Category Archives: Breakfast

Hungry Farmer Egg Muffins

While I’m off playing in Mexico, I thought you might be interested in seeing some new recipes I’ve created. Enjoy!

As you might know, I’m a farmer’s wife. That can mean a lot of different things to people, but the main thing it means to me is that I have a very hungry man to feed every day. Not only do I need to feed him, but I need to feed him well. He needs to get filled up in the morning so that he has enough energy to work until lunch. That means a bowl of cereal for breakfast isn’t going to cut it (especially since he could easily consume 5,000-6,000 calories a day and still never gain a pound!).

Since I’ve been eating more Swiss Paleo-ish, I’ve come across quite a few recipes for different versions of egg muffins that have tons of protein and fat, which is exactly what my honey needs to fuel his hard work. I decided to whip something up with the ingredients I had on hand and this is what I came up with.

I made these muffins a few weeks ago for the first time. Since then, I’ve made it another two times, changing the recipe a little each time. I don’t really like to measure things, so this is all sort of an estimation. It’s also a super adaptable recipe, so just throw in whatever you have!

Hungry Farmer Egg Muffins (Makes 12 muffins)

This nutrient- and calorie-dense breakfast is sure to fill you up and fuel whatever you have to tackle for the day.

  • 1/2 to 1 lb breakfast sausage, cooked
  • 8-10 eggs
  • 1/2-3/4 cup cream or milk
  • chopped spinach
  • salt and pepper
  • cheese
  • potatoes- optional
  • coconut oil

1. Grease your muffin pan if necessary.

2. If using the potatoes, grate them into thin strings and saute in coconut oil or butter. Season with salt and pepper and place in the muffin cups, filling only about 1/4 of the cup. Bake for about 5 minutes at 350. Feel free to grate a little cheese over top of them.

3. Whisk the eggs with the cream or milk. Add the chopped spinach and seasonings. Add grated cheese if desired (it can add different flavors depending on what type you use, which is nice to change it up a bit).

4. Once your egg mixture is all whisked together, add the cooled sausage and mix again.

5. Pour egg mixture into cups and bake at 350 until they puff up and are no longer jiggly.

6. Let cool, then transfer to a sealed container and store in the refrigerator.

7. To heat up, I recommend cutting each muffin into four pieces and then microwaving for 45-60 seconds.

Another variation: leave out the potatoes and use the cooked sausage with cheese on top as the “crust.” Then pour the egg mixture over top and bake.

What’s your favorite filling breakfast?

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New Recipe: Fat Kid’s PB&J

I’ve got another great recipe from my brother today! And it’s a doozy 🙂

I apologize but this week’s Eat Happy, Be (Somewhat) Healthy, Live Well recipe doesn’t have any delicious pictures to whet your appetite…frankly this recipe is a tough one to make simply because you need fresh berries which are typically cost effective to buy and tastiest in the late summer months but the richness of it makes it perfect for a winter morning.  So I haven’t made it in a while, and I haven’t tried it, yet, with frozen berries – if you do try it with frozen berries, let me know how it turns out.

Fat Kid’s take on PB&J

The name of this recipe is based on my self-ascribed nickname of Fat Kid and what it’ll do to your waistline if you eat it more often than once every couple of months.

 Ingredients

  • ·         Handful of Fresh Blueberries
  • ·         Handful of Fresh Raspberries
  • ·         4 Strawberries, quartered
  • ·         Water for consistency
  • ·         Honey and/or Brown Sugar to taste
  • ·         2 Tbsp Vanilla
  • ·         Peanut Butter
  • ·         Ground Flaxseed
  • ·         French Toast

Step 1: Place all of the berries into a sauce pot and fill with just enough water to almost cover the berries.  Add Vanilla and Honey/Brown Sugar to taste.  I use “to taste” here because depending on the season and provider, your berries could be sweet enough already or you may simply enjoy a more tart flavor profile.  In my last attempt at this recipe I used both Honey and Brown Sugar, for the sweetness and molasses + sweet flavoring, respectively.  However, next time I’ll go with just the brown sugar to coax more molasses flavoring without overly sweetening it.

