Category Archives: Vegetables

Borgmeier Brussels Sprouts

Hallelujah! I’m typing now on a full night’s sleep and haven’t felt so good in a long time! Gabs has had (what we think is) allergies for the past month or so + teething + daylight savings time change… all which means a little less sleep for me. But I never thought having babies meant full nights of sleep anyways, so we’re all good. Just better, now. Just look at her adorable chiclets.


Last night we had an unexpected winner of a dinner. I had pulled some forgotten flank steak out of the deep freezer and marinated it in our FAVE recipe that I probably got from somewhere originally, but have been winging it ever since (hoisin sauce + honey + ginger + garlic + salt/pepp + red wine vinegar) . We also had some week-old bread that turned into garlic bread, and then Joey’s famous brussels sprouts. I’m pretty sure Gabs loved the brussels sprouts so much that she dreamed about them all night, thus forgetting to wake up every few hours. All I need is one reason to make those veggies every. single. night! Causes baby to sleep through the night? I’ll take it.




My hub spent a semester in Europe in college, and lived with a host family of four while he was there (now 5!). He absolutely loved his time there, and the Borgmeiers too. I got to meet them when I went to visit Joey for 10 days (eek, how rebellious… I didn’t realize ’til now how crazy that was- traveling Europe with my then boyfriend. We behaved Mom and Dad! Promise!) They were invited to our wedding- but couldn’t come because they had a little kiddo on the way. It’s on our bucket list to go visit them again someday. Anyways, Joey’s host dad was a chef (um, awesome) and made amazing meals for him while he was there. One of Joey’s favorites was his brussels sprouts. Hence the name, “Borgemeier Brussels Sprouts”.


Sidenote: Gabby, don’t get any ideas. You are never traveling to Europe alone OR with a boyfriend. Even if he’s as nice as Joey. Never gonna happen. 

So enjoy these Brussels! I hear they improve your sleeping habits.



Borgmeier Brussels Sprouts

Recipe from Coen Borgmeier


18-20 brussels sprouts, washed with ends trimmed

1 TBSP butter/EVOO

3/4 to 1 cup stock


Wash the sprouts well, then cut the bottoms off of each one. In a large saute pan over high heat, melt the butter and place each sprout cut side DOWN in the pan. Let them get a nice sear on the bottom. After about a minute or so, pour in the stock, reduce the heat to the lowest setting, and cover the pan.

After about 15 minutes, lift the lid and if the sprouts are fork tender, they are ready to eat!

By covering the pan, the brussels sprouts get steamed in the stock and soak up all that delicious flavor. And then they melt in your mouth, and you wonder why you’ve never loved this little vegetable before now.



Leave a comment

Filed under Food Stuffs., Fridays, Vegetables

Lemon-Cilantro Hummus

I have been on the hunt for a new snack lately. It’s always difficult to find something that tastes yummy and isn’t a million calories. Or thereabouts.

I have found the snack.

Leave a comment

Filed under Food Stuffs., Vegetables

Baked Eggplant Fries

Eggplant… Sounds grody, I know. Gabs is trying to master the sweet potatoes right now and judging by her response, she’ll be 35 before she tries eggplant.


Joey has been up to his ears in work/school/harvest/beingadaddy&husband lately, and poor guy is putting up with my vegetarian challenge. Or mostly, anyway. I did hear something about a carne asada burrito the other day, but I didn’t push it. The guy ate tofu two nights ago, for Pete’s sake! He could eat a buffalo and I’d understand.


I, however, am staying strong and sticking to the challenge. Besides my er,burger on Sunday, that is. And a few shrimp. Eh.


Sheesh, we are a mess. A mostly vegetarian mess.

Joe had a dairy meeting the other night and I had an eggplant in the fridge. Naturally I made it into fries.


I hate it when you try to make fries with vegetables and the recipe promises you they’re ‘just like the real french fries!!’ but they are basically just limp,soggy sticks of the veggies. That is NOT a fry.


But these… These seriously give French fries a run for their money. I ate an entire eggplant myself, guys. That’s kinda weird but really delicious.



