Monday, August 26, 2013

Squash and Blueberry Scramble

I love the harvest season… the transition from Summer to Fall… ‘cause it means there are just so many of my favorite foods readily available – local and fresh.

Two of them are berries and squashes… pretty much ANY kind of berries and ANY kind of squashes.  And I am alwasy trying to come up with new ways to eat them together.

I made this recently and absolutely loved it.  I know it is kind of strange but I assure you it is delicious.  And simple and quick.

I used leftover acorn squash but you could just as easily use butternut, or kabocha or delicata or even carnival squash… which I am sure I will soon!  I did use blueberries too – they work very well cause they don’t squish down too much when they are cooked, but if you have blackberries, by all means, use them!

I put a sprinkle of cinnamon into my scramble as it was cooking, but you could just as easily go savory with this mixture and sprinkle some crumbled bacon into it.... oh my, I just thought of that, and I am going to do it!

Aug 19 squash and blueberry scramble 006

Squash and Blueberry Scramble
Makes 1 serving
  • 1/2 cup cooked squash
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup egg whites (4 egg whites)
  • Dash of cinnamon
  1. Remove the squash from the shell and mash it a bit.
  2. Place a non-stick skillet over MEDIUM heat and add the egg whites, cooked squash and half the blueberries.
  3. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
  4. Cook till the egg whites are firm, stirring occasionally.
  5. Remove to plate and top with the remaining blueberries.
Per serving.
Weight Watchers P+ = 5.
Calories 199; Protein 15g; Carbohydrate 37g; Fat 1g; Fibre 8g.

Aug 19 squahs and blueberry scramble 001
Scoop the flesh from the cooked squash.  I love these little yellow acorn squashes.

Aug 19 squahs and blueberry scramble 002
Mash it up a bit.

Aug 19 squahs and blueberry scramble 004
Put half the blueberries into the pan along with the squash and egg whites.   I love cooked and warm blueberries!

Aug 19 squahs and blueberry scramble 005
Top the cooked scramble mixture with the rest of the blueberries before serving.

What are you loving right now that is in season and local to where you live?

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Squash and Sweet Potato Crustless Quiche

I first saw this intriguing dish when my friend Sara pointed it out on Facebook a short while back. The author at paleOMG calls it Spaghetti Squash Breakfast Bake.  I call it Squash and Sweet Potato Crustless Quiche.  Who cares?  It is AWESOME!

I Tweeted the link and highlighted is a favorite so I would be sure to be able to find it again… sometimes this is quicker for me than Pinterest.

The recipe itself is a fun twist on a crustless, cheeseless quiche, and the prose that accompanies it is witty and irreverent.  You may want to read it for the humor alone.  And drool.

I finally got around to making this dish a few days ago.  I admit, there is a fair amount of preparation involved.  I miked the spaghetti squash while shredding the sweet potato and onion in my food processor.  (I had never used the shredder blade before.  Who knew it could be so easy?)  At first I thought I would only need 6 eggs, but at the last minute whisked in 2 more.   And I didn't use a 8X8 pan as apparently I no longer have one!

Before baking, it looked a bit soupy….

Aug 21 more casserole 001

And the final cooked result?


Aug 21 casserole 002

Now to be honest, the ingredient list contains some of my very favorite items, so I was pretty darned sure I was going to love this dish.  And I do.  And so did The Captain, which was a huge bonus for me, too, as these are NOT some of his favorite ingredients…. but he did love the outcome.

Aug 21 casserole 001

Aug 21 casserole 003

We ate half for lunch the day I made it… then the other half for dinner a couple of night’s later.  I reheated it on a MEDIUM power in the mike for a couple of minutes… I was afraid that HIGH power might make the eggs rubbery. The Captain also thinks it would be good cold.

Aug 23 quiche 001

And just look at those tomatoes… grown on our balcony in containers!  Red and yellow cherry tomatoes. Mmmmmm.

Next time, I just may bake this quiche in my silicone muffin cups…. they would make handy snacks too!

