Breakfasts, Desserts, Snacks

165

Almond Fig Oat Bars (V)

I’ve realized recently that no matter what time I actually get up (and it’s usually a full two hours before I actually need to be anywhere,) I spend way too much time casually drinking coffee. I’ll even admit to waking up a half hour earlier than those two hours simply to have the time to sit and sip for a while. But even on those mornings when I give myself more time, I’m still scrambling to throw everything in my bag and wrap my comically large scarf around my face at 8:53, with just a few minutes to run halfway across campus for class at 9. So obviously that whole lunch thing often gets forgotten. I’ve mentioned it before, if you can recall. My newest mission: to fill my freezer with so many granola bars all I’ll have to do is reach and grab a few, even during the pre-coffee moments before my eyes begin to focus. Sounds like a foolproof plan, amirite? Since my fridge is already crowded with homemade larabars, I’m getting anxious to change up the routine.

So basically this post is a way of admitting I’m way too into searching for granola bar recipes. There are SO MANY things happening with this particular kind of food on the internet it’s nearly impossible not to find myself with eighteen different tabs open trying to make sure I pay proper attention to each and every recipe/photo aaaahh. But chaos aside, there are probably about a hundred billion different granola bar recipes out there and with you guys as my witness I will make them all. It may take a few years, but I will do it.

Here are just a few of the bars I’ve been eyeing:

these superfood granola bars (because deciding to mail order dried green healthy things is infinitely more appealing when said healthy things come in the form of chocolate.)

quinoa and cherries are one of my favorite combos so I’m v into these seedy cherry granola bars.

I’ve never had sesame snaps (probably because I don’t live in Canada like the author of this post), but these sesame snap granola bars have a lot of tahini in them so I am a happy camper.

homemade kind bars > paying $1.99 each for the real thing at the campus center, stomach growling for all to hear

I already make these 5 Ingredient Granola Bars (really it’s more like 8-12 ingredients, what with all the pepitas, cocoa nibs, and dried cranberries I add) on a regular basis. You should too. The Minimalist Baker seriously gets it when it comes to granola.

then I got into a much healthier corner of the blogosphere with sweet potato buckwheat bars (I’m more nervous about this, but usually the best food things come in strange packages)

Until I can get to the store to buy all the nuts + seeds, here’s a fun fig bar recipe~

Almond Fig Bars (adapted from Healthy Happy Life)

1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup coconut sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
good pinch sea salt
1/2 cup warm water + 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
1 1/4 cups unsweetened coconut milk (use the drinkin’ stuff in a carton, make your own, or use a well-shaken can)
1 large banana (the riper the better)
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
coconut oil (for greasing pan)

1 cup dried figs
2 tablespoons maple syrup or agave nectar
juice of one orange

topping options: toasted oats, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, chopped nuts, cocoa nibs etc

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Thickly grease a baking sheet with a tablespoon or two coconut oil. Combine the water and flaxseeds, stirring briskly. Set aside to thicken for a few minutes. Combine the rest of the dry ingredients and spices, then fold in the wet ingredients, including the seed water (AKA the flax egg – I know, yum) Add an extra splash of coconut milk if the batter seems too thick to pour. Thinly slice the figs and toss them in the maple syrup and orange juice. Pour the batter into the baking sheet and drop the figs on top, pour any excess liquid right over the figs. Sprinkle with desired topping and bake 20-25 minutes! I found these to be realllly great warm topped with coconut whipped cream. That’s not really a breakfast or to go option, but do what you can with this information.

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Breakfasts, Sides, Snacks

158

Challah

With January over and 2015 in full swing, I’m officially back in New England for my *last semester of college*. Unbelievably terrifying. I think the weirdest part is how quickly that happened. Although plz kill me if I become one of those grown-ups that’s all, “four years? that’s nothin’! It just keeps getting faster…” My thoughts on becoming this someday. I can already tell these next few months are going to be insane. I’m designing costumes for a show that goes up in three weeks (SJdnaksjdjkasbdjLBAsJGhb) and then jumping right into sets for a show in April. So we’ll see how that plays out. I’ve decided I’m going to try to make at least one recipe to blog about a week, because honestly, this space feels the most important to me. Which is strange to think about, as it’s just a webpage. But I like having something to really care about; it helps me wake up in the morning almost as much as knowing the sooner I get up the sooner I will have coffee. I’m going to ride out senior spring dealing with a combination of actually important things and things that seem important right now, but don’t really matter in the long run. Examples? I made a chart because that’s more fun than homework.

