Spinach Mushroom Breakfast Braid

Breakfast braid

Spinach Mushroom Breakfast Braid

Company is coming. It’s the holidays, company is always coming. Friends, family and loved ones from afar will pass through your doors. Some will stay just the day, some will stay awhile. You’ll stay up late talking, sharing memories and just, well, catching up! Then, morning comes all too early and you drag out of bed, head to the kitchen to get a pot of coffee going. After the first cup clears your cobwebs, you suddenly realize – you have to make breakfast for a dozen people! 12 hungry mouths to feed. OK, maybe you have more or maybe you have less, you still need to feed them! The thought of all those dirty pots and pans makes you want to crawl back into bed. Never fear, friends! The breakfast braid is here to rescue you. You can impress your family and still maintain a relatively clean kitchen.

breakfast sammy

Yummy!

The breakfast bunch –

ingredients

the ingredients

You’ll need a 13 x 18 baking sheet, which is NOT the one you see pictured. That pan is too small. I got out the right pan, later. The rest of the ingredients are eggs, chopped fresh spinach, chopped mushrooms, roasted red peppers, cheese, a refrigerated tube of pizza dough and some sesame seeds to make it pretty. You’ll need some butter to cook the eggs, too.

Cut a sheet of parchment paper to fit the baking sheet. This makes moving the breakfast braid much, much easier.

Preheat the oven to 425º.

Crack the eggs into a medium sized bowl.

eggs

Get crackin’!

If it’s your normal practice to add milk or water to your scrambled eggs, go ahead and do it. Sometimes I do, this time I didn’t. Give them a whisk.

eggs beaten

beaten eggs

Get out a skillet and melt some butter in it.

melt butter

melting butter

When it’s melted, swirl it around to cover. Then, pour in the eggs.

eggs

Add the eggs

As the eggs cook, push the solids towards the center, so they don’t cook all the way through.

push to the middle

push to the middle

You don’t want to cook the eggs all the way. You want them soft set. Runny. Yes, runny. They’ll continue to cook and they have to go into the oven.

soft set scrambled eggs

soft scrambled eggs

While the eggs are cooking, time to get the dough ready. Get your half sheet pan with the parchment paper on it. ( I got out the right pan) Pop the roll of pizza dough and spread it out onto the pan.

dough spread on pan

spread out the dough

Gently stretch it to fit the pan. Pinch together any tears that happen. Get a knife and carefully make diagonal cuts about 2 inches apart, along both sides of the dough, leaving about 4 inches solid in the middle.

cut the dough

cut diagonally towards the center

Time to build the layers. Start with the chopped fresh spinach. Evenly spread the spinach down the center of the dough.

spinach layer

start with the spinach

Add a layer of mushrooms, keeping it all in the center.

layer of mushrooms

mushroom layer

Pile the eggs on next.

egg layer

Add the egg layer

Let me share my latest find with you, a vegetarian cheese. A great tasting, vegetarian cheese.

Red Apple kosher cheese

vegetarian cheese!

 This is Red Apple Naturally Good Kosher Cheese.  It looks like all the cheeses in their Naturally Good Kosher and Screaming Dutchman line are vegetarian. And, look at that easy to read label! Check your markets for this cheese. If they don’t carry it, ask them to!

Back to the recipe. Get your vegetarian cheese out and grate a cup’s worth.

grated gouda

Grate cheese!

Sprinkle the cheese over the eggs.

layer of cheese

cheese layer

Get a couple of red peppers out of the jar, pat dry and dice up.

roasted red pepper

diced roasted red pepper

Spread them over the top of the breakfast braid.

Roast red pepper layer

Roast red pepper layer

Now, fold one end of the dough up and over the filling. The end piece first, then the first piece on either side. Press the dough edges to seal it.

starting the braid

fold one end up and over the filling

Then, fold the next strip up and over the filling. Left, then right. Or right, then left. Just do one side, then the other. Leave gaps for the filling to show through.

braiding the bread

Braiding the bread

When you get to the middle of the breakfast braid, turn it around and start at the other end.

the other end

Fold up the other end

Continue folding one side, then the other until you reach the middle. then seal the dough edges down.

finished dough braid

Finished braiding

We need an egg wash, so separate out an egg white to use, or pour some liquid egg whites into a small dish. Whisk it with a fork. Brush the breakfast braid with the beaten egg wash, then sprinkle the entire top with sesame seeds.

sesame seeds

Brush with beaten egg white and sprinkle with sesame seeds

Bake the breakfast braid at 425 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Baked Breakfast Braid

All done

Let cool for 5 minutes, then slice and serve. This makes 6 good sized servings.

Breakfast Braid

Breakfast is ready

This is so easy and so versatile. You can change up the fillings, even make them for lunch or dinner. If there’s a crown at your house, it’s no more trouble to make 2 or 3 at the same time. So, relax, enjoy your coffee. You’ve got this breakfast thing under control!

