Savory Breakfast Muffins (Gluten/Grain Free)

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Happy Tuesday! How is your week starting out? No complaints over here. Yesterday was full of the usual Monday hustle and bustle, but I felt prepared and everything went pretty smoothly. Since I knew we would have pretty full days this week, I made sure to do some good meal prepping on the weekend. Dinner last night was pretty much heat and serve, and I have breakfast ready to go for the week!

What am I having for breakfast this week?  These delicious, savory breakfast muffins. These little lovelies are made with coconut flour, so they are gluten and grain free. They also come in at just 110 calories and have 6 grams of protein per muffin with the mix-ins I used. I have been loving a couple in the morning paired with fresh fruit.

Savory Breakfast Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour
  • 2.5 tablespoons melted butter, ghee or coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice (I used 2% milk)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • Add-ins: get creative here, I used 4 slices chopped turkey bacon, 2 diced green onions, 1/4 shredded cheese

Directions.  Preheat oven to 400.  Spray a muffin pan with cooking spray.  Mix first 8 ingredients together until well mixed.  Fold in add-ins.  Evenly distribute into muffin tin.  Bake for 18-20 minutes until firm to the start and just starting to brown on the edges.

Leftovers can be stored in the fridge.  I would suggest heating them up to serve as they are best warm.  Just leave out the bacon to make these vegetarian  You can also play with the add-ins you use to make it your own.

Are you a sweet or savory breakfast person?  I love both.  My during the week go to breakfasts are usually some combination hardboiled eggs with fruit, homemade muffins, and oatmeal.   On the weekends, I love a good quiche or traditional eggs and bacon breakfast.

Hope you have a great day!

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Lemony Garlic Baked Salmon

Hey friends! How are you today? How was your Monday? I was off yesterday and enjoyed a little extra time with my minis. They even ” helped” me with some chores!  I did a ton of laundry yesterday, and am proud to say that I even put most of it away.  I actually kind of like doing laundry, but I hate putting it away and usually put it off for way too long.

For a long time, I was intimidated by the idea of cooking fish at home. The hubs does not really eat fish, so I wouldn’t make it for dinner, and just didn’t really have much experience preparing it. Over the last year or so, I decided that I needed to get over that and have been making fish a lot more regularly. Salmon is one of my favorites, and it is so easy to prepare. Today I thought I would share one of my favorite ways to prepare salmon for a weeknight dinner. It takes minutes to prep and bakes up quickly. I usually roast some veggies while it is baking and maybe make some instant rice, for a healthy dinner that is ready super fast and requires minimal dishes!

Lemony Garlic Baked Salmon

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 salmon filet, skin on (about 1-1.25 lbs)

1 lemon, sliced into rounds

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves minced garlic

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Dash red chile flakes

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Preheat oven to 400.  Lightly spray a sheet pan with cooking spray.  Blot salmon with a paper towel.  Mix together olive oil, garlic, Italian seasoning and red chile flakes.  Salt and pepper fish, then spoon olive oil mixture over top.  Top with sliced lemons.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, until it flakes easily with a fork.

Do you eat fish?  Are there any foods that you were nervous to make on your own?

Hope you have a great day!

Weekend Recap – Snacks Galore and return of OTF!

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Hi friends! Happy Martin Luther King Jr Day.

How was your weekend? We had a pretty great one over here. Friday after school and work we had our usual park time, then came home for dinner. We were greeted by some goodies in the mail. We all always look forward to my monthly Love with Food Box (<- use my link for 50% off your first box) and we totally broke into some of those snacks as soon as we opened it.

The evening winded down pretty early, and I was in bed by 9:15. It was everything I wanted after a busy week.

Saturday started with teaching class and the usual chores. I took my little guy grocery shopping, just he and I, and was surprised with how much input I got from him regarding what we should eat this week. He had plenty of opinions and ideas. Turns out he prefers chunky peanut butter over creamy, in case anyone was wondering. Saturday afternoon/evening, the hubs had some well-deserved adult time with a friend that was in town. The kids and I took it as an opportunity to have a little pizza party and movie time. We recently introduced them to The Lion King, and it was so fun to watch it with them and relive some childhood memories of my own.

Sunday morning marked my return to Orangetheory! Between our cold and some obligations over the past few weeks, it was actually my first OTF of the new year. It felt so good to get a great workout in!

Sunday afternoon I had my book club. Even though I hadn’t read the book, I was still really looking forward to seeing everyone and enjoying some of the awesome snacks. My contribution was pizza rolls. These are a go-to appetizer for me when I am short on time or am just not sure what to make for a party. They might not be the healthiest, but they are quick, easy and everyone loves them. All I do is roll store-bought pizza dough up with cheese and pepperoni, slice and top with a little olive oil mixed with Italian seasoning and Parmesan. Bake and serve with marinara, easy peasy.

