Category Archives: Breakfast

FRUIT SMOOTHIES

Forget paying a insane 4.00 to 6.00 for a fruit smoothie at some mega chain restaurant/store. Plus, it is not just the price that might hurt you, the ingredient list for some of those smoothies may make you gain weight without even drinking one. Now don’t get me wrong I love me a good smoothie and I am sadly addicted to the mango-pineapple one at McDonald’s. If I could make one at home that tasted anything like it I would, but so far I have not been able to master that one. I will keep trying though, because maybe I can make it guilt free and have it more often. For now I get one occasionally as a treat.

Now for my homemade guilt-free smoothie. And yes I am using my favorite little GE Rocket Blender

Ingredients:
Frozen fruit (your choice) strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, mango, banana, raspberry, peach, blackberry.
1/2 c yogurt (Vanilla or honey – low fat or Greek)
1/3 c pineapple juice (or approx. 1/3 of a small can)
1 Tbsp Agave nectar
Light Vanilla Soy Milk

I fill the blender cup about 2/3 full of frozen fruit (my fave combo is strawberry and pineapple), then add the yogurt, juice and nectar and enough soy milk to bring it to the fill line on the cup. Then blend for about 10-15 seconds. Remove the blender cup and shake it up to help the fruit to move down to the blades and blend again for about 15-20 more seconds – this usually will be enough. When doing smoothies I do recommend that you blend in short intervals because the blender does seem to want to overheat if you blend too long.

I make these smoothies as a treat after supper and sometimes as part of my breakfast.

Notice my much clearer pictures? I have been using my phone to snap the pictures because it is just so much easier than using my big bulky Nikon when cooking. I just got a new phone with an amazing 8mp camera on it.

Note: Check your Agave before you buy it. Some brands are not 100% Agave. Some have added sugars to them. So check the ingredients list for anything other that Agave listed. The Florida Crystals brand in the picture above only lists Agave.

CHOCOLATE EXPLOSION MUFFINS

This recipe is a variation of a low-fat muffin/cupcake recipe that has been around for a while. There are only 2 ingredients in the original recipe – Cake mix of your choice and 1 15oz can 100% pumpkin puree. You mix the 2 together and fill your muffin cups and bake. Most people use spice cake or carrot cake as those seem to work best with the pumpkin. And I agree as I have tried making all kinds of muffins from that recipe and unless you have a cake mix that can over power the pumpkin then you can taste it. I have always wanted to make a yummy chocolate version, but no matter the cake mix brand or chocolate flavor I use the pumpkin is still there. So I started to experiment with adding things to it and finally combined parts of 2 different recipes to come up with a very chocolate-y tasting muffin. I made two batches this time because I only had a large 29oz pumpkin puree. I also had two different cake mixes, however, both were a version of chocolate.  I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

Ingredients:
1 box of your favorite chocolate cake mix
1 15oz can 100% pure pumpkin puree (be careful not to get the pumpkin pie mix)
2 snack cups fat free chocolate pudding
2 envelopes Swiss Miss diet hot chocolate
4 Tbsp mini chocolate morsels

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix everything together. Spray a 12 cup muffin pan with cooking spray and fill each cup to almost full. Put muffins in oven and bake for time on box (each brand differs in time, but there should be a bake time for muffins as well as cake) Approx. 15-18 minutes. 1 box of cake mix will make 12 muffins.

For my muffins I had the milk chocolate cake mix in the picture above and a red velvet cake mix. So this was an experiment for the red velvet to see if it would remain red and taste super chocolate-y and it did. You can eat these as a dessert or do like we do and have them for breakfast.

OMELET BREAKFAST SANDWICH

Another yummy On-The-Go breakfast idea using my fave little egg skillet.

You basically just make your favorite omelet with 1 egg in the skillet. You don’t fold it, instead you just flip it.

The good thing about omelets is you can make them any way you want. Just be smart about your choices, use turkey products in place of pork and use plenty of veggies. You can have ham and cheese, all veggie, or a lean meat with veggies. You can make it southwest by adding salsa. It’s all up to you and what you want.

I used
Canadian Bacon
Mushrooms
Onions
Spinach
red bell pepper

First you need to cook the filling items you plan to use and then set them aside. Heat your pan over medium low heat. Scramble 1 egg with a fork, add about 1 tablespoon of filling (can also add cheese of your choice at this time).

