Easy, healthy, sometimes indulgent recipes

breakfast

Paleo Nut and Seed Granola

Paleo granola? Is that even possible? No oats? No sugar? I am not by any means strict Paleo follower, but I find more and more that I love cooking Paleo inspired recipes.  When America’s Test Kitchen was running a cookbook sale, I ordered a few cookbooks and this one came from the Paleo Perfected cookbook. Confession, it was more than a “few” cookbooks, but best not discuss that part right now.  I made some modifications, increased the cinnamon, used pumpkin seeds instead of sunflower seeds. What I love about this recipe is how easy it is to swap out different nuts. This would work great with almonds and hazelnuts. Also, other fruits would work well, like dried cherries or dried pineapple.

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Peanut Butter Granola Bars

I love granola bars. I mean how can you go wrong with oats, nuts, fruit, coconut? What I don’t love about granola bars is the amount of sugar that is in them. So for months now, I have been playing around with different ways to make them at home. I actually lost count as to how many I have tried and they all somehow ended up in a pile of loose granola. Well, with a particular pan in mind and an amazing idea posted by Minimalist Baker, I think I finally have something worthy of sharing. My recipe is different than Minimalist Baker, it is loosely adapted from there, but their recipe utilizes a paste made out of dried dates to both sweeten and bind the ingredients together. Genius!

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Egg White Omelet

It is finally Christmas Eve and guests are set to arrive soon. This is such an exciting time of the year, but with all the Holiday parties, cookie swaps it is an eating fest.  I am always in this “in between” place, looking to have something light and healthy and also ready to start making the big Holiday dishes.  I decided to start the day with this easy, vegetable egg white omelet.

Egg White Omelet
I finished my grocery shopping for the big day so in an attempt to avoid the craziness at the grocery store, I pulled out a few things that I had both in my garden and in my fridge.
My items on hand are baby spinach (one of the two things growing in my winter garden), egg whites, portobello mushrooms and feta cheese.  I could write several pages about how much I love feta cheese, but I’ll hold back on that. It may seem too crazy.  It may be too early in this blog to reveal the deep love of feta cheese.  I especially love feta cheese mixed with eggs but I think it is even better with egg whites because a little goes a long way. Egg whites which can be very bland and they get transformed by the salty, bold flavor of feta.

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Morning Very Berry Smoothie

vegan smoothieI don’t know about you, but usually after a major Holiday, like Thanksgiving I am looking to prepare something quick, satisfying, filling and as healthy as possible.  This smoothie is actually one of my go to breakfasts post workouts and pre work. Often time I layer everything in my blender in the evening,and just push the button in the morning.  The easiest way for me to prepare this is to use frozen organic fruit, but any fresh fruit obviously works. If I do use fresh fruit, I typically add 1/2 cup of ice.

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Yogurt Berry Bowl

Berry Bowl

This is my go to morning breakfast. It is essentially a yogurt parfait, but it is made with freshly cut strawberries and bananas, homemade granola and creamy, thick greek yogurt.  My twist on this is a generous spoonful of natural peanut butter mixed in with the Greek yogurt.

Something magical happens when plain yogurt is mixed with a nut butter. I always use plain yogurt and while I love it, it is tangy and mixing in a nut butter allows for it to just taste indulgent.  Almond butter or sunflower butter also work great, but somehow  natural peanut butter, creamy or crunchy is always on hand in our household.

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