As always, the snacks were amazing.  This is my plate.  I also had half a cookie and sampled some cake and bread pudding.  The book this month was In the Midst of Winter by Isabel Allende.  I did not read it, but from the discussion, it sounded interesting.  The actual reviews from the group were pretty mixed.

The rest of the weekend was spent hanging with the babies and getting ready for the week.

How was your weekend?  Any plans for the week?  I am off today, so enjoying a little extra kiddo time and letting myself transition into the work week.

Hope you have a great day!

Cuban Chicken Bowl

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Hey friends,  how are you today?  Just getting settled into the week over here.  I have just finished switching to a new hosting site and am still figuring out how everything works.  Please bear with me over the next week or so as I am learning.  I am not the most technologically savvy person, so any big changes involve a lot of crossed fingers and hoping for the best.  Since it is a new hosting site, if you follow me on WordPress, you will not receive an email when a new post comes out (though new posts will appear on your reader), please follow me by email to stay in the loop.

Last week I shared a day of eats, including a Cuban chicken bowl.  I received several requests for the recipe, so I thought I would share how I make it today.  The hubs and I got the idea from either Pinterest or a cookbook years ago (we couldn’t agree on where we saw it), and have been making our own variation ever since.  This is a great meal prep meal, as everything can be made in advance, and put together in minutes when you are ready.

Cuban Chicken Bowls

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound boneless chicken breasts or thighs (whichever you prefer)
  • 1-2 tablespoons Jerk seasoning
  • 2 cups prepared brown rice (I use an instant variety from Costco to save time)
  • 1.5 cups black beans (canned is fine, or you can make your own in advance)
  • 1 plantain
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • Mango salsa

Directions:

Coat chicken in jerk seasoning and cook.  I cooked mine by coating in seasoning and cooking in the Instant Pot.  You can also grill, bake or pan fry, but may need to add a little oil depending on how you are cooking.  Once cooked, shred or dice, and set aside.

Cook rice and beans (if needed)

Peel and thinly slice plantain into medallions.  Heat oil in a pan over medium heat, cook plantains on each side for 1-3 minutes, until golden brown.  Move to a paper towel lined plate, salt, and pepper to taste.

Make mango salsa (you can also buy pre-made mango salsa).  It is super easy to make your own, this is how I make mine:  1 mango, 1/4 chopped cilantro, 1/4 bell pepper, juice of half a lemon, juice of half a lime.  Dice mango and bell pepper, combine all ingredients in a bowl.

To serve, heat chicken, beans, rice, and plantains (if needed).  Start with a layer of rice, then beans, then chicken and plantains.  Top with as much mango salsa as your heart desires.

Let me know if you give it a try.   What are some of your favorite meal prep dinners?  I always love trying out new recipes and would love to try out some of yours.

Hope you have a great day!

 

Vegan Cherry Walnut Steel Cut Oats (Instant Pot Recipe)

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Hey!  Happy Friday eve.  How are you today?  I felt much more in my groove yesterday than I did on Tuesday, and the little guy seems to be feeling better.  Thank goodness for that!

So today, I wanted to share a quick recipe with you all.  As I mentioned, I got an Instant Pot for Christmas and am just loving it!  It streamlined my meal prep so much on Monday and I am having such a good time trying out new recipes with it.

I love steel cut oats, but they can take a minute to make on the stove.  They turn out great in the crockpot, but I am not always great about prepping and setting it the night before.  I had a hankering for oats the other day and whipped up this batch of deliciousness in a jif!  It cooked for exactly 3 minutes, and from prep start to finish was ready in about 10 minutes.

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Vegan Cherry Walnut Steel Cut Oats

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients:

Directions: Add all ingredients to Instant Pot.  Set for manual cook, 3 minutes.  Allow Instant Pot to do its thing.  Serve, top and enjoy.

Are you in an oatmeal fan?  Steel cut or Old Fashioned?  I like both, but prefer the chewy texture of steel cut.

Hope you have a great day!

Italian Seasoned Frittata (Vegetarian)

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Hey guys!  How’s it going?  I am pretty excited over here.  Today is my last day of work this YEAR, and I am looking forward to a little time off.  I have so many little projects that I am hoping to work on.  Not to mention some reading to do.  It is supposed to be pretty cold the next couple day (by Tucson standards at least) and I am looking forward to snuggling up and reading in the evenings.

Anyone else enjoying a little extra time off this holiday season?

While I have definitely been enjoying all the extra goodies recently, I find myself craving veggies and my usual proteins, so I have been trying to make sure I have healthy meal options on hand.  I love a good frittata, especially one that packs in some veggies.  I like knowing that I got some protein and veggies in with breakfast.  Also, it is easy to make a frittata on Sunday and have it on hand for a few weekday breakfasts, so perfect for meal prep.

