Category Archives: Recipes – Breakfast

Sausage and Spinach Frittata

New Year's Day BrunchHello, everyone! I hope that you are doing well. I have been busy moving so I have not had as much time as usual for cooking and writing. However, now we are settling into our new place and I am really enjoying our new kitchen! I think it will be a lot of fun to develop new foods over time.

A few months ago I prepared a brunch for SensitiveHusband and me. The brunch took place awhile ago, as you can probably tell from the winter-themed plates we used! However, the menu will work well during any season. In fact, this meal has become a ‘regular’ in our house because we always have these ingredients on hand and the meal can be made within 30 minutes. The main star is a Spinach and Sausage Frittata, which has the texture of a fluffy omelette.

New Year's Day Brunch 2I was inspired by a frittata recipe that I found online through MyRecipes. I decided to use fresh spinach rather than frozen, I reduced the amount of cheese and egg just a bit, and I found a wonderful sausage that is free of sugar, yeast, and onions while still full of flavor. Did I mention that the sausages are gluten free too? And they are fully cooked? Can you tell I like them?

I served the frittata with some pumpkin muffins, a simple salad, and a bunch of grapes. We really enjoyed this meal! I hope you do too.

Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 medium sweet sausages (about 10 oz.) (A great brand is Aidell’s – my favorite is Roasted Garlic & Gruyere Cheese)
1 (10 oz.) package fresh spinach, rinsed (frozen spinach can also be used)
8 eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup shredded cheese (I like Asiago, Parmesan would also work well)

Preparation
Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large nonstick, ovenproof skillet, warm olive oil over medium-high heat. (If skillet isn’t ovenproof, wrap handles in a double layer of foil.) Chop sausage into bite-sized pieces and add to skillet. Brown the sausages on all sides, about 7-10 minutes (or if using uncooked sausages, cook thoroughly).

Squeeze as much liquid as possible from spinach, then add to skillet. Cook, stirring well and scraping up any cooked bits on bottom of skillet.

Pour eggs into skillet and stir to mix with spinach/sausage mixture. Stop stirring and cook over medium heat, lifting edges of frittata with a spatula to let uncooked eggs flow underneath. Cook until almost set, about 3 minutes.

Sprinkle cheese on top and transfer skillet to oven. Bake, uncovered, until frittata is puffed and lightly browned on top, about 10-12 minutes. Lift frittata around edges of skillet and gently shake pan to loosen. Slide out of pan and onto a cutting board and cut into wedges. Serve hot or at room temperature. Makes 4-6 servings.

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Banana Strawberry Oat Bars (Gluten, Dairy & Sugar Free)

Strawberry Oat BarsGood day, everyone. I hope that the new year finds you well. During this time of year I enjoy baking (even more than usual) and the lingering aroma of baked goods throughout the house. These oat bars make a great breakfast or snack. Plus, they are free from gluten, dairy and sugar, so many of your friends will be able to eat them!

I was inspired by Sweet as a Cookie’s version of Vegan Banana Strawberry Oatmeal Bars. I used the suggested ingredients except I substituted coconut palm sugar for the Stevia, used parchment paper instead of nonstick spray, and I doubled the recipe so that it would fit in my 9×13 pan.

You may find that these bars become one of your favorite comfort foods. Speaking of comfort foods, have you voted for your favorite comfort food? It just takes two clicks to cast your vote on sensitiveeconomist.com. Thanks!

Ingredients
2 bananas, mashed
2/3 cup natural applesauce (unsweetened)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups quick oats
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 cup strawberries, diced
3 tbsp. coconut palm sugar, optional

Preparation
Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare an 9×13 pan by greasing with butter or covering with parchment paper; set aside. In a medium sized bowl combine bananas, applesauce, and vanilla extract. Once combined mix in baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Stir in oats until everything is well mixed. Add the strawberries to the mixture and combine. Pour mixture into the prepared pan and flatten evenly with a spatula. Sprinkle optional coconut palm sugar over unbaked bars. Bake for approximately 35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for approximately 10 minutes. Cut into 10 evenly sized bars and enjoy!

Spiced (and Sugar Free) Banana Nut Muffins

SpicedBananaNutGood day, everyone! I hope you are having a nice week. I have been busy at work, including enjoying a fun project – estimating the economic impact due to the arrival of the royal baby. Analysts expect that this economic impact in the U.K. will be higher than those measured due to the royal wedding or the Queen’s diamond jubilee events because there are no public holidays scheduled, which closed financial markets and establishments, and reduced retail spending. It is estimated that the U.K. should see about a $400 million bump to the economy this summer. The largest boosts will be in industries related to food and drink as well as memorabilia. I know I did my part to stimulate the U.S. economy by buying refreshments for a Royal Baby (Sugar Free) Cupcake Party at my office this week!