Step 2: Bring water, vanilla, sugar/honey, and berry mixture to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for at least 20 minutes, depending on your desired thickness for this syrup/jelly.  Once you’ve reduced it to approximately your liking (err on the side of too thin as you can always use a little corn starch to thicken), toss everything into a food processor and pulse to get the berries further integrated into the sauce.

Step 3: Make two slices of French Toast per person following your normal French Toast recipe.

Step 4: Spread Peanut Butter onto one slice of French Toast and sprinkle with ground Flaxseed.  Place second slice of French Toast on top, then drizzle Berry Syrup/Jelly on top of the entire sandwich.

Variations:

As I was typing this up, I came up with a couple of variations on the above that could (and should) be tried, but I haven’t personally tested them yet to let you know if they are wonderful or a big failure pile in a sadness bowl.

Variation #1:  Fat Kid’s Fluffy Clouds of PB&J

Step 4: Add Cream Cheese in a one-to-one ratio with the peanut butter and whip together until volume is at least doubled using an electric mixer before slathering on your French Toast.

Variation #2: Fat Kid’s Adult PB&J

Step 1: Substitute a nice red wine for the water.

Step 2: Pour and press mixture through a very fine mesh strainer to make the reduction a sauce without any chunks of fruit.  Repeat multiple times as necessary to get the absolute most flavor out of the chunks of berries.

Step 3: Use a nice artisan bread for your French toast, and only one slice per person.

Step 4: Add Cream Cheese in a one-to-one ratio with the peanut butter and whip together until volume is at least doubled using an electric mixer before slathering on your French Toast.  Serve in dessert-sized portions with the sauce/syrup/jelly also artfully drizzled on the plate for dipping purposes.  Garnish with a square of Dark Chocolate to pair pleasantly with the wine and berry reduction.

Sounds yummy, right?? Go make it now for someone you love 🙂

Butternut Squash Pancakes

Last week, Jenna over at Eat, Live, Run posted her favorite fall recipes. One of them stood out to me: Butternut Squash Pancakes.

At first, I was a little taken aback. Butternut squash in pancakes? But remembering that I had leftover roasted butternut squash (which I picked up from the farmer’s market last week) from making my cheesy rice casserole, I decided I’d give it a try.

I pureed up the roasted butternut squash and just went for it. I halved my pancake recipe (omitting the nuts because I forgot!) and added about 1/4 cup squash. The final product was excellent! However, I just made them even better 🙂

Butternut Squash Pancakes (inspired by Jenna)

This fall recipe will warm your heart and soothe the soul after a long day (trust me!!!!). The added squash gives the pancakes a boost flavor-wise, but also nutrient-wise with loads of fiber and vitamin A. Enjoy for either breakfast or dinner (like me!). 

1 cup GF baking mix/flour

1 tsp cinnamon/nutmeg blend or pumpkin pie spice

1/4 cup oats

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax seed plus 2 1/2 tbsp water, then set aside)

1 cup raw milk, plus a few tablespoons to thin it out to desired consistency

1 cup butternut squash puree

1-2 tbsp coconut oil

pure maple syrup

Make your flax egg and set aside. Mix together the dry ingredients. Add the flax egg, 1 cup of milk and the butternut squash. Mix well. Use a few tablespoons of milk to thin it out if necessary. Heat your skillet or frying pan over low heat. Wait until it is heated to pour on your first pancake. You want the batter to sizzle as you pour it on. After it is heated, drop a tablespoon of coconut oil in and let it melt and coat the pan with it. Pour the batter into the skillet and thin out with a spatula if too thick. Let cook until bubbles form around the edges. Make sure the coconut oil touches the edges of the pancake as it cooks. This will allow it to almost fry in the oil giving it a crispy edge. Trust me, the coconut oil is totally worth it and takes these pancakes to a whole new level!! Serve with a generous drizzle of maple syrup 🙂

I will be working on editing my pictures from the weekend, but I can’t help but share this one I took Saturday morning when I first got to see Ally again. That face will warm the heart and soothe the soul too 🙂 Enjoy!