Spinach Mushroom Breakfast Braid

Spinach Mushroom Breakfast Braid

Spinach Mushroom Breakfast Braid
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
A refreshing change to ordinary breakfast sandwiches.
Ingredients
  • 1 tube refrigerated pizza dough
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cups lightly packed chopped spinach
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • ½ cup diced roast red peppers – jarred or fresh made
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten.
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425º.
  2. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit a large baking tray. Unroll dough onto the parchment paper and pat into a 10 x 15 inch rectangle. With a sharp knife, make diagonal cuts about 2 inches apart along both long sides of the dough, leaving about a 4 inch solid center.
  3. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the beaten eggs and cook until soft scrambled, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Arrange the chopped spinach down the center of the dough. Add a layer of sliced mushrooms next. Spoon the soft set scrambled eggs evenly over the dough center for the next layer. Top with the shredded cheese. Sprinkle the roasted red peppers down the center, as the last layer.
  5. Bring the end piece of dough, up and over the filling end and bring the top strip of dough over the filling. Press the edges to seal. Braid dough over top of filling by alternating strips from each side. Fold the bottom edge up and over the end, sealing it with the last two edge strips.
  6. Brush the breakfast braid with a beaten egg white and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake at 425º for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes, slice and serve.

 

Banana and Almond Butter Smoothie with Cacao Nibs

yummy smoothie

Banana and Almond Butter Smoothie with Cacao Nibs

Do you have one of those people at your house? You know the kind. The kind of people, that if the banana has a spot or two (or twenty) on it, it suddenly becomes inedible. Yeah, those people. Poor banana, it didn’t do anything to deserve such disrespect.

spotty banana

Unloved and unwanted

I say we respect the spotty banana! It’s just now coming into it’s full flavor! It’s just perfect for banana breads and muffins. It’s even better to just slice up and freeze. Use those frozen chunks of yummy banana for a fast, healthy, ice cream substitute after a quick trip in the food processor, or better yet, use them for this smoothie! We love you , spotty banana! So, take that banana and peel it.

peel the nana

peel the nana

Slice it up, put it on a plate and freeze it.

frozen banana

frozen banana

Now, we’re ready to make this awesome, decadent, smoothie.

cacao nib smnoothie

Banana and Almond Butter Smoothie with Cacao Nibs

Cacao nibs. Let’s talk about them, ok? You heard on some Doctor’s show, that these are a super food! A power house of nutrition! Rush right out and buy some! I know I did. Then, I popped a handful into my mouth and discovered that these suckers are quite bitter. I guess you could get used to eating them, but I’d rather add them to some that already tastes good, so I can make it taste awesome! That, right there, is this, oh so, good smoothie. This is what I have almost every day for breakfast. It fills me up, and keeps me going until lunch, or later. It fills me up without making me feel full. You know what I mean? You get none of that bloat, that you get from whatever breakfast sandwich you gobble down. And, if you already have frozen bananas in the freezer, tucked away in a zip top baggie, this smoothie takes scant minutes to make. Take it on the road. The ultimate fast food!

smoothie stuff

The fixings

You’ll need half a frozen banana, some silken tofu, unsweetened vanilla almond milk – or milk of your choice – cacao nibs, almond butter and a couple of ice cubes.

Measure out 1/2 cup of vanilla almond milk, 1/4 cup of silken tofu, 2 tablespoons of cacao nibs, and 1 1/2  tablespoons of almond butter.

measure out the ingredients

measure out the ingredients

Get out your blender. Drop 5 ice cubes and 4 to 6 one inch slices of frozen banana into it.

add the ice and bananas in

add the ice and bananas in

Then, add in the rest of the ingredients.

add the rest into the blender

add the rest into the blender

Then, cap that blender up and flip the switch!

Blenderization!

Blenderization!

Blend it until it’s as smooth as you like it. I wait until I no longer hear the ice cubes banging around. If it’s too thick, thin it out with a bit of water. Then pour it into a glass and enjoy. Easy-peasy!

Chocolate, nutty, banana awesomeness!

Chocolate, nutty, banana awesomeness!

Banana and Almond Butter Smoothie with Cacao Nibs
Author: 
Recipe type: Drinks
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16 ounces
 
A decadent, protein filled smoothie to start your day. Or, for anytime!
Ingredients
  • 5 ice cubes, or as much as needed
  • ½ peeled banana, sliced and frozen
  • ¼ cup silken tofu
  • ½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk or equivalent milk substitute.
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons Almond butter
  • 2 Tablespoons cacao nibs
  • Water, as needed to thin smoothie
Instructions
  1. Place 5 ice cubes in the bottom of your blender, along with the frozen banana slices.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients to blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Serve immediately. Garnish with additional cacao nibs and a sprig of fresh mint, if desired.

This tastes like, like – a nutty, chocolaty, nana milkshake. Like something that you shouldn’t have because it’s sooo good! Except! There’s nothing bad in here. Nope, nada. It’s all good for you. So, be good to yourself and have this. Trust me, you’ll love it! You don’t even have to have it for breakfast. This is an excellent, energizer for lunch.