Did you actually read it? It’s okay if you didn’t, no need to enter the randomness that is the inside of my head. Back to food: I’m so excited to share this post today, as it was a huge personal triumph. Emily and I got together pretty much the moment we got home for winter break to make challah, something we’ve seen Molly Yeh do a million times perfectly. We figured it was about time we took a whack at it. After all, how hard can in be to make the bread of our ancestors? Answer: not as hard as we thought, but definitely time consuming. There are moments where you have to let the bread do it’s thing without bothering it, so there were a decent amount of Netflix/hot chocolate breaks in between creating our masterpieces. We also let the dough proof overnight in the fridge just to break the process up a bit. But then that meant we had to let it return to room temperature for a while right before baking, so that was another lengthy break. So Emily watched me take a million more prep photos and then face-palmed as I changed exposure and tinted shadows. (Side note: I’ve now realized when I’m making something for the blog it takes approximately 2.3 times longer than it would normally because of all the stopping and picture-taking). As we kneaded and braided and egg-washed our breads we kept going back and forth on how we thought they would turn out. Maybe if they don’t rise properly they’ll still taste the way they’re supposed to? If they look this good, it doesn’t even matter if they taste weird! Do sesame seeds add flavor or just look pretty? All in all, it was a very eventful experience. And oh yeah, the bread came out tasting AMAZING. Make it yourself. Make it right now. You won’t be sorry!

Challah (from Food52 with notes from Becca & Emily, makes 2 large loaves)

Note: Challah can be made in an electric mixer or by hand. We did it in a mixer, so I’ve only included instructions for that. Follow the link above for all by hand directions!

1 1/2 cups warm water, divided
1/4 cup + 2 teaspoons sugar, divided
2 tablespoons instant yeast (we figured that if the packets of yeast actually had pictures of challah on it we were on the right track)
6 cups + extra* all purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup honey + an extra tablespoon for eggwash (optional)
2/3 cup vegetable or canola  oil
4 eggs + one yolk for eggwash
sesame seeds (optional)

Put 1 cup warm water in a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Add 2 teaspoons of sugar, sprinkle the yeast over top, mix just to combine, and leave it to proof for five minutes. While yeast is proofing, mix flour, salt, and 1/4 cup of sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Blend on low speed. In a separate bowl, mix remaining water, honey, oil, and eggs. When yeast has finished proofing, add it to the flour, then immediately add wet ingredients. Mix on medium-low speed, just until combined, about 30 seconds.

Switch to the dough hook and begin to knead on low speed, making sure to incorporate what’s at the bottom of the bowl with a spatula if the dough hook misses it.Knead until smooth and no longer sticky, adding extra flour with as needed, 7-10 minutes *we ended up using a lot of extra flour, the dough was extremely sticky. Add it sparingly but often and you should be golden!

Divide the dough into two equal pieces. Set each in a large oiled bowl, cover both bowls with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size. This should take about 2-2.5 hours. We let ours rise in the refrigerator overnight to break up the process; if you go this route just remember to take it out of the fridge first thing in the morning so the dough can fully return to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Separate each mound of dough into three equal balls (six in total). Roll each ball into a log almost 1-foot long. Braid the logs together to create your loaf. Food52 braiding tip: For the nicest-looking braid, do not pinch the top edges of your logs together before braiding; simply place one log over the next and braid until you reach the bottom, then pinch those edges together. Then, flip the unfinished loaf the long way, so that the unfinished edge is now at the bottom and the loaf has been flipped over and upside down. Finish braiding and pinch these edges together. This way, both ends look identical. Tuck the very tips beneath the loaf when braiding is finished. Repeat with second loaf.

