Tag Archives: breakfast

Salmon Spread

28 Aug

On Sunday my mom loaded up a bag of goods for me that included a few leftovers and a big pile of lovely produce from her garden.  For two days now I’ve snacked on mostly tomatoes with an occasional cucumber or green bean thrown in for variety.  After a few days of all tomato meals, I decided I better dig into some of the other items she sent my way – and that included some smoked salmon.  I know that I’m in the minority on this one, but I really hate leftovers.  The only way I like to consume them is if I turn them into something new.

Like a caterpillar becomes a butterfly, leftover salmon transforms into delicious salmon spread. Really, it’s practically that poetic.

There’s hardly anything easier than making salmon spread.  Take all the ingredients, mix them together in a bowl, and serve.  The spread is good on crackers, bread, bagels, and with veggies.  Because I care about you very much, I feel that I should tell you that the combination of salmon and garlic will give you POWERFUL BREATH.

Salmon Spread
Serving size: 1/4 c.
Serves: 8

8 oz. grilled or smoked salmon, cooled and flaked
4 oz. whipped cream cheese
1 T. mayo
1 T. Red Hot
1 t. prepared horseradish
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
Salt and pepper to taste

In a bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well.  Refrigerate for at least an hour to let the flavors come together.

Serve on a bagel, with crackers or bread, or with veggies for scooping.

Estimated calories:  82 cal/serving

Print it: Salmon Spread

Baby Banana Crumble

19 Jun

I’ve gotten into a rut when it comes to breakfast foods.  Every morning I sling one of the following, based on what my audience wants on any given day: toast, oatmeal, cereal, or eggs.  For the most part, the kids are pretty happy with this functional and fast breakfast style.  But me?  I’m bored.

This morning I tried something new, which honestly was pretty risky for a Tuesday (but sort of a Monday since the kids were gone yesterday).  The recipe is very simple – smashed banana with a crumble topping, and then baked.  The prep is very simple, and the hands-off baking time leaves me free to make lunch/prep bags/yell like a drill sergeant to GET GOING PUT ON PANTS WHERE ARE YOUR SOCKS BRUSH YOUR TEETH.  Basically, this recipe is perfect for those mornings when you want something hot and sweet but are short on time.  I made ours in individual ramekins, but if you were cooking for a crowd simply increase the recipe and place the whole thing in a baking dish that can contain the number of servings you need.

The critics say:

“This would be good with some maple syrup on top.” – Martin

“This would be better if it were toast with French dressing on it.” – Sophie

Baby Banana Crumble
Serving size: 1 serving
Serves: 1

1 ripe banana
1 T. flour
1 T. oatmeal
2 t. brown sugar
1 t. non-dairy margarine
Dash salt

Preheat oven to 350° F.

In a ramekin or small individual baking dish, smash a banana until it is creamy.  In a separate bowl, mix together remaining ingredients.  Spoon topping over banana and bake for 15 minutes.  Remove, let cool a bit, and serve.

Estimated calories:  210 cal/serving

Print it: Baby Banana Crumble

– Feel free to substitute the non-dairy margarine for regular margarine or butter.
– I used frozen and thawed bananas in this recipe.  If you haven’t frozen super ripe bananas before, I’d highly recommend it.  They thaw quickly, and after snipping off one end, you can squeeze the mushy banana right out of the peel like squeezing a tube of toothpaste.  The banana is basically pre-mashed and ready to go.  If you don’t have a freezer filled with black, ripe bananas like I do, any really ripe banana will work in this recipe.

Broiled Grapefruit with Pecans and Honey

27 Mar

As far as I’m concerned, the primary purpose for grapefruit is to make juice so a person can have a Greyhound once in awhile.  Other than that, I liken its consumption with penance, especially when combined with cottage cheese.  Until this week, that is, when my mom dropped off a few and they took over the fruit bowl.  Not wanting to waste them, I decided to give them a try and in the process have discovered one of my new favorite things.

Broiled Grapefruit.  

Much like people, the bitter side of grapefruit needs to be tempered a bit with some sweetness.  Before broiling, I added a bit of sugar and a dash of cinnamon to the open side of the grapefruit which when heated, created a slightly glazed and sweet surface.  After just a few minutes under the broiler, the grapefruit was warmed, sweeter, and ready for more toppings.  I added some raw pecan halves and drizzled the whole thing with honey.  The result was a really nice combination of textures and tastes.  For around 100 calories and with only a few minutes of prep, this would be great for a light weekday breakfast, or perfect to make on the weekend for a group of guests as a hearty, healthy side.

