Category Archives: Breakfast

Vegan PB & J Smoothie

Vegan PB & J Smoothie

I somehow have become a morning exerciser. The first day of waking up, rolling out of bed, and putting on gym shorts instead of a pot of coffee was rough. The second was just as rough. But every day since it’s gotten a little easier.

After working out I’ve been more inclined to make a smoothie than bowl of oatmeal or anything else. It’s quick and easy to drink when getting ready for work. I’ve been trying different mixes to keep things interesting every time and this one is a winner.

It has the classic flavor of the inside of a PB & J, just in liquid form. It’s perfectly sweet and even packs some greens in it, too, if you opt in for the spinach(which you won’t be able to see or taste fully blended–I promise). 

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If you’re not a fan of peanut butter or just don’t have any lying around try making this with almond butter or even coconut butter.      

Vegan PB & J Smoothie

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 1 meal serving or 2 snack servings):

  • 1 medium banana

  • 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries

  • 1/3 cup frozen spinach

  • 2 Tablespoons peanut butter

  • 1/2 cup water

Method:

  1. Add all of the ingredients to a high-power blender. 

  2. Pulse briefly and then blend until the ingredients make a creamy smoothie. Add water if necessary to make smooth and creamy.

  3. Pour into a tall glass and drink cold. 

Breakfast Paleo Mug Cake

Paleo Chocolate Mug Cake

I’m a boring breakfast person. I like to eat the same thing every day until I get tired of it and find something new. For the past couple of months these have been my breakfasts. It’s fast, easy, and chocolate-flavored so it’s easy to love.

This has been one of my most popular recipes. I still have people commenting on the original post who’ve made it and loved it, and that’s a good feeling. The ingredients are fairly common and cheap, so even if you’re skeptical I’d say give it a try. It always tastes better with peanut butter or Nutella slathered on top so if you’re still not convinced I’d say try that.  

Paleo Chocolate Mug Cake

I’ve never tried any variations but I’ve had readers mention this recipe works just as well with sweet potato puree, butternut squash, and applesauce. You can also mix in other ingredients like chopped walnuts, chocolate chips, or raisins(well, maybe not raisins).

Paleo Mug Cake

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 3 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 1 cake):

  • 1 small ripe banana
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons almond butter(or any nut butter)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 heaping Tablespoons cocoa powder

Method:

  1. With a fork, mash the banana into a smooth puree.
  2. Mix the almond butter, egg, cocoa powder into the banana puree until it forms an even batter.
  3. Fold in any mix-ins into the batter that you’d like. Otherwise, pour the batter into a mug or other microwave safe container. Be sure to only fill the container up to 2/3rds the way because it will expand in the microwave.
  4. Microwave on high for 2 and 1/2 minutes until the center is set. Carefully remove the mug from the microwave and enjoy hot, cold, or at room temperature.

Peanut Butter Banana Refuel Smoothie

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

Marathon Monday is just a week away. Growing up in Massachusetts, it was always a big deal. I was shocked to find out it wasn’t actually a national holiday and most people work on Marathon Monday.

This year Stonyfield Greek is the official yogurt of the 2014 Boston Marathon. They asked their Clean Plate Club members to write how Stonyfield Greek helps us through the marathon of life.

When I was marathon training, there were 4 foods I constantly ate: Peanut butter, bananas, oatmeal, and greek yogurt. After so many weeks you learn the little ways to not make every snack or meal taste like the last.

Even though I haven’t registered for a marathon since 2011, I still make working out and running a routine. Making a smoothie instead of a meal is an easy, tasty way to refuel and move on to the next part of my day.

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

I never get tired of this recipe. It’s not too sweet or overly peanuty; it’s just the right balance of ingredients to be healthy and perfectly flavorful.

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 1 big or 2 small servings):

  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 5.oz Stonyfield vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 6-8 ice cubes

Method:

  1. Combine the banana, peanut butter, yogurt, and milk in a blender and mix until smooth.
  2. Add in the ice cubes and continue blending until they’re completely crushed and mixed in.
  3. Pour and serve cold.

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

Spinach Mushroom Frittata

Spinach Mushroom Frittata

If you read this blog often, you might not think I eat anything other than dessert. Hopefully this shows otherwise.

Of course I eat savory food every day, several meals a day. But I hardly ever blog about it because I’m someone who’s content with having the same meal for lunch every day of the week, every week of the month. The same with dinner, too. It’s an anomaly when I make something new.

I don’t always make frittatas but I enjoy them every time I do. How can you go wrong with eggs, cheese, and vegetables? It’s good for a group or to have and heat up the leftovers the next day and an easy way to switch up the meal rut.