Cuban Habanero Eggs

Cuban Habanero Eggs

Cuban Habanero Eggs

We are lucky enough to have many different Latino/Hispanic/Cuban eateries around here. I am lucky enough to be able to eat at all of them! A few of them serve breakfast and since that’s my favorite meal of the day, we eat out on some mornings. It’s a treat. It rarely costs much and that makes me even happier. At one place, they had Habanero Eggs listed. I, being not too worldly, thought that was eggs with habanero peppers. Nope. It’s a reference to Havana, Cuba. Wiki explains. No super hot peppers were involved, so I ordered it. It was so good! Soft baked eggs, surrounded by sauteed onions, (not hot) peppers, tomatoes and garlic.  It was so good, that in fact, I got to craving it late one evening. I was out of luck. I couldn’t go get it made for take-away. It wasn’t breakfast time! Oh my. What to do, what to do. I went to the kitchen, got out my pans, some peppers and whatnots, then went to work on making it myself. I think it turned out pretty good.

The egg-citing line up!

Cuban Habanero eggs ingredients

Cuban Habanero eggs ingredients

We’re going to make a sofrito, so you’ll need and onion, garlic and some peppers. I used a red bell, a jalapeno and a poblano. You can use all bell peppers, all japaleno, or any combination of peppers that make you happy! Heck, use one of those uber hot, habanero peppers! You will also need some tomatoes, a bit of cumin, some white wine, butter and of course, some eggs. You’ll need some oil to saute those veggies in, too.

Get out the cutting board, we’ve got chopping to do! Dice up the onion. You want at least a cups worth, better to have 2 cups worth. Use a big onion!

diced onion

Dice the onion

Chop up the red pepper, discarding the seedy top.

red bell pepper dice

Dice the red pepper

Do the same for the poblano –

poblano pepper

Dice the poblano

I removed the veins and seeds from the jalapeno.

jalapeno

Devein the jalapeno

Then, it got diced up too.

jalapeno dice

dice the jalapeno

Now, add all those diced veggies to a big frying pan, that you’ve put a couple of tablespoons of oil in.

sofrito

Need a big skillet!

Set it on the stove over a medium heat and let it start cooking.

making sofrito

Saute the peppers and onion.

Time to preheat the oven to 350º F.  OK, back to the cutting board. It’s the tomatoes turn. I used roma tomatoes because they don’t have the high water content like the big, beef stake kind. We want tomato flavor, not tomato soup.

tomato dice

Dice the tomatoes

And, mince up the garlic.

minced garlic

mince the garlic

Measure out 2 tablespoons of white wine. The rest of the bottle can be used by the cook. We’ve got to keep the cook happy, you know!

southern white wine

2 tablespoons white wine

Cook the onion – pepper mixture until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes, then, add in the tomatoes, garlic, cumin, and white wine.

add maters

add the tomatoes, garlic, white wine and cumin.

Cover the skillet and let it cook for around 5 minutes, stirring frequently. After the tomatoes have softened, remove the pan from the heat, then add some salt and pepper.

tomato sofrito

Tomato sofrito

Oil the inside of four, 12 ounce ramekins.

12 ounce ramekins

oil the ramekins

Divide the sauteed vegetables evenly among the ramekins.

divide sofrito among the ramekins

divide the mix among the ramekins

Smooth it out and lightly pack it down. Crack 2 eggs into each veggie filled ramekin.

2 eggs in sofrito

crack in 2 eggs

Top each dish with one tablespoon of melted butter.

topped with melted butter

top with melted butter

If you are not clumsy, slide the ramekins into the 350º F oven to bake. If you are clumsy (like me) put the ramekins on a baking sheet and place in the hot oven. Bake the eggs until they are soft set – the white is mostly done but the yolk is still soft – about 10 to 12 minutes. Rotate the ramekins halfway through the cooking time. They will continue to cook a bit after they are out of the oven. So, if you are unsure, pull them out. Better to have them underdone than over done. You can always bake them a minute or 2 more.

soft set baked eggs

Baked, soft set eggs

Mmmm, mmm. So good. I garnished mine with some cilantro and smoked paprika. A breakfast that is fitting to start the day with! Serve these with a nice, light fruit salad and some toast points. Or, dollop up a spoonful of grits and a big ole biscuit! You can even add some cheese to the ramekins, either under or over the eggs. That would make it really pop! Enjoy breakfast. Either for breakfast or, go wild – even for dinner!

Cuban Habanero Eggs

Cuban Habanero Eggs

Cuban Habanero Eggs
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: Cuban
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Delicious, baked eggs, nestled in a spicy tomato, sofrito blend.
Ingredients
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper. Chopped
  • 1 poblano pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded, diced
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 Tablespoons white wine
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 large eggs
  • 4 Tablespoons melted butter, divided
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2. Pour the oil to a large skillet. Using low heat, cook the onion, red bell pepper, pobalno and jalapeno until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add in the garlic, tomatoes, wine and cumin, mixing well. Cover and simmer on low heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Divide mixture between four lightly greased ramekins. Gently break two eggs into each dish. Top each dish with one tablespoon of the melted butter.
  4. Bake until the whites are set and the yolks are still soft, about 10 to 12 minutes. Rotate the ramekins halfway through the cooking time. Do not over bake. Garnish and serve on plate with toast points and a fruit salad.
  5. Garnish with cilantro and smoked paprika, if desired.
  6. NOTE: use no smaller than 12 ounce ramekins.
Cuban Habanero Eggs