Broiled Grapefruit with Pecans and Honey
Serving size: 1/2 grapefruit
Serves: 2

1 grapefruit, halved
1/2  t. sugar
Dash cinnamon
12 raw pecan halves
2 t. honey

Cut the grapefruit in half and remove any visible seeds.  Run a knife along the sections to loosen the grapefruit from the membranes, and between the grapefruit and the peel.  Sprinkle the flesh side of the grapefruit with 1/4 t. sugar and a dash of cinnamon.   Place both halves, flesh side up in a pan.

Place the grapefruit under the broiler.  I like to start on low for 2-3 minutes then turn it up to high until the edges just start to turn brown, leaving the oven door open a crack so I can keep a watchful eye on the grapefruit.  When it starts to brown, remove the grapefruit, add a few pecan halves to the top and drizzle with honey.

Serve in bowls for easier scooping.

Estimated calories:  105 cal/serving

Print it: Broiled Grapefruit with Pecans and Honey

Pump Up the Jam Muffins

13 Dec

I have a pretty extensive collection of cookbooks from Minnesota churches and nursing homes.  These are the cookbooks I turn to whenever I need a recipe for the simple comfort foods I remember from my childhood.  On the whole, these cookbooks contain a whole lot of the following:
– Hot dishes
– Bars
– Pickles
– Bread (as in zucchini or banana)
– Salads that contain no greens but are likely to have either cool whip or mayo

Most of the recipes can be made out of pantry staples with a focus on easy prep, used in a time when low-calorie and reduced-fat were not part of the vernacular.  A bonus to these cookbooks is that they are usually loaded with bits of advice for the homemaker, like this gem:

In flipping through the Luther Memorial Memorable Meals cookbook (pub. 1982), I found a recipe for Strawberry Jam Bread submitted by Cindy Mack.  I decided to give it a try.  As usual, I made a few changes – less fat, less sugar, turned the bread into muffins, and added diced apples to boost moisture and give it some texture.  I’m not sure if Cindy would approve of the changes, but I like to think that she would be glad I used her idea to feed my family.

Also recommended – play Pump Up the Jam by Technotronic while eating these muffins.  It really sped up breakfast.  Hard to say if this was due to the influence of the peppy beat, or in an attempt to get out of the kitchen quickly to avoid watching me move and groove.

Pump Up the Jam Muffins
Serving size: 1 muffin
Serves: 12

1 apple, peeled and diced
2 T. non-dairy margarine
1/4 c. sugar
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
1 c. flour
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. cream of tartar
1/4 t. baking soda
1/4 c. non-dairy sour cream
1/4 c. strawberry jam

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Place liners in muffin pan and coat with cooking spray.

Place apple bits into a microwave safe container and microwave on high for 2 minutes.  Set aside until cool, or rinse with cold water and drain.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together margarine and sugar.  Add egg and vanilla, mix until combined.  Add flour, salt, cream of tartar, and baking soda, and mix until well combined.  Add reserved apple bits, non-dairy sour cream, and jam.  Mix until blended.  Spoon into paper liners, dividing evenly.

Bake for 18-20 minutes until slightly golden or a toothpick comes out clean.  Place on rack to cool.

Estimated calories:  125 cal/serving

Print it: Pump Up the Jam Muffins

– Feel free to substitute dairy ingredients for the non-dairy counterparts used here – butter or margarine and regular sour cream would be fine in this recipe
– Any sort of jam or jelly would work in this recipe, use whatever you have or like
– These muffins are a bit on the pale side.  I don’t really care, but the original recipe countered this part by adding red food coloring.  I skipped it, but experiment with it if you’d like.

Stealthy Banana Muffins

9 Nov

When you’re staring down the options in a baked goods display, it is pretty easy to rule out those items that are obviously higher in calories.  Blocking out the pastries, anything chocolate covered or filled with custard, bagels topped with cream cheese – you are left with the muffins.  The healthiest of the choices available?  Maybe.  But low in calories?  Unlikely.  More than once I have been duped into thinking that by choosing a muffin I would end up with a low-calorie breakfast, only to find out later that for the same amount of calories I could have had the more enjoyable doughnut.  Neither option gives me the low-calorie and tasty breakfast I was hoping to have.

