Tag Archives: breakfast food

Orange Carrot Smoothie

We are rapidly approaching the holiday season. Life will get chaotic, with shopping and working and schlepping kids to and fro. Food choices will get poor. Very, very poor. Cookies will be everywhere!

What is one to do? How can you avoid the cookies and treats when you’re so crazy busy? It’s actually not that hard!

Last weekend, we were watching QVC. No, I’m not 90. There are times when you just need to turn away from sports and excessively repetitive news, and watch smiley happy people try to sell you stuff. This particular morning, the folks on QVC were trying to get me to buy a Vitamix blender. If you aren’t familiar with this item, it’s a high speed blender that can turn your math book into mush. Ok. I don’t know this for a fact and I’m certainly not going to try it. They succeeded. We bought it. Merry Early Christmas to me!

So I don’t know that the Vitamix will do to iPhones or math books. But I can tell you that it does a great job with all the fruits and vegetables I’ve put in it. What I’m most happy about with my new toy is that I can use  it to quickly make healthy smoothies that will help me avoid the unhealthy foods that will surround me over the next few weeks.

As I’ve told you before, the teenager isn’t a fan of vegetables, but he will tolerate them if they are ground into meat pies and pulverized in smoothies. I’ve gotten him to eat beets in a Beet and Cherry Smoothie and spinach in a Blueberry Spinach Smoothie. Now we’ve added a new veggie and fruit smoothie to the mix!

Orange Carrot Smoothie
1/2 navel orange, separated into sections
1/3 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup fat free vanilla yogurt
splash of vanilla
1/2 cup ice cubes

1. Put everything but the ice in your blender. A regular blender will do just fine. Blend until smooth. One trick I did learn from the Vitamix instructions is to start slow and increase your speed.
2. Add the ice and blend at ludicrous speed. (Bonus points if you understand my movie reference here.)

You now have one very healthy, very filling smoothie! Before you go out shopping or head off to the 300th holiday party of the season, make one. It will help you avoid the cheese and crackers, mini quiches, baby crab cakes and all the other goodies that will adorn the buffet table. Feel free to add some ginger or cinnamon. You can add a handful of oats to make it REALLY filling! And maybe this will be holiday season you won’t wake up on New Year’s Day wondering where the extra five pounds came from.


Maple Brown Sugar Muffins

I love to bake but I’ve been stuck in a rut. Every time someone suggests I bake something I go to an old standard, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread. Everyone likes it. It’s fast to make and relatively healthy since I use a small amount of oil and whole wheat flour.

My friend Jen of the blog The Whole Bag of Chips loves to bake more than almost anyone I know and is constantly trying new recipes for her favorite food, the muffin. Her persistence in baking great muffins and telling me about them inspired me to try one of the recipes that she posted. Her muffins were Honey Muffins which she posted about yesterday with two other recipes that will make a great weekend brunch. I hope you check them out.

I modified the recipe Jen posted and made…

Maple Brown Sugar Muffins
2 cups of flour – I used whole wheat
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup melted butter

1. Preheat the oven to 375.
2. Combine the dry ingredients.
3. Add the wet ingredients, excluding the melted butter and mix well.
4. Stir in the melted butter.
5. Scoop into a 12 cup muffin tin either lined with muffin papers or sprayed with cooking spray.
6. Bake for 20 minutes.

I liked these muffins because they weren’t too sweet and they were nice and light, even though they were whole wheat. They were very quick. I could see adding dried cranberries and chopped pecans to these to make a wonderful fall treat.


Crepes with Nutella Whipped Cream

Our summer really ended last weekend. The kids have been back in school for a week. But some of you may need a last hurrah for the summer, and I have just the breakfast for you.

Nutella seems to be a pretty hot commodity. This may shock you, but I’m not a huge fan. But my boys love it. And they love crepes. So for a weekend breakfast celebration for surviving the first week of 6th and 11th grade, I made them Crepes with Nutella Whipped Cream.

Nutella Whipped Cream (make this first, maybe even the night before but don’t whip it!)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup Nutella
dash of vanilla or cinnamon while whipping

1. Heat the cream until almost boiling.
2. Turn heat down and add Nutella.
3. Stir well until Nutella has melted completely.
4. Refrigerate in a mixing bowl until very chilled.
5. Add a dash of vanilla or cinnamon and whip until soft peaks form.

If you aren’t a magician who can make whipped cream and crepes at the same time, put the whipped cream back in the fridge so you can start on the crepes.

