Simple Seared Duck Breast and Veggies

Simple Seared Duck and Veggies

Simple Seared Duck and Veggies

Hello, delicious! The photo above is giving me the best kind of writer’s block. I can’t stop looking at it and drooling as I reminisce about devouring that delicious duck breast earlier this week. Not only does it look gorgeous on the plate, it tastes amazing!

My boyfriend recently purchased a portable light box, which is one of the reasons this picture looks oh so tasty. It really captures the textures and colors on the plate, regardless of the time of day. Now that Daylight Savings has taken away all of my good evening light this thing is truly a lifesaver. If it wasn’t for the light box, this glorious duck dish wouldn’t have made it onto the blog any time soon.

Actually, if it wasn’t for my boyfriend this post definitely wouldn’t exist, since he’s also the one that bought the duck. We have a special deal where he buy’s the meat and I’m responsible for the Hungry Harvest* subscription. This week’s box had loads of my favorite vegetables: broccoli, purple cauliflower, brussels sprouts and white asparagus to name a few. Purple cauliflower and white asparagus! Am I the only person who thinks that’s cool?

*The link above is a referral, and if you click it and order, you and I will each receive $5 off of our next Hungry Harvest order! Never heard of Hungry Harvest? Check out my post: 5 Reasons I Love Hungry Harvest

Simple Seared Duck and Veggies

Simple Seared Duck and Veggies

Now, I am definitely not a duck expert. This was actually my first time cooking duck breast. I was initially intimidated by the foreign meat and let it hang out in my freezer for a week or two before I decided to give it a go. Since this was my first attempt at cooking duck I obviously went to Pinterest for help. There I came across a video by Gordon Ramsay that gave simple and easy instructions for searing duck breast. Thank the lord for Gordon!

I’ve included the video below. One thing you’ll notice after cooking the duck, is that there is a lot of leftover fat. Gordon advises to save it for later, maybe for potatoes. I say save it for 30 seconds and cook your asparagus in it. Just a thought, though.

Most of my meals lately have consisted of a protein and a large portion of veggies. This recipe is no different. You’ll have a delicious, satisfying meal in no time! There aren’t any complicated tasks or weird ingredients either.

Ingredients (serves 2-3):

  • 2 duck breasts
  • 1 medium head broccoli
  • 1/2 head cauliflower
  • 1 bunch (1 lb) asparagus
  • 1/2 onion or leek
  • 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • S&P to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Chop broccoli, cauliflower and onion into bite-size chunks, toss in oil, S&P. Roast for 30-40 minutes on top rack of oven.
  • While the veggies roast, cook the duck breasts per Gordon’s instructions in the video above in a cast-iron skillet. I’d tell you how to do it, but he’s the expert. The duck can go in the oven while the veggies cook – place it on the middle rack.
  • Once you remove the duck from the oven, place it on a cool surface to rest.
  • While the duck rests and the veggies continue to roast, cook the asparagus in the same pan used to cook the duck over medium heat on the stove top. There will be a lot of fat leftover in the skillet. If there’s too much, simply pour what you don’t need into a glass jar and save it for later use.
  • Cook the asparagus for about 5-7 minutes.
  • The veggies in the oven will likely be finished at this point. The broccoli and cauliflower are done once the edges have become brown and crisp.
  • Remove the veggies from the oven, remove asparagus from heat when done, and slice the duck on an angle in thick slices. Plate, then serve!

Happy munching. : )

 

**I am a Hungry Harvest and Amazon affiliate. This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you purchase something from one of the links above, I will receive a small percentage, at no additional cost to you. I will only ever recommend products that I use myself and totally approve of. Thank you! ❤

Maximize Your Harvest With Your Freezer

Hungry Harvest

Mini Harvest + 1 sweet potato and 1 block of cheese

If you have read other posts on my blog or social media platforms, you’re probably already aware that I’m a bit obsessed with Hungry Harvest*. Chances are that you will be (or are), too.

When chatting with friends about Hungry Harvest, whether they have subscribed to HH or not, people usually say that they love the idea of HH and support their mission. However, that awesome statement usually has a big fat BUT on the end of it. They usually say something along the lines of: I love Hungry Harvest, BUT…

  • “I don’t have enough time to cook all of it up during the week. I feel like I’m still wasting food.”
  • “I’m too busy to cook a creative dinner every night and am tired of roasting veggies.”
  • “I don’t have the patience, time or creativity to meal prep every week.”

