Hungry & Tired Starts the Year off Right with Ready-to-Go Breakfast Sandwiches


The last few months of the year caught Hungry & Tired, well, hungry and tired. I was too busy enjoying the holidays and devouring sugary treats like I was in an eating contest to cook fresh food and write about it. I apologize. Like many of you, I like to set some good intentions at the start of the New Year: I will eat better. I will work out. I will eat breakfast (not fast food breakfast).

Eating breakfast has always been difficult. I very much dislike waking up in the morning at the required time. I am one to sacrifice that important morning meal for a few more minutes of shut eye. Not this year! I also have a penchant for those oh-so-delicious yet oh-so-bad-for-you breakfast sandwiches that can be procured from the drive-through fast food restaurants around the corner my work. In an attempt to start the morning off right, I discovered that you can prepare all of the ingredients for a healthy breakfast sandwich on Sunday, and be ready for every morning of the week!

I prepare each element of a turkey bacon breakfast sandwich on a Sunday night, let it cool, and then package it all up separately. In the morning, all I have to do it put the pieces together. It’s delicious, it’s nutritious, and it’s expeditious!


Hungry & Tired’s Week of Breakfast Sandwiches


  • Eggs
  • Avocado
  • English Muffins
  • Sliced cheese
  • Turkey Bacon

Note on preparation: I have found that the egg white patties will last from Sunday night to Friday morning. You prepare more or less depending on how many folks you’re cooking for, or how many days of the week you want the same thing for breakfast.

The first thing to do is to turn on the oven. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. While the oven is heating, spread some aluminum foil over a baking sheet and top it with the turkey bacon.


I use turkey bacon because it’s much better for you than regular bacon, but it’s still really good. You can see that I forgot to put down aluminum foil in the above photo. You don’t need to use the foil, but it does make clean up a lot easier.

Place the turkey bacon in the oven and bake for fifteen minutes.


While the turkey is cooking, you can prepare your egg whites. Egg whites are delicious, and according to the internet, contain no cholesterol. I also feel like they keep longer than the whole egg, but I don’t have anything proving that. Place a nonstick pan on the stove top, and heat to medium high. Coat with some oil, and let heat for about 45 seconds.


After the oil is hot, crack your egg on the side of the pan (no need to dirty a dish!). Using the shells as cups, transfer the yolk from one shell to the other, allowing the egg white to splash onto the pan. Discard the egg yolk.


Using a flat-edged spatula, form the egg into a small circle that will fit on an english muffin.


After about a minute, your egg white will be ready to flip. You can flip it with a spatula or with the pan. I’ve been working on my “pan flip” — it’s really all in the wrist. If you want to try a pan flip, grab the pan off the stove, quickly pull down and flip your wrist up. It sounds much more complicated than it is — give it a try!


Depending on how how your pan is, your egg white will finish cooking in the next thirty seconds to two minutes. When the egg is “white” and no longer transparent, it’s cooked. Transfer to a tupperware:


Repeat with however many egg whites you desire. You can just put the eggs right on top of each other in the tupperware.

After you cook the egg whites, cut up an avocado, and put it in tupperware.


I truly love avocados. They will likely brown slightly after being in the refrigerator for a few days, but they are still good, and they still taste great. It’s much easier than trying to cut up an avocado before that first cup of coffee.

After you’ve prepared the egg whites and avocado, pull the turkey bacon out of the oven, let it cool, and put it in a plastic bag or tupperware. Arrange your egg whites, turkey bacon, and sliced avocado packages in your fridge, and mentally prepare yourself for an amazing morning!

That’s all the preparation you need! In the morning, you’ll grab all of your tupperware out of the fridge and put the sandwich together, which will take about a minute or two. Here’s what you’ll do:

Toast your english muffin:


Top with one of your cooked egg whites:


Add some cheese (you can buy so many different types of sliced cheese, and it’s all delicious. You can also skip the cheese if you’re cutting down on the dairy products):


Add a piece of turkey bacon, broken into two strips:


Garnish with a couple slices of avocado:


Put it all together, and you’ve got breakfast! You can even take it on the go wrapped in a paper towel. You can microwave it if you like, or not. Just enjoy! It’s easy, fast, much more nutritious than a “McBreakfast Sandwich Jack” [something that I hate to admit that I love] and it will increase your confidence in the kitchen. What a wonderful way to start the year!