1 cup flour (I used half white and half wheat)
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp melted butter

1. Combine all the ingredients except the butter in a blender and blend until smooth.
2. Add the butter and give it another couple pulses.
3. Heat a pan (a regular one will do since most normal people don’t have a crepe pan lying around) to slightly over medium.
4. Pour in some batter so you have a four or five inch circle. Cook until the crepe starts getting a matte finish (as opposed to shiny batter). It’s going to be very quick!
5. Flip using a rubber scraper.
6. Cook for another 30-45 seconds.
7. Repeat until you have fed everyone or you just can’t take it anymore.

You can fill the crepes with the whipped cream or just top them with it. I topped mine and added a little powdered sugar. I think I whipped the cream a tiny bit too long but it still tasted great and my boys didn’t seem to notice that it looked a little bumpy.

If Nutella whipped cream is not appealing to you, feel free to top with anything that suits your fancy. We’ve used plain whipped cream, sliced fruit, maple syrup, jam and butter. All are excellent.

I hope you have a good weekend. If your kids start school Tuesday, I wish them the best of luck.


Caprese Baked Eggs

This post is another homage to my wonderful friend Jen. She is a very clever woman. She has a terrific blog (The Whole Bag of Chips) on which she features a lot of lowfat recipes that are tasty and easy. I met her (sort of) at the FIRST Kids’ State Dinner last August. Today, the first day of school for her kids, was our friend-iversary. There are days when I honestly don’t know how I’ve gone so long without her in my life. I love her dearly.

Last month, Jen posted a recipe for Baked Eggs and people went bonkers for it. It started showing up in news feeds all over the place. How it got in them was a real summer mystery.

At some point, the recipe must have shown up in my news feed because, this weekend, my husband asked me to make them. Truly a bizarre event. I had some mozzarella and pancetta and I thought, instead of the ham and cheddar Jen used, I would modify the recipe and add those ingredients, along with some chopped Roma tomatoes and I came up with Caprese Baked Eggs.

Caprese Baked Eggs
12 eggs
chopped pancetta
12 slices of fresh mozzarella
2 tomatoes chopped and mixed with fresh basil

1. Prepare a muffin tin by spraying it well with cooking spray and preheat the oven to 350.
2. Put some chopped pancetta on the bottom of each cup of the tin.
3.  Add a tbsp of chopped tomatoes on top of the pancetta.
4. Next, add the slice of mozzarella.
5. Finally, crack an egg into each muffin cup.
5. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes until the yolks are cooked to your liking.

My family had them with toast. I had extra tomatoes. They were delicious. And as Jen said in her post which I encourage you to click here to read (in case you missed the first link), they were a very easy weekend breakfast.

I’m not sure how they would taste reheated, but I’m guessing, probably not great. I can report that the one egg we had left was excellent cold.

Of course, this is another item that has many great possibilities. Meat, no meat. Cheese, no cheese. Think of a tiny omelette in a cup that you can customize for everyone in your house. So fun!


Lower Fat Cheesy Grits with Shrimp

One of the things my children delight in eating when they visit their grandma is grits. Growing up, we didn’t eat grits very often. Once in a while when we visited our grandparents in Florida, we would have them. They have never been at the top of my list of foods I crave.

Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of recipes for Cheesy Grits with Shrimp. Hmm… I decided to see how I could “healthify” this comfort food so I could eat it with no guilt. It turns out, while grits are high in carbs, they are also high in iron, have some good vitamins, a little bit of protein and fiber and almost no fat! So adding some low fat cheese, shrimp and lots of veggies actually gives you a pretty decent meal.

Lower Fat Cheesy Grits
4 servings of grits prepared according to the package directions
1 cup shredded low fat cheese
6 sliced cooked bacon, chopped (I used turkey bacon)
2 cups or more chopped veggies of your choosing ( I used green onions, garlic, tomato and topped my grits with sliced avocado)
2 cups cooked, deveined shrimp with tails off

1. Prepare grits according to package directions.
2. Stir in cheese, bacon, veggies and shrimp and heat through.
3. Serve topped with a little extra cheese, avocado, chopped tomatoes, etc.

This would make an excellent and fast week night meal. It would also be a fabulous dish to serve with eggs for brunch, in case you have anyone you might need to cook for maybe today? (hint, hint!!)

I think these would be great with some Rotel tomatoes and chorizo to give them a southwestern kick.  So many ways to customize this recipe! Let me know what you did!

Enjoy! And Happy Mother’s Day!