Transfer each loaf to its own parchment or silpat-lined baking sheet and leave to proof for about an hour. Make the eggwash by mixing the extra egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water and 1 tablespoon honey. Brush over loaves. Sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds (or both! or everything bagel seasoning because dreams do come true) Bake 20-22 minutes, until are golden and baked through. You’ll notice that there are no pictures of the sliced bread. This is because it was SO GOOD the loaf literally did not make it to daylight, there were only a few meager pieces left the following morning when nice photo lighting returned. Use your imagination to see the insides. Or better yet, make one yourself!

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Breakfasts, Drinks

151

Energizer Smoothie II [veggie edition]
(V, GF)

 

I used to hate to exercise. I’ve always been the person who picked the couch over the treadmill (and with fairly good reason, treadmills kinda suck); I was not a member of any sports teams following the age of nine, after an unfortunate season with the town softball league. Throughout high school and most of college I’ve had a love/hate relationship with the gym: I tried cardio kickboxing, the elliptical machine, the rowing machine, Pilates, “boot camp”, even a treacherous yoga endeavor where I managed to accidentally give myself some kind of semi-serious wrist injury that still hurts four years later. Each of these activities ended somehow: I was bored with staring at red numbers on a screen, it got too cold to walk to the gym, the list goes on.

Something changed this past summer. There was a consistent gnawing in the pit of my stomach. Something that made me feel wobbly and frustrated and disorganized. I’m sure a lot of people are familiar with this feeling and they combat it in various ways. I’ve heard driving can really help, but I while I do technically possess a driver’s license, I’m not what one would call “experienced” behind the wheel. I think the last time I parallel parked was my driving exam; I have yet to drive on a highway outside of rural Vermont. This is a long way of saying that this summer I started running. It was probably one of the best things I’ve done in a while, amid a whole host of unhealthy choices I pretty much consistently make. In all honesty, running is hard. Usually I forget how recently I’ve eaten and start the first ten minutes or so of the run with weird stomach cramps. I definitely broke my toe at one point in July (I honestly don’t know how, I should really wear shoes in my house) and didn’t realize, then ran on it for a while. But other than these tiny issues, running actually feels great. Maybe it’s the wind on my face or the music or the control I feel while speeding (a relative term) down the street.

On Thanksgiving morning I ran an 8K (because apparently runners live in Canada and still use metric?) and I finished the race. It wasn’t about seeing how fast I could go, or to get a big “congratulations!!!” from anyone who heard what I’d done that morning. It was just a thing I did. To see if I could do it. It was exhilarating, and in that moment jumping over the finish line I felt really happy. A huge part of my world kind of crumbled after that day, but that’s not what this post is about. This post is about feeling good from a healthy activity. Feeling good from something I do 100% for and with myself, which is actually a tall goddamn order. Can you count more than five things you do for and with yourself that are completely productive? I’m not sure I can. Regardless, every time I finish a run, I kick off my shoes, peel off the six shirts I have to wear to be outside without risking hypothermia -New England in December, anyone?- and make this green smoothie. Whether you’re a runner or a Netflix-watcher or a math major, I guarentee it will make your brain feel good. But if you’re really not into green things, try my first energizer bunny smoothie .

Smoothie (serves 1)

3/4 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or whatever milk you like)

1/4 c pineapple coconut water (I use this)

1 medium frozen banana

1/2 c frozen chopped spinach or 3 spinach ice cubes*

2 tsp date cream, agave syrup, maple syrup, or honey

1/2 tsp ground ginger

If using a normal blender, treat it gently by first blending milk, coconut water, and banana until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and liquify. If you have a Vitamix or Magic Bullet (lucky you) just throw everything in all at once!

* How to make spinach ice cubes: wash a large container of fresh spinach, roughly chop, then place in a blender and liquify. Pour mixture into ice cube trays and freeze completely. Store in a freezer bag pretty much indefinitely.

