Last week we chatted about finding healthy food choices in the midst of traveling, think spring break and those do-you-think-they’ll-ever-get-here summer vacations. We reflected a bit on those lofty New Year’s Resolutions and the upcoming shorts and tank top weather. For more than a handful of us, it seems all we have to do is glance at some tasty morsel and we gain 3 pounds. Usually in our thighs or midsection, and then it seems a mere 10 minutes later our clothes are too tight and we’re uncomfortable, and a tad grumpy about it all too. Hence the need for nutritional choices that don’t require weeks of hard work to undo. So today I have another option for you in our series Healthy Food Options for Travel | Breakfast Bombs.
This is another one of those general ideas “recipes” with room for lots of substitutions. It’s actually best with Read More
By this time of year, most of us have completely nailed those healthy eating resolutions from the New Year, right? For at least a week or two at least that is, then you hit a bump and fell off the wagon only to claw your way back on again a few days or weeks later. And depending on your temperament and resolve you’ve either maintained or repeated this scenario multiple times by now. Hopefully, you haven’t completely given up as I’ve been known to do from time to time, because now spring break and summer are actually about to become a reality for many of us. And that means shorts and tanks and …. enough said! And it’s precisely why we all need healthy food options for travel … or just crazy days at home, for that matter!
If you have food allergies, traveling can be the set up for a perfect storm when it comes to getting off track with Read More
There’s a simple beauty in a canning jar filled with layers of dry ingredients. The old world look is the best marriage of simple beauty and utilitarian practicality. It’s why we find shelves of classic cookie and brownie recipes layered into canning jars for Christmas gift-giving. But they aren’t limited to gift giving. Sugars, dried herbs and mixes of all kinds are perfect for canning jars, or any wide-mouthed jar that has been scrubbed clean and relieved of its label. Last week I was mixing up some spices for my favorite sausage recipe and snapped a quick pic of the layers in the process. And at the request of a friend, today seems to be a good time to share with y’all what we’ll call Canning Jar Charm | Sausage Spice Mix.
This recipe is an adaptation of the Breakfast Sausage recipe found Read More
When it comes to desserts, I’m pretty much a cookie girl. I get it from my Grandma, aka. Granny Mawmaw. Don’t judge our silly name, it fit her perfectly! In planning for their 50th wedding celebration, she requested two ginormous platters piled with cookies instead of the traditional cake. We already knew she was the best Granny Mawmaw in the history of ever, but this decision on her part sealed that title in our minds. And yet, as much as I love cookies, on Thanksgiving it has to be pie. It just does. At our house, it has to be two specific pies, Butternut Squash Pie and Light Pecan Pie. So for this week, move over cookies, it’s time to bring on the pies!
Butternut Squash Pie
Yes, I thought the idea of Butternut Squash Pie sounded pretty disgusting the first time I heard it, but I also quickly found myself pleasantly surprised in a number of ways. It’s akin to Pumpkin Pie, but with a lighter texture. And who can’t use a little lighter anything by the end of the Thanksgiving feast? It’s also a bit milder than pumpkin pie. It’s just a nice change of pace in my book. And you can whip up the whole thing in the blender or ninja. Seriously y’all, what’s not to love about that?
Here’s my sister-in-laws recipe that we’ve used for years …
Butternut Squash Pie
Quarter and bake a large butternut squash, flesh side down in a shallow pan @ 350° for 1 hour
Liquefy in blender –
1 cup milk
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp flour
1 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp butter
Bake @ 450° for 15 minutes. Leave the oven door closed and lower the heat to 350°. Continue cooking for 50-60 minutes.
Light Pecan Pie
Don’t let the name fool you with this one. Yes, it uses light corn syrup, but it’s still loaded with sugar and pecan goodness. When the holidays roll around, we splurge. It’s how we roll! But the word light kind of makes us feel better about it too. Sort of …
And the recipe, from the same sister-in-law …
Light Pecan Pie
Blend in blender –
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
3 eggs, well beaten
1/3 cup butter, melted
2 tsp vanilla
Blend all ingredients in a blender. Stir in 1 1/2 cups pecans. Pour into pie crust and bake for 1 hour.
So move over cookies, bring on the pies!
And there you have it. Two new options for this Thanksgiving if you like the traditional menu with a few new twists. Two pies requiring little more than dumping everything together, blending, pouring and baking.
Next week there will be cookies. Loads and loads of festive cookies and it will be glorious! But for this week? Move over cookies, we’re about to bring on the pies!
