Category Archives: Breakfast

Long Live Breakfast

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned in previous posts how much I love having breakfast for dinner; actually, I could have a variation of breakfast for every meal of everyday for the rest of my life: think non training breakfast; egg whites and oats don’t really grind my gears as much as bacon pancakes or waffles with nutella.

I had an uncontrollable urge to have a greasy breakfast for breakfast today….although I woke up SUPER late (1:30 pm…oops) and so it turned into a greasy lunchfast , even better! I dragged the Mr. with me to Cora’s and had a giant non paleo plate of heaven, mmmm, I can still taste it *burp*. Gross, just kidding. So, when we got home and started cleaning, my mind automatically went to food (obviously. If you know me you know how often I think of food. All the time, all day long.) There was that urge again. My mind kept screaming “BREAKFAST! BREAKFAST! BRRREAKFASSSTTTTT!!!!” my stomach followed suit, and then my whole body was screaming for breakfast. I did the only thing I could do; give in.

Enter Crepes.

There is a place in BC called Cafe Crepe, and it is so very good. They have other things on their menu besides crepes, but really…why would you go to a place called Cafe Crepe and order a burger?? Anytime I was downtown with my two awesome foodie friends S and N we’d end up there. The first occasion was filled with rain, a K’naan concert in said rain and a lot of beer, crepes and an unfortunate event involving Spanx. Note to everyone, Spanx are evil, avoid them at all costs, especially if you want to breathe…or eat and drink beer for that matter. Annnnyway, another time we went just to hang out and decided to grab a coffee and a crepe while we were downtown I decided to have something ‘simple’ you know, an Spanish coffee and stack of butter and sugar crepes. HOLY SHMOLY.

That was the food memory that came flooding back to me today, I had to whip up a batch. I am lucky enough to have a husband that understands my need for all things food, with the promise of ribs, he went to the store for me to pick up some much needed vitals:

Shrimp and Brie Cheee

My local CSA pack provided the rest; farm fresh eggs, candy-sweet tomatoes and the freshest kale I’ve ever had in my entire life. You can fill the crepe with whatever your heart desires; I just sautéed the shrimp in salt, maple pepper and butter, and, when they were done, pulled them out and sautéed up some tomatoes and kale; added some brie cheese and topped it with the kale, tomatoes and shrimp. Get creative! Roasted red pepper, prosciutto and an over easy egg is also one of our favourites. Nutella, banana and coconut; sugar and butter, PB and Jam…and so on and so fourth. Go wild!

Basic Crepes

1 ½ cup flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
2 cups milk (I used unsweetened almond milk as we didn’t have cow’s milk on hand)
½ tsp vanilla
2 eggs, beaten
2 Tbsp butter, melted

Mix together all dry ingredients. In a separate bowl combine all wet ingredients and add to dry mix, beat until smooth.

Heat a pan as you would for pancakes. For each crepe pour a ¼ cup of batter onto the hot pan, and immediately rotate the pan until a thin film covers the bottom, cook for about a minute, then flip and cook the other side for the same amount of time. Spread with favourite filling and enjoy!

*Unfortunately*, we ate them so fast this is the only shot I got of the crepes I made today, I have a couple of crepes left so I’ll try to get some better shots tomorrow!


Aloo Paratha

Weekend breakfasts at my mom’s house were always ones worth waking up on time for. My all time favourite was “aloo anday” essentially, potatoes and eggs. I think it was a Quesnel thing; actually, I’m almost 100% sure it is a Quesnel thing. You make hashbrowns, that’s right, no packaged crap here, with onions and garlic, and then when they are forkish tender you crack a bunch of eggs on top, and cook until the whites are no longer runny. Serve up with some Heinz canned beans (yup, this foodie goes wild for that canned goodness), toast and OJ, OH MAMA! I’m drooling now just thinking about it.

With all that being said, this blog post is not for that dish, haha. It’s actually for my second favourite breakfast, aloo paratha; potato filled Indian flatbread. Serve these hot, smeared with butter and with buttermilk, or, scrap the butter (nooooo) and serve up with some mango pickle. Whichever way you choose to eat these, you’ll be sure to love them as much as we do.

