351. Veggietastic Breakfast Bowls

Yesterday I mentioned one of the things that is really working for me is eating a massive amount of vegetables.  One of the ways I do this is to load up my breakfast with 3 – 4 servings of veggies through these “Veggie Breakfast Bowls.”  This isn’t really a recipe so much as a method because you can use pretty much anything you want to create these bowls.  I like to switch it up week to week based on what veggies I have on hand and so I don’t bored.

Aside from being loaded with veggies, one of the nice things about these veggie bowls is that you really can make everything in advance, throw the bowl together and pop it in the microwave for a couple minutes if you don’t have a lot of time to make breakfast in the morning.

So here’s how I roll in the mornings:

  • First, grab a large-ish bowl and add about ½ c of your grain of your choice.  This week I went with quinoa that I made ahead on Sunday, but in the past I’ve used grits, couscous, and even oatmeal.  Since the grain was the only pre-made element of this morning’s breakfast, I just heated it in the microwave for 90 seconds.  If the rest of your ingredients are pre-cooked microwave it all at the end.

  • Next up, top the grains with 2 – 3 cups of veggies.  This week I’ve been using about 1 c of slice baby bellas and 2 cups of spinach which I sauté together in a splash of olive oil.  I’ve also used Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and leftover roasted veggies.

  • Now top your veggies with an egg.  I like to use over-easy or poached eggs so I get a nice runny yolk to mix in, but if runny egg yolks aren’t your thing you could definitely use scrambled or even hard boiled.

  • Top it all with some cheese (or don’t).  I bought a giant bag of Cabot 50% Reduced fat Sharp Cheddar Snackers at Costco a couple weeks ago so I crumble one of those on top.  Feel free to add some salt, pepper, garlic powder, or other seasonings as well.  Sometimes I do; sometimes I don’t.

  • Finally, mix it all together and enjoy!

Depending on the grain I’m using, the whole bowl clocks in at 6 – 7 points plus and usually keeps me full for several hours.  (I eat breakfast about 6:30am and generally don’t start getting hungry again until at least 10:30!)


320. Make It Monday: From Around the Web

I’ve been a busy lady lately which means I haven’t been cooking a great deal.  (Remember when I ate out 6 out of 7 days in a week?!) And when I have been cooking, it’s been straight from recipes with minimal adaptations.  However, the stuff I have been making has been really tasty so I wanted to let you all in on the secret.

BBQ Beer Chicken from How Sweet It Is
Crockpot BBQ Beer Chicken from How Sweet It Is served on pretzel rolls.  This makes a ton of chicken.  I actually packaged up about half this recipe and brought it to my friends Jennie and John who just had a new baby.  I also have some in the freezer to eat at a later time. (Photo Source: How Sweet It Is)

Creamy Tomato Soup from Eat Live Run which was, of course, paired with a warm and gooey grill ham and cheese.  This has become my go-to tomato soup recipe.  It’s so quick and easy to make.

Portobello Cheesesteaks from Back to Her Roots
Portobello Cheesesteaks from Back to Her Roots also served on pretzel rolls.  I’ve never had a true Philly Cheesesteak, but I would venture to guess these are an amazing veggie substitute. (Photo Source: Back to Her Roots)

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes from whisktogether over at Tasty Kitchen.

This Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese recipe from Cooking Light with these substitutions from The Candid RD.  I did actually make one substitution of my own on this one, but I wouldn’t recommend it.  I had several bags of mozzarella on hand so I used that instead of the gruyere.  I love mozzarella, but it just doesn’t have a strong enough flavor for this recipe.  It was good, but there was much more squashiness than cheesiness.

I suggest you go and make all of these things as soon as possible.  In fact, I just made your meal plan for the week.  You’re welcome.

250. Brinner: Breakfast Fried Rice

I meant to this post this, like, last Wednesday, but like I said, last week totally got away from me. 