Baked Eggplant Fries
Adapted from Bon Apetit magazine

1 eggplant
1 cup brown rice flour
2 T garlic powder
1 t salt
3 T olive oil

Ice water

Cut eggplant into fries and submerge in ice water. It’s best to get at least 2 hours of soak time in the ice water, but I only soaked mine 20 minutes. (Soaking longer makes a crispier crust)

Mix together all dry ingredients, and generously coat eggplant strips with olive oil. Dredge in flour mixture and bake at 500 degrees for 20 minutes.

1 Comment

Filed under Food Stuffs., Vegetables, vegetarian

Black Bean Spinach Enchiladas



Happy Labor Day! I hope that all you working people are enjoying a much-earned day off. Being a nurse and now mostly-stay-at-home-mom, Mondays have never had the ‘eh, its Monday’ feeling to me, because my schedule is pretty all over the place and I rarely work Mondays! Therefore, it’s a day that I usually enjoy because it’s a fresh new week and a catch up with the mountain of laundry recharge day after the weekend.



Last night we took a stroll outside with our pack of dogs and got to enjoy an amazing sky show- I love that Gabby can sit facing forward in her stroller now and see this herself. What better way to learn her colors by looking at God’s own artwork?



Confession time: We have this family tradition called Gourmet Burgers with Joey’s family every Sunday. Thank goodness I said ‘mostly vegetarian month’. Joey and I may or may not have inhaled 3 burgers between the two of us. Beef never tasted so good! And now we are ready for another week of mostly vegetarian. Which brings me to sharing this recipe for Black Bean Spinach Enchiladas from the Garden Grazer with you!



This lady knows what she’s doing in the kitchen. I made this Saturday night for the Joester and I, after a sweet friend suggested this recipe for us to try. The green onions and cilantro add tons of flavor and the homemade enchilada sauce is a cinch to make and SO delicious! We subbed corn tortillas for the flour ones, and made homemade chips with the leftovers.





My tummy= happy tummy. Vegetarian enchiladas for the win!




1 Comment

Filed under Food Stuffs., God, Vegetables, vegetarian

Portobello Mushroom Tower and good news!

Good news: x-rays came back negative! We did a full hip-range-of-motion dance to celebrate that Gabs’ hips are perfectly placed, just maybe unevenly chubby for the time being.

Not quite as good news: Gabs is experiencing her first cold ever and has had a rough past couple of nights. We’ve got the humidifier up and running, and Vick’s VapoRub and mommy snuggles are doing their thing. Also, Gabby has made her first enemy- Mr. Bulb Suctioner. I think that relationship is beyond repair at this point.


Until we are back to 100%, we are hanging out in our PJ’s and in our little sicky corner of the couch. It’s way more fun than it sounds!


We haven’t done a lot of cooking lately, but a few nights ago my little sister and I tried to duplicate my favorite dish from a local restaurant. It’s called the Portobello Mushroom Tower and it’s basically a gigantic bowl of perfectly roasted vegetables and a large Portobello mushroom (obvi) with lots of gooey cheese and tomato sauce over polenta. We subbed quinoa for the polenta since my cornmeal was 2 years old and filled with bugs was, er, past it’s prime.



It was SO good. I’ve been nibbling on the leftovers for the past 3 days!



Portobello Mushroom Tower


2 large Portobello Mushroom caps

2 large zucchini, cut into strips lengthwise

1 cup chopped bell peppers (color of your choice!)

1/2 large onion

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

2 cans diced tomatoes

1 can tomato sauce

1 TBSP fresh minced garlic

1/2 tsp basil, oregano each

1/3 cup shredded parmesan

1 TBSP olive oil (for sauteeing veggies)

balsamic vinegar (for drizzling on mushrooms)

1 cup quinoa, cooked in stock

fresh basil for garnish

salt and pepper


** you can simplify and speed up this recipe by using a canned red sauce. I didn’t have any in the house, so I made my own.

First, cook your quinoa. (I always cook mine in stock- adds TONS of flavor!)