Aloo Paratha

Potato Filling

6 potatoes
1 medium onion, diced
2 Tbsp oil (we use coconut oil)
1 tsp Jeera (Cumin seed)
½ green chili, chopped or
½ tsp of red chili (omit all together if you don’t like spice, or add as much as you want)
Salt to taste
2-3 heaping Tbsp Garam Masala

Dough:

2 cups duram atta flour (available at any South Asian grocery store. See photo below)
Water
1 tsp oil

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Filling Directions

Boil the potatoes until fork tender, let them cool slightly, peel and set aside

Over medium heat, add oil to a large frying pan, add the jeera and toast slightly (about 30 seconds), add in the onions (and green chili if using) and cook until translucent. Once onions are cooked, add in the red chili, garam masala and salt, cook for another 2-3 minutes. Turn off heat and set aside.

Mash the peeled potatoes and add the onion mixture. Mix well until everything is combined, adjust the salt/chili to your preference now if not enough.

Dough Directions

In a medium sized mixing bowl, measure out the flour

Add a small amount of water at a time, mix with your hands as you’re adding it in, you want the dough to just come together; if you add too much water, just add a bit more flour until it feels almost like pizza dough. Knead for about a minute, cover the ball with a tsp of oil and set aside.

Putting it all together!

Have a small bowl with oil nearby, or, if you’re being bad, melted vegetable shortening.

Heat a flat cast iron pan over medium-high heat, or you can use a pancake pan, or any pan for that matter with low sides

Make a small ball of dough (approx 2 inches high and across – no need to be exact, the size of your ball just determines the size of the finished paratha)

Roll out the dough until it’s about the size of a small plate (keep your surface lightly floured throughout the whole process so the dough doesn’t stick)

dough ball; rolled out dough

Take some of the potato filling, shape into a ball, and place in the middle of the dough

Filling goes in...

Bring the edges of the dough up and over the filling, squish it together at the top and give it a little twist to secure it

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Carefully twist and press the filled dough down into a flat disc

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Start rolling out the dough. Here’s what I do:

Roll one side about three times, lift, flour the surface, flip to the other side, roll again a few more times, continue until the dough is about 1/8 of an inch thick.

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ImageLift the parauntha and place onto the hot pan, let cook for about 1-1 ½ minutes and then flip, oil the cooked side and after another 1-1 ½ flip again and oil that side. Cook again for the same amount of time, flip, oil, do it once more and your parauntha should be ready, if not, cook a bit longer on each side but don’t oil anymore (unless you want to).

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Place in a plate on top of a piece of paper towel, make as many as you’d like (the filling and dough will keep in the refrigerator for a few days.

Eat as they are, or serve with buttermilk; sour cream; butter; mango pickle, or anything pickled for that matter. My favourite is pickled lemon…mmmmm.

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Paleo Friendly Granola

I haven’t posted in a while, I know, I suck. I’ve been so super busy with training, and studying, and home and going to the beach (heh), and just life in general that the food blog just fell to the wayside. I also started up a small Indian Catering biz ,what what! So that has been keeping me pretty darn busy as well.

Training wise, I’m right on track, things are going so well. SO WELL! I’ve recently started to phase into the Paleo lifestyle slowly, so far so good. I’ve never had so much energy in my entire life; my body feels so amazing, everything is tighter, my skin looks amazing, I cannot say enough positive things about this change. If you are on the fence about whether or not to try it out, DO IT, you won’t look back.
Ok, enough of that. Since switching over, I’ve been scouring the internet for Paleo blogs, recipes, articles, anything I can get my hands on, there is tons of information out there. The Mr. loves granola, and recently I’ve taken a liking to it as well, I usually steered clear of it because it’s so high in sugar, carbs and all things good, but I found a great paleo friendly one that is seriously like crack.

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Crack Granola

Recipe is Here.

I made some changes, I used seeds I could find and afford; pumpkin, sunflower, sliced almonds(in original), walnuts. I left out the maple syrup, and added in chopped dried figs, apricots and raisins. BOOM


Brown Rice and Chicken Muffins

I got this recipe from a dear friend ages ago after I just finished competing in my first ever figure show, I think she got it from Oxygen Magazine, but I have yet to track the recipe down.  They are amazingly delicious and healthy, great for a post workout meal, just pair a couple with a great big spinach salad and you’re good to go! You could probably also bake this up in a casserole dish as well, and serve as a healthy family dinner with steamed veggies and salad.

