Archive for July, 2011
Salad for breakfast? Why not? Forget the rules. Who makes the rules anyway? This breakfast has the standard egg requirement for any traditionalist out there but the crispy spinach, spicy beans, smooth cheese, sweet peaches and crunchy tortilla chips will appeal to those free spirits who think that rules are made to be broken. I have a magnet on my refrigerator that says “If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun” to remind me to step outside of the lines occasionally. Join me this morning with a spicy salad for breakfast and be a food rebel.
- 2 cups baby spinach or other greens
- 1 can (15 ounces) no salt added organic black beans
- 1 medium tomato, diced
- 1 cup Sweet Heat Chili Sauce
- 4 eggs
- 1 tbsp pasture butter plus 1 tsp, divided
- 4 ounces queso fresco or other cheese of your choice (shredded montery jack, cheddar, manchego, goat cheese)
- 1 peach, pit removed and cut into 8 slices
- 1 tsp raw honey or coconut nectar
- 1/2 tsp ancho chili powder
- 4 ounces corn tortilla chips
- In a non stick skillet heat 1 tsp butter.
- Add the peach slices and sprinkle the chili powder over them.
- As the peaches soften, about 1-2 minutes, drizzle the honey over them and heat another minute or until the honey and butter have glazed the peaches. Remove to a plate, set aside and keep warm.
- In the same skillet add the beans, chili sauce and tomato.
- Heat 2-3 minutes until warmed through. Remove to a plate or bowl, set aside and keep warm.
- Wipe the skillet out with a damp paper towel, melt the remaining butter and cook the eggs to your preferred hardness, (you could even scramble them if you like).
- To serve, place 1/2 cup of spinach on each plate, top with 1/4 of the bean mixture, 1 egg, 1 ounce cheese, 2 slices of peaches and top with tortilla chips.
Makes 4 servings.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 393.5, Cal. from Fat: 181, Total Fat: 20g, Sat. Fat: 8.5g, Carbs: 33g, Fiber: 7g, Sugars: 9g, Protein: 20g, Sodium: 360mg, Chol: 237mg
This salad is best eaten right away. You can however have all the components ready to go and stored in separate containers. Simply cook your egg and plate up the remaining items and you’re ready to go!
Anytime I need a no nonsense, quick and easy meal – I whip up this frittata. Seriously, this is a perfect breakfast, lunch or dinner! Plus the leftovers are great the next day. I love meals that are this flexible and work great for multiple meals. And it gets even better! You can add any of your favorite veggies to have a meal totally customized to your tastes. No need to thank me. Ok, go ahead. You’re welcome!
- 1 pound asparagus, ends snapped off, cut into 1 inch pieces (or 1 – 1 1/2 cups veggies of your choice)
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup shredded cheese of your choice (I used Gruyere but feta, swiss and even cheddar work great)
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- Heat olive oil into a large oven-proof frying pan over medium high heat.
- Add onions and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened, about 3 minutes.
- Add asparagus, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, covered, until the asparagus are tender, about 6 to 8 minutes.
- Pour in eggs and cook until almost set, but still runny on top, about 2 minutes. While cooking, pre-heat oven broiler to high.
- Sprinkle cheese over eggs and place frying pan in oven to broil until cheese is melted and browned, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Remove from oven with oven mitts (pan handle will be VERY hot!!!) and slide frittata onto a serving plate. Cut into 4 slices and serve.
Makes 4 servings.
Serving size 1/4 frittata.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 224, Cal. from Fat: 148, Total Fat: 16.5g, Sat. Fat: 8.5g, Carbs: 4.5g, Fiber: 1.5g, Sugars: 2.5g, Protein: 14.5g, Sodium: 247.5mg, Chol: 240.5mg
This frittata keeps very well in the fridge and is excellent the next day. You can warm it up in the microwave or oven. It’s also pretty tasty cold as well!
One of the things I’ve had difficulty finding in the market here in CA is organic, not a lot of added ingredients, whole grain bread. I’m not sure why. I guess I was just spoiled by the Whole Foods super store that we had in Naperville, IL that had it’s own in-house bakery. Going to the bakery department was an event in itself. The aroma drew you to it. The glass cases filled with so many wonderful choices…but I digress. Anyway, I decided it was time to take matters into my own hands and make my own bread. These Whole Grain English Muffins are just what I was looking for. They aren’t as filled with “nooks and crannies” as that popular brand sold everywhere but they also aren’t full of chemicals, genetically modified grains and other unnecessary and unhealthy ingredients. They are perfect topped with peanut butter, fresh fruit spread or even as mini pizzas.
