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On Friday night, my very sweet (and very fashionable) aunt asked me to make some appetizers for a fashion show she was hosting at her home.  My Aunt is a CAbi representative…she puts on super fun fashion shows in people’s homes and sells really adorable clothes.  She gives the women tips on shoes, handbags, accessories, and how to pair the clothes together.  I have been to a few of the shows before, and they are usually catered…by someone that does catering….for a living!  So, I felt a bit of pressure!   In the midst of the pressure, I forgot to take pictures during the cooking process, but I managed to snap a few (not very great quality) pictures of a some of the dishes!

One of my favorites of the night was Open Face Egg Salad Sandwiches, topped with crispy prosciutto.  These little sandwiches are much healthier than traditional egg salad…there is no mayo!  I was inspired to make them when I was watching Best Thing I Ever Ate on the Food Network.  One of the hosts favorite dishes “served chilled” was a soft boiled egg salad sandwich.  I loved the idea of using the egg’s yolk for moisture, so I started experimenting from there.  The result was a healthy, very tasty version of egg salad that is perfect to serve at any brunch, to take to lunch,  or to make for dinner and serve with a nice spinach salad!

Open Face Egg Salad Sandwich

6 Large Eggs

1/4 Cup Olive Oil

2 Lemons

1 clove of garlic

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

1/4 cup finely chopped green onions

2 Pieces of Proscuitto

4 Thin slices of your favorite bread (I used Focaccia)

The trickiest part of this recipe is soft boiling the eggs, without them being too soft. Fill a large bowl with ice water.  Then, bring a medium pot, filled half way with water, to a boil.  When the water begins to boil, drop in the eggs and cook for exactly 3 1/2 minutes.  Immediately drop the eggs into the ice water to stop the cooking and allow them to cool until you can peel them.  Peel the eggs,  cut them into 8 pieces  and toss them into a bowl.  Drizzle the eggs with olive oil and squeeze both lemons on them.  Mix in the garlic, salt and pepper.  Put the egg mixture into the fridge to chill.

When you are ready to serve, preheat the oven to 400.  Place the proscuitto on a cookie sheet and bake for about 8 minutes, until crispy.  Brush your bread of choice with olive oil, or spray the tops with cooking spray.  Place the bread slices on a cookie sheet and bake until lightly golden and crispy.  Break your prosciutto into pretty mid-size pieces.  Place a big scoop of egg salad on each piece of bread, sprinkle with green onions and top with a prosciutto.

Makes 4 open sandwiches…2 servings

I am always trying to come up with quick and easy, but tasty and healthy lunches and dinners.  I frequently make a big batch of brown rice on Monday and then incorporate it into different recipes through out the week.  I love brown rice because it is a complex carb and it keeps you fuller, longer.  It also provides much-needed fiber and B vitamins.

I like brown rice because of the nutty flavor and the hearty texture, but, I found this little tid-bit about it on WHFoods.com and now I love it even more…no more white rice in this family!

The process that produces brown rice removes only the outermost layer, the hull, of the rice kernel and is the least damaging to its nutritional value. The complete milling and polishing that converts brown rice into white rice destroys 67% of the vitamin B3, 80% of the vitamin B1, 90% of the vitamin B6, half of the manganese, half of the phosphorus, 60% of the iron, and all of the dietary fiber and essential fatty acids. Fully milled and polished white rice is required to be “enriched” with vitamins B1, B3 and iron.

So, here is a really quick recipe I made the other day for lunch using some brown rice that I made the day before.  It was filling, colorful and tasty!  Hope you like it too.

Shrimp and Pesto Dirty Rice

2 Cups Pre-Cooked Brown Rice (I prefer short grain)

1 teaspoon ground chipotle chili’s (you can use chili powder if you can’t find these)

1 teaspoon chicken boullion

1 clove fresh crushed garlic

3/4 Cup water

1/2  Cup chopped red onion

1/2 Cup chopped red bell pepper

Fresh cracked Sea Salt and Black Pepper

1 lb peeled and cleaned shirmp

2 Tablespoons Basil Pesto (I like to make a big batch and freeze it)

1/4 Cup crumbled Feta Cheese

In a medium pot over medium heat, combined the rice, chipotle powder, chicken bouillon, garlic and water.  Stir well and bring to boil.  After the rice mixture comes to a boil, cover it and reduce the heat to a simmer.

While rice is simmering, in a separate medium pan,over medium heat, sautee the onions and bell pepper with one teaspoon of olive oil, salt and pepper until thoroughly cooked and caramelized (the onion will be slightly golden at this point).  Turn the heat up to medium/high and add the pesto and stir.  Now, add the shrimp and cook for about 2 minutes…just until they are fully pink.  It is so easy to overcook shrimp, and when you do, they taste rubbery, so be careful during this part!

To serve, pour the shrimp over the rice and top with crumbled feta cheese.  Makes 2 servings.

Come Together…

I believe that a really good meal, a fresh batch of cookies, or a big cup of vanilla chai can bring people together in a way that not much else can.  It can say, “I love you” or “I hope you feel better soon,” or “I care about you”…it can make someone’s day.
I’m not a blogger…and honestly, it scares me a little bit!  I don’t know that I have anything very profound to say…but I do know that I love to cook…and I love to find ways to make really yummy but really healthy and nutrient rich food.  I love the idea of sharing recipes and therefore sharing culture and traditions…so, even though it makes me a little nervous, I decided to start a blog and take it as a personal challenge to actually write down my recipes, and share them!