Remember a few weeks ago when I made that super awesome breakfast risotto?  Remember when I change my meal planning strategy to included Brinner Thursdays?  Well, the combination of those two things is where this recipe started.  I needed a Brinner Thursday recipe, and after the breakfast risotto turned out so freaking awesome I started thinking about other non-breakfast foods I could adapt into a breakfast food.  I’ve already made breakfast pizza, breakfast casserole, and breakfast risotto for dinner.  Then it hit me, breakfast friend rice!  How could I go wrong?

(Okay, I thought of a lot of different ways I could go wrong.  I even informed the boy that while having a girlfriend who likes to cook keeps him being very well fed, it also means he is subjected to my “experimental” dishes that could go horrible awry.  He has accepted his fate.)

Let’s cut right to the chase shall we?

Breakfast Fried Rice

5 small Yukon Gold Potatoes, chopped bite-size
10 slices Bacon
6 oz Carrots, chopped
6 oz Broccoli, chopped
5 eggs
2 c cooked brown rice
1/4 c Kikoman Low Sodium Soy Sauce

Do It
1. Fry bacon in wok.

2. Once the bacon is done remove from the wok and set aside to cool.  Pour out the majority of the grease leaving a little bit for stir-frying the veggies and rice.  Once the bacon has cooled you will want to coarsely chop it.

3.  Add the potatoes to the wok and stir fry about 5 minutes.  Add the carrots and broccoli stir-frying another 5 minutes or so.  Remove the veggies and set aside  (I like my veggies still a little crisp.  If you like them softer stir-fry a little longer.)

4. Crack eggs into the wok and scramble.

5. Add chopped bacon, veggies, and rice to the eggs and mix thoroughly.

6. Pour soy sauce onto mixture and stir until it evenly coats the rice, veggies, eggs and bacon.

So I realize that, for the most part, this recipe isn’t really that different from regular fried rice, but bacon eggs and potatoes make it breakfast in my mind and that’s all that really matters now isn’t it? But if you want to get on board with the breakfast fried rice I say, “Do it!”  I would definitely recommend using low sodium soy sauce.  The bacon adds quite a bit of saltiness so even with the low sodium this dish was a little on the salty side.  I could only imagine what it would taste like with the full sodium soy sauce.

The great thing about fried rice is it’s so quick, easy and versatile.  It’s a great way to get in a variety of veggies.  Even though I only used carrots and broccoli here you could add any variety of veggies you like.  Think about it like you would think about adding veggies to an omelet.   I loved this.  I don’t know that I loved it any more or less than “regular” fried rice, but it will be made again.

237. Apple-Pear Breakfast Risotto

So, today I was going to post about the new approach I’ve been taking to meal planning recently, but then I made this breakfast risotto last night and all bets were off.  I knew I had to share this recipe immediately so you can all make this tomorrow morning for weekend breakfast or maybe for a Super Bowl Brunch…

Originally I intended to make this in the slow cooker, but I totally dropped the ball on preparing it Wednesday night so it would be ready to cook on Thursday.  I loved the idea so I went ahead and prepared it like “normal” risotto.

Apple-Pear Breakfast Risotto
Inspired by CrockPot 365

7 c no sugar added/ unsweetened apple juice.
¼ c butter
1 ½ c Arborio Rice
1/8 t nutmeg
1/8 t ground cloves
1/8 t ground ginger
½ T cinnamon
1/3 c brown sugar
2 medium apples
1 pear

Do It!

  1. Pour apple juice into saucepan and heat over medium-low heat.
  2. Melt butter in stock pot.
  3. While butter is melting, chop up one apply. Add rice and chopped apple to stock pot.  Stir to coat rice and apples with butter.
  4. Add ½ c of apple juice.  Stir and add nutmeg, ginger, and cloves.
  5. Continue to add juice in ½ c increments.  After each addition, stir until the liquid is absorbed into the rice before adding more juice.  You do not need to stir continuously but do stir frequently.
  6. Between additions of juice, chopped the second apple and the pear.
  7. After the last portion of juice is added stir in the second apple, pear and brown sugar.  Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, to soften apples and pears and blend in brown sugar.

