Category: Breakfast

Pop Tarts

I had bookmarked this homemade pop tart recipe from Smitten Kitchen two years ago, but never got around to making it.  If I am going to bake something sweet for breakfast, I would rather make something like a muffin or scone.  Plus, I am not that great with a rolling pin.  But then my mom saw the recipe, and she is good with a rolling pin, and we had all the ingredients on hand.  It was fate.

We followed the recipe from Smitten Kitchen very closely, but substituted 1 cup of whole wheat pastry flour for the all purpose flour.  (Sorry to report, that does not make these a ‘healthy’ breakfast!)  We made half of them with a cinnamon and sugar filling and half of them with a jam filling made from both blueberry and strawberry preserves.

Since it was a hot and humid summer morning, we had to put the dough in the freezer fairly frequently.  Every time it got too soft to work with, we tossed the dough, dough mat, and all right into the freezer for about 15 minutes, and then started again.  In other words, the next time we try this recipe will be in January!

The pastries came out of the oven lightly brown, with a tender and flaky crust.  Is it possible for a pastry crust to be too flaky?  Because these came close.  I may look for other variations of the recipe which would be a little sturdier.  Both the cinnamon and jam fillings were delicious, but someone suggested a Nutella filling which I think we have to try.  And my sister suggested we work on an icing.  While we’re not anywhere near to putting Kellogg’s out of business, this was a really fun project with a delicious end result.


pop tarts

Asparagus and Huevos Bowl

As promised, here is one way which I enjoyed my Cilantro Lime Rice and Beans.  I was inspired by Closet Cooking’s Asparagus Huevos Rancheros, but I ditched the corn tortilla.  The layers include the rice and beans, freshly steamed asparagus, a fried egg, and sliced avocado.

You could add some salsa verde, or queso fresco, but I was very happy with this combination.  The other ingredients balanced the spice level of the rice, and this was both delicious and filling.  It could be breakfast, lunch, or dinner!



Asparagus Strata

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.

Pumpkin Ginger Pecan Muffins

I said I would bake this weekend, and I did!  But I didn’t make the hearty rolls I had planned; I decided to bake some treats for the freezer instead.  I’ll get back to those rolls later, I promise.

I was surfing the Internet, and spotted this recipe for Ginger Pecan Pumpkin Muffins.  I had crystallized ginger leftover from the Dark Chocolate Brownies with Crystallized Ginger and Sea Salt that I made this summer.  I had leftover pecans from my Mom’s pantry clean out.  And way up top in my cabinet I had a stash of canned pumpkin.  It was destiny, right?  I did change a few things from the original recipe by using some whole wheat flour, replacing a portion of the sugar with honey, and changing the spices a bit.

The muffins were quite good, and I liked the crunch of the pecans.  You can only taste the ginger every few bites so if you want more of a kick, I would increase the amount of crystallized ginger to 1/3-1/2 cup, as in the original recipe.  Although I know pumpkin is often enjoyed in the fall, these muffins are pretty good for January too.



Pumpkin Ginger Pecan Muffins

1 c. white flour
1 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1 t cinnamon
1 t pumpkin pie spice
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 c. pumpkin puree
1/4 c. canola oil
1/4 c. nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1/4 c. honey
1/2 t vanilla
1/2 c. chopped pecans
1/4 c. crystallized ginger pieces

In a large bowl, mix flours, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and spices.  In another bowl, mix eggs, pumpkin, oil, yogurt, honey, and vanilla.  Add wet ingredients to dry, and mix just until blended.  Fold in pecans and ginger.

Spoon batter into 12 muffin tins coated with cooking spray.  Bake at 350F for 22-28 minutes.

-Adapted from Etsy

Eggless Vegetable Quiche, Take One

My family’s Christmas morning breakfast tradition includes 3 things: Spinach Quiche, Whiskey Cake, and lots of coffee.  We’ve been working to modify some family recipes to accommodate the egg allergy which presented this year.  Sometimes we use ground flax (pancakes), sometimes we use chia seeds (meatballs), sometimes we leave the eggs out entirely (lasagna) and sometimes we use Ener-G egg replacer.

This past weekend, I experimented with an eggless quiche.  The original recipe is from the Ener-G site, although I made a few changes.  I didn’t want to bother with a crust, and I changed the vegetables since I don’t really like peppers.  Although this recipe still has a lot of saturated fat, I tried to cut back in a few places by using light cream and reduced fat cheese.

The consensus was that the dish was edible, but it wasn’t quiche.  The texture was off, and it lacked flavor.  However, I was impressed with the volume created by mixing the egg replacer with cream and milk.  The recipe needs some major changes, but the product works.  Now the big question, is there time for another breakfast experiment before Santa arrives?  Stay tuned for Take Two!



Eggless Vegetable Quiche

1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
1 (4 0z.) can mushrooms, drained
8 oz. reduced fat cheddar cheese
3T + 1t Ener-G egg replacer
8 oz. light cream
2/3 c. milk

Place onion, tomatoes, and mushrooms in the bottom of a 10″ pie plate coated with cooking spray.  Reserve 1/2 c. cheese, and spread the remaining cheese over the vegetables.  In a large bowl, beat egg replacer, cream, and milk with a hand mixer until foamy.  Scrape sides of bowl as needed.  Pour mixture into pie plate.  Top with remaining cheese.  Bake at 375F for 35-40 minutes.  Allow to set for 15-20 minutes before cutting.

-Adapted from Ener-G

Butternut Squash Hash

When you just can’t decide what to have for dinner, there’s always “breakfast for dinner”.  That’s how I enjoyed this butternut squash hash, although it would also be good for a weekend brunch.  Feel free to expand the recipe to use a whole squash, I just happened to have half of one leftover from another project.

This recipe takes some patience while you brown the onion and squash, but those crispy edges taste so great!  I cracked the eggs right into the same pan, mostly because I was lazy and didn’t want to take out (and then wash) another pan.  But this worked out really well, and it was a fun “breakfast for dinner” meal.





Butternut Squash Hash

1/2 large butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes
1 T olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 t paprika
3-4 eggs
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese

Place butternut squash cubes in a bowl, and cover with water.  Microwave for 5-8 minutes, until starting to soften.  Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large frying pan.  Add onion, and cook for 5-10 minutes.  When squash is drained, add to frying pan.  Cook for 20-30 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  Season with paprika.  The onion and squash should brown, but turn down the heat if they are burning.

When the hash is ready, make 3-4 indentations in the pan.  Spray bottom of pan with cooking spray if dry.  Crack an egg into each space.  Cover, and cook for 5 minutes.  Remove cover and sprinkle Parmesan cheese over eggs.  Replace cover and cook for 1-2 minutes more, until eggs are set.

Breakfast Enchiladas

I’ve been wanting to try this Breakfast Enchilada recipe for a while.  Your favorite fillings go inside the tortillas, which are then set in a mixture of eggs and cheese.  I really like breakfast casseroles, especially ones like this which you can make the night before, and then bake in the morning.

The original recipe included chopped peppers and ham, neither of which are on my list of favorite foods.  So I used onion, mushrooms, and spinach, and kept the dish vegetarian.  I also reduced the overall amount of cheese and traded in the half-and-half for skim milk to lighten things up a bit.



The end result was quite good, but I was thinking that it would be even better with some fresh tomatoes and sour cream on top.  Since I didn’t have any of that in the house, I paired an enchilada with some fresh fruit for a complete breakfast.  Keep this recipe in mind, especially if you’re having company for breakfast or brunch over the holidays.




Breakfast Enchiladas

1 T olive oil
1 large Vidalia onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 (8 oz.) package mushrooms, sliced
1 (10 oz.) package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
6 flour tortillas
6 eggs
1 1/2 c. skim milk
2 T flour
Salt and Pepper
1 c. reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese

Heat oil in a large frying pan.  Saute onions for 15-20 minutes, until soft and beginning to brown.  Add mushrooms, and cook until mushrooms are soft.  Stir in spinach and heat through.  Remove from heat and allow to cool briefly.  Place 1/2 c. filling in each tortilla, roll, and place seam side down in a 13″x9″ baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Meanwhile, whisk together eggs, milk, and flour, and season generously with salt and pepper.  Pour mixture over tortillas.  Sprinkle cheese evenly over the dish.  Refrigerate overnight if desired.  Bake at 350F for 35-40 minutes covered with foil.  Remove foil, and bake an additional 10-15 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to set for 5 minutes before serving.

