Category Archives: Breakfast

Sausage & pepper quiche

 

This recipe is so simple, you can make it for one person or a dozen, using only a plastic cup & frying pan, or the fanciest of oven-safe cast iron cookware. I used one turkey sausage link and a few slices of bell pepper, plus bagged spinach. But feel free to use whatever veggies you have in the fridge, like onion, carrots, broccoli, etc.

Scale up by multiplying the ingredients list by however many people you are wanting to serve. You could also put bread in the bottom of an oven-safe pan and pour this over it to create a breakfast strata, or just scramble it all in a pan if you don’t have a stove-top-to-oven pan.

Ingredients:

  • 1 sausage link
  • 1/2 bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup spinach
  • Salt & pepper
  • Optional: sprinkle of cheddar cheese

IMG_4650

Step 1: In a frying pan or cast iron skillet, brown the sausage link. (You could also use a 1/4 cup of ground sausage or a patty). Cut the sausage into small bite sized pieces.

IMG_4651

Step 2: Break the eggs into a bowl or cup. Scramble them well with a fork, until fluffy.

IMG_4652

Step 3: In the skillet, using sausage oils, cook the peppers 5-6 minutes until softened, then add spinach. Cook just a few minutes, until wilted. Add the sausage back in and mix.

IMG_4653

Step 4: Pour the scrambled eggs on top, and distribute evenly around the pan. Let cook on medium heat, for 7-8 minutes, until the eggs are halfway cooked.

IMG_4654

If using, sprinkle on the cheddar cheese, and add the seasoning.

IMG_4655

Step 5: Assuming you are using an oven-safe pan, put the entire pan into the oven (carefully!) on 350 F for 10 minutes to fully cook the eggs. Alternatives here are to scramble it, or make it into an omelet by flipping it in half.

IMG_4657

Cut into pizza slices, and enjoy! This is a great brunch recipe, could be breakfast for dinner, and is even fast & easy enough to make for yourself on a weekday morning. Feel free to omit the sausage for a quick & delicious vegetarian breakfast as well.

 

Sausage & pepper quiche

Ingredients

  • 1 sausage link
  • 1/2 bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup spinach
  • Salt & pepper
  • Optional: sprinkle of cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. In a frying pan or cast iron skillet, brown the sausage link. (You could also use a 1/4 cup of ground sausage or a patty). Cut the sausage into small bite sized pieces.
  2. Break the eggs into a bowl or cup. Scramble them well with a fork, until fluffy.
  3. In the skillet, using sausage oils, cook the peppers 5-6 minutes until softened, then add spinach. Cook just a few minutes, until wilted. Add the sausage back in and mix.
  4. Pour the scrambled eggs on top, and distribute evenly around the pan. Let cook on medium heat, for 7-8 minutes, until the eggs are halfway cooked.
  5. If using, sprinkle on the cheddar cheese, and add the seasoning.
  6. Assuming you are using an oven-safe pan, put the entire pan into the oven (carefully!) on 350 F for 10 minutes to fully cook the eggs. Alternatives here are to scramble it, or make it into an omelet by flipping it in half.
Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://www.budgetepicurean.com/less-than-5/sausage-pepper-quiche/

Perfect Diner Breakfast

 

Whenever you go to a diner, you know the kind, with linoleum floors, a jukebox, and likely some kind of dated decor, you have to get the classics. Hashbrowns, scrambled eggs, and toast. Don’t forget the endless coffee.

IMG_8833

While those are the classics, many people are intimidated by these simple breakfast favorites. Let me assure you, the perfect diner breakfast can be yours at home in under 20 minutes! If you really are unsure, just try one component at a time until you convince yourself that you really can do it all. Maybe start with toast 😉

This makes enough for two hearty servings. Coffee separate.

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • Optional: veg/meat for the eggs, I used deli ham and chopped sweet bell peppers
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 4 slices bread
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste

IMG_8863

Step 1: If using veggies or meats, cook those 5-7 minutes in a frying pan. You can also just leave the eggs plain, or fry them over-easy.

IMG_8864

Step 2: Dice the potatoes into small cubes. To make it faster, microwave for 6-7 minutes. Heat the oil in a pan (you can use the same one from the eggs) and add the potatoes. Cook, covered, for 5 minutes. Stir and add seasonings, then cook another 5 minutes or until soft but crisp outside, stirring often.

IMG_8865

Step 3: Toast the bread using a toaster or by buttering and placing in the frying pan for 1 minute per side.

IMG_8868

Place all the components on a plate, and enjoy!

