Frosted Cutout Sugar Cookies

Ingredients:

For the cookies:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2 eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • Flour for dusting

For the frosting:

  • 2 Tablespoons margarine
  • 2 Tablespoons skim milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Approximately 3/4 cup powdered sugar

Instructions:

For the cookies:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F).
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, the set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix the flour, cream of tartar, and shortening together until it forms a doughy ball.  Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, beat the eggs until just blended (about 30 seconds).  Then add the sugar and vanilla, and beat for an additional 30-60 seconds (or until all of the ingredients are integrated).
  • In a very small bowl combine the baking soda and water, and whisk together with a fork until the soda is dissolved (30-60 seconds).  Then add the soda/water combo to the egg/sugar bowl, and beat until evenly combined (15-30 seconds).
  • At this point, add the sugar mixture to the dough bowl, and beat/mix until all of the ingredients are evenly integrated (1-2 minutes).
  • Dust a large, even work surface (kitchen counter top or table top works well) and a rolling pin.  Roll the dough out to your desired cookie thickness.  (We like cookies that are around 1/4″ thick.)  Then use cookie cutters to create whatever cookie shapes you like.
  • Put the cut cookies onto the parchment-lined baking sheet.  The cookies will not spread out during baking, so you can put the cookies very close together on the sheet (just not actually touching).
  • Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes, or until the bottoms are just barely browned.
  • Remove the cookies from the baking sheet and move them to a cooling rack until completely cool.
  • At this point, you can choose to frost the cookies, or leave them plain.  (Frosting instructions are below.)  If you want to freeze some of the cookies, leave those plain (and frost them when you are ready to eat them).  Frosted cookies can be stored in a plastic air-tight container for a week, or a metal tin for 2-3 weeks.  Unfrosted cookies can stored in a ziplock bag in the freezer for 6 months.

For the frosting:

  • In a medium-size microwave-safe bowl, heat the margarine until it is just melted.  (It usually takes me two or three 30-second rotations.)
  • Once the margarine is melted, add the milk and vanilla, and whisk with a fork until evenly combined (about 30 seconds).
  • At this point, add 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, and whisk with a fork until the ingredients are thoroughly integrated.  Then assess your frosting.  If it is a thickness you like, you’re done.  If you want the frosting thicker, add 1-2 more tablespoons of sugar, whisk, and re-assess.  Keep adding sugar until you attain the frosting you like.

Makes 6 dozen average-size cookies. (Of course, if you use a very large [or very small] cookie cutter, you will have fewer [or more] cookies.)

Nutritional information per cookie, unfrosted (approximates): 56 calories, 3 g fat, 6.5 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 0.5 g protein.

Nutritional information per cookie, frosted [using the full 3/4 cup of powdered sugar] (approximates): 65 calories, 3.5 g fat, 8 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 0.5 g protein.

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The ratings:
Mental Cost (ingredient availability): Low
Financial Cost (ingredient cost): Very low
Emotional Cost (cooking skill level): Mostly low
Time Cost (recipe preparation): A solid medium
Life Cost (clean up time/effort): Pretty low
Worth It? (rate from 1-5): 4.94

Miscellaneous suggestions, insights, and/or thoughts:

  • This recipe was made at the same time as the spritz, and was created for the same reasons. (I.e., my sweetie wanted to bake some traditional Christmas cookies.)
  • This recipe also uses large amounts of refined flours and sugars – but a single batch also makes many cookies, so the nutritional composition of each individual cookie is actually not too bad.
  • These cookies are a fun once-a-year treat.  But I think that’s as often as I ‘need’ to make them.  :)

Stef

Posted in cookie, dessert, picture step-by-step, postaweek, vegetarian | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Spritz (Swedish sugar cookies)

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature or slightly melted
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract*
  • 2 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • Optional: Decorating sugars of your choice

