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Posts Tagged ‘breakfast’

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If there is one thing I have learned in this whole nannying gig, it’s that children between the ages of 6 and 13 (and most likely older) are vultures when it comes to sweets. I tried to stealthily open a package of cookies the other day and I had three little heads pop up over the couch like meerkats. The bag of marshmallows I had sent from home? Hoovered down before I had four s’mores. Bag of chocolate chips left open? Went to make cookies and there’s one chip left. Literally, 1.

So it didn’t really surprise me that the mom of the house decided to limit the sugar the kids were getting after Easter. We’d noticed one of the kids was sensitive to sugar and the other two, well, cutting their intact certainly wouldn’t kill them!

Along with cookies and candy, cereal was actually on the list of things that was limited. As I mentioned above, I clearly can’t keep things around the house without the kids finding them so having a box of cereal hidden wasn’t going to happen! I’d have to wait until I dropped the kids off at school before coming back for breakfast and that would not fly. I have to have some coffee and food in me before I face they world or things get ugly!

So here is my fast, easy breakfast that gives me fuel without attracting a swarm of sugar-and-cereal-detoxing children. They take one look at it and run the other way. Yes please! More for me!!

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Coconut Chia Pudding
adapted from How Sweet Eats’ Coconut Cream Pie Chia Seed Pudding

serves 2-4. 

1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
3/4 cup full-fat coconut milk (I used the Aussie brand “Ayam Organic Light Coconut Crwm. It was “light” but it’s cream, not milk. Aussie coconut milk tends to be a lot thinner then the US kind).
1/4 cup chia seeds
1-2 tablespoons maple syrup (I’d start with 1 TBSP and drizzle more on at the end if needed)
1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1.5 teaspoon coconut extract
1 pinch of salt

optional toppings: granola (I use 1/4 cup), fruit, toasted coconut, coconut whipped cream, jam swirled in, graham crackers, etc.

In a large bowl, whisk together the almond milk, coconut milk, maple syrup, coconut, vanilla bean paste, coconut extract and salt until combined. Add the chia seeds last and whisk until combined.  Divide into servings, cover and chill for about 2 hours or even overnight. When you are ready to eat, top with your toppings of choice and Enjoy!

You can also keep it in one bowl, cover and divide into servings when ready to eat. I find the individual servings easier though because I can grab it, top it, put the lid back on and go out the door. No need to pour or divide anything in the AM. But I’m literally the laziest person in the world in the mornings and want to do as little as possible.

Will keep in the fridge for a few days (I’ve never tried more then three days).

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So it took me a while to get on board with this whole chia pudding trend. The texture is so strange! I actually prefer the homemade variety to the Chia Pods in the stores. The kind in the store is too solid and jiggly!

This kind though is delicious, especially with fresh berries and granola to give it some crunch. It’s also fast in the mornings. I like fast! If you want it to be faster, throw the fruit on at night and get your granola ready in a separate container so all you have to do is dump the granola in. SO easy.

Do you have any other fast breakfast ideas for the morning? I could use some kid-friendly, low sugar ideas!

 

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Sometimes, I’m certain that my body is boycotting the fact that I removed it from New England. According to all of my friends’ facebook statuses, it’s been snowing in Massachusetts since I left in October. Practically non-stop. In fact, by some weird coincidence, every time it snows in Mass, the temperature spikes here in Toowoomba.

Despite this, I occasionally forget I am not in a cold climate. Last week when I purchased quinoa and vegetable soup from the health store? Yeah, it’s been in the 90s and it’s still sitting in my fridge. The other morning when I rolled out of bed and put on my comfy yoga pants, tshirt and hoody and went in the kitchen and made this apple Quinoa Flake Bake? Yeah, I ate half because it was too heavy and then changed into shorts and a tanktop. I don’t know what I was thinking.

It does benefit those stuck in cold climates, though! This is a fast, single-serving, hearty stick-to-your-ribs breakfast that is perfect for a snow day.

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Apple Quinoa Flake Bake
from Healthful Pursuit

  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 1/2 cup quinoa flakes
  • 1 tbsp sugar (I used coconut sugar but regular white sugar will work fine)
  • 1 tbsp of chia seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • handful of chopped walnuts
  • handful of coconut

optional toppings: natural peanut butter (I used Teddy’s), maple syrup, raisins, apple, etc.

Directions

Prepare a 16oz. microwave/oven safe dish by oiling with a dab of coconut oil. Set aside. Drop all ingredients in a small bowl and mix until fully incorporated. Press mixture into prepare dish and even out with fork.

Microwave option: Place in the microwave and cook for 3 1/2 minutes. You’ll know when it’s done when it rises slightly, is harder to the touch, and pulls away from the sides of the dish. Don’t bake it too long, or you’ll have a chocolate Frisbee!

Oven option (WV note: I have not tried this in the oven): Place in a preheated oven at 350F and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Allow to rest for 1 minute before tipping over onto a plate and smothering with your favorite toppings.

Though tasty and filling, this has the texture of baked oatmeal when it is complete, which is a little dry for me. I would suggest topping with peanut butter (or other nut/seed butter of your choice) and/or maple syrup. That’s a personal preference, though. Taste it first and see what you think.

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This also pairs well with a hot beverage, sweats, warm slippers and lots of blankets.

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Oh Valentine’s Day. You are here again. For all those couples out there, you put pressure on them to buy awesome things. For all those single people, you just make them feel like crap for being single! It’s a lose, lose situation.

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Fortunately, these pancakes are here for you. If you are looking to gain a few extra points with your significant other, you can double this recipe and serve breakfast in bed. If you are single, then these are perfect to whip up quickly and then eat while snuggled in bed with your favorite book/movie and their leading man. Mr. Darcy? Edward? Noah Calhoun? Aint nothing wrong with that!

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Chocolate Pancakes for One
slightly modified from Chocolate Covered Katie
m
akes 3 largish pancakes

  • 4T all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp plus 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • scant 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2T cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup plus 1T nondairy milk
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1-2 T sugar
  • Optional- Red food coloring or beet juice for a red velvet pancake

* I also made this with whole wheat flour and Stevia for a healthier option and though it was edible, I would recommend the above version instead. The whole wheat/stevia version came out kind of rubbery.

Mix dry ingredients. Add wet and mix. Then make your pancakes!

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Speaking of Noah Calhoun, I accidentally discovered that the local cinema near here is playing the Notebook on Valentine’s Night. I quickly recruited a friend and bought those tickets ASAP! So, I’m a mere few hours away from seeing Mr. Ryan Gosling on the large screen. Happy Valentine’s Day to me!!

 

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Welcome back, everyone! I hope you had a fantastic Christmas and New Years. The holidays were very strange for me. It’s summer here and I’ve never spent Christmas in warm weather. It’s so weird! Christmas should be cold and snowy and… cold!

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The upside is that Australia has fantastic fruit during the summer and I’m a fruit fiend. You name it and they have it, probably locally grown also. I went to my friend, Kate’s, right before New Years and her parents had so many fruit plants in their back yard that I was green with envy. It’s been over 10 years of not-so-patient waiting and I still haven’t received apples off my Dad’s trees! Though the peaches were delightful.

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Passionfruit!

Since the fruit is grown locally, most of it is really reasonably priced so I can’t help take advantage of it. This smoothy is actually inspired by a smoothly I got at the chain, Boost. It’s crazy popular here. I see just as many people walking around with Boost cups as I would see people with Dunkin cups in Boston. Ok … maybe not quite that many since Bostonians reach freakish levels with their love of Dunkins. But it’s close! The first time I went there, I bought the Green Caribbean smoothy and was hooked! This smoothly is based off that.

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Passionfruit Mango Green Smoothie

1/2 of a mango
1 passionfruit
1 banana, frozen
handful of spinach
3/4 c. coconut water
ice
1/4 c. coconut milk (optional. If omitted, may need to bump the coconut water to 1 cup depending on your blender)

Put everything in a blender and mix until well combined. Close your eyes, sip and pretend your kicking back on a beach somewhere.

Actually, I bet this would taste amazing turned into a cocktail. Splash some coconut rum in there and yum!

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I decided to break my holiday hiatus with this recipe as I know so many people make diet/health goals for the new year. I figured one of the 3 chocolate recipes I’ve been tweaking should probably wait for a bit. Like, Friday. I think that’s plenty of time!

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I was planning to post a recipe for, you know, real food, no dessert/breakfast food, but this recipe actually came about out of necessity. My parents rolled into Boston Sunday with 1. boots which I mistakenly packed when I was moving locations. I can’t be in fall-like weather without boots, obviously! 2. a brown bag full of peaches fresh from my Dad’s trees. I’ve been waiting FOR-EVER for fresh fruit from my Dad’s trees and 3. pudding shots. Yeap, my mom made pudding shots for a concert and I got the extras. But not just any pudding shots- cupcake pudding shots. Let’s just say I’ve been having “shots” of cake vodka at really weird times of the day and it’s been glorious!

But back to the peaches! So, back in the day when I was in 1st-grade-ish and we were living in MA, my Dad planted some apple trees and I was stoked! Even at 1st-grade-ish, I loved me some fresh picked apples. But then we moved. To a house on the golf course. Down south. There wasn’t any space for gardening and I was bummed. BUT, then we moved back up north and my Dad plopped a few more fruit trees in the ground and I was stoked all over again! “4 years”, he told me. “You’ll have fresh apples by the time you graduate high school”. Then, “well…ok. Definitely by the time you graduate college”.

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My college graduation was over 5 years ago (Oh My God! I’m so old!!) and the fresh fruit is just rolling in now. It’s not apples but I’m not complaining because these peaches are amazing! I’ve had about 3 today and the only reason I’m sharing with my roommates is because there were A LOT of peaches in the bag Dad brought me. I mean, clearly he must have felt guilty after the 9 years of promising me fresh-from-the-tree fruit. Clearly! 😉

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Peach Cornmeal Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze
from The Frosted Vegan

For the Cake:

  • 1 1/4 c. cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking power
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 c. agave nectar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 3/4 c. non-dairy milk
  • 1/2 c. fresh peach jam (or 1 peach, pureed)*
  • 1-2 peaches, sliced

For the glaze:

  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. coconut milk

* I used 1/2 cup of peach jam that my mom’s friend, Lu, made with my Dad’s peaches. I have not tried the 1 peach pureed.

To prepare the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease a cake pan and set aside.
  2. Combine the cornmeal, whole wheat flour,  salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl. Stir until combined. Add in vanilla, apple cider vinegar, agave nectar, non dairy milk, and peach jam (or pureed peach). Stir until dry ingredients are combined with wet ingredients. Pour batter into greased cake pan.
  3. Arrange sliced peaches on the top.
  4. Bake for 30-45 minutes, or until knife inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Poke 10 holes in the top of the cake, scattered throughout.

To make the glaze:

  1. Combine brown sugar and coconut milk in small saucepan over medium heat. Continuously stir sugar mixture until brown sugar has dissolved. Pour glaze over cake.

Store covered in refrigerator for up to 3 days. Yields 8 slices.

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I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by this recipe. Cornbread and peaches are not two of my favorite foods and wouldn’t be something that I would normally choose to eat. This cake though is delicious. It’s not super sweet so you could definitely serve it along side your coffee or save it for dessert and serve it warm with some vanilla ice cream. It’s very moist and the glaze on top is oh-my-gosh-I-could-eat-this-with-a-spoon good. I would recommend making extras and putting in on ice cream, or pancakes, or oatmeal, or french toast, or basically anything that allows you to consume it regularly. You won’t be sorry!

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I know I’m making peach cakes this week but don’t be surprised if I start whipping out the fall recipes next week. You’ve been warned!

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I cannot believe that it has been two months since I posted somethings!! My only excuse is that this summer has been I-N-S-A-N-E!

So far I have:

– Quit my job

– Moved out of my apartment of five years in Brighton to new digs across the river

– Went to the Bahamas

– Acquired myself one of those boyfriend things that everyone is always talking about

– and am planning a (temporary) move to Australia!! (more on that later)

Like I said, insane! All have been really positive changes that I’ve been needing to make for a while but I probably could have spaced them out a little bit instead of doing everything in a month. What can I say? I got a little bit enthusiastic!

Last week was the first week I was unemployed and moved into my new apartment. I have to say, I LOVE it. I love sitting down each night and making a to-do list for the next day and then having time to check everything off the next day (ok, that’s a lie. I’ve had ‘Exercise’ on my list every day and somehow, keep forgetting to do that one…). I love having a full day ahead of me to bake and cook and try new recipes. I love being able to work on my new apartment, one little project at a time (wait until you see my coffee nook! Also, what did people do without pinterest??). Oddly enough, I just feel really productive without a job! I’m sure this will eventually fade and may possibly be replaced by boredom but for now, I’m loving it.

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Last week was the first time in what felt like forever that I was excited to step into the kitchen. Most of this summer has been a struggle to carve out time to eat, let alone cook. When I did, it was rushed and often the results weren’t as good as I was hoping for because I was doing 10 other things while cooking.

The first thing that I made last week was this granola. My mom made it for me first and I loved it! I made it the second time and forgot the cinnamon (see! That’s what happens when you do 10 other things!) but it was still delicious.

DSC_2497Almond Granola
recipe came from my Mom but there was no source information. Let me know if it’s your recipe.

Makes 8 cups.