 

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Breakfasts

150

Pumpkin Oatmeal (V, GF)

Who’s tired of pumpkin flavored things yet? I’m not sure if I am, as I don’t think I can truly hit pumpkin overload until a post-turkey-day-cold-pumpkin-pie-for-breakfast moment has occurred. And trust me, it’s coming like a freight train (t minus seven days until Emily and I make the first -and last- road trip from New England to good ol’ Jersey!!!) But before I can hang out all snuggled in a blanket on the couch with my one true love (read: stuffing+mashed potatoes+corn casserole all smashed up in a bowl, sry for any confusion) I’m going to have seven more breakfasts. Which means seven more bowls of oatmeal, because I recently realized I’m on a serious oatmeal kick. Just ask the giant mason jar of bulk oats in my pantry. Or the other container of steel cut oats on top of the fridge. Or my roommates at 8 am when they see me frantically running downstairs because I’ve forgotten about the boiling pot on the stove, even though I do this every single morning. It happens. Anywho, I was perusing the blogosphere and because it’s fall everyone and their mother has been adding pumpkin to everything, be it pumpkin hummus, pumpkin milkshakes, pumpkin cinnamon rolls, even pumpkin martinis (?!? someone try this and tell me what happens) so I knew it was my turn to join the insanity. I’m actually very pleasantly surprised with the results! NOTE: if you’re like me and don’t like the innate pumpkiny flavor of pumpkin, I strongly recommend you taste the mixture as you go, paying special attention to the kind of sweetener you’re using. I use unsweetened milk so I have all the power over the sweetener, but that’s just how I roll. Gotta be able to control some aspects of life, even if it is just via breakfast food, amirite? I think maple syrup or brown sugar compliment pumpkin in the most autumny way possible, so I vote you go that route. But feel free to play around with honey/agave/coconut sugar/regular sugar!

Oatmeal (serves 1)

1/2 c rolled oats

1 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or any other milk you like. You can also do 1/2 c milk and 1/2 c water. Or 1 c water- I don’t judge!)

pinch of salt

2 tbsp canned pumpkin

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp ground ginger

~1 tbsp maple syrup (or desired sweetener)

pepitas

Place the liquid and salt in a saucepan over medium high heat and bring to a boil. While that’s happening, mix together pumpkin, spices, and sweetener. Taste and adjust as desired. Add oats to boiling liquid and reduce heat to medium. Add pumpkin mixture and cook down, stirring regularly for about 4-5 minutes. To serve, top with pepitas and a sprinkle of more sweetener!

 

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Breakfasts

145

Pumpkin Pancakes (V)

A few days ago was Mountain Day! A pretty rad Smith tradition wherein our president cancels all classes on a beautiful fall day and we’re free to do whatever we like! Technically. This year’s mountain day happened on a fairly overcast Monday, so I enjoyed the outside air for a bit (read: I sipped on a mug of coffee while standing on my patio) but mostly hung with friends in my apartment and then went to my night class BECAUSE NIGHT CLASSES DON’T APPLY TO MOUNTAIN DAY GOD DAMMIT. So, yeah, not the greatest way to end my Smith-Mountain-Day-Journey. But I started out the day the right way- with pancakes!

Want to know the secret to frying vegan pancakes? Coconut oil. Lots. And a REALLY GOOD nonstick pan at the perfect temperature. If you do not have these things you should probably just make waffles. Otherwise you will be in a pickle. For the first three pancakes I didn’t use enough oil and the heat was up too high (the latter is what happens when you grow up using a gas stove with a temperature range 1-6 and then move into an apartment with an electric stove and temperature range 1-10). I stood over three different pans with three different kinds of oil -olive, coconut, and vegan butter- all smoking and sizzling like crazy and none coming out right. At one point I was scraping up a half uncooked half almost burnt lumpy pancake and my spatula broke. Literally fell into two pieces in the skillet. So I threw the entire contents of the pan into the trash and then tried again. That time the pancake cooked well enough but the batter seemed too thick (my original recipe included less liquid) and it was basically a hockey puck. A tasty hockey puck, but not what I was looking for in a pancake. My roommates tasted said hockey puck pancake and tried to assure me it was fine- good, even. But this did not make me feel better. I pride myself on making food that tastes and looks good. I could tell what they were thinking, “why all the vegan recipes, girl? They seem to cause you a lot of anguish” Answer: even though I am not a vegan, I really like vegan food and am truly interested in the science behind alternative and special diet-oriented cooking. I’ve made many a normal pancake and now is the time to experiment. So I went back into the kitchen, determined this endeavor would not be a flop. It would not become ‘that time Becca tried to make everyone pancakes and failed even though she has a cooking blog and clearly thinks she knows how to make food’.