Cauliflower “Pasta” with Meat Sauce


I love pasta. What I don’t love is that sluggish/fluffy/heavy feeling I get after I stuff my face with gallons of that gluttonous gluten. The answer: cauliflower. Thanks to the internet, I recently found an amazing recipe for a cauliflower based pizza crust (recipe coming soon), and I realized that I can use cauliflower as a substitute for many traditionally wheat-based dishes. This cauliflower “pasta” leaves you satisfied, without feeling overfed. It’s a great compromise for a meal when you want something hearty, but want to stay healthy. I bought purple cauliflower because I thought it was pretty — but any color will do!



  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 can of your favorite pasta sauce (I had almost a full can of Rao’s all purpose marinara sauce)
  • salt, kosher salt and chili peppers to taste
  • 1/2 Tb. olive oil
  • 1 head cauliflower

Time: 15 minutes

Serves: 4

First, wash your cauliflower and put it on a cutting board.


Then, put a large pot on the stove with about 5 inches of water, and bring to a boil.


While the water is boiling, cut the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces.


If the water is boiling, add the cauliflower to the water, and boil for about 5 minutes.


If the water has not quite boiled yet, start on your meat sauce. Put a big pan on the stove top, and add your olive oil. Shake a few sprinkles of the red pepper flakes in the pan. This will add some extra heat to your pasta sauce.


Once the oil is hot (depending on your stove, about one minutes), add the ground turkey.


Because the pasta sauce has a lot of salt and spices, you don’t need to season the meat at this point in time. Using a flat ended spatula, break the meat up. Make sure your stove is on medium-high.


Brown the meat for about five minutes.


Don’t forget about the cauliflower. After five minutes of boiling, check one small piece of cauliflower for done-ness (don’t use your fingers, that water is hot…). If it’s cooked, drain the cauliflower in a colander in the sink, just like you’d drain pasta (you can even rinse it with cold water to stop the cooking, if you’d like.) Leave the cauliflower in the colander until your sauce is ready.


Once the meat is browned, add the sauce, bring to a boil, and turn the heat down to simmer.

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Stir the sauce, and see if more spice is needed. If it’s not salty enough, add salt. If it needs pepper, give it some pepper. If it’s perfect, don’t touch it! You can simmer the pasta for up to an hour if you’d like, or you can serve it immediately. If you have some time, simmering the sauce enhances the flavor, and you can use the time to do other things around the house, read the paper, or check up on your stocks.



When you’re ready to eat, ladle the cauliflower onto a plate and top with sauce. Enjoy your “pasta”!


Delicata Squash Stuffed with Ground Turkey, Quinoa, and Chard


Last week, I was lamenting that it was so hot, I could not bring myself to turn on the oven. This week, the weather took a cooler turn, and I was inspired to whip up an autumn-inspired meal. This recipe really hits the spot on those cooler evenings. It’s also got a lot of leafy greens in it, but doesn’t taste like it at all. It’s prefect for those nights when you’re asking yourself: “what am I going to do with all this chard?” It’s also really fun to make — let’s stuff some squash!

Serves: 2

Time: 35 minutes

Difficulty: Easy




  • 2 small delicata squashes
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 1 small bunch chard
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 Tb. minced garlic
  • 1 Tb. Olive oil
  • 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 lb. ground turkey
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • a dash of red pepper flakes


First, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. While the oven is heating up, chop up your greens (and bell pepper):



using a big knife, cut the delicata squash length-wise, and scoop out the seeds. You’ll be left with four little squash “boats”.


Brush the delicata squash interiors with 1/2 Tb. of the olive oil, and gently sprinkle with 1 tsp. of kosher salt. Place the squash on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil, and bake for 30-35 minutes at 375 degrees.


