones you have control of. So rather than skip them to “save your calories” for the event, eat meals that are a balance of the food groups. Load up on whole grains, lean meats, fruits, and vegetables and by the time the event comes around, you won’t be so hungry that you eat too much to compensate for the fact that you haven’t eaten all day
  • Select Your One Item: Rather than making the whole day about a “cheat” commit to filling your plate with the healthiest fare that is available and picking that one thing that you really want. Most parties serve salads, get a salad, the healthiest carb available, skip the fried stuff, and pick the one food on display that you believe you can’t do without. Eat the others first and take your time with your one food. Having this one food last can give the illusion that it was all you ate
  • Don’t Drink Your Calories: I think the worst offenders at parties are the drinks. There is juice, champagne, wine, beer, and of course even the deliciously sweet cocktails. But there is also water. While drinking water might seem like no fun, it frees up calories for the other things that won’t fill you up with gas and sugar. Water also keeps you hydrated so that you can dance the night away. And with your meal can take up space that makes you feel full without the sugar crash that comes with calorie-full options

So remember:

  • if you have a party
  • an office event
  • or any situation with an unsure food situation

It’s not an all [cheat day] or nothing [skip it] proposition. I’ve given you at least three options.

It’s time to take action

Join me in the comments section and share more options for handling events like a boss.

The strategy you share might help you be another busy woman’s hero because you might share something she hasn’t even thought of that could make her life so much easier. OR… You could remind yourself of some of your favorite tried and true strategies.

I can’t wait to read them!

 

What Do You Do When You Overindulge?

What Do You Do When You Overindulge? - Team by EJ

Having a social life and overindulging seem to go hand in hand. So it’s no wonder that most of us who decide to start eating differently to lose weight or get healthier automatically shrink our social lives to do it.

I remember once when I got invited to a dinner party at a friend’s and I was prepared for it, or so I thought. I had loaded the front of my day with fruits and vegetables, and had saved my carbohydrates for dinner.

When party time rolled around, I was prudent. This meant I took my time before having appetizers, paced myself when I eventually did, and stayed away from the alcohol (I wanted to be on my best behavior and save the 7 calories per gram), It was going very well.

Then. The enchiladas (cheesy, gooey, delicious flat breads filled with meat, beans, and cheese) and rice came out and things started to get interesting. By the time entrees were served, I was full but I decided to have some. Then the sugar cookies and pudding came out, and it was game over.

Does this sound familiar?

If it does, do you wonder what to do afterwards?

My answer is NOTHING.

Here’s why you should do NOTHING after a night or two of overindulging?

Trying to course correct after every indulgence is selling yourself a reality that doesn’t exist. You’re not going to eat perfectly all the time. You’ll have indulgences and when you do indulge it’s critical for you to continue as normal.

Yes there’s this idea that if you normalize it, you’ll lose control. But you won’t.

Here’s how I know…

In the past my usual reaction is to change my plan and promise myself that tomorrow onward would be perfect. No cakes, no sweets, no refined carbs, no [insert diet offender here]. But this was counter productive to reaching my fitness goals [and can be for you too].

Because you know what, life Happens. We can plan all we want, but life will throw us curve balls. If we keep resetting when things don’t go according to plan, we won’t reach the goals we set for ourselves.

There’ll be days when the healthiest food available to you all day is a cupcake with green icing. On those days a habit of resetting every time you indulge or overindulge won’t serve you. Instead:

  • It’ll just mean that you keep start over and over again
  • It also creates a mindset and habit of looking at food as good and bad rather than as nourishment
  • It makes you constantly run in circles i.e. you engage in yo yo dieting

Here’s what you should do instead

  • Live: Go about the rest of your day like everything is normal. This is because everything is normal. This means, if you planned to workout, workout. If you planned to rest, rest
  • Listen: Listen to your body and give yourself what you need. Your first instinct might be to restrict your meals, but you don’t need to do this. Your body will tell you when it needs fuel, by way of hunger. And if you listen, it’ll tell you when it’s full. So take some extra time to ask what you really want to eat and go for it; if you were eating to a plan, then carry on with the plan
  • Investigate: Find out why you felt the need to overindulge
  • Strategize: When you are far removed from the situation, come up with strategies that can help you deal and choose your preferred behavior if the situation presents itself in the future. The preferred behavior in this case is having just enough

So what did I do today after a day of indulging yesterday? I practiced yoga, spent some time with a friend, and I hung out poolside with some thin crust pizza and some lime-spiked water. Bottom line, exactly what I planned to do.

It’s time to take action

So, on to you. When was the last time you over-indulged, and what was your reaction i.e. what did you do?

Share in the comment’s section and let’s see about more creative ways to get and stay off the hamster wheel of yo yo dieting.

I read and respond to every comment, and I’m looking forward to hearing what you have to say.

Being able to indulge without guilt is important enough to be Tool #6…

In You Don’t Need a DietI break down why diets don’t work to help you get healthy and lose weight, but I also share the eight tools you need to get results without dieting + how to get started no matter how busy you are.

You Don't Need a Diet Team by EJ

Featured Image Credit: picjumbo.com