Breakfast

Sauteed Kale and Spinach with Bacon & Balsamic

It’s the veggie side/breakfast entree you never knew you were missing. But you absolutely have been.

Because you can start out your day with far worse breakfasts – my personal favorite, after all, is kolache and a diet coke – but to squeeze in two servings of leafy green veggies, some protein, and a slice of bacon? That’s tough to beat on the pretty-nutritionally-amazing-and-still-delicious scale.

Sauteed Kale and Spinach with Bacon & Balsamic

I owe the creation of this sauteed kale and spinach dish to my friend Kelly. She introduced me to a steam-in-bag kale that includes 2 large medallions of “balsamic bacon butter.” (You can probably find the same stuff in the refrigerated section of your produce department.) It’s pretty good stuff.

But since I’m currently EightSevenPercenting a Whole30, I wanted to make a cleaner at-home version without the butter and with more pronounced balsamic and bacon components.

The dish contains a lot of strong flavors: kale and spinach (although milder in “baby” form), balsamic vinegar, garlic, and bacon. Together they, of course, are wonderful – and that’s what makes them so ideal for breakfast. Because the richness of two runny egg yolks can really tame a bowl of cooked greens.

Sauteed Kale and Spinach with Bacon & Balsamic


[Shoe box-sized container of baby kale and baby spinach, Enter Stage Right]

You start with a mountain of leafy greens – the kind you of mountain that have to cook in your big pasta pot because soooo many leaves. 10 minutes later, you end up with barely 3 cups of sauteed greens.

That’s 1 serving of vegetables per 1/2 cup of cooked greens. I typically eat a double serving because 1) that’s 2 servings of veggies out of the 7-10 I am aiming to eat per day and 2) this stuff is really good.

Sauteed Kale and Spinach with Bacon & Balsamic

Sauteed baby kale and spinach with balsamic vinegar and crispy bacon.

Ingredients

  • 3 slices of bacon
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil (optional, see recipe below)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 16 oz clamshell of baby kale and baby spinach
  • Salt
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

Instructions

  1. In a large "pasta pot," crisp 3 slices of bacon on medium-high heat.
  2. Remove the bacon from the pan but leave 1 Tbsp of bacon grease behind. (Alternately: crisp the bacon, discard all of the bacon grease, and heat 1 Tbsp olive oil.)
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and add the garlic, stirring to coat.
  4. Add the entire container of greens and cover.
  5. Let the greens wilt for 1-2 minutes, add a pinch of salt, and stir.
  6. Continue to cook covered, stirring every 1-2 minutes until the greens have cooked down and have lost their "fresh leaf" look.
  7. Add the balsamic vinegar and stir, cooking uncovered until nearly all of the standing liquid is gone.
  8. If serving immediately, crumble bacon over top. If you are planning to have leftovers, split the crumbled bacon accordingly and store the rest separately from the greens so it doesn't get soggy.

Notes

Yields: 5 (1/2-cup) servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 15 minutes

FacebookTwitterTumblrShare

{ 0 comments }

Spicy Sweet Potatoes and Green Beans with Eggs

It has 15g of protein, enough carbs to kick start your day, and plants. Don’t forget the plants. Because like me, I’m sure you’ve resolved to eat more plant-things this year. So let’s go ahead and scratch the first serving of the day off of your list.

Eggs over Asparagus with Bacon

Also, the sweet potatoes help keep the murderous rage away – you know the rage. The kind that comes with the cold-turkey 180 from crap holiday eating. I know you know what I’m talking about. Jason sure does. (giggle.)

The Craft

It’s a simple formula that has yet to fail me: 2 eggs cooked your way, over something green* and sweet potatoes**.

*I buy 6+ bags of frozen veggies a week: green beans, broccoli, and peas. When asparagus is in season (read: a pound is cheaper than a gallon of gas), it’s my favorite to use at breakfast but it does require more effort than just cutting open a bag and giving the plants a 4-minute spin in the microwave.

**You can make the diced sweet potatoes in bulk on the weekends to reheat or spend ~10 minutes cooking some that morning. I also bake 6-8 sweet potatoes every weekend to eat as sides throughout the week – slicing off a few rounds, sprinkling with some salt and chili powder, and then reheating in the microwave can save you time.

You can get the recipe for the potatoes here. Happy Clean(er) Eating!

FacebookTwitterTumblrShare

{ 1 comment }

DIY: Fresh Cherry Sauce

The first time I made it, I called it “Cheater’s Cherries Jubilee.” For a few nights more in a row than I’ll admit on the internet, I pitted ~2 dozen cherries into a small bowl, dropped a piece of orange peel in, and popped it in the microwave for 90 seconds.

I scooped the still-warm, slightly-tart cherry sauce over a bowl of vanilla ice cream and borderline inappropriately oooh’ed and aaah’ed my way through dessert.