Okay, I get it. Not everyone is as pumped about cooking as I am. But lucky for you, there is something in your house that will make your Hungry Harvest life SO much easier… your freezer! There are so many ways you can use the freezer to  your advantage when using Hungry Harvest. Sure, you still have to cook SOMETIMES, but if you take the time every now and then to make some meals, sauces, etc. for your freezer, your future self will thank you.

Not only does the freezer save you time during the week month, it’s a great way to use up those extra HH veggies. You know which veggies I’m talking about, those veggies that you forgot about for a week and a half and are now looking a little sad.

*Use the link above with the code HERO5 to get $5 OFF your first HH order! Don’t know what Hungry Harvest is? Check out my post: 5 Reasons I Love Hungry Harvest #hungryharvesthero

How I maximize my Harvest with the Freezer:

Freezer Burritos: Turkey & Black Bean

Freezer Burritos: Turkey & Black Bean Filling

Turkey & Black Bean Burritos: This is my FAVORITE freezer option. It also happens to be my most popular recipe on the blog. Seriously, these burritos are so yummy. The HH veggies I typically use in this bad boy include: tomatoes, onion, garlic, zucchini/yellow squash, and sometimes spinach! I always have these burritos on hand because they are an absolute lifesaver when I don’t have time to prep a lunch or dinner.

Turkey & Black Bean Burritos have lunch and dinner covered, but don’t worry, there’s a recipe for breakfast burritos too. Sweet Potato & Bacon Breakfast Burritos are a great way to use up HH sweet potatoes and eggs!

Hidden Veggies Tomato Sauce

Hidden Veggies Tomato Sauce

Hidden Veggies Tomato Sauce is another staple in my freezer. It’s great to have on hand to use on pastas, in eggplant parmesan, etc. There are many HH veggies that you can use in this, but I typically use really sad looking veggies for this recipe. Tomatoes, onion, celery, carrot, parsnip, peppers, garlic and herbs are just a few of the options you can use in this. Here are a couple links to recipes on my blog that use this sauce:

 

Chicken and Veggie Enchiladas

Chicken and Veggie Enchiladas

Chicken + Veggie Enchiladas are great when you’re in a pinch for dinner! Simply throw it in the oven for half an hour and you’re good to go. Assembling these guys doesn’t take long, thanks to the help of rotisserie chicken. The HH veggies I like to use in these include: HH onion, spinach/kale, peppers, squash/zucchini, tomatoes.

 

Smoothie Cubes

Collard Greens Smoothie Cubes

Last but not least, Leafy Greens Smoothie Cubes! Do you ever find yourself with super sad kale, spinach or collard greens? Me too! Throw them in a blender with some water, freeze ’em and toss one or two in a smoothie. Don’t forget to add some Vital Proteins Collagen to your smoothies, too. I’m addicted to that stuff – it has my nails growing long and strong!

I challenge YOU!

These are some of my favorite ways to use the freezer to my advantage, but I challenge you to come up with some of your own tricks too! Half the fun of Hungry Harvest is figuring out what to do with it anyway. : ) If you’d like to share some ideas, comment below!

 

 

**I am a Hungry Harvest and Amazon affiliate. This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you purchase something from one of the links above, I will receive a small percentage, at no additional cost to you. I will only ever recommend products that I use myself and totally approve of. Thank you! <3

Spiced Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Mash

Spiced Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Mash

Spiced Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Mash

Fall is probably my favorite season. I love the chilly weather, the changing leaves, apple cider, pumpkin spice, and Halloween! I suppose you could call me “basic,” considering that as I write this pumpkin-related blog post I’m wearing leggings and a flannel. I also had a pumpkin smoothie for breakfast. I’m basic and proud!

Anyway, this recipe is super tasty, easy to make, and full of Fall flavors – a win in my book. Serve it along side your favorite protein and green veggies and you’ll have a perfect Fall meal. While this recipe does include a smidge of added brown sugar (added sugar is something I try to avoid) it’s a great healthy alternative to the heavier mashes that include milk, cream cheese or sour cream. If adding sugar isn’t your thing, you could always leave it out or substitute maple syrup.

Believe it or not, in addition to making a tasty side dish at dinner time, this recipe also makes a yummy breakfast! It might not be the most traditional morning meal, but it hits the spot and is a nice change of pace when you’ve been eating frittatas everyday.