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1 tbsp active dry yeast
- 1 tsp raw honey or coconut nectar
- 3 1/2 – 4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 cup oat flour
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 egg
- 1 1/4 cups warm lowfat milk
- 2 tbsp pasture butter, melted
- cornmeal for rolling out the dough
- In a small bowl combine the water and honey. Stir to dissolve. Sprinkle the yeast over the top and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
- Combine 2 cups of the whole wheat flour, baking soda and the salt in a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer. Pour in the egg, milk, butter and yeast mixture. Mix until creamy.
- Add in the oat flour and the the remaining whole wheat flour 1/2 cup at a time until you have a soft looking dough that holds together. You may not need all of the whole wheat flour but I usually end up using all 4 cups.
- Place the dough onto a floured work surface and knead at least 5 minutes or knead the dough in your stand mixer until it is smooth and elastic.
- Place the dough into a clean greased bowl (I use the little bit of butter left in the bowl that I used for melting the butter that was mixed into the dough) and cover with a towel or plastic wrap.
- Let the dough rise until doubled, about 90 minutes.
- Sprinkle your work surface with cornmeal. Place the dough onto the the cornmeal and sprinkle the top with cornmeal.
- Roll the dough to about 1/2 inch thick. Use a cookie cutter or upside down jar or drinking glass to cut out muffins about 3-4 inches in diameter.
- Heat a large griddle or skillet over medium heat. Place the muffins onto the dry skillet and let them cook about 8-10 minutes on each side. If they appear to be browning too quickly turn the heat down to low. You need time for the inside to cook as well.
- Cool on a wire rack.
Makes approximately 16 muffins.
Serving size 1 muffin.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 147.5, Cal. from Fat: 24, Total Fat: 2.5g, Sat. Fat: 1g, Carbs: 26.5g, Fiber: 4g, Sugars: 1.5g, Protein: 5.5g, Sodium: 209mg, Chol: 14mg
Leftover muffins can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day (there are no preservatives after all!) and up to a 2 weeks in the fridge. You can also freeze them for up to 6 months.
At my high school WAAAYYY back in the day, school lunch was NOT something you would ever eat UNLESS it was tater tot day. Then you would find every single student lined up to get their serving (sometimes 2) of these delicious tater tots. While I probably don’t want to know what they were fried in or what ‘ingredients’ went into the tater tots, I do know that it spawned a deep love of the tots! These amazing tots are almost always on the menu for our Sunday morning breakfast and I’ll often make them instead of ‘french fries’ when we have burgers. Enjoy!
- 3 1/2 cups shredded jicama, squeezed dry in a towel (About 1 large jicama. You can also use shredded potato.)
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1/2 – 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (amount will depend on how ‘cheesy’ you want your tater tots)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil plus a little extra for greasing the pan
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Coat your muffin tin with olive oil or cooking spray and set aside. You can use a 12 count muffin tin or for mini tater tots use a 24 count muffin tin. *see notes
- In large bowl combine shredded jicama, onions, cheese, salt and pepper. Gently mix with a fork.
- Drizzle the mixture with olive oil and toss lightly with a fork again until the mixture is well combined.
- Spoon the mixture evenly into the muffin tin. With the back of the spoon gently press down to pack mixture into each cup.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes (mini tater tots bake for 30-40 minutes).
- Let the tater tots rest for 5 minutes, run a small knife or spatula around the edge of each cup to loosen the edges. Remove each tater tot and turn upside down (bottom side up) onto a plate to serve.
Makes 12 tater tots or 24 mini tater tots.
Serving size 1 tater tot or 2 mini tater tots.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 59, Cal. from Fat: 30.5, Total Fat: 3.5g, Sat. Fat: 1g, Carbs: 5g, Fiber: 2.5g, Sugars: 1g, Protein: 2g, Sodium: 65.5mg, Chol: 3.5mg
Using a silicone muffin tin is VERY helpful with this recipe. Popping the tater tots out of the tin is a piece a cake with a silicone muffin tin. If you don’t have one available for this recipe make sure to coat your tin VERY well with olive oil.
This recipe can be made ahead of time and baked at a later date. Follow steps 2-5, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to bake. Remove from fridge 30 minutes before you’re ready to bake them. This works great for making the night before and baking them the next morning. I HIGHLY recommend using a silicone muffin tin when choosing this method.
