The Best of 2013

My, oh my – if Pinterest is anything to go by, a lot of you are gearing up for a Whole30 in January.  Just for the record, I will not be joining you.

Anyhoo, this week’s Spin Cycle, in which I haven’t participated in forever (sorry about that, Gretchen) is “The Best of 2013.”

2013 wasn’t necessarily the best of years – in fact, I can’t remember the last time I was this anxious to put a year behind me.  Don’t get me wrong; it wasn’t all bad.  Some of it was very good.  But it was almost unceasingly stressful, and I’d just as soon not repeat that in 2014.  (Good news:  the new year is looking much better.  I will MAKE it better.)

At any rate, since so much of my year was unbloggable, I thought I’d jump on what seems to be the end-of-year food blogging bandwagon and post my Top 10 Recipes of 2013.  The results, which took me most of yesterday to ascertain, are interesting, to say the least.

10.  Roasted Root Vegetable Hash

Roasted Root Vegetable Hash. This simple and colorful autumn hash can be made with any variety of squashes and root vegetables.

All I can say is y’all must really like roasted root vegetables – I posted this recipe in November and here it is on the list.  That’s a LOT of pins and page views in just 6 weeks.  Of course, the fact that the hash is simply delicious doesn’t hurt.

9. Breakfast Enchiladas

Breakfast Enchiladas. Perfect for Sunday brunch, this easy-to-make casserole can be assembled the night before.

In a way, I was a bit surprised to see this one on the list.  But in a way, I wasn’t.  Because, hey – enchiladas for breakfast.

8. Pan Roasted Cauliflower

Pan-Roasted Cauliflower. The humble cauliflower gets a boost with the the fresh and lively flavors of lemon and chives.

This one is a testament to just how delicious simply prepared vegetables can be.  Food doesn’t get much better than this – quick, simple, delicious and nutritious.

7. Chocolate Raspberry Pancakes

Chocolate-Raspberry Pancakes

I’m afraid I can’t take credit for this one – it was part of a swap I did with the incredibly talented Alex Boake and is her recipe.  It is also the most pinned recipe I posted this year – a testament to it’s yummy deliciousness.

6. Winter Squash Casserole

Winter Squash Casserole. This delicious and simple casserole is perfect for a chilly autumn day - or your holiday table.

Alas, another one I cannot take credit for.  My friend Barbara, a professional chef, posted the general instructions for this one on Facebook – I immediately asked her if I could post the recipe when I made it.  Gracious as always, her reply was, “Go for it.”  This was the second-most pinned recipe in 2013.  (Lesson learned:  I know a LOT of good cooks.)

5. Curried Mango Tuna Cakes

Curried Mango Tuna Cakes. Give the humble tuna cake a sweet and spicy twist with curry powder and diced mango!

Surprisingly the only recipe on the list to actually include meat, this one caught the eye of Mark Sisson and made one of his Weekend Link Love posts back in May.  Based on my Gluten Free Crab Cakes (the second most popular recipe of all time here at the Sushi Bar), this is a great way to use that line-caught canned tuna in your pantry.

4. Enchilada Sauce

Enchilada Sauce. So simple and delicious, you will never buy the stuff in the can again.

The third most pinned recipe of the year.  The Breakfast Enchiladas make a lot more sense now.

3.  Mushroom and Spinach Quiche

Mushroom and Spinach Quiche. Gluten-free, dairy-free and low carb, this crustless quiche is unbelievably delicious.

This recipe certainly deserves the #3 spot on the list – it is absolutely delicious, Whole30 compliant, and special occasion/guest worthy.  It is, in my humble opinion, the best quiche recipe on the site.

2. Breakfast Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Breakfast Stuffed Sweet Potatoes. All of your favorite breakfast foods stuffed in a delicious, nutritious sweet potato!

Its popularity on Pinterest, Foodgawker and Tastespotting conspired to put this simple-yet-delicious mixture of baked sweet potatoes, scrambled eggs, breakfast sausage and cheese in the #2 spot this year.  It also helps illustrate just how much we all love a good breakfast/brunch recipe, since there are four of them on the list.

And the Most Popular Recipe of 2013 is…

#1 Spicy Avocado Egg Salad

Spicy Avocado Egg Salad

I was all “Really?!?” when I saw this was the most viewed recipe I’d posted this year (nearly 10,000 page views) – after all, it’s just egg salad with salsa and mashed avocado stirred in, served with sliced mango.  I guess it never pays to underestimate the combination of simplicity, taste and nutrition.

So, there you have it – the 10 most popular recipes of 2013 from the Sushi Bar.  I can’t wait for the coming year – have I got some surprises for you in 2014!

Migas

Well, hello there.

If you’re wondering if I’d fallen off the edge of the earth, you’re not alone – I’ve been wondering that myself.  But no, just extremely busy (more on that tomorrow).

I’d mentioned a bit earlier that ever since The Young One has been off to college, I hadn’t felt much like cooking.  Or at least cooking anything worthy of a blog post; most of it’s been either recipes I’ve posted before, or stuff so simple that you could hardly call it “cooking.”  A lot of it couldn’t even remotely be considered “paleo” (but again, more on that tomorrow).

At any rate, I have prepared a few things worthy of a photograph and blog post – this is one of them.

