Saturday, March 26, 2016

Exploring organic food: Pasta and eggs, wild-caught fish and quinoa

Accents of pesto take this breakfast of organic eggs and organic pasta over the top.


Poaching fish fillets or eggs in a covered pan allows you to serve breakfast or dinner in minutes.

For one thing, bottled pasta sauce or Mexican-style salsa serve as both a cooking medium and a dressing for your side dish of organic whole-wheat pasta, quinoa or brown rice.

If you make several servings of the side dish ahead, as I often do, that saves you even more time. 

At dinner, a salad of pre-washed greens, such as Earthbound Farm Organic Spring Mix, and a glass of wine completes your meal.

Pesto eggs and pasta

I started with about 6 ounces of leftover bottled vodka sauce, one made without heavy cream; emptied it into a pan, added a little olive oil and covered it to heat it up.

When it was simmering, I cracked two organic eggs into the pan, turned the heat to medium and put on the cover again (a glass cover works best).

Meanwhile, I added 1 cup of 365 Everyday Value Organic Whole Wheat Fusilli from Whole Foods Market to a small pot of boiling water ($1.49 for 1-pound box).

The eggs were ready before the pasta, which took 8 minutes for al dente. (Ignore longer cooking times listed on the box.)

I removed the eggs to a plate, added Aleppo red pepper, drained the pasta, mixed it with the sauce in the pan and plated it next to the eggs.

I added a little refrigerated Basil Pesto from Costco Wholesale, which is also where the brown eggs came from.

What a great breakfast, especially eating the broken yolk over the pasta spirals.

Wild-caught haddock from Iceland, which poaches in minutes in Mexican-style salsa, is paired with an organic red quinoa and kale blend with citrus and black pepper, above and below.

Haddock, quinoa and kale

At Costco Wholesale in Teterboro, fresh, wild-caught fish fillets -- haddock, flounder and cod -- are inexpensive, and easy to cook in bottled Mexican-style salsas from Whole Foods Market.

I started with a 16-ounce jar of 365 Everyday Value Roasted Chipotle Salsa from Whole Foods ($2.69), emptying about two-thirds of it into a pan and adding the juice of a big, plump Meyer Lemon from Costco ($5.99 for a 4-pound bag).

I heated the sauce up under a cover; and cut up and seasoned the thin haddock fillets with a little sea salt ($8.99 a pound).

Meanwhile, in a non-stick pan with cooking spray, I heated up a frozen 10-ounce bag of Organic Quinoa & Kale Blend from Costco I found in the freezer (cooking time is 6 minutes).

When the sauce was simmering, I added the fish, and put the cover back on, setting the heat to medium high.

The fish was translucent in 5 minutes, but you can cook it longer, say 7 minutes.

365 Everyday Value Organic Whole Wheat Fusilli in Organic Italian Herb Pasta Sauce, both from Whole Foods Market, with chopped organic kale and organic arugula.

Fusilli with kale and arugula 

I liked the fusilli with sunny side up eggs so much I decided to cook the rest of the 1-pound box with a 25-ounce jar of 365 Every Day Value Organic Italian Herb Pasta Sauce ($2.99) I bought in January at Whole Foods in Paramus.

I also had 5-ounce packages of Earthbound Farm Organic Arugula and Organic Kale (99 cents each at the International Food Warehouse in Lodi) that had a use-by date of Thursday, when I made the rest of the pasta spirals.

To the herb sauce, I added a drained can of Kirkland Signature Organic Diced Tomatoes, extra-virgin olive oil and seasonings, including some red-pepper flakes.

After draining the pasta and adding it to the sauce, I placed the chopped greens on top, and folded all of it together with a large cooking spoon.

This morning, I reheated some of the fusilli to enjoy with a freshly made egg-white omelet and sauteed spinach.

Almost everything I used for the three dishes was organic and contained no genetically modified ingredients (GMOs).

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