While these are best when eaten right away you can refrigerate the leftovers and reheat to serve. They will lose some of there crispiness but still taste great. I recommend reheating in the oven until they are warm all the way through.
Sometimes you just need to introduce a little fun into breakfast. Egg Pillows, these are the healthy eaters. Healthy eaters, these are Egg Pillows. Introductions over, now on with the fun! 2 simple eggs are transformed into soft and fluffy clouds that lay on a bed of sliced tomatoes and melted cheese. Top them off with a little crispy prosciutto and you have a party, a pajama party if you are still in your PJ’s.
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup shredded cheese of your choice (I used an Old World Portuguese that I found at the farmer’s market but Manchego, Gruyere, Monterey Jack or even cheddar would work)
- 2 slices from a medium to large beefsteak tomato, about 1/2 inch thick
- 2 slices or 1 ounce prosciutto, cut into thin strips (I used Applegate Farms Prosciutto)
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees and place a rack in the middle of the oven.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a small dry skillet cook the prosciutto until lightly browned and crisp. Set aside.
- Separate the egg whites into a small bowl. Set aside the yolks.
- Add the salt to the egg whites and beat with an electric mixer on high until you have stiff peaks.
- Spoon half the beaten egg whites into a pillow onto the parchment paper. Make another pillow with the remaining egg whites. With the back of your spoon make a small dent in the center of each pillow.
- Place the tomato slices onto the parchment paper.
- Bake in the oven for 3 minutes.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven and gently place 1 egg yolk into each pillow and top the tomato slices evenly with the shredded cheese.
- Return to the oven and bake another 3-4 minutes or until the yolks are cooked and the cheese is melted.
- Place each tomato slice onto a plate and with a spatula gently remove the egg pillows and place one on top of each tomato slice.
- Sprinkle evenly with the prosciutto.
Makes 2 servings.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 166.5, Cal. from Fat: 102.5, Total Fat: 10g, Sat. Fat: 3.5g, Carbs: 10g, Fiber: 0g, Sugars: 1g, Protein: 13.5g, Sodium: 665mg, Chol: 231mg
Egg Pillows are best eaten right away and do not save well.
Pancakes. They are cake for breakfast! How is this not a win/win situation?! My family certainly thinks so since I’ve made pancakes for breakfast for almost 2 weeks in a row. See, I’m a picky pancake eater. I do NOT like syrup on my pancakes – it’s au naturale or nothing! So I can’t just sit down and eat any pancake – it needs to be flavorful, with the right consistency, fluffiness and texture. It’s no easy task making the perfect pancake! For nearly 2 weeks I’ve attempted to perfect this recipe – apparently Jack Johnson makes them all the time but he wasn’t sharing the recipe with me. Now, I may or may not have eaten the whole batch of these pancakes by myself. I also may have licked the plate. I’ll guess I’ll never be as cool as Jack Johnson…
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 3 1/2 tbsp raw coconut crystals
- 1 heaping tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 cup milk (non-dairy or regular milk will work) *see notes
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 large, ripe banana, mashed
- 2 1/2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 cup old fashioned oats (if you toast them first it adds GREAT flavor but plain works fine too)
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds (again, toasting is good but plain works too)
- In a large bowl mix together flour, coconut crystals, baking powder and salt.
- In a separate bowl whisk together the milk, vanilla, mashed bananas and melted coconut oil.
- Gently combine the wet and dry ingredients, stirring until a moist batter forms. Add in the oats and almonds. Stir only until just mixed.
- Heat a large non stick skillet over medium-high heat (if you do not use a non stick skillet then you will need to lightly grease the pan with some coconut oil).
- Ladle 1/4 cup of pancake batter onto the pan.
- Cook for 3-4 minutes, until bubbles appear on top and the underside is nicely browned.
- Flip and cook for another minute until the pancake is golden brown. Remove from skillet and serve warm with topping of your choice. Repeat with the remaining batter.
Makes 16-18 pancakes.
Serving size 2 pancakes.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 149.5, Cal. from Fat: 56, Total Fat: 7.5g, Sat. Fat: 4.5g, Carbs: 20.5g, Fiber: 3g, Sugars: 5g, Protein: 3g, Sodium: 44mg, Chol: 0mg
These pancakes are more hearty than traditional pancakes. If you’d like a more traditional fluffy pancake simply omit the oats and almonds and decrease the amount of milk to 1 1/2 cups.
Store any leftover pancakes in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can also freeze them in freezer safe baggies for up to 6 months.