Do y’all look forward to the cozy layering this time of year? The sweaters, scarves and boots? They really do come in handy when our bodies seem to add a few extra layers, aka the muffin top, with all the amazing holiday foods. From Halloween candy to the Thanksgiving feast and Christmas cookies, it’s a season full of rich food traditions. For those dealing with food allergies, it can be even tougher, because indulging here and there can bring way more complications than a few extra pounds. If you find yourself in this growing group, or hosting some who are, then you don’t want to miss this post. Because today I’m sharing some hope for the holiday menu when you have food allergies.
** This post contains some affiliate links. Basically, that means if you click on the links I’ve provided and decide to make a purchase, then I’ll make a little commission. It does not cost you anything extra, it just makes it easier for you to find products.**
It’s not that I’m picky. Or trendy. Or that I have such amazing restraint and discipline. Though I will say that “watching my girlish figure” is more of an issue in this second half-century of days. But none of these are the reason I eat such an odd diet.
It’s the migraines. Sigh. This food allergy and eating outside the box thing has been a journey of years, I’ve honestly lost track of how many at this point.
There’s a list. Well, technically there are two lists. The first list is made up of those foods that can bring on the headache within a matter of minutes, rendering any semblance of reasonable thinking useless for the remainder of the day, and maybe the next too.
The second list are those foods that are acceptable in smaller doses. That is until too much of said food tips the scales and then hello, migraine. It’s kind of like a game of Jenga in that each of these foods may or may not be the one that brings the tower crashing down. I enjoy playing games. But I prefer the other version of Jenga – the one with the real blocks of wood. It’s just less painful.
That being said, breakfast has always been my favorite meal. Regardless of the time of day, I’m a firm believer that breakfast is always a good idea. So what’s a breakfast-loving girl to do when the first list includes such things as gluten, dairy, eggs and corn? Add to that the second list with it’s rice, refined sugars and a number of other yummy items.
Well then you’re pretty much left with the choice of eating way outside the box or fasting, and the fasting thing can bring on it’s own migraine. Having traveled to several countries in the past ten years, I’ve seen that the breakfast fare looks more similar to the dinner fare throughout the world. I read once that having dedicated breakfast foods is a rather American thing. Yet, one more thing to love about this country of ours, right?
This little malady has forced a paradigm shift for me when it comes to breakfast. Yeah, it can be a pain because the number of foods I can grab in a hurry are few and far between. But it has forced some creativity, and I actually feel better and have more energy when I stick to whole foods and a mostly Paleo menu.
One of my absolute favorite breakfasts is roasted sweet potatoes and sausage. I chunk up the sweet potatoes and toss them in a bag with coconut oil, salt, cinnamon and cloves and roast them for about an hour. They freeze well, and when I want to heat them I toss them in a cast iron skillet to brown with some crumbled sausage. My favorite sausage recipe is from the book Paleo Comfort Foods by Julie and Charles Mayfield (also a favorite cookbook). Before I knew I was allergic to eggs I enjoyed topping this combination with a crispy around the edges over-medium egg. My teenagers even ask for this for breakfast. Seriously!
I’ve also been known to have a burger, pork chop or fish and green beans for breakfast. And once you work past grieving that a deep dish Chicago style pizza is no longer in your future, a butterflied and pounded chicken breast pizza crust actually isn’t such a bad option.
So if you’re one of those who made some sort of resolution about losing weight or eating healthier or taking better care of yourself … or if you’re just someone with a hearty sense of adventure, then let me invite you to give it a try. Live on the edge and have some dinner food for breakfast. It feels a bit weird at first, but I have to say it’s pretty awesome to get up from the breakfast table knowing that you’ve already tallied at least two of your daily veggies. And you can kiss that mid-morning slump goodbye too.
If you already eat a paleo or food-allergy diet then by all means, share your best tips and ideas in the comments for the rest of us. And if you do decide to live on the edge and try this different approach to breakfast for one day, then let us know what you think. Yes, even if it’s something you never want to do again. Ever.
Well, to be fair, my mom would not have described me as an “easy to wake up in the morning” kid. I could sleep right through those old-school clanging alarms from the 70’s. but it was nothing a tablespoon full of water couldn’t cure
Mornings just seem to be more productive for me, and I’m quite sure it has to do with breakfast and coffee. I mean, what’s not to love about the combination of those two? Regardless of the time of day!
Enjoying four seasons in Kentucky has been great, but we have found that it takes a lot more energy to drag ourselves out of a toasty warm bed on these increasingly cool mornings. Add to that the fact that teenagers and mornings really do not co-exist, and you’ve got an impending disaster on your hands . I want them to have a good breakfast to start their day and we enjoy the time with them in the mornings, even if conversation isn’t flowing freely some days.