This morning I made a batch of healthy, flavorful, and low-calorie muffins that really hit the spot.  They were delicious and about half the calories of a muffin from a bakery or coffee shop counter.  There are three major factors that make this recipe lower in calories than those you will find on the outside:
1. Portion size: this is just a regular sized muffin.  Not a jumbo.  Not a giant.  Just a regular.
2. I left out some high calorie culprits – nuts, lots of butter, oil, chocolate.
3. By leaving out some of the fat often added to muffins to make them moist, I decided to boost the moisture by adding in a little sour cream.  Totally worked, totally healthier.

With a healthy and tasty recipe in hand, I faced the second obstacle in making breakfast – cooking without waking up the kids.  I love having mornings to myself to do whatever I want, and if I use a mixer or make a lot of racket in the kitchen, it is guaranteed that everyone will be up and suddenly starving for the food that is not yet ready.  Leaving behind the mixer, this batch can be made by mixing and mashing with a fork.  Quiet preparation makes these muffins stealthy, which allows me the time I need to knock back plenty of coffee before anyone needs me.

Stealthy Banana Muffins
Serves: 12

1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 T. non-dairy margarine
2 super ripe bananas
1 egg
2 T. non-dairy sour cream
1 c. flour
1 t. baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Place liners in a muffin tin and spray with cooking spray.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, add ingredients one at a time, mixing and mashing with a fork between each one.  Divide muffin batter between each liner, about 1/4 c. in each.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until they are lightly golden.

Set on rack to cool for a few minutes, then eat.

Estimated Calories:  139 cal/serving

Print it: Stealthy Banana Muffins

– As always, you can use dairy ingredients for the non-dairy counterparts used in this recipe

Pancake Muffins with Maple Butter Icing and Bacon

25 Oct

JACKPOT.  Of all the breakfast recipes I’ve ever made, this was by far the most popular.  Of course, it is pretty hard to go wrong with pancake flavor, maple butter icing, and bacon.

It started a few weeks ago when I had a conversation with my friend Jeremy about some delicious doughnuts he and Meghan had on vacation – maple long johns with a slice of bacon.  Not able to stop thinking about the perfect combo, I decided to try to make something that had similar flavors, while also cutting out some of the calories.  Instead of using a doughnut as the maple/bacon carrier, I decided to try a pancake muffin.  I started with a recipe from Baked Bree (who said she started with a recipe from Bakerella), cut out a bunch of stuff and made it non-dairy.

While I wanted all the flavor of a maple butter cream frosting, I did not want all of the calories.  So, I made a lighter version that uses less fat, sugar, and has a touch of maple flavor.  The result was more of an icing, easy to spread but not super thick.

Then, topped it with some crumbled pepper bacon.  Oh. My. Yes.

BONUS:  Less than 100 calories per serving.  For real.

Pancake Muffins with Maple Butter Icing and Bacon
Serves: 12

2/3 c. soy milk
1 t. cider vinegar
1 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1 egg
2 T. sugar
1 t. vanilla

1-1/2 T. non-dairy margarine
1 T. maple syrup
1/2 t. vanilla
1/8 t. salt
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1-1/2 t. soy milk

2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and spray with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, mix together 2/3 c. soy milk and cider vinegar, then set aside to curdle.  In another bowl mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  In a large bowl, mix egg, sugar, vanilla, and soy milk mixture.  Then add flour mixture in two batches, mixing in-between.  Divide batter into liners, they will be around half full.  Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Set on a rack to cool.

While the muffins are baking, make the icing.  In a large bowl, mix together margarine, maple syrup, vanilla and salt.  Add half of the powdered sugar and mix.  Add soy milk and mix.  Add remaining powdered sugar and mix.

When pancake muffins are cool, spread icing on each and top with crumbled bacon.

Estimated Calories:  99 cal/serving

– You can substitute dairy ingredients for the non-dairy counterparts in this recipe.  If you’d like, you could use buttermilk in the pancake batter – simply use 2/3 c. buttermilk in place of the soy milk, then omit the cider vinegar.
– If you do not eat meat or would prefer it without bacon, skip it (and remove six calories from each serving).  And next time we’re at brunch together, sit next to me so I can have your bacon.

