breakfast

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins (GF)

Note: 

I usually don't bake, but I found this recipe on an old friend's blog, and the moment I saw it, I've been itching to make it!  My friend's version is gluten-free, but I didn't have all the right ingredients, so I altered the recipe a bit  to make them for myself, but I'm including the gluten-free exchanges in the ingredients.

I loved the idea of combining chocolate and one of the most underated, but prolific vegetables together, in one, delicious muffin!  I made them this morning, and I was not disappointed - not too sweet, but not too 'veggie', either!  If you like chocolate, and like me, know that you can never eat too many veggies, this is the treat for you!  And your kids, too, a la Jessica Seinfeld, huh?

Read about Erika's amazing life and family here.

Tools needed: 
hand mixer, muffin tin(s), muffin cups, whisk, rubber spatula, 2 mixing bowls
Time: 
1.5 - 2 hours
Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins
Ingredients: 
2 cups flour (for gluten free, use GF flour and 1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum)
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar (I left out, used a little extra regular sugar)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup applesauce
3 cups shredded, unpeeled zucchini
3/4 cup chocolate chips
Directions: 
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place paper cups in muffin tins, or spray two 8in. loaf pans.
  3. Place flour (and xantham gum, if GF version), salt, baking soda, and cocoa powder in medium bowl.  Use wire whisk to combine.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, place oil, sugars, eggs and vanilla.  Mix with hand mixer until fluffy.  Stir in applesauce and shredded zucchini.  Stir in flour mixture until just combines.  Fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Divide batter and bake for 50 minutes for loaves or 25-30 minutes for muffins or until a toothpick comes out clean.

TIP: Don't have any applesauce, but have an apple? Cut up 1 large apple into chunks, remove core/seeds, blend with some water until consistency you like, simmer on the stove for a few minutes...voila!  1/2 cup applesauce!  Or make more and save some for later - I like to put mine on pancakes or waffles in lieu of syrup. (Got that from Boyfriend's sister-in-law - thanks, Isabel!)

Serves: 
Many! Makes 18 muffins

Mushroom & Green Onion Frittata

Note: 

This simple recipe is tasty and hearty, an appropriate meal as we head into the cooler months of fall and winter.  Boyfriend and I made it for dinner this evening in under an hour and plan to have the leftover portion for breakfast in the morning with one of our fabulous fruit and green smoothies!  This recipe can easily be made dairy-free with milk and cheese alternatives - we used almond milk and soy cheese.

Tools needed: 
10" oven-safe skillet or baking dish
Time: 
45 minutes
First Fab Frittata!
Ingredients: 
4 cups cubed baby red potatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped green onions, white and green parts
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
6 eggs
1 cup milk (we used almond milk for non-dairy, soy would work, too)
1/2 cup cheese (we used soy cheese for non-dairy)
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp dried, crushed oregano leaves
1 tsp dried, crushed sage leaves
Directions: 
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place potatoes in a medium saucepan with enough water to cover.  Bring to a boil and cook about 10 minutes, until tender but firm.  Drain.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium heat, add mushrooms, cook about 5 minutes or until mushrooms start to brown.
  4. Add a bit more oil and garlic, cook until garlic becomes fragrant, stirring into the mushrooms.  Remove from heat - set aside in a bowl.
  5. Layer the potatoes in the bottom of the baking dish or oven-safe skillet.  Evenly layer the other ingredients: mushroom and garlic mixture, then cheese, then green onions.  Add a little salt and pepper in each layer (or as desired).
  6. In a small bowl, whisk the milk and eggs until fluffy.  Mix oregano and sage into mixture at the end.
  7. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet over the other ingredients.
  8. Bake 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until eggs are no longer runny and top is lightly browned.
Serves: 
4

Green Monster Smoothie

Note: 

Wait!  Come back!  Greens are good! They're packed with enough antioxidants guaranteed to put a pep in your step in addition to tasting great in this delicious smothie.  Not to mention Green is in thing, you know,  and will you look at that color

My own concoction contains lots of parsley, which is zesty, but has coveted tumor-fighting properties for a cancer warrior like myself.  I add enough fruit to tone down the spice of certain greens, and you're welcome to adjust to your liking, but be warned that too much fruit just makes it another sugar-laden fruit drink.  Kris Carr, Wellness Guru and Crazy Sexy Cancer Chick, recommends sticking to a 1/3 fruit to 2/3 veggies rule to keep your sugar intake balanced with everything else.  This recipe reflects that, but you may have to adjust to your personal taste.