So I stood there, staring at the sticky counter covered in pumpkin, baking soda, and crushed dreams, feeling very sorry for myself. It was getting dangerously close to The Falafel Incident (in which I attempted a scary new falafel recipe in an attempt to wow my parents and boyfriend. Long story short, I ended up sitting on the floor, stained in oil and crying. They’re serious troopers for putting up with me, let me tell you). Fast forward to me on Mountain Day. Another kitchen, another frustrating frying encounter. Press play. What am I doing if I can’t even make a pancake? I should just throw this all out the window and have a bowl of yogurt. And then I realized I was being fucking ridiculous. I’m supposed to be an adult. Adults don’t let less-than-perfect pancakes ruin their mornings, let alone destroy their self confidence. I pulled myself together. I added more almond milk. I added water, one tablespoon at a time. I made another pot of coffee. I reheated a pan and spooned out batter. And, lo and behold, successful pancakes were put on a plate. Pancakes of which I was actually quite proud!

I will not find all the solutions to my problems in a stack of pancakes, but sometimes determination pays off. And if one can feel vindicated by a tower of fried cakes, life is really not bad. Not bad at all.

Pancakes (loosely adapted from The First Mess and For Love and Lemons)

1 cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened almond)

1/4 c water

3/4 cup pumpkin puree

1 ripe banana

1 1/2 c whole wheat flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2  tsp baking soda

2 pinches sea salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground ginger (or 1 tsp fresh grated ginger)

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp vanilla extract

dash maple syrup (optional)

coconut oil (for frying)

In a small bowl, whisk together the water, non-dairy milk, and pumpkin until smooth. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Whisk well. Fold in the pumpkin mixture, maple syrup, vanilla extract. Combine completely, but don’t overmix!

Heat a large nonstick skillet (vegan pancakes are notoriously stubborn, don’t use a regular pan) over medium heat . Brush the pan with additional melted coconut oil.  Cook until bubbles appear on the surface and the edges look cooked. Flip the pancakes over and cook for another minute. Remove pancakes and keep warm. Repeat with remaining batter and stud with maple syrup, date syrup, melted coconut oil, or jam until you’ve fed all your roommates and yourself in the most festively autumnal manner!

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Breakfasts, Snacks

141

Morning Glory Muffins (V)

I love breakfast. I don’t love rushing out the door because I’ve actually taken time to eat breakfast. This usually points to muffins, as they are both breakfast and portable. I’ve had morning glory muffins many times before (except for the raisins) and always wanted to make them for myself, but I never have until now! These muffins are particularly great because there’s no added sugar happening here. And as Emily mentioned, most muffins are literally just unfrosted cupcakes. And in my opinion, if you want a cupcake you should just eat a damn cupcake! You don’t have to pretend it’s a muffin in order to enjoy it. It’s okay, no one’s judging you! At least, I’m not. Regardless of which meal you want to consist entirely of cupcakes I’m going to talk to you about why actual breakfast muffins matter for a sec. As I’ve mentioned many times, I’m not living in the school dorms this year. So, when I want breakfast I have to MAKE breakfast. Which might seem like a big “duh” moment to most adults living normal lives, but let me tell you, waking up at 7:30 and making it to class by 9 is something of a challenge. I don’t know how or why it takes me so long to get ready in the morning, but it does. And since there’s no dining hall where I can grab oatmeal that’s already been cooked or eggs that have already been boiled or coffee that’s already been brewed this concept of breakfast becomes a faint memory. Again, I’m sure many people out there reading that are like “boo freaking hoo I get up at 5 and then walk uphill both ways to work every morning”, and to you I say congratulations, I’m really looking forward to joining you upon my impending graduation but until then just let me complain from my place of privilege, this is my blog after all!