This frittata packs some yummy, Italian inspired flavors with the Tuscan seasoning, garlic, parmesan and sun-dried tomatoes.  It also provides some veggies with the riced broccoli and cauliflower.  It is perfect on its own or paired with some toast and fruit for a more rounded breakfast.  Hope you enjoy!

Italian Seasoned Frittata

Ingredients:

Directions:  Preheat oven to 375 and spray a pie pan with cooking spray.  Pour vegetables into pie pan.  In a separate bowl, beat eggs and then mix in all remaining ingredients.  Pour over vegetables into pie pan.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and parsley.  Bake approximately 40 minutes, until set and edges are just starting to brown.

So friends, tell me about your holiday plans.  Are you traveling, or enjoying some time at home?  Read any good books recently?

See you tomorrow for Friday favorites, hope you have a great day!

Healthier Chocolate Cranberry Biscotti

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Happy Tuesday friends!  How has your week started out?  Before jumping into today’s post, I wanted to wish a very happy birthday to my beautiful momma, hope you have a wonderful day!

Today I wanted to share a biscotti recipe.  I love biscotti, it is just such a nice little treat with my morning coffee.  These bad boys are lightly sweetened, full of chocolate chips and dried cranberries, and have a lovely mild coffee flavor from the coffee flour I used.  They are also made with oat flour and have less sugar than a lot of other biscotti out there.

Healthier Chocolate Cranberry Biscotti

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 cups oat flour (you can also make your own by grinding up old-fashioned oats
  • .25 cups coffee flour (no coffee flour?  Sub in .25 cups regular flour)
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • .5 teaspoons salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter or coconut oil (I used butter)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup cranberries

Directions: Preheat oven to 325.  Line a baking pan with parchment paper.  Mix first six ingredients together until dough forms.  Fold in chocolate chips and cranberries.  Divide dough into three equal portions and form each one into a log shape.  Place on baking pan and gently press down until about an inch in height.  Make sure to leave a few inches between logs, as they will expand while baking.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until firm to the touch.  Remove from oven and let sit for about 10 minutes.  Then, using a serrated knife, slice each log into pieces.  I found this easiest to do on a cutting board and just used a large spatula to transfer them back on to the baking pan.  Make sure to use a serrated knife and cut slowly/gently, as they can be a little crumbly at this stage.

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Once cut, return to baking sheet and bake for another 10 minutes.  Allow to cool completely prior to eating.  Hope you enjoy!

Do you like sweets in the am? I am usually more of a savory breakfast person, but I like a little something sweet with coffee sometimes.

Unrelated, are you ready for Christmas? I can’t believe it’s almost here! I have lots of little things to get wrapped up.  Including lots of actual wrapping.  But I am taking Maureen’s advice and wrapping a couple of things each night, so hopefully, it won’t be too much wrapping the night before.

Hope you have a great day!

Sweet potato breakfast bowl

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Hey guys!  Hope you had a wonderful Monday and your Tuesday is off to a great start.  Today I wanted to share a quick breakfast idea with you.  I started making this a few weeks ago when I needed a break from oatmeal and happened to have a surplus of sweet potatoes.  This is a great meal plan/prep breakfast because you can cook your sweet potatoes over the weekend, then quickly assemble your breakfast bowls during the week.  It is also a great option when you are trying to eat up the last odds and ends in the fridge.  While I added a couple of things (collagen – for some protein and cinnamon – for flavor) to my mix, at its heart the base is only sweet potato and your milk of choice, and the topping options are endless!

Sweet Potato Breakfast Bowl

Ingredients:

1 large or two small cooked (steamed, roasted, etc) sweet potatoes, peeled

1/4 – 1/3 cup almond milk (I use this one)

1 scoop Collagen (optional)

Dash Cinnamon

Toppings:  Get creative here.  I went with banana, raspberries and pumpkin seeds.  Any variety of fruits or nuts (or chocolate chips) would be great though.  If you want to add a little sweetness, try a drizzle of maple syrup or honey.

Directions:  Mash up sweet potato and mix in almond milk, collagen (if using) and cinnamon.  Microwave for about one minute, until heated through.  Top as desired and enjoy!

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Let me know if you give it a try!  Hope you have a great day!

Vegan Shepard’s Pie

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Hey guys, how are you today?  Not too shabby over here.  Yesterday was a bit calmer than Monday and Tuesday were, so I am feeling a bit more collected today.