This looks very visually appealing, and tastes divine. Proof that you don’t need anything too fancy for a perfect and satisfying meal. Breakfast is also great any time of day, you can totally have breakfast for dinner. And breakfast foods tend to be cheap too, the cost of 3 eggs, 2 potatoes, and 4 slices of bread is likely under a dollar.

Perfect Diner Breakfast

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • Optional: veg/meat for the eggs, I used deli ham and chopped sweet bell peppers
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 4 slices bread
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. If using veggies or meats, cook those 5-7 minutes in a frying pan. You can also just leave the eggs plain, or fry them over-easy.
  2. Dice the potatoes into small cubes. To make it faster, microwave for 6-7 minutes. Heat the oil in a pan (you can use the same one from the eggs) and add the potatoes. Cook, covered, for 5 minutes. Stir and add seasonings, then cook another 5 minutes or until soft but crisp outside, stirring often.
  3. Toast the bread using a toaster or by buttering and placing in the frying pan for 1 minute per side.
Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://www.budgetepicurean.com/less-than-5/perfect-diner-breakfast/

 

Less Than 5: Strawberry Banana Yogurt Parfait

 

As we enter fresh berry season, many rejoice. The sweet, juicy taste of summer is hidden in the rounded flesh of raspberries, the soft skin of blueberries, and the bold redness of strawberries. There is nothing quite like a handful of fresh berries from the farmer’s market, or picked yourself, right off the bush.

Once you get tired of stuffing berries by the handful into your mouth (if is a better word…) you can then try several other delightful ways to enjoy them, including adding frozen or fresh berries to smoothies, making crepes or pancakes, or in desserts like blackberry pie or raspberry crumble.

For versatility alone, I love berry parfaits. They make a great breakfast, or mid-afternoon or post-workout snack. I’ve written before about my raspberry and honey yogurt parfait, and this is another variation.

Strawberry & banana are two flavors that just complement each other well, so it is only natural to pair them together here with crunchy granola, protein packed yogurt, and healthy cinnamon spice. And the best part is that you can enjoy a healthy parfait year-round! Frozen berries work just as well here, and are great for making overnight and refrigerating. By morning it is soft and ready to go.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 banana, sliced
  • 1/4 cup granola
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon
  • Optional: 1 tsp sugar

IMG_4798

Step 1: Put the yogurt in a small bowl. I have a mini snack-sized one I use often, it’s just the right amount.

IMG_4797

Step 2: Layer the berries, banana slices, and granola. Sprinkle the cinnamon on top and enjoy! You could use any type of berries here, and can change up the yogurt to use a flavored one if you like.

 

Mascarpone Stuffed Cinnamon Rolls

 

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, you may be asking yourself what is a good way to show your mom just how special she is. You could buy a Hallmark card, but that’s just an over-priced poem someone else wrote. You could take her out to brunch, that’s always nice. But how about you one-up that and make something special for her yourself!?

I know, you may not think you have the time. But why not ask if she’d like to be included in the baking? We all know no one cooks just the way mom does. And baking is a great way to bring family together. “So Much Good Happens When We Bake.”

This post is part of the Culinary Content Network’s “Celebrating Mom” series, sponsored by Shedd’s Spread Country Crock.

photo 1
This recipe became a fast favorite in our house since mom saw a recipe from Pillsbury online last Christmas.

photo 2

Now we make it our own with a variety of fillings and toppings. Feel free to experiment yourself. Try ricotta, cream cheese, cottage cheese, or goat cheese. Use any dried fruits, jams, honey, or maple syrup. As long as there are biscuits, sugar, Country Crock, and love, they are sure to delight!

Ingredients:

Step 1: Heat the oven to 350 degrees, and grease a round pan or 8×8 square pan. Mix any nuts and/or fruits you are using in a small bowl.

Step 2: Lay out two shallow bowls or plates, one with the melted Country Crock and one with the cinnamon & sugar.

Step 3: Put about 1/2 tbsp of mascarpone cheese in the center of one biscuit round, sprinkle in a pinch of nuts & dried fruit, and pinch the sides up all around it. Roll it into a ball, making sure the cheese is completely covered.

Step 4: Roll each biscuit ball in the melted Country Crock, and then in the cinnamon & sugar. Place seam-side down in the greased pan. Once all biscuits are stuffed, spread the remaining Country Crock over them and sprinkle with remaining walnuts & cranberries.


Step 5: Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes, until biscuits are nice and brown. Mix 1 cup powdered sugar and 2 tbsp milk into a thick glaze. Drizzle over warm rolls right as you take them out of the oven.

