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Unda-Style Avocado Quesadillas

June 16, 2011
Thank you all so much for your enthusiastic response to the ‘healthified’ recipe project! Between your comments and e-mails, I now have a full list of recipes to choose from. My plan is to slowly work through the recipes over the next couple months, but bear with me if I’m a little slow at getting to your recipe or suggestion. Things are a little crazy over here.
While I’m 100% over the moon about getting married, I’ve started to realize that it takes significantly more work to prepare dinner in a mixed veg-carnivore home. Because it takes a little more planning, and because we don’t have a single, combined kitchen right now, Joey and I have defaulted to going out to eat on the weekends more times than I’d like to admit.
I’m not entirely sure what that has to do with these Unda-Style Avocado Quesadillas, inspired heavily by 101 Cookbooks. I guess it’s just the fact that I’m now constantly thinking about how I would make the meals I eat into something Joey could get excited about, too. 
Take, for example, these quesadillas. Unda-style is a term used for when you cook an egg on one side of your flatbread, quesadilla, crepe…you name it. Basically it’s code for pure flavor nirvana. I guess you could say it’s the vegetarian’s quivalent to an egg atop a juicy burger. 
My man-adaptation for this recipe would probably include a little bit of shredded chicken in between the layers of tortilla and egg, or perhaps a bit of ground beef tossed with some cumin and coriander for an extra kick of flavor. And if I were feeling ambitious, some flaked white fish would make a light and fresh addition. 
For me, they were perfect on their own. No addition of meat necessary. 
Those of you who are married or dating: Did you find it difficult to combine your eating style with your significant others’?
Unda-Style Avocado Quesadillas 
*1 large egg + 1 egg white
*Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
*1 whole wheat tortilla
*1/4 cup crumbled Cotija or feta cheese
*1/2 avocado, mashed
*1/3 cup marinara sauce or salsa 
*In a small bowl, beat together the egg and egg white until very well combined. Sprinkle with salt and stir to combine. 
*Heat a small amount of butter or oil in a small nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add egg to skillet and cook 2 minutes, until egg is set on the bottom but still soft on top. Place the whole wheat tortilla atop the soft egg in pan. Flip the egg and tortilla so the tortilla is on the bottom. 
*Fill with crumbled cheese and mashed avocado on one half of the egg. Fold in half. Continue to cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to plate.
*Top with the marinara sauce or salsa and additional salt and black pepper, if desired. 
Happy Cooking!

Vegetarian Sausage and Egg Strata

January 3, 2011

Happy Monday, everyone! I’m beginning to think that no matter how many days of vacation I take, there will always be that feeling that it was just one day too short. After looking at my piles of laundry, some clean and some not, I feel like I could use one additional day to sort, clean and lay around in my pajamas. Anyone with me?

But back to work I go, and to start off the new year and work week right, I made myself a Vegetarian Sausage and Egg Strata. Because if one thing was made apparent to me over the past week, it was the fact that cooking for a vegetarian seems to cause many people a whole lot of stress.

In my neck of the woods, the concept of vegetarianism is a little bit uncommon, meaning that putting together a meal for someone like me makes them cringe just a bit. Of course, I would gladly just have everyone make what they normally would and eat whatever I could, because having people make special arrangements for me isn’t my style. But people often cook to please and delight those they love, so making something vegetarian-friendly becomes a priority.

I hardly expect anyone I visit to start making veggie-centric meals any time soon, but if you’re hosting a vegetarian for breakfast anytime soon, this would most certainly be a pleasing option for all. And if you don’t have access to vegetarian sausage links, go ahead and substitute a cup of chopped raw broccoli or some diced red and green peppers.

Vegetarian Sausage and Egg Strata
(Printable Recipe)

*2 whole wheat English muffins, cubed 
*6 large eggs
*1/2 cup milk
*1/4 tsp. black pepper
*1/4 to 1/2 tsp. salt
*1 tsp. Italian seasoning
*2 vegetarian sausages, chopped
*1/4 cup Swiss cheese (optional)

*Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8×8-inch baking dish. Place the cubed English muffins in the bottom of the dish. Set aside.
*In a medium bowl, beat together the eggs and milk until well-combined. Add in the pepper, salt and Italian seasoning, followed by the vegetarian sausages and Swiss cheese, if desired. Stir to combine.
*Pour the egg mixture into the greased baking dish. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the center is set and the edges are golden brown.
*Allow mixture to set 10 minutes before serving.

Happy Cooking!