Go on and get your GREEN on!

Tools needed: 
blender
Time: 
5 minutes
Super-Green Monster Smoothie
Ingredients: 
1 orange, peeled and quartered, seeds removed
1 frozen banana, peeled and chopped in to 1 in. pieces
1 cup cubed fruit, such as apple, pear, mango, pineapple, fresh or frozen (no-no-not canned!)
1-2 cups of rinsed greens, such as arugula, parsley, mixed herbs, cilantro, baby romaine, kale, or spinach (I try to do different combos)
1 small, washed and cubed zuchinni or cucumber
1 tbs chia or ground flax seed, if desired (will thicken the smoothie and provide extra protein)
Directions: 
  1. Put banana and orange in blender, blend until juicy and mixed.
  2. Add greens and blend until GREEN!
  3. Add the rest of your fruit, veggies, and flax or chia (if desired), blend until smooth.
  4. Add a bit of water or ice if too thick.
  5. Enjoy the deliciousness and health benefits daily!

Please tweak to your taste, and remember that some combinations of greens are better than others.  I know some people are averse to cilantro, even though I find it quite scrumptious!  And raw kale is not for everyone, so if you're not sure about something, go light on it at first, so you don't ruin a whole blender full of fruit!You can keep the smoothie refrigerated for up to a day, but it's best enjoyed right away.

Serves: 
1-2

Greenberry Smoothie

Note: 

In the neverending effort to incorporate more greens in my diet, I've been adding greens to my morning smoothies, and it's fantastic!  This is my favorite version so far:  the spinach has a pretty undetectable flavor and the berries make it purple, so kiddos and health-phobes won't know the difference.  Enjoy the green deliciousness, and email me if you have any taste-tantalizing tweaks or tips!

Tools needed: 
blender
Time: 
10 minutes
Greenberry Smoothie - Wait - where's the green?
Ingredients: 
1 banana, peeled, chopped into pieces
2 oranges, peeled, deseeded and quarters
1 1/2 cups total, any combination of frozen blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, chopped strawberries (I choose 3, 1/2 cup of each)
1/2 - 1 cup almond milk (or preferred milk, may have to adjust amount to desired consistency)
2 cups fresh spinach leaves, rinsed (or favorite greens like parsley or arugula)
Directions: 
  1. Put all ingredients into blender, and blend with lid on until everything is mixed thoroughly and your desired consistency.  You may need to add milk to thin it, or more frozen fruit to thicken it.
  2. Pour into a fun glass and serve or consume immediately.

Tips: Use spinach if you "don't want to know" or throw in some parsley, arugula, or cilantro to really add some zing and "green" flavor to your smoothie.

Serves: 
2

Raw Almond Milk

Note: 

After making my decision to go 'high raw', I kept coming across nut milks - making nut milk, the many minerals and nutrients provided by drinking nut milk, nut milk as a replacement for dairy, using nut pulp in raw recipes, the elusive nut milk bag...

The information was endless, but it all came down to one thing: Raw, fresh nut milk is good for you and you can make it yourself!

This recipe is for raw almond milk, but it is the same for any type of nut or seed out of which you wish to make a delicious milk.  Just keep in mind that each type of nut or seed will offer a distinct flavor to your milk, so experiment and have fun!  Note that dark-skinned nuts such as almonds, brazil nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts must be soaked overnight or at least eight hours.  Cashews and most seeds only need to soak for 2-4 hours.

Raw nut milk is high in fat, so a little goes a long way.  We like to add to tea and coffee, so the creamy consistency of this recipe is perfect.  You may want to add more water to this recipe if you like a thinner milk.