 
These things are simply incredible. Warm, gooey, sweet, and irresistible.
Who wouldn’t want to wake up to these?? Make them anytime really. Maybe every day, if you’re also a marathon runner…

What will you do for Mother’s Day?

Mascarpone Stuffed Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients

  • 1 12 oz can biscuit mix or boxed dough mix
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup Country Crock
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup white or brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees, and grease a round pan or 8x8 square pan. Mix any nuts and/or fruits you are using in a small bowl.
  2. Lay out two shallow bowls or plates, one with the melted Country Crock and one with the cinnamon & sugar.
  3. Put about 1/2 tbsp of mascarpone cheese in the center of one biscuit round, sprinkle in a pinch of nuts & dried fruit, and pinch the sides up all around it. Roll it into a ball, making sure the cheese is completely covered.
  4. Roll each biscuit ball in the melted Country Crock, and then in the cinnamon & sugar. Place seam-side down in the greased pan. Once all biscuits are stuffed, spread the remaining Country Crock over them and sprinkle with remaining walnuts & cranberries.
  5. Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes, until biscuits are nice and brown. Mix 1 cup powdered sugar and 2 tbsp milk into a thick glaze. Drizzle over warm rolls right as you take them out of the oven.
Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://www.budgetepicurean.com/breakfast/stuffed-cinnamon-rolls/

This post contains affiliate links. If you buy products using these links, the price you pay is not affected yet a portion of the proceeds help to maintain this blog. Thank you.

Raspberry Yogurt Parfait

 

As spring brings fresh berries to fruit, you may find yourself with a huge bounty and need ways to eat them all up before they go bad or the season ends (tear…).

Not to worry, I love berries and love to find ways to enjoy them. First of all, snap up deals now while you can. Don’t bother thinking you’ll buy too much, that’s not possible. Freeze any you can’t eat within a week in a single layer, then put into a freezer bag.

These frozen berries will last for months, and will be great mind-winter in a smoothie, a fruit crumble, on top of oatmeal, as ice cubes/garnish in cocktails, or in a pie. Try raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, and blueberries.

But while they are still fresh and at their best, my favorite way to eat them (other then just washed, by the handful) is in a yogurt parfait. The perfect start to the day, healthy snack at any time, or after-dinner treat, a parfait is just tasty.

And with fresh biotic-boosting yogurt, seasonal berries and fiber-rich granola, it is also a super healthy choice. Just steer clear of sugar-laden yogurts or granolas. Best to make it yourself, but if not choose organic, pasture-fed yogurt if you can, and granola with whole ingredients like oats.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup fresh berries
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup raw granola
  • 2 tbsp (local if possible) honey
Step 1: Add the yogurt to a bowl, and sprinkle berries on top. You could put it in a blender and pulse a few times if you want the berries incorporated.
Step 2: Sprinkle the granola on top. You can use plain raw oats too, or a healthy cereal.
Step 3: Drizzle your honey on top. You could also use agave nectar, maple syrup, or no sweetener at all.
Enjoy your bowl full of happiness!

Recipe Review: Overnight Oatmeal from Oh She Glows

 

We all know by now that eating breakfast is a good idea. It gets your metabolism going, and should help keep you from eating everything in sight by 11am. Now, in an ideal world we would all love cooking, be world-class chefs, have a kitchen and pantry stocked with nutritious foods, be able to dedicate an hour every morning to whipping up filling, healthy delicacies, and have a personal dish-washer and house cleaner afterwards.

This is not how the real world works.

Many of you are decidedly *not* morning people, and the thought of heating up a frying pan or dicing veggies before three cups of coffee is repulsive. Many of you have children, and the idea that you will have more than ten free seconds to yourself is laughable. And many just don’t enjoy cooking, don’t want to wake up 20 minutes early to make time to cook, or for whatever reason just don’t want to cook a hot breakfast.

That is totally fine. I have a solution that is far healthier and easier on your wallet than running through a drive through and wasting $8 on a carb-heavy bagel, fatty cream cheese, and overpriced coffee that will just leave you with a mid-morning slump.

At the risk of giving away the secret, I’ll tell you: oatmeal.

Ok, cat’s out of the bag. For those of you who just thought “ugh, I refuse to eat gruel for breakfast”, stay with me.

Oats are a powerhouse food, containing the highest amounts of beta-glucan, a beneficial type of fiber, in any known grain. Beta glucan helps slow digestion, and lowers levels of the ‘bad’ cholesterol. This fiber also helps you feel full longer, by eating fewer calories. They also contain a bundle of trace minerals our bodies need for all sorts of functions.

