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Archive for the ‘Breakfast’ Category

After discovering the Oatmeal Replacement, which consists mainly of applesauce, I decided that it was time for me to try to make my own applesauce.  As you probably know, there are a wealth of options at the grocery store…strawberry applesauce, cinnamon applesauce, apple butter…the list goes on.  I was able (after a lot of label reading) to find a version from Mott’s with no sugar added, but I went through it so quickly that I found myself without any on hand and I was curious if homemade would be better.   Since I always have apples and pears on hand, I decided to give it a whirl.  To say it was delicious would be the understatement of the year.  Every bite got better and better.

I should also say that before starting Paleo, one of my favorite desserts to make was this pear syrup over vanilla ice cream.  I would just slice up a pear and cook it on the stove with a little brown sugar and cinnamon and in no time I would have a tasty topping.  This gave me the idea of trying to add a few pears to the applesauce mix.

I surfed around for a good sugar-free recipe and I stumbled across this one on Paleoparents.com.  I like it because they give you suggestions for what types of apples to use.  Unfortunately, all I had on hand were a couple of Honeycrisps and some Bosc pears, but I figured they would have to work in a pinch.

Guys, this is a hard one to mess up and you may never go back to the store bought stuff!  Now, if anybody knows if I could jar this and store it so I always have my own on hand – let me know…that is not yet my area of expertise!

This made about 3 cups – maybe a tad more.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Here’s what I used:

  • 2 large Honeycrisp Apples, peeled, cored and cut into large chunks
  • 1 Bosc Pear, peeled, cored, and cut into large chunks
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon, approximately – I really just sprinkled it on
  • 1 tsp nutmeg, approximately
  • A 9×13 inch glass baking dish
  • tinfoil
Toss the apple and pear chunks with the cinnamon and nutmeg and put in the glass baking dish.  Cover the dish with foil and cook for one hour or until soft.  Mash with a fork – you can do it as chunky or smooth as you would like it, but the whole mashing process took me about 30 seconds because the apples/pears were so soft.
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If you asked me back before Paleo what foods I thought I would miss, oatmeal would not have been one of them.  I liked oatmeal and I ate it pretty often, but it was never really that exciting.  Now that I have been attempting Paleo for about 6 months, I miss other breakfasts besides eggs, which of course includes oatmeal.  I sometimes just crave something warm and slightly sweet that isn’t an egg.

When I stumbled across this recipe for ‘Almost Oatmeal’ on the Paleo Plan website, I was doubtful that it could be good but excited at the possibility.  Wow, I was overwhelmed – it was delicious and so easy!  I modified just a little based on what I had on hand.  Given I was still a little hungry after I would probably have this in the morning with an egg or some kind of protein on the side just to bulk it up a bit and make it to lunch.

Serves 1

  • 4 oz (1/2 cup) unsweetened applesauce (I used Mott’s)
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened almond butter
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • fresh blueberries, raspberries, and a few hazelnuts for toppings
  • Combine applesauce, almond butter, almond milk, and spices in a microwaveable bowl.  Microwave for about 30 seconds, just until warm (of course you could have this cold if you prefer).  Top with blueberries, raspberries, and hazelnuts.

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Every morning during the week I follow a similar routine.  I wake up, take a shower, and proceed to either make a quick breakfast or if I’m working from home I can get a little fancier.  What used to be the fun part of this sometimes mundane start was deciding what to eat.  Should I do an eggo – with powdered sugar or syrup?  How about a veggie sausage patty with an over easy egg on an english muffin?  No?  Maybe some oatmeal with bananas and cinnamon.

Well, since being on Paleo these days, most of the things I just listed are off limits…I still splurge with them on weekends, but during the workweek, they are a no-no.  So I have to find new ways to shake it up.  You can’t just have an egg with cheese on it every morning for breakfast, right?  You’ve probably seen my flour-less muffin recipe but I just found a new kind of muffin to keep things interesting.


Clearly, these are not your traditional muffins (like any of mine really are?).  I’ll admit, I stumbled across this little gem of a recipe on My Retro Kitchen.  These muffins are just egg, meat, veggies, and some cottage cheese…if you please.  Give them a shot, you may just like them as much as me!

 

Makes 12 muffins

11-12 Eggs (I only ended up needing 11, but the original recipe calls for 12)

1/2 lb turkey sausage (or I used 4 pre-cooked turkey sausage patties for speed)

3 green onions, chopped (I used greens only, but you can use both if you want)

1/2 cup cottage cheese

4 oz can diced green chiles

1/2 cup broccoli, steamed and chopped

 

Preheat oven to 375.