 

Brown Rice and Chicken Muffins

2 Cups cooked brown rice
1 Cup finely chopped cooked chicken ( I always add extra chicken, I use about 2.5 chicken breasts, so about 2.5 cups)
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 ½ tsp curry powder
8 heaping Tbsp plain low fat yogurt (I used greek yogurt)
2 tsp low sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
3 egg whites

 

Pre Oven

1)      Preheat oven to 375  coat a muffin tin with olive oil ( I used coconut oil)
2)      Combine all ingredients except the egg whites, into a large bowl
3)      Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into batter
4)      Fill muffin tin with mixture
5)      Bake 35-40 minutes or until muffins are golden brown on top

Post Oven


The ‘Grandma’s-is-better-but-this-will-still-make-you-sing’ Quiche

I remember in high school I was over at my friends’ place and their grandma had made quiche, and I swear it was the best thing I had ever tasted. Ever since that day I have been trying to find a quiche that tastes the same, I never made it myself though, because back home no one in the family liked it (gasp!). Now that I have my own house, my own kitchen and a husband that will basically eat anything that I put in front of him (love that man). it is not quite grandma’s but it is pretty damn close! I’ve made it about three times since I got to Nova Scotia in December and each time I think it tastes better and better. I’d love to make it more, but my body can’t take it all the time, I make mine with milk to make it a little less fatty because the crust takes quite a bit of butter, I like to cut the fat whenever possible, but it seems that with Quiche, it’s a little hard to do! I’ve provided the basic quiche recipe, but I always add more to it, bacon, onions, something green (asparagus, broccoli, brussel sprouts, etc), and cheese; you can add whatever you want and it will taste amazing. I apologize for the photos for this post, all the lights in my kitchen decided to go to shit right when I pulled this one out of the oven, that, and I managed to get my ugly pot holder in the shot as well…blech.

Crust

1 ¼ cup all purpose flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled, and cut into small pieces
2-4 Tbsp ice water

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 (I only did 350 because my oven is completely wonky)
  2. In a large bowl, combine together the flour, salt and sugar. Add the butter and cut it in with a pastry blender or two knives until the butter is cut into the size of peas. After the butter has been cut into the flour mixture work it in as much as you can with your hands (I find you get a much flakier crust this way)
  3. Add cold water one tablespoon at a time, mixing with a fork until the dough holds together without feeling wet or sticky
  4. Gather the dough into a ball and flatten into a disc and cover with plastic wrap, chill in the refrigerator for an hour or in the freezer for about 15 minutes
  5. On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough to fit the size of a pie plate, make sure you have enough coming up the sides, the dough shrinks a bit during the baking process. Keep adding flour to the surface as you roll it out to keep it from sticking. Work as quickly as possible to ensure the dough doesn’t get too warm; if it does get warm as you roll it and it becomes hard to handle, put it in the freezer for about 5 minutes. Once you get it to the desired thickness, press it into the pie plate, or round tart pan with a removable bottom.
  6. If you get any tears or holes in your dough, patch them up with some extra dough with a little bit of water. You can also clean up your edges with a rolling pin to remove any excess dough, but I just leave my on there, it shrinks down anyway and I like extra crust on my quiche.
  7. Add pie weights (I use kidney beans in a piece of tin foil) to crust and bake for 10-15 minutes. You can skip this step entirely if you wish, and pour the filling in straight away and bake, but I like to make sure that the crust is semi baked so that it is completely done when the quiche comes out of the oven. I’ve tried it without baking the crust first, and I find that the bottom of the crust is too soft for my liking, but it is up to you.

Quiche Filling

4 Eggs
1 ½ cups whole Milk ((or cream, you choose) I use 2%)
salt and pepper to taste
½ cup cheese (optional)
filling of your choice. For the one pictured below I used bacon, onions, green onions and broccoli.

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Whisk the eggs and milk into a bowl until combined
  3. Add in salt, pepper, and fillings (I put my cheese in at this step; you may choose to sprinkle it on top of the quiche before it goes into the oven)
  4. Bake for 35-40 minutes/ Quiche will be a gorgeous deep golden brown colour when it is done
  5. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing

I love to serve quiche with a simple spinach salad, or with some parboiled asparagus sautéed lightly in some butter and garlic (or plain too!)

I doubled this recipe as we have my father in law visiting us from BC and I like to have some food on hand for lunch and such, I ended up with some extra filling, but no crust. I poured the filling into cupcake pan and baked for about 35 minutes, let them cool, wrapped them and put them in the freezer. Yum!


