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Archive for the ‘breakfast’ Category

bejeweled breakfast

Posted by culinaryneophyte on December 27, 2013

This year, most of my gift giving and Christmas revelry took place in advance of the actual holiday, leaving my Dec. 25 all to myself. I did not let this opportunity go to waste. I set my alarm for a rare “late” start (10 a.m.), donned some mismatched sweats, put on a little Ke$ha and got to work in the kitchen. What emerged was a a glorious breakfast of coconut vanilla waffles with vanilla protein “fluff” and homemade pomegranate syrup.

coconut pom waffles

I had this idea saved on Pinterest for weeks, but wanted to make it paleo/clean, so I made some alterations and thankfully ended up with a beautiful and tasty plate. Frankly, I was giddy over it. While everyone on Facebook was posting pictures of their presents, their babies, their dogs, their dogs with presents, their babies with presents, their babies with dogs as presents…  I was posting pictures of waffles.

I have been obsessed with pomegranates for awhile now. Once I had my first taste of those  juicy little jewels, I couldn’t get enough. I already had my pomegranate deseeded, so that saved time because it’s a slight process. There are a few ways to get into that baby, but I use the water bowl method: cut pomegranate in half, submerge in water for 10 minutes, then pull apart the rind and allow it to float to the top of the water while the seeds (arils) sink; strain arils, then dry on paper towel.

The genesis of the protein “fluff” was initially for aesthetic purposes (I wanted to brighten it up a bit before adding the dark pom syrup), but I dug the creaminess it added, plus it’s always nice to sneak a little extra protein into a meal that may not otherwise be that rich in it.

This was a fabulous start to my day. I ran around cleaning and organizing the file cabinet I bought for myself (oh yeah, be jealous), then spent the next five hours marathoning the hell out of season two of “Girls.” Pretty much the best Christmas ever.

coconut pom waffles 2makes two waffles
inspired by foodiecrush
♦1 egg, whisked
1/8 c. coconut milk
3/4 c. almond meal
1/8 c. shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 tbs. coconut flour
1 tbs. honey
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Heat waffle iron. Whisk egg, then add milk. Combine almond meal, coconut, coconut flour and baking soda, then add to wet mixture. Add honey, vanilla, sea salt and cinnamon. Put batter into iron and cook for three to four minutes or until golden.

for protein fluff
1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder (I used Cellucor)
about 2 tsp. almond milk
(play around with these measurements until the consistency is correct; you want it somewhat liquescent, but not runny)

for pomegranate syrup
1/2 c. pomegranate arils
1 c. POM Wonderful juice
1/8 c. organic coconut sugar
1/2 tbs. coconut oil

Heat coconut oil over medium heat. Add arils, juice and coconut sugar. Heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture has reduced by half. (This took a bit longer than I thought it would, so start it going before you start cooking waffle mix.)

Total time? 20 minutes (without deseeding of pomegranate)
Cost? $3.99 POM, $1.50 pomegranate, $6.99 almond meal, $8.99 coconut flour, $3.99 organic coconut, $4.98 organic coconut sugar, $5.99 coconut oil
Overall success relative to expectations? My first bite of the waffle on its own was underwhelming. I thought it was a little bland and moderately dense. (I may separate the egg first next time.) The good news is all the toppings help sweeten and moisten up the dish, and the combination is perfect — like a holiday in my mouth.

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National Oatmeal Day 2013

Posted by culinaryneophyte on October 29, 2013

National Oatmeal Day 2013




Today is National Oatmeal Day!

In celebration, I had “breakfast for lunch” and made a bowl of a sort of harvest protein oatmeal with pumpkin, egg white, whey and spices, topped with dried cranberries, pistachios, sunflower seeds, crushed walnuts and pumpkin spice almonds.