When Sarah brought over some lemons to share with me that she had received from one of Keegan’s playmates I was in the middle of making Whole Grain Graham Crackers. Lemons and graham crackers….are you thinking what I’m thinking? Lemon Bars! Sweet and crispy graham cracker crust topped with tangy lemon curd and just for fun a swirl of blueberries to take it over the top. Next time you’re given lemons don’t just make lemonade make Lemon Blueberry Bars.
- Dough from Whole Grain Graham Crackers
- 6 tablespoons pasture butter, softened
- 1 cup raw honey plus 1 tsp, divided
- 2 large eggs plus 2 additional egg yolks
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 4 lemons depending on the size and juiciness)
- 1/4 cup fresh blueberries (frozen will work too just thaw first)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare the dough for Whole Grain Graham Crackers.
- Press half the dough into a greased 8 x 8 baking pan and prick with a fork.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until slightly browned around the edges. Set aside to cool.
- Roll out and bake the remainder of the dough as directed in the Graham Cracker recipe. You can use these crackers to crumble over the top of the bars if you wish.
- In a food processor or large bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter and 1 cup honey until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute.
- Add the eggs and egg yolks and mix again for another minute.
- Mix in the lemon juice.
- Pour the mixture in to a medium non-stick saucepan. Cook over medium low heat stirring constantly until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Do not boil. If the curd appears to be getting too hot before thickening turn the heat to low and continue stirring until thickened.
- Pour over the cooled graham cracker crust.
- Mash the blueberries and remaining honey.
- Drop small spoonfuls evenly over the lemon curd.
- With a knife swirl the blueberries through the curd.
- Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until thoroughly chilled and the curd is set.
- Cut into 16 squares and sprinkle crushed graham crackers over the top if desired.
Makes 16 bars.
Serving size 1 bar.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 169, Cal. from Fat: 55, Total Fat: 6g, Sat. Fat: 3.5g, Carbs: 25.5g, Fiber: 0g, Sugars: 20.5g, Protein: 2g, Sodium: 43mg, Chol: 65.5mg
Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Graham cracker dunking in milk is an art. Dunk too long and the cracker will fall apart before you can get it to your mouth. Dunking the cracker for too little time will not result in the perfect saturation of milk to cracker ratio. I invested a lot of time and boxes of graham crackers in my younger days trying to perfect this art. I hadn’t had a graham cracker in years until recently when I worked on creating a whole grain graham cracker. I am totally re-living my youth with these crackers and it’s been groovy.
- 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour (the coarser the grind the better)
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon (for a cinnamon graham use 2 tsp)
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 2 tbsp pasture butter, cold and cut into small cubes
- 2 egg whites, divided
- 6 tbsp plus 1 tsp raw coconut crystals, divided
- 2 tbsp raw honey or coconut nectar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
- Add the butter and with your fingers, fork or pastry cutter work the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles a texture like coarse wet sand.
- In a small bowl whisk together 1 egg white, 6 tablespoons coconut crystals, honey and vanilla.
- Add the egg white mixture to the flour mixture and stir until you have a crumbly dough (like a pie crust dough).
- Sprinkle a little flour onto a piece of parchment paper the size of a baking sheet. Place the dough onto the parchment and sprinkle a little more flour over the top. Roll the dough into a rectangle about 8″ x 14″ or about 1/8 inch thick. Transfer the parchment paper with the rolled dough to a baking sheet.
- Cut the rectangle into 12 pieces and separate slightly.
- Brush the pieces with the remaining egg white and sprinkle with the remaining tsp coconut crystals.
- Bake 15-18 minutes or until browned.
- Separate the crackers if any have baked together and remove to a wire cooling rack. The crackers will crisp as they cool.
Makes 12 crackers approximately 2 1/2″ x 4″.
Serving size 1 cracker.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 128.5, Cal. from Fat: 19, Total Fat: 2g, Sat. Fat: 1g, Carbs: 18.5g, Fiber: 2g, Sugars: 7.5g, Protein: 2.5g, Sodium: 46.5mg, Chol: 5mg
Store leftover crackers in an airtight container for up to 2 days or in the fridge for up to a week.