Strawberry Scones

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Summer! I can almost taste it, it’s soooo close. I almost can’t stand the wait much longer, if you’ve ever experienced the beauty of the east coast, you’ll know what I’m talking about. The sunny spring days are blowing my mind, I can’t wait to freakin’ see what the summer has to offer. One thing I do know for sure is, the fresh produce is fan-frickin-tastic out here; I love farmer’s markets; I love strawberries. Love them. LOVE.

I also love breakfast, I’m pretty sure I mentioned in my bacon pancakes post, about mine and my husband’s love affair with breakfast. I especially love pastry’s and butter filled goodness, and everything oh-so-bad for me for breakfast…like scones. Oh mama! My favourite scones are cheese scones, and I eat them with strawberry jam (thank you Kimbot), and then my next favourite are strawberry scones, with, you guessed it, melted cheese; hot damn! I decided that I would have to make some, since having a super part time job wasn’t going to start paying for lavish pastries anytime soon, and because any money I’ve been making has been going to cheese and beautiful vintage goods from Fancy Lucky Vintage out in Lawrencetown (And a spot at Plan B in Halifax as well!). Anywho, here’s what I came up with; (I used a basic scone recipe and added some extras)

Strawberry Scones

1 cup strawberries (or other fruit)
3 tablespoons sugar (granulated)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, in cubes, slightly softened
2/3 cold buttermilk (you can also use the same amount of cream or half and half)
1Tbsp ground flax (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet.

Cut fruit into bite-sized pieces. Sprinkle fruit with 1/2 tablespoon sugar; set aside. Be sure to make the pieces small, or they tend to fall out of the dough.

Combine remaining sugar with flour, baking powder and salt. Add butter, using a pastry cutter or 2 knives to cut in the butter (after I cut in the butter, I use my fingers to be sure butter is evenly mixed into flour). Stir in fruit; then add buttermilk all at once. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to gently stir dough until it holds together.

Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times to incorporate dry ingredients. Be gentle so you don’t break up the berries and don’t overwork the dough; sprinkle dough with flour if it gets too sticky.

Lightly press the dough into a circle approx. 3/4 inch thick. If any berries pop out, push them back into dough. Cut circle into 6-8 wedges, then transfer wedges to the cookie sheet, leaving at least 1/2 inch of space between them. Bake 20-25 minutes or until the tops are lightly browned and spring back with you push them in. **Please note that the baking time varies depending on your oven! My scones took about 40 minutes until they were perfect, so keep a very close eye on them, you do not want them to under, or over bake. **

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‘Bake-on’ Pancakes

Bacon.
It is a glorious thing, as is breakfast. The husband and I love breakfast, and bacon; and so, one snowy Sunday morning-ish I scoured my favourite food porn site for some breakfast inspiration and I came across a photo (I apologize, but I failed to note the website it came from) of a single strip of bacon nestled in pancake batter. Ingenious. And so, I took to the kitchen

I’ve also been told that the best (and only) way to make bacon is to bake it in the oven. I decided to test this theory out, and you know what, it really IS the best way! No flipping, no splatter, no insane amount of grease to dispose of, and you get these amazingly straight pieces that are perfect for BLT sandwiches and for adding to your pancakes…

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The bacon on the left has been pan fried, and the bacon on the right was baked.

Pancake Mix (adapted from food.com)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4-1 1/2 cups milk (I usually don’t measure my milk, I just add it in until it gets to the consistency that I like)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla (optional)
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp ground flax seed (optional)

Bacon:

Preheat your oven to 400

Cover a baking sheet with foil to make for easier clean up. Lay the bacon on the sheet in a single layer, it’s ok if they overlap slightly. Place in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, or until it’s as soft, or as crispy as you’d like it to be.

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Directions:

  1. In a mixing bowl, add all of your dry ingredients and mix with a fork
  2. In a small bowl, beat the eggs slightly with the vanilla and oil
  3. Add the milk to the flour mixture, mix with a fork, and then add in the egg mixture
  4. Beat it all together (don’t worry, the mix will be a bit lumpy)
  5. Heat a frying pan over med-high heat. I always coat the pan with Pam, or, if I’m being bad, some butter.
  6. When the pan is hot enough, pour in your batter; I use a ½ cup measure just to make my life easier. Allow the pancake to spread out and then after about a minute or so, you can place your cooked bacon on top; don’t be cheap with the bacon, load it up!
  7. When your pancake is a golden brown on the bottom, and it starts to bubble slightly on the top, it’s time to flip it over. Let the other side cook and then place it on a plate. Repeat until you have as many pancakes as you can handle.
  8. Serve with syrup and enjoy!

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