Spray the pan with cooking spray and add the egg mixture to the heated pan and cover.

Covering it will help it to cook from the top as well as the bottom. When you are ready to flip it, it will be mostly cooked and only need about 30-40 seconds more.

Once it is mostly done with only a little raw egg in the middle of the top as in the above picture you can slide it out onto a spatula and flip it over to cook on the other side. This pan is small so it is hard to turn eggs over. That is the main reason for using the lid to help it cook and make it easier to flip by sliding it out onto the spatula.

When you are finished it should look like this. I allow them to cool and keep in a container in the fridge until ready to eat each morning.

My favorite way to eat these on the go is in a sandwich using deli flats.

I love the Flax Seed deli flats. And as you can see above the round omelet is perfect for the round flats. I love Mayonnaise and it is one thing I refuse to give up. So I compromise and use a little mayo on one side and Dijon on the other side of the bread.
Just reheat the omelet on the microwave for about 40 seconds. This is when I top mine with cheese instead of in it. I sometimes use Colbyjack or provolone, but my fave cheese to use is Havarti.
And breakfast is served….

ON THE GO BREAKFAST

On The Go Breakfast is my version of a grab and go breakfast that came about when i was trying to figure out how to make a Frittata more portable. And every time I make it I change it up a little. I just make little muffin egg cups, we grab a couple, reheat them and can go out the door with them or sit and eat before we go. But either way they are ready in about 30 seconds.

Ingredients
Lean Meat – your choice – Turkey sausage, turkey bacon, Canadian bacon, ham, turkey, etc.
Vegetables – your choice – peppers, potatoes, mushrooms, onions, spinach, asparagus, etc. 
Cheese – your choice – cheddar, Colby jack, feta, Parmesan, goat cheese, etc. 
10-12 eggs
1/2 c milk 
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare your meats and veggies. In my case I used Canadian bacon, onions. mushroom and shredded potatoes.
1/2 medium onion, diced; 8-10 mushrooms, diced; 12 slices Canadian Bacon, cut into small pieces; about 1 1/2 cups shredded potatoes.
Shred and soak the potatoes in water to remove some of the starch. While the potatoes soak cook the bacon, onions and mushrooms (or your choice of veggies and meats) in just a little EVOO until done. Set them aside to cool in a bowl lined with paper towels to drain any fat. Drain the potatoes, rinse them and squeezed out any excess water by putting them in a clean towel and squeezing it until most of the water was gone. Cook them in a little EVOO and a tbsp of light butter (Brummel and Brown), be sure to season your potatoes with salt and pepper. Cook them until almost done. Let them cool so you can handle them. Spray a 12 cup muffin pan with non stick spray and then layer the potatoes, meat and veggie mixture and some cheese in each cup. 
Beat the eggs and milk together and pour it into each muffin cup. You do fill these pretty full so place a baking sheet under the muffin pan in case any spills over when cooking. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper over each cup and with a fork or even a toothpick mix the eggs and filling together a little. I don’t combine the fillings with the eggs because you usually end up with one full of potatoes, another with almost nothing and another with meat and no potatoes. If you put the fillings in first and then mix in the eggs in each cup you can control the fillings more. Bake in 375 oven until set and begins to brown.
Allow to cool completely and then store in refrigerator in a gallon sized zip lock bag or a large container with a lid. In the morning pull out 2-3 egg muffins and heat in microwave for 30-40 seconds and breakfast is served. 

PERFECT OMELETS

It’s Saturday morning! That means no precooked on the go breakfast. I had time to cook myself a delicious omelet. Unfortunately I was out of some of the things I wanted to put in my omelet, so I made do with what I had.

The secrets to a perfect omelet….

1. A really good nonstick pan with rounded edges. You don’t want a pan with a flat bottom and straight sides. And I prefer a 10 inch pan; most pans designated for omelets are 8 inches. I have also seen omelet pans as big as 14 inches. I can’t quite wrap my head around a 14 inch omelet, but maybe if you are cooking for the Jolly Green Giant, the Brawny man or Mr. Clean you might want a 14 inch skillet. Omelet pans also come in stainless steel, for the home cook and if you are watching what you eat I suggest good quality nonstick. You will need to use more fat/butter/oil in a stainless.

