SWASHBUCKLED! (S1E5): Brupper for Bros (AKA. The Father’s Day Special)

Our biggest critic (Amanda’s husband) recently asked, “why can’t you just make something simple, like meat and potatoes?” Here in the Fearless Flying Kitchen, we like to take our fans (and critics) opinions seriously…which is why we have “meat and potatoes week” for all the Bro’s out there.


Ingredients featured in this week’s episode:

 

This week, we throw Amanda’s husband a solid, by making a meal out of meat, potatoes, “not meat” and “not potatoes.”

We went with a savory brunch for dinner, which we have officially coined as “Brupper” (add that to your urban dictionary!)

The meal’s base is a blend of mashed red and yellow potatoes with frozen mashed cauliflower. The two are blended together with some Parmesan cheese and herbs and spices and formed into a patty (a savory pancake)

The bag of potatoes also came with purple potatoes. We didn’t include these in the mash, because they would have turned it a funky color. Instead, we rinsed and quartered then, added a splash of olive oil, salt and pepper, and put them in the oven to roast at 400 degrees for about a half an hour.

Next up is the soy-chorizo creamed spinach. Full of so much flavor! At this point, if you are a vegetarian (or just don’t like or have steak) you could top with a poached egg for a fun take on an eggs Benedict.

The steak we used in the episode is a little bit tough, and is perfect for braising (cooked with a liquid). We tried to soften it up a bit by pounding and soaking in buttermilk (the acid can help soften the tough meat), but in the end, it still wasn’t the ideal texture. If we had more time in the kitchen, we definitely would have let the meat marinate for a lot longer (or try a different, wet cooking method, like braising).

To finish off the dish, we ended with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese. Lots of flavor!

Lastly,  before you get to these awesome recipes…We did have a bit of a challenge with our new technology (the challenge was that Amanda accidentally deleted all the footage before uploading it), so apologies for the lack of actual cooking footage on the episode. We’ll work it out and make it work for future episodes. Thanks dad for the technology boost!

Parmesan Potato Pancakes with Soyrizo Creamed Spinach adn Steak Medallions

Parmesan Potato Pancakes

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Recipe by Amanda Hibshman, RDN

Ingredients

  • 7 Small Red or Yellow Potatoes
  • 1/2 Bag Frozen Mashed Cauliflower
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Romano Cheese Blend
  • 1/4 tsp Dried Parsley
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tbsp Everything but the Bagel Seasoning
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Spray canola or olive oil

Directions

  1. Pierce potatoes and place in a microwave safe dish with a tablespoon of water. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 6 minutes. Add half the bag of mashed cauliflower, re-cover, and microwave for another 4-6 minutes, until potatoes are soft and cauliflower is no longer frozen. Mash the potatoes and cauliflower together, add egg, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, parsley, salt and pepper and mix well. Let cool a little bit and turn on griddle (electric to about 350 or a stovetop griddle to medium-high).
  2. Spray griddle with oil. Take a dollop of potato/cauliflower mixture and flatten into a patty (It will be really sticky, but that’s ok, you can get it mostly there, then continue to flatten with spatula once it is on the griddle ) and place on the hot griddle. Cook on each side for about 4-5 minutes, until it has a nice little brown mark on it.



Soyrizo Creamed Spinach

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Recipe by Amanda Hibshman, RDN

Ingredients

  • 1/2 package of Soy Chorizo
  • 1 tsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Onion, minced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 3 Cups Fresh Spinach (whole bag)
  • 2 Heaping Tbsp Grated Parmesan Romano Cheese Blend
  • 2 Tbsp Half and Half
  • 1/4 Cup Lowfat Milk

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add minced onion and garlic then sauté for about 3-4 minutes. Add soy chorizo and continue to cook for about 5 minutes. Add spinach and let cook down for another 2-3 minutes. Add milk, half and half, and parmesan cheese. Continue to cook over medium-high heat for another couple minutes. Turn off heat and cover until ready to serve.



Buttermilk Steak Medallions

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Recipe by Amanda Hibshman, RDN

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Sirloin Medallions
  • 1/2 Cup Buttermilk
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 Vegetable Oil

Directions

  1. Pound sirloin steak tips with a mallet to tenderize and flatten. Place in a ziplock bag with buttermilk, garlic powder, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Squeeze air out of ziplock, seal, and place in refrigerator for at least a half an hour (longer preferred).
  2. When ready to cook, take steak out of ziplock, season each side with additional salt and pepper, and drudge through flour. Place oil in a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Once hot (will sizzle when something is placed in skillet), then add flour coated steak medallions. Cook for a few minutes on each side (you want it to be brown and crispy on the outside.


 

Honey Raisin Oat Bran Muffins

Honey Oat Bran Muffins FFK

 

I love me a good Bran Muffin.

…and we’re not talking the healthy kind! The more the honey and sugar to disguise the bran, the better. It’s for this reason, my bran muffin consumption usually falls in the “special occasion” category.

