Archive for ‘Breakfast’


Mayo-Free Crab Cakes

I love crab cakes. But I hate feeling guilty about eating them so I only order them occasionally when I’m out. Traditionally mayo, butter and white bread fill these little patties dulling their nutrition profile along with their flavor.

Not only is this adaptation of traditional crab cakes nearly mayonnaise free, but the crab cakes are also baked rather than the traditional preparation of pan frying that only adds to the fat count.

The result? Crispy, light crab cakes with loads of crab and red pepper flavor that go perfectly with poached eggs and asparagus for a quick “benedict-style” breakfast.

You could also serve these on a whole grain bun with mustard for a lunch or in mini form as an appetizer. For a different twist, try using the crab cake mixture to stuff cremini mushroom caps and bake, then serve as party appetizers. Anyway you prepare these, you can feel good about serving them to family members and guests knowing that indulging doesn’t have to mean unhealthy food!

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DIY Yogurt in 10 Simple Steps

I have been excited about making my yogurt since going to a fermentation demonstration for date night a few months back. Before some of you roll your eyes while imagining me dragging my boyfriend to a “boring” class on how to something else kind of “crunchy”, I should say that the activity was HIS idea (and a great one at that) and we both found the class to be not only informative, but also really interesting… and the resulting foods rather tasty which was a nice bonus!

The class was led at Denver Botanic Gardens by the owners of Five Points Fermentation. The couple is really knowledgeable about the fermentation process and they both had a way of explaining it that made it seem very accessible to any home cook.  I got so excited that I made my first batch of fermented food, sauerkraut, the very next evening.  But, it has taken me a few months to start making my own yogurt and I must say, I’m sorry I waited so long!

Yogurt making is a simple, straightforward process that only involves two ingredients, a few tools, and a little patience.

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Healthy, Hearty Banana Pancakes

Jack Johnson says in his song, “We can sleep in, I’ll make you banana pancakes, and pretend it’s the weekend now.” This sentiment sums up the indulgent, over-the-top feeling I get when I sit down to a plate of pancakes.  It just feels sinful!  But, with this recipe, you can “indulge” while knowing that you are still feeding your body in a nourishing, won’t weigh you down all day, way. These pancakes are a great breakfast to eat before a day hike or training run.

Or, just because…

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Pumpkin Yeast Bread

Once the nights begin to cool off and the leaves start to yellow and fall, it’s amazing how quickly I begin to crave hearty fall foods and flavors like chili….roasted veggies….

….and squash!  All forms of squash really with very few exceptions.  I feel indulgent when I cube butternut squash, saute it  and add it to salads in place of croutons.  I love the creaminess that turban squash adds to stews and chili.  And the presentation of an acorn squash stuffed with quinoa and veggies and then baked in its own shell always puts a smile on my face– it’s so easy and yet so elegant!

But, the one squash that first comes to mind each fall is pumpkin!  Of course it’s great for carving, or for adding to your fall decorations, but in my opinion, it’s still shines the most when added to food.

I know what you’re thinking, “Woo hoo, it’s pumpkin pie time!”  But, in all honesty, that’s my least favorite pumpkin dish.  Instead, I usually opt for adding it to savory dishes. It was this hunt for savory pumpkin recipe options that led me to this delicious yeast pumpkin bread.  This recipe isn’t your typical sugar-laden, dense, dessert-style pumpkin bread.

It’s a yeast bread that makes great dinner rolls or sandwich bread (I can imagine it would be wonderful with turkey and cranberry sauce the day after Thanksgiving for all you meat-eaters). The pumpkin flavor is prominent, but not overwhelming and although the bread is hearty, it has a slight sweetness with a hint of cinnamon and ginger that balance all the flavors nicely.  It’s also relatively easy to throw together quickly– especially if you have a Kitchen Aid stand mixer on hand.

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Banana “Gelato”

I was recently reminded of this healthy and delicious dessert by my brother–thanks, Jordan!  It is amazing in its simplicity and how closely it resembles gelato in texture.  Yet, it is as healthy as eating whole bananas and therefore doesn’t have to be reserved for special occasions. It does taste like bananas (not a bad thing in my book), but if you prefer to disguise the flavor a bit, add your favorite extract or fruit to the bananas.

Bananas are a go-to food for me.  Not only do they taste great and go well with peanut butter, but they also offer a serious punch of energy and potassium which helps me recover from workouts faster and get back out there!

This “gelato” is delicious plain, but playing around with different add-ins keeps the dessert fresh and offers a little more room for those times when you truly want to indulge.  Banana gelato is on my list as a top pick when I get a dessert craving!

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Overnight, Chai Spiced Steel-Cut Oats

Flipping through a copy of Vegetarian Times, this recipe caught my eye because I am a huge fan of breakfast and I love the flavors of chai. I filed it away for a day when I knew I wouldn’t have time to cook breakfast, but would need some serious energy.

This uncooked version of steel-cut oats not only turned out to be exactly what I needed, but also only took a couple of minutes the day before to assemble.  I now make this every few weeks when I know I’m going to have an early morning.

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Poached Eggs Over Charred Asparagus

One of the things I most look forward to every spring is that with the warmer weather comes asparagus season. Sadly, I don’t yet have the space to grow it myself.  So, until I do, I have to look to my local grocer to find out when the harvest is in full swing.  Luckily for us asparagus fans, when it does finally arrive, it does so by the truckload!  And I make sure to take full advantage.

I could eat asparagus for almost every meal during the too-short season so I am constantly hunting for and creating new ways to use the tender stalks in my meals.  But, even with the many new ways I have learned to fit this vegetable into my diet, quickly charring asparagus and serving it topped with poached eggs is still one of my favorite dishes where asparagus takes center-stage.

I’ve served this meal to guests and everyone seems to love it.  It’s also quick and easy to prepare leaving me more time to visit.

I have even woken up in the morning already craving this dish!  I hope you relish in the simple “indulgence” of this recipe as much as I do.

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And so it begins… with almost-no-work Apple Butter

I’ve been pouring over my folder of recipes for a week now looking for the “perfect” one to start off my blog.  I was sure that I wanted my first recipe to be something special that really shows who I am as a cook.

And then I realized something… maybe it doesn’t matter what the recipe is as much as it matters that I just start (my father’s advice on life might be sinking in).

Perhaps the first recipe holds less weight than I originally thought… That doesn’t mean, however, that it is any less delicious than the other recipes I plan to share in future posts.

Much to the contrary, this recipe is amazing, much more than the sum of its parts and, best of all, it’s extremely easy!!!

I first made this apple butter when I was transitioning to a diet that didn’t include a lot of added and refined sugar.  I wanted something to go on peanut butter toast or on my yogurt in the morning. I scoured the internet for a good recipe, but was discouraged by all the sugar added to a fruit that is already so sweet!  So, I ditched what I had found and made my own.  I think that this recipe puts store-bought, sugar added apple butter to shame!  Give it a shot and I think you’ll agree.

Not only does this apple butter recipe fulfill the above requirements, it has become my go-to sweet sauce that I use for everything from an oatmeal topping in the morning to a substitute for oil in baked goods to a decadent sauce on top of cake, ice cream and once, even cheesecake (the last three items are all occasional, decadent treats themselves–no need to add more sugar).  I keep it on hand at all times! It helps that it’s easy to prepare in big batches and it keeps in the fridge for about a month.

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