Spinach Mushroom Frittata

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 50 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 4 servings):

  • 12 eggs
  • 1 cup mushrooms, washed
  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 2/3 cup shredded cheese(I recommend gouda if you can find it)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Spinach Mushroom Frittata

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Crack all of the eggs into a large bowl and make sure there’s no shells in it.
  3. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and sauté the mushrooms until they’re golden.
  4. Beat the milk, salt, and onion powder into the eggs.
  5. Grease a 9-inch baking pan well on the bottom and sides.
  6. Pour the egg batter into the pan.
  7. Dump the mushrooms into the egg and spread evenly. Add half of the cheese on top.
  8. Add the spinach on top of the batter and press down with a fork or utensil. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
  9. Bake for 50 minutes or until the center has set.
  10. Remove from the oven and let cool before cutting.

4 Healthy New Year’s Recipes

New Year’s resolutions are hard. It’s easy to shoot to high and make resolutions impossible to keep up with; the best kind are little changes you can work into your everyday routine and maintain without even thinking about it.

I didn’t make a food or fitness resolution this year. Mine is to get whiter teeth, so I bought special toothpaste and mouthwash. We’ll see how that goes with the horde of coffee and chocolate I eat.

If you did make a resolution to eat healthier, here are 4 simple recipes you can work into your every week to hit that goal. All of them have common, simple ingredients and are probably foods you already eat, so working them into your diet should be a breeze.

Breakfast:

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Low-Fat Cinnamon Raisin Granola is a great quick and filling alternative to heftier breakfasts like bagels and cream cheese or a donut. You can make a big batch on the weekend and portion out servings for the weekday mornings to grab and go.

Snack:

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Fruity Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip will satisfy your sweet tooth in the afternoon and still be tasty enough to enjoy. It’s a simple mix of yogurt, peanut butter, and sweetener that’s good for kids or grown-ups.

Entree:

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Easy Broccoli Frittata is another recipe you can make in bulk over the weekend and reheat throughout the week whenever you’re less than motivated to make a meal. The eggs and cheese are full of protein while the broccoli adds a boost of healthy nutrients, too. Add a simple side and you’ve got a whole dinner.

Dessert:

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Raw Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Cake proves that you can still have dessert even when you’re eating healthy. The bulk of this “cake” is dates and hazelnuts, making for a delicious and nutritious end to a meal.

Did you make a New Year’s resolution? What was it?

Rich Chocolate Oatmeal

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The best breakfasts(I think) are the ones that taste like a dessert.

While I might down a veggie egg omelet and perfectly salted home fries at a brunch, I’ll never cook myself something savory in the morning. I’d much rather put in the time and effort for french toast, glazed waffles, or this oatmeal.

When cinnamon brown sugar oatmeal just tastes too healthy, there’s no reason not to throw in some cocoa powder and sugar to sweeten the pot. It’s still plenty healthy with a banana and some peanut butter on top to fill out the food groups.

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If you don’t want to use butter, try an oil like coconut oil to add some richness or use 2 Tablespoons of peanut butter.

Rich Chocolate Oatmeal

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 2 servings):

  • 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules(optional)
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons butter

Method:

  1. In a large pot, combine the oats, water, powder, sugar, and salt.
  2. Bring the water to a boil over the stove and stir continuously.
  3. Keep stirring until the oats are fully cooked and the water is gone. If the oats are still tough, add 1/2 cup of water and keep stirring.
  4. When the oats are done, remove them from the heat.
  5. Stir in the vanilla, coffee(if using), and butter and continue stirring until the ingredients are well mixed.
  6. Serve hot with peanut butter, banana, and other toppings.

Gluten-Free Brown Sugar & Cinnamon Oatmeal

Gluten-Free Brown Sugar & Cinnamon Oatmeal

Breakfast is always my laziest meal of the day. More often than not I won’t spend more than 5 minutes getting it ready and spend another 5 eating it.

When I had to go without a microwave for a couple weeks last month it forced me out of my instant-microwaved oatmeal rut. Even still most mornings I spent 5 minutes cooking plain oatmeal while throwing on shoes and packing lunch. But some mornings I played around and made more delicious bowls using flavors and spices.

If you grew up enjoying Quakers instant oatmeal pouches, then you’ll love this. The taste and feel is the same, but making it yourself adds a special satisfaction and makes the whole bowl more hearty. You can use instant oats instead of thick-cut, just reduce the water accordingly and cook for less time.

Gluten-Free Brown Sugar & Cinnamon Oatmeal Ingredients

  Gluten-Free Brown Sugar & Cinnamon Oatmeal

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 1 serving):

  • 1/2 cup thick-cut gluten-free rolled oats
  • 2 heaping Tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/2 Tablespoon butter
  • Brown sugar for garnish

Method:

  1. Combine the oats, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and water in a pot and stir gently.
  2. Bring the water to a slight boil. Stir constantly so that the bottom doesn’t burn.
  3. Keep stirring until the oats are cooked and stick will stick to your spoon.
  4. Add in the butter and stir until it has completely melted.
  5. Move to a bowl and garnish with extra brown sugar before serving.

