Dali Scrambled Eggs with Kale and Pumpkin Seeds

Dali Inn's Breakfast Service“You hungry?

“You VERY hungry?”

—Eggmeister, FFIX

This is a quick and nutritious way to start your day. You can use a different kind of cheese each morning to keep things interesting. Feta cheese and goat cheese are two excellent options.

  • 1½ ounces raw kale, torn into pieces
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ounce cheese
  • Pinch of turmeric
  • Pinch of smoked paprika
  • Sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
  • ½ ounce (15 grams) roasted and salted pumpkin seeds

Fill a 4-cup microwavable bowl with kale and add 2 tablespoons of water. Cover loosely and microwave for 1 minute. Drain the liquid from the bowl. (If you’re using a glass bowl, be careful — they get really hot!)

Crack both eggs into the bowl and add cheese and spices. Whisk together, cover loosely, and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir and cook an additional 30 seconds until cooked but not dry. (You might have to adjust these times depending on your microwave.)

Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and serve immediately.

Makes 1 serving.  Per serving: 356 calories, 24 g. fat, 8 g. carbohydrates, 3 g. fiber, 28 g. protein, vitamin A 103%, vitamin C 86%, calcium 24%, iron 23%

Quan’s Chicken Soup with Rice

Vivi in Treno“Vivi! I learn art of fulfillment without eating food!”

—Quan, FFIX

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 4 parsnips, scrubbed and chopped (about 3 cups)
  • 1 turnip, scrubbed and diced (about 1½ cups)
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 8 cups homemade chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup uncooked wild rice or long-grain brown rice (about 200 g.)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 or 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 6 oz. baby bok choy, chopped
  • 12 oz. zucchini, chopped (about 3 small/medium zucchinis)
  • 10 ounces chopped kale
  • ¾ oz. Italian parsley, chopped
  • ¾ oz. fresh dill, chopped
  • ¼ cup unfiltered apple cider vinegar

Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.  Add parsnips and turnip and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally and reducing heat if the vegetables are browning too quickly.

Add the chicken pieces to the soup pot and sprinkle with salt. Brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add rice, broth, bay leaves, and thyme, and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook about 35 minutes, until rice is tender and chicken is cooked through. Discard bay leaves and thyme sprigs and stir in bok choy, zucchini, and kale. Remove from heat and stir in parsley, dill, and vinegar before serving.

Makes about 8 heaping 1-cup servings.  Per serving: 346 calories, 10.7 g. fat, 1.8 g. saturated fat, 1.5 g. poly. fat, 5.9 g. mono. fat, 64.1 mg. cholesterol, 361.2 mg. sodium, 753.2 mg. potassium, 34.6 g. carbohydrates, 5.8 g. fiber, 28.2 g. protein, vitamin A 47%, vitamin C 97%, calcium 11%, iron 13%

Edea’s Orphanage Soup

Edea's Orphanage“This place is beautiful.”

“Yeah, the flower field… I forgot all about this place.”

—Quistis and Squall, FFVIII

  • 1 large yellow onion, quartered lengthwise and sliced crosswise (about 2 cups)
  • 8 oz. carrots, scrubbed and sliced diagonally into 1” pieces (about 1½ cups)
  • 1 fennel bulb, ends removed, halved, and sliced thickly
  • 1 turnip, scrubbed and cut into 1″ pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 2 lbs. small multicolored potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 head of garlic (about 8-12 cloves), peeled
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 16 oz. chicken sausages, uncooked, casing removed and cut into 1″ pieces
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • Fresh thyme sprigs
  • 10 oz. shredded kale and cabbage
  • Freshly-grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

In a large bowl, combine the onion, carrots, fennel, turnip, potatoes, and garlic. Toss with olive oil, Italian seasoning, sea salt, smoked paprika, and red pepper. Spread in a single layer on the baking sheet and roast, stirring once or twice, until lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

Heat butter in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add  sausage and brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Scrape the roasted vegetables and oil into the pot. Add the tomatoes and their juices and stir well. Slowly pour in the chicken broth and bring to a boil.

Stir well, add a few sprigs of fresh thyme, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.  Stir in shredded kale and cabbage and serve with Parmesan cheese for sprinkling on top, if desired.

Makes about 10 heaping 1-cup servings.  Per serving (does not include cheese): 457 calories, 12.2 g. fat, 3.9 g. saturated fat, 0.5 g. poly. fat, 2.6 g. mono. fat, 36.1 mg. cholesterol, 1573.9 mg. sodium (this will be less if you use homemade chicken stock instead of storebought), 773 mg. potassium, 29.9 g. carbohydrates, 4.8 g. fiber, 13.2 g. protein, vitamin A 45%, vitamin C 67%, calcium 10%, iron 14%

Treasure Hunter’s Sandwich

Locke in South Figaro“You’re Locke, right? Edgar told me about you. Is it true you’re a thief?”

“That’s TREASURE HUNTER!”

—Terra and Locke, FFVI

Treasure hunters don’t settle for empty-calorie white bread and processed meat when they’re on the go!

Instead of buying a sub at a fast-food sandwich shop, treat yourself with nutritious whole grains, minimal-ingredient condiments, probiotic yogurt cheese, and fresh veggies.