Salted Caramel Banana Bread

20 Oct

Encouraged by Sophie, who tells me that I offer her THE SAME THINGS EVERYDAY, I made some banana bread this week for the kids to have for breakfast.  I have a few banana bread recipes I like, but they are kind of high in calories. I like to keep the amount of calories I consume for breakfast pretty low, mostly to save them for the foods I know I’d rather consume later in the day.  I made one recipe that was pretty good and reduced the calories, but it was a bit on the dry side.  I made a few changes and boosted the flavor by adding a little salted caramel sauce.  The result was terrific – moist, lighter in calories, and flavorful.  So good, it didn’t even need any added butter.

Although caramel sauce is not hard to make, it can be a little temperamental if you don’t do it properly.  The first batch I made hardened immediately and could not be salvaged.  So, I decided to reduce the steps and make a modified version of a traditional caramel sauce.  As a result, the sauce is lighter in color (more of a blonde than a caramel) and more liquidy – BUT, it takes much less time and does not require any real skills or equipment.  It is a great way to add the flavor of salted caramel to the bread with less effort.  And since it is used IN the bread and not as a topping, it is a shortcut well worth taking.

Salted Caramel Banana Bread
Serves: 10

1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. soy creamer
1 t. non-dairy margarine
1/2 t. fleur de sel
2 T. non-dairy margarine
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. applesauce
1 egg
1/2 t. vanilla
2 large bananas, very ripe and lightly mashed
1-1/4 c. flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray bread pan with cooking spray.

In a sauce pan over medium-low heat, add first three ingredients.  When it starts to bubble, reduce heat to low and stir until sugar melts and the mixture turns a light golden color.  Add fleur de sel and margarine, stir until everything is well mixed.  Turn off the heat, but keep the pan on the burner to just keep the caramel sauce warm.

In a large bowl, mix remaining margarine and sugar.  Add applesauce, egg and vanilla, mix until well combined.  Stir in bananas, mashing bananas with spoon if needed.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, kosher salt. In two batches, add to the banana mixture, stir until everything is well mixed.  Pour in caramel sauce and stir.

Spoon all of the contents into the prepared bread pan and bake for 45 minutes.  Remove from oven and set on rack to cool.

Estimated Calories:  153 cal/serving

Print it: Salted Caramel Banana Bread

– As always, feel free to substitute dairy products for the non-dairy margarine and soy creamer included in this recipe
– For recipes like this, I LOVE using bananas that have been frozen and thawed.  I let the banana thaw in the refrigerator overnight or microwave it for a bit if I need it right away, snip one end off of the banana, and squeeze the contents into the batter.  It is perfectly mushy already, and is a great way to use super ripe bananas.  No matter how you thaw the banana, be sure to put it into a container, they leave behind a mess when they thaw.

Fat Nat’s Eggs

9 Jun

This Spring, the kids and I spent a weekend in Minneapolis hanging out with friends and running errands, basically pretending that we lived there.  On this visit, we were lucky enough to have breakfast with The Wilker’s at a spot not far from their house – Fat Nat’s Eggs.  I loved my breakfast at Fat Nat’s so much that it’s really good that we were only pretending that we were locals, because if I actually lived nearby I would eat there every day.  And a breakfast of this magnitude eaten every day would result in needing pants of a whole new magnitude.

What to Eat:
I had Huevos Rancheros Chorizo with a side of homemade red salsa, hold the huevos.  And. It. Was. Awesome.

The corn tortilla came piled high with chorizo, black beans, and was smothered in melted pepper jack cheese.   The chorizo was thick and chunky with enough spice to give a little heat, but not so much that it was painful.  On the side, Fat Nat’s hearty homemade red salsa was packed with great flavor and acted as the chorizo’s cool counterpart.  It is a good-sized serving, and I ate the WHOLE THING. 

Everyone else ate too, but I barely remember what they had because I was so focused on my own delicious meal.  The girls had eggs, the boys had pancakes bigger than their heads.  It must have been good, because everyone ate and left happy.

Where to Go:
3540 Winnetka Ave. N.
New Hope, MN  55427

More Info: