Category Archives: I Cooked: Breakfast

Loving the Looneyspoons Loaf

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Pumpkin, Banana, Zucchini, Walnut, Chocolate Chip Bread

Pumpkin, banana, zucchini, walnuts, chocolate chips…yum.  There is a lot of stuff in this recipe from Janet & Greta Podleski.  The “Loaf of Your Life” recipe was in the original Looneyspoons cookbook, but the authors sent out a new and improved (and even healthier) version in the March 2012 issue of their Recipe Newsletter.

I made this bread with my daughter Samantha, and it was great to see her fascination with grating the zucchini after telling me how “gross” it was when we picked it up at the grocery store.  Of course, once baked into this delicious bread, she had no further issues with the zucchini.  There is hope.

 

 

Pumpkin-Banana-Zucchini Loaf with Flax & Walnuts (adapted from Janet & Greta Podleski’s March 2012 Recipe Newsletter)

Dry Ingredients:

1 cup each whole-wheat pastry flour and all-purpose flour

1/4 cup ground flaxseed

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

Wet Ingredients:

1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 bananas)

1 cup canned pure pumpkin

1 cup grated packed zucchini, unpeeled

1/2 cup low-fat greek yogurt (I used fat-free Fage)

1/2 cup brown sugar (not packed)

1/4 cup canola oil

1 egg

1/2 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I used 1/4 cup and sprinkled on half of the loaf)

Preheat oven to 350F.  Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.  Don’t use a 8×4 pan.  Combine all dry ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well.  In a large bowl, whisk together wet ingredients through egg until well blended.  Add dry ingredients and mix using a wooden spoon just until dry ingredients are moistened.  Fold in chocolate chips and walnuts.  Spoon batter evenly into prepared pan.  Bake on middle oven rack for 50 to 60 minutes (my oven needed 60 minutes), or until wooden skewer inserted in center of loaf comes out clean.  Cool in pan on wire rack.  Wrap leftovers well and store in fridge for up to 5 days; can also be frozen.

Goat Cheese & Chive Omelette with Roasted Potatoes

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Goat Cheese Omelette and Roasted Potatoes

One of my current obsessions is the goat cheese omelette with herbs at Bonnie Ruth’s restaurant in Watters Creek.  Sadly, I haven’t been there in a couple of weeks, so I figured I could attempt one at home.  I was also motivated by the fact that my daughter Samantha has started stealing all the goat cheese off my salad at Bonnie Ruth’s, so it was a good opportunity to make something she would love for dinner too.

I used Allison Fishman’s herbed omelet with goat cheese recipe as a rough guide.  The omelette at Bonnie Ruth’s is brimming with tarragon, which I didn’t have, so I went with chives.  And I wouldn’t dare try to replicate Bonnie Ruth’s amazing french fries, so I made a simple side of roasted baby Yukon gold potatoes.  All in all, I was quite happy with my first omelette attempt.  I definitely got my goat cheese fix, but as I’m typing this, I’m now craving the real thing (french fries and all), so we will be heading back to Bonnie Ruth’s soon.  Hey, I tried, right?

Goat Cheese and Chive Omelette

1 tbsp butter

5 eggs

2 tbsp chopped fresh herbs

Salt and pepper, to taste

1.5 oz fresh goat cheese

Preheat the broiler.  Melt the butter over medium heat in a medium ovenproof skillet.  Combine the eggs, herbs, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl and beat lightly.  Add to the skillet and let the eggs begin to set, about 2 minutes.  Crumble the goat cheese over the eggs, then put the skillet under the broiler for about 1 minute, until the eggs are set.  Fold in half.  Serves 2 adults and 1 seven-year old.

Roasted Baby Yukon Gold Potatoes

1 lb baby Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp paprika

Generous sprinkle of salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 425F.  Toss all ingredients on a baking sheet and roast for about 20-25 minutes, turning half way through.  Serves 4.

Fat Tuesday Pumpkin Pie Pancakes

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Pumpkin Pie Pancakes

In addition to it being Fat Tuesday, apparently today is also National Pancake Day.  As if I needed a second excuse.  When I was looking for the perfect pancake recipe for our Valentine’s dinner last week, I came across these “Pimped-Out Pumpkin Pie Pancakes” from my Looneyspoons Collection Cookbook, courtesy of Janet & Greta Podleski.  It seems that everything I have made from this cookbook has me delving into the pumpkin pie spice, but there are certainly no complaints about that.  This recipe uses half whole-wheat flour (I always use whole-wheat pastry flour as it seems to result in a fluffier texture) and half all-purpose flour, plus a cup of pumpkin — so a pretty healthy and hearty pancake.  I did cut back on the pumpkin pie spice a bit as my kids found it to be strong in the granola bars we made recently.  As expected, the kids were thrilled with another “pancake breakfast for dinner” night.  And this recipe made a ton of pancakes — we’ll be eating the rest for breakfast for sure.

