Archive for the ‘breakfast’ Category

Raise your hand if you enjoy a warm slice chunk of quick bread in the morning or as a snack? Maybe it’s banana nut bread, blueberry bread, cinnamon swirl bread or pumpkin chocolate chip bread. My sweet tooth is growing just typing this. Here’s the buzz-kill….quick breads are notorious for being unhealthy…full of fat and sugar. Yipes!

Guess what…Not this quick bread! I actually like to call it a breakfast loaf because it’s so good toasted for breakfast with my favorite coffee.

This loaf contains only 1 tablespoon of oil AND zero butter and eggs. It has low fat milk, oatmeal and whole wheat all-purpose flour. Oatmeal helps maintain blood sugar levels. It also lowers your cholesterol and helps your heart! Why not enjoy that 2nd slice?

Good for you Breakfast Loaf
Inspired by this recipe

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– 1 cup rolled oats
– 1 cup whole wheat all-purpose flour
– 2 tsp baking powder
– 1/2 tsp sea salt
– 11/2 Tbls honey, maple syrup or agave syrup
– 1 Tbls canola oil
– 1 cup 1% or nonfat milk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

Grind oatmeal in a food processor or blender. In a large bowl, combine oatmeal, flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, dissolve honey in canola oil then stir in the milk. Combine both mixtures and stir until a soft dough is formed. Pour the dough into a loaf pan. Sprinkle some oats on top. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Slice and enjoy with a nice warm beverage!


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So, was it the sausage or the cheese that inspired you to open this post and get your mouth watering?

Quiche is one of my favorite dishes with it’s flakey and buttery crust and creamy egg filling. Oh and add cheese and game over! Nevertheless, quiche this indulgent often make me feel a bit lethargic. Hello, food coma! Why not omit the crust and make the filling a bit lighter but still flavorful?!

You’ll enjoy the health benefits of this quiche. The chicken sausage and eggs contain loads of protein. Not to mention, the spinach contains phytonutrients for anti-inflammatory and ant-cancer benefits. The vitamin K from spinach is essential for maintaining bone health. Did I mention the sharp cheddar is low fat?…Eat up!

Crustless Sausage and Cheese Quiche

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– 2 cups of fresh spinach
– 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
– 2 chicken sausage links, halved and sliced into half moons
– 1/2 cup cubed low fat sharp cheddar or cheese(s) of your choice
– 2 large eggs
– 1 egg white
– 1 cup 1% or nonfat milk
– sea salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a pie dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

Add the olive oil and chicken sausage to a medium or large skillet over medium heat. Cook the sausage until browned. Remove from skillet and set aside. Using the juices from the chicken sausage and olive oil, add the fresh spinach and saute until wilted. This step should not take very long, probably about 2 minutes.

Place the wilted spinach in a colander. When the spinach has cooled, gently squeeze to remove excess moisture. Lay spinach in the bottom of the pie dish. Throw-in the cubed cheddar and sausage!

In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, 2 whole eggs, 1 egg white and sea salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the spinach, cheddar and sausage. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.

Remove and place on a wire rack. Slice and enjoy!!

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Love is nice, isn’t it? The feeling of loving something or someone and being loved in return.

I love traveling, running and laughing with my friends. I also love my family and boyfriend. Which brings me to the subject of Valentine’s Day…the day that’s slowly approaching and enjoyed by many and despised by many. Some are just simply indifferent about it. I may even take the indifferent route. I would love a dozen tulips or a surprise date, on any random day rather than on a day that’s “expected.” Anyone with me on that? If not, that’s cool. We can still be friends!

In the spirit of love I baked-up a scrumptious batch of heart-shaped cranberry upside down muffins! I baked standard round ones as well…extra batter…why not, right? These muffins are perfect to share with those you care about. Those you love. Or perhaps enjoy them with something you love…coffee? Tea?

You may think these muffins are a naughty treat, but they’re not. They’re baked with whole wheat flour, low fat milk and fresh cranberries. Cranberries have significant anti-inflammatory benefits especially in our cardiovascular system, and offer immune support. Eat up!!

Cranberry Upside Down Muffins
Adopted from this recipe

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– 2 cups fresh cranberries, washed and picked over
– 11/4 cups organic unrefined sugar
– 1 tsp grated nutmeg
– 2 cups whole wheat flour
– 1 Tbls baking powder
– 1/2 tsp sea salt
– 1 large egg
– 1 tsp vanilla or almond extract
– 1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
– 1 cup 1% or non-fat milk

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a saucepan combine the cranberries, 1 cup of the sugar, and the nutmeg, cook the mixture over moderately high heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved, and boil it, covered, for 3 minutes. Simmer the mixture, uncovered, stirring, for 3 minutes and let it cool.

Into a bowl sift together the flour, the baking powder, the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and the salt. In another bowl whisk together the egg, the butter, the vanilla (or almond) extract and the milk, add the mixture to the flour mixture, and stir the batter until it is just combined.

Divide the cranberry mixture among 12 well-buttered 1/2-cup muffin tins (or heart-shaped muffin cups), top it with the batter, and bake the muffins in the middle of the oven for 25 minutes, or until they are golden. Let the muffins cool for 2 minutes and invert them onto a rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy!

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So, you pour yourself a bowl of cereal. You’re starved. You open the fridge and gasp! No milk! This has happened to you right? Or am I the only one? The real story…I wanted coffee and something sweet to snack on. Had the coffee…but….no….sweet….snack!!

Well, thank goodness I keep my baking ingredients well-stocked. Phew!

