Loaded Breakfast Sandwich

loaded breakfast sandwichI usually make a big breakfast for my family on Saturday mornings. My family likes bacon, eggs, hash browns and biscuits. But what to do with the leftover hash browns and bacon? To use up the leftovers I make loaded breakfast bagels. This is a super easy and fast breakfast!

Ingredients:

Makes 4 servings

4 Bagels

6 Eggs

2 tsp water

2 tsp butter

8 strips bacon, cooked

4 slices cheddar cheese

2 cups hash browns, cooked

4 TBSP mayonnaise

Directions:

  1. Toast the bagels.
  2. Beat eggs with water until fluffy. Over medium heat melt butter in a skillet then add eggs. Cook and scramble eggs until desired doneness.
  3. Heat leftover hash browns and bacon in the microwave.
  4. Spread mayonnaise on bagels and top with egg, bacon, sliced cheese and hash browns. Sprinkle with salt and pepper if desired.
  5. Serve hot.

 

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Cranberry Coconut Granola Bars

I’m excited to share this recipe for homemade granola bars. I tried making granola bars once before using an Ina Garten recipe, but my family didn’t like them very much. The recipe I had tried before had honey as a main binding ingredient and the flavor was just too overpowering.

I searched the internet for granola bar recipes to get a feel for them. The method that looked best to me was from Food Network, by Alton Brown. I adapted my recipe from his, changing several ingredients the most important of which was the honey. I opted to use corn syrup (white Kayro) to give my granola bars a light flavor and make them very crisp. No problem with these bars falling apart!

Cranberry Coconut Granola Bars

Toasting the oat mix.

Adding the sugar to the oats.

Adding the sugar to the oats.

Finished bars - crunchy and sweet!

Finished bars – crunchy and sweet!

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats

1 cup shredded coconut

1 cup sliced almonds

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1/2 light brown sugar

2 TBSP butter

1/2 tsp kosher salt

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup dried cranberries

 

Directions:

  1. Spray a 9×13″ pan with non-stick spray, set aside. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread oats, coconut and almonds on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes, stirring frequently to achieve even browning. Remove from oven and reduce heat to 300°F.
  2. As the oat mix is baking combine corn syrup, brown sugar, butter, salt and vanilla in a large pot. Cook until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat.
  3. Remove toasted oat mix from oven and pour into pot of sugar syrup, add cranberries and stir well until mix it coated.
  4. Pour granola into prepared pan and press down. Bake for 15 minutes at 300 degrees. Allow to cool, then cut into squares or rectangles.

Tips:

  • This recipe will create very crunchy granola bars. I made the first batch in a 9×9″ pan and they turned out a little too thick and hard to bite through. Keeping the bars at 1/2 inch thickness will create a better end product.
  • To make cutting easier score the bars when the pan is mostly cooled, but not completely cold.
  • Coconut can be left out for those who don’t like it. I’d suggest using 1/2 cup sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds in it’s place; or 1 cup of Rice Krispies cereal.
  • Store granola bars in an air-tight container.

 

Caramelized Onion & Mushroom Mini-Quiches (Low-Carb)

It’s January and that means most of us are trying to watch what we eat after all that holiday indulging. I’m trying to get back on track with my weight loss program too. I’ve found that if I get the day started with a proper breakfast I’m more likely to stay on track the rest of the day.

Caramelized Onion & Mushroom Mini Quiches

I came up with these Caramelized Onion & Mushroom Mini Quiches as an alternative to my usual veggie quiche cups. Sometimes I’m just not in the mood for a bunch of green veggies first thing in the morning. This is a nice alternative that is still high in protein and loaded with flavor.

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 large yellow onions, sliced thin

10 oz. package sliced cremini mushrooms

3 tsp olive oil (divided)

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup shredded cheese

12 large eggs, beaten

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Coat a muffin pan with non-stick spray, set aside. Pre-heat oven to 350°.
  2. Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook for 10 minutes, add salt and reduce heat to low. Stir often until onions are browned and caramelized.
  3. Divide the onions evenly among the muffin cups.
  4. Add remaining 1 tsp olive oil to the pan, add mushrooms and cook until tender, stirring often. Add garlic and cook one minute more. Divide evenly among muffin cups.
  5. Sprinkle shredded cheese over muffin cups.
  6. Pour beaten eggs into muffin cups, dividing evenly. Use a fork to stir cup contents.
  7. Place on center rack of oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until tops are browned and eggs are set.
  8. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on a rack. Run a butter knife along the edge to loosen before removing from the muffin pan. Some sticking may occur. You can use foil cupcake liners for easier removal.

Caramelized Onion & Mushroom quiche open

TIPS:

  • Low-fat shredded cheese can be used in place of regular cheese to reduce fat and calories of the recipe.
  • This recipe has only a small amount of added salt. You may want to increase salt to 1/2 tsp if you like salt.
  • These freeze well. To reheat microwave for 60-90 seconds until heated through. Remove foil cupcake liner if using!
  • I used recipe analysis from Calorie Count to figure the nutritional value. This recipe comes out to 131 calories per quiche! They have 8 grams of fat, 9 grams of protein and only 3 grams of carbohydrate (1.4 g sugar).