While the squash is roasting, cook your ground turkey on the stove top. Put a large, heavy bottomed pan on a burner set to medium-high. Throw the remaining 1/2 Tb. of olive oil in the pan and add the minced garlic and a few shakes of the red pepper. I have a gallon-sized jug of minced garlic in my refrigerator. I highly recommend that you get your own jar of minced garlic — you don’t have to buy a gallon, but it’s great stuff, and doesn’t expire for years, so why not?! Having garlic already minced and ready to go really cuts down on the cooking time. It is also a good way to avoid those sticky, smelly garlic hands that I cannot avoid when I actually chop up a garlic clove. The red pepper flakes will add heat to the dish. If you like it spicy, add more. If you don’t like spicy, add only a bit, or omit. I use a tablespoon of garlic because I love garlic. Feel free to use less (or more…)


Saute the garlic and red pepper flakes over medium-high heat for about 1-2 minutes. The garlic should turn a nutty brown, but shouldn’t smoke and turn black. Garlic is very heat-sensitive. If it starts to get too hot, turn down the heat, or simply lift the pan off the stovetop. Stir constantly.

After the garlic is toasted, add the chopped chard to the pan.


Cook for about a minute, while stirring, until the chard wilts. You will not really taste the chard in the finished product, but it adds a lot of nutrients, and is a good use for this ubiquitous winter vegetable.


After the chard has cooked, add the chopped bell pepper and arugula:


Saute over medium-high for about a minute, and then add the ground turkey:


Season the turkey with the remainder of the kosher salt. Using a spatula with a flat edge, break up the turkey into little pieces, and the stir until the turkey is cooked — about 3-5 minutes. The turkey will not be pink when it is cooked. You do not want to eat pink turkey.



Add the quinoa and cook. I had left over quinoa from last night’s dinner. If you don’t have quinoa lying around, just follow the direction on the box/bag. Quinoa is very high in protein, is gluten-free, and tastes great.


After the turkey is cooked, turn the stovetop down to simmer, and wait for the squash to cook. After thirty minutes, check the squash. It should be firm, but not too hard (ask, can I cut into this?) Take out the squash from the stove, and turn off the stove top. Using a spoon, spatula, or culinary weapon of your choice, stuff the squash. After the delicious mixture has been evenly divided between the squashes, top with mozzarella. Place the stuffed squashes back in the oven for five more minutes.


Take the squash out of the oven, and you’ve got dinner! Enjoy!


(The dish was so good, that we ate it all before I could get a “pretty picture” of the plated meal…oh well)

Fresh Herb, Corn, and Tomato Couscous Melange with Feta and a Hardboiled Egg


Even though it’s technically fall, it has been unforgivingly hot lately. When the weather is sweltering, I don’t want a heavy meal. Thinking about eating pot roast or brisket makes me want to cry. This recipe is a great solution for those too hot/just can’t days when the thought of turning on the oven is just unbearable. It’s also delicious, simple to create, and vegetarian. The fresh mint and basil really make the dish (don’t use dried herbs), and the feta adds a tangy touch that really brings all of the ingredients together. Give this recipe a shot for a satisfying supper that is perfect for any evening, whether it’s 12 degrees or 100.




  • 2 ears of corn
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 4 large tomatoes, and a handful of small ones
  • 1 small tub of feta
  • a handful of arugula
  • 1 bunch mint
  • 1 bunch basil
  • 2 cups of couscous
  • 2 eggs

Serves: 2

Time: 15 minutes



Start by boiling your eggs. There are so many ways to make hardboiled eggs. If you have a way that you like, go for it. If you have no idea how to hard boil an egg, the following is a pretty foolproof method. Put your eggs in a small saucepan, and cover with water, about an inch over the eggs.



Place the saucepan with the eggs on the stovetop, and cover with a lid. Turn the stovetop up to high, and bring the water to boil. Once the water is boiling (you’ll know because there’s a rumbling noise), wait about one minute, and turn the stove off. Keep the eggs covered, and set a timer for ten minutes.


We had some left over couscous from the night before, so we just pulled it out of the refrigerator and put it in a a bowl. If you don’t have left-over-couscous, just follow the instruction on the box of couscous. Usually, it only take about 5-10 minutes to make. Do this at the same time you’re hardboiling your eggs.