Cuban Habanero Eggs

Rolled Omelette with Spinach, Roasted Red Pepper and Cheese

Rolled Omelette with Spinach, Roasted Red Pepper and Cheese2

Rolled Omelette with Spinach, Roasted Red Pepper and Cheese

I’m sure we’ve all had it happen to us. You’ve got the perfect omelette going in the fry pan, you try to fold it over and it tears. You’re trying to slide it onto the plate and half the stuffing stays in the pan. Or, it just sticks, is undercooked or overcooked. GAH! I hate it. So, I got this recipe from the kitchen diva – Martha Stewart and adapted it to fit my needs. Now, you can adapt it to fit your needs, too! It’s a baked omelette. Just whisk up some eggs and milk, pour it into a pan, top with your favorite ingredients and bake. This version has spinach, roasted red peppers and cheese. Give it a try. Kick omelette heartbreak to the curb.

The ingredients –

omelette ingredients

omelette ingredients

First, preheat your oven to 350º. Then, give the spinach a rough chop.

Chop the spinach

Chop the spinach

Take one roasted red pepper from the jar and dry it with paper towels,

dry pepper

Dry the pepper

and cut it into small strips.

red pepper strips

Slice into strips.

Time to get cracking! Get out a medium sized bowl and crack 8 eggs into it.

break eggs

Cracked up.

Add in the milk, dijon mustard, salt and pepper.

add milk, mustard

add milk, dijon mustard, salt & pepper

Then, whisk it all together.

Whisked eggs

Whisked eggs

Measure out one cup of cheese. I grated some gouda cheese for this one.

grated gouda

cheesy

Get your pan ready. You’ll need a 13 X 18 x 1 inch baking sheet. That’s a half sheet pan and most of us have one, or five. If your pan is smaller, it’s ok. Just make sure it has 1 inch sides or you’ll end up with eggs everywhere. Spray the pan with oil. Line the pan with parchment paper, letting it hang over the sides. You can trim it to fit for the long sides, but I don’t. I find that the eggs seep under the paper. Now, spray the paper with oil, too.

spray with oil

Spray with oil

Pour in the eggs. Press down the paper in the corners, so the eggs flow over there.

eggs

Pour in the eggs

Sprinkle evenly with the chopped spinach.

sprinkle spinach

Sprinkle with spinach

Do the same with the roasted red pepper strips.

add peppers

Very colorful

Bake until the edges of the omelette are set, about 10 to 12 minutes. Take it out and top with the shredded cheese.

Top with cheese

Top with cheese

Return to the oven and bake an additional 5 to 8 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the omelette no longer jiggles.

cheese melted

Melty cheese

Let it rest for a minute, then lift the whole shebang out and onto a large cutting board.

Omelette

On top of a cutting board.

You don’t have to do this step. You can roll the omelette up while it still in the pan. You can. Not me. Hot pan, hot omelette, hot cheese equals a burned Ruth. So, I just slide it over to a board. While wearing my Ove Gloves. Now, back to the omelette. Starting with the short side of the pan, lift up and fold over 1 to 2 inches of the omelette, keeping the paper pulled away.

Fold omelette over

Fold it over.

Press the omelette down to seal. Continue to lift and fold the omelette, peeling back the paper until you reach the end.

rolling the omelette

Keep on rolling

Now, before you make that last fold, put everything on the serving platter and flip it off the paper. Garnish with a little chopped parsley and serve. We had ours with home fries, so I just piled them around the omelette. Cut the omelette into 2 or 3 inch slices. Serves 4. Enjoy!

Rolled Omelette with Spinach, Roasted Red Pepper and Cheese

Rolled Omelette with Spinach, Roasted Red Pepper and Cheese

Rolled Omelette with Spinach, Roasted Red Pepper and Cheese
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: French
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
A baked omelette, rolled up over delicious spinach, roasted red peppers and cheese.
Ingredients
  • 8 large eggs
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 cup chopped fresh spinach
  • 1 roasted red pepper from a jar, pat dry and chop
  • 1 cup shredded cheese, I used gouda
  • Chopped parsley for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Spray a 13 x 18 x 1 inch baking sheet or similar sized pan with oil. Line bottom of pan with parchment, leaving a 1-inch overhang on the two shorter sides. Spray parchment with oil.
  2. Crack the eggs into a medium size bowl. Add in the milk, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine. Pour into pan. Evenly sprinkle the surface with chopped spinach and roasted red pepper pieces.
  3. Bake until the edges of omelette are set, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle shredded cheese over the top. Return to oven and bake and additional 5 to 8 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the omelette no longer jiggles. Let rest for 1 minute. Starting on one short side of the pan, lift up the parchment paper and fold over a 1 to 2 inch section. Press down to seal. Continue to lift and fold the omelette, peeling back the paper, until you reach the end. On the last fold, place entire omelette on serving platter and remove paper. Garnish with chopped parsley. Cut into 2 to 3 inch slices and serve.

 

Rolled omelette

Breakfast is served!

