Apr 022013
 

When Easter was over and the kitchen was clean, I realized I still had a bunch of asparagus left in the refrigerator.  I couldn’t risk it going to waste with a busy week ahead.  So I decided to make a quick (and small) strata.

You could combine just about any vegetable with bread, eggs, and cheese, and it would be good.  But asparagus has a fairly strong flavor that works really well here.  A quick saute on the stove ensures that the asparagus doesn’t get overcooked.  🙂

I don’t usually make strata unless I am having company because it doesn’t freeze well, but this loaf-pan sized version is perfect for just a few meals.  If you have a big family, or if you are having company, go ahead and multiply this by 2 for an 8″square pan, or by 3 for a 13″x9″. Easter may be over, but it’s still asparagus season so enjoy!

 

Asparagus Strata

2 t olive oil
1 lb. asparagus, ends removed, cut into 1-2″ pieces
2 pieces Great Harvest Old Fashioned White Bread
4 medium eggs
1/2 c. nonfat milk
3/4 c. part skim shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat oil in a large frying pan. Add asparagus, and saute until tender, 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, beat eggs with milk; season with salt and pepper.

Coat an 8″x4″ loaf pan with cooking spray.  Place bread slices on the bottom of the pan.  Cut them if necessary for a good fit.  Place prepared asparagus on top of the bread.  Pour egg mixture on top.  Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.  Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 1-2 hours.

Bake at 350F for 30-40 minutes, until golden brown.

Jan 292013
 

Although I love a good latte, I am usually not tempted by the bakery case at Starbucks.  The major exception is their blueberry scones.  There’s something about those scones that I really love, so I decided to try to make some at home that might be a bit healthier.

I used this Strawberry Scone recipe from Chobani, and substituted plain yogurt for the strawberry yogurt, and blueberries for the strawberries. Many people have used this recipe successfully, but I needed to add a splash of milk to bring the dough together.  I think if you use a fruit that has more moisture (like chopped strawberries) that might do the trick.

Either way, I really liked these scones.  They’re fluffier than the Starbucks version, and a little smaller of course, but make a nice treat.  While I’ll still stop at Starbucks for my coffee fix, I can bring my own scone!

 

 

 

Blueberry Scones

1 c. white flour
1 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 c. sugar
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
4 T butter, chilled, cut into small pieces
1 c. blueberries
6 oz. plain nonfat Greek yogurt
Splash of milk

In a large bowl, mix together flours, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda.  Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Add in blueberries and yogurt.  Stir just to combine.  If more liquid is needed, add a splash of milk.

Turn dough onto a floured surface.  Fold dough on top of itself a few times – do not knead.  Form into a circle that is 1-1 1/2″ thick.  Cut into 8 triangles.  Place each triangle on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper.  Bake at 400F for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly browned.

-Lightly adapted from Chobani

Feb 222012
 

Of course there are a lot of breakfasts you can eat on the go – healthy things like hardboiled eggs, orange sections, peanut butter sandwiches, and apple slices with cubes of cheese.  But I do like muffins as a treat sometimes, and my freezer was empty.

When I saw this recipe for Banana Nut Dark Chocolate Chunk bread from Danica’s Daily, I immediately bookmarked it, but knew I needed to make muffins for portion control.  Then I found really ripe bananas in the discount produce bin at the supermarket, and the fate was sealed.  I got 85% cacao Dark Chocolate from Trader Joe’s, pulled the last half cup of walnuts from my freezer, and got baking.  As muffins, they only require about 25-30 minutes in the oven, so be sure to set the timer accordingly.

These muffins are incredibly delicious, and a great treat for a Friday (or any!) morning.  The only problem is that you end up with chocolate on your hands.  There are a lot worse problems to have, right?

 

 

Jan 182012
 

Let me say that I don’t like the idea of eating breakfast in the car.  I really don’t want to make it a habit.   I also don’t like the idea of being hungry in the morning, and I am fairly grouchy when I’m hungry so you wouldn’t like it either.  So on some days, I’ll be eating breakfast in the car.

These muffins aren’t nearly as healthy as the Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins I made last week, but they are really good.  The recipe is easy to follow, and you might even be able to find overripe bananas at a discount in your grocery store.  The bananas make the muffins moist and sweet.  The peanut butter flavor is subtle, but I used chunky peanut butter so you can still see some of the nuts.  In the original recipe, the muffins are garnished with a smear of peanut butter and a slice of banana which is very cute if you are going to enjoy these at home.  But for me, they’re perfect just as they are.

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 102012
 

So many muffins are like cupcakes disguised as breakfast, but this one from Green Lite Bites reminds me of a nice bowl of pumpkin oats.   Packed with whole grain oats, nutritious pumpkin, and limited added sugar, these are about as healthy as it gets in the category of muffins.

I followed the recipe as written, although I used skim milk and made an even dozen instead of 15.  They have a dense texture and are not overly sweet, which is what makes them more similar to a bowl of oats than a traditional muffin.  I am happy with a new ‘breakfast to go’ option this week!