Archives for category: Breakfast

So…didja miss me?

Truthfully, I started this blog purely as a hobby/way to keep myself entertained during my year off from school, and the last little while, I just haven’t been itching to write about anything.  But I’ve been thinking a little more about it lately, because in two weeks I will be beginning a month-long venture in Europe with one of my best friends and know that I will want to document some of our adventures here.

In the meantime, I needed some post inspiration…and what better place to look than my fridge?

image-9

I love breakfast.  It is by far my favourite meal of the day (well, other than brunch), partly because there are just so many options–sweet, savory, last night’s leftovers.  I’ve never been one to skip breakfast if I can help it, because a) I am usually ravenous when I wake up and b) I am also usually very unpleasant.  Apologies to family, ex-housemates, and anyone else who has encountered me before I break the fast.

Lately, I’ve gotten a little more creative with my pre-work breakfasts, and I thought I would share the recipes I currently have on rotation in case anyone is needing a little inspo–or incentive to eat breakfast at all (please do it, your body and brain will thank you).

I am the worst and slowest at getting ready in the mornings (also confirmable by family and friends), so I can guarantee that these are all super fast and easy to make.  But more importantly, they are delicious.

#1: Fruit & Nut Overnight Oats

image-6

Possibly my favourite of the bunch (though admittedly, it doesn’t photograph too well).  Requires less than a minute of effort in the morning (or none if you’re not a banana fan) and is seriously SO yummy.  I’ve been playing around with overnight oat recipes for a few months and I think I’ve hit the nail on the head with this one:

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (I use unsweetened vanilla)
  • 2 heaping tablespoons nuts and/or dried fruit (I use a mix of almonds, coconut chips, dried blueberries and dried cranberries)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

Add all ingredients to a mason jar, screw on the lid and shake up.  Place in the refrigerator overnight – the oats, nuts and berries will absorb the almond milk and all the flavours will meld together.  You shouldn’t even need any more sweetener in the morning.  I just add 1/2 of a sliced banana, then take the whole jar in the car for my drive to work!

Bonus: not only is this recipe healthy, it’s also super filling.  And remember, morning Caj = ravenous Caj, so you can take my word for that.

#2: Smoothie Improv

image-8

I call this “smoothie improv” because I don’t have a go-to recipe.  I’m sure even saying this is redundant, but the beauty of smoothies is that you can use pretty much any fruit (or veggies) you have on hand.  That said, my two current favourites are:

PB&J Smoothie

  • 1 frozen, sliced banana
  • 1 cup berries (whichever you have on hand)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
  • splash of almond milk (or up to 1/4 cup if you like your smoothies more liquidy)
  • optional: 1 tablespoon chia seeds

Sneaky Green Smoothie:

  • 1/2 frozen, sliced banana
  • 1 cup spinach (you don’t taste it, I promise!)
  • 1/2 cup diced mango
  • 1/2 cup berries (of any kind)
  • 3 tablespoons plain greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • optional: 2 tablespoons of rolled oats (blended into smoothie) or granola (sprinkled on top for texture)

These are just approximations – I change it up all the time, and sometimes get lazy and throw things in without measuring (I know, CRAZY).  In general, I just try to strike the best balance I can between healthy and filling ingredients–peanut butter, greek yogurt, chia seeds and oats will all help keep you full.  If you have protein powder that doesn’t taste like chalk, that would also be a good call.

Tip: If you know you’ll be rushing out the door in the morning, cut, wash and/or freeze your fruit the night before.

#3: Starbucks-Style Spinach & Feta Wrap

image-11

I feel like this one is pretty self-explanatory.  Like the Starbucks spinach & feta wrap, but homemade and wholesome.

  • 1 whole-grain wrap (I like spinach or sundried tomato wraps for extra flavour/prettiness)
  • 1 small handful sliced mushrooms, cut in half
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 2 eggs, whisked (or just the egg whites if you are healthy like that)
  • 2 sundried tomatoes, chopped (squeeze in paper towel first to drain excess oil)
  • 1 tablespoon crumbled feta

What to do:

  • Spray a frying pan with cooking spray and sauté mushrooms on medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add spinach and continue sautéing until mostly wilted.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and add eggs; push everything around the pan like you would with ordinary scrambled eggs, until eggs are cooked and spinach is completely wilted. Season with salt and/or pepper.
  • Optional: warm up the wrap in the microwave for 30 seconds, or on an additional frying pan (no oil) for 30 seconds on each side.
  • Pile eggs, spinach and mushrooms on wrap and top with sundried tomatoes and feta.  Roll up and enjoy immediately or wrap in foil to take on the go.

Stay hungry!

Caj

 

 

Advertisements

Happy Easter/Passover/long weekend, everyone!  I hope you’re all enjoying your final day off.  I don’t have one, but I figured maybe you could use yours to make a delicious brunch featuring this winning recipe I tried out yesterday.  Let’s just say it’s earned itself a pretty solid spot on the weekend brunch rotation.