BUT WHAT IF I WANT THEM ALL THE TIME?!?!

That’s where this recipe comes in. I found a Mimi’s copy-cat recipe on the internet, and made many tweaks to get the nutritional profile to a range that I would feel comfortable with calling this “breakfast” as opposed to “dessert.”

Some of the changes included swapping the regular flour for my favorite 100% White Whole Wheat Flour, swapping out the oil for a mix of melted butter and mashed banana, and drastically changed the glaze entirely (that one was painful).  I also added some extra flavor in the form of vanilla extract and pumpkin pie spice.

Is it nearly as decadent as I am use to? No. But is it a whole lot healthier and tasty enough for me to enjoy? Absolutely.

This would pair really nicely with Vanilla Greek Yogurt and Berries for breakfast…and Coffee…Of course.

Honey Oat Bran Ingredients FFK

Honey Raisin Oat Bran Muffins

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup 100% White Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Oat bran
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 3/4 cup Buttermilk (or milk + 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar)
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp Melted Butter
  • 1/2 Mashed Banana
  • 1/3 cup Chopped Raisins
  • 1/4 Cup Honey
  • 1 Egg
  • Glaze:
    • 1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar, sifted
    • 2 Tbsp Honey
    • 1 Tbsp Hot Water

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Mix first five ingredients (the dry ingredients)
  • In a separate bowl, combine the next seven ingredients (the wet ingredients).
  • Create a well in the dry ingredients, and mix the wet ingredients into the dry until just incorporated (don’t overwork this).
  • Grease muffin tin (I use the coconut oil spray), and place ~ 1 Tbsp of batter into each section. Should be 1/2-3/4 full.
  • Bake for ~ 20  minutes. While muffins are baking, whisk together all glaze ingredients in a separate bowl
  • Remove while warm and place on a plate. Cover with glaze (about 1/2 tbsp per muffin). Glaze will fall down the top of the muffin and gather at the bottom of the muffin.
  • Best when consumed immediately and piping hot!

Overnight Coconut Chia Seed Pudding

Overnight Chia Seed Pudding

By a show of hands, how many of you have seen some one boasting about their chia-seed-filled breakfast on social media? Or how about having a Pinterest feed full of chia seed recipes? I know mine is up!

As with most trends, I need to make sure it is tried and true before I start to experiment with it. Every time I go to Trader Joe’s, I see the small bag of chia seeds and am always so tempted to get it, but really, what would I do with them?

But really, why not get them? I shouldn’t let my lack of creativity stop me from these awesome little guys.

Chia seeds are a nutritional powerhouse, with just one tablespoon boasting 70 calories, 6 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein, and 5 grams of fat (mostly polyunsaturated, 3 of those grams are the omega-3 fatty acid ALA).

The recipe for a very basic chia seed pudding is one part chia seeds to four parts milk (of your choice), and from there you can customize with whatever sweetener or other additions you want!

I packed this for a snack at lunch, and I could barely finish because it was so filling! This makes for a great breakfast that will leave you satisfied for hours.

Overnight Coconut Chia Seed Pudding

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: (super)easy
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Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 Cup Vanilla Coconut Milk
  • Drizzle of honey (probably 1-2 tsp)
  • Mixed berries (the more the merrier! But probably about 1/4-1/2 cup)

Directions:

Place chia seeds and coconut milk in a small, sealable container and stir. Let sit 2-3 hours, or overnight, in the refrigerator. Once set, give it a good stir and try a small bite to see how much honey you need (1-2 tsp, or none at all if the sweetness from the coconut milk is enough for you). Top with mixed berries and enjoy!

Rosemary Polenta, Tomato Confit, Carmelized Bacon and Eggs

Polenta Caramelized Bacon Eggs

In order to become a dietitian, you have to go through a minimum of a bachelor’s program in nutrition (and not just any program, one that is officially a “Didactic Program in Dietetics”). Then after that, you have to complete a 1-2 year (approx.) internship program, and then you can sit for your national exam.

My internship was at the VA Medical Center, and there were six of us interns who grew to be like sisters over that year (or, 10 months, to be exact). We would carpool, share food, spend holidays together, fight, complain, some even lived together. I really adored all of my intern-mates, and will have a special spot in my heart for them for the rest of my life.

One time, my intern-mate, Hai Van, invited the girls over to her place for brunch. It was probably the best breakfast I had ever had in someone’s home. I kept asking her what she did, and have tried to re-create the meal, but every time, it just isn’t the same. I shouldn’t be surprised, because this girl would come up with THE MOST creative menus, and was also a professionally trained chef. I mean, how can you live up to that??

I remember being very intimidated by this meal, not only because Hai Van was an incredible chef that made magic in the kitchen…but it called for Polenta. I had never made that before, and my only experience was seeing the log at the store. But my friend walked me through the entire process, and it ended up being a success.

Rosemary Polenta

This was adapted from The Barefoot Contessa. Believe it or not, I actually reduced the amount of butter, half and half and milk by quite a but. It still turned out creamy and delicious. If you are short on time, you can always use the pre-made Organic Polenta from Trader Joe’s. (Side note, I don’t think Trader Joe’s carries cornmeal, at least I have never purchased it from there. Does any one know?)
 

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup Butter
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan
  • Flour, olive oil, and butter, for frying

Directions

Heat the butter and olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, rosemary, salt, and pepper and saute for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock, half-and-half, milk, and water and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and slowly sprinkle the cornmeal into the hot milk while stirring constantly with a whisk. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for a few minutes, until thickened and bubbly. Off the heat, stir in the Parmesan. Pour into a 9 by 13 by 2-inch pan, smooth the top, and refrigerate until firm and cold.

Cut the chilled polenta into 12 squares, as you would with brownies. Lift each one out with a spatula and cut diagonally into triangles. Dust each triangle lightly in flour. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large saute pan and cook the triangles in batches over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes, turning once, until browned on the outside and heated inside. Add more butter and oil, as needed. Serve immediately.

The rest of the meal was fairly easy. You can make the polenta the night before and in the morning, just slice some of it up and pan fry it in a little butter and oil. To make the Tomato Confit, combine a container of little grape tomatoes, olive oil, salt and pepper, and bake in a glass dish at 325 for 40 minutes.

The bacon is partially cooked on the stove then finished off in the oven @ 425 (until done, it all depends on how much you cook it on the stove). Before putting in the oven, sprinkle with pepper and brown sugar.

The eggs were just simply fried over medium. Then the dish was assembled with the polenta cake on the bottom, tomato confit and then topped with the egg. Bacon was served on the side.

When Hai Van made this, she sprinkled some fresh basil on top and served a side salad of field greens with balsamic vinaigrette and goat cheese, which was perfect for a brunch. It also added some more color to the plate. She also had a bloody mary bar, which is always a fan favorite (Side note – Trader Joe’s has a great bloody mary mix!)

Healthy Whole Wheat Pancakes

Whole-Wheat-Pancakes

Here is the first video and recipe I shared with Nutrition Milestones, and it really is just too much fun to not post here as well. OJ and I were asked to make our favorite pancake recipe, which is basically just my father-in-law’s famous pancakes, with just a few healthy tweaks. Since filming this, I have also incorporated Non-Fat Vanilla Greek Yogurt to replace the buttermilk (not that there is anything wrong with buttermilk, it is just something I don’t normally purchase, and I am up to my ears with Non-Fat Vanilla Greek Yogurt!) I have also substituted honey for the sugar and added some cinnamon, added blueberries or chocolate chips, and all of them taste equally delicious!

Healthy Whole Wheat Pancakes

  • Servings: 10-12 silver dollar pancakes or 5-7 full size pancakes
  • Difficulty: easy
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IngredientsIMG_1714

  • 1 cup whole wheat white flour from Trader Joes
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil

whole wheat pancakes griddleInstructions

  • Mix together wet ingredients
  • Mix together dry ingredients
  • Then add wet to dry and mix until well combined.
  • Meanwhile, pre-heat your electric griddle to 350 (or a griddle pan on your stove at a medium high heat). Once hot, place a dollop of batter onto the griddle (1 Tbsp for silver dollar, 1/4-1/3 cup for full size).

Favorite Topping: Fresh Fruit and a drizzle of Trader Joe’s Organic Maple Agave Syrup Blend

The Mean Green Smoothie

The Mean Green Smoothie

I sometimes think that if pizza never existed, smoothies might be my favorite food. They are so versatile and you can easily customize the nutrition profile by adding different fruits, veggies, protein powder, nuts, etc. Lucky for me, my little one loves smoothies too, and asks for them almost as often as she asks for MnMs.

When you are making green smoothies, you can start with picking a green vegetable. This one calls for spinach, but I have also been known to throw some kale if I have some in my fridge. Then I pick some light colored, frozen fruit. I usually have bananas stocked in my freezer, so that is a given. Then I’ll add whatever TJ’s has in stock (they often run out of frozen mango), usually pineapple and mango. You can add other fruit, such as berries, but it turns the beautiful green smoothie into a brown color. Still delicious, but doesn’t really match the name. Then pick a protein, my go-to as of late has been non-fat vanilla Greek yogurt, but also have some Trader Joe’s Whey Protein powder in my pantry for back up. Using the sweetened Greek Yogurt gives a little but more robust flavor to the smoothie, which I like.

For the last month or so, I have been blogging and vlogging for Nutrition Milestones, which is a team of dietitians that provide nutrition services for people going through life changes, such as pregnancy, parenthood, weddings, medical diagnoses, etc. Olive and I recently shared with them our Green Smoothie recipe, take a look!

The Mean Green Smoothie

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 2-3 cups spinach, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup non-fat