Grease 12 muffin tins.  Layer into each muffin tin a little broccoli, green onions, sausage, cottage cheese, and green chiles.  The muffin tins should be pretty full.

In a bowl with a spout (I used a large measuring cup), beat the eggs with a whisk and sprinkle in a little salt and pepper to taste.  Pour the egg mixture over top of the veggies, sausage, and cheese (if using).

Pop them in the oven and let them cook for about 25 minutes (they will puff up a little and just start to get a little golden on top).  I threw a little cheddar on top, but it was totally unnecessary.  Now I just throw them in the microwave in the morning and voila – breakfast for a week!

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There was something missing from the first batch of muffins I made.  They were good, but a little dryer and not quite sweet enough.  They were, should I say, average muffins.  I have made about three batches since and I think I finally found the right combination, so I thought I would share.

I have to continue to credit Elana’s Pantry for the base recipe which I shift and play around with to suit my tastes.

**Since I first posted this recipe, I have been playing around with it a lot (since I make these practically every week).  I know replace all of the oil with a 1/2 cup of apple sauce (make sure it is unsweetened!).  This seemed to keep the muffins from getting too soft and wet as they sometimes do with the oil).**

Here you go:

Serves 10 muffins.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

3 eggs

1/2 cup strawberries, mashed

1/3 cup grapeseed oil

1/4 cup agave nectar

1 tbsp vanilla

1/4 cup blueberries

1/4 cup walnuts

1/4 cup pecans

Combine flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon in a small bowl.  In a separate bowl, blend eggs, strawberries, oil, agave, and vanilla together with a hand mixer.  With the hand mixer, add the dry ingredients to the wet and blend until smooth.

Stir in the blueberries, walnuts, and pecans.

Scoop the mix into pre-greased muffin tins (I find they come out much cleaner in greased muffin tins instead of paper lined, but use whichever you prefer).

Bake for 20 minutes or until just slightly golden (keep an eye on them as they go from golden to burned quickly).  A toothpick inserted should come out clean.

Store wrapped in a paper towel in a plastic bag at room temperature (I find the fridge does funny things to the muffins – kind of dries them out).

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My friend pointed out last night that it had been a long time since I posted – shout out to the LionWhisperers – which is true.  It’s been a long busy few months (work and personal) and I just haven’t found the time or motivation to post.  If you must know as well, I’ve done some damage to myself (arm injury, slamming my face into a wall) which has made me a little lazier than normal.  I think, too, I cook a lot differently these days than I used to cook so my “recipes” just don’t really seem like anything worthy of sharing.  Most nights of the week I throw a piece of cod or flounder basted in olive oil, salt, and pepper on the grill with some asparagus and cherry tomatoes on the side, which let’s admit isn’t really ground breaking cooking.

I should also admit that I don’t think writing and photography are my strong points, so I’m not 100% happy with how my blogging turns out most times (I can also be a bit overly critical of myself).  I really enjoy blogging, but not sure that my readers always get where my mind wanders due to my writing/thinking style (if I can call it a style?).

For example, as I am sitting here typing I can’t decide where to take this particular post next.  Do I talk about lunch?  Which is the one meal that is always (still) a challenge on the Paleo diet…but as I think that, I think I may need to do a lunch specific blog one of these days to get all my ideas in one place and to see if I can solicit some new ones as well.

Do I talk to you all (if there are any you’s reading) about cleaning all the carbs out of my pantry??  About the fact that I cheat every weekend on my diet??

So then I try to refocus my mind again, back to the subject at hand, my lack of exciting cooking and blogging.  So, while I say that I don’t cook like I used to I have been doing a few interesting experimentation’s with different forms of carb substitutes.

I know I’ve mentioned one of my favorite sites these days, Elana’s Pantry, quite a few times.  The recipe today is a modification, once again, from her site.  When you can’t have carbs, you really need to find some substitutions for things like bread, muffins,  and potatoes.  Elana has a lot of great ideas and most are easily modifiable.

I decided to try out a recipe for muffins made with coconut flour earlier this week but Elana  made Blueberry and Cream Cupcakes and I made mine into Banana Walnut Muffins.  I also cut back a bit on the agave and oil a bit – but I can tell you from experience that her recipe is amazing as written and I may go back up on the oil and agave next time.   Either way, the muffins were tasty and satisfied my need for carbs.  I had at least two a day and here is how I made them…

Banana Walnut Muffins

Makes 12 muffins.