Adapted from this month’s issue of Chatelaine, we have egg & toast tartlets:

Image

^ How cute are these guys?!

Here’s what I used:

  • 12 slices white bread (I used Dempster’s)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 onion (white or yellow), diced
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 4 cups spinach
  • 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped (if yours come in a can, I recommend soaking up the oil with a paper towel first)
  • 12 eggs (small are recommended, but I could only find large at the grocery store)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Image

Here’s what I did:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 ºF.  Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking oil.
  2. Cut the crusts off of each slice of white bread.  Flatten each slice with a rolling pin before tucking it into a muffin cup, pressing along the bottom and sides (the slice will fold on itself slightly).  Place the pan in the oven for 5-7 minutes until bread is lightly toasted.
  3. Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat and allow butter to melt.  Add onion and cook for 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and brown.
  4. Add maple syrup and spinach to pan and stir.  Cook for 1-2 minutes, until spinach is wilted. Image
  5. Distribute onion-spinach mixture evenly into each toast cup.  Sprinkle with sundried tomatoes and crack an egg on top of each.  Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until egg whites are solid but yolks are still runny.

Enjoy with fruit and, ideally, some bacon.  Preferably arranged artfully in a cup.

Image

Stay hungry!

Caj

 

There’s nothing quite like the first snowfall of the year.  Sure, by February the whole snow thing gets old (okay, by January), but the first snowfall just always feels so magical for me, and yesterday was no different.  I was home alone for the day, and perfectly content to hole up in my comfiest outfit (i.e., basically pajamas), right after some holiday shopping and a trip to Starbucks for a peppermint mocha.

Naturally, the next logical step was to bake something (semi-)festive.

image-81

Sometime last week I was driving home from work wondering how biscotti was made, and when I arrived home I found that my mom had cut out a recipe for biscotti from the Globe & Mail.  It was the weirdest thing.  And so, with a whole afternoon in front of me, I set to work on Stephanie Eddy’s recipe.  Side note: these scones were also Stephanie’s brainchildren, and they are TO DIE FOR, so I knew I was pretty safe with these.

They weren’t hard to make–easier than I thought, actually–but the process was a little long, so I won’t bore you with the list of ingredients and instructions, especially because you can find them word-for-word in the original recipe.

image-82

image-83

^ After the first round of baking.

image-84

^ After the second round of baking and the all-important drizzling of white chocolate.

Now to dip one into a warm cup of tea!

Stay hungry,

Caj

This edition of “culinary creations” is intended to make for (a) loved one(s), but is delicious eaten yourself too: the “egg-in-a-hole”. I’ve made it before but wanted to put a fresh spin on it for my dad for father’s day.

image

It looks cool and is very simple:

1. Cut out a hole in the center of a piece of bread (I used cinnamon-raisin bread because that is my dad’s favourite). The rim of a glass will make a nice, clean circle, but you can also cut free-hand or use cute cookie cutters to make other shapes. I free-hand cut out the shape of a heart.

2. Heat a buttered pan on medium and place the bread and the cut out shape on top to toast. You can use the little cut out later to mop up the yolk!

3. Crack the egg directly into the hole in the piece of bread. It will stay within the confines of the shape you have cut:

image

4. Wait until the egg appears cooked on the bottom (i.e., it looks like it will hold together) before flipping so it can cook on the other side. Note: it is best to use bread that is not too thick so that the egg can cook more thoroughly in the middle. The bread I used was probably too thick.

That’s it! Sprinkle with a little cracked pepper and enjoy!

Stay hungry,

Caj

For this week’s new recipe, I decided to try Stephanie Eddy’s strawberry scones from May 7th’s Globe & Mail. I had wanted to make them for Mother’s Day, but after my 10k we all just wanted to eat so we had challah french toast instead. Mmm. I decided to make the scones later in the week.

image

My mom requested that I leave the basil out of the glaze, and I decided just to forget the glaze altogether. I was a little intimidated by the recipe when I set out because I’d never made scones before, but it ended up being way quicker and easier than I thought. Granted, I actually had a zester and a pastry cutter in my kitchen, so that saved me a lot of time.

The hardest part was folding the dough/patting it into a 1-inch circle, because it was SO sticky and kept sticking to my hands. You definitely need the flour on the counter, and I used a spatula to pat down the dough which I also dipped in flour. The final product was pretty, though! I had high hopes…

image

…And for good reason. After baking for roughly 17 minutes, the scones were a perfect golden brown on the outside, fluffy on the inside and smelled like lemony-buttery goodness. I obviously ate one on the spot and it tasted like something you would buy at Starbucks. SUCCESS!

image

image

Excuse me while I go enjoy another with some tea.

Stay hungry!

Caj