Posts Tagged ‘breakfast’

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

Print Recipe

– 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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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

Print Recipe

– 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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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

Print Recipe

– 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

Print Recipe

– 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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…is it ever too early for pumpkin-anything?

Pumpkin chocolate-chip cookies…
Pumpkin bread…
Pumpkin risotto…

Well, maybe so, but many of you know that I L-O-V-E the spherical orange squash. I’m strange. It’s fine.

Last Fall I added pumpkin puree to my oatmeal nearly every morning…with cinnamon, a dash of nutmeg…a dash of this and that. All of a sudden Spring arrived and where was the canned pumpkin puree?! No where! I wanted to cry.

Friends. I was at the market last week and I saw it. Organic Canned Pumpkin. The skies opened and it was like a beacon of light.

I am getting carried away, right?

I want to share with you one of my favorite and simple breakfasts. Not only is it simple, but it’s flavorful and full of good things for your body. I love that part!

Nutritional perks of pumpkin and oatmeal.

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

Print Recipe

– 3/4 cup old fashioned oats
– 1 cup water or 1% milk
– 1 to 2 Tbls pumpkin puree. I use canned pumpkin puree.
– 1 tsp ground cinnamon
– a pinch of nutmeg
– a pinch of cloves
– a dash of sea salt. optional.

Cook oatmeal according to package. Stove-top is the best but microwave works just fine.

When the oatmeal is fully cooked, pour into a bowl and stir-in the remaining ingredients. Enjoy with coffee or tea!

Now you know one of my all-time favorite foods: Pumpkin! What are some of your all-time favorite foods?!

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berry easy cinnamon rolls

Ok Ok, I know I just did an entry about breakfast. This is clearly a sign breakfast is my favorite meal! Nevertheless, this is a sweet breakfasty food, not savory like the previous entry.

I don’t think I’ve met a person who doesn’t enjoy the intoxicating aroma and taste of cinnamon rolls. Let’s be honest, what runs through your mind and body when you’re hit with the invisible cloud of cinnamon roll glory?


Well…that’s what runs through my entire being. I honestly admit. We’re friends here, so it’s cool you know this.

Cinnamon rolls are a guilty pleasure, but what makes them more “guilty” is consuming cinnamon rolls packed with artificial flavor, additives, high-fructose corn syrup and an exhaustive list of ingredients you can’t pronounce. Not cool! Not tasty or good for you.

You may agree with me here…I prefer my guilty pleasures to be as natural as possible, whether it’s a homemade cake or brownies (not boxed mixes) or an organic/all-natural store-bought treat. This is where the cinnamon rolls in this entry come in!

The folks at Immaculate Baking Co. sent me a package of their refrigerated ready-to-bake cinnamon rolls; so good, so good! Immaculate Baking Co. offers ready-to-bake treats that are all natural; containing zero artificial ingredients or preservatives. I decided to add a personal touch to the cinnamon rolls, so I added fresh blueberries! Blueberries with cinnamon, sugar and glaze….hello! A match-made in heaven.

Nutritional perks of blueberries! You won’t be disappointed, I promise! 🙂

Berry Easy Cinnamon Rolls

Print Recipe

– 1 package of Immaculate Baking Cinnamon Rolls
– 2/3 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Remove the five unbaked cinnamon rolls from the tube and set the small packet of glaze aside.

Place the unbaked cinnamon rolls on a baking sheet, gently add, by pushing into the roll, 3 to 5 blueberries. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Glaze time!!! Add glaze on top or use for dipping. Enjoy over and over!

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I must confess, one of my favorite new ingredients is pearl barley. I can’t get enough of it! In salads, soups and bowls. But what about pearl barley and breakfast?

I was recently on a mission to find a breakfast dish I could incorporate my new favorite ingredient because (a) I love breakfast and (b) now I love pearl barley. So…it only makes sense to marry the two. And…I did! It was stellar! I’d like to share it with you. What you’ll like about this recipe is that it’s incredibly flexible…change the veggies, add or omit specific herbs and seasoning or add cheese! Imagine that. Yum!

One other thing you’ll like is that it’s full of fiber from the pearl barley and vegetables and contains protein from the eggs. You may be ready to run a marathon after a serving of this. No joke!

Nutritional perks –

    Pearl barley – A heart-smart choice! Full of dietary fiber, contains Vitamin B3 and B1 as well as iron, magnesium and zinc. It’s pretty much a nutritional super hero.
    Eggs – One egg contain 5.5 grams of low-cost protein. Eggs are an excellent source of choline, which is essential for brain function, the nervous system and heart-health. Apparently most Americans are choline-deficient; you can read more about choline here.

Pearl Barley Savory Breakfast Bake
Inspired and loosely adapted from this recipe

Print Recipe

– 1 cup uncooked pearl barley
– 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
– 1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
– 1/2 cup zucchini, halved and sliced
– 1/2 cup onion, chopped
– 1 summer squash, halved and sliced
– 2 eggs
– 1 tsp dried basil
– 1/2 tsp dried oregano
– sea salt and pepper to taste

Cook the pearl barley according to package. For me, it took about 40 minutes and I used water. When barley is tender and liquid absorbed, remove from heat and set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium pan over medium heat, add the olive oil, zucchini, onion, mushroom and squash. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste. Cook the vegetables until lightly browned. Add the cooked barley and cook until barley begins to brown. Stir in the basil and oregano; add more sea salt and pepper if desired.

Gently spoon the mixture into a casserole dish. Crack the eggs over the barley mixture and make sure not to break the yolk. Feel free to add more eggs if you wish! Bake for 15 minutes or until eggs are set.

Enjoy it’s flavor and enjoy how good and good for you it is!

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