In case you are inclined to host your own Royal Baby Tea in the near future – Newman’s Own sells a delicious Royal Tea in a variety of flavors. Scones are delicious and a good idea to include at a Tea – I have recipes online for Millet Raisin, Pear and Oat, and Banana Berry. Muffins can also be a nice addition to a party, and below is a recipe for Spiced Banana Walnut Muffins that I adapted from a July 2009 issue of Oprah Magazine. I substituted the sugar with maple syrup, added brown rice flour in order to reduce the gluten content, and removed the butter by adding canola oil. The result is a light and moist muffin with a unique combination of flavors. For additional spice, add another 1/2 teaspoon of cardamom.

Ingredients
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup canola oil
3 very ripe mashed bananas
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp. orange zest
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Preparation
Preheat oven to 350°. Line muffin tins with paper liners or grease well; set aside.

Put flours, baking soda, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt into a large bowl; set aside. Put maple syrup and oil into a second large bowl and mix until well combined. Add bananas, applesauce, zest, vanilla, and eggs to the syrup-oil mixture, and mix again until combined. Add flour mixture to banana mixture in three parts, stirring well after each addition; fold in walnuts.

Spoon batter into prepared tins; bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

(Gluten and Refined Sugar Free) Cinnamon Raisin Muffins

cinnamon raisin muffinsGood day everyone! Since I had some extra garbanzo bean flour in my cupboard, I decided to figure out how to use it. I found a delightful recipe for chocolate chip muffins that used that type of flour, and I decided to change it a bit so that I would make cinnamon raisin muffins. The result was a beautiful, golden-brown muffin that tastes great…and is free of gluten and refined sugar too!

Ingredients
1 cup garbanzo bean flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp cinnamon
½ cup coconut palm sugar
⅓ cup milk (almond milk for a dairy free option)
2 eggs
2 tbsp grapeseed (or canola) oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
⅔ cup raisins
3 tbsp gluten-free granola, optional

Preparation
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a 12 cup muffin pan with muffin liners. Set aside.

Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. Whisk wet ingredients together in a large bowl. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until incorporated. Fold in raisins.

Divide muffin batter into prepared muffin cups and sprinkle the tops of the muffins with granola, if desired. Bake in preheated oven for 20-22 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

PS: For my friends who receive my blog posts via email, I apologize for the previous email. My keyboard commands recently changed and I posted a blog rather than making a word have a bold font. Whoops!

I am sharing my recipe at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, Cybele Pascal Allergy-Friendly Cook, and Food Trip Friday.

Minding the Vitamix – Part 3: Strawberry Almond Muffins

strawberry almond muffinsThe alternate title for this blog post is: Whose blender is this again?

While MIL and FIL enjoyed their vacation, I wanted to make the most of the time I had with their new Vitamix blender. Now that I had sampled turnip soup and hummus, I decided that it would be fun to try making something that required blended fruit. I found a recipe for Strawberry Yogurt Muffins that sounded quite delicious. I made a few changes, altering the flours used and switching the white sugar with maple syrup and the brown sugar with coconut sugar. Canola oil replaced the butter. If you do not want to make a strawberry puree in the blender, just chop up the strawberries very finely.

Sometime while I was developing this recipe, a change in my thinking occurred. I mentioned to SensitiveHusband that I would puree the strawberries in “my Vitamix.” Whoops – I actually referred to the Vitamix blender as mine! It’s easy to get attached to such a useful machine. Who would have thought such a thing could happen?

Ingredients:
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup oat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup maple syrup
½ cup fat-free plain yogurt
¼ cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup strawberry puree (by blending about 1¼ cups fresh strawberries)
½ cup coarsely chopped fresh strawberries
1-2 tablespoons coconut sugar
¼ cup toasted almonds, finely chopped

Preparation:
In a small bowl combine flours, baking soda and nutmeg. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, maple syrup, yogurt, oil and vanilla. Stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in strawberry puree.

Fill muffin cups lined with paper liners two-thirds full. Top with coconut sugar, chopped strawberries and almonds.

Bake at 375° for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan.

I am sharing my recipe with Simply Sugar and Gluten Free.

Pumpkin Muffins

snowHi everyone! I hope that you are having a good weekend. Mine has been snowy. SensitiveHusband and I got out the tape measure yesterday and noted that there was three feet of frozen precipitation on the ground…and on the sidewalks…and in the roads…and on our cars. This picture shows our two cars under mounds of snow. Yes, they really are under there!