½ cup coconut flour, sifted

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon baking soda

3 eggs

2 ripe bananas, mashed

1/5 cup agave nectar

1/5 cup grapeseed oil

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line or grease muffin cups.  Combine flour, salt, and baking soda in bowl.  In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, bananas, agave, oil, and vanilla extract with a hand mixer.  Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients with hand mixer and mix until smooth.  Fold in walnuts.
Using an ice cream scoop, scoop and one scoop of batter into each muffin cup.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until knife comes out clean.

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With the long weekend, it turned out to be a busy few days so I have had to neglect my blogging a little bit.  Since I have been a little radio silent, I committed to getting up first thing this morning and making something fun for breakfast to share with you all.

I needed something that would be quick and easy to prepare, but since I was working from home I had time to let the cooking part take a little longer.  What better than a light and fluffy quiche???

I have made this quiche many times with quite a few variations.  I often search around for other people’s quiche’s so I can get ideas of new things to put in mine or good combinations, but for this morning I went with my basic model.  Broccoli, Onion, Cheese…

Serves 6

9 inch frozen pie crust

4 Eggs, Beaten

1 1/2 cups 1% milk

1 onion, finely chopped (I grated mine in this morning)

2 oz extra sharp cheddar, shredded (I actually weighed the shredded version of the cheese to determine how much to use)

1 oz parmesan

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup flour

1 crown of broccoli, cut into small florets

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine all ingredients above, except the broccoli, and stir together until lumps of flour are mostly gone. Pour into pie crust.  Sprinkle broccoli florets over the quiche and use a spoon to press into the egg batter lightly.

Bake for 60 minutes (cooking time may very a little, but you want to make sure the quiche doesn’t jiggle when you shake it).  The quiche should be golden brown around the edges.

Notes:  You can use more or less cheese, but I was trying to have a relatively clean and light breakfast.  Additionally, you can use half and half or cream instead of milk (I use about 3/4 cup if replacing), but I like that the milk doesn’t change the texture but lighten’s it up.  There can be so many variations of this recipe, you can make straight in a glass pie pan without the crust, which is of course tasty and a little healthier, but you will want to add a little butter to the recipe if you do that.

Nutrition info courtesy of Calorie Count: http://caloriecount.about.com/quiche-recipe-r510006#ixzz1BVMYhghs

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So, I woke up yesterday morning and after writing my post from the evening prior, decided I was starving (and a little hungover).  I don’t tend to keep a lot of ready-made breakfast food and I will admit that most weekend mornings find me at Bagel Bin – they have a sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich on a roll that sends me to a place of euphoria (and then I add on a pastry – yes I know I cannot keep up this routine without needing to grease the door to get me into the shop in the future).  But the pastry and sandwich are heavenly.

However, as I mentioned I was a tad hungover and was also quite unpresentable in my state, I decided it would be better off for me to cook.  I was actually watching a show on The Food Network by Marcela that immediately made me want to make crepes.

The tip I got from the show, which was something I had never known or tried, was to let the batter sit for 30 minutes so the bubbles will disappear.

This made about 10 crepes.

3 Eggs (2 whole eggs and 1 egg yolk)

3/4 cup milk

1/2 cup flour

2 tbsp butter (melted)

pinch of salt

Topping of choice (I used strawberry jam and marscapone)

Throw all the ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.  Set the batter aside to let the bubbles disappear (I waited about 20 minutes and they weren’t completely gone but I was able to stir the batter lightly and almost all were gone).

Get a small fry pan nice and hot on the stove (I used medium high heat).  Spray the pan with cooking spray (or brush with melted butter – I used Pam).  Using a measuring cup, scoop out a 1/4 cup of the batter and pour onto hot pan.  Immediately swirl the pan so all the batter evens out in a circle on the bottom of the pan.  Let it cook for about 1 minute.  The edges will start to brown very slightly and will pull away from the edge of the pan.  Flip the crepe with a thin spatula and cook for about 30 seconds on the other side.  Both sides should be a light golden brown.

I spread marscapone and jam on mine, but they could also be covered in syrup, powdered sugar, whipped cream.  They could also be filled with something savory like the original version (I have had them this way as well and they are phenomenal).

**Note**After making a whole batch of these, I only ate two, so I had a bunch leftover.  I decided to try freezing them for later.  I separated each crepe between a piece of plastic wrap and put them into the freezer.  This weekend I pulled them out, pulled off two layers (so I would have two crepes) and microwaved both for 20 seconds and they were perfect!

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