I call these “beary unconventional” because I don’t own a madeleine pan but I did have a baking pan with small bear molds on-hand. Hey…I was working with my resources. Another reason these are unconventional is that I used brown sugar rather than white sugar. The brown sugar added a nice deep flavor. I approved!

Beary Unconventional Madeleines
Inspired by this recipe

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– 1/2 cup cake flour
– 1/2 tsp baking powder
– 1 egg
– 1/2 cup brown sugar
– 1 tsp rose water
– 4 Tbls unsalted butter, softened

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Position baking rack in lower third of the oven.

Generously butter the molds of your madeleine pan; in my case the bear pan.

Sift together the flour and baking powder into a bowl and set aside. In another bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together the egg, brown sugar and rose water on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Increase the speed to high and beat until the mixture has quadrupled in volume and is very thick. This took me about 8 to 10 minutes.

Using a rubber spatula, carefully fold in the flour mixture and then the butter. Spoon the batter into the prepared molds, filling each one about three-fourths full.

Bake until the madeleines are light brown around the edges and on the bottom, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately remove the madeleines from the pan to a wire rack. Enjoy with hot tea or coffee!

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In a perfect world I would have a warm and aromatic quick bread on the counter every Sunday afternoon, ready for snacking during my hectic week. But sometimes stuff like errands, events, tiredness and other life factors prevent the warm loaf from resting on my counter on Sundays. Yet, when it does, I am filled with a healthy snack morning, noon or night. Some of my favorite quick breads are:

Pumpkin Bread
Banana Nut Bread
Zucchini Bread
Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Blood Orange Bread

What are some of your favorite breads?

I’ve baked all of these, yet none have made it to the blog, except for the Blood Orange Bread. I need to work on getting the other mouth-watering loafs to this blog! Oh darn…. 🙂

The carrot date bread was completely new for me and I feel in love with it. It’s inviting light-orange color, the sweet carrots and dates and how light it tasted. This loaf is not heavy and it makes for the perfect mid-morning snack or after dinner dessert.

Did I mention it contains ZERO amounts butter! Yay! It’s also moist and flavorful. Double Yay! The freshly shredded carrots and chopped dates offer a good balance of moist and sweet. The carrots offer protection against heart disease, better vision, blood sugar regulation among other great benefits!

Carrot Date Bread
Inspired from this recipe

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– 2 eggs
– 1 cup evaporated cane sugar
– 2/3 cup canola oil
– 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
– 3/4 tsp baking soda
– 1 tsp ground cinnamon
– 1 tsp nutmeg
– 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
– 1 1/2 cups raw carrots, grated
– 1 cup dates, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×5 inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.

In a medium to large bowl, beat eggs and add sugar and oil. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and sea salt. Add flour mixture to egg mixture and beat well. Add carrots and chopped dates. Pour batter into loaf pan.

Bake for one hour. Remove from oven and cool on a cooling rack. Once cooled, remove from loaf pan and enjoy over and over! How about warmed up with a dab of sweet butter?!

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Friends. I ached this past weekend. Sore throat, head and nose congestion all accompanied with a headache. Not fun! As I write this post, I am still feeling under the weather…

…not for long! I’ve made it a priority to drink this vitamin C-packed “cold buster” smoothie once a day! I used a food processor because my blender is broken. 🙂

I call it “easy” because it only contains three ingredients! Not including the dash of cinnamon on top. (1) frozen peaches, (2) orange and (3) non-fat Greek yogurt. The peaches are a great source of Vitamin C and especially oranges!! I know that Vitamin C won’t cure my cold but it will prevent it from getting worse. Thank you Vitamin C! Not only does the Greek yogurt thicken the smoothie but it gives me protein and energy I need to fight off this cold.

Is there a specific meal or beverage you make when you’re not feeling well?

Easy “Cold Buster” Smoothie
Serves 1

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– 1/2 cup frozen no-sugar-added peaches. Using frozen fruit helps thicken the smoothie without needing to add ice cream or ice.
– half an orange
– 1/4 cup nonfat or low fat Greek yogurt
– a dash of cinnamon

Place first three ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Pour into your favorite glass and add a dash of cinnamon on top. Enjoy and goodbye cold!

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sweet porridge

It’s true. This post is about porridge. You may be thinking…”Ok, earth to Allison, this is 2010 not 1824. Who’s eating porridge these days?!” Porridge is actually another term for oatmeal or warm breakfast cereal, and it’s a traditional food in Northern Europe.

When you think of porridge, do you think of the childrens’ story Goldilocks and the Three Bears? I do! If Goldilocks likes cinnamon, walnuts and dates, she’ll find this bowl of porridge jussst right.

I found a recipe for wild rice porridge and I decided to make a lighter version by using 1% milk rather than heavy cream, and swap out the wild rice for pearl barley. I love pearl barley, just love it! I also used chopped dates and walnuts rather than pistachios and dried apricots.

Nutritional benefits of pearl barley, ground cinnamon and walnuts!

What’s great about this recipe is that it’s more of a method because you can use other grains or oats, dried fruits, nuts or preserves!

Porridge with Cinnamon, Walnuts and Dates
Inspired by this recipe

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– 2 cups cooked pearl barley
– 1/2 cup 1% milk
– 1 Tbls agave nectar
– 1 Tbls organic maple sugar
– 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
– 1/2 cup dates, roughly chopped
– 2 Tbls chopped raw walnuts

In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, combine pearl barley, milk, agave nectar, maple syrup and cinnamon. Stir frequently until the mixture becomes thick and heated through. Stir-in the dates and walnuts. Continue warming the mixture for another minute or two.

Pour into your favorite bowl and why not drizzle a tad bit more maple syrup with a dash of cinnamon on top! Goldilocks would approve!

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