An Easy Quiche

There are approximately 100 million recipes for quiche on the internet (that’s a rough approximation). You don’t need another one. BUT, you need this one. More importantly, you need to know how this easy quiche can fit into your life. Specifically, you need to know exactly how this particular quiche recipe can make your life a one million times easier. Ready to have your mind blown? Okay here we go.

First, you need to know why I love THIS particular easy quiche recipe. I love it because it is so dead simple that it is impossible to screw up. This is coming from the person who almost served a RAW quiche to her entire family of in-laws. Even I can make this easy quiche. This recipe is so darned simple because I 100% made it up myself. The problem I continually have with quiche recipes is I never have the stuff on hand to actually make them. There is an approximately 0.003% chance I will have ham on-hand on any given day (that’s 1/365, because 1 day per year I WILL have ham in my fridge and that day is Dec. 26). I don’t keep my fridge stocked with fancy French cheeses. I occasionally have broccoli but I find that I don’t really care for the taste of broccoli in quiche. So, I made this easy quiche recipe out of necessity from never ever having the ingredients to make a proper quiche recipe on-hand. Read more

Easy Cheese Plate

I have been known to overdo it when it comes to entertaining. In my past life, I would have steered away from this easy cheese plate, for fear it was too easy to impress. This has lead to disaster on more than one occasion (see: Mother’s Day). Add this to the list of the Taste Tester’s great annoyances. He has been known to complain or even be hesitant to host certain events due to this charming quality. But, he has a point. When you are overwhelmed and frazzled, it doesn’t really matter how good the food tastes, your guests probably aren’t going to have a great time. After all, your guests came to see YOU, not the back of your head as you stir pots and pull things in and out of the oven and maybe set off the fire alarm.

That’s why, when it comes to entertaining, I have tried to adopt the keep it simple policy. I have found that guests are impressed enough with your presence and the fact that they are being served a delicious meal. No need to make complex dishes, just focus on simplicity to maximize time for enjoying one and other’s company. Read more

The Best Frozen Pizza (in a convection oven)

The Taste Tester is an unabashed, unapologetic lover of ALL pizza. He is not discerning in his taste. Pizza, even pizza I would consider sub-par, is better than any other meal in his opinion. His standard in evaluating most of the things I make is-would he choose this over pizza? The answer is almost always no.

This makes eating out a challenge. Pizza is usually the cheapest option when eating out or getting take-out. And, since eating out is usually a rather unhealthy endeavor, the Taste Tester hates to waste his calories on a meal he considers only average. Therefore, we eat a lot of frozen pizzas, as they are usually cheaper and more convenient than eating out.

For as long as we have been together, the Taste Tester’s go-to frozen pizza brand was Tombstone. Pepperoni to be exact. But recently, we wondered, is this still the best frozen pizza? There have been so many recent developments in the frozen pizza realm, so we decided we should get to the bottom of it once and for all.

The Test

To determine the very best frozen pizza, we sampled a pepperoni pizza from each brand. They were each cooked in my microwave convection oven, not my conventional oven. I think this may have had an effect on the crispiness of the crust, but once we started with the convection oven, I did not think it was fair to switch. We will do another test using the conventional oven and see if that changes the results.

To help you interpret our opinions, you should know that the Taste Tester loves pepperoni and it is his preferred pizza. I like all kinds of toppings but am normally satisfied with pepperoni as well. I also prefer thin crust while the taste tester usually likes New York style pizzas, but is open to all types of crust without a strong preference.

Each pizza was rated by both the Taste Tester and myself in each of the following categories:

Crust
Toppings
Sauce
Overall

We rated them on a scale of 1-10 in each category, which left a total possible 40 points from each of us, for a total of 80 possible points.

The Results

The Taste Tester and I, in the interest of science, will continue to test as many frozen pizzas as we can get our hands on. I have summarized the scores here and I will link to the reviews as I write them! This is completely unbiased and we were not in any way compensated or requested to give these reviews. Believe it or not we took it completely upon ourselves to conduct this experiment.

Freschetta Brick Oven: 73.1%

DiGiorno Stuffed Crust: 65.6%

Red Baron Classic Crust: 50.6%

DiGiorno Rising Crust: 47.5%

Meijer Pizzeria Hand Tossed: 45%

Kroger Rising Crust: 45%

Kroger Simple Truth Organic: 15%

 

DiGiorno Rising Crust Pizza

For this test, we tasted the DiGiorno Rising Crust Pizza. At Meijer, this retails for $5.49, but we found it on sale for $4.88.