Recently, it has cooled off and is feeling like winter (its Arizona, so we are talking 60s), which has put me in the mood for warm and cozy food.  Recently, I had a hankering for Shepard’s Pie, had a bunch of potatoes that needed to be eaten, and wanted a satisfying vegetarian meal.  Which resulted in the creation of this delicious dinner!

If you have leftover potatoes in the fridge, this meal can be pulled together and ready for the oven in minutes.  If you need to make your potatoes first it takes a little longer but is totally worth it.  Made as described below, this meal is actually vegan, and a total comfort food dish.  My family loved it!

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Vegan Shepard’s Pie

Step 1:  If you need to make the mashed potatoes (if you already have leftover mashed potatoes, skip to the next step:

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 russet potatoes, peeled and diced (my potatoes were medium-sized, if yours are really big or small, adjust the count accordingly).
  • 3/4-1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Boil your potatoes in salted water or broth (I used Better Than Bouillon to add a little flavor) until fork tender.  Drain and return to pan or a bowl.  Add almond milk (start with half a cup and continue to add small amounts until desired consistency is reached) and blend or mash.  I used a hand mixer so I could have smooth potatoes, but hand mashing works too.  Mix in salt and pepper to taste.

To make gravy:

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 1/2 tsp (about 1 clove) garlic, minced
  • 2 cups veggie broth or Better Than Bouillon
  • 2 tablespoons flour

Directions: Add olive oil and onions in a saute pan, cook until onions are soft and starting to brown.  Add garlic and stir for about 30 seconds, until fragrant.  Slowly start stirring in flour, forming a roux.  While continuously stirring, slowly add all broth.  Continue to stir frequently until gravy thickens and begins to reduce.

Other ingredients:

  • 4 cups mixed vegetables  (I used peas, green beans, carrots, and celery, but any vegetables that roast well will work well here).
  • French fried onions (optional)

Directions: After making gravy, add vegetables to the gravy.  Ladle into an 8×8 baking dish.  Spoon potatoes over the top, sprinkle with onions if desired.  Bake at 375 for 45-55 minutes.

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*Try to cut the vegetables into uniform sizes, baking time will be influenced by how large the veggies are, and how soft you like them.

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Please let me know if you give it a try.  What are some of your favorite cold weather meals?  I love soups and chili when it is cold out.

Hope you have a great day!

Cinnamon Maple Delicata Squash

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Hey, happy almost Thanksgiving!  I love Thanksgiving, it is definitely one of my favorite holidays.  I adore the traditional food and just love the focus on spending time with friends and family and taking a moment to consider what you are grateful for.  This year I am especially grateful for all the wonderful people in my life.  I am so lucky to have such amazing friends and family.  I am also grateful for this blogging adventure I am on, and for all of you!  I so very much enjoy getting to know you guys and appreciate you being here.

While I am very much looking forward to all the indulgent holiday food, I do try to balance it with lighter dishes during the season.  This cinnamon maple delicata squash is a perfect side to balance out some of the more indulgent dishes.  It is a little sweet, a little spicy and works great as a brunch side (or at least I think it would, I forgot to actually set it out for brunch).  It would also make a delicious and easy side with dinner (maybe even Thanksgiving dinner if you are looking for a last-minute side).  I also love delicata squash because you can eat the skin, which saves both time and a ton of effort while preparing.

Cinnamon Maple Delicata Squash

Serves 2-4

Ingredients

    • 1 Delicata Squash (mine was pretty big, if yours is on the smaller side, there would be enough seasoning for two)
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 1/8 cup maple syrup
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
    • salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Preheat oven to 400.  Cut the ends of your squash, then cut in half lengthwise.  Scoop out the seeds.  Slice squash into 1/4-1/2 inch slices.  In a small bowl mix all other ingredients.  Then toss the squash in the mixture until evenly coated.  (*I used a freezer bag to mix my ingredients and then coat the squash, it worked great).  Spread evenly on a baking sheet.  Bake for about 20 minutes, then flip.  Continue baking for another 10-15 minutes, until squash is tender and starting to caramelize.

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Let me know if you give it a try.  Are you a squash fan?  I love pretty much all squash varieties and eat tons of it in the fall and winter.

With the holiday, I will probably not have any new posts up until Monday.  But I’ll be checking in here and there on Instagram.  I will keep an eye out for your guys’ fun holiday and weekend check-ins as well.

If you are celebrating, what are your Thanksgiving plans?  Are you a Black Friday shopper?  I don’t usually do any Black Friday shopping.  But I love the holiday deals you can find online, so I guess that makes me more of a Cyber Monday kind of gal.

I will leave you guys with this beautiful sunset picture, courtesy of my mother in law.  She knows how much I enjoy a pretty sunset and sent this to me.  It was just so lovely, I had to share.  Hope you guys have a wonderful holiday and weekend!  See you next week!
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