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espresso banana pancakes

Posted by culinaryneophyte on May 13, 2013

espresso banana pancakesI was recently talking to a friend about the inexplicably “cool” things we did in middle or high school, like wearing overalls (and wearing one strap undone), walking around with one pant leg up and one pant leg down, and carrying your 7,000 lb. Jansport backpack with only one strap; no matter how inevitable the scoliosis onset would be, you didn’t dare put that other strap over your shoulder in public for fear of being branded a dork for life.

Another great mystery of my school days was my hatred of breakfast, and how “cool” I considered my “talent” of being able to make it all the way to 6th period lunch without eating a thing. I remember legitimately bragging about it. Now that I’m [much] older and wiser, I know that breakfast is crucial to growth and brain function, and more importantly to my teenage self, weight control. Studies show that overweight adolescents and adults are less likely to break that fast each morning than their thinner counterparts, so when you think you’re doing your waistline a favor by skipping a meal, you’re actually doing the opposite.

Nowadays, breakfast is what gets me out of bed in the morning, and if I skipped breakfast, there’s a good chance I’d have the shakes less than 10 minutes in my morning commute. Most mornings, my breakfast is a simple bowl of oatmeal or a protein shake, but on the weekends I tend to get a little more adventurous. Lately, I’ve been cranking out some “clean eats,” and I’ve been super pleased with the results.

This weekend, I made some espresso banana pancakes, topped with protein “whipped cream,” banana chips and honey. Even if you don’t have the “clean” version of these ingredients, your pancakes will still come out great. Oh, and don’t mind the coloring; the espresso made the pancakes look like sausage patties, but I promise these were fluffy and delightfully unmeaty.

Espresso banana clean eating pancakes
(Makes five small cakes)

for cakes
♦1/4 oats
3/8 c. cottage cheese
1/2 c. egg whites (approx. two eggs)
1/2 banana
1 tb. ground coffee/espresso
2 tb. whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder

for topping
3 tb. plain Greek yogurt
1/2 scoop whey protein
banana chips

Combine all pancake ingredients in a blender or food processor until well combined. Heat griddle or frying pan over medium heat (these cook fast), and add a very small amount of coconut oil. Drop batter onto pan and allow to cook until you see small bubbles and the edges are solid enough to flip (little more than one minute). Flip and cook other side (45 seconds to a minute). Use your best judgment to avoid burning, but don’t be fooled by the dark espresso color; make sure cakes are fully cooked.

For the topping, combine whey protein and Greek yogurt in a small bowl and whip quickly to combine. Spread across pancakes, top with banana chips (or fresh banana slides, but I preferred the slight crunch) and drizzle with honey.

Calories? 57 calories per pancake plain, add calories for toppings
Total time?
 15 minutes
Cost? $0.30 banana, $2 oats, $2 espresso, $2.99 cottage cheese, $2.99 Greek yogurt.
Overall success relative to expectations? 7 out of 10 really enjoyed how the espresso flavor came through in the pancake, and crunch of the banana chips was a nice touch. I would definitely make these again. Perhaps they even have more staying power than my one-pant-leg-up-one-pant-leg-down overalls.

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Thin Mints for breakfast

Posted by culinaryneophyte on March 11, 2012

I am drowning in Girl Scout Cookies. (#firstworldproblem, I know.) As a result, I am forcing Girl Scout Cookies onto and into every meal in every possible way. First up? Thin Mint oatmeal.

looks sloppy, tastes Thin Mint-y

I’m not a huge fan of super sweet things, but if you are, you might want to double the syrup and cookies, and maybe throw in some chocolate syrup or something. I wanted to keep this as healthy as a bowl of oatmeal with cookies in it could possible be.

makes one serving
♦1/2 c. old fashioned oats
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. milk
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tbs. creme de menthe syrup
1/4 ripe banana (overly ripe is even better)
3 Thin Mint cookies, crushed into some pieces and some crumbs

Heat oats, milk, water and salt over medium heat. After two minutes, add creme de menthe syrup and half Thin Mint mashup. Heat until bubbling. Add banana and mash up completely. (This will thicken the mixture but not affect the flavor.) Spoon into bowl and add remainder of Thin Mint crumbs.

