Sunday, May 18, 2014

My Latest Favorite Breakfasts… What is Yours?

For the past few years I have eaten eggs for breakfast almost every morning.  I have learned the hard way, through trial and error, that the more protein and the fewer starchy carbs I eat in the morning, the better... not only for me but for everyone around me!

When I don’t eat enough protein I get HANGRY… you know that feeling where you HAVE GOT to eat something, anything, right NOW… and you are cranky and shaky and lightheaded?  If you have never experienced this low-blood sugar craziness for yourself, you cannot possibly understand it.  It comes on suddenly and it causes a bit of panic and a lot of concern.

So, eggs for breakfast 'cause eggs are high in protein.  And I do happen to like them. I like them fried, poached, scrambled, and in omelets… with veggies, with fruits, and in faux pancakes and cakes along with a variety of ingredients.

But a few weeks ago, I participated in a 10 Spring Detox with Amber Williford.  It was an elimination diet and eggs were on the don’t eat list.  What was I going to eat for breakfast if I couldn’t have eggs?  Dairy products and nuts were also on the don’t eat list so no Greek yogurt with almond butter either... and certainly no whey protein powders.

What she did suggest was to have some berries along with coconut milk, some hemp protein powder, a few pumpkin seeds and some milled flax.

I tried it several different mornings and quite enjoyed it.  Now I often have a variation of these ingredients as a nice, cold alternative to an egg dish in the morning.  I usually use unsweetened almond milk, as nuts are not a problem for me, and usually I add a scoop of some kind of protein powder to the bowl as well.

 berries breakfast
Mixed berries with unsweetened vanilla almond milk, vanilla protein powder, and some cinnamon.

bananas and berries breakfast
Blueberries with unsweetened plain almond milk, vanilla protein powder, banana, pumpkin seeds and cinnamon.

I love these goodie bowls, and am so glad that am expanding my breakfast tastes!

Then a couple of days ago, I saw a post from Danielle Prestejohn on Facebook… and a picture of the breakfast she ate that day. It was scrambled egg whites with a bit of vanilla and cinnamon, some slices of banana, all drizzled with creamy peanut butter.  I had to try it for myself!

The first time out I forgot the vanilla… but it was wonderful just the same.

Egg Whites and Bananas
My peanut butter is the chunky kind so didn’t drizzle, even after heating in the mike.

Egg Whites Strawberries and Bananas
I made it again today and I remembered the vanilla. I had to admit it actually was a bit tastier… and I also added a few fresh, sweet strawberry slices… this almond butter was a better drizzle, too.  Awesome.

So, yes, eggs again.  But with a completely different twist and totally delicious.  Thank you, Danielle, for the great idea.

For the Weight Watchers among you, egg whites and fruit are Power Foods and do not need to be counted if you are following Simple Start or the Simply Filling Technique.  Just keep track of the amount of nut butter you are using… I only used 2 tsp so that is just 2 P+ on the Weight Watchers Points Plus program. 

Here are just a few links to some of my other favorite breakfasts:

Egg Foo Yung

Ham and Egg Baskets

Avocado and Egg Boats

banana protein cake

This can also be done with chocolate and is wonderful with berries!

For lots of other great ideas, please check out my BREAKFAST IDEAS link under the FEATURED RECIPES tab on my home page.  And you see anything you like, I would love to know about it…and do feel free to PIN and share. 

Do you have a favorite breakfast or do you like to change things up every day?

Monday, May 05, 2014

Assorted Kitchen Tips and Tricks

I have always been one who likes to find the easiest way to do kitchen chores and cooking tasks. I am not lazy per se, but I don’t believe in making things harder than they really need to be. And if it is possible, I like to do things in batches, to save time and resources.

When I turn the oven on to bake squash, for example, I am likely to put in some potatoes to bake alongside.  Or I might have a batch of cookies ready to bake when the squash comes out of the oven.  Once it’s on and hot, I like to make the most of it!

When I roast chicken breasts, I will do several and either refrigerate or freeze them so they are ready to go on days I need to make meals quickly.

I like to use my crock pot to batch cook pulled pork or shredded chicken. I make pots and pots of homemade soups to freeze.

One of my favorite time savers is to peel whole heads of garlic at one time… and then keep the cloves in a glass jar in the fridge, to be used over the next few days.

Assorted Kitchen Tips
I separate the cloves and then slice off the end that was attached.  The I carefully peel the papery skin from each clove and store them in a glass jar till I need to use them.

May kitchen tips 002
Having peeled cloves ready to use is a nice time-saver.

Here are a couple more of my favorite foodie tips:
  • After cutting apples or avocados, coat the exposed flesh with lemon juice to keep it from turning brown due to oxidization.
  • To remove stains from tea cups, put about 1/2 tsp of baking soda in the bottom of the cup and then fill it with hot water. The stains will rub away very easily.
  • To soften brown sugar that has hardened, place it in a sealed container with  small piece of frozen bread. As the bread thaws, the moisture from it will be drawn into the sugar and it will soften in a few hours.
  • When we lived on the boat I started placing a few grains of rice in my salt shaker to keep the salt from getting moist and clumping.  I still do that.
  • When your fingers smell of onions or garlic, sprinkle some lemon juice on them to remove the smell.
  • If you oversalt a dish, add a bit of sugar to it. It will taste less salty.
  • The easiest way to peel a hard boiled egg is to tap the shell all over with a spoon to crack it. Then run the spoon, bowl side down all around between the shell and the egg. 
I polled some of my online Weight Watchers buddies to see if they have anything to share. These are some of their great ideas:

  • Keep your avocado's in the fridge and take them out 1-2 days before you want to use them so that they don't all ripen at the same time.  You can have a steady supply of them this way as they will keep in the fridge for weeks
from MISCHE:
  • Lemons/limes, too hard to squeeze to get juices out? Zap in microwave for about 20 seconds.   Press fruit by rolling out on counter for a couple of rolls. Now, ready for juicing!

from TOPAZ21:
  • To keep bread,rolls, etc. fresh, freeze the slices in baggies.  I do 2 slices in each then remove from the freezer the night before and let thaw in the fridge.
  • When you buy fresh herbs if you stand the stems in a small glass with water and keep in the fridge they will last longer, or put them in your ice cube trays, cover with water and freeze.  Once frozen you can put them in a plastic bag or container.

  • When bananas start getting old, I cut them and freeze them for smoothies.
  • With pineapples, after I slice them, I get a bunch of excess pulp and juice that I pour into ice cube trays and freeze for smoothies.
  • I keep my baking in the freezer, it lasts longer and I have something when I want it.
  • In the summer, I pour ground coffee into mesh bags and let it steep overnight in a pitcher. Then I have iced coffee for the week.

And I recently asked some of my colleagues at FitFluential to see what food or kitchen tips they would like to share… here are some of those ideas with links to their blogs posts:






Thanks to all of you who shared some tips 
for making things easier in the kitchen.

Check out my TIPS and TRICKS   tab for more lots more ideas.

Do you have any good ideas to add to the list?