Total: 38/80; 47.5% 

The Breakdown:

Taste Tester

Crust: 4/10

Sauce: 6/10

Toppings: 6/10

Overall Taste: 5/10

Total Score: 21/40

Foodiocentric:

Crust: 3/10

Sauce: 3/10

Toppings: 6/10

Overall: 5/10

Total Score: 17/40

 

Both the Taste Tester and I were relatively satisfied with the amount and the quality of the toppings on this pizza, but I felt it was way too much crust. The crust was soft on the bottom, it was hard to get this one cooked through without burning the top. I definitely felt the sauce here gave the distinct frozen pizza taste.

 

 

Bacon, Black Bean, and Corn Tacos

ESHA Logo
Calories
3683 cal
Fat
270 g
Carbs
82 g
Protein
279 g


Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info

Yields 4

Bacon, Corn, & Black Bean Tacos

20 minPrep Time

25 minCook Time

45 minTotal Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe

Ingredients

  • 7 strips bacon
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2-3 jalapeno peppers, chopped and seeded (or leave the seeds, this is to taste)
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 4 ears corn, removed from cob (or about 3-4 cups)
  • Milk, to taste (optional)
  • 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • Toppings: cilantro, sour cream, salsa, lettuce, tomatoes, etc.

Instructions

  1. In a cast iron skillet (or other large skillet), fry bacon to desired crispness.
  2. Remove bacon from skillet and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Leave the bacon grease in the skillet over medium-low heat.
  3. Add the onion, followed by the peppers to the bacon grease and cook about 5 minutes, until soft but not brown. Reduce heat if needed.
  4. Add the corn to the pan. Fry corn until cooked through, about 15-20 minutes. If you want to make this step even faster, microwave the corn on the cob for 5 minutes. This will mostly cook the corn then it should fry much more quickly.
  5. For a creamier-style corn, you can add a bit of milk at this time. I forgot about the milk so I did not try it this way.
  6. Once corn is cooked, stir in black beans until heated through.
  7. Cut bacon into small pieces and add to pan or use as a topping for the tacos.
  8. Makes 4 servings of two tacos each.
7.6.3
20
http://www.foodiocentric.com/2016/08/bacon-corn-and-black-bean-tacos/

Ahhh August. Is there anyone who doesn’t love this time of the year? I mean, sure, it’s hot, but all the best things are in season. Tomatoes. Peaches. Corn. This is the time of the year to figure out how to use these fresh ingredients in as many ways as possible. Like turning corn into corn tacos. With bacon. Do I even need to say more?

corn taco 1

3 more weeks of summer means 3 more weeks of corn! (That’s right southerners-it’s still summer up north, no school until after Labor Day!) I have been buying it by the dozen and freezing it for winter. This weekend I got 5 ears/$1. Can you beat that? This year, the Taste Tester, who previously was not a big fan of corn, has come around to liking it. Partially because I have been grilling instead of boiling and partially because it’s so cheap! I was nervous about this recipe since he is not a big fan of corn, but he really liked it* and we ended up enjoying the leftovers** for dinner the following night. (Leftovers from meals the Taste Tester doesn’t care for end up as my lunch!)

corn taco 2 Read more

Sweet Potato Breakfast Pizza

Sweet potatoes have a special place in the heart of both the taste tester and myself. In the first 26 years I spent on earth, I cannot think of a single time, outside of Thanksgiving, that I ate a sweet potato. Then, seemingly all of the sudden, around 2012, sweet potatoes started having a “moment.” Sweet potato fries started popping up on menus and it seemed that their popularity soared. Or maybe that was only in my head. Maybe the sweet potatoes were there all along and I just hadn’t bothered to notice.

Read more

Buffalo Chicken Greek Yogurt Alfredo

This buffalo chicken Greek yogurt Alfredo is the absolute ultimate I have nothing in the pantry meal. Maybe this isn’t the case for you, but Frank’s hot sauce and Greek yogurt are absolute staples in my house. We (or rather the taste tester’s incredible mom) buy Frank’s in three packs at Costco and I always have a very large container of yogurt in my fridge. I would not be caught without either of them. Read more

Soup Solves Life’s Problems + Greek Lemon Chicken Rice Soup

 

It’s no secret that things have been a little crazy since I started working. I am sure it is evident by the lack of new blog content I am churning out. As I said to my co-worker, this whole “full-time job” thing really takes up too much of my time. School had its drawbacks, but the flexibility and amount of free time is hard to give up. Even though law school probably took up well over 40 hours per week, being able to do it on my own terms made a huge difference. This whole having to be somewhere from 8:30-5:30 not including the commute really puts a damper on things like making dinner.