 

 

 

 

Tofu Bacon Strips

vegetarian bacon

Tofu bacon strips

This, while not the most attractive strip in the world, is a mighty tasty strip. We have it with breakfast a lot. It gives you a *bacon* you can have with your eggs. It gives you something to put on bread with slices of tomato, lettuce and mayo. Not a BLT, but a TLT. A tofu, lettuce & tomato sandwich. It’s a multi-tasker! A crispy, sweet, with a hint of smoky, multi-tasker. I’m pretty sure that if you give this a try, you’ll be hooked, too.

The set up –

tofu bacon ingredients

tofu bacon ingredients

You’ll need tofu, of course. I get Wildwood brand from my coop. According to their website, they are a non-gmo food. Some nutritional yeast, to give it the savory flavors, either Bragg liquid aminos, or a low sodium soy sauce, some liquid smoke and maple syrup. If Coombs Family Farms maple syrup is available to you, use it. So good, and organic, even.

drain the tofu

Drain the excess water.

First off, open the pack of tofu and drain it. Let it drip for a while, then place it on a couple of paper towels and pat it dry.

patting tofu dry

Give it a light squish

Tofu is a sponge. You want to remove the excess water, so it can soak up the new flavors. Now, here’s a tip from me. It’s just for you, so don’t spread it around. It’ll be our secret. Use a cheese slicer to cut the tofu into strips! Amazing! Now, shush, remember., it’s our secret. Stand the tofu up on it’s narrow end, like a little tofu tower, and run the cheese slicer down the length.

slicing tofu

This is a super secret technique!

Depending on your brand of tofu, you should get a dozen slices.

tofu slices

12 planks of tofu.

Now, for the marinade. Measure out a cup of the Braggs, 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast, 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, and 1 tablespoon of liquid smoke. This Colgin Liquid Smoke is gluten free & vegan, so you can use it to flavor so many things. Dips, sauces, vegetables – ohhh, how about a smoky, stuffed mushroom!

marinade

marinade mix

Pour all the marinade mixings into a container that is big enough to hold the marinade, the tofu and will give you some room to shake it around a bit.

marinade mix

Mix it all up.

Add the tofu slices.

tofu

Add the slices.

Secure the lid and give it a gentle shake to distribute the slices and marinade.

tofu bacon

Shake it up, baby.

Now, put it in the fridge and let it marinate for at least a day. I’ve gone as much at 3 days before, but, I had far less tofu bacon to use. Seems that this marinated tofu is just dandy over a salad or scrambled into some eggs. If you can refrain from gobbling it up, give it a gentle shake whenever you open the fridge. We want everybody in the pool to get equal marinating time.

For cooking day, get out a heavy fry pan, cast iron or a large non-stick pan will work. Heat over medium heat. Give the pan a light coating of oil.

hot pan

A hot fry pan.

When the oil is shimmery, add the tofu slices – after you have shaken off the excess marinade – to the pan. It’s going to crackle and spit oil all over. Fry as many as can fit easily in the pan. You have to flip these over, so no crowding the pan. After about 2 to 3 minutes, flip them over.

fake bacon

fake bacony goodness

You want a nice browness to it. If you want it darker, it’s ok to flip it more than once. Darker is crispier. After another 3 minutes or when you want it, remove the slices to a rack and keep in a warmed oven.

tofu bacon

Fakin’  Bacon!

Add more oil, and do the next batch. Continue until all tofu bacon is cooked. Serve with your favorite breakfast staple. This time, we had ours with polenta topped with spinach sauteed with onions, and a couple of fried eggs. Adapted from a recipe by thekitchn.com that my son shared with me. Heavenly. Delicious. Slightly naughty. This should be your next breakfast!

Tofu bacon strips

Tofu bacon & eggs

Recipe!

Tofu Bacon Strips
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
A smoky, sweet, strip of fried tofu to add to your breakfasts or sandwiches.
Ingredients
  • 1 14 oz package of extra firm tofu or similar size
  • 1 cup Bragg liquid aminos or soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon liquid smoke
  • vegetable oil as necessary
Instructions
  1. Open and drain the tofu. Pat off extra moisture with paper towels and transfer to cutting board. Stand the tofu up length wise. Using a cheese slicer or a steady knife hand, slice the tofu in to strips along the narrow edge. You'll get about 12 strips.
  2. Measure out the rest of the ingredients and pour into a lidded container. Use one that will hold all the tofu. Then, add the tofu slices, seal and give a gentle shake to distribute the marinade.
  3. Allow the tofu to marinate in the fridge for at least one day. Give it an occasional shake to keep all the slices covered.
  4. Heat a nonstick or cast iron fry pan over medium heat. Coat lightly with oil and add tofu slices. Fry the slices until they are browned and crispy, about 3 minutes per side. Remove to a rack and keep warm. Repeat with remaining slices, adding more oil to the pan as necessary.
  5. Note: Taste the marinade before adding the tofu. If it's too salty, add a ¼ cup of water.

Tofu bacon

Good grub!

Raspberry Peach Smoothie

peaches and raspberries

A very hairy berry.