The FDA claims oats can help lower risk of heart disease, and many publications back up that claim. The only caution against oats is that, although they do not contain gluten, they are often grown in the same fields or near other crops such as wheat or barley. Thus those who truly are gluten-intolerant should be cautious.

Anywhoodles, in order to up your oat consumption without feeling like the little kid from Charles Dickens eating his gruel, there are so many things you can do to spruce up a bowl of oatmeal. And making it yourself at home can also save you tons of money and loads of added calories, sweeteners, preservatives, thickeners, etc. over pre-packaged microwave oatmeal options.

The time-saving factor comes in when you try the recommendation of “Oh She Glows” blogger: overnight oatmeal.

Anyone who has tried using real, raw oats rather than the “instant” or “minute” stuff knows, it takes a looooooong time to cook. So by soaking the oats overnight in the refrigerator, problem solved! The oats are soft and ready to go, you just need to give it a quick blast of heat, then add toppings as desired.

My first go, I followed the recipe exactly. Since then, I’ve experimented with oodles of different toppings. I’ll tell you my current fave at the end of the post!

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1-2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/3-1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup almond/soy milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seed
  • Optional: cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, sea salt, nuts/seeds/dried fruit

IMG_7211

Step 1: Mash your banana into a glass bowl. Add the oats, flax, and chia. Sprinkle on whatever spices you’re using: I added some cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.

IMG_7212

Step 2: Add the milk and water, and put it in the fridge overnight.

IMG_7213

Step 3: Now, while you sleep, the oats and chia are soaking up the moisture and getting nice and soft.

IMG_7214

Step 4: In the morning, add any other toppings you didn’t want to get too mushy, like dried fruits, nuts, or honey.

IMG_7215

I added about 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder, dried prunes, and chopped up almonds for a chocolate-banana feel and a little crunch.

IMG_7216

This is my oatmeal in the refrigerator, working its magic.

IMG_7217

All toppings added and mixed, ready to heat!

IMG_7218

Step 5: Just pop your bowl in the microwave for 2-3 minutes, or an oven set to 350 for 8-10 minutes, and enjoy!

 

Since I’ve tried every nut, fruit, and spice I could get my hands on, my favorite combo so far is:

  • 1/3 c oats
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 4-5 dried prunes
  • 4-5 dried dates
  • 1 tbsp golden raisins
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon

The dates have such a unique flavor, and the combination of dried fruits lends such a sweetness to the finished product. The almond butter gives it a nice burst of flavor too. I cut back on chia and got rid of the flax, because the original recipe was a little too… chewy for my taste. After all, people use flax or chia and water as an egg substitute, so they do make a bit of a gel-like texture.

Your ideal bowl may be something different, mix it up depending on your tastes, what you have available, and any allergies/sensitivities. But this is a quick, super easy, and economical way to start any day off right!

 

Pear & Almond Butter Breakfast Sandwich

 

Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, but it is often the most rushed as well. Between snoozing alarms, alarms not going off, or just the fact that you hate mornings, it is often difficult to even think about nourishing yourself in the wee hours of the morning.

That is why I love planning ahead, and when push comes to shove I try to have things on hand that I know I can just grab on my way out the door and create a delicious, nutritious meal once I get where I’m going. Sometimes shoving a few things in a bag is all I have time for.

But I do try to always make or bring my own breakfast. Even a $1 coffee and $1.50 bagel adds up over time.

This is one option I have recently fallen completely in love with. I have had this for breakfast at least once a week for a month or so. Pears seem to be in season, or at least regularly on sale, so that is the fruit of choice at the moment. However, other fruits such as bananas, apples, peaches, or plums could be used as well.

Ingredients:

Step 1: Smear one half the bread or sandwich with nut butter. If using cookie butter, spread that on the other half.

IMG_7584

Step 2: Use a sharp knife to cut the pear or other fruit into round slices. Remove seeds. Place on the sandwich, and cover with the other slice.

One large pear makes enough for two sandwich slims, as well as a few pieces on the side. The cookie butter will make this much sweeter. For a vegan breakfast option, make sure that the butters do not contain any animal products.

Regardless of dietary preference, this is a super tasty, super quick breakfast option. You can just toss the nut butter, fruit, and bread in a bag and assemble later.