So SensitiveHusband and I made a deal – he would shovel and I would bake. I know I got the better end of the deal, for sure! I decided to try my hand at a muffin. I don’t make them very often, and I thought that would be a nice snack whenever SensitiveHusband felt like taking a break from his snowy project. I found a nice recipe from Dr. Oz for Pumpkin Muffins that already called for a natural sweetener (I used maple syrup) and did not use any butter or dairy. The recipe was made moist by the pumpkin and applesauce. I reduced the amount of maple syrup used and substituted some of the whole wheat flour with oat flour (for lighter texture and lower gluten).

pumpkin muffinsAs soon as the muffins came out of the oven, SensitiveHusband was back in the house to warm up with a cup of tea and fresh muffin. We both agreed that they were delicious and that the other neighbors shoveling would probably enjoy them too. After my snack I suited up in a parka and boots, with a plate of warm muffins in hand so my neighbors could have a pick-me-up while moving all of that snow. These muffins use only two bowls to prepare, and are neighborhood approved.

The recipe below will yield approximately 15 muffins. If you want to use the whole can of pumpkin, double the recipe and give the extras to your neighbors.

Ingredients
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup oat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1/2 (15-oz) can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

Directions
Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Whisk together the flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk the maple syrup, oil, eggs, pumpkin puree, and applesauce. Add in the dry ingredients and fold with a spatula until the dry ingredients have been absorbed. Place in muffin tins and bake 20 to 25 minutes.

Herb and Vegetable Omelette

Good day, everyone! I hope that this blog post finds you doing well. This past week has brought both tragedy and triumph, especially for those living on the East Coast of the U.S. Hurricane Sandy brought much destruction and devastation particularly to those in the New York City metro area. I continue to send my good thoughts and wishes to those still adversely affected by this storm. Our one downed tree, which fortunately missed our house, is a small price to pay compared to those who have lost their homes.

As for the triumphs, there have been a number of things to celebrate over the past weeks. Thanks to my colleague/friend, I was able to join her in seeing the Dalai Lama! What an amazing experience to be in the presence of a spiritual leader. And yesterday SensitiveHusband and I attended the wedding of close family friends – needless to say there was much celebrating, visiting, well wishes, and fun dancing.

Another interesting thing that happened this week was my purchase of a vintage Armani blazer at a “posh tag sale” – my first piece of clothing of this caliber will happily be incorporated into my professional wardrobe.

Speaking of interesting…this week I made the frozen chocolate bananas for a work function. There were a few left over, so my colleague/friend Kristi (of Dalai Lama ticket fame) brought them home and let her Vitamix do its magical mixing. The result was a yummy milkshake-like treat that was free of dairy, gluten and cane sugar.

I also tried my hand at a small omelette since I had some leftover vegetables and herbs that I didn’t want to waste. An omelette is a great snack or meal for any time of the day or night, and it is as versatile as you are creative. Here is my take on a personal-sized Veggie Omelette:

Ingredients:
3 eggs
1 pat of butter
8 thin zucchini slices (raw or roasted leftovers)
1/2 teaspoon chopped parsley
6 basil leaves (shred 4 leaves, leave 2 leaves intact)
1 teaspoon Pecorino Romano cheese (or other grated cheese)
1 tablespoon Asiago cheese (or other shredded cheese)

Preparation:
Heat a nonstick skillet to medium high heat. Melt a small pat of butter in the pan. Once the skillet is heated, pour in the three beaten eggs. Allow eggs to lightly set in the pan, about 30 seconds, and then add the zucchini, parsley, four shredded leaves of basil, and Pecorino Romano cheese. When eggs start to bubble and the sides are loosened from the pan (about two minutes), flip the eggs over (you may want to fold over half and then unfold). Allow to cook until golden brown, about another two minutes. Slide cooked creation onto a plate, and garnish with Asiago cheese and two basil leaves.

I am sharing this recipe with Simply Sugar and Gluten Free.

Use Seasonal Fruits for Banana Berry Scones

This past weekend, I found myself looking at three bananas on the counter that were very ripe. I considered making a banana bread although I wanted to make something that also used some summery fruits. I cruised the Internet and found a great recipe from Fit Foodista for Low Fat, Whole Wheat Banana Cinnamon Scones. I already had the ingredients, including some fresh blueberries, and the preparation seemed easy so I decided to give this a try. Instead of using turbinado (cane) sugar, I used coconut palm sugar, and the result was just right and free from refined sugars. If you don’t have the palm sugar, you can use 1/4 cup of maple syrup instead and sprinkle the top with maple sugar if desired.

Yum! These scones are chewy and really moist, and the pieces of banana and blueberry add some nice sweetness. You could use any berries that are in season, or try chopped apples or pears and nuts in the fall. What a nice treat to enjoy with a cup of tea any time of the day or evening.

Ingredients:
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup coconut palm sugar, plus more for sprinkling on top
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1 cup chopped, very ripe banana
1/2 cup plain fat free yogurt
1/2 cup low fat milk

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 425°.

Combine flours, baking powder, sugar, salt and cinnamon in a bowl and whisk together.

Slice butter and drop into dry ingredients. Use a knife or pastry cutter to cut the butter into tiny pieces and mix it into the flour.

