Buckwheat Pancakes

I love Sunday morning breakfast. Church is later in the morning, and it’s fun to make a special meal when I have time to spare. Buckwheat pancakes with real maple syrup, sausage, and fresh fruit is one we really enjoy. I got the original recipe from Simply Recipes and made it our own. Buckwheat has an earthy flavor and Simply Recipes says you can substitute the wheat flour for all buckwheat (which is gluten free). I haven’t tried that.

Buckwheat Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup buckwheat flour ( use Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (again, Bob’s Red Mill)

    buckwheat pancakes

    Buckwheat Pancakes with Sausage and Blackberries

  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 rounded tsp. baking soda
  • 3 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 2 1/2 cups buttermilk

Put it All Together

  1. Heat a griddle or non-stick pan to medium heat.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
  3. Pour melted butter over dry ingredients and start mixing.
  4. Add the slightly beaten egg to the buttermilk. Slowly add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients until you get the desired consistency for the pancakes. You may need to add or not use all buttermilk.
  5. Put a small amount of vegetable oil or spray on the heated pan/griddle.
  6. Pour about 1/4 cup batter onto the griddle. Cook until bubbles appear on top (3.4 minutes). Turn for an additional 2-3 minutes or until nicely browned.
  7. Serve with warmed REAL maple syrup, the fresh fruit of your choice (we use a variety of fresh berries), and sausage or bacon if desired.

Scrambled Eggs – All Dressed Up

I’m not a huge egg fan by any stretch of the imagination, as my family will attest, but today seemed like a good day to make them for a brunch. Our church service was at 0900 instead of later in the morning this week, so we went before breakfast and ate afterwards.

If I’m going to eat eggs, they need to be amped up a bit so I don’t taste the egg too much. I add lots of veggies and cheese and then serve with toast and some fruit. (Today the fruit was clementines).

Scrambled Eggs – All Dressed Up

Ingredients

  • 7 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely minced

    eggs

    Scrambled Eggs All Dressed Up

  • 1/2 red pepper, finely chopped
  • 4-6 oz. mushrooms, thinly sliced (I like to use baby Portobella mushrooms, but pic what you like)
  • 4 oz. sharp cheddar cheese (Usually use the white)
  • 1 tsp. tarragon, dried
  • 1/4 tsp. truffle oil
  • Olive oil and/or butter

Put It All Together

  1. Prepare the garlic, pepper, mushrooms, and cheese. Set aside for the moment.
  2. Crack the  eggs into a medium bowl and add a 1/4 cup water. Mix thoroughly. An immersion blender works wonderful!
  3. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat until a drop of water spatters. Add 1-2 Tbsp of olive oil and/or butter and heat again. Add garlic, pepper, mushrooms and tarragon. Sauté until soft – about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add the eggs to the pan and then top with the cheese. Let eggs cook for a half minute. Then with a rubber or wooden spatula, gently push the eggs from the side to the center of the pan. Continue until there is no liquid left. (I find the eggs get fluffier when I add the cheese at the start of cooking).
  5. Sprinkle the truffle oil over the top of the eggs. This is optional, but it does give a delicious umami/earthy flavor to the eggs that I absolutely adore.
  6. Serve with toasted whole wheat bread and fruit.

Mango Smoothie

Haven’t written anything for awhile. Have lots of recipes and no time :-(. Anyway, thought Id get caught up a bit by posting a basic smoothie recipe we like. I could have smoothies every day for breakfast! Here’s one I really like… and it’s definitely adjustable with a variety of fruits.

Mango Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 small banana
  • 1 tsp. chia seeds
  • 1 scoop vanilla flavored whey/protein powder (I use Mercola’s Miracle Whey)

    Image

    Mango Smoothie

  • 1-2 Tbsp grated lemon or to taste. (NOTE: I put a lemon in the freezer and then grate it into the smoothie with a microplane  grater)
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup water or 1% milk
  • 1 cup frozen manago chunks (more or less)
  • Fresh grated nutmeg.

Put it Together

  1. Put all ingredients together in a small bowl.
  2. Grate about 1/8 tsp nutmeg over mixture.
  3. Using an immersion blender, mix the ingredients until smooth.
  4. Pour in a large cup or glass – or if you wish, put in two smaller cups for 2 servings.
  5. Grate some more nutmeg over the cup.
  6. NOTE: I leave the lemon and mango out 5-10 minutes before proceeding with grating/mixing. The lemon grates better if left out a few minutes and the mango blends better if slightly thawed.

Variations: There are lots of variations on this. I will often use frozen blueberries or mixed berries as the fruit and then use cinnamon for the spice — using about 1/2 tsp. cinnamon in place of the nutmeg. A friend uses frozen peaches and raspberries. If no yogurt, you can use milk in it’s place if desired. I’ve left the whey powder out and added more yogurt and that works just fine too. Don’t believe there are any hard and fast rules for smoothies. Use your imagination and enjoy!

Granola – for breakfast and snacking

I’ve been on a granola kick lately. I used to make it a lot when the kids were younger, but got away from that. Then my daughter made this granola for us that we really liked and inspired me to start again. Got her recipe and then made some changes just because I could. I’ve made this a few times and it’s gone over quite well. I had searched the Internet for recipes, but they all had too much oil and/or sweetener in them. So this is what I came up with…

Granola

Ingredients

  • 4 cups 7-grain cereal (the type I used had rolled oats, rolled wheat, some sunflower seeds and not sure what else)

    Granola

    Granola

  • 4 cups Old-Fashioned Oatmeal
  • 1 1/2 cups natural whole almonds
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 rounded Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. Vanilla
  • 1/3 cup Safflower Oil (or whatever you like for oil)
  • 1/3 cup REAL Maple Syrup
  • 2 cups dried fruit – I’ve used cherries, raisins, currents

Put it Together

  1. In a large bowl, combine oatmeal, 7-grain cereal, nuts, cinnamon, salt
  2. In a small bowel combine oil, maple syrup, and vanilla.
  3. Pour the syrup mixture over the cereal mixture. Mix thoroughly to coat everything.
  4. pour in two cake pans and spread out evenly.
  5.  Bake at 270 degrees for 1 1/2 hours… stir every 14-20 minutes to bake evenly.
  6. Remove from oven and put granola into large bowl. Let cool. Add dried fruit and store in containers.
I put this on my yogurt/fresh fruit mixture for breakfast. My son likes to eat it by the handful as a snack.
There is room for a lot of variation in the recipe…. you could use all oatmeal, add some flax meal, maybe some pumpkin or sunflower seeds. Substitute walnuts for the pecans. Use honey instead of maple syrup…. you get the picture :-).

Blueberry-Cheesecake French Toast Casserole

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

Ingredients:

  • 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
Directions:
  • 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!

Steel-Cut Oatmeal

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)

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  1. Combine water, milk, & salt in small cooking pot
  2. Heat until just boiling on medium heat. (NOTE: Watch carefully!! With milk, it will come to a boil quickly).
  3. 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!)
  4. It takes 20-25 minutes to cook. It has a pearly texture when finished cooking.
  5. Pour into 4 cereal bowls. Top with honey and cinnamon.
  6. 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.