It’s time to get your smoothie on. Nothing like a little fresh fruit and some protein to start the day with. If your mornings are a frazzled rush of getting the kids ready, tending the cats, dogs, and trying to find some time for yourself, well, it’s time to blend up a little sunshine! Shoot, smoothies are so easy, you’ll be handing one to everybody as they head out the door.

Raspberry peach smoothie

A great anytime treat.

It’s blenderizing time!

smoothie stuff

fruit, yogurt and ground flaxseeds

 You’ll need some yogurt. I am in love with the Fage Total 0% greek yogurt. It’s so flavorful, that you can’t tell it’s fat free. I also think that the thicker greek yogurt makes a better smoothie. You’ll also be using a couple of medium sized peaches, a cup of raspberries and a tablespoon of ground flaxseeds. Do yourself a favor and buy organic fruits. Peaches have some of the highest pesticide residues. Organic.org When you add ground flaxseeds to the smoothie, or any food, you’re giving yourself a boost of Omega-3s, antioxidants and fiber! Did you know that raspberries provide more than half your daily vitamin C requirements? You’ll be chasing the flu bug away with these little red gems.
Start by dumping the cup of ice into the blender. Add the cup of yogurt on top of that. Cut the peaches in half and discard the pit. Slice the peaches up and dump them in the blender. Don’t forget to add the raspberries and flaxseeds!
Smoothie blender

Don’t be looking here when you hit the power button!

Firmly, I repeat, firmly, attach the lid and hit blenderize. Or, is that smootherize? Blend everything together until it’s smooth. Pour into a couple of glasses and garnish with some fresh mint and additional berries. A warning though, that berry will sink to the bottom of your glass and get stuck on the straw. You can’t suck that thing up!

Raspberry peach smoothie

A yummy for your tummy treat.

Raspberry Peach Smoothie
Author: 
Recipe type: Beverage
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
A refreshing blend of peaches and raspberries. Packed with protein and Omega-3s.
Ingredients
  • 2 medium peaches, pitted and chopped
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon ground flaxseeds
  • 1 cup ice
Instructions
  1. Blend yogurt, ground flaxseeds, peaches, raspberries and ice in a blender until pureed and smooth.
  2. Serve immediately. Garnish with mint and additional berries, if desired.

 

Zucchini muffin pancakes with vanilla cream sauce

 

pancakes

Yum yum!

Want to make something that tastes so good and is so good for you? Want something that you can make ahead and keep, either in the fridge or freezer and pop into the toaster for a quick, healthy breakfast? Something the kids can pop into the toaster while you catch a few more precious minutes of sleep? Want me to get on with it and stop with all the questions? Oh. Um, sorry. I get carried away.

Make a batch of zucchini muffin pancakes! All the yummy goodness of sweet, tasty zucchini muffins but in a pancake! You can feel good about making these because they are chock full of good-for-you ingredients. Whole wheat, full of vitamin b-6, iron and potassium. I actually grind my own wheat, so it also is full of bran fiber. I use this one Nutrimill so don’t think that I’m banging two rocks together. It’s easy! And when you figure in the zucchini and apple, peel and all, you’ve got fiber coming out your ears! Eat a couple of these pancakes and you will stay full for half the day! This time, I paired them with a simple vanilla cream sauce, but they are equally as delicious with maple syrup or a schmear of apple sauce.

On with the show!

ingredients for zucchini pancakes

future pancakes

You only need one cup of shredded zucchini, so it will be about half of one. Using a box grater, grate the zucchini over a couple of paper towels.

grated zucchini

grate the zuke

Gather the corners of the paper towel together and squeeze.

wring zuke

Squeeze out the water

You want to get rid of that excess moisture.  Now, core the apple –

cored apple

apple core, Baltimore – who’s your friend?

and grate it, too. No need to give it the squeeze. grated appleGet out a large mixing bowl and measure out 2 cups of whole wheat flour. Dump it in. Add in the shredded zucchini and the apple. Measure out a 1/2 cup of golden raisins and a 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts and dump them in, also. Mix it up, so that everything gets a good coating of flour.

pancakes

Fold it all in.

Add the baking powder, spices and salt and give it another mix.

mixin it up

add the spices

Pour 1 cup of milk into a microwave safe measure cup. Add in the agave syrup and the coconut oil. Heat in the microwave until the oil has melted, about 30 seconds. Remove.

oil. agave and milk

Looks cool

See the oil, all melted on top. The heavy agave hangs out on the bottom. Mix it up!

wet ingredients

all mixed up

Crack an egg into a small dish and whisk it with a fork.

whisked egg

whisk it

Pour the milk mixture and the egg into the flour mix.

adding liquids

almost ready

Fold it all together until it’s just moistened. Don’t mix it too much or the pancakes will be thin and tough. We want light and fluffy pancakes!

zucchini muffin pancake batter

ready to go

We’re ready to cook. Get out a griddle – stove top or electric, or a large non-stick fry pan. Use whatever you have. It’s all good. You’ll be eating pancakes soon enough. Get your griddle hot over a medium heat. Give it a light coating of spray oil and drop the pancake batter on it with a 1/4 cup measure, a spoon or scoop.

zucchini muffin pancakes

first batch

When the edges look a little dry and there are bubbles on the tops,

cooking pancakes

flip them

give them a flip. It takes about 3 minutes per side. Adjust your heat so that they don’t burn or take for-ev-er to cook.

cooking pancakes

side 2

Just look at how fluffy that bad boy its! AWESOME! (you have to say that in a sing-song voice)

cooking muffin pancakes

It’s so fluffy!