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F).
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, the set aside.
  • In a LARGE bowl*, cream the butter and the sugar together. (Beat them until they form an even pale yellow mixture, 1-2 minutes).
  • Add the egg yolks, cream, and vanilla extract.  Beat for an additional 30-60 seconds, or until all of the ingredients are integrated.
  • Add the flour to the wet mixture, one cup at a time.  Fully integrate each cup of flour before adding the next one.  (Trust me.  You’ll save yourself some heartache.)  This step is most easily achieved if you own a stand mixer.  (Sadly, I only own a hand-mixer.  Ugh.  But it worked – and that is what’s important here.)
  • Load a batch of the dough into a spritz press.  Choose your favorite pattern, and squeeze out cookies onto the parchment-lined baking sheet.  The cookies will not spread out during baking, so you can put the cookies very close together on the sheet (just not actually touching).
  • Optional: Sprinkle decorating sugars over some (or all) of the cookies.
  • Bake the cookies for 9-12 minutes, or until the bottoms are lightly browned on the bottom.  (The tops won’t brown.)
  • Remove the cookies from the baking sheet and move them to a cooling rack until completely cool.
  • Once cool, you can store the cookies in a plastic air-tight container for a week, a metal tin for 2-3 weeks, or in the freezer in a ziplock bag for 6 months.

Makes 9.5 dozen cookies. (Yes, 114 total cookies.  But they’re small.)  :)

Nutritional information per serving (approximates): 65 calories, 3.5 g fat, 8 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 3.5 g sugar, 0.5 g protein.

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My notes:

  • Traditional spritz are made with almond extract instead of vanilla extract.  However, these cookies were made for my sweetie, following his mom’s recipe – so we used vanilla extract. That being said, if you want ‘traditional’ spritz, replace the vanilla extract with almond extract.  (The cookies will taste good either way you make them.)  :)
  • You will need a BIG bowl to make these cookies.  I don’t own a mixing bowl that is sizable enough to hold the 5 cups of flour + pound of butter + 2 cups of sugar (that’s a lot of ingredients!), so I used a small stock pot instead.  (I felt somewhat MacGyver-esque.)  :)  It worked.

The ratings:
Mental Cost (ingredient availability): Very low
Financial Cost (ingredient cost): Also very low
Emotional Cost (cooking skill level): Skill level is low, but effort (elbow grease) is a solid medium
Time Cost (recipe preparation): For cookies, reasonably low
Life Cost (clean up time/effort): Decently low
Worth It? (rate from 1-5): 4.94

Miscellaneous suggestions, insights, and/or thoughts:

  • This recipe is a deviation from the items I normally post to this blog (e.g., the quantity of butter and sugar in the ingredient list genuinely makes me shudder).  However.  My sweetie said that he wanted to make cookies this weekend; specifically, cookies he grew up with.  So I asked his mom for the recipe to her spritz, which she kindly shared with me – and I am now sharing with all of you.
  • And while this recipe does use copious amounts of full-on butter and sugar, it also makes a vast quantity of cookies – so the nutritional composition of each individual cookie is actually rather decent.
  • And, I had a great time baking with my sweetie.  We are both very competent in the kitchen, and compliment each other well.  :)
  • I certainly won’t bake these cookies on a regular basis.  But once a year, for a special holiday treat, it’s an indulgence I’ll happily make.

Stef

Posted in cookie, dessert, picture step-by-step, postaweek, vegetarian | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Asian Inspired Broccoli Salad

Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces broccoli slaw
  • 2 ounces raw zucchini and/or squash, diced*
  • 1 ounce raw pea pods, diced
  • 1/3 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 Tablespoon hoisin sauce*
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3 ounces seitan, diced

Instructions:

  • Optional: Put the broccoli slaw in a microwave-safe container, add a few tablespoons of water, and blanch it for 60-90 seconds in the microwave.  (If you are not used to consuming raw vegetables, this step will help minimize bloating or gas that can occur when consuming broccoli.)  Once the broccoli has cooked, drain off the water.
  • Put all of the ingredients in a large bowl, and mix with a spoonula until thoroughly combined.  (30-60 seconds should do the trick.)
  • You can eat this meal warm (so, immediately if you chose to blanch the broccoli), or at room temp, or cold.  (I.e., this dish can be refrigerated up to 12-24 hours, and eaten straight from the fridge.)

Makes 1 serving.

Nutritional information per serving (approximates): 250 calories, 2.5 g fat, 32 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 13.5 g sugar, 25 g protein.

asian salad

My notes:

  • Think about when you eat an Asian stir fry.  If you prefer different vegetables from the ones I have listed in this recipe, feel free to add/replace as you like.  (Other times I have made this meal I have included cabbage slaw, baby bok choy, water chestnuts, carrots, etc. etc.)
  • Similarly, if you prefer a different sauce (or combination of sauces), feel free to swap out the hoisin for something you like better.  (Peanut, sweet-and-sour, garlic, ginger, etc.)  Just note that the nutritional information provided may change if you choose to make any substitutions.

The ratings:
Mental Cost (ingredient availability): Wildly low
Financial Cost (ingredient cost): Very low
Emotional Cost (cooking skill level): Crazy low
Time Cost (recipe preparation): Happily low
Life Cost (clean up time/effort): Super low
Worth It? (rate from 1-5): 4.75

Miscellaneous suggestions, insights, and/or thoughts:

  • This is another solid, ‘go-to’ meal in my book.  This is also another one I “invented” from scratch (so I’m extra-proud of it), and I love that it is both tasty and healthy.
  • This is another dish that I usually make for work.  I assemble it up the night before, pack it in the fridge, and when morning comes around I’m all set to go – no scrambling to try and pull a lunch together in the morning.

Stef

Posted in broccoli, casserole, corn, peas, postaweek, seitan, summer squash, vegetables, vegetarian, zucchini | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Delicious Sandwich Salad

Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces broccoli slaw
  • 1 ounce raw pea pods, diced
  • 1/3 cup raw tomatoes, diced
  • 1 ounce red pepper hummus
  • 1 ounce ripe avocado, diced (over-ripe is okay, too)
  • 2 ounces vegetarian lunchmeat, diced*

Instructions:

  • Optional: Put the broccoli slaw in a microwave-safe container, add a few tablespoons of water, and blanch it for 60-90 seconds in the microwave.  (If you are not used to consuming raw vegetables, this step will help minimize bloating or gas that can occur when consuming broccoli.)  Once the broccoli has cooked, drain off the water.
  • Put all of the ingredients in a large bowl, and mix with a spoonula until thoroughly combined.  (30-60 seconds should do the trick.)
  • You can eat this meal warm (so, immediately if you chose to blanch the broccoli), or at room temp, or cold.  (I.e., this dish can be refrigerated up to 12-24 hours, and eaten straight from the fridge.)

Makes 1 serving.

Nutritional information per serving (approximates): 240 calories, 8.5 g fat, 20 g carbohydrate, 6 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 17 g protein.

Not exactly the best photo in the world, but hopefully you at least get the idea...

Not exactly the best photo in the world, but hopefully you at least get the idea…

My notes:

  • My favorite lunchmeats for this recipe are Lightlife or Yves deli turkey slices.

The ratings:
Mental Cost (ingredient availability): Wildly low
Financial Cost (ingredient cost): Very low
Emotional Cost (cooking skill level): Crazy low
Time Cost (recipe preparation): Reasonably low
Life Cost (clean up time/effort): Super low
Worth It? (rate from 1-5): 4.75

Miscellaneous suggestions, insights, and/or thoughts:

  • I adore this meal.  Not only did I “invent” it from scratch, but I think it tastes fantastic.  And it really does remind me of a yummy, messy sandwich.  :)
  • I usually make this dish for work.  I whip it up the night before, pack it in the fridge, and when morning comes around I’m all set to jet – no scrambling to try and pull a sack lunch together in the morning.

Stef

Posted in "chicken", avocado, broccoli, casserole, hummus, peas, postaweek, soy, tomatoes, vegetables, vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gingerbread Biscotti

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (10 oz) unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1.5 cups (7.5 oz) whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup (2.5 oz) granulated (white) sugar
  • 1/3 cup (2.25 oz) loosely packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup egg beaters
  • 1/4 cup (3 oz) molasses
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp all spice
  • 1/2 tablespoon granulated (white) sugar