This dish was ah-may-zing.  I loved it!  I served it as a side dish with French toast and sausage links.  The risotto itself is a bit sweet so I thought it would be a bit much as a main dish.  However, that wasn’t going to stop me from bringing leftovers as my lunch.

In an effort to add a little bit of fat and protein to my leftovers, I brought along a slice of smoked gouda cheese.  I had no idea if this would be any good, but I’m generally a fan of the apple-cheese combination so I figure it was worth a try.  Holy ohmigod deliciousness Batman!  I didn’t think this risotto could get any better, but I was wrong.  Dead wrong.  The smokiness of the cheese provided the perfect savory balance to the fruity sweetness.  I hadn’t really been looking for a way to make this a main dish, but I found it.  I don’t know how much cheese you should add to the whole thing since I just added a slice to one serving, but I would say add a little bit at a time until you get a good balance.

I also think chopping up some sausage links and mixing those in would be a great way to turn this into a sweet and savory main dish.  I don’t care how you serve it, but you should definitely get on this ASAP!

PS.  I finally updated my Training Page!  My plan for the WI Half Marathon on May 7th is now posted!  I’ll be updating my weekely progress there.

235. Chocolate Banana Pancakes

Saturday morning I ran 2.25 miles.  This is the furthest I’ve run since The Hot Chocolate 5K back in November.  I figured I’d get a jump start on my official dedication to fitness in the month of February.  I decided to reward myself with some pancakes.  I make pancakes pretty frequently though; so in order for them to truly be a reward, these pancakes needed to be something special.  I figured I’d start with my basic whole wheat pancake recipe and play around with it.  I opened my baking cabinet and was reminded of the surplus of cocoa powder I purchased prior to my holiday baking spree.  

Well, hello Chocolate Banana Pancakes…

(Side note: My pancakes are always burned looking and unattractive.  If I ever manage to make a nearly perfect pancake I will photograph it and use that same photo over and over again anytime I talk about pancakes.  Until then, I have no photo.  Sorry, I’m not sorry.)


1 ¼ c. Whole Wheat Flour
1 t Baking Soda
2 T Sugar (or sweetener of choice)
1 ½ T Cocoa Powder
1 c Milk
2 Large Eggs
1 T Vanilla Extract
2 medium bananas, smashed

Do It!

  1. In medium mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients.
  2. In a separate bowl combine milk, eggs, and vanilla.
  3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients.  Add smashed banana and mix until combined.
  4. Pour ¼ c of batter onto skillet and cook over medium heat.  Flip when bubble start to form on the top.

Makes about 12.

I was going to make a peanut butter glaze for my pancakes, but I was starving and exhausted so I just spread peanut butter directly onto the pancakes.  They were ah-may-zing!  The chocolate flavor was subtle and delicious, and the peanut butter made them even better! 

You should definitely make these for breakfast tomorrow or even better, brinner tonight!

228. Brinner: Breakfast Pizza

Last night the plan was to make this loaded potato soup from Cooking Light, but after having black bean soup for lunch yesterday and the day before, and the dinner before that…I just wasn’t in the mood more soup.  Plus, I’ve been on a serious brinner kick lately.


 Breakfast for Dinner Pizza

1 tube of crescent roll dough (or any crust of your choosing)
1 small onion, chopped
16 oz breakfast sausage
3 small Yukon gold potatoes
1 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese
4 eggs
¼ c milk

Do It

  1. Preheat the oven to 400
  2. Roll your crescent roll dough out in a  jelly roll pan sprayed with cooking spray.
  3. Brown the breakfast sausage – like you would brown ground beef.
  4. Dice the potatoes into bite sized pieces.  Sautee them with a little bit of olive oil to soften.  (Once the sausage was cooked, I added the potatoes to that pan for a little extra flavor.)
  5. Top dough with onions, sausage, potatoes and cheese.
  6. Beat eggs with milk and pour on top of toppings.
  7. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes.

You could certainly top this with all sorts of other veggies, tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, Brussels sprouts…anything your little heart desires.