Total time? 8 minutes total — nice and quick.
Cost? $3.50 Girl Scout Cookies, $2 mint syrup, $2.49 quick oats, 20¢ banana.
Overall success relative to expectations? 8 out of 10. This was pretty much what I expected — a healthy oatmeal breakfast with a little treat added in. I didn’t think the mint came through enough, but I didn’t want to add more syrup and thus more sugar. I’m not sure I’ll make this often because I’m more of a savory breakfast girl, so expect some more Girl Scout Cookie-related recipes because I’ve gotta get rid of these things.

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pumpkin time

Posted by culinaryneophyte on October 23, 2011

Last I wrote, I was just moving into my new place and incredibly stressed. Living out of boxes is one thing; baking out of boxes is another. I’m only slightly more settled now, and coming off two crazy weeks of baked good orders. Just when it looked like I was going to be able to start writing again, my laptop — which had been clinging to its last life for the last six months now — took its very last breath. Worse still, all of my food photos from the last year+ are — err, were on there.

Fortunately, I came up with a new recipe (and new photos) to share while I work out this computer quandary: pumpkin spice oatmeal — the perfect breakfast for any fall morning.

♦1/2 c. quick oats
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. almond milk (regular milk works perfectly well, too!)
1/4 tsp. salt
3 tbs. canned pumpkin
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ginger
1-1/2 tbs. brown sugar

Combine oats, water, milk and salt in small saucepan. Heat over medium heat until mixture starts to simmer and thicken. Add pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger, and mix until well combined. Pour into bowl and let stand to thicken for one minute. Sprinkle brown sugar on top, and enjoy. Makes one serving.

Total time? 10 minutes.
Cost? $2.19 canister of quick oats, $1.59 can of pumpkin, $2.64 almond milk.
Overall success relative to expectations? 9 out of 10. Whenever fall comes around, I buy a can of pumpkin and put it in just about anything I can think of. Given my newfound, not-so-secret love for oatmeal, it was only a matter of time before I was eating pumpkin for breakfast.  Didn’t disappoint, either. The brown sugar is a must because the dish isn’t sweet enough on its own, but you don’t have to overdo it. If you’re short on time in the mornings, drop this in a mug and take it to go.

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please sir – I’d like s’more

Posted by culinaryneophyte on September 12, 2011

Many moons ago (or maybe just five months), I was an all-out oatmeal hater, but as you may recall, an early morning encounter with a bowl of pb&j oatmeal had me singing a different tune, and I haven’t looked back since.

While pb&j oatmeal is still my No. 1 favorite breakfast at home, I still like to experiment with different oatmeal variations from time to time, so I give you: s’more oatmeal. No campfire needed.

♦1/2 c. oats (NOT instant!)
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. milk
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. sugar
1/2 banana, sliced
2 sheets of graham crackers, crushed
1/4 c. chocolate chipshandful of mini marshmallows

Over medium heat, cook oats, water, milk, salt and sugar. When mixture begins to bubble, add banana and mash/mix until dissolved. Place oatmeal mixture in small bowl, and immediately top with marshmallow and chocolate chips. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs over mixture, and serve immediately.

Total time? 10 minutes.
Cost? $2.50 bag of chocolate chips, $1 bag of marshmallows, $2 cannister of oats, and 20¢ per banana.
Overall success relative to expectations? 7 out of 10. I absolutely loved the texture the graham cracker crumbs brought to the dish, but if you don’t eat it immediately, the crumbs get swallowed into the wet mixture and fade into oblivion. I enjoyed the novelty of s’mores for breakfast, but I’m not really a sweets person, and — aside from the fiber found in the oats — there’s not much nutritional value here. If that’s not an issue for you, then by all means, have s’more. (Yes, it is exhausting being this lame.)

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