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (F).
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Mix the flours, sugars, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. (Use a fork or your fingers to break up any clumps of brown sugar.)
  • Once mixed, make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the egg beaters, molasses and spices (but NOT the 1 tablespoon sugar). Stir until incorporated. [The mixture will be a bit wetter than some biscotti, but it’s okay.]
  • Moisten your hands a bit, then quickly divide the dough in half and continue to quickly shape into two even logs, placing each log on the parchment-lined baking sheet.  The ‘form’ of each log will be rather loose; just go with it.
  • Dust each log with 1/4 tablespoon of sugar.
  • Bake the logs until crisp around the edges and firm to the touch, about 20 minutes.
  • Once golden and firm, remove the logs from the oven, and let both logs cool on the baking sheet for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, reduce the oven to 325 degrees (F).
  • Once the logs have cooled for half an hour, use a serrated knife to cut both logs into ½-inch-thick slices.  (Do this OFF of the baking sheet.  Each log should make 20 cookies.)
    • Drying option #1: Stand each individual cookie up on its base (i.e., do not put each cookie on its side) back on the baking sheet, providing ample space around each cookie.  Bake the cookies until dry and crisp, 15-20 minutes.  (Choose this option if you want the cookies to stay their original color.)
    • Drying option #2: Lay each cookie on its side back on the baking sheet, and bake 15-20 minutes.  Then flip the cookies, and bake on the other side 15-20 minutes, or until the cookie is dry and crisp.  (Choose this option if you want the cookies to get lightly browned.)
  • Once done to your liking, remove the cookies from the oven and place on a cooling rack.  Once completely cooled, store the cookies in a metal tin, and eat/share as desired.

Makes 40 cookies.

Nutritional information per cookie (approximates): 66 calories, 0 g fat, 14 g carbohydrate, 0.5 g fiber, 4.5 g sugar, 2 g protein.

On the left is the cookie from Drying Option #1; on the right is the cookie that underwent Drying Option #2.

On the left is the cookie from Drying Option #1; on the right is the cookie that underwent Drying Option #2.

The ratings:
Mental Cost (ingredient availability): Very low.
Financial Cost (ingredient cost): Low.
Emotional Cost (cooking skill level): Definitely medium, if not inching towards medium-high.
Time Cost (recipe preparation): High.  Making these cookies is a moderate time investment.
Life Cost (clean up time/effort): Low!  (I love parchment paper)
Worth It? (rate from 1-5): 4.5

Miscellaneous suggestions, insights, and/or thoughts:

For a “behind the scenes” peek into the making of these cookies, check out a post on my other blog.

Stef

Posted in cookie, dessert, italian, postaweek, vegetarian | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

C5 Biscotti (Cranberry Cherry Cashew Chocolate Chunk)

Ingredients:

  • ½ c (1 stick) unsalted margarine, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup (5 oz) granulated (white) sugar
  • ½ cup egg beaters
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ cups (7.5 oz) unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 cup (5 oz) whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup (1 oz) dried cranberries (see notes below)
  • ¼ cup (1 oz) dried cherries (see notes below)
  • 1/3 cup (2.25 oz) raw cashews, chopped (see notes below)
  • 2 oz dark chocolate, chopped (see notes below)

Instructions:

  • Heat the oven to 375 degrees (F).
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • With an electric mixer, beat the margarine and sugar until just smooth.  Then beat in the egg beaters and almond extract.
  • Add the baking powder, salt, and flours and mix until just incorporated.  (I started mixing with a spoon, but had to use my hands for the final minute of mixing to ensure all of the flour was absorbed by the wet ingredients.)
  • Then mix in the cranberries, cherries, cashews, and chocolate.  (I used my hands for this [to help ensure all of the chunks evenly permeated all of the dough].)
  • Divide the dough in half and shape into two 10-by-2 inch logs.  Place each log on the parchment-lined baking sheet.  Bake until just golden around the edges and firm to the touch, 22-25 minutes.
  • Once golden and firm, remove the logs from the oven, and let both logs cool on the baking sheet for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, reduce the oven to 325 degrees (F).
  • Once the logs have cooled for half an hour, use a serrated knife to cut both logs into ½-inch-thick slices.  (Do this OFF of the baking sheet.  Each log should make 15 cookies.)
    • Drying option #1: Stand each individual cookie up on its base (i.e., do not put each cookie on its side) back on the baking sheet, providing ample space around each cookie.  Bake the cookies until dry and crisp, 15-20 minutes.  (Choose this option if you want the cookies to stay their original color.)
    • Drying option #2: Lay each cookie on its side back on the baking sheet, and bake 15-20 minutes.  Then flip the cookies, and bake on the other side 15-20 minutes, or until the cookie is dry and crisp.  (Choose this option if you want the cookies to get lightly browned.)
  • Once done to your liking, remove the cookies from the oven and place on a cooling rack.  Once completely cooled, store the cookies in a metal tin, and eat/share as desired.

Makes 30 cookies.