-Adapted from Inspired Taste

Egg-Free Pancakes

There’s a new egg allergy in my extended family which put me on the hunt for an egg-free pancake recipe.  I considered using an egg replacer like flax or chia, but in the end I decided to adapt this recipe for Vegan Pancakes.  Because I added milk, this recipe is no longer vegan, but you can use soy milk if you’d prefer.

These pancakes are quite thin, almost like a crepe.  They aren’t very sweet, but the cinnamon really boosts the flavor and the blueberry compote was a nice addition as well.  I admit, I like these Sour Cream Banana Pancakes a lot more, but these still made a nice breakfast which everyone could enjoy.



Egg-Free Pancake Recipe

2 c. whole wheat flour
1 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
1/3 c. sugar
2 T baking powder
1 t cinnamon
2 c. 2% milk
1 1/3 c. water
3 T canola oil
1 t vanilla

Mix flours, sugar, baking powder, and cinnamon in a large bowl.  In another bowl, mix milk, water, oil, and vanilla.  Create a well in the bowl of dry ingredients, and pour the wet ingredients into the well.  Mix just until moistened; batter will be lumpy.

Pour batter on a hot griddle and cook until bubbles appear.  Flip the pancakes and cook on the other side until lightly brown.

-Recipe adapted from All Recipes

Roasted Corn and Parmesan Omelet

Can you believe that even after making this large batch of Corn and Zucchini Chowder, there was still a ton of corn left?  My Dad roasted a batch in the oven, and I took some of that home with me, along with a tomato from their garden.  I’ve been pretty busy lately, but I am so happy I took the time the other day to prepare myself this beautiful lunch.



I was inspired by this recipe for Scrambled Eggs with Fresh Corn, Goat Cheese, and Tomatoes.  Really, you should take a look at the link, the picture is gorgeous.  There’s no real recipe here, but I made a 2-egg omelet using about 1/4 c. of roasted corn, and a large tablespoon of freshly grated Parmesan.  At the same time, I sliced the fresh tomato onto a baking sheet and drizzled the slices with olive oil, salt, and pepper.  I baked them at 400F for 10-12 minutes.

In less than 20 minutes, lunch was served.  This was so much better than my other option, yet another peanut butter and banana sandwich. 🙂


Spinach and Tomato Strata

My two nephews came to visit for Easter, and I wanted to make sure I spent time with them, instead of the kitchen!  So I put together this Spinach and Tomato Strata early in the morning, and popped it in the refrigerator.  We went to the park and played, and then came home.  I put the dish in the oven, and we played some more.

A short while later, brunch was served.  The strata was accompanied by chicken sausage, fruit salad, and Hot Cross Biscuits.  The consensus was that the strata was good, but could be even better.  My sister suggested adding Parmesan cheese to the spinach/tomato mixture, and adding more salt and pepper.  I also think it would be better if the bread was torn into smaller pieces.  But it was certainly nice to have almost the whole meal prepared in advance.  We’ll have plenty of opportunities this summer to try out those changes and I’ll keep you posted.





Spinach and Tomato Strata

1 (28 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes, drained well
1 loaf sturdy whole wheat bread
1 (10 oz.) package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 T Garlic Gold toasted garlic bits
5 eggs
2 1/2 c. skim milk
Salt & Pepper
1 c. reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese

Spread half of tomatoes in a 13″x9″ dish coated with cooking spray.  Place one layer of bread slices in the dish, tearing the pieces to fit around the edges.  Mix remaining tomatoes with spinach and garlic.  Scoop evenly onto bread.  Add another layer of bread slices.

Mix eggs, milk, salt and pepper  in a large bowl and pour over everything.  Top with shredded cheddar.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours.  Remove from refrigerator and bake uncovered at 375F for 45-50 minutes, until set.

-Adapted from Cooking Light