Anyway, I’ve never been able to do that “complete breakfast” thing cereal commercials used to brag about -really, who eats THAT MUCH at 8am??!- but this fact does not stop my stomach from growling before noon. That was a really long way of saying I’m glad these muffins are a thing. I studied a great many morning glory muffin recipes (many of which, surprise surprise, had a LOT of sugar) before making the final ingredient list. I swapped out the sugar for date paste, which sounds difficult but is not in the slightest, and used coconut oil instead of butter/canola oil because it’s just a more beneficial fat. I like to make about several batches at a time, which results in roughly 8300 muffins and then I freeze them all and defrost one anytime I need quick food! It’s so handy and there’s no dining hall (OR DIRTY DISHES!!!) involved whatsoever.

Muffins (loosely adapted from Food52)

1 1/3 c whole wheat flour

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp ground flaxseed

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 c pitted dates

1 banana, mashed

1 tsp vanilla

1/3 c coconut oil, melted

1 apple, peeled and diced

1/2 c raisins (or whatever dried fruit strikes your fancy)

3 carrots, grated

1/2 c walnuts (or any nuts you’re feelin’)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a muffin tin. Puree dates with 1/2-1 cup hot (not boiling) water in a food processor and set aside.  Add dry ingredients to a large bowl and whisk together. Combine wet ingredients (including date paste) in another bowl, then add to dry ingredients and mix well. Use an ice cream scoop to fill muffin tin equally with batter and bake for about 30 minutes! If you’re saving them for an extended period of time, wrap in parchment paper and then foil and place in a freezer bag/tupperware and freeeeeze them! They’ll last for a good long while.

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Breakfasts, Drinks, Snacks

139

Energizer Bunny Smoothie (V, GF)

This is a drink for those days that seem to go on forever. Y’know, those days where you have six hours of class and three hours of work and 80 pages of reading? Yeah, this is a drink for those days. Everything in here is packed full of serious nutrients that keep your body alert and satisfied. Down one of these at noon and I can assure you you’ll be ready to go. You no longer have to worry about those incredibly elegant 3pm stomach grumbles that always seem to happen when the entire class is quiet. Also it’s probably the prettiest color I’ve ever seen. To fully convince you of this smoothie’s real potential, here’s the breakdown:

Almond milk: fiber, vitamin E, magnesium, selenium, manganese, zinc, potassium, iron, phosphorus, tryptophan, copper, and calcium (BAM)

Blueberries: vitamin C, vitamin K, fiber, low glycemic load, antioxidants, fucking beautiful color

Banana: vitamin B6, soluble fiber, vitamin C, manganese, and potassium

Coconut oil: medium chain triglycerides (aka *good* fats), vitamin E, vitamin K, and iron

Flaxseed: protein, dietary fiber, omega-3, vitamin B1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 9, vitamin C

Honey: obviously a sweetener, but does actually contain several compounds than can function as antioxidants including vitamin C, B2,3, 5, and 6! That’s sure better than Splenda, amirite?

Dates: calcium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, magnesium and zinc, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin A and vitamin K.

Smoothie (serves 1-2)

1 1/2+ c unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 frozen banana

1/2 c frozen blueberries

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 tbsp ground flaxseed

1-2 tsp honey OR 2 pitted medjool dates, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes

banana chip (optional)

Place banana and almond milk in blender and blend well. Add remainder of ingredients and blend until well combined, pausing to stir and add more almond milk if the blender gets stuck! Garnish with a banana chip and feel incredibly heathy for the rest of the day!

