Saturday, January 24, 2009

Simple Yet Satisfying

I've been seeing a certain 4 letter word splattered all over the blog world the last few weeks. Have you noticed it? Do you know the one I mean?

D-I-E-T! Yes. This is the word to which I refer. Heaven knows that I should take heed and follow some of your leads and go on one of these. I know there are others that feel the same. But the truth is... I have always been very BAD at diets. Do you notice that whatever you are bad at, you seem to do poorly at and you just DO NOT like?

Okay. So let's drop the dreaded 4 letters and just say we need to modify or adjust some habits. Mostly I need and should exercise but frankly as a practically single mom with very small kids and a little business, not to mention some house work, when do you propose I do that? You see, I can type this in 5-10 minute increments. Or while the kids are watching a show or in between little things. But exercise is not so easy to fit in. And as some older and wiser women tell me, "the kids are only really little for such a short period of time."

Okay so let's just work on the food thing. I know I can do better in that department as well. One problem is that though I LOVE to cook, I often say I HATE to make dinner. By this I mean that making dinner is trying to decide what to make for dinner that is at least somewhat kid friendly, healthy, doesn't take too much time out of a busy day and isn't a fortune. COOKING is creating, playing, and fiddling around. Loving the ingredients and letting them help mold the meal. It is an act of love and passion. Making dinner is a way to nourish myself and my family in a healthy, efficient and sensible way. This is not always pure joy. Do you know what I mean?

Well here is one version of a dish I make that is quick, easy, affordable, luxurious and what I consider fairly light or dietetic at the same time.

I don't really know what to call it... Egg on spinach??? Spinach salad with poached egg? What I do is put a good handful of fresh, raw baby spinach on a plate. Meanwhile I caramelize onions and or shallots (in this instance, both) and poach an egg. I drizzle olive oil and possibly a tiny splash of vinegar and fresh ground pepper on the spinach, then top with the onions and egg. The heat from the warm onions and egg will slightly wilt the spinach making it just the perfect texture.

Look how appealing and colorful this is when the egg is cut open. This dish is rich and flavorful and more than filling and satisfying. It comes together in minutes. Spinach is packed with vitamins and minerals. The eggs have such great protein and the onions not only taste like candy but help burn calories to a degree. Now beat that!

The other night I paired it with a small slice of the Trader Joe's Tarte Alsace. I wanted just a little bit of crunch and feeling of bread and the crust is very very thin so I don't feel too too guilty about it. For a frozen food that is ready in minutes, this is amazing. It is probably my all time favorite frozen food of all time (aside from ice cream etc...). If you have a Trader Joe's near you, I highly recommend picking this up and keeping it stocked in the freezer for those night you just can't cook.

Stay tuned for my own homemade versions of the Alsatian Tart. I am still playing around some but have made a few. They are a crowd pleaser to say the least!


mikky said...

whatever you call it, it does look delicious... :)

Elra said...

I beleive this is my first time to visit you. Reading your post, I already know that I'll be back (sound like Arnold in that Terminator movie, ha ha).
Salad sounds delicious Nicole,

That Girl said...

It's almost like a salad carbonara!

Jaime said...

I hate the whole diet thing too. I prefer to try and work out and eat whatever I want...just smaller portions. Of course, I'm still working on the smaller portion thing, but I have started working out. At least you eat salad...I don't even do that. :)

Joie de vivre said...

You're right, it does look beautiful!

melissa said...

I'll buy the Tarte Alsace very soon. Thanks for the recommendation.

Love the salad... err, egg on spinach... ummm... :)

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

I know just what you mean about the difference between cooking and making dinner. Cooking is a great creative outlet and making dinner can be a chore!

I love your salad! Anything topped with a warm, oozey poached egg has got to be something special.

Nicole said...

Mikky- Thank you and welcome to my blog. Do come again.

Elra- So glad you like my blog. I am glad you stopped by. Please do keep coming back.

Kate- Good one! All I need is a little bacon!

Jaime- Aren't diets the worst. I have a hard time with portion control sometimes. Actually I find it easier at a restaurant.

Joie de vivre- Thank you!

Melissa- GO get that tart from TJs. I always have a few in the freezer for tired nights or when I haven't been to the market when I need to.

Susan- I am glad you understand the "cooking" vs. "making dinner" thing. Some people look at me like I am nuts!

Gloria said...

Nicole look delicious, really! xxGloria

annechovie said...

That egg on spinach looks so tasty - I am going to try it. Thank you and have a terrific week!

A World in a PAN said...

The Alsatian tart is called Tartiflette and yours looks delicious!

Lulu said...

The meal looks fantastic! We've been having the same problem in my apartment lately of "what to make that is inexpensive, fast, healthy, and yummy." Since my boyfriend is a picky eater I've given him homework of picking out two meals a week that he will not scoff at!

Anonymous said...

Love that salad with poached egg or whatever you call it. :-)
But don't ever, EVER, use the diet word on this blog again. hehe.

Abby said...

I love eggs in salad, esp. a boiled one with spinach, strawberries and bacon. I'm going to have to give this a try! It's so Italian...

Nicole said...

Gloria- Thank you, dear!

Anne- It really is delicious!

Laura- Thank you for the correct name. This is not my own tart actually but a frozen one from Trader Joes. Look for my own versions coming shortly.

Lulu- I hear you about the picky eater. My husband is the worst! Most kids eat better than him.

Zen- I hear you! I vow never to use that dreaded 4 letter again! ;-)

Abby- Is it Italian? I didn't even think of it. I love eggs in salad too. And it just seems to go with spinach.

Ari (Baking and Books) said...

Looks like a delicious meal! I too have seen the "diet" word all over the web. Personally, I don't believe in them. Balanced eating is what it's all about!

Anonymous said...

I am very good at bad dieting LOL
Your salad looks so delicious! If I eat like this I would not mind being on a diet at all!

deLa said...

YUM!! how did i miss this?? and i have all those ingredients left over from making pizza. woo hoo! making this salad!

Kim in the Kitchen said...

Hi Nicole! Tonight I tried the pizza dough recipe you recommended from Peter at Kalofagas and it was really good. It is a definite improvement over the recipe I've been using. Thank you so much!

My Carolina Kitchen said...

This is my first time to visit your blog. The spinach salad sounds delicious and easy. I like the idea of the poached egg as opposed to the normal hard boiled eggs chopped on a spinach salad. I'm going to have to give this a try.

Nicole said...

Ari- Welcome! I agree. I wish I didn't fall out of balance though.

Maryann- Perfectly said! I am good at that too. This IS my idea of a diet.

Dela- Did you make it? How was it?

Kim- I am so glad you liked the recipe. Peter is always a great source.

Sam- Thank you for visiting. I am really into poached eggs right now. So very French. Do try it and DO come again!