Meals in a Pinch or For a Pinch

Due to the Easter break, I did not post a recipe last week.  So, because we all need a little bit of fabulous on a Monday, today you get two!  Here you have it – meals for when you’re in a pinch – short on time or groceries, or short on breathing room in your jeans.  Enjoy! (Arlene)

Creamy Roasted Tomato 

Basil Rainy Day Soup

(Gordon Ramsay)

 Tomato Soup


2 tbsp. olive oil

1 Red Onion, roughly chopped

3-5 cloves garlic (to your preference 🙂 )

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Splash white wine

6-8 large tomatoes, halved

3-4 sprigs fresh thyme (leaves only)

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp sugar

2 bunches basil, roughly chopped

11 1/2 – 2 cups vegetable stock

1/2 cup cream

A few leaves of basil for garnish


Heat oven to 350F.

Heat oil in a flat bottom roaster (I used a nonstick 9×11) over medium heat (I placed it over two same size elements).  Sweat the onions until they begin to caramelize, approximately 10 minutes.  Add the garlic and sweat a little farther. Once garlic has softened add balsamic vinegar, cayenne pepper and use wine to deglaze pan (can use stock as a substitute).  Place tomatoes in pan cut side down add basil, thyme, salt and pepper plus sugar. Once the cut sides of the tomatoes are browned, move pan to oven for 20-25 minutes.

After 20-25 minutes remove pan from oven and place back on stove and add stock until stock reaches about 1/2 way up tomatoes.  Bring stock up to an easy boil and allow to boil for approximately 5 minutes.  Add the cream and mash tomatoes with a potato masher or use an immersion stick blender (or pour all into a food processor or blender) and make as rustically chunky or as smooth as you like.  Garnish with basil leaves. So good with grilled cheese sandwiches on a cold day.  Enjoy!

My favourite high protein quickie breakfast

Eggs and Avocado

There are many days I need a quick healthy breakfast at 7am that will keep me going until I get another chance to eat at noon.  This breakfast is my favourite – keeping me satiated and happy until lunchtime.  On the days that I haven’t come up with a plan for supper, I will make this for the whole family and they love it!

The reasons I love this plate are many.  It’s creamy, yummy, and healthy.  One egg is low in calories (approx. 74 calories/egg) and high in protein (about 6 grams which are absorbed easily and used efficiently).  The avocado may be higher in calories (approx. 161 per 1/2 avocado) but it is high in dietary fibre (6.7g) and contains more great protein (2g) which both will help keep you satisfied.  (Enough to avoid the bad snacks!)  Not to mention the avocado’s added benefits of being high in omega 3 fatty acids (good kind of fat) and mono saturated fat (can help lower cholesterol and aid in hearth health) and (because it gets even better,) it’s also high in vitamin C.

So many things to love about this plate!

Total time:  approx. 10 minutes (prep and cook)

Ingredients for one portion:

1 egg

1/2 tsp butter

1/2 avocado

1 tsp fresh squeezed lime juice

cayenne pepper

1/2 tomato, sliced

1 tbsp. green onions, finely chopped

salt and pepper to taste

Prepare your plate of tomato and avocado prior to frying your egg.  I like to cut my avocado in half and twist off from other half.  While the avocado is still in the peel I pull my sharp knife through the avocado meat (but stopping before the peel) making long straight lines.  Then using a soup spoon I carefully spoon the entirety of the half of avocado out (starting at the narrowest end) onto the plate, then gently fan the slices.  Take the lime juice and sprinkle it over the avocado.  This will keep it from turning brown and give it a fresh, yummy bite!

Once the tomato and avocado are arranged on the plate I like to lightly sprinkle cayenne pepper – this will give the dish a bit of heat along with the added benefit that cayenne gives you extra energy!

Once your plate is prepared, heat a small pan over medium heat for frying the egg.  While the pan is heating, break the egg into a small portion bowl – this will help avoid breaking the yolk as you go to put the egg in the hot pan.  Once the pan is hot, place your butter in the pan and allow to melt and turn slightly golden brown.  Once the butter is at the right colour, slide your egg into the pan and cook to desired doneness.  I like it slightly over easy that way the yolk is runny and presents as a creamy sauce over the tomato and avocado.

Once the egg is cooked, slowly slide the egg over the avocado and tomato.  Occasionally I add a sprinkling of grated cheese for a little extra punch. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with the green onions for a little extra flavour and crunch.  So yummy, creamy and satiating!  Eat while hot and enjoy!

Listen for GOD’S voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.

Proverbs 3:6 (MSG) 

Excited with the healthiness of this all, but knowing with a house full of boys that are always so hungry they might not find either of these filling enough, I thought what if I combined these recipes?!  What if I put sliced avocado and soft cooked egg on top of a bowl of tomato soup?!

And, that’s why I leave recipe Monday to Angela! 🙂

Happy Monday!

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