Tag Archives: breakfast

Breakfast Hack: Microwave Poached Egg

1 May

Yep. You read that title right. A poached egg. In the MICROWAVE!

I need to eat breakfast during the week. If I don’t, I have a serious crash and get mega hangry. Or I want to eat lunch at 11:00 am. Which doesn’t really work for me when I won’t be eating dinner until 6 or 7 on a weeknight. Getting up for work, I’m not ready to eat breakfast at 7 or 8. I like to eat it later on, because it keeps me satiated and allows me to eat lunch a little later.

I was making up scrambled eggs at home since the chickens are officially back into the habit of producing, but reheating them in the microwave left them a bit dry and rubbery. I found a post over at The Kitchn, which talked about poaching an egg in the microwave. I love me some poached eggs, so this news was amazing to me! Saves me some calories by not having to use butter to cook them, and I can have freshly made eggs for breakfast – on demand!

On the third attempt, I got a perfectly poached egg to smear over my multi-grain toast. Seriously. This egg poached better than the ones I make on the stove top. The trick I discovered is using already hot water, then microwave the egg for 60 seconds. If you read the post over at The Kitchn, they say to put the microwave at 50% power. Our work microwave lacks power, so I don’t do any adjustments and it works out great. If you have a newer microwave, I’d suggest starting at 50% power for 60 seconds and see where that gets you on the egg front. If it looks like it needs more cooking, give it another 30 second burst. I like a slightly runny yolk but a set white. The hot water sets the white without overcooking the center.

I think this is a great option for people who work in an office, or at any job where a microwave is available to heat up meals. Even college kids would benefit from this little trick!

image

Microwave Poached Egg

Tools:

Coffee mug

Small plate/saucer

1 egg

1/3 cup hot water

Put a splash of hot water in the bottom of the coffee mug. Crack your egg into the cup. Add in the rest of the water.

Put your egg filled mug into the microwave, and cover the top of the mug with the saucer – do NOT skip this part! It helps to steam the egg and prevents a hot mess if your egg explodes! ( I only had one incidence where the egg had a mini explosion, and it was before I was doing hot water and have started the microwave for another 30 seconds.)

Microwave for 60 seconds at normal power for older microwaves, 50% power for newer.

Once your egg is cooked to your liking, enjoy! I eat mine over a piece of multi-grain toast with some pepper and garlic salt. Add in some precooked bacon, and you’ve got a protein filled breakfast!

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Mmmmm…smoothies…..

11 Jul

Has anyone else noticed how stifling hot out it’s been? The other day, the weather dude said that oh, it hasn’t been that hot out. We haven’t reached a 90 degree day yet. If I was near mr. weather dude, I would have throat punched him. In western PA it doesn’t need to be 90 degrees out to be miserably hot. We have humidity thick enough that it feels like you are walking through sweat. Gross, I know.

Soooo….since it’s been so hot out, cold beverages and breakfasts are becoming a thing around our house again. Lots of salads, frosty glasses of iced tea (or vodka, lemon & water), ice cream cones. You know, cold stuff.

I admit that I’ve been lazing around in my bed for another 30 minutes after my alarm goes off. Because I’m cozy. The ceiling fan is going, the morning news is on. I just want to delay starting my day a bit. I still have plenty of time to get ready for work and be out the door, but it limits the amount of time I have to whip up myself breakfast. And this girl HAS to eat breakfast. Otherwise my blood sugar drops and the hunger turns to hanger. It’s bad for everyone. So, when I’m pressed for time, I whip up a smoothie. Combining protein powder, oatmeal, and plenty of fruit helps to make a filling, satisfying breakfast beverage. The oatmeal helps to thicken the smoothie without watering it down, and using frozen berries means I can skip the ice and won’t have a watered down smoothie 20 minutes later. Because I combine protein powder & oatmeal, I use this smoothie as a meal replacement. It’s filling, it tastes good, and is healthy for me! Be sure to experiment with the types of fruits and liquids you use. Add in some frozen banana slices, pineapple, mango, strawberries. Whatever! Just make sure it’s frozen since this helps you avoid adding ice.