My first husband was (is, I suppose, since he’s still living) Hispanic, and his grandmother was one of the finest cooks I’ve had the privilege to have known.  It was she who introduced me to authentic Mexican cuisine, rather than the Tex-Mex I’d grown up with, and her handmade tortillas, refried beans, menudo, and caldo de res were beyond compare.  I couldn’t wait for the holidays every year, when she and my mother-in-law would crank out enormous batches of tamales, both sweet and savory, and the buñuelos she made us as a treat for New Years were the best I, or probably anyone else, have ever tasted.

And she introduced me to Migas.

In the Mexican-American household – or at least, her Mexican-American household – Migas is a simple dish of eggs scrambled together with bite-size pieces of corn tortillas, and I loved it from the first time I took a bite.  Having said that, it occurred to me when I made this particular recipe that I hadn’t eaten it in over 25 years.  You see, when I was pregnant with Darling Daughter (in 1986 – yeah, I’m that old), migas was one of those things that, for no good reason I could tell, just turned my stomach – I simply couldn’t eat it. (Pregnancy will often play horrible tricks like that on you.)  I re-entered the workforce when she was about 6 months old, and I guess it just never occurred to me to ever cook it again.  I don’t know why.

Fast forward to a couple of days after Christmas.  Jolly and The G Man had spent Christmas Eve with us, and I had made Mexican for dinner, which included beef and cheese enchiladas.  (Hey, it was our Christmas Eve dinner – we could eat what we liked.  And we did.)  So, here I was, left with half a package of corn tortillas sitting in my fridge, softly calling to me, “Here we are…are you going to let us go bad?’

The answer to that would be, “No.”  And Migas, which Beloved had never eaten before, was the result.

Ironically, this version is a gussied-up, restaurant-style, Tex-Mex version of the simple dish Grandma taught me, but that doesn’t make it any less delicious.  You can, of course, make it with just the eggs and tortillas, but the addition of the vegetables is just wonderful.  You can also leave out the cheese and half and half for a dairy-free version, or you can leave out the tortillas if you’re avoiding grains.  It won’t be Migas without them, of course, but it’ll still be pretty darn good.

Migas. Simple Tex-Mex comfort food at its finest.

Click the image to enlarge

Migas
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 8 corn tortillas, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup shredded pepper jack or cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Whisk together the eggs and half and half until well blended; set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables begin to soften and the onion turns translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the jalapeno and cook for another minute more.
  3. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter to the pan. Stir the tortillas into the vegetable mixture and cook for one minute; pour in the egg mixture and stir gently to combine. Reduce the heat slightly and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the eggs are softly scrambled. Season lightly with salt and pepper, then gently stir in the tomatoes.
  4. Divide the Migas between 4 plates; top each with cheese and serve immediately.
  5. Nutrition (per serving): 479 calories, 30.8g total fat, 430.2mg cholesterol, 350.2mg sodium, 457mg potassium, 27.7g carbohydrates, 4.3g fiber, 3.8g sugar, 23.7g protein

Roasted Sprouts and Spuds

I’m still not doing a lot of cooking; in fact, we’ve pretty much been living off of Thanksgiving leftovers for the last 5 days.  Today, though, I’ll probably freeze what’s left of the turkey and toss the rest.  I’m sick of looking at it.

I made this dish for the first time last week a couple of days before Thanksgiving, and loved it so much I made it again for lunch the next day – it was just delicious with the Cider Glazed Chicken Bites.  Really, though, it’s delicious no matter what you serve it with – heck, I’d probably be perfectly happy eating a great big ol’ bowl of just this, it’s that good.

It’s so tasty, in fact, that I’m willing to bet that even if you don’t like Brussels sprouts, you’d like this.  Roasting is such a good way to prepare vegetables – it does wonders for strong-tasting veggies like Brussels sprouts, and shredding or thinly slicing them cooks them more quickly than leaving them whole and gives them a great texture, completely devoid of the “woodiness” that can sometimes plague the nutritious little beauties.

And then there’s the potatoes; whether you choose to eat them or not, if you say you don’t like roasted potatoes, you’re either fibbing or just odd.  That’s okay, of course…I’m not exactly the poster child for “normal” myself.

To make the preparation easier, I ran the sprouts through the slicing blade of my food processor.  I used the fingerlings because it’s what I had on hand; you can use whatever kind of potato you have on hand – yes, sweet potatoes would be fine, and would make it Whole30 compliant – but if you’re using large spuds, I’d cut them into 2″ cubes instead of just slicing them in half lengthwise.

Roasted Sprouts and Spuds. Healthful and seasonal, this side dish is just delicious, and couldn't be easier to prepare.

Click the image to enlarge

Roasted Sprouts and Spuds
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 3 cups thinly sliced Brussels sprouts
  • 4 ounces fingerling potatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  2. Combine the Brussels sprouts and potatoes in a large bowl; drizzle with the olive oil and toss to coat. Add seasonings and toss again.
  3. Spread the vegetables on a shallow rimmed baking sheet and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring once halfway through the cooking time, or until the sprouts are beginning to brown and the potatoes are fork tender.
  4. Serve immediately.
  5. Nutrition (per serving): 232 calories, 14g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 1448.7mg sodium, 799.8mg potassium, 24.5g carbohydrates, 6.7g fiber, 3.4g sugar, 6.2g protein