While that is cooking, start sauteeing your celery, bell peppers and onions in the olive oil. Saute until translucent, then add garlic. Cook for about 30 seconds on med-high heat and then add cans of diced tomato and tomato sauce. Season with Italian spices and S&P and let simmer on medium while you make the rest of the dish. When you are about ready to take the sauce off the heat, add in shredded parmesan.

Lightly clean your mushrooms, and put on a baking sheet. Also put the sliced zucchini (seasoned with S&P) on this baking sheet. Drizzle the mushrooms lightly with balsamic vinegar and broil for about 4 minutes on high, capside down. After about 4 minutes, take out the mushrooms and cover the cap with mozzarella cheese and broil for about 3-4 more minutes until cheese is gold and bubbly!

Layer the quinoa, then some zucchini, then the cheesy mushroom, then cover in your tomato sauce. Top with fresh basil.(For carnivorous husbands, feel free to add chicken to the tower like I did for Joey!)

Enjoy nice and hot for a light summer meal.

Leave a comment

Filed under Baby, Family, Food Stuffs., Vegetables

Pesto Zucchini Lasagna with Goat Cheese

Hello Monday! We celebrate Monday’s over here with ruffle-butts. And coffee dates with sweet friends.


This past week was packed- weddings, showers, my little sister’s prom, and Gabby’s first set of vaccines. Most of the activities were fun, the last one was not. But we made it through and somehow, the shots did not permanently scar my child. 🙂

Friday morning, I was begging K to come with me to Gabby’s appointment, but K had promised to help set up for a wedding so she couldn’t come. My next desperate attempt was to get my mom to come with me last minute, but she also couldn’t come. I started to spiral downward into tears as I drove my happy daughter to her appointment- but then my mom unexpectedly told me over the phone, “Monica, you need to BUCK UP. You need to be tough for your daughter, she doesn’t need to see you cry.”

Sniffle. Didn’t expect that response. (*slightly surprised*) I stopped crying and remembered how I give these shots to babies everyday at work, and was always impressed by the moms who kept it together and took a matter-of-fact approach to the vaccines. I noticed that with the kindergarten age kids, if the moms were firm and didn’t over-stress how scary and awful the shots were, the kids generally responded better to the shots.

So, I bucked up, finished my last few whimpery tears, and held Gabby tight during and after the shots. She screamed, but within 10 minutes she was back to her happy self. Later that afternoon she was a little feverish and her little legs were swollen, but thankfully that only lasted for a few hours. We’ll be back for more in two months!


That same night I did my little sister’s hair and make-up for her Junior-Senior Banquet, and it was so fun to have some girl time. My mom cuddled Gabs and soothed her tender legs while I got my sister all prettied up.



I can’t believe how stinkin’ pretty my sister is!

The next day Gabs and I woke up early to sneak a quick morning run in and some kettlebell workouts. Thankfully we squeezed that in early because the rest of the day was devoted to some happy brides! I got to meet my cousin-in-law’s sweet fiance at her bridal shower, and then went to a good friend’s wedding later that night with my handsome husband.



It was an awesome weekend, but we were pooped by Sunday and had a relaxing afternoon at home to recoop. Relaxing to Joey and Gabs = naptime. Relaxing to me? Lasagna!


I had seen a few recipes for zucchini noodle lasagna floating around Pinterest and wanted to try them out- I ended up combining a few different recipes into my own idea of a yummy meal and was beyond pleased with the results!


Now that summer is about here, and pool-side lounging in bathing suits draws near, it’s nice to have a few low-carb options for a hearty meal. I used zucchini in place of noodles, and lean-ground turkey (or drained and rinsed ground beef) for a protein kick. I swapped goat cheese for the typical overload of mozzarella cheese, and the flavor boost is phenomenal!


Won’t be hard to make this my new go-to lasagna recipe. And a good hearty lasagna soothed this momma’s heart after watching Gabs endure those shots!