Keep cooking them until you ain’t got no more to cook! If you place a cookie sheet in a 200º oven and pile the pancakes on it after they cook, you can keep the whole shebang warm until you’re ready to eat. Place them out on a tray and dig in!

Zucchini muffin pancakes

I can see forever

Pancake recipe – vanilla cream sauce to follow.

Zucchini muffin pancakes
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
A delicious, healthy start to your day.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour – I used a soft white.
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1 cup shredded apple
  • 1 cup milk, room temperature.
  • 1 Tablespoon oil, I used coconut.
  • 3 Tablespoons Agave syrup – or equivalent sweetener.
  • 1 egg, room temperature.
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat griddle or large non-stick skillet. Preheat oven to 200º with a large cookie sheet inside.
  2. Shred the zucchini over a clean towel or several paper towels. Gather the corners and squeeze the water out of the shredded zucchini.
  3. Core the apple and shred. No need to squeeze to remove moisture.
  4. Measure two cups of flour into a large mixing bowl. Add in the zucchini, apple, nuts and raisins. Whisk to coat with flour. Stir in the spices and salt.
  5. Measure 1 cup of milk into a microwave safe container. Add in the solid coconut oil and the agave. Heat in the microwave until the coconut oil have melted, about 30 seconds. Stir to combine. Add the liquids to the flour mixture. Whisk the egg separately and add to the pancake mixture. Mix until even moistened. Do not over mix, pancake will get tough.
  6. Lightly coat your griddle with spray oil. Drop pancake batter onto it with a ¼ cup scoop. Cook until the edges appear dry and tiny bubbles appear on the surface, about 3 minutes. Flip pancakes over and cook for another 3 minutes. Remove pancakes to heated cookie sheet from oven. Keep pancakes warmed in oven, adding cooked pancakes to sheet as they are done. Makes 14 - 4 inch pancakes.

This is a simple sauce to serve over these pancakes, bread pudding, spice cake, just about anything. Except jalapeno poppers. I wouldn’t pour it over them.

Here’s your fixings.

vanilla cream sauce

the ingredients

This makes less than 1 cup of sauce, so you won’t have any leftovers. Start a small saucepan over medium heat. Put 4 tablespoons of butter in it to melt. When it’s melted, add in 1/2 cup of half and half (I regularly use the fat free kind – which is silly when you’re adding in so much butter) or use heavy cream and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. After it’s mixed up, add in the cup of powdered sugar and blend it well.

vanilla cream sauce

melty

Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until it thickens slightly, about 10 minutes. Stir it occasionally, to keep it smooth. When thickened remove from heat.

vanilla cream sauce

sauce time

Pour into a serving pitcher and, well, serve!

Vanilla Cream Sauce

Prep time: 2 minutes. Cook time: 10 minutes Makes: less than 1 cup.

Ingredients:

1 cup powdered sugar.

1/2 cup half and half or heavy cream

4 Tablespoons unsalted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a small saucepan, over medium heat, melt butter, When melted, add in the half and half and vanilla extract. Whisk in the powdered sugar. Increase heat to just boiling and simmer, uncovered, until mixture thickens slightly, about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally to keep smooth. When thickened, remove from heat and carefully pour into a serving pitcher.

Zucchini Muffin Pancakes

Breakfast is served!

 

 

 

 

Akoori, an Indian style scrambled egg dish

Akoori or Indian Style Scrambled Eggs

akoori eggs

scrambled goodness

Sometimes scrambled eggs just aren’t enough. You want a little more. A little pizazz. A little umph to get you going in the mornings. Well, hold on! This is just that little something. Something with a little spice to open those sleep filled eyes. Something that doesn’t need eleven pots and pans to make. Something guaranteed to give you a happy tummy.

I have a happy tummy!

This is what you’ll need.

akoori ingredients

Get small farm, cage free, eggs. The chickens will thank you. Support local farms.

Please excuse the tube of ginger. I am lazy and this stuff is great. I don’t use enough fresh ginger to keep a knob around. When I did, it would usually be found in the bottom of the fridge, all covered with white fuzz.

Dice up the onion. This one was very potent and I cried and cried. I got revenge, though. I ate it. Toss the onion in the skillet with the oil.

saute onion

saute the onion

Saute until it gets soft. While that’s cooking, go ahead and get the other ingredients ready.

ready to cook

Colorful!

 

Once the onion is ready, add in the tomatoes, chiles and the spices. Cook for a couple of minutes.

add in the tomatoes

Add in the tomatoes and spices

 

Crack all your eggs in one bowl.

bowl of eggs

all my eggs

Whisk them up and add some salt & pepper.

whisked eggs

Beat it, get yourself a whisk and beat it.

Pour them into the pan with the veggies.

adding the eggs

action shot!