By the way, it is also paleo, vegetarian, gluten free... all those good things!

The N.I. as I made it, for 1/4th of the whole:

Weight Watchers P+ = 6.

Calories 243; Protein 14g; Carbohydrate 16g; Fat 14g; Fibre 3g.

Give it a try.  Plan to spend some time at it.  Thoroughly enjoy the fruits of your labors.  And then send me a Tweet or come back and leave me a comment here, saying THANK YOU… it’s that good!

Are you a quiche fan?  What is your favorite kind?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Frozen Protein ‘Bites’

Sometimes I need a little something before I do a strength workout in the morning… and it will usually have some protein and a few carbs and perhaps a bit of fat, too.  Not much, just a little something

Normally I like to work out on an empty stomach.  I get out of bed, have a glass of water with half a lime squeezed and tossed into it, my EpiCor supplement, and then part of a cup of coffee… get into my workout gear and get sweaty!

But I have learned that if the workout involved much lower body work I need to eat a little before I do it. If I don’t, I tend to get too weak to finish my workout.  And I also don’t feel very good and it often lasts well into the morning.  Not a good experience.

I have experimented with protein shakes, but sometimes that is just too much … I don’t like to work hard with food in my belly cause it tends to make me feel sickish. 

These little frozen protein ‘bites’ are just right!  They are a combination of mashed banana, protein powder, and almond butter.  I love them, and could honestly just snack on them, especially when the weather is still so hot, but I am saving them as a pre-workout fuel…. I do have some self-control, although I admit I don’t like to show it off all the time!

The first time I made them, and as shown here, I used GNC Chocolate Rebuilt-Mass protein powder ‘cause we still had some around from the review The Captain did of it a while back… use your favorite protein powder.  And of course, the N.I. will vary with the brand and kind of powder used… but you get the idea.

I have also made them with a vanilla whey powder and added a dash of cinnamon.  They are really good too.  I think I will be experimenting a lot, with different fruits and nut butters and spices…

Aug 20 frozen protein bites 2 002

Frozen Protein ‘Bites’
Makes 8
  • 1 medium banana, peeled and mashed
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • 2 Tbs almond butter
  1. Add the protein powder and the almond butter to the mashed banana and mix until well-combined.
  2. Scoop with a tablespoon measure into a silicone or paper muffin cup.
  3. Freeze several hours till solid.
  4. Store in the freezer and thaw the ‘bite’ for a a minute or 2 before eating.
Per serving of one ‘bite’.
Weight Watchers P+ = 1.
Calories 51; Protein 2g; Carbohydrate 7g; Fat 2g; Fibre 1g.

The next time I made them I used a regular whey powder and it had more protein so the N.I. was higher in protein and lower in carbs.  I suspect most whey powders would give similar results.

Per serving of one ‘bite’.
Weight Watchers P+ = 1.
Calories 50; Protein 4g; Carbohydrate 4g; Fat 2g; Fibre 1g.

Aug 17 frozen protein bites 001
Start by mashing the banana.

Aug 17 frozen protein bites 002

I use silicone muffin cups because they peel away so easily… and yes, the bananas are a bit lumpy.  It doesn’t matter!

Do you like to eat before you do a strength workout?

What is your favorite thing to have?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Green Pepper Boats with Egg and Avocado

I have come to really enjoy a few slices of perfectly ripe avocado along with my morning eggs...  ever since I first made these Avocado and Egg Boats.

I was having a hankering for them again when came across a green pepper in the crisper that was looking a little neglected.  So, I decided to use that too and ended up with Green Pepper and Egg Boats with Avocado.

If you are a vegetarian, just leave the bacon out.  But it does add a distinct flavor burst to the whole meal.

This is a big breakfast that will easily keep you going till noon... or it could certainly pass for lunch or even dinner, too.

