OK, it’s Labor Day weekend… having a nice time with some family and pretty much a laid back weekend. Nice way to end the summer. Kids are heading home this afternoon, so decided to try a new recipe for a hearty breakfast. I subscribe to “Clean Eating” magazine and often find some “winners” for recipes. Today I hit the mark big time. Julia O’Hara had a recipe for Blueberry Cheesecake Stuffed French Toast. As I read through it, I made a few minor modifications and put it on the table to rave reviews.
Blueberry-Cheesecake French Toast for a weekend breakfast
Blueberry French Toast
- 10-12 slices of whole-grain bread.
- 1 cup part-skim Ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup low fat cream cheese (use the real-deal if you wish
- 5 eggs, divided
- 4 Tbsp organic raw cane sugar (regular sugar should work – the original calls for evaporated cane juice so I used what I had)
- 2 cups (1 pint) fresh blueberries
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon (I’m generous with this)
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 1/4 cup sliced unsalted almonds
For the Blueberry Sauce:
- 2 cups fresh blueberries (more doesn’t hurt)
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 Tbsp. organic raw cane sugar
- Recipe didn’t call for it, but some lemon zest might be interesting
- Preheat oven to 350 & lightly grease a 13 x 9 inch pan. Place half the bread in the pan, covering the bottom and cutting crusts as necessary to fit.
- Combine cream cheese, Ricotta cheese, 1 Tbsp. sugar, and 1 egg in food processor. Blend until smooth.
- Pour the mixture over the bread and then layer a pint off blueberries on top of this. Cover with remaining bread slices, cutting crusts as needed to fit.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together 4 eggs, the milk, 1 Tbsp. sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, & salt. Pour this over the top of the bread.
- Mix the almonds and 1 Tbsp. sugar and then sprinkle over the bread evenly.
- Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake 10 more minutes. Then turn your broiler on and broil for 2-5 minutes (watch carefully) to get a nice lightly browned crust. Remove from oven and cool a few minutes before serving.
- While toast is baking, combine the remaining pint of blueberries, 1/2 cup water, and 2 Tbsp. sugar in a small pan. Bring to boil, and then simmer 5-10 minutes until the berries burst and sauce begins to thicken. Add lemon zest if desired.
To serve, divide casserole as you would a cake and place 2-3 Tbsp. blueberry sauce over the top. The way my crew dumped on the blueberry sauce, I’m thinking another cup of blueberries wouldn’t be the worst thing in the sauce – add another 1/4 cup water and adjust as needed. Hope you enjoy this as much as we did and thanks to Ms. O’Hara!
I’m a breakfast person. Having some food in the morning makes me think better and generally feel better the rest of the day. Have a few things I rotate through for breakfast depending on my mood. One thing I’ve been into this past winter is steel cut oatmeal. It’s
Uncooked Steel-Cut Oats
different than the rolled oats you get in the store. It is the whole grain groat (inner portion of kernel) that has been cut into 2-3 pieces with steel rather than rolled. It looks a bit like rice, except a golden brown.
There are a lot of minor variations on how to cook steel-cut oats. Here’s what I currently use.
Steel-Cut Oats (serves 4)
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups 1% milk (I generally use organic milk)
- 1 cup steel-cut oats
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- Honey & cinnamon to taste
- Combine water, milk, & salt in small cooking pot
- Heat until just boiling on medium heat. (NOTE: Watch carefully!! With milk, it will come to a boil quickly).
- Add oats and vanilla. Cook on medium-low, until done. Stir frequently (like every minute or two – you don’t want this sticking to the bottom of the pot!)
- It takes 20-25 minutes to cook. It has a pearly texture when finished cooking.
- Pour into 4 cereal bowls. Top with honey and cinnamon.
- You may wish to serve with fruit and/or maple syrup. My husband puts chocolate syrup on his and thinks it tastes like chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. Thin with additional milk or water if needed.
You can make this with only water, but the milk gives it a nice creamy flavor. You can find steel-cut oats in most grocery stores. It’s a bit spendy, but my son has found it for a fraction of the price at a local food coop.
Well, was going to work today and as I was walking out the door, got a phone call from client cancelling the visit until later. No complaints from me… emailed my boss and said I was cancelling work today and taking a vacation day :-). So thought I’d do a post this morning.
I’m a big fan of eating a good breakfast no matter what time you have to get up. I have several items I like to rotate through for breakfast — one of my favorites is to make a smoothie. I’ve made a variety of smoothies, depending on what’s in the house and what I feel like having. I now have a smoothie I really like for now based on a couple recipes on the Internet and ideas from friends and family. Here is my current favorite smoothie to enjoy
1 Tbsp wheat germ
2 Tbsp flaxseed meal (I buy whole flax and grind it in an old coffee grinder I no longer use)
1 Tbsp Chia seeds
2 Tbsp whey powder
1.5 Tbsp psyllium powder (great source of fiber & gels the smoothie a bit)
1/2 cup frozen fruit (I’m into 1/2 blueberries & 1/2 raspberries at the moment)
1 small banana (if not available, just add another 1/2 cup frozen fruit)
1/2 cup water
1/2 juice (have used orange, grape, grapefruit, pomegranate, & cherry so far)
1/4-1/2 tsp cinnamon (this is really a matter of taste and optional… i just like cinnamon in lots of stuff)
Mix all ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth. I actually use my trusty immersion blender and mix it in a 3 cup container. I LOVE my immersion blender (almost as much as I love my 500 GB small external hard drive — which is another post some day).
This smoothie keeps me filled up until past noon easily. Have put a small container of vanilla/plain Greek Yogurt in for the 1/2 cup water which is also good. So what’s your favorite smoothie?