My husband and I were lucky enough to not only get married in Hawaii but to honeymoon there was well. We spent 3 awesome weeks exploring Oahu and Maui and loved every second of it. One of our favorite parts of Maui was eating at Cheeseburger in Paradise which was located literally steps away from our hotel. They served a burger that had a slice of grilled pineapple on top and we could not get enough of it! Now this was back in the days of our ‘unhealthy’ eating before we opened our eyes to genetically modified food products and all the health problems that go along with eating ‘crap’! I wanted to recreate a cleaned up version of our favorite burger from that time and this not only hit the mark but is our new favorite burger. The combination of the sweet grilled pineapple with the delicious thai coconut flavors is to die for! This may seem like a complicated recipe but it’s really very simple! The coconut peanut sauce is divine and can be used as a dip for veggies or even as a topping for a veggie wrap. Enjoy!
Ingredients for Coconut Peanut Sauce:
- 2 tbsp no salt added peanut butter, room temperature
- 1 tbsp raw honey or coconut nectar
- 3 tbsp vinegar
- 3 tbsp coconut milk
- 1/2 tbsp lime juice
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp fresh ginger, finely grated
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
Ingredients for Thai Burgers:
- 1 pound organic grass fed lean ground sirlion
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, finely grated
- 1-2 tbsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp tahini
- 1/4 cup pure pineapple juice (or puree some fresh pineapple – this works great too!)
- 4 pineapple slices
- 4 Homemade Hamburger Buns or your favorite hamburger buns of choice
- 1/2 medium cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
- 1 cup bean sprouts
Preparation for Coconut Peanut Sauce:
- In a large bowl mix together all the ingredients until smooth.
- The sauce will start to thicken once it’s refrigerated. You may need to add a little water and stir to thin it out if it thickens too much.
Preparation for Thai Burgers:
- In a large bowl add ground sirlion, ginger, red pepper flakes, tahini and pineapple juice.
- Using your hands, mix well until thoroughly combined.
- Using a burger press (you can use your hands but I recommend a burger press to get perfectly shaped burgers) form the meat into 4 patties (about 1/4 pound each).
- Preheat your grill on high heat and following the directions for your specific grill model, grill the burgers to your desired doneness.
- In the last few minutes of grilling add the pineapple slices to the grill and grill each side for about 1 minute.
- Remove from grill and place each patty on a hamburger bun and top with 1-2 tbsp coconut peanut sauce, a slice of grilled pineapple, some cucumber, carrot and bean sprouts.
Nutritional Info for Coconut Peanut Sauce:
Makes approximately 10 tbsp.
Serving size 1 tbsp.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 37.5, Cal. from Fat: 25.5, Total Fat: 2.5g, Sat. Fat: 1g, Carbs: 2.5g, Fiber: .5g, Sugars: 1.5g, Protein: .5g, Sodium: 1mg, Chol: 0mg
Nutritional Info for Thai Burgers:
Makes 4 burgers.
Serving size 1 complete burger (includes bun, pineapple, toppings and sauce).
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 313.5, Cal. from Fat: 70, Total Fat: 7.5g, Sat. Fat: 2.5g, Carbs: 53.5g, Fiber: 6.5g, Sugars: 21.5g, Protein: 29.5g, Sodium: 94mg, Chol: 65mg
Store any leftover coconut peanut sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. My husband and I love to use the sauce on Thai Lettuce Wraps and my kids love dipping their veggies in it.
Everyone is a critic when it comes to cole slaw. Have you noticed that? I have. If you mention a restaurant or deli the response is often “they have the best slaw or the worst slaw or the slaw is too tangy, sweet, wet, dry” you name it. I like slaw of almost any kind, sweet and creamy or with a tangy vinaigrette but here is a new slaw that has a little bit of everything. Its crunchy, tangy, sweet and spicy too. I really love it and hope you will too. If you don’t though I’ll understand because I know….everybody is a critic.
Ingredients for Orange-Chili Dressing:
- 2 oranges, juiced
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 2 limes, juiced
- 2 tsp raw honey or coconut nectar
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp sea salt or to taste
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Ingredients for Confetti Slaw:
- 2 cups grated jicama
- 2 cups grated red cabbage
- 1 medium red onion, grated
- 2 medium carrots, grated
- 2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
Preparation for the dressing:
- In a small bowl whisk together all the dressing ingredients until well blended. Set aside.
Preparation for the slaw:
- Toss together the ingredients for the slaw in a large bowl.
- Pour in the dressing and mix to coat.
- Refrigerate at least an hour before serving.
Makes about 6 cups.
Serving size 1/2 cup.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 169, Cal. from Fat: 103, Total Fat: 12g, Sat. Fat: 1.5g, Carbs: 16g, Fiber: 4g, Sugars: 8g, Protein: 1.5g, Sodium: 199mg, Chol: 0mg
This slaw keeps really well and is actually better the longer it sits in the dressing. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.