Ham & Veggie Burrito

 

Guess what!? It’s my birthday today! That’s right, a few years ago, three days after Christmas and three days before New Years, a doctor handed my mommy and daddy their little tax break. I will be celebrating this day with family, probably with a home-cooked meal and/or some sort of excursion. Maybe swinging by Starbucks to pick up my birthday freebie. Maybe even crazier and beginning my day with a Denny’s Grand Slam! Who knows. YOLO.

In honor of my birthday, I’m writing about one of my favorite things: burritos! Burritos are basically the king of all food types, because there really isn’t much you can’t put into one. Breakfast burritos, vegetarian burritos, dessert burritos. Anything you got leftover, heat it and wrap it up and dinner is served.

Leftover ham lends itself to oh-so-many possibilities! You can check out my article about uses for leftover ham and eggs from a previous Easter for more ideas. Ham is delightful on its own, but there are so many more ways to use it than in sandwiches. The bones and meat make amazing soups, you can put it in stir fry, or make a mean grilled ham and cheese.

This particular inspiration happened when I had a windfall of deli meat leftover, along with some olives and veggies in the fridge. I cooked it all up with some eggs, and made an amazing hot breakfast in under 10 minutes. You could also just wrap all this up with some hummus and/or greens for lunch.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup diced ham
  • 3-5 olives
  • 1/3 cup bell pepper slices
  • 1/4 onion, sliced thin
  • 2 green onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp crumbly cheese
  • 1 tortilla
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

IMG_6218

Step 1: In a frying pan, cook the ham, stirring often, until it begins to lightly brown. Cut the tomatoes and olives in half, and slice the bell pepper and onion thinly. Add all veggies and garlic cloves to the pan, and stir fry for 5-10 minutes, until softened and fragrant.

IMG_6219

Step 2: Scramble the two eggs in a bowl, and add to the pan. Add the cheese (I used feta here). Cook, stirring often, until done.

IMG_6220

Step 3: Scoop onto a warm tortilla. Fold up one end of the tortilla, then roll it up one side to the other.

IMG_6221

That’s all there is to it! The soft warm veggies go great with the salty ham and cheese, and the eggs bring everything together. You can add in other veggies, like spinach, kale, cauliflower, or avocado. Try some sriracha, cooked beans, or hummus too.

Letter Pancakes with Apple Topping

 

This is an awesome idea for pancakes that I read in a magazine somewhere. You could make just about any shape you are capable of, but I think letters are super cute. It is a nice way to make breakfast fun for kids, or surprise a significant other and let them know you’re thinking about them.

The basic pancake batter recipe is simple, I “health-ified” it a bit with some ground flax. You could also use almond meal or whole wheat flour. Extra bits of apple and cinnamon give them a fall flavor. Then top with a homemade apple syrup for a home run.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup ground flax
  • 1 cups milk
  • 1 whole egg
  • 3 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 apple, diced
  • 1/2 cup syrup

IMG_5468

Step 1: In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients, followed by all wet ingredients except the apple and syrup. Mix well until combined. Take 1/3 cup diced apple, and microwave with 1 tbsp water for 2 minutes. Add to the batter.

IMG_5469

Step 2: Spray a frying pan with cooking oil, and heat it to medium. Using a tablespoon, make the shape you want in your pancake and let it cook 3-5 minutes, just until bubbles start to form.

IMG_5471

Step 3: Pour more batter over top of your shape, and cook another 3-5 minutes. Once bubbles form, flip and cook on the other side for 3-5 minutes, until golden brown. You can see I made my “J” backwards… clearly I have a graduate degree.

IMG_5473

Step 4: Microwave the syrup with the remaining chopped apples for 4 minutes, or heat in a pan on the stove until just simmering. Pour warm syrup over pancakes and enjoy!

Rainbow burrito

 

Burritos are one of my favorite ways to sneak in extra vegetables. Because you can’t really see them, you can put all kinds of rainbow goodies in there and help your heart and health with little effort.

Obviously, sub in 1 cup of whatever veggies you have on hand. This is what I had, and it made a pretty breakfast.

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 strips red bell pepper
  • 1 slice turkey bacon
  • 1-2 strips orange bell pepper
  • 2 eggs, scrambled
  • 1-2 strips green bell pepper
  • 2 med purple cauliflower florets
  • 1 10 inch tortilla

IMG_5307

Step 1: In a frying pan, saute the veggies until soft when poked with a fork.

Step 2: Add the eggs, and cook 5-7 minutes, stirring every so often, until everything is cooked.

IMG_5308

Step 3: Pour it onto a warm tortilla and wrap it up, tucking in the ends. You can add in sriracha or other sauces if you like. Enjoy!