If you read the New York Times bestselling memoir It Was Me All Along ($24; amazon.com), then you already know about Andie Mitchell’s inspiring 135-pound weight loss journey. Her secret? Balance. Although she eats healthy for the most part, she doesn’t completely deprive herself of the rich treats (cakes, pasta, nachos) she loves.
If you’re wondering how Mitchell strikes that balance, you’re in luck. She has come out with a new cookbook called Eating in the Middle ($28; amazon.com), which she describes as “mostly wholesome with a sprinkling of decadence…exactly how I live my life.”
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Read on for three of her easy, flavorful recipes.
All the Greens Frittata
6 large eggs
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium shallot, finely chopped (about ¼ cup)
½ lb. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
2 large leeks, white and light-green parts only, halved lengthwise and cut into ½-inch-thick pieces (about 2 cups)
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2½ oz. baby spinach leaves (2 packed cups)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 oz. goat cheese, crumbled (about ½ cup)
2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil leaves
Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs.
In a 10-inch ovenproof nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, asparagus, leeks, salt, and pepper, and cook until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and cook, stirring frequently, until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Lower the heat to medium, add the garlic, and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 30 seconds.
Add the eggs and stir. Cook, without stirring, until just set on the bottom, 30 to 45 seconds. Using a plastic spatula, lift the frittata edge nearest to you and tilt the skillet gently so that the eggs run underneath the cooked bottom. Swirl the pan to evenly distribute the egg in the skillet and continue to cook for 1 minute. Lift the pan once more to repeat the process until the egg on top is no longer runny. Scatter the goat cheese on top.
Bake until the top is set and the cheese begins to melt, 5 to 7 minutes. Sprinkle the basil over the top. Run a spatula around the sides of the frittata and transfer it to a large serving plate. Cut into four pieces and serve warm, at room temperature, or even chilled.
Cashew and Basil Chicken Lettuce Wraps
½ cup unsalted cashews
¼ cup low-sodium chicken broth
3 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
2 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. canola oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. ground chicken breast
2 scallions, white and light-green parts, chopped
½ cup roughly chopped fresh basil leaves
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the cashews on a baking sheet and toast until golden and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Let cool slightly, then chop the cashews. In a small bowl, whisk together the broth, hoisin, soy sauce, sugar, and cornstarch.
In a 12-inch nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken and cook, breaking up the meat with a spatula, until browned, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the scallions and the hoisin sauce mixture and cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Stir in the basil and cashews.
To serve, divide the lettuce leaves among 4 plates and spoon the chicken mixture into each of the leaves.
Creamy Farro with White Beans and Kale
1 cup dry farro
3 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 15-oz. can white beans, rinsed and drained
2 oz. Gruyère, shredded (about ½ cup)
3 Tbsp. grated Parmesan
4 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
8 oz. portobello mushroom caps, stems and gills removed, sliced into ½-inch pieces
1 medium shallot, thinly sliced (about ¼ cup)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small bunch kale, leaves chopped (about 4 cups chopped)
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
In a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat, bring the farro, broth, and bay leaf to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the grains are tender but still chewy, about 30 minutes.
Stir the beans into the hot grains. Add the Gruyère and Parmesan and stir until melted. Cover to keep warm.
Meanwhile, in a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat 2 tsp. of the oil over medium-high heat until very hot. Add the mushrooms and cook until browned on one side, 3 to 4 minutes, then stir and cook until browned and tender on the other side, 3 to 4 minutes more. Transfer the mushrooms to a warm plate. Add the remaining 2 tsp. of oil to the skillet along with the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the kale and cook, stirring frequently, until wilted, about 3 minutes. Season with the salt and pepper.
Stir the kale, mushrooms, and parsley into the farro and beans and serve immediately.
Recipes reprinted from Eating in the Middle: A Mostly Wholesome Cookbook. Copyright 2016 by Andie Mitchell. Photographs copyright 2016 by Aran Goyoaga. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.