Add in half the cilantro.

add cilantro

add half the cilantro

Cook the eggs, pushing them around in the skillet until they form soft curds.

egg curds

forming egg curds

Keep pushing them around, until they are cooked the way you like it. If you want soft scrambled eggs, stop now. For firmer set eggs, keep on cooking!

Serve garnished with some more cilantro. This is great with a little fresh fruit salad. The recipe for that is – Get fruit, chop fruit, eat fruit. Whew! That was hard, wasn’t it? I used a banana, strawberries, blueberries and a clementine orange.

Akoori plate

Delicious breakfast!

Recipe time!

Akoori, an Indian style scrambled egg dish
Author: 
Recipe type: breakfast, brunch
Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
A delicious dish of spicy scrambled eggs.
Ingredients
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • ⅔ cup finely chopped onion
  • ⅔ cup chopped tomato
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped - Serranos or Jalapenos work great.
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 3 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped, reserving half to garnish.
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook the onions until softened, stirring frequently about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in the tomato, ginger, chilies, cumin and turmeric and cook, stirring for 2 minutes.
  3. Whisk eggs in a medium bowl. Season with salt & pepper.
  4. Stir the beaten eggs into the skillet with the tomatoes and add half the cilantro. Stir well to combine all ingredients.
  5. Cook slowly, stirring frequently, until soft, thick curds form. Cook until eggs reach your desired firmness.
  6. Serve immediately, garnished with remaining cilantro.

 

 

Pumpkin Streusel Breakfast Strata

 

pumpkin streusel strata

Company food.

This is what we call “company Food”. You know, something so sumptuous, you save it for company. You set this in front of them and wait for the complements to start. Good food. Great food! Food sooo good that you don’t even care about the calories. This is that food. Plus, it’s super easy. I love those kinds of company food. This casserole you prepare ahead of time and stick it in the fridge to bake in the morning. That way, you’re not rushing around, trying to fix something while everyone wants morning coffee or orange juice. Pull this out and set it on the counter, crank up the oven and go take a hot shower before everyone else uses all the hot water. Then, come out looking glamorous, pop the casserole in the oven and relax!

It’s sharing time!

Set up your ingredients.

ingredients for strata

Assembly time

This calls for a stale loaf of french bread. I cut a hunk off for dinner the night before and this was leftover. Bread doesn’t usually make it to the leftover stage around here. You’ll need the bread, eggs, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, sugar, flour and some pecans. And pumpkin, you’ll need some pumpkin puree.

To make the cinnamon streusel, in a medium bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter.

streusel topping

make some streusel topping

Mix together with your hands or a fork, until you have a crumbly mixture. Stir in the chopped pecans. Cover and refrigerate the streusel topping until needed.

streusel topping

Cover and refrigerate.

 

Take the loaf and cut in into thirds, lengthwise. Then cut it into 1 inch strips and then crosswise into 1 inch cubes.

cubing the bread

It’s a crumby job.

 

Crack the eggs into a large bowl, add the milk, the spices and the sugar, then whisk.

eggs spice and milk

Ready to whisk

Then add the pumpkin in and whisk again.

milk spice pumpkin

Whisk again.

Dump in the bread and let it absorb all the liquids.

bread milk mix

Bread and milk mixture

 

Coat a 2 qt casserole dish with cooking spray. Pour the bread milk mixture in. Cover it up and stick it in the fridge.

strata mix

Cover and refrigerate.

 

30 Minutes before you want to bake, take the casserole dish out so it can start to warm up. Never, ever stick a cold dish in a hot oven. That’s a mess you don’t want to clean up. Believe me! Set the oven to 350º. Get out the streusel mix and spread it in a even layer, all over the top of the casserole.

streusel topped casserole

Topped with the streusel mix

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes or longer.

baked pumpkin strata

All done!

You have to get that cup of coffee, you know. Set out the plates and syrup and let your guest serve themselves. Tell everyone you got up a 4am to fix this very special dish for them. They don’t need to know it’s easy, right?

Pumpkin Streusel Strata

Pumpkin Streusel Breakfast Strata

Pumpkin Streusel Breakfast Strata
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
A delicious start to any morning.
Ingredients
  • For the streusel:
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • To make the strata:
  • 1 – 12 inch loaf of french bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 cups milk, Almond milk works fine.
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 6 large eggs
Instructions
  1. To make the cinnamon streusel, in a medium bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter. Mix together with your hands or a fork, until you have a crumbly mixture. Stir in the chopped pecans. Set aside. If using the overnight method, refrigerate the streusel topping until needed.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, brown sugar, salt and spices. Add in the pumpkin and whisk until combined.
  3. Add in the bread cubes and toss to combine.
  4. Coat a 2 qt casserole dish with cooking spray. Pour in the bread and milk mixture. If using the overnight method, cover casserole and refrigerate until morning. If cooking now, top with streusel crumbs.
  5. Thirty minutes before baking, remove the casserole from the fridge. Remove cover and spread streusel topping evenly over the surface. If baking right away, no need to wait those 30 minutes.
  6. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until top is golden brown and the center has firmed up. Serve with warn maple syrup.