While your eggs are hardboiling, chop everything up! Add the couscous, and then add all the chopped ingredients to a large bowl.

Arugula — it adds great nutrients and a peppery bite:


Bell Pepper:





Fresh Mint and Basil — you can use as much or as little as you like. I love fresh herbs!:


Using a big knife (or serrated steak knife), cut the corn off the cob directly into the bowl of deliciousness:


Add the feta (again, you can use as much or as little as you like. I used the whole tub…):


Toss everything together, and admire how lovely it all looks:


At this point in time, your eggs should be done. After the timer buzzes, drain the eggs, and run cold water over them to stop the cooking. When the eggs are cool enough, crack them, and remove the shells.


Using a large spoon, shovel the couscous melange into bowls, and cut the eggs in half. Place the eggs on top of the melange, and you’re done! It should look great, and taste even better!


What do I do with all of these Vegetables? Tikka Masala Slow Cooker Vegetables with Tofu

We recently joined a community supported agriculture association, and have been so lucky to receive a small box of locally grown organic produce every other week. The fruit and vegetables are spectacular. They are ripe, juicy, and always in season. Plus, they deliver this magical produce box right to our door. The only problem is that sometimes we have a handful of greens and things that we’re not quite sure what to with. This recipe is a result of being delivered a bunch of vegetables, and wanting to do more than simply roast them. This recipe really only requires shopping and chopping. It is that easy. Just like last week, we’re doing this one in the slow cooker as well. If you haven’t rushed out and bought one yet, now is the time. This is what we work with: <a href=””>Slowcooker</a> .

Can you tell I’m excited for autumn?


Tikka Masala Slow Cooker Vegetables with Tofu


  • 1 bunch carrots
  • 1-2 lbs. fingerling potatoes
  • 1 acorn squash or other winter squash
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1 pack firm tofu
  • 1 can Safeway Tikka Masala or Butter Chicken “Simmer Sauce” (sold next to the pasta sauce at Safeway)

Serves: 4 (with leftovers)

Time: 10 minutes preparation/6-10 hours in the slow cooker


Grab your slowcooker, put it on your counter, and cut everything up! First, drain the tofu, and sandwich it between two paper towels. You want to get as much water out of the tofu as possible, so that it will soak up all the other delicious flavors. Let the paper towels soak up the excess water while you’re doing your chopping.


Wash and dry all your produce, and then chop it up. I started with chopping my carrots into inch long pieces:


Then, cut up your fingerling potatoes into 1-inch pieces as well:


Clean and cut your acorn squash.


Acorn squash is gorgeous, but it’s really difficult to cut through. If they sell pre-cut squash at your local grocery store, I would recommend buying it. Cutting up the squash was the most challenging part of making this meal.

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Last, cut up your onion. If you put your onion in the refrigerator before chopping, you’ll cry less. I promise.


Once you cut up all your produce, chop your tofu into 1″ x 1″ cubes. They don’t have to be perfect — don’t get out your ruler!


Transfer everything into your slowcooker. It should look something like this:


Cover everything with the simmer sauce,



and give it a good stir:


Sometimes I kind of feel like it’s cheating to just use a store-bought sauce, but this stuff is so good, and it makes dinner super easy. It’s ok to get a little help from the grocery store every now and again. We are hungry and tired, after all.

Set the slowcooker to “low”, and go to work.


When you come home from work, ladle your delicious dinner into bowls and enjoy. IMG_4793

You can serve it on top of your favorite grain, with a side salad, or just by itself.


Slowcooker Three Bean Turkey Chili with Grilled Cheese Strips


Last week we had rain for the first time in a long time. It was one of those days where you wake up, and don’t want to get out of bed. While we really need rain here in the Bay Area, I found myself lingering under the covers, feeling like, well, this:


I do love fall, and one of my favorite things about the colder weather is the heartier food. My wife had the genius idea to make some chili on this cold and blustery day. This recipe is a combination of several different recipes that I’ve seen on the internet, and it turned out perfectly. In the past, I have had trouble with making my chili spicy enough, but this recipe has a really nice bite. I hope you enjoy this recipe. It’s very simple: you prepare it in the morning, and set the slow cooker on “low” all day long. When you come home from work, just ladle out the chili. I like to pair chili with grilled cheese sandwich strips because they are the best thing ever. This recipe results in a very good/moderately healthy meal that is guaranteed to warm you and your loved ones up, even on the coldest nights.