Needless to say, I needed a way to make those Oops I just hit snooze for the third time and I really need a shower before I get breakfast on the table in 37 minutes days flow a bit easier. Enter breakfast mixes.
I gathered up some of our favorite recipes, various large containers and a calculator to figure out how many “batches” would fit in each container. With the math part over, I filled each container with as many batches of the dry ingredients as possible and wrote out a little card of wet ingredients to add and instructions. I usually include mixes for: pancakes and waffles, biscuits, French breakfast puffs, banana chip muffins, pizza dough and white bread.
At least once a week someone mixes up several batches of waffle batter and we store it in a pitcher in the fridge. With three teenagers and all their friends, it rarely goes bad before we use it all up.
I love that …it saves money, I know the ingredients, its easy to make in the morning, it’s a healthier option, it makes mornings less stressful and so much more enjoyable and it’s an opportunity to redeem the day before it even really gets started.
One of our favorite recipes is a slight adaptation of Grandma Moore’s banana bread recipe. We have switched out the walnuts for chocolate chips and made the bread into muffins.
GRANDMA MOORE’S BANANA MUFFINS
3 ripe bananas
1 unbeaten egg
2/3 cup sugar
2 Tbsp honey or maple syrup
2 tsp. vegetable oil
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1c. walnuts (or chocolate chips)
Preheat oven to 370 degrees Mix all ingredients together. Fill greased muffin tins to 2/3 full and bake for 15-17 minutes, until they are golden on top and a toothpick comes out clean.
We usually serve them with fresh fruit and poached eggs. The leftovers live in the cake stand, until they are snatched up for a lunch bag or after school snack.
Traditions can be such a comforting thing. So known. So unique to us and ours. This season is full of them. When a tradition surrounds a particular comfort food, then you know you have a keeper.
Several years ago Rachel Ray did a piece on how to make Thanksgiving leftovers more interesting. One of the entrees she made was a calzone that pretty much included every part of the Thanksgiving meal. I must admit, it sounded slightly odd. Then again, I figured, why not given it a shot. I mean, it is Rachel Ray, right?!
So, I did. And immediately a new tradition was born around here. We like to call them Black Friday Roulades. It just sounded better than “Leftover Thanksgiving Dinner Bread Roll Thingies”. This year we only have three guests for Thanksgiving dinner, but I still bought enough for twice the people we were serving. The reason? Why, Black Friday Roulades, of course!
I think part of the magic of roulades is the pizza dough recipe I received from a friend about 15 years ago. It has EVOO in it, so it is never dry. I usually make a double batch in the bread machine, it’s enough for a dinner and lunches for at least one or two days…
3 cups flour
1/2 Tbsp salt
1/2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 Tbsp yeast
A little less than 1/4 cup oil*
1 cup water
* I fill the measuring cup within about 1/4″ of the top & that seems to work well. If you fill it all the way, the dough seems to be too moist. Dump it all in, set the machine to dough, and enjoy a cup of coffee or trim a tree.
After the second batch is ready, roll them out into as big a rectangle as you can. I usually spray the counter with cooking spray, it doesn’t dry the dough out as much as using flour. My crew seems to like smaller roulades so I make my rectangle long and thin and somewhere between 1/8″ and 1/4″ thick.
Start with the more moist ingredients, like mashed potatoes or sweet potato casserole and spread them within 1/2″ of each edge.then spread or drop on the remaining leftovers. This year ours will include: mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn casserole, dressing, cranberry sauce (but not too much, per my boy’s request) gravy and turkey. The roasted asparagus & zesty carrots went into a soup since they didn’t sound like the best additions to the roulades.
Begin rolling along one long edge to the other. Dip your finger in a little water and run along the seam to seal it and keep the insides from oozing out during baking. Slice them about 1/2″ – 1″ thick and turn them on their side in a greased pan to rise for a good hour. About 30 minutes at 350 degrees should be enough for them to be cooked through and slightly golden on top.
The kids always request these after Thanksgiving. I think all of them have come home from school this week and informed me that their friends thought I should make more. I think they kind of enjoy tripping friends out by having them taste something they’ve never seen before. Those who have felt adventurous have not been disappointed, no matter how weird it sounds. And it’s really easy to grab a few on the way out the door if anyone forgot to make school lunches due to sleeping in from an extremely high level of post-Thanksgiving L-tryptophan.
What sorts of things would you add to the leftover Black Friday Roulade filler list?