Ingredients (2-4 servings):

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2/3 cup almond milk
  • 2 TBSP ghee (or butter)
  • 1 TBSP brown sugar
  • 1 TBSP pumpkin pie spice
  • Topping:
    • 1 TBSP ghee
    • 1 apple, diced
    • 1 TSP pumpkin pie spice
    • 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Using a fork, poke some holes into the sweet potato. Then wrap the potatoes individually in tinfoil and roast for 40 min – 1 hour, until the potatoes have cooked through.
  • Allow the potatoes to cool enough to be handled. Cut the potato in half and scoop the flesh away from the skin. Discard the skin and transfer the potato flesh to a cooking pot on he stove.
  • Set the stove top to medium-low heat. Add the pumpkin puree, almond milk*, ghee, brown sugar and pumpkin spice to the sweet potatoes. Using a large spoon, mix everything together until the mixture is smooth and thick.
    • *Start by adding HALF of the almond milk, adding more bit by bit to reach your desired texture.
  • Once the mixture is warmed through, remove from pan an transfer to your serving dish.
  • The toppings:
    • Melt 1 TBSP ghee in a sauce pan over medium to medium-low heat. Add apples, nuts and spices.
    • Stirring frequently, cook the apples for about 5 minutes – until they start to soften but aren’t mushy.
    • Remove from heat and place on top of the sweet potato mixture.

Time saving tip: prep the sweet potatoes ahead of time. Bake the potatoes in advance and store them in the fridge until you’re ready to make the mash.

Happy Munching!

**This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you purchase something from one of the links above, I will receive a small percentage, at no additional cost to you. I will only ever recommend products that I use myself and totally approve of.

1 Ingredient Grape Fruit Leather

Grape Fruit Leather

Grape Fruit Leather

Last week my Hungry Harvest* delivery included a bag of green grapes that were recovered as “surplus” from a grocery store, distributor or farmer. I usually love to eat whole grapes as a snack throughout that day, but unfortunately these grapes were a little too sour for my liking. I hit the web to see if I could find any inspiration for transforming the grapes into something a bit tastier. Turns out you can use grapes in a lot of things – they’re apparently super tasty in chicken salad.

*The link above is a referral, and if you click it and order, you and I will each receive $5 off of our next Hungry Harvest order! Don’t know what Hungry Harvest is? Check out my post: 5 Reasons I Love Hungry Harvest

I already have a chicken salad recipe that I love, so I passed on that idea. Then I remembered that I’ve been wanting to try making fruit “leather” aka fruit roll ups. Typically the recipes I have seen use a variety of fruits and added sugar. But all I have to work with is a bag of grapes, so that’s all that’s in this recipe. Turns out that’s really all you need to make fruit leather – just fruit!

At first I thought it might be a good idea to add some honey into the mix since the grapes were sort of sour, but I’m glad I decided against it. The natural sweetness of the grapes was amplified in the oven, giving them a perfect balance of sweet and tangy.

This snack is really so easy to make and it’s a great way to use up fruits that have seen better days. It’s also a snack you can feel good about eating – it’s just grapes! No weird preservatives or added sugar.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb grapes

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Remove grapes from stems and transfer into a blender.
  • Blend grapes until smooth.
  • Transfer grape mixture onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Make sure the mixture is spread EVENLY across the pan.
  • Bake for about 3 – 3.5 hours. The leather is done when the mixture is dry to the touch but still soft. You’ll want to start checking on it after 2.5 hours – everyone’s oven is a little bit different.
  • Remove from the oven to cool, then slice.

Happy Snacking : )

Who Needs the Grocery Store When You Have Hungry Harvest?

When I first subscribed to Hungry Harvest in the start of 2016, fruits and veggies were really the only thing on their menu. Don’t get me wrong, fruits and veggies are GREAT, but Hungry Harvest has really stepped up their game. I hardly need to go to the grocery store for anything these days besides meat and almond milk!

Hungry Harvest now offers a variety of food products beyond produce. Bread, eggs, cheese… even canned tomato soup!

Hungry Harvest Options

Can you believe it? The food that Hungry Harvest sells is considered to be TRASH by wholesalers, famers and grocery stores. Is it expired? NOPE. Is it delicious and fresh? Yep. I’m always impressed with the quality of the food I receive each week. The eggs are always of the highest quality; large, delicious and never once cracked. I often use them to create make-ahead breakfasts like my Ham, Mushroom & Spinach Egg CupsCholula Chicken Frittata or Veggie-Dump Frittata.