Don’t want to commit to purchasing a protein powder? You don’t have to, but it certainly helps the smoothie to be more filling. Not sure where to purchase some of the ingredients listed? Click on the ingredient to be taken to the site where I purchase. The protein powder I use is a whey protein that is non-GMO, non-denatured, no growth hormones and no artificial sweeteners or ingredients. I have only tried the double chocolate flavor and it’s very good. The RAW superfood powder is organic and lets me get a dose of nutrients, vitamins and minerals from more veggies than I could pack into a smoothie (and veggies or grasses that I just wouldn’t otherwise eat). Both of the powders I add in last me about 2 months as I only have smoothies on weekdays, with the most being 5 per week, so it helps to offset the cost of buying the protein and RAW powders. I can honestly say I feel more energy in the mornings of having smoothie than I do with a couple of cups of coffee. Minus the jitters and the afternoon slump.

Give it a try!

berry breakfast smoothie

Chocolate Oatmeal Berry Breakfast Smoothie

1/4 cup oatmeal

1 1/2 teaspoons ground flax meal

1 cup frozen berries (I use a triple berry blend – blueberries, raspberries, blackberries)

1 cup coconut or almond milk

1/4 cup organic vanilla yogurt

4-5 drops  Sweet Leaf Stevia drops – optional

1 scoop Natural Factors Double Chocolate Whey Powder

1/2 scoop Garden of Life Perfect Food RAW Organic Chocolate Cocoa powder

In a blender, pulse your oatmeal and flax meal until it’s a powder. Add in your berries, coconut or almond milk, protein and RAW powders, and Stevia drops if using. Blend on high until everything is combined, 1-2 minutes. Blending for a longer time whips everything together and adds air, making the smoothie taste ridiculously creamy. If your smoothie is too thick, add a little more coconut or almond milk.

Pour into a glass, add a straw, and enjoy your breakfast beverage!

The DIY Life: Homemade Sweet Cream Coffee Creamer

14 Jun

I’m slacking lately on the posts. Between the garden, weekend obligations, and a ginormous amount of work, ain’t nobody got time for blogging. But before my anniversary camping trip, I decided to grace you all with an easy to do from scratch post.

The hubs and I love to have a morning cup of coffee, english breakfast tea or chai tea. Something about a warm beverage jest feels like it helps to slowly melt away your sleepiness and get you ready for the day! That being said, when you have two people drinking a cup of coffee on average 5 days per week, you can really go through creamer. I admit that I have been purchasing the Sweet Cream varieties in the refrigerated section at the grocery store. 😦 I decided to stop that since only one or two options contain actual dairy ingredients, and all contain additives that aren’t found in homemade versions. This is so simple to make that I can’t believe I was spending $3.50 weekly when I could spend that same amount for enough creamer to last us at least 2 weeks and not be full of artificial ingredients!

This recipe isn’t exact in taste as the store-bought, but that is because I don’t have any chemical taste enhancers. The next batch I make I think I’ll add a teaspoon of vanilla extract to boost the flavor profile.

sweet cream coffee creamer

Sweet Cream Coffee Creamer

1 14oz can organic sweetened condensed milk

3 12oz cans organic evaporated milk (not fat-free or low-fat)

Add all of your cans to a medium saucepan and heat of low heat for roughly 5 minutes, until the milks have combined. Let cool and place inside a container that you can easily pour from. Store in the fridge and use to sweeten your coffee and tea!

Breakfast Deliciousness – Strawberry French Toast Bake

8 Apr

Breakfast is that one meal you should really eat each day. My mornings are usually a rush to get  myself showered and presentable, get the dog fed and outside for potty time, and make sure the chickens have food and water. I could rush less if I got up a little earlier, but I’d rather sleep in a little longer. Those precious extra minutes help to make me a pleasant human. Otherwise…you don’t wanna know. That being said, breakfasts on a weekday consist of cereal, a couple of eggs and an english muffin and coffee, or recently, a smoothie.

Saturday and Sunday I usually put in extra effort for breakfast. Percolated coffee. Bacon or sausage. Fresh made pancakes or Belgian waffles. Biscuits and gravy. Quiche. Not all of those items at once, but a mixture of them, making breakfast more of an event rather than just food for nourishment. Enter in the invention of my Strawberry French Toast Bake. I like to keep a couple of baguette cut into sandwich sized chunks in the freezer. They freeze nice, thaw quickly, and are great for impromptu guests or invites to a party where I will take an appetizer. And, they make for amazing french toast. I had a whole one, unfrozen just hanging around and was in the mood for french toast. But I wasn’t in the mood to soak those little rounds and make a bunch of 3 bite french toasts. I wanted something quick, simple, and hearty. I also wanted something with berries. Whenever strawberries go on sale, I buy a bunch and then cut some up into cubes, freezing them for later uses. The berries took it to another level. Served with some bacon it was a very filling breakfast. This recipe will easily serve a family of 6. Hubs and I had it for breakfast on a Sunday, and then throughout the week. It’s fantastic. A must make.

strawberry french toast closeup

Strawberry French Toast Bake

2 cups frozen chopped strawberries, thawed and excess liquid drained

12 eggs

1 1/2 loaves baguette bread, cut into slices and torn in half

1/2 cup milk

sprinkle of cinnamon, nutmeg & ginger

1 teaspoon vanilla

Grease a baking dish (I used a heart shape that was roughly 9×9).