So get yourself a nut-milk bag and start making your very own!

Tools needed: 
blender, nut milk bag
Time: 
20 minutes
First Attempt at Nut Milk - Cacao Almond Milk - YUMMY
Ingredients: 
1 cup soaked rinsed, soaked raw almonds (soaking water has been poured off)
2 cups filtered water
1 tsp raw agave or honey (or more, to taste)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
Variation: Chocolate almond milk!
1 tablespoon raw cacao powder or soaked raw cacao nibs (unsweetened)
1 more tsp agave or honey (or more, to taste)
Directions: 
  1. Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor.  Blend until rattling stops.  You don't want to grind nut until finely non-existent, but until chunky and pulpy.
  2. Place nut milk bag in a wide mouthed measuring cup large enough to hold all the contents of the blender plus the bag.  Pull the top of the bag up around the mouth of the measuring cup.
  3. Pour the contents of the blender or food processor into the bag in the measuring cup.  Gently pick up the bag over the measuring cup, pull drawstring tight, and squeeze the bag over the measuring cup until all the liquid is strained out.  
  4. Save the nut pulp in a glass storage container in the refrigerator for up to a week for use in other recipes.

Keep in the refrigerator in a tightly lidded, glass jar for up to five days.  Shake before pouring.To soak raw nuts: Place nuts in a glass container and cover with filtered water.  Cover and refrigerate.  Dark skinned nuts (almonds, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts) must be soaked at least 8 hours, or overnight.  Other nuts and seeds (cashews, sunflower seeds) can be soaked 2-4 hours.  Drain soaking water off to measure, soaking nuts nearly doubles them in size.Watch this great video to get you familiar with the process.

Serves: 
2 (makes approximately 2 cups)

Cornmeal Flapjacks

Note: 

These breakfast treats are sweet enough to eat without syrup.  They can also be frozen and reheated by popping in the toaster.  I like to top them with homemade applesauce: Just cut up an apple or two, removing the seeds, stem and core.  Put in the blender with a little bit of water, and blend until it's the consistency you like.  Pour the raw applesauce into a saucepan and simmer for about 5 minutes.  Yummy!

Tools needed: 
non-stick skillet
Time: 
40 minutes
Cornmeal Flapjacks with Applesauce
Ingredients: 
1 cup flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 tablespoons agave
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup milk (soy or almond milk works, too)
1/8 teaspon salt
1 1/4 cups plain yogurt (soy yogurt works, too)
2 large eggs
1/2 stick butter or soy margarine, melted
1/2 cup applesauce, optional
Directions: 
  1. Whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.  Stir in agave and milk when all dry ingredients are mixed.
  2. Mix yogurt and eggs together with a fork in another bowl.   Stir into flour mixture with melted soy margarine just until incorporated.
  3. If using blueberries, stir gently into batter.
  4. Heat a lightly greased large nonstick skillet over moderately low heat until hot.
  5. Pour 1/4 cup measures of batter into skillet in batches, forming approximately 3 inch cakes, and cook about 3 minutes, or until undersides are golden.  Turn and cook 1 minute more, or until golden.
  6. Transfer to a baking sheet and keep warm in a 250-degree oven while cooking remaining cakes.
  7. Optional: Top with applesauce just before serving.

 

Serves: 
4

Blueberry Mint Smoothie

Note: 

It's summer (woo-hoo!), and the time is ripe for taking full advantage of what's in season, and making the most of fruity, antioxidant-rich flavor combinations!  This smoothie is a tasty tribute to what's available at the farmer's markets right now.  Now that I've got herbs growing in my garden, I love adding them to my fruit smoothies, and mint makes this one extra-refreshing!

Check out the pineapple-cilantro combination in this previously-featured smoothie recipe.

 

Tools needed: 
blender
Time: 
10 minutes
Blueberry Mint Smoothie
Ingredients: 
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 orange, peeled and quartered
1 banana, peeled and cut into chunks
1/4 cup milk of choice (I like almond milk!)
1/4 cup of ice (if desired)
1 tbs fresh mint leaves, chopped
Directions: 

Put all ingredients into blender. Blend until smooth. Drink up!