Nutritional information per cookie (approximates): 117 calories, 5 g fat, 16.5 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 2 g protein.

90_c5 biscotti cookies

On the left is the cookie from Drying Option #1; on the right is the cookie that underwent Drying Option #2.

My notes:

  • If you don’t like cranberries or cherries, you can replace one with the other (i.e., use ½ cup of only cranberries, or ½ cup only cherries).
  • If you like cashews but can’t find raw ones, go ahead and use any unsalted version you can locate.  If you don’t like cashews, you can replace them with another nut you do enjoy.  If you don’t like nuts, feel free to omit this ingredient entirely.  (Note that if you substitute another nut for cashews, or if you omit nuts entirely, the nutritional information provided will change.)
  • If you prefer to use semi-sweet or milk chocolate instead of dark chocolate, you absolutely can.  (Or you could go crazy and even use white chocolate!)  Just note that the nutritional info provided might change.

The ratings:
Mental Cost (ingredient availability): Very low.
Financial Cost (ingredient cost): Medium, depending on the quality of fruit, nuts, and chocolates you choose to use.  Otherwise, low.
Emotional Cost (cooking skill level): Definitely medium, if not inching towards medium-high.
Time Cost (recipe preparation): High.  Making these cookies is a moderate time investment.
Life Cost (clean up time/effort): Low!  (I love parchment paper)
Worth It? (rate from 1-5): A solid 4, with promise of more…

Miscellaneous suggestions, insights, and/or thoughts:

For a “behind the scenes” peek into the making of these cookies, check out a post on my other blog.

Stef

Posted in chocolate, cookie, dessert, italian, nuts, postaweek, vegetarian | Leave a comment

Totally Fake “Clam Linguine”

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) fresh shiitake mushrooms [about 8 medium mushrooms]
  • 1/4 teaspoon roasted minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1-2 Tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk **
  • 1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon margarine
  • Dash of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon kelp powder
  • 3 ounces zucchini/yellow squash, spiralized into noodles
  • Optional: Fresh or dried parsley flakes

Instructions:

  • Remove the stems from the mushrooms, and discard.  Cut the mushrooms into cubed pieces.
  • Preheat a medium-sized skillet on medium-low heat for 1-2 minutes.
  • Once heated, spray the skillet with nonstick spray.
  • Immediately add the first 4 ingredients (i.e., mushrooms through water), and cook 2 minutes (or until the mushrooms have softened).  (Start with 1 Tablespoon of water, and if that evaporates before the 2 minutes of cook time has finished, add the second Tablespoon of water.)
  • Add the next 5 ingredients to the skillet (i.e., milk through kelp powder), and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring the mixture constantly with a rubber spoonula.
  • Add the zucchini/squash ‘noodles’ to the skillet, and cook another 1-2 minutes (or until hot), stirring constantly.
  • Transfer everything to a plate.  If using the parsley flakes, add them now.  Otherwise, eat the food immediately (while it’s still nice and hot).

Makes 1 serving.

Nutritional information per serving (approximates): 70 calories, 2 g fat, 13.5 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 6.5 g protein.

Here’s the dish without parsley. I prefer the taste of this version.

Here’s the dish with parsley. I prefer the look of this version – but I’m a function-over-form kind of gal, so if I made the recipe again, I’d create the no-parsley option.

My notes:

  • You can use any other unsweetened milk in place of the almond milk (soy, rice, etc.) – just note that any substitutions may alter the nutritional information provided.

The ratings:
Mental Cost (ingredient availability): Mostly low
Financial Cost (ingredient cost): Rather low
Emotional Cost (cooking skill level): Pretty low
Time Cost (recipe preparation): Very reasonably low
Life Cost (clean up time/effort): Quite low
Worth It? (rate from 1-5): 3.2

Miscellaneous suggestions, insights, and/or thoughts:

  • The cooked mushrooms really did behave like clams in look and feel – kooky!
  • I loved using spiralized zucchini and squash in place of noodles.  Every time I do this “cheat”, I feel extra healthy (and rather clever).  :)
  • Overall this dish was pretty bland.  (However, I suspect authentic clam linguine might be pretty bland, too.  [I’ve never had the real version.])  Still, it was enjoyable for me to try something new.  But now that I’ve had my fun, I don’t feel the need to make this recipe again.