Workout Wednesday- Circuit work at the gym

What a night! It has been raining like crazy since I got home, accompanied by tons of thunder and lightning. We lost internet for a little bit and then the power keeps flickering on and off. Hopefully it will stay on long enough for me to catch up on some work!

Great news: I got my battery fixed for my camera!!! I ended up buying a new charger and one of my batteries now works in the camera. Which is really great because my honey and I are headed to a lake house this weekend and I want to take good pictures while we’re there.

On another note, I made a new green smoothie combo that I just had to share!

Tropical green smoothie makes two servings, so I stuck one in the fridge for breakfast

1 cup plain yogurt

1 banana

1 large kiwi

1/2 mango

1 tbsp maple syrup

1 cup kale

1 cup spinach

5 ice cubes

1 tbsp flax seed

Begin by cutting and peeling the mango (frozen would work too). Cut the ends off of the kiwi and rinse well under water. Leave the skin on and cut into chunks. Add yogurt, banana, kiwi, and diced mango to blender, followed by the maple syrup. Add the kale and spinach, then blend. Add ice and let blend some more. Add in the flax seed and let blend for a little longer. Serve in your favorite glass!

Moving along to the heart of this post- circuits. I’ve posted about them before, but I’m going to share about a different circuit I recently tried.

As I’ve mentioned before, I work at a university. This has afforded me some incredible opportunities over the past three years. My favorite opportunity thus far was last semester.

There are students in an upper-level kinesiology class who have to do fitness testing and personal training as part of their class. Lucky for me, they ask faculty and staff members to be the guinea pigs! In years past, I hadn’t been able to work it into my schedule to sign up for the program, so I was really glad I was able to do it this time around.

I got paired with a student I had worked with during her freshmen year (my first year there as well), so it was fun to work with her again. She and I bonded and agreed to keep in touch and try to work out together again, since she is finishing up her senior year this fall. I learned a lot from her and seriously ramped up my workouts because of her. She would ‘train’ me on Mondays and then give me workouts to do during the week. Some weeks I followed to a T and some I just did my own thing, but made sure I got in a similar workout. Throughout the process, I lost 4 lbs and gained a ton of muscle- especially in my calves and triceps. I was the fittest I’ve ever been! Over the summer, I kept up with my workouts enough to stay strong, but I put back on those few pounds I lost. (I blame it all on our damn dog who has sucked my morning time dry!!!)

Anyways, now that school has started again, I contacted her to see when we could workout because I desperately need to get back into things. We finally got to work out together on Tuesday and we did a workout that we did last semester: a circuit at the gym.

Now, this isn’t just any old circuit. It’s a kick ass workout made easy. A racquetball court is set up with 14 different stations, and a grad student has a stop watch. Each station has a picture of the move and the equipment necessary for it. You can start at any open station and do the circuit as many times as you want. We ended up doing it twice through which was just tough enough to have us sweating pretty good and feeling a little sore. You do each move for one minute and the grad student lets you know when there are 30 seconds left, 10 seconds left and then when to switch. It’s great because you don’t have to worry about watching the time (which I think makes it go faster!).

Below is a list of the different exercises at the circuit yesterday (in no particular order). At some stations, there were two different weight options, so you could choose how hard to go. Also, you can skip a station if you’re uncomfortable doing the move or if you’d rather do a different move, you can. It’s pretty open and flexible, but it offers up the opportunity to get a great workout in without having to fight for the equipment in the gym.

Circuit

  1. Skull crushers with body bar
  2. Forward lunges with weights
  3. Step ups
  4. Jumping jacks
  5. Crunches
  6. Reverse flyes
  7. Weighted punches
  8. Mountain climbers
  9. Rope ladder
  10. Biceps curls
  11. Calf raises with body bar
  12. Deadlifts
  13. Push ups on a Bosu
  14. Front kicks

As you can see, the circuit was a total-body workout with simple moves. It was awesome! Even though I got home later than usual (closer to 7), I had so much energy, I was able to shower, play with the dog, make dinner, do dishes and post recipes last night. All before heading to bed around 9:45pm. I think I need to workout after work more often!

Have you ever worked out with a personal trainer?

My love for Pamela (and her products!)

When I first decided to cut wheat from my diet back in February, I was pretty distraught about what I was going to be able to eat. I had primarily lived on food made from wheat: cereals, cookies, BREAD, pasta, pancakes, etc. I talked to a friend whose daughter has celiac disease and she gave me a bag of Pamela’s Gluten-Free Bread Mix. I made the cinnamon swirl recipe on the bag and was in LOVE! With this type of bread on my side, I could do this! I was a happy camper 🙂

To my surprise, I went to the gluten-free section at my local grocery store, and I saw Pamela’s Baking and Pancake Mix. I just had to get it, even though it is a bit expensive. Once I realized I could use it cup for cup as a flour substitute, I was sold! The first thing I made was the pancake recipe- YUM! I substituted whole raw milk for the water and oil, and later added in a flax egg, walnuts and vanilla to make my current recipe. Talk about knock your socks off good! My honey even REALLY liked it!

From there, I realized the possibilities were endless! I’ve now made cookies, breads, ravioli, muffins, cobblers, and LOTS of pancakes!

Now that I know what I do about flour- how nutritionally void it is- I definitely recommend Pamela’s to ANYONE, not just those with gluten or wheat issues. The nutrition facts on the stuff are so impressive that we should ALL be using the stuff instead of regular flour. I didn’t really notice a flavor difference, but as I use it more, I’ve become more attuned to the taste and can see how people might have issues with it tasting different than white flour. However, I feel like it tastes BETTER because of the flavorful ingredients- brown rice flour, almond meal, etc.

Visit www.pamelasproducts.com for more information on all of the available products.

One cup of the stuff packs 12g of protein so I feel better about stuffing my face with yummy cookies 🙂

My most recent creation with it is a Raspberry Banana Muffin. I have failed at making banana bread too many times to count! It never fully cooks in the middle, so I decided that I was going to make muffins instead of a loaf of bread. I have lots of raspberries from my honey’s grandma, plus I had two extra-ripe bananas. I also have cashews that I’ve been meaning to do something with. Naturally the wheels started turning in my head of what I could possibly create. On the way home from work today, it all finally clicked. I must make raspberry banana muffins with cashews!!!

Raspberry Banana Muffins

No picture because my camera still doesn’t like its own battery!!!

A light and fluffy muffin that isn’t too sweet. The secret ingredient adds a little extra protein along with a mild sweetness. 

2 ripe bananas

1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground up flax seed + 2 1/2 tbsp warm water)

1/4 cup honey

2 tbsp melted butter

1/2 cup cashew meal

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/8 cup GF flour (Pamela’s baking mix)

2/3 cup raspberries

First make your flax egg and set aside. Next, mash up the bananas, then add in the flax egg, honey, and melted butter. Grind up 1/2 cup cashews into a meal/flour. Combine the cashew meal with the baking powder, salt and GF flour. Mix together the wet and dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in the raspberries gently. Resist the urge to eat the batter straight from the bowl and divide evenly into 12 muffin cups. Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes, or until the tops are nice and golden.

Words cannot even express how good these are! I am so tempted to eat all of them this instant and not save any for my honey (who is sleeping with the dog right now!). They are not super dense like a lot of banana breads/muffins I’ve had. They are very moist and just absolutely delicious!

If you haven’t tried any of Pamela’s gluten-free products, I highly recommend them!

Note: this review was simply just me sharing about a product I love which I use all of the time at home. Pamela has never heard of me before! 

Have you ever tried a gluten-free baking mix? Which brand? What did you make?

Now THIS is my new favorite smoothie!

I didn’t think I could do it after my peanut butter banana smoothie, but I DID!

I was running low on fruit and wouldn’t have a chance to get to the farmer’s market this week to pick up some peaches for my other favorite smoothie (a girl can have more than one favorite, right?!), a peach banana smoothie. As they say, “necessity is the mother of invention.” Since I absolutely needed a smoothie, I had to get creative.

I had recently seen that Kath used cantaloupe in a smoothie, and I was inspired. Luckily, cantaloupe was on sale at the store I stopped at! I also decided that I should get some oranges and see how that would taste in a smoothie. Neither of these fruits are on the dirty dozen list, so I didn’t mind not buying organic, plus they are cheap! Two bucks for a cantaloupe that will make about 7 smoothies? Don’t mind if I do!

Thus, a new favorite smoothie was born 🙂

Orangey Banana Smoothie

The cantaloupe makes this extra creamy and adds a fun flavor. I could really ‘feel’ the orange in this smoothie, so I would probably blend it for a little longer next time, but the citrus flavor boost really shined! 

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1 banana

1 cup frozen cantaloupe (add ice cubes if it isn’t frozen)

1/2 a small orange

1 cup spinach

Place all ingredients in blender in the order they are listed above. Puree to desired consistency!

 

I am currently cooking up a storm in the kitchen again! I am having some special company over tonight! At work, I supervise a grad student who supervises 8 undergrad students. They are all coming out for a Mexican fiesta and I couldn’t be more excited!

Inspired by Ashley‘s Taco Night Done Right, I am trying out a few new recipes that I hope to share soon. I’m trying out her black bean and potato filling, along with a modified version of her spiced veggies. I also whipped up my own version of Mexican rice, and then I will be ending the meal with an American classic- apple cobbler with homemade vanilla ice cream! I’m following my recipe for Blueberry Cobbler and using apples from our own apple tree!!

I’m saying a little prayer for the folks being hit by Hurricane Irene right now! It has been cloudy and windy and raining on and off here all morning. We’re far enough inland so that will be the worst of it for us. I hope everyone stays safe this weekend!

 

My new favorite smoothie!

After my 3 mile run the other night, I wasn’t sure what to eat. I had vegetable soup waiting for me (I promise to post the recipe soon!), but I just wasn’t feeling it. As I snacked on chips and homemade salsa (heavy on the apple cider vinegar this time!), I was reading Tina’s blog and was immediately inspired by the smoothie she made. And by immediately, I mean I stopped reading mid-post and got up to make myself a similar one!

There were two reasons I decided to make this smoothie: 1) I had no fruit or spinach for my green smoothies, but I had PB and bananas, so it was destined to be, and 2) it was exactly what I wanted (even though I had never had it before!)

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

I had heard (and read about) other people making PB and banana smoothies, but I always turned my nose up at them. I thought that couldn’t possibly be a good combo because I’m not a fan of putting PB on bananas in general. Boy was I wrong!  With the ice and the cream, it comes out almost like a milkshake! I have now made this smoothie four times and plan to keep on making it! 

Makes about 16 oz

1/4 cup plain yogurt

1/2 cup raw cream

1 banana

1/4 cup peanut butter

1 tbsp cocoa powder (optional)

ice

Place all ingredients, except ice, in a blender and blend until smooth. Add in the ice a few cubes at a time until it reaches desired consistency. Pour into a glass, smile really big and enjoy 🙂

The surprising thing about this smoothie was how filling it was! I ended up just drinking this for dinner because it filled me up so much. I made it for breakfast the other morning and it kept me full until 10:30am! The only downside to this smoothie is the nutritional info. The spinach really kicks up the nutritional value of my green smoothies and I feel like I’m drinking a really healthy salad. However, the PB banana one is more like a filling dessert.

Have you ever made a PB banana smoothie? Do you like the PB and banana combo?