Apr 26, 2014

New Food Adventures: Lemon

I never bought fresh lemons. In fact, I never liked them growing up!
I lived off lemon juice from concentrate, if I ever needed it. But once I learned how awesome lemons are as digestive aids and liver cleansers, not to mention they have antiseptic and antibacterial properties, I buy a bag every month!

So what do I do with all those lemons?
  • Drink lemon water daily to kick start digestive health and boost immune system
  • Zest and dry to save for toppings or lemon flavoring
  • Slice and freeze for ready to go water flavor enhances (or keep in water all day/change daily)
  • Make your own lemon infused cleaner
  • Get out stains/natural bleach alternative
  • Disinfect cutting board
  • Homemade salad dressings, use lemon in place of part or all vinegar
  • Squeeze a little lemon on sauteed greens (or broccoli) to cut through bitter flavor
  • Put slices of lemon in pan under fish to help cut the fishy taste during cooking (or squeeze over after)
  • homemade lemonade (just add some sweetener and water)

*Feel free to comment on other things you've used lemons for.

You can also do many of these with lime. Cooking rice in lime juice and adding cilantro is yummy.

Breakfast Pepper Cups

This is a fancy way to eat an egg. You would get the same taste and flavor via omelette or scrambled eggs. But it is fun, especially to change up things for a holiday or so. Bell

Peppers, cut in half
1 egg for each half pepper
precooked breakfast bacon or sausage
veggies of choice
1. Bake pepper halves open side up in oven at 375 for 15-20 minutes.
2. Sautee veggies if desired (onion, garlic, zucchini, etc.)
3. Place pepper halves in casserole dish and add the veggies and meat to each pepper half and top with one egg, salt and pepper.
4. Cover with foil and bake at 375 for 40 minutes or so (or until set).
*I like to cut mine in strip when I'm done and eat them like wedges. Could do a breakfast wedge platter I think, with a bowl of fruit salad on the side. And...my kids didn't eat the pepper, just the egg out of it. So...choose your battles (breakfast battles aren't a good way for me to start the day. so, this is a meal for me.)
*I also precook a big batch of breakfast sausage and keep small portions containered in our freezer for this and quiche and such.

Original idea from http://everydaypaleo.com/baked-eggs-bell-pepper/

Quinoa Pizza Bites

2 c quinoa, cooked and cooled (we like cooking it in chicken broth)
2 eggs
2 cups chopped pizza toppings (pepperoni, black olives, pineapple, ham, onions, sausage, peppers, etc.)
1/2+ cup cheese, shredded mozarella (or blend)
1 tsp Italian seasoning
Pizza sauce, for dipping

1. Mix all ingredients together in large bowl (without dipping sauce)
2. Fill greased mini muffin pan with large spoonful in each.
3. Bake at 350 for 12-20 minutes until fully cooked.

I looked at a few different recipes and just put this basic one together. It's similar to most.We love just simple pepperoni, cheese and maybe with olives or something. Nothing too crazy. I also tried putting pizza sauce in the pans instead of greasing it. It worked ok, but seemed more a waste than a help.

The variations of this are endless. We also like Mexican with black beans and corn and salsa/taco sauce. And you can do larger sized in regular muffin cup if you cook for 30 minutes. But we like the small ones. You can also make huge batches and freeze. Or are great for a party appetizer.