In a bowl, combine eggs, milk, spices and vanilla, whipping to combine. Sprinkle some of the strawberries on the bottom of the baking dish. Add in your bread chunks. Scatter the rest of your strawberries all over the top. Pour on the egg mixture, being sure to coat all of the bread.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. While your oven is preheating, you’re going to let the bread soak up all that egg mixture.

Bake for 35-45 minutes, until top of the french toast bake is golden brown, and the center is set. Serve immediately with butter and maple syrup.

strawberry french toast

Raspberry Almond Breakfast Quinoa – Filling, GF, Vegan – and 4 days worth of breakfast!

13 Mar

Let’s face it. If you are a working stiff Monday – Friday, you can be hard pressed to eat a breakfast that is healthy, filling, and easily prepared the night before. Skipping breakfast is not an option for me, and it shouldn’t be for anyone else either. Breakfast is the meal that gets our motors running, our brains firing on all cylinders. Your body NEEDS fuel.  My fellow working stiffs need me to eat breakfast. Otherwise, by 11 am, hunger has mixed with anger, making me hangry…and things can get ugly. So unless I’m not feeling well, I eat breakfast. I’m trying to lose some weight, tone up, and make some adaptable life changes. Eating healthier. Now, I’m not doing a gluten-free diet. I am trying to cut out white pastas & breads, white rice, “whole wheat” pasta’s & breads that aren’t really all that more nutritious than plain old white bread. I’m working to incorporate more whole grains, more quinoa. I’m lucky in that I don’t HAVE to do GF. That my stomach won’t be in an uproar if I eat a sandwich on wheat bread. But I know so many people out there don’t have a choice but to be GF. And since so many people are having to adopt a gluten-free lifestyle, it makes gluten-free food items more readily available to the general population. A welcome side effect. Now, back to the recipe. I’ve been experimenting with quinoa, using it in place of rice and pasta where I feel it’s a good substitute. But everything I’ve been using it in thus far has been a savory dish. I wanted to try it in a sweeter option, like something for breakfast. I wanted to incorporate fruit, since I know that I’m not eating enough servings of it each day. I wanted the recipe to taste good, be healthy, but not lack flavor. I wanted it to be something I could make a big batch of, and reheat throughout the work week. Raspberry Almond Breakfast Quinoa was born. It’s quick and easy to make, has a small list of ingredients, and is a healthy, portable, filling breakfast option! I get 4 packed pint jars worth.

If you aren’t into using almond milk, you could totally replace it with your regular milk. I think chocolate almond milk would also be a tasty sub. Raspberries aren’t your thing? Try blueberries or strawberries in the same ratio. Or do a mix! Use fresh if you have them. I’m using berries that I froze over the summer. Based on the ingredients I used, this recipe is around 125 calories per serving, with maybe 2 grams of fat. You can also sprinkle on some cinnamon, or unsweetened cocoa powder for an extra flavor boost!

raspberry almond breakfast quinoa

Raspberry Almond Breakfast Quinoa

1 1/2 – 2 cups frozen raspberries

1 cup organic quinoa, rinsed thoroughly

1 1/4 cup organic vanilla almond milk

slivered almonds, about 1/4 cup – optional

Stevia to sweeten

In a medium saucepan, add your almond milk and 1 cup of the raspberries. Cook over medium heat until the raspberries start to soften and break apart. Add your quinoa, letting the mixture come back up to a boil. Simmer on low for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and set aside for 10 more minutes. Once the mixture has cooled slightly and thickened, sweeten with Stevia to taste. I used about 1 1/2 teaspoons Stevia powder for mine to get it to the taste I wanted. Portion your quinoa mixture into pint mason jars, filling right up to the threaded part of the jars. Top each jar with the other cup of raspberries, sprinkling each jar with slivered almonds. Seal jars and store in fridge. You can reheat this on the stove, in the microwave, or enjoy it at room temp. Either way, it’s good!