Add bananas and gently stir.

Mix in milk and yogurt.

Form dough into a circle that is about an inch deep all around. Cut the circle into 8 slices.

Separate slices and place on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper or foil.

Sprinkle the tops of the scones with a bit of sugar.

Bake for 18 minutes or until light brown.

I am sharing this recipe with Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, Miz Helen’s Country Cottage and Food Trip Friday.

Blueberry Lemon Bundt Cake

As I write my latest post, SensitiveHusband and I are roasting kohlrabi to have alongside tonight’s entree. “Kohlrabi?” you might ask…which is just what I thought last week when I found it in our farm share box. This variety looks like a purple turnip. I’ll write more once we taste it…

Now I’ll talk about the lovely cake featured in the photo. It’s a blueberry-lemon bundt cake! I was inspired by a Martha Stewart recipe, and knew that FIL* would like the lemony, pound cake-like creation. Since we were going to MIL^ and FIL’s house for dinner, I decided to treat them with this dessert.

I substituted the sugar with agave nectar – I thought the neutral taste of the agave would work well with the light lemon and blueberry flavors. The original recipe called for two sticks of butter, so I lightened up the recipe by using one stick of butter and 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce. And instead of 1 cup of sour cream (not my favorite), I used what was in my fridge – 1 cup of plain yogurt (much better). The dusting of confectioners’ sugar as a finishing touch can be simulated with coconut palm sugar in order to have no refined sugars in this recipe.

The cake was a hit – everyone around the table enjoyed the dessert, including FIL and my littlest nephew! They shared two pieces, although I think my nephew may have eaten all the blueberry-filled pieces that my FIL had! This is a great dessert that could also be eaten for breakfast since it’s not too sweet, and it would go nicely at a summer picnic. Enjoy!

Ingredients
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1 teaspoon for blueberries and zest
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 1/3 cup agave nectar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup plain yogurt
2 cups blueberries
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
Coconut palm sugar, for dusting (optional)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, whisk 2 1/2 cups flour with baking powder and salt; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and agave nectar on high speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated. Beat in vanilla extract. Add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with two additions of yogurt. Mix until fully incorporated.

In a bowl, toss blueberries and zest with remaining teaspoon flour; gently fold into batter. Coat a 12-cup nonstick Bundt pan (or two loaf pans) with cooking spray or a light coat of butter. Spread batter in prepared pan(s).

Bake cake on bottom rack of oven until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 60 to 70 minutes. Cool in pan 20 minutes. Invert onto a rack; cool completely, top side up. Dust with coconut palm sugar before serving, if desired (sure!).

Key
*FIL = father-in-law
^MIL = mother-in-law

I am sharing this recipe with Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, Miz Helen’s Country Cottage, Something Swanky and Food Trip Friday.

Recipe Appreciation & MaryAnn’s Gluten- and Sugar-Free Muffins

Later this week I will celebrate one year with this blog! I have learned so much about food during the past twelve months including many new, delicious recipes from a number of family members, friends, colleagues and blog writers. So many of you have taken the time to adapt your favorite foods to be free of yeast and refined sugar, and have shared your results with me. I appreciate your help tremendously! A sample of the wonderful contributors to this blog so far include:

–MIL and FIL have shared Garlic Shrimp with Pasta, Apple Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Peach Ice Cream and Apple and Raisin Stuffing
–A tasty Spinach Gratin from Rachel
–Refreshing Salad Dressing from Natalie
–Healthy Baked Squash, Popovers and Mashed Cauliflower Potatoes from Bree
Homemade Yogurt from Leslie and Rick that’s a great idea
–Bill’s creative Triple Nut Mix
–Wonderful Oatmeal Pancakes from Beth
–SensitiveHusband made delicious Peanut Butter Cups and Agave Chocolate Milk
–MaryAnn created some excellent Oat Bran Muffins

Thank you for all of your efforts and ideas…I appreciate you tapping into your “sensitive” side to create delicious yeast-free, refined sugar-free food!

Let’s celebrate a year of collaborating with a recipe: MaryAnn has created another great muffin and this time it is gluten- and sugar-free. You can get creative with the fruit additions to this tasty treat.

Ingredients:
–1 1/4 cup Pamela’s Muffin Mix (this is a gluten-free flour blend)
–1/4 cup water
–1/3 cup honey
–1 large egg
–1 teaspoon vanilla
–1/2 cup fruit (such as bananas or blueberries) OR 1/2 cup dried fruit (such as raisins) with 1/4 additional cup of water

Preparation:

–Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
–Grease muffin pan.
–Mix all of the ingredients together.
–Pour batter into muffin pan and bake for 18-20 minutes.
–Yields 6 muffins.

I am sharing this recipe with Simply Sugar and Gluten Free and Food Trip Friday.