 

Cranberry Orange Breakfast Cake

I adapted this recipe from my Blueberry Breakfast Cake, and I have to say that I like it even better! The tartness of the fresh cranberries provides a good contrast to the sweet cake. This recipe is for a large casserole dish (9 x 13″) or could be used to make two loaf pans of quick bread. This would make a great addition to a holiday brunch or special Christmas morning breakfast. Enjoy!

fresh cranberry cake bread

Ingredients:

1 cup butter (2 sticks)

zest of a large orange

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

juice of a large orange (about 1/4 cup)

1 tsp vanilla

4 cups flour

1 1/2 TBSP baking powder

2 tsp kosher salt

1 bag (12 oz) fresh cranberries, chopped

1/4 cup flour

1 cup buttermilk

Directions:

  1. Wash cranberries and discard any soft or discolored berries. Chop and set aside in a small bowl.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer cream butter, orange zest and sugar.
  3. Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Add orange juice and mix again.
  4. In a separate bowl mix 4 cups flour, baking powder and salt.
  5. Add to butter/egg mixture, alternating with buttermilk.
  6. Add 1/4 cup flour to chopped cranberries and toss to coat.
  7. Remove mixer bowl from stand and gently fold in cranberries.
  8. Spread into greased 9×13″ pan.
  9. Bake at 350° for 50-60 minutes or until top is golden and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

 

Blueberry Breakfast Cake

This is a delicious breakfast cake. I’ve made it twice for my family and it’s been a hit. It will being going into my regular rotation of breakfast treats!

blueberry breakfast cake w/ buttermilk

This recipe is adapted from one I found (on Pinterest, yes of course). You can follow my Pinterest boards for more recipe finds, crafts and garden inspiration! The recipe came from Alexandra Cooks and I’m sure her recipe would be excellent as well. Her photos are beautiful–I still have a lot to learn in that department!! I had to change a few things to fit what I had on hand – such as frozen blueberries instead of fresh.

blueberry breakfast cake

I wish I had a piece of this right now!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter (1 stick) softened

zest of 1 lemon, or 2 tsp lemon extract

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1 3/4 cup flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp kosher salt

2 cups frozen blueberries (do not thaw)

1/4 cup flour (for tossing with the blueberries)

1/2 cup buttermilk

Directions:

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer cream butter and lemon zest or extract and sugar.
  2. Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl mix 1 3/4 cups flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. Add to butter/egg mixture, alternating with buttermilk.
  5. In a small bowl toss blueberries with 1/4 cup flour.
  6. Remove mixer bowl from stand and gently fold in blueberries.
  7. Spread into greased 8×8″ pan.
  8. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until top is golden and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Notes:

  • Using frozen blueberries will cause the cake to have a slight purple hue in some areas. If you want a prettier cake then use fresh berries.
  • I like frozen blueberries because I can keep them on hand and make this whenever I’m ready.
  • If you don’t have buttermilk on hand you can use a substitute. In a measuring cup place 1 TBSP lemon juice or white vinegar. Add enough milk to reach 1 cup. Stir and allow to sit 5 minutes, then measure out the needed amount for the recipe.

Eggs Benedict – Healthy Weekday Breakfast!

healthy eggs benedict

When you hear eggs benedict do you think Sunday brunch? Yeah, me too, and Christmas morning breakfast. But it’s actually an easy dish to prepare. I’ve made it healthier by replacing the English muffin with a wheat mini bagel to increase the fiber. And faster by using scrambled eggs and Hollandaise sauce from a mix. This easy breakfast comes in under 300 calories, with 22 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, 11 grams of fat and only 4 grams of sugar!

Ingredients

1 whole wheat mini bagel

2 sliced Canadian bacon

2 large eggs

2 TBSP Hollandaise sauce (I use Knorr brand mix)

Sprinkle of paprika (optional)

Directions

  1. Toast bagel.
  2. Make Hollandaise sauce according to package directions.
  3. Warm Canadian bacon in microwave for 10-15 seconds, until warm.
  4. Beat eggs with 1 tsp of water, scramble on medium low heat until done.
  5. Layer on plate: bagel, Canadian bacon, eggs, sauce and sprinkle with paprika.

Notes

The Hollandaise sauce is surprisingly low in calories, only 10 for 2 TBSP. Leftover sauce can be refrigerated for several days. Heat up in small portions in the microwave on low heat as needed.

If you have the time, and want to poach the eggs it’s easy to do. In a shallow pan bring water to a simmer with a little vinegar. Add eggs to simmering water slowly and gently. Cook to desired doneness.

 

Ham & Spinach Quiche Cups

ham and spinach individual quiches

These low-carb, low-calorie muffin-size quiches make a great grab-and-go breakfast. They are a nice alternative to basic scrambled eggs in the morning and can be made ahead and frozen. Simply take a few out of the freezer the night before and pop them in the microwave for a fast hot breakfast! I also like them cold as a snack.

Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus 25-30 baking (45-50 total)
Yield: 15-18 quiches

Ingredients:

1 package frozen chopped spinach

1 package (6 oz) Canadian Bacon

1 tsp olive oil

1/4 small onion, chopped

1 bell pepper, chopped

12 eggs, beaten

1 1/2 cups shredded low-fat cheese

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper (or less)

Directions:

  1. Line muffin tins with foil baking cups or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Defrost and drain spinach according to package directions.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper. Cook until tender.
  4. Chop Canadian bacon into small pieces.
  5. In a large bowl crack eggs and beat well with a wire whisk.
  6. Add drained spinach, Canadian bacon, onions, peppers, cheese, salt and pepper. Mix well.
  7. Bake at 350°F for 35-30 minutes or until knife inserted in center of quiche comes out clean.
  8. Refrigerate or freeze after cooking.