 

 

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Breakfasts

138

Kale and Cheddar Scramble (AKA Green Eggs and No Ham) (GF)

Do you like green eggs and ham? I do not like them, Sam-I-am. I do not like green eggs and ham. -Dr. Seuss

These words of wisdom served as my inspiration for this post. I’m not the first to think of it, obviously; the blogosphere and the culinary world have all made their own versions of this dish. Some of these recipes involve making crepes. Some are artisanal sandwiches. And some are quite honestly pretty damn weird. While I hope to someday make these offerings myself (okay, probably just the first two), I decided to whip up my own version first. The best part about this recipe is you can make it differently every time: change up the cheese and the greens to what you think would be yummy! (I bet smoked gouda and chard would be really good. And so would feta and spinach. And so would mozzarella and basil. You get the idea.) I don’t really like ham, so I just omitted it from my recipe, but you can do you!

Scramble (serves 2-3)

3 eggs

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 shallot, finely diced

3 c. kale, chopped

1/2 c. sharp cheddar cheese

In a nonstick pan over medium heat, heat oil, then add shallots. Crack the eggs in a bowl and beat with a fork, then set aside. Add kale to the pan with the shallots and sauté for about 4 minutes, (it will shrink waaaaay down) adding a tablespoon or two of water if the shallots begin to burn. Move the kale mixture over to one side of the pan, then pour the eggs in. Let the eggs cook in the pan for about 30 seconds, then add the cheese and begin scrambling them in with the kale. Once the eggs are ALMOST cooked to your liking, remove pan from heat (they’ll continue to cook). Serve immediately with salt and pepper, and maybe a slice or two of sourdough toast!

 

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Breakfasts, Snacks

134

BBBB (Brown Butter Berry Buttermilk) Muffins

Hi everyone! It’s Emily, here to share another guest post. Muffins are tricky little things. They are essentially unfrosted cupcakes. Yet somehow, they have been fooling moms and dads for decades that they are a breakfast food. Now, I have no problems with this. Sometimes it seems like I am on personal quest to set the world record for most cake consumed in a lifetime. The real reason I exercise is to make more room for cake in my life so as to achieve this goal. Cake is my main food group and I would like to thank muffins for being a part of it. When coming up with this recipe, I did try to make these muffins more ‘breakfasty’ for those of you into that sort of thing. I threw in a little whole-wheat flour, cut back on the sugar, and threw in a ton of fruit. And, sticking with my #1 baking philosophy, anything can be improved by brown butter. This imparts a warm, nutty flavor that pairs wonderfully with the freshness of the tart berries.

Muffins

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

1 1/2 c. whole-wheat flour

2/3 c. raw sugar

1 T. baking powder

1/2 t. baking soda

1/2 t. salt

2 eggs, at room temperature

1 1/2 c. buttermilk, at room temperature

1 1/2 T. milk, at room temperature

8 T. (1 stick) butter, browned and cooled (see note below*)

1 1/2 c. berries of your choice, fresh or frozen, do not thaw (I used a frozen berry mix)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a twelve-cup muffin tin. I find that doing this rather than using muffin liners yields a more golden and puffy muffin.

Combine the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, raw sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and milk. Fold this mixture into the dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in the brown butter. Gently fold in the berries. Be careful not to overmix or you will have tough muffins.

Using a 1/3 c. measuring cup, divide the batter evenly in the muffin tin. If you wanted to top with sanding sugar or streusel, now is the time. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the muffins in the pan for 10 minutes before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely. Muffins will keep in an airtight container for a week. I like to keep them in the freezer, take one out before going to bed, and enjoy in the morning.

*To brown the butter – Cut the butter into chunks and melt in a medium skillet over medium heat. A light bottomed skillet is better, but not necessary. Swirl the pan occasionally. The butter will foam and make popping noises. This is normal. Keep a close eye on the butter and continue to swirl, you do not want the butter to burn. It will start to smell nutty, and brown bits will begin to appear on the bottom of the pan. Once the bits take on an amber color, remove the pan from the stove and immediately pour it into a bowl, bits included. Allow it to cool.