So, I have developed a new survival plan. “Plan” might be too strong of a word. More like habit or routine if you will. It’s easy. It’s healthy. And it works.

Greek Lemon Chicken Rice Soup 1

Want to know my grand plan? SOUP. That’s right, the one thing holding my sanity together right now is soup. Here’s what a typical week looks like:

Sunday: Make soup, wash dishes

Monday: Eat soup, wash significantly less dishes

Tuesday: Eat soup again, run dishwasher

Wednesday: Hope we have enough soup to last one more day

Thursday: Realize I am out of soup and have no plan for dinner, panic ensues

Friday: Eat pizza

Saturday: Eat leftover pizza

Sunday: Repeat

Genius? Insanity? You tell me. The wonderful thing about soup is it can be done a million different ways. It keeps beautifully in the fridge. The recipes can be tripled, quadrupled, frozen, re-heated. Most variations are healthy. It’s warm and satisfying in a way no salad ever could be. It can be easily paired with a multitude of side dishes and is the perfect way to round out a dinner of veggies, salad, cheese and crackers, or sandwiches.

Greek Lemon Chicken Rice Soup

This has become my new model every week and I have to say it shows no signs of stopping. The taste tester doesn’t even like soup and even he is on board. The key is skipping over the wimpy, broth-based soups and gravitating towards the heartier stews and chilis. On many Sundays, I bake up a batch of whole-grain bread, cornbread, or biscuits to supplement. Poached eggs can make a three day old batch seem fresh. The possibilities are endless.

Note: I ate this soup for dinner three nights this week, then took it in my lunch today! It is that good! As a general life-hack, every time I make a batch of soup, I freeze a few lunch sized portions in microwave safe containers. That way, I always have something to grab on my way out the door on busy mornings.

Greek Lemon Chicken Rice Soup
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup rice (any type will work)
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
Instructions
  1. Heat 1 T. olive oil over medium-low heat in the bottom of a large pot or dutch oven. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add broth, rice, lemon juice, and bay leaves. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until rice is cooked. Cooking times vary widely, so consult the back of your rice packaging.
  3. Taste and add salt, as needed. The amount of salt needed will vary widely based on the saltiness of your broth. I add about 1 tablespoon of kosher salt.
  4. While the rice is cooking, whisk the eggs in a large bowl.
  5. When rice is cooked, remove two cups of the broth into a measuring cup with a pourable spout.
  6. Very, very slowly, pour broth into bowl with eggs while slowly whisking. Do this too quickly and you will end up with scrambled egg soup.
  7. Once combined, add egg mixture back to rest of soup.
  8. Add chicken and cook until heated through.
 

 

Cheap Eats: Greek Yogurt Pasta

Pasta has a pretty bad rap these days, and mostly for good reason. The serving sizes are pretty puny when compared to its vegetable noodle equivalents and I don’t find it particularly filling. If you make a meal on only pasta, you may find yourself feeling pretty chubby over the next few days, especially if you are a carb-avoider like me!

BUT, this pasta, is SO WORTH IT! First, it couldn’t be easier to prep. It comes together so quickly and it could be a one-pot meal if you skip the mushrooms. Second, instead of loading up the carb-heavy pasta with a creamy, fat-laden, coma inducing sauce, these noodles are nestled in a pool of Greek yogurt. And, as we all know, Greek yogurt is pretty low in calories and has tons of health benefits such as providing protein, being super filling, and filling your belly with lots of good bacteria. Not to mention, this is CHEAP to make and will last several days in the fridge. Read more

Greek Pizzas with Roasted Chickpeas

So last week I told you about a few “misses” in the kitchen. I think we all have those sometimes or at least it makes me feel better to think I am not the only one. Of all the meals my mom cooked for me over the years, I only really remember one “miss.” It was a mandarin orange salad, which must have been way ahead of its time, because at that time in my young life mandarin oranges in a salad seemed baffling. The thing is, I have no idea what the salad actually tasted like, I only remember teasing my mom relentlessly about the dreaded “orange salad.” Now I have to assume that in 20+ years of cooking for a family this cannot be the only miss my mother had, but it is the only one that comes to mind. So here’s hoping that my misses fade into the background of the taste tester’s memory! Read more