Aug 14 eggs in peppers 004

Green Pepper Boats with Egg and Avocado
Makes 2 servings
  • 1 large green pepper, cut in half vertically and cleaned
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 medium ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and cut in slices (about 4 oz net)
  • crumbled bacon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. Place the green pepper halves on a baking sheet, cut side up.
  3. Crack an egg into each ‘boat’.
  4. Bake for 15  minutes.
  5. Place 3 pieces of cherry tomato in each boat and return them to the oven. Bake for another 5 minutes.
  6. Remove to serving plates.
  7. Spread the avocado slices onto each boat, and sprinkle with crumbled bacon, salt and pepper before serving.
Per boat, with 1 tsp bacon.
Weight Watchers P+ = 5.
Calories 203; Protein 9g; Carbohydrate 11g; Fat 15g; Fibre 5g.

Aug 14 eggs in peppers 001
You could easily cook 2 eggs in each if the pepper halves are large enough.

Aug 14 eggs in peppers 002
After 15 minutes the eggs will still be slightly runny.

Aug 14 eggs in peppers 003
Mmmmmm… This is just so good.  Lots of my favorite flavors, all mixed together.

Are you a runny egg fan?  

What about avocados.... love 'em or leave 'em?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Carrot ‘Hummus’

I love carrots and munch on then raw quite often.  I also like to steam them, and often use the leftovers in omelettes or on salads..  Carrot soup is a favorite, as are roasted carrots. 

I have had a large bag full of carrots in the refrigerator for a week or so.  I knew I had to use them soon or be prepared to get rid of them, and because it was kind of gloomy on Satruday morning when I was in the mood to cook, I though I would make soup… but then the sun came out, warm and bright, and I changed my mind and decided to make something cold instead.

This faux ‘hummus’ is quite delicious.  I love the texture of the cooked carrot pureed with just a bit of olive oil to make it silky and slippery on the tongue.  You could certainly play with the seasonings… I may try curry or ginger next time.  And perhaps more garlic. And yes, it is so good that there WILL be a next time.
Originally I though I might try coconut oil, but then decided that the non-taste of the olive oil might be a better fit… I was right.  I don’t think coconut oil would work here.

I know it going to be very nice with raw veggies as a dip, and The Captain will enjoy some with crackers and cheese, too.  I will also be using it as a topper for my morning omelets.  Mmmm.

Carrots are full of antioxidants and vitamins and are a good healthy source of carbohydrates too.  Eat your carrots… I am sure you Mother told you they are good for your eyesight!  I happen to think all orange things just taste good.

My recipe makes 2 cups of creamy and silky smooth ‘hummus’.  And I have been using it in a variety of ways.  I made some cute little canapes with slices of mini cucumbers, and have also spooned it on top of my lunch salad, in place of a dressing.  It is very flavorful and really pretty too!

Aug 10 More Carrot Dip 001

Carrot ‘Hummus’
Makes 2 cups
  • 1 pound of raw carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch lengths
  • Juice from 1 small lemon
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic, peeled, smashed and minced
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • dashes of salt and pepper
  1. Cook the carrots in boiling water approximately 15 minutes.
  2. Drain the water and allow the carrots to cool for a few minutes.
  3. Place the carrots, garlic, and lemon juice in the bowl of your food processor or blender and pulse several times until carrots chunks are broken.
  4. Add the olive oil and spices and puree till smooth.
  5. Remove to a storage container and chill until ready to use.
  6. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
Per 1/4 cup serving.
Weight Watchers P+ = 1.
Calories 46; Protein 1g; Carbohydrate 8g; Fat 2g; Fibre 2g.

Aug 10 Carrot Dip 001
Remove the peel from the carrots for the silkiest ‘hummus’ texture.

Aug 10 Even More Carrot Dip 001
Pulse a few times to break up carrots and then add seasonings and olive oil.

Aug 10 Carrot Dip 002Puree till smooth.

Aug 10 Carrot Dip 003
Chill a couple of hours before serving.

Aug 11 Carrot Dip 001
Serve on salad in place of dressing… and those cherry tomatoes are the first of my season’s harvest!

Friday, August 09, 2013

Balsamic Pulled Pork in the Slow Cooker

Pulled Pork is one of our favorite entrees.  I make it in big batches in the slow cooker and then freeze it in individual servings.  It is so handy…. and really quite versatile.

I like mine with with sweet potatoes, or cauliflower rice… and a variety of squashes… spaghetti, kabocha, and acorn.   And roasted veggies are great too.

Feb 16 roasted veg and pulled pork 003

Feb 28 pulled pork leftovers 001

Feb 18 crock pot pulled pork 004

And I also like to scoop it into cauliflower tortillas.  A nice accompaniment is a few slices of apple that has been sauteed in butter or coconut oil, and sprinkled with cinnamon.

The Captain likes his with white potatoes or some kind of pasta.  He also loves it spooned over a warm crusty roll of some kind, or even just toast.


And I am always trying to come up with a variety of seasonings and spices to change it up so that we are not eating the same meal over and over.   I have used apples, onions, garlic, thyme, cumin, and raisins… and I have also done a BBQ version with tomatoes.

My most recent and simplest creation, which we both really love, is done with dark balsamic vinegar, garlic, and onions.   I have made it with these ingredients in the past, but it required a second step to make a separate sauce to serve with it.  Not this time.

I made a double batch and we are thoroughly enjoying it.  Hope you like it too.  If you prefer a more vinegary flavor, add a spoonful or two more.  You can even drizzle some over the pork as you serve it if you like.

Aug 2 pulled balsamic pulled pork 002

Balsamic Pulled Pork in the Slow Cooker
Makes 10 servings
  • 1 pork loin, about 2.5 pounds
  • 1 medium onion, cut vertically, about 1 cup
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled, smashed and minced
  • 1/4 cup dark balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water 
  • Dashes of salt and pepper
  1. Coat the bottom of your crock pot with a light spritz of a non-stick spray for easy clean up.
  2. Place half the onions,and garlic on the bottom of the pot.
  3. Set the pork loin on top and then sprinkle it with salt and pepper.
  4. Cover the pork with the rest of the onions, and garlic.
  5. Mix the water and vinegar together and then drizzle over the pork loins.
  6. Put lid on the crock pot and cook on LOW for 6 or 7 hours.
  7. Stir everything together pulling apart the pork roast as you do so.
  8. Serve warm.
Per serving.
Weight Watchers P+ = 4.
Calories 168; Protein 25g; Carbohydrate 2g; Fat 6g; Fibre 0g.

Aug 2 pulled balsamic pulled pork 001
After pulling and shreddin, still in the slow cooker.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

More Grain Free and Gluten Free Coconout Flour Pancakes

This is just another little tweak to my favorite coconut flour pancakes.

I first made them with whole eggs and coconut flour, a bit of water, vanilla, and some cinnamon.  Then I subbed egg whites for one of the eggs.  But, lately I have been making them without whole eggs at all… just egg whites.

The coconut flour makes a fairly heavy batter, and I think using egg whites instead of whole eggs lightens the pancakes up quite a bit and you likely won’t need to thin it with water.

I have been enjoying mine with a half cup of fresh blueberries added to the batter before cooking… and then another half cup sprinkled over the top as I eat them.  And I have discovered there is no need for syrup with the sweet berries!  The berries here are large and luscious right now.  Mmmmm.....

July 31 coconut flour pancakes blueberries 001

Coconut Flour Pancakes
Makes 1 large pancake
  • 2 Tbs coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp or more of vanilla
  1. Mix the ingredients together very well in a medium bowl and then pour the batter into a prepared skillet.
  2. Cook over MEDIUM heat for 4 or 5 minutes till bubbles appear in the batter and the edges are somewhat dry.
  3. Flip and cook the other side.
  4. Serve with your favorite toppings.
Per serving without toppings.
Weight Watchers P+ = 3.
Calories 121; Protein 15g; Carbohydrate 11g; Fat 1g; Fibre 6g.

Have you tried cooking with coconut flour yet?

Are you a fan of fresh blueberries?