It’s so crazy that all of this food would be going to waste if it wasn’t for Hungry Harvest. Just look at all of that bread! Don’t worry, it’s not moldy, the bakery just made too much.

Screen Shot 2017-09-15 at 4.17.54 PM

What I’m trying to say here is that you should go check out their website. It’s like shopping at the discount food store, except you don’t have to leave your house AND you’re helping to reduce food waste in our country.

Also, as your reward for reading the entire post, I have a discount code for you! Click HERE and use the discount code HERO5 to receive $5 off your first order. You’ll love being a #hungryharvesthero

If you don’t know what Hungry Harvest is and want to learn more, check out my post 5 Reasons I Love Hungry Harvest. In short, they are a non-profit organization that recovers “ugly,” misshapen, or surplus food and delivers them to your door. They also do a lot of work in the community and have donated thousands of pounds of healthy foods to various organizations. 

**I am a Hungry Harvest and Amazon affiliate. This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you purchase something from one of the links above, I will receive a small percentage, at no additional cost to you. I will only ever recommend products that I use myself and totally approve of. Thank you! ❤

Veggie-Dump Frittata

Veggie-Dump Frittata

Mixed Veggie Frittata

Breakfast is one of the hardest meals for me to stay on track with during the week. I don’t have time to cook or even eat at home (because I like sleeping), so I need an easy grab and go breakfast. In the past my go-to breakfast has been everything bagels with cream cheese. I actually LOVE everything bagels, to the point where it’s a problem – you could even call it an addiction. So, I’ve been on a never ending quest to stop eating 5 bagels a week.

That’s where Veggie-Dump Frittatas come in to play. I make a big batch before my work week starts, and then I bring a slice with me to work throughout the week. The timing is perfect, because I usually have some veggies left over from the previous week’s Hungry Harvest* delivery that need to be cooked!

*The link above is a referral, and if you click it and order, you and I will each receive $5 off of our next Hungry Harvest order! Don’t know what Hungry Harvest is? Check out my post: 5 Reasons I Love Hungry Harvest

Veggie-Dump Frittata

Breakfast on the go!

This dish is called “veggie-dump frittata” because you can dump everything but the kitchen sink into these bad boys: veggies, meat, cheese, hot sauce, spices – you name it! I try to be good and use minimal to no cheese in mine. I often like to line the bottom of my cast-iron skillet with thinly sliced potatoes to add some carbs to the mix.

Ingredients (serves 4-6):

  • ~1 cup diced veggies (example included below, pictured above)
    • 1/2 medium onion
    • 1/2 red pepper
    • 5 cherry tomatoes
    • 2 handfuls green beans
  • 2-3 small potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 6-9 eggs, whisked (more eggs, more servings)
  • Oil of choice: I prefer olive or avocado
  • Spices: Salt, pepper + whatever you prefer
  • Garnish: Sliced cherry tomato, chopped parsley, chili flakes
  • Optional: cheese of choice, meat of choice
    • I used parmesan in the frittata pictured above.

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Warm cast-iron skillet over medium heat on stove.
  • Sauté diced veggies for 3-5 minutes in oil of choice.
  • While veggies are sautéing, thinly slice the potatoes and toss them in oil.
  • Remove veggies from the skillet, then cover the bottom of the skillet with the potatoes (while still on medium heat):

Veggie-Dump Frittata

  • Once the potatoes are arranged, return the veggies to the skillet and spread them out evenly.
    • If adding meat, this is the time to incorporate your cooked meat of choice to the skillet.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and add the spices and cheese.
  • Pour egg mixture on top of the veggies/meat.
  • Top the eggs with a sprinkling of extra cheese and tomatoes.
  • Remove skillet from the stove top and transfer to the oven: cook for 10-20 minutes, depending on the thickness of your mixture.
    • 10 min for 6 eggs, 20 min for 9
    • Finished cooking when the eggs are firmly set in the center.
  • Garnish with fresh herbs.

Happy munching!

 

**This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you purchase something from one of the links above, I will receive a small percentage, at no additional cost to you. I will only ever recommend products that I use myself and totally approve of.

5 Reasons I Love Hungry Harvest

Hungry Harvest

Mini Harvest + 1 sweet potato and 1 block of cheese

If you’ve met me in person or read some of my blog posts (or any social media posts..), you’ve probably experienced my ranting and raving about “Hungry Harvest.” It’s pretty much my favorite thing to talk about (and participate in). In this post I will be sharing some of my favorite things about Hungry Harvest as well as a discount code for your next Harvest! : )

1. Hungry Harvest is making a difference.

Hungry Harvest is an amazing non-profit that sources trash unwanted food from farmers and grocery stores and delivers it to your door. It is AMAZING to see the quality of the food that is considered “trash” – just look at the picture above. That’s the delivery I received today.

“We believe that no food should go to waste and no person should go hungry. That’s why we source 🍐, hand pack and securely deliver delicious boxes of rescued produce on a weekly and bi-weekly basis. We currently deliver in Maryland, DC, Northern Virginia, Philly, South Jersey, and South Florida. For every delivery, we empower a family in need by providing access to affordable fruits & veggies through our Produce in a SNAP program and through donations to local community organizations. To date we have delivered over 3,000,000 pounds, provided access to 50,000 pounds of reduced-cost produce and donated over 500,000 pounds more to our partner organizations!” – Hungry Harvest

It is seriously so mind boggling that the food I receive is considered to be waste. The produce is always delicious, fresh, and BEAUTIFUL. Sure, some might be oddly shaped or a little scared. But who really cares? You only have to look at it for like 1 second before chopping it up. What’s really cool is that Hungry Harvest’s website describes why each and every item has been discarded. Some of the reasons will amaze you.

In addition to being able to pat myself on the back once a week for participating in a solution to food waste and hunger, I love Hungry Harvest for many other reasons…

2. Hungry Harvest helps me try new foods.

Growing up, I was one of the pickiest kids ever. Fish sticks, pizza, chicken nuggets and french fries made up the majority of my diet (in addition to the occasional carrot – if I didn’t have the chance to throw them behind the couch when my mom wasn’t looking). I didn’t even like PASTA. Weird, right?

As I got older, my horizons expanded and I now eat a diverse range of foods. Hungry Harvest is helping me expand my diet even more because you don’t exactly get to choose what comes in your box every week. Sure, there are some customization tools available for harvesters to use, but there really is no way to ultimately control which fruits and veggies will be recovered each week – so sometimes you are thrown some curve balls.

For example, I have received some really unique produce in my box, like dragon fruit and chayote. Those are things that I would never typically purchase (or even see) at the grocery store, but ended up being super tasty and fun to eat.

Hungry Harvest has also helped me learn that I don’t dislike some of the foods that I thought I hated! The best example of this is eggplant. A year ago I would have told you that those giant weird looking purple things were disgusting. Now I get excited when I see that I’ll be receiving one in my order. My favorite eggplant dishes to create are Eggplant Dippers (whole 30 compliant) and Roasted Eggplant Spread.

Harvest from June 2017

Harvest from June 2017

3. Hungry Harvest makes me HEALTHIER.

There’s really no way to avoid eating veggies when they are delivered to my door every week. It is so much easier to avoid eating take out, fast food, or icky pre-prepared meals when you have fresh, healthy ingredients on hand at all times. Your body will thank you for the nutrients.

Because I always have so many – seemingly random – veggies on hand, I often have to search for recipes online for inspiration. In doing so I have discovered several diets and lifestyles that have totally changed my relationship with food. Some of these include the Whole30 and Paleo diets, and the clean eating and real food lifestyles. I’ve never had any issues with health or weight, but implementing this way of eating into my life has me feeling and looking better than ever.

4. Hungry Harvest encourages me to be creative.

I have always enjoyed cooking, but Hungry Harvest has brought my love to the next level. Each week I am presented with food and am challenged to utilize it in meals throughout the week. It’s like perpetually living in an episode of Chopped, and it’s the BEST.

Harvest from July 2017

Harvest from July 2017

5. Hungry Harvest is CHEAP.

Hungry Harvest isn’t expensive. It’s actually cheaper than the grocery store when you break down the items in your box. I don’t know about you, but I love eating healthy for cheap.

Lucky for you, I have a discount code for 5 dollars off your harvest if you’d like to have some fresh veggies delivered to your door for EXTRA cheap.

I’m proud to be a #hungryharvesthero and hope you will be, too. Just here and insert the code HERO5 for $5 off your order.

 

Happy Harvesting! : )

**I am a Hungry Harvest and Amazon affiliate. This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you purchase something from one of the links above, I will receive a small percentage, at no additional cost to you. I will only ever recommend products that I use myself and totally approve of. Thank you! ❤