  • 1/2 c. of honey (or maple syrup. I used my Dad’s honey so I knew it was cool)
  • 1/2 c. of canola oil
  • 1 TBSP of Almond Extract
  • 2 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 4 c. of old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 c. of sliced almonds (I had whole almonds and just ran my knife through. I actually really liked have a few larger pieces)
  • 1/2 c. chopped pecans (or walnuts)
  • 1/2 c. sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/2 c. roasted sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 c. pepita seeds
  • 1 cup of sweetened dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line Cookie Pan with Parchment Paper. Combine honey, canola oil, almond extract and cinnamon in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring until mixture begins to bubble; set aside.

In large bowl, combine oats, almonds, walnuts, coconut, sunflower and pumpkin seeds. Slowly pour warm honey mixture over oat mixture; mix to coat. Spread granola mixture evenly into prepared pan.

Bake 17-20 minutes or until golden brown, stirring every 5 minutes. Remove from oven; cool completely. Stir in cranberries. Store granola in airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month.

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I’ve been eating this with fresh fruit and almond milk (this morning I had it with a banana and a fresh peach from my Dad’s trees) or I’ll have it over some vegan vanilla ice cream with honey. Basically, I just can’t get enough of this stuff!

Ok, off to run more errands and check more things of todays To-Do list. Let’s see if I can actually get ‘Exercise’ checked off today, shall we??

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Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

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Yesterday for Valentine’s Day I treated myself to a Target shopping spree. This was the worse thing I could do for my wallet but it was fun. I walked away with such necessities as nail polish (Essie’s Fishnet Stocking. Love it!), 2 DVDs (Perks of Being a Wallflower and Juno. I couldn’t decide, they were both on sale!!) and the Ed Sheeran CD. Because I love him. Hey! We all need to treat ourselves a little on the day of love.

Besides unnecessary shopping trips, what are your plans for tonight? Staying in? Going out? Do tell! I will be doing what ever person should be doing on Valentine’s Day- smuggling food into a zombie movie. oh yes! Nothing says ‘I love you’ like watching the undead eat brains. Yes please! Possible Valentine’s Day treats being smuggled in? Chocolate covered popcorn (I’ll try and post the recipe tonight) and Wild Berry skittles (aka, the best kind!). I, of course, will not be smuggling in a pomagranite margarita even though it’s pink and boozy and perfect for this holiday. That would be illegal. So, of course, I’m not doing it…

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ANYWAY! I told you I was going to try and squeeze just one more recipe in here for you and here it is! I don’t know what to call these things. The original recipe called them “cinnamon” rolls but that just doesn’t work for me. They are sort of assembled like cinnamon rolls, except for the whole shaped-like-a-heart thing. They are bright red and super rich smothered in chocolate hazelnut spread and cream cheese frosting but oh so good! I will take suggestions on names cause “breakfast Rolls” aint cutting it. And “Nutella rolls” is just kind of ‘meh’.

uncooked, on their way to the oven!

uncooked, on their way to the oven!

Red Velvet Nutella Rolls
veganized from Yammie’s Noshery

  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (2 packets) active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 bottles red gel food coloring (1 oz. each)
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted Earth Balance (or other vegan) butter (but not too hot)
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup of chocolate hazelnut spread, like Justin’s or Nutella

In the bowl of your electric mixer, combine the sugar, yeast, water, food coloring, butter, and oil and just give it a few gentle stirs with a spoon to incorporate. Let sit for about five minutes.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. With your mixer on its lowest setting and using your generic mixing paddle, add about 1/2 cup of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients at a time, mixing well after each addition. Once all the flour is combined, remove the paddle, put your dough hook on and knead your dough for about 5 more minutes.

Put dough in a greased bowl and cover in a warm place for about 30 minutes or until doubled in volume. (my apartment is so cold that my new trick is to turn my oven on to 400 degrees for 1 minute. The turn it off complete and put my dough in the oven, covered with a towel. It worked great for me!)

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Roll the dough into a rectangle on a lightly floured surface. It should be about 1 foot by 1 1/2 feet or so (don’t worry about being exact). Spread on the chocolate hazelnut spread (if it’s not soft enough, you can warm some up in the microwave a little to make it easier).
Slice the dough into strips (about 1 inch wide or so). Roll the edges of each strip towards each other and then pinch the bottom to make into a heart shape.

Place the spirals on a well greased baking sheet. Allow to rise at least five more minutes. Bake at 375º for about 9-11 minutes. Frost with cream cheese frosting (recipe below).

Cream Cheese Frosting:

8 ounces softened vegan or organic cream cheese
1/2 cup softened vegan butter, such as Earth Balance
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar

Beat together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla. Add the sugar, 1 cup at a time until well combined. Spread over cinnamon rolls. Drizzle with more Nutella if desired.

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Nothing says I love you like carbs dripping with chocolate and frosting. YUM! Hope you have a great day!

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