2. Your eggs should be at room temperature. Nobody ever tells you this on TV. I think the eggs beat smoother, you don’t end up with clumps of whites that just refuse to incorporate with the rest of the egg. I also think it helps the cooking of the omelet. I mean think about it you have a very cold beaten egg that you are putting into a very hot skillet…you just cooled the skillet some. I also think the eggs get tougher, almost as if they seize up or something. And if you forget to lay them out a half hour to an hour before you are cooking them or you don’t have time to lay them out…put them in a bowl of very warm water while you prep everything. Check the water after a few minutes, it will have turned cold, just pour it out and add some more warm water. this should do it, by the time you finish prepping/cooking your fillings your eggs should be warm.

3. Beat the eggs well. You want them to be a little frothy when you beat them. You know they are beaten well if you lift some of the egg up with your fork or whisk and you don’t see clumps of unbeaten white plop back into the eggs. Also the more you beat them, they fluffier the omelet will be. I don’t like mine too fluffy so I just beat them until a light froth appears.

3. Patience is a virtue – at least when it comes to omelet cooking. You don’t want to cook it over a high heat and make it too brown and rubbery. You need to cook them over a medium low heat which will take time.

The Omelet

Ingredients
2-4 eggs, beaten until frothy
1 tsp of water or skim milk per egg used
salt and pepper
cheese, your choice
fillings, your choice, chopped if needed

First you want to prepare your fillings. This morning I used turkey bacon, onion and mushrooms. I will discuss filling ideas a little later. I chopped all my fillings items and cooked them in my skillet until done.

Remove you filling items from the skillet and set aside. You may want to clean the skillet out with a dry paper towel, to give the omelet a good clean surface to start on. I list 2-4 eggs for a reason – this is up to you. For a 10 inch skillet I think 3 eggs is perfect, not too thin or too thick. If you want a thick omelet use 4, for an 8 inch skillet 2 would be perfect to me, 3 would be thick. Heat the skillet over medium low heat and spray it well with nonstick cooking spray, you might also add just a little low fat butter spread like Brummel and Brown (1/4 – 1/2 tsp) for flavor. Slowly pour in your beaten eggs. As they start to cook pull the cooked edges up and tilt the pan to allow a little uncooked egg to go under it. Do this around the skillet until the egg starts to firm up and doesn’t wont to move under the cooked egg any longer. (Hint: if you are worried about getting your egg completely cooked, then you might want to put it under the broiler on low for just a few minutes but watch it closely. This is easier than trying to flip the omelet over to cook both sides). Now is when you put your filling in it. I put mine kind of off center but not all the way to the edge and on the side of the omelet that is farthest away from the handle (you will see why later0.

I do this because I like to kind of trifold my omelet (think trifold wallet) , much like you see in most restaurants. Top with cheese.  Now using a spatula go around the edges and under as much as possible to make sure your omelet is not sticking. Now is the time to turn off your heat and just use the heat left in the egg and the pan. I then fold the smaller egg side of my omelet over the filling ingredients. Then fold the larger side over and let it sit for a moment with a lid on it. This will help set any remaining uncooked egg and melt the cheese. Now just turn it out onto a plate and enjoy.

Filling ideas:
I use lean meats such as turkey sausage, turkey bacon, Canadian bacon, or even lean lunch meats like turkey and ham. 
For veggies, the sky is the limit, use what you like…onions, peppers, mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, potatoes, asparagus, broccoli, avocado the list could go on and on. Just be sure to cut your filling items small or thin…you will be less likely to tear your omelet as you fold it over. 
Cheese – again use what you like – cheddar, mozzarella, feta, goat cheese, Colby jack, Havarti –  if I had some feta and spinach this morning, both would have been in my omelet. Just use your cheese in moderation. That is actually hard for me to say because I LOVE cheese.
Here is a great video that shows how to fold (trifold) and omelet and shows how to lift and tilt to move the uncooked egg under the cooked. 
Enjoy your breakfast!

FROZEN YOGURT SHAKES

Looks like I am sharing 2 recipes tonight. I have been craving a milk shake lately so I decided to make my own. It’s not something I would eat every night or every other night. This is a treat to have once in a while…moderation is key.

You can take this same recipe and make almost any flavor shake you might be craving. Tonight we had peanut butter. Next time I might go for peach….I was good this summer and did not once go to Chick-fil-a for a peach milk shake. But I am still craving one.

Here is how I made the shakes tonight.