  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 1 cup corn (I use flash frozen)
  • 1.25 lbs. ground turkey
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can white beans
  • 2 small cans diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 very small can tomato sauce
  • kosher salt to taste (about 1 Tb.)
  • a few grinds of fresh ground black pepper (about 1/2 tsp.)
  • 2 Tb. chili powder
  • 1/2 Tb. ground cumin
  • 1/2 Tb. garlic power
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. red pepper (ground cayenne)

Grilled Cheese:

  • sourdough bread
  • sliced cheese. I prefer pepperjack.


First, dice your onion. Then, brown your turkey and onions on the stovetop or in the slowcooker.


Using a spatula or wooden spoon, break up the ground turkey into small pieces, and stir for about two minutes until the turkey is cooked (i.e. no longer pink). My slowcooker has a “sauté” function, which allows you to brown your meat right in the crockpot. I love this feature. It also produces one less dish to wash, and makes this a truly “one pot meal”!


Add all of the seasoning, and give it a good stir:


Open up all of your cans, and add the contents to the slowcooker. I start with the beans. Make sure you drain out the liquid from the cans before tossing the beans into the pot:


Add the tomatoes with the green chilies:


Add the tomato sauce:


Throw in the corn:


Using your spatula or wooden spoon, swirl all the ingredients together:


Put the top on your slowcooker, and make sure its plugged in, and set to “low.”


Go to work, and let the chili cook for about 6-10 hours (depending on the length of your day).

Grilled Cheese:

When you get home, pull out four slices of sourdough bread, and make two cheese sandwiches.  The next step is to make the cheese sandwich toasty. I like to do this with a panini press.


Our kitchen is teeming with culinary gadgets, and the panini press is something that we use fairly frequently (seriously).


If you don’t have a panini press, don’t fret — you can make a grilled cheese sandwich about a thousand different ways. If you put a pan on the stovetop and set it to high, you can just place the sandwich in the pan, and the bread will toast up and the cheese will melt. As soon as the cheese starts to melt, flip the sandwich. It’s really good if you butter the pan and butter both sides of the bread. It’s also really good if you just put the bread right on the pan. Your choice.

After you’ve crafted your grilled cheese, cut it into thin strips:


Taste your chili and make sure it’s salty and spicy enough. If it’s not, add more salt and/or spices. When it’s just right, spoon it into a bowl, and top with shredded cheese (optional) and your grilled cheese strips. Enjoy!


Hungry & Tired Reflects on a Delicious Summer Meal

I love summer — the hot days, constant barbecue, and the prevalence of rose in the afternoon. When fall begins to emerge, I like to think about some of the wonderful times I have had during the summer. Most of those times involve food! I’ve had many wonderful summer meals, and wanted to share one particularly delightful evening with you.


This meal was incredible — we smoked some ribs, made with a rub and a spicy plum sauce from Weber’s Way To Grill, which is an absolutely fantastic grilling manifesto. I love inventing my own recipes, but it’s also fun and instructive to learn from other people who make delicious items. Smoking the ribs makes them super succulent, and the sauce is just really good. It cuts through a hot night like nothing else. 



For the sides, we made Thomas Keller’s creamed corn and a panzanella salad (Italian grilled bread with heirloom tomatoes, basil, soaked in olive oil and balsamic vinegar). Mr. Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home cookbook contains the best creamed corn recipe on the planet. I think the secret is cayenne pepper and lime zest. Also lots of butter and cream. Mr. Keller sure can cook, and I recommend any of his books for all aspiring chefs (and for those who like looking at really pretty photos of food). We also had these great rolls from a Danish Bakery in Oakland. 


Top the meal off with a big glass of wine, some fancy soda, and wonderful company. And of course, a dog who requests a plate of his own.