Serves: 
1

Cilantro Shake

Note: 

Cilantro is deliciously full of antioxidants.  Grapefruit is known to have cancer and tumor-blasting properties.  Cinnamon does wonders for your health and the regulation of blood sugar.  I've been looking at this recipe for weeks, waiting to acquire a pineapple, waiting for it to ripen.  Now that I've made one, I'm going to have to go get a bunch of pineapples.  If this shake is half as good for me as it tastes, I'm going to have one of these, cancer-kicking, antioxidant-rich treats every day!

Tools needed: 
food processor or blender
Time: 
15 minutes
Cilantro Shake
Ingredients: 
1/3 pineapple, cut into 1"-2" chunks
1 peeled grapefruit
1/2 peeled lime
1 peeled orange
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro
BIG pinch of cinnamon
pinch salt
1 tsp raw agave nectar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Directions: 

Put all of the ingredients in a blender/food processor and blend to a drinkable, shake-like consistency.  Share with a friend for a treat, or keep it to yourself for a tasty meal.

Serves: 
1-2

Chilaquiles

Note: 

We actually made this meal so many times at one point, we became dangerously close to growing tired of it.  Chilaquiles for breakfast?  Chilaquiles for lunch?  Dinner?

This is our version of this delicious Mexican dish, which we love and is terribly simple to make.  You will find recipes all over the internet that are far more complicated and more like what you might sample in your favorite Mexican cafe, but we opted for simple.  My goal is to offer enjoyable recipes for which real people can find the ingredients and make.  Why make eggs, tortilla chips, enchilada sauce and cheese any more complicated than it needs to be?

Tools needed: 
non-stick pan
Time: 
35 minutes
Chilaquiles
Ingredients: 
4 eggs
2 breakfast sausage patties (we use the meatless variety)
4 tsp milk (soy milk works, too)
2 green onions, chopped (white and green parts)
1/2 cup enchilada sauce (or amount to your taste)
approximately 20 tortilla chips, depending on size
1/3 cup of shredded or crumbled cheese of your choice, Mexican blend, monterey-jack, cheddar, mozzarella, feta, queso fresco
1 can black or pinto beans, heated
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbs butter for frying
Directions: 
  1. Warm the enchilada sauce.  Prepare beans according to can instructions.
  2. Beat eggs and milk together vigorously for two minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat or cook the sausages according to package instructions.  Crumble into bite size pieces and set aside.
  4. Heat a non-stick frying pan until just above medium heat, but not smoking hot.  Melt butter in the pan.
  5.  As the very last of the butter is liquefying, add the egg mixture.
  6. Do not stir immediately. Wait until the first hint of setting begins. Use a spatula or a flat wooden spoon to push the eggs toward center while tilting skillet to distribute runny parts.  Add sausage crumbles and green onions.
  7. Continue this motion as the eggs continue to set. Crumble the chips into the eggs when they are halfway done.  Break apart large pieces as they form with your spoon or spatula. You will come to a point where the push-to-center technique is no longer cooking runny parts of the egg. Flip over all the egg and chips and allow the eggs to cook 15 to 25 seconds longer. 
  8. Move eggs to a plate.  Spoon as much of the beans as desired on top of the eggs and chips.  Lace with warm enchilada sauce.  Sprinkle with cheese.
  9. Serve with guacamole, if desired.
Serves: 
2

Broccoli Quiche

Note: 

This is the first quiche I ever made, and it was surprisingly easy, not to mention delicious.

Tools needed: 
whisk
Time: 
50 minutes
Broccoli Quiche
Ingredients: 
4 eggs
1 cup cream
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/8 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup broccoli florets, chopped into small pieces
1 9-inch unbaked pie shell
Directions: 
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl whisk eggs and cream together.  Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
  3. Place the broccoli evenly in the pie shell.  Sprinkle evenly with shredded cheese.
  4. Pour egg mixture over broccoli and cheese.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 25 minutes, or until crust is golden and filling is set.  Allow to set 5-10 minutes before serving.
Serves: 
4
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