raspberry almond breakfast quinoa closeup

Breakfast Idea: Bacon Egg & Cheese Mix/Spread

28 Jan

I know I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again – I LOVE BREAKFAST! I can’t help it. It’s the best meal of the day in my opinion, and breakfast for dinner is really a treat. But back to this spread. It’s cheesy, it’s got some zing from the mustard powder, smokiness from the bacon, and the mayo helps bind it all together and up the creamy quotient. Another plus is on it’s own it’s Gluten Free (obviously you’ll have to put it on GF bread or crackers to keep it that way)! It’s yummy, quick, and can be used in a variety of ways listed below.

egg spread broiled

Bacon Egg & Cheese Mix/Spread

adapted from The Pioneer Woman

12 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped

12 slices bacon, cooked and chopped

2 cups freshly grated cheese ( I used Colby Jack)

1/2 cup Hellman’s Light Olive Oil Mayo

1 heaping teaspoon mustard powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

6 slices bread of choice

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix until just combined. Refrigerate 1 hour to let flavors meld. (If freezing, skip this step)

egg spread premixeggspread mixed

I have used this recipe 4 different ways, all with great results:

1. Frozen – Top english muffins with mixture and freeze individually. Remove from freezer letting thaw overnight for use the following day. Place under broiler for roughly 5 minutes, until golden brown and warmed through.

2. Microwaved – for 30-60 seconds and topped on crackers.

3. Traditional – top a toasted piece of bread or english muffin with the mix, and place under broiler for about 5 minutes, until golden brown and bubbly.

4. Appetizer – follow original directions, but chop the egg and bacon a bit finer. Heat is a small crock pot and serve with crackers, melba toast, or slices of baguette bread. Yum!

With breakfast being the most important meal of the day, I feel that you need variety! A cold bowl of cereal just won’t cut it to cover 7 days a week! I hope you guys enjoy this breakfast treat as much as we do!

English French Toast

14 Jan

I LOVE breakfast. LOVE IT! I would eat it for lunch, dinner, and well, breakfast. I especially love it for dinner though, because it’s like a sinful treat…it feels like I’m getting away with something eating a pancake or scrambled eggs for dinner. I’m a total rebel. And breakfast for dinner is a rather quick meal to prepare when you’re covering the basics. And it’s filling. And it’s breakfast, so it’s great!

On to french toast. I’ve made it will all types of bread. Sandwich bread, italian, whole wheat, whole grain, hot dog buns, kaiser rolls, french bread, sourdough, sausage rolls, baguette. Everything. Except english muffins. Then I saw a post over at thekitchn.com and was slack-jawed. HOW had I never made french toast out of english muffins???? The horror. I had to rectify this error. So, with english muffins as my bread, I got to mixing up my egg bath for those nook and cranny filled rounds and English French Toast was born. This recipe listed is the standard recipe I use for all french toast making, regardless of bread type. The version over at the kitchn.com is the runnier version, as there are fewer eggs and more milk/cream. I prefer and eggier version for myself, because it’s a more well-rounded breakfast for me. In my mind. Feel free to use either recipe, but be sure to try french toast out with english muffins.

The hubs confirms it’s a hit. The chewy texture of the english muffin elevates it to new levels, and those nooks and crannies help to keep parts of the muffin moist and custard like with those crisp direct contact with the pan parts.

This recipe can be adapted to fit your needs. I make a large enough batch that the hubs can have seconds, and I’ll still have a slice or two to eat for breakfast the next day. I just pop the slices in the toaster to reheat and crisp up and then slather in syrup. Bliss.

English French Toast

5 english muffins, split

8 eggs

1/4cup milk or cream

1tsp vanilla extract

Cinnamon for sprinkling

1-2tbsps butter for the pan

Directions

Pre-heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the butter.

While your skillet is pre-heating, add eggs, milk and vanilla to a baking dish and whisk to combine.

Pop in your english muffin halves, coating both sides in the egg mixture. Let them soak a bit to absorb as much egg as possible. I poke mine with a fork to help the egg penetrate the muffin better.

When all of your english muffins are coated in egg, place them in your skillet smooth side down. Sprinkle nook and cranny side with cinnamon. After about 3 minutes, flip the muffins. Cook for another 3 minutes.

If doing this in batches, I find it best to have the oven set to warm and will place the cooked french toasts in the oven to stay warm while I finish up the batch.

Serve with butter, good REAL maple syrup, or even some strawberry jam. Enjoy!

Note: These freeze really well too, so if you wanted to make a double batch and have them frozen for weekday breakfasts, go for it! Take them out the night before to thaw in the fridge and then just pop in the toaster until warm and crispy!