But only borderline inappropriately.

DIY: Fresh Cherry Sauce

90 seconds. That’s all it took for a quarter-pound of fresh cherries to cook into a borderline magical dessert sauce. No butter, no booze, and most importantly: I still have both of my eyebrows.

After a couple of nights of making single-serving cherry sauce in the microwave, I buckled down and pitted an entire pound of cherries for a larger, “yogurt topping” batch.

It took two 90-second trips through the microwave with a couple of pieces of orange peel, a little cornstarch to help it “gel” just a bit more, and a few drops of liquid stevia at the end just to sweeten it enough to take the edge off my morning bowl of plain Greek yogurt. (When I make it for ice cream, I dodn’t add sweetener at all.)

DIY: Fresh Cherry Sauce

Making your own fresh cherry dessert topping couldn’t be easier. I mean, maybe it could… but I think you’ll be happier with a DIY version than opening up a jar.

And it’s applications are endless: top pancakes and waffles, scoop over ice cream, swirl into your favorite brownie batter, serve over plain cheesecake, swirl into yogurt… I could keep going. But then I’d have to make another batch.

DIY: Fresh Cherry Sauce

Fresh Cherry Sauce

Fresh cherries are turned into a decadent ice cream or yogurt topping in just 3 minutes in the microwave.

Ingredients

  • ~1 1/4 lb cherries, pitted to yield 1 lb
  • 2 1x3-inch lengths of orange peel
  • 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • Sweetener of choice (optional; I used 4 drops liquid stevia)

Instructions

  1. Place cherries and orange peel in a microwave-safe bowl and sprinkle cornstarch over top.
  2. Microwave on high for 90 seconds, stir, and heat for another 90 seconds - the mixture will bubble up so don't walk away! Or better, place a paper towel under the bowl.
  3. Add any sweetener, if desired, and let cool a bit.
  4. Scoop the still-warm sauce over ice cream for Cheater Cherries Jubilee or chill completely and swirl into yogurt.
  5. Will keep at least a week in a jar in the fridge.

Notes

Yields: 2 cups

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 15 minutes

FacebookTwitterTumblrShare

{ 10 comments }

Red, White, and Blue(berry) Muffins

Happy July! You know what that means? The internet will drown in red, white, and blue foods for a week and Jason will sprain his side-eye before the holiday weekend at my obnoxious, overuse of the phrase “birthday month.” But it is my birthday month.

And if you’re already tired of looking at “patriotic” food that’s “absolutely perfect” for your weekend cookout, then you’re in luck. Because food can’t be patriotic. And muffins wouldn’t be my first choice to bring to a cookout either. (What would be? Banana pudding.)

But breakfast? TOTALLY DIFFERENT STORY.

Red, White, and Blue(berry) Muffins

Fresh cherries (I think I only have 10 lbs left!), blueberries, white chocolate chips, and fragrant lemon zest are mixed up into my favorite muffin batter for one of those could-go-either-way dessert-breakfast hybrids.

The base muffin recipe has been my favorite for years. The batter bakes up into beautiful domes and the addition of nonfat Greek yogurt keeps the muffin tender, moist for days, and lower in fat.

Red, White, and Blue(berry) Muffins

So go bake these muffins and do something *truly* patriotic this weekend – like making hot dogs and setting off small explosives!

Cherry, Blueberry, and White Chocolate Muffins

A tender, moist muffin bursting with fresh cherries, blueberries, and white chocolate.

Ingredients

  • 21 muffin liners
  • 3 cups + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp sugar
  • Zest and juice from 1 lemon
  • 10 Tbsp unsalted butter, cubed and softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup plain yogurt (I use fat-free Greek yogurt)
  • 1 cup roughly chopped, pitted cherries (~3 dozen cherries)
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt in medium bowl; set aside.
  3. Cream butter, sugar, and lemon zest on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition followed by the vanilla.
  5. Beat in half of dry ingredients, followed by a third of the yogurt.
  6. Add remaining dry ingredients in two batches, alternating with the yogurt, until incorporated.
  7. Toss cherries, blueberries, and white chocolate chips with the remaining 2 Tbsp flour and then add to the mixer, mixing for just a few more seconds to distribute evenly (the batter will be very, very thick).
  8. Spray a muffin tin with non-stick spray or line with paper liners.
  9. Divide the batter evenly among cups using a large cookie scoop (my scoop is ~2.25 inches across).
  10. Bake for 10 minutes and then decrease oven temperature to 375 and bake for ~10-12 more minutes until golden brown and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
  11. Let cool 5 minutes in the pan before removing and cooling completely.
  12. Will keep ~4 days in a covered cake plate, can be frozen.

Notes

Yields: ~21 muffins

Base muffin recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated

Estimated time: 45 minutes

FacebookTwitterTumblrShare

{ 8 comments }