Using my GE Rocket

Ingredients
3 scoops Ice cream or Froyo (frozen yogurt)
1/2 – 3/4 c Soy milk or skim milk (depends how thick you want it)
1 T (heaping) peanut butter – wish I had some healthier peanut butter, but we had several big jars of Peter Pan when we started dieting…we need to get rid of them and then worry about some good natural peanut butter – preferably the no stir kind.
I used yogurt tonight, if you use ice cream check the label – get something lower in fat and calories – the slow churn ice creams often have less than ones sold as low fat or light. My vanilla froyo above only has 90 calories for a 1/2 c serving – yes that is a small serving, but you don’t need a lot for a shake.

I don’t really measure since I use the cups that go with my blender, so the measurements are a guess-timate. And I do make the shakes a little thin/runny I would prefer them thick, but that means using more higher fat items. I filled my cup about halfway to the fill line with Silk, then put in about 3 scoops froyo and 1 heaping Tbs of peanut butter and blended until smooth. Putting the milk in first will help it blend, if you put the froyo in first it tends to stick to the bottom, which becomes the top when inverted to blend.
I wanted just plan old peanut butter milk shake so i used the vanilla froyo, my parents wanted the chocolate froyo.
Next time I try this, I think I might get peach froyo and add some frozen peaches to it.

Blogging and enjoying my treat.

EASY BREAKFAST CASSEROLE

OK this is my first recipe I am sharing. With this recipe I am taking one I found and changing it to reduce the fat and calories. I wish I was smart enough to give you the originals fat and calories compared to the new version, but sadly I cannot. When I do recipes like this I plan to offer you the original recipe and then give my version showing the way I lightened it up.

The Casserole
Original Recipe:
6 slices white bread, coarsely torn or cut into 1 inch chunks
1 lb bulk sausage, cooked, drained
1 c Kraft Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
6 eggs
2 c milk
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 baking pan or oven proof casserole. Place bread in bottom of pan, sprinkle with sausage and cheese. Beat eggs, milk, salt and pepper in medium bowl with wire whisk. Pour over bread mixture in pan. Bake 40-45 minutes or until mixture is set in center and lightly browned. 
Makes 8 servings.
In case you are wondering the little strawberry dish is where I keep my kosher salt, which is what I prefer to cook with. 
My Lighter Version
6 slices whole wheat bread, coarsely torn or cut into 1 inch chunks (45 calories per slice or less)
1 lb turkey breakfast sausage, cooked, drained
1 c Kraft Shredded 2% Sharp Cheddar Cheese
6 eggs
2 c skim milk
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13 baking pan or oven proof casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Place bread in bottom of pan, sprinkle with sausage and cheese. Season the casserole with salt and pepper. Beat eggs and milk in a medium mixing bowl with wire whisk. Pour over bread mixture in pan. Bake 40-45 minutes or until mixture is set in center and lightly browned. 
Makes 8 servings.
As you can see the simple changes I made to lighten it up were to change the bread to a whole wheat or whole grain bread, the sausage to turkey instead of pork, the cheese to lower fat 2% and instead of greasing the casserole dish I sprayed it lightly with cooking spray. I also did not put the salt and pepper in the eggs. I never understand recipes that tell you to season eggs when you beat them. What happens to the salt and pepper after you stop whisking? It settles in the bottom of the bowl and when you pour it over your casserole you end up with all the seasoning in 1 spot. So I sprinkled my salt and cracked pepper over the surface of the dish and then carefully poured the egg mixture over it.  
I always have to alter a recipe to my liking with this recipe I added about 1/2 c each of finely diced vidalia onion and fresh mushrooms. I put about 1T of EVOO in a hot skillet and cooked the onions and mushrooms half way before adding the sausage to brown.
Other additions you might try – bell pepper, spinach, asparagus, tomato, other lean meats such as turkey bacon or Canadian bacon. Another idea just came to me, replace the bread with about 2 cups of shredded potato (or even sweet potato) and make it a breakfast hash casserole. I would probably still have the onions and mushrooms in it myself so I would cook the potatoes with those and get them about half done before baking.
The sky is the limit so experiment with the recipes you find.
  

BREAKFAST

I wish I had time every morning to have a good breakfast like this. But on days I work I just cannot drag myself out of bed to do it. And my stomach does not like eating that early. I usually have to be up at least an hour before I can eat breakfast. This morning I had 2 eggs over medium (using my favorite egg skillet), some tomato wedges and a hand full of red seedless grapes. Not a bad start to my day and look at those perfectly round eggs.