Pimped-Out Pumpkin Pie Pancakes (adapted from Janet and Greta Podleski’s “The Looneyspoons Collection” cookbook):

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 to 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/2 tsp each salt and baking soda

1 can (14 oz) 2% evaporated milk (note, I used a 12 oz can plus 2 oz of milk)

1 cup canned pure pumpkin

1/4 cup brown sugar (not packed)

2 eggs

2 tbsp melted butter

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat griddle to medium heat.  Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl — flours through baking soda.  Combine all wet ingredients in a medium bowl, whisking well.  Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and stir until just combined.  Spoon batter by 1/3-cupfuls onto preheated griddle that has been lighted coated with cooking spray.  Gently spread batter to about a 4-inch diameter.  Cook 1-2 minutes per side, until cooked through (this batter is pretty thick, but be careful not to burn them).  The recipe suggests serving with vanilla yogurt and pure maple syrup (we skipped the yogurt, although that sounds good too).

Sweet Hearts for my Valentines

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Mini Heart Pancakes with Strawberry Sauce

My kids have been pretty good guinea pigs through all this recent cooking of mine, and so it felt great to cook up their favorite for dinner on Valentines Day:  pancakes.  With NO vegetables.  Plain, buttermilk pancakes made with healthy whole wheat pastry flour, and nothing hidden inside.  They were thrilled.  I was inspired by the fun Nordic Ware pancake pan I found at Target, which makes 7 mini heart-shaped pancakes.  On the side I made a delicious strawberry dipping sauce, which tasted more like a smoothie (and it might as well have been a smoothie, as the kids ended up drinking it with straws…).  Both recipes are from Ellie Krieger.

My girls loved the mini hearts.  I don’t consider myself to be the most coordinated person, and I wasn’t sure how I would flip those little guys back into their exact spots in the pan.  So I flipped them into a second skillet, which also allowed me to have twice as many pancakes on the go.  Ellie’s advice to keep the first pancakes warming at 200F while you cook the rest was perfect.

The strawberry sauce was amazing, and so fitting for Valentines Day.  I’ll admit that 2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup to a whole pound of strawberries wasn’t going to do it for our taste, so I probably used about 1/4 cup to make it sweeter.  I could eat this sauce with just about anything — fruit, toast, maybe an old sneaker.  And while this was the perfect and much needed change from routine, it will be back to vegetables tomorrow!

That’s Right, Spinach Cake Muffins

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When I saw this recipe for Spinach Cake Muffins from weelicious.com, I had to try them.  I know it’s not the same as eating a spinach salad, but even the small handful of spinach leaves that make up one mini muffin is more than my kids would eat on any other given day.  My first thought was to add cocoa powder so the muffins wouldn’t be green…and then I decided this would be a great opportunity to show the girls how delicious baby spinach is (assuming the muffins actually tasted good).  Luckily, these little green gems taste more like vanilla than anything else, and my kids gobbled them up.  That’s not to say they didn’t twist up their faces and stick out their tongues when I first told them about the spinach, but they were sold after the first bite.

We did a “breakfast for dinner” meal with these muffins (scrambled eggs and fresh fruit), and the kids asked if we could have them for dinner again the next night, so this recipe will be added to the regular rotation for sure.  It’s also a nice way to use up extra baby spinach, which I always have on hand.  I have some ideas on other ways to spin this recipe, so I am going to play with it and I’ll definitely post the results.

For a smile, check out the video of the recipe author’s toddler making these muffins.  I only wish I could be this relaxed with my kids in the kitchen!

Strawberry French Toast Muffins

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Strawberry French Toast Muffins

There is nothing better than french toast on Sunday mornings.  Being able to have it weekday mornings would be a major accomplishment, so cooking it ahead of time in muffin-form sounded perfect to me.  This French Toast Muffin recipe is a good one and relatively healthy; I didn’t change much — added extra cinnamon and used fresh diced strawberries instead of frozen mixed berries (I did this to appeal to my daughter Lauren’s taste, but since she picked around the strawberries anyway, I’ll stick to the nice assortment of mixed berries next time).  Just pop the extras in the fridge and then heat them up for 20-30 seconds in the microwave.  And of course, extra maple syrup drizzled on top is a must.

More Muffins (No Vegetables this Time)

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Better Blueberry Muffins

My daughter Lauren made a request for blueberry muffins.  She doesn’t like raw blueberries, but she is a muffin monster — it seems she will eat anything if it arrives baked with a little flour and sugar.  I may have to try the spinach muffin recipe I saw recently…

This Better Blueberry Muffin recipe is another hit from the Ellie Krieger cookbook I’ve been enjoying so much, “Comfort Food Fix”.  These muffins are kept light and airy with applesauce, low-fat yogurt, and lots of lemon zest.  Whole-wheat pastry flour bumps up the fiber count.  And for 200 calories, they are a really good size.