Maple Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bread

Maple Peanut Butter Quickbread

Do you know what November is? Besides depressingly cold. It’s national peanut butter month! And to stir things up, the National Peanut Board invited bloggers to come up with a new peanut butter recipe to post and spread the love.

At this point, there are few recipes that I haven’t made with peanut butter. It’s something I eat daily—usually in the morning with oatmeal and a sweetener like maple syrup. But oatmeal can be messy and hard to have on the go, so there had to be an easy, portable way to have that delicious flavor combination.

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For my entry I made a peanut butter quick bread sweetened with maple syrup. It’s healthy and amazingly delicious warmed up on a cold November morning.

To vote in the recipe, you can go to the Peanut Board’s Facebook page after 12pm on November 1st and use the contest’s tab app to vote before November 30th. Besides a prize for the winning blogger, they’re giving away 15 peanut butter prize packs with $25 gift cards to voters, so vote!

Maple Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bread

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 50 minutes

Ingredients(Makes one loaf):

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour or gluten-free all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup peanut butter, gently melted
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Maple Peanut Butter Quickbread Loaf

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl mix together the oats and flour.
  3. Add in the syrup, peanut butter, oil, eggs, and water and beat well.
  4. Add in the rest of the ingredients and continue mixing until it forms a batter.
  5. Lightly grease a 9-inch loaf pan with oil.
  6. Pour the batter into the pan and sprinkle some extra oats on the top.
  7. Bake for 50 minutes or until the bread rises and sets.
  8. Remove from the oven and let cool before slicing. Store in a cool place when not enjoying.

Maple Peanut Butter Quickbread Loaf 2

Be sure to check out the other bloggers’ recipes as well! Jennifer, Laurie, Nick, Tina, and Rachel all cooked up something delicious, too.

Healthy Black Bean Quesadilla

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The saddest thing about moving to a new city besides leaving behind friends and family is always leaving behind good restaurants. There are always a few dished you just can’t find anywhere else and you don’t know what to do about it.

Last time I was in Providence I had huevos rancheros with a black bean quesadilla, ancho-chili sauce and home fries for brunch. It was delicious and something I probably won’t find anytime soon, so this has been the closest I’ve come to tasting it again. If you’re staying in on a weekend morning and need something to hit the spot this might be as good as you’ll get without ordering takeout.

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This recipe for quesadillas is a little different from what you’d normally get since it uses corn tortillas instead of flour ones keeping it gluten-free. The ingredients are also a little healthier than others; for a more traditional recipe use twice as much cheese and half as much beans.

Black Bean Corn Quesadilla

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 1 serving):

  • 2 corn tortillas
  • 1/2 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup pepper jack cheese
  • Salsa
  • Sour cream
  • Guacamole

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Method:

  1. Heat a frying pan over medium heat.
  2. Warm the tortillas in the frying pan in a little oil to keep them from sticking.
  3. Move the tortillas to a plate.
  4. Heat the black beans in the pan with a little oil to take out some of the moisture. Season them with salt or spices if desired.
  5. Add the cheese in with the black beans and keep moving them to prevent them from sticking to the pan.
  6. When the cheese starts melting, move the black beans onto one of the tortillas. Place the other one on top.
  7. Serve with salsa, sour cream, guacamole, and any other toppings you’d like.

Coconut Caramel Muffins

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What do you do with a ton of caramel(besides eating it off of your fingers and spoons) other than bake with it? If you know please tell me because I still have a cup left after making these and about 12 new cavities.

The first thing I thought of was coconut and caramel. It’s sweet and meaty and perfect to add textures. Adding it to muffins became a great way to start the day with something flavorful. These had a decent coconut flavor, but if you just love coconut then I’d recommend swapping in coconut oil for the vegetable oil and carton coconut milk for the regular milk.

Coconut Caramel Muffins Overhead

These are “muffins”(as opposed to cupcakes) in my mind because they aren’t all that sweet; they’re a perfect breakfast pastry to have next to a cup of coffee or tea. However, if you wanted them to be sweeter and possibly a dessert, I’d recommend adding 1/2 cup of sugar to the batter.

Coconut Caramel Muffins

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 9 muffins):

  • 6 Tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup caramel sauce, divided
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 6 Tablespoons shredded coconut

Coconut Caramel Muffins Serving

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line 9 muffin wells with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the coconut flour, brown rice flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, 1/4 cup caramel sauce, and oil until mixed well.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients in with the dry and mix until the batter is even.
  5. Scoop an equal amount of batter into each paper liner.
  6. In a small bowl, mix together the remaining caramel sauce and shredded coconut. Scoop roughly a tablespoon of the coconut mixture in the center of each muffin and press down lightly.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes or until the muffins have set. Remove from the oven and let them cool before serving.