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Breakfasts

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Almond, Corn, and Brown Rice Flour Blueberry Pancakes (GF)

Like most oxygen-breathers, I love pancakes. However, strangely enough, I don’t like having them for breakfast. Unless I know for a fact that immediately following the consumption of said syrup-topped confection, I will be able to flop around on a couch and digest in peace for at least an hour. Pancakes are serious business. One has to train to finish a stack, not unlike preparing to run a marathon. Just as one cannot simply run 25 miles in one fell swoop simply because one possesses legs and sneakers, after four big pancakes any average person will probably be facing a serious case of the “fulls” (read: being so stuffed one needs to take off their belt). And while I am nothing if not a champion eater, sometimes even I need to set down the fork and take a breather.

Now, If we’re talking pancakes for brinner, that’s a whole different story. Dinner is the meal to be full, as it’s perfectly acceptable to slip into a food-coma for many hours after the last meal of the day. But we’re not talking about breakfast for dinner, we’re talking about breakfast for breakfast. How’s that for an eloquent sentence? This is a long way of saying that I’ve been experimenting with gluten free pancakes for quite some time now. While I am aware that gluten makes things delicious -not to mention it gives elasticity to doughs of all kinds, making that perfect fluffy chewy texture- it also sometimes has a knack for making me really full. I mean REALLY full. The kind of full that is often reserved for eating eight scoops of ice cream. And I just don’t want that in the morning before hours of work and classes. My alternative: the following recipe. These pancakes are made with corn, almond, and brown rice flours, which are gluten free. I use three different flours because unlike all-purpose flour, each gluten free ingredient adds a different (but necessary) element to the pancake. Corn flour (different from cornmeal) is very high in fiber and filling, but doesn’t do a great job of leavening; brown rice flour has a lot of protein and a strong, almost nutty flavor; and almond flour has a really rich and mild flavor, which balances out the stronger corn and brown rice (but if you’re not into almonds/have a nut allergy, you can add an extra 1/4 c. of either of the other two flours instead)

Keep in mind they will make the batter very runny. It will be very different from your standard pancake batter. I recommend using a 1/8 c. measuring cup to dole out eat pancake. While cooking, the cakes will get very bubbly, which in standard pancake language usually means “flip me!” but in gluten free flour pancake-land, it does not. You’ll know they’re ready to be flipped by their color- just lift the edges with a spatula to check for a nice golden color. Just FYI, you’ll notice I suggest you use a nonstick pan when cooking. Now, you can do whatever you choose with this advice, but you’ll see that I suggest it with bold italics and **s. That should tell you how I feel about this recipe and normal pans, but hey, maybe you like scraping burnt gluten free pancakes off a pan in your free time! If that is the case, feel free to ignore my advice! Happy breakfasting!

Pancakes 

1/2 c corn flour

1/2 c brown rice flour

1/4 c almond flour

1 tbsp raw sugar

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 egg, slightly beaten

2 tbsp melted butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/4 c milk

1 half pint blueberries

If you’re making more than 4 pancakes preheat your oven to 200 degrees F. Mix together the dry ingredients in a small bowl. In a larger bowl whisk together the egg, butter and vanilla. Slowly whisk in the milk (don’t be alarmed if it gets clumpy, that’s just the melted butter reacting to the cold milk, but ideally if you’ve poured the milk in slowly enough this won’t happen). Add the wet ingredients to the dry and combine. Heat a *nonstick* skillet on medium and grease lightly with butter or oil. Using a 1/8 c. measuring cup, pour out as many pancakes as will comfortably fit on the pan/griddle. Let them cook for about 30 seconds, then sprinkle on a scant handful of blueberries. Flip after about a minute or two or when you feel the stars have aligned (see my extremely exact flipping instructions in the explanation). Let the other side cook for another minute or two, then transfer to a baking tray and place in the oven. Repeat until you’re ready to eat, then serve with honey, maple syrup, jam, yogurt, or whatever your heart desires!

 

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