Spread each piece of bread with mayonnaise and add mustard. Sprinkle one piece of bread with pepperoncini and pile with turkey breast, cheese, and avocado. Add salt and pepper and top with greens. Sprinkle with vinegar, if desired. (Not too much, or your sandwich will be soggy before you get to Narshe!)

Slice in half lengthwise and serve with pickles.

Makes 1 serving: 535 calories, 25 g. fat, 37 g. carbohydrates, 7 g. fiber, 36 g. protein, iron 21%

Sector 5 Flower Soup

Aeris Gainsborough in Midgar“They say you can’t grow grass and flowers in Midgar. But for some reason, the flowers have no trouble blooming here.”

—Aeris Gainsborough, FFVII

Nasturtiums are one of the easiest things you can grow in your garden — just scatter a handful of seeds and they’ll keep coming back every year like beautiful weeds. You can also buy fresh nasturtium flowers at Whole Foods.

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 leeks, white and light-green parts only, chopped and rinsed (about 2 cups)
  • 24 garlic cloves (about 2 bulbs), peeled and halved, divided into two piles
  • ½ tablespoon sea salt
  • ½ cup white quinoa (about 3 oz.)
  • ½ cup red quinoa (about 3 oz.)
  • 8 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 15-oz. can of white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bunch fresh kale (about 10 oz.)
  • 1 bunch dandelion greens (about 10 oz.)
  • A handful of nasturtium flowers
  • Juice of 1 lemon (about ¼ cup)
  • 1 tablespoon honey or agave syrup
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper

Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.  Add leeks, half the garlic, and salt, and cook for 10 minutes. Stir frequently and reduce heat if the garlic is browning too quickly.

Stir in quinoa. Add broth and beans and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, about 20 minutes, until quinoa is tender. Meanwhile, rinse the kale and dandelion greens, then chop into bite-size pieces.

Remove the pot from heat and stir in the kale and dandelion greens, nasturtiums, lemon juice, honey, and white pepper. Use a garlic press to add the remaining garlic to the pot. Stir well, divide into bowls, and serve immediately for best results.

Makes 7 heaping 1-cup servings. Per serving: 297 calories, 9.3 g. fat, 1.1 g. saturated fat, 0.9 g. poly. fat, 5.6 g. mono. fat, 673.1 mg. sodium, 100.4 mg. potassium, 44.1 g. carbohydrates, 9.7 g. fiber, 10.2 g. protein, vitamin A 121%, vitamin C 90%, calcium 17%, iron 25%

Balamb Pasta Salad

Balamb Gas Station“A country on the world’s smallest continent. Known for its temperate climate and warm people.”

—FFVIII Info Corner

  • 16 oz. whole-wheat fusilli pasta or brown rice pasta
  • 5 oz. baby kale
  • 3 tomatoes, washed and chopped
  • ½ red onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 6½ oz. pitted kalamata olives (1 12-oz. jar), drained and rinsed
  • 16 oz. tofu, cut into ½” cubes
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • ½ tablespoon sea salt
  • ½ tablespoon red pepper flakes

Bring water to boil in a large soup pot. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes. Remove ¼ cup pasta water and set aside. Drain pasta into a colander.

Return pasta and the reserved pasta water to the pot. (The heat should be off; you’re just reusing the pot so you don’t have to get a bowl dirty.)

Add kale, tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, olives, tofu, oil, lime juice, salt, and red pepper, and toss well to mix. Refrigerate overnight to let the flavors combine.

Makes 8 servings. Per serving: 406 calories, 17.8 g. fat, 1.6 g. saturated fat, 0.8 g. poly. fat, 4.9 g. mono. fat, 823.1 mg. sodium, 186.2 mg. potassium, 49.7 g. carbohydrates, 8.4 g. fiber, 13.8 g. protein, vitamin A 28%, vitamin C 31%, calcium 14%, iron 20%

Imperial Steak with Brandy Sauce

Imperial banquet at Vector“Quite the affair, throwing a banquet to welcome the Imperials, eh?”

—Tomaj, FFXII

  • Two 8-ounce baseball steaks
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 oz. mixed baby greens
  • 10 oz. sliced crimini mushrooms
  • 1 shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 airplane-size bottle of brandy (50 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley

Preheat a large skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle steaks liberally with salt and pepper. Add oil and butter to the skillet; when the foam subsides, turn the heat to medium-high and put in the steaks.

Cook steaks for about 10–12 minutes per side, until internal temperature reaches at least 120 degrees. Meanwhile, divide the greens between two plates. When the steaks are ready, transfer to the plates.

Add mushrooms and shallots to the skillet and stir until tender, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and stir in brandy (be careful; it may ignite), then the mustard, then the cream.

Simmer until sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Divide between the plates and top with parsley.

Makes 2 servings. Per serving: 1,148 calories, 98.4 g. fat, 48.3 g. saturated fat, 4.8 g. poly. fat, 37.9 g. mono. fat, 300.4 mg. cholesterol, 271.9 mg. sodium, 1,632.5 mg. potassium, 13.4 g. carbohydrates, 1.7 g. fiber, 53.6 g. protein, vitamin A 131%, vitamin C 69%, calcium 22%, iron 26%