Pesto Zucchini Lasagna with Goat Cheese

lightly adapted from SkinnyTaste


  • 1 lb 93% lean turkey (or beef) (I had browned and frozen my meat a while ago with bell peppers and onions for added taste)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 8 portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 TBSP dried basil
  • 3 medium zucchini, sliced 1/8″ thick
  • 1/4 cup pesto
  • 4 oz. soft, unripened goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • splash of red wine


Brown the ground meat and season with salt. When cooked drain in colander to remove any fat. Add olive oil to the pan and saute garlic and onions about 2 minutes. Return the meat to the pan, add tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil, wine, salt and pepper. Simmer on low for at least 30-40minutes, covered. Do not add extra water, the sauce should be thick.

Meanwhile, slice zucchini into 1/8″ thick slices, add lightly salt and set aside or 10 minutes. Zucchini has a lot of water when cooked, salting it takes out a lot of moisture. After 10 minutes, blot excess moisture with a paper towel.

On a gas grill or grill pan, grill zucchini on each side, until cooked, about 1-2 minutes per side. Place on paper towels to soak any excess moisture.

Preheat oven to 350°.

I like my lasagna with lots of layers, so I used a small baking dish- you can use an 8×8 or 6 1/2×8 1/2 size dish. Start the layering by spreading pesto on the bottom of the pan, then the zucchini, then the sauce/meat mixture, then parmesan & goat cheese, then zucchini, pesto, sauce & repeat. Top with remaining goat cheese.

Bake uncovered at 350 for about 35-45 minutes, let stand about 10 minutes before serving.

Leave a comment

Filed under Family, Food Stuffs., Vegetables, Wedding

Roasted Pepper and Garlic Hummus

Spring Break is herrrrrrre!! And I have been looking forward to it since about the 4th week of January. No concrete plans so far…. except younger sister Lindsey’s 18th birthday dinner tomorrow!! I can’t believe she’s 18 already. I’m just not sure I believe it yet. An 18 year old sister and a month old niece!!! Holy ridiculous batman.

I spent most of the morning on my first day of vacation in an interview (in front of a panel of 5 people! Never done that before- nerve racking, let me tell you) for an internship for next year, so by the time that was over I was definitely ready for some relaxing time in the kitchen instead of my current bad habit of fast food. YUCK!! I hate how easy that habit is for me to fall back into. Since I’ve been trying to eat more veggies, I like having a good dip to go with them, and I was so surprised at how easy it is to make hummus!!


And it looks quite pretty 🙂

While I was making this, I also made Tuna & Salmon Salad Sandwiches and a Spicy Chicken Dip that you’ll have to wait for 🙂

See what happens when I decide to use my spring break for fun stuff? 🙂 I made a conscious decision to take a step back from school since I’m caught up on homework and spend some time reading and cooking and crafting.

It’s doing wonders for my stress levels! And eating habits :/


P.S. Anyone else get the giggles over M’s story yesterday? I did. I really shouldn’t laugh too hard, cuz someday I know I’ll find myself in a similar situation.

Roasted Pepper and Garlic Hummus

**Adapted from What Katie Ate’s Recipe for white bean, chickpea and roasted garlic dip.**


5 Large garlic gloves, unpeeled

1/3 cup EVOO

1 can 14 oz chickpeas (garbanzo beans) rinsed and drained

1 can 14 oz cannellini beans (white beans) rinsed and drained

juice of 1 1/2 lemons

pinch crushed red pepper flakes, plus extra to serve

S & P to taste

1 TBSP grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 of one roasted red pepper- (I used some from a jar, you don’t have to go crazy and fire roast your own 🙂 )

Preheat the oven to 400. Place the garlic on a baking sheet and roast for about 30 minutes until soft. Remove and allow to cool, then squeeze out the soft flesh and discard the papery skin.

Place the garlic in a blender with the chickpeas, cannellini beans, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, olive oil, parmesan cheese and red peppers. Blend it all together to combine, then season to taste with S & P (I used quite a bit). The texture should be thick and slightly grainy. If you like it smoother, add small amounts of EVOO until it reaches the texture you prefer.

Let it chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes before serving, then garnish with more sliced roasted red pepper and S & P.


Leave a comment

Filed under Family, Food Stuffs., Vacation, Vegetables