Stef

Posted in casserole, mushrooms, noodles, nutritional yeast, picture step-by-step, postaweek, soymilk, summer squash, vegetables, vegetarian, zucchini | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Disheveled Veggie Omelette

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (3 ounces) raw cauliflower, cut/broken into small florets
  • 1/3 cup diced tomato
  • 1 large handful raw baby spinach leaves (~1 ounce)
  • 1 soy breakfast sausage (thawed if frozen), cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup (4.5 oz) egg beaters
  • 1/8 cup (0.5 oz) low fat shredded cheese (I used cheddar, but other flavors would be good, too.)
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions:

  • Preheat a medium-sized skillet on medium or medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes.
  • Once heated, spray the skillet with nonstick spray.
  • Immediately add the cauliflower, tomatoes, and a splash of water (~1 tablespoon or so) to the skillet, and cook the veggies until the cauliflower is tender and the tomato is starting to break down (1-2 minutes).
  • Add the spinach, sausage, and egg beaters.  Stir the mixture constantly with a rubber spoonula, making sure to scrape the food off the bottom of the pan and bring it to the top of the pile.  Keep stirring/mixing until the egg beaters are cooked through (1-2 minutes).
  • Move the food to a plate.  Add the cheese, and let the dish stand for 1-2 minutes (or until the cheese melts).
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste, then eat hot.

Makes 1 serving.

Nutritional information per serving (approximates): 202 calories, 5 g fat, 14 g carbohydrate, 6.5 g fiber, 6.5 g sugar, 26 g protein.

 

Here’s the dish without the cheese (so that you can see all of the colorful, healthy goodness that lives beneath the dairy)…

 

…and here’s the meal all loaded up with tasty, melty, lovely cheese. :)

My notes:

  • The soy sausage I used was Sol Cuisine Veggie Breakfast Patties.
  • If you prefer to use 2 whole eggs instead of 1/2 c egg beaters you can; just be aware that making that change will alter the nutritional information provided.

The ratings:
Mental Cost (ingredient availability): Quite low
Financial Cost (ingredient cost): Pretty low
Emotional Cost (cooking skill level): On the low side
Time Cost (recipe preparation): Happily low
Life Cost (clean up time/effort): Wonderfully low
Worth It? (rate from 1-5): 4.99997

Miscellaneous suggestions, insights, and/or thoughts:

  • The dish was so colorful and pretty, I felt healthy just looking at it.
  • Yet the meal didn’t taste like “health food” – it tasted like quality brunch fare.  (But it didn’t leave me feeling greasy or bloated afterwards.)
  • I highly recommend adding at least a little salt and pepper to the dish; these two simple-yet-powerful seasonings really make the flavors of the meal come alive, and truly transforms the overall flavor of the food.

Stef

Posted in "sausage", breakfast, casserole, cauliflower, cheese, egg beaters, picture step-by-step, postaweek, soy, spinach, tomatoes, vegetables, vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fruit Breakfast Loaf

Ingredients:

  • 1 small apple, 1/2 of a standard pear, or 1 small banana (i.e., 4 oz of fruit)
  • 1/2 cup (4.5 oz) egg beaters
  • 1/8 cup (20 g) dry (uncooked) oat bran
  • 1 T chopped nuts (I use pecans with an apple or pear, and walnuts with a banana)
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp artificial sweetener (i.e., 1 packet)

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • If using an apple or pear, finely dice the fruit.  If using a banana, choose an over-ripe one (the browner, the better), and smash it with a fork until mushy and gooey.
  • Put all of the ingredients in a medium-size bowl.
    Mix well to combine evenly and thoroughly.
  • Spray a glass 9×5” loaf pan very liberally with nonstick cooking spray.
    (Be sure to spray the corners of the loaf pan extra-well.)
  • Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.  Spread out the batter so that it is distributed evenly in the pan.
  • Bake the loaf in the center of the oven for 20 minutes.
  • Once the loaf is brown and firm (i.e., it doesn’t jiggle too much when you gently shake the pan, and the loaf has pulled away from the sides of the pan a little bit), remove the pan from the oven, and let the loaf rest in the pan for 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes, run a knife around the edges of the pan, then gently invert the loaf onto a cooling rack.
  • Let the loaf cool at least another 10 minutes.  You can also let the loaf cool completely if you prefer.
  • Once the loaf has cooled to your liking, you can eat it.  Alternatively, if you let the loaf cool completely, you can store it for consumption at a later date. (See note.)

Makes 1 serving.

Nutritional information per serving (approximates): 220 calories, 6 g fat, 30 g carbohydrate, 6.25 g fiber, 12 g sugar, 15.5 g protein.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

My notes:

  • If you prefer to use 2 whole eggs instead of ½ c egg beaters you can; just be aware that making that change will alter the nutritional information provided.
  • If you don’t like pecans or walnuts, you can use other nuts if you prefer (almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, whatever).  Or, you can omit the nuts completely if you don’t like them, or if you are allergic to them.  Again, just be aware that removing the nuts from the recipe will alter the nutritional information provided.
  • If you prefer to use sugar instead of artificial sweetener, you can replace the 1/2 tsp sweetener with 1-2 tsp sugar.  Once again, just know that making this change will alter the nutritional information provided.
  • This loaf freezes beautifully.  It can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, or in the freezer for 3-4 months. (When freezing, I wrap the loaf first in cling/plastic wrap, then in tin/aluminum foil.  Then I use a permanent marker to write the name of the loaf on the foil, so that I know what the mystery item is several weeks later.)  ;)

The ratings:
Mental Cost (ingredient availability): Very Low
Financial Cost (ingredient cost): Also Very Low
Emotional Cost (cooking skill level): Genuinely Low
Time Cost (recipe preparation): Low
Life Cost (clean up time/effort): Truly Low
Worth It? (rate from 1-5): 5!

Miscellaneous suggestions, insights, and/or thoughts:

  • This breakfast loaf (along with a blueberry breakfast loaf I have made in the past) are my go-tos when I’m traveling.  I just pull one out of the freezer the night before, then grab it off of the kitchen counter before I head out the door.  It’s way better than eating some processed breakfast bar.  (And much more satisfying, too.)
  • I never make just one of these loaves.  I own 4 loaf pans, so if I make this recipe, I make 4 versions of it (you guessed it: 1 apple, 1 pear, 1 banana, and 1 blueberry), bake them all at once, and freeze the ones I don’t plan on consuming immediately.  Voila – instant future breakfasts.  ;)

Stef

Posted in apple, banana, breakfast, egg beaters, fruit, loaf, muffin, nuts, oat bran, pear, picture step-by-step, postaweek, vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Low Carb Breakfast Skillet

Ingredients:

  • 1/8 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1.5 cups (4 oz) raw cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 1 soy breakfast sausage (thawed if frozen), cut into small pieces
  • 1 egg
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions:

  • In a medium nonstick skillet, sauté the onions over medium-high heat until they are fragrant (about 2 minutes).
  • Add the cauliflower and a dash of water, and cook the cauliflower until it is soft and brown (about 1 minute).
  • Add the sausage, and mix to combine.
  • Gently add the egg (be careful not to break the yolk), and cook until the whites are done but the yolk is still a tiny bit runny (about 3-4 minutes).
  • Season with salt and pepper as desired, and eat immediately.

Makes 1 serving.

Nutritional information per serving: 165 calories, 6.5 g fat, 11.5 g carbohydrate, 5.5 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 15 g protein.

The ratings:
Mental Cost (ingredient availability): Very low.
Financial Cost (ingredient cost): Quite low.
Emotional Cost (cooking skill level): Probably inching towards medium.
Time Cost (recipe preparation): On the low side.
Life Cost (clean up time/effort): Decently low.
Worth It? (rate from 1-5): As is: 4.24.  With minor tweaks: 4.963.

Miscellaneous suggestions, insights, and/or thoughts:

  • The soy sausage I used was Sol Cuisine Veggie Breakfast Patties.
  • This recipe makes a large portion of food, but the meal didn’t sit heavy in my stomach like a skillet from a diner does.  (This is a good thing.)
  • This meal was a bit mild in flavor; I would probably add more onion next time.  I might even add a dash of paprika, too.
  • I would also consider adding 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil to help the cauliflower brown more, and to give the dish a little more depth in flavor.
  • Mushrooms would probably be a nice addition, too.
  • I loved the runny egg yolk; it provided a wonderful buttery flavor.  Yum.

Stef

Posted in "sausage", breakfast, cauliflower, eggs, postaweek, soy, vegetables, vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment