Pumpkin Spice Granola

Pumpkin Spice Granola

What’s super easy to make, healthy and also makes a really tasty snack? GRANOLA!

I really can’t understand why I ever spent money on granola in the past. I guess just always assumed I couldn’t make it at home. Well, you already know what happens when you assume. That’s right. I’m a total ass for never making this before. There’s a whole heck of a lot less sugar in my version then there is in the store bought stuff. Plus, you know all the ingredients that are going into it and it’s totally customizable. Oh AND it’s WAY cheaper! My grocery store charges almost $7 per pound for the pre-made stuff. My version probably costs around $2! It really doesn’t get much better than that.

Pumpkin Spice Granola

• 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats (not quick cooking)
• 1/2 cups nuts or seeds
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1/3 cup honey
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 3 tablespoons pumpkin spice
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 cup dried fruit or chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl combine the oats and nuts or seeds. Add in all ingredients except dried fruit or chocolate chips. Spread out on a rimmed baking sheet covered in aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 15 to make sure all pieces bake evenly. Remove from oven and allow to completely cool before adding dried fruit or chocolate chips.

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Spicy Sweet Potato and Ham Hash

Spicy Sweet Potato and Ham Hash

This dish is a bright and colorful take on the traditional breakfast staple. Plus, sweet potatoes are loaded with beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin E and potassium. Bonus! Tastes great and healthy! I wish I could say that about everything.

Here I used some frozen leftover honey baked ham that I defrosted the night before. I also used frozen poblano peppers from my farm share from over the summer. Sigh. I really miss our weekly bag of fresh veggies. I also miss those long summer days. This whole dark-when-I-go-into-work-dark-when-I-get-home thing is really cramping my style. First world problems. I know, I know. That’s what lack of sunshine will do to you!

Spicy Sweet Potato and Ham Hash

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups diced ham
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 poblano pepper, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, add all ingredients and mix until well combined. Spread mixture onto a large rimmed cookie sheet and bake in oven for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. Top with an over easy egg or, since I was out of eggs, a sprinkle of feta cheese.

Baked Herbed Eggs With Ham

I’m not a fan of breakfast. At least whole, healthy breakfast foods. I would much prefer a cold slice of pizza over eggs any day. And If I’m going to eat eggs, bring on the cheese, toast, ketchup, ANYTHING to hide the taste and the texture. Many of these additions are terrible for you and trying to find some whole food breakfast foods I enjoy has been a challenge. Along came pinterest and a post that I can’t find which inspired this, but I had to try it — with a twist.

Also, fresh herbs are almost always better. In this case, despite my herb window garden, I only had fresh chives for this recipe, the rest I used are of the dried variety.

Baked Herbed Eggs With Ham

  • 8 eggs
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream (divided for each ramekin)
  • 1 tablespoon butter (4) 1/4 tablespoons slices (a slice per ramekin)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 1/2 tablespoon thyme
  • 1/2 tablespoon rosemary
  • 1/2 tablespoon chives
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • A few ounces of diced ham (leftover carved ham is ideal!)

Mix all herbs, garlic and the Parmesan cheese in a small bowl and set aside.

In four ramekins, add a portion of cream, butter and  ham (whatever amount gets you jazzed, but leave room for two eggs).
Place ramekins on a cookie sheet. Set aside. Preheat broiler to high and move the oven rack about 6″ away from the heating element.


In four separate bowls, carefully crack open two eggs to keep yolks intact (I guess you could also scramble them if you like). Set aside.

Place the ramekins under the preheated broiler for 5 minutes until hot and bubbly.

Carefully pour each of the egg bowls into a ramekin and evenly sprinkle with your herb mixture.

Place back under the broiler for 2-5 minutes, being careful to watch for over-browning. Remove from oven and let sit for 3-5 minutes. The eggs will firm up a bit more and will be ready to eat! I garnished with some diced tomato and fresh basil.

ENJOY!
The possibilities of these little baked nests of love are endless.
I’m thinking some artichoke hearts will be involved in the next batch. 🙂

–Lauren

FAIL: Overnight French Toast Casserole

I decided to make to this dish for mother’s day. It seemed easy enough and I loved that I could make it ahead of time and that it would travel well. I’m definitely going to try to make this again with challah bread because the French bread I used did not absorb all the egg mixture and I was left with a weird gray-colored, sugary scrambled egg at the bottom of the dish. Sure, it tasted good covered in maple syrup (what doesn’t?), but the texture was bizarre and it didn’t look appealing at all. Thankfully my seven-year-old niece still approved, so I guess it wasn’t a total bust.

Overnight French Toast Casserole
adapted from http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/2011/02/overnight-french-toast-casserole.html

  • 1/4 cup (4 Tablespoons) butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 loaf brioche or challah (a French bread loaf can a used) sliced into 1 1/2 inches thick slices
  • 8 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • maple syrup and powdered sugar for topping

In a small bowl combine brown sugar and melted butter and pour on the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Arrange slices of bread in the baking dish overlapping if necessary. Combine milk, eggs, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, and ginger in a bowl and pour evenly over bread slices. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over top. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 4-12 hours. In the morning, take the casserole out of the fridge for at least 10 minutes while you are preheating your oven to 350 degrees. Bake casserole for 30-35 minutes. If top starts browning too quickly place a foil loosely over the top of the casserole for the last 10 minutes or so. You want it to cook long enough to make sure the bottom part is cooked but doesn’t dry it out completely. Remove casserole from oven and let it cool slightly before serving. Serve with a dusting of powdered sugar and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Chipotle Scrambled Eggs

Vegetarian sausage is dicey territory, but trust me—you will not regret trying this Field Roast Mexican Chipotle sausage. It’s not low fat, despite being vegetarian, but it is wicked good and super spicy in the most wonderful way. And in scrambled eggs? Now THAT’s breakfast. (Or dinner!)

Chipotle Scrambled Eggs

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 link Field Roast Mexican Chipotle vegan sausage
  • 3/4 cups Egg Beaters

(yes, that’s it!)

Just tear up the link of vegan sausage, saute in olive oil, scramble in the eggs and serve! Seriously. So. Good.

Baguette French Toast

My mother-in-law gets all the credit for inspiring this yummy recipe. Something about having more, smaller pieces of french toast make it that much more fun (and delicious) to eat. You can also freeze slices of a stale baguette and just let them defrost the night before cooking.

Baguette French Toast

  • 12 slices of stale baguette, cut about a 1/2″ thick
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • butter

In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, cinnamon and vanilla until well combined. Heat a medium sized skillet over a medium flame. Dunk each slice of bread in the egg mixture, soaking both sides. Place a pat of butter in the hot pan and add bread. Cook on both sides until golden. Serve topped with maple syrup and butter.

Easy Slow-Carb Egg Scramble

So I’ve been trying to give the slow-carb diet thing a go. I’ve only been on it for about a week and boy has it been challenging! Beans, even though they’re carbs, are allowed on the diet because they’re a complex carbohydrate. Also allowed on the diet: two glasses of red wine a night! Score!

Easy Slow-Carb Egg Scramble

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1/3 cup jarred jalapenos
  • 1/3 cup black olives
  • 1/3 slice provolone cheese, chopped

In a medium-sized skillet, add all ingredients and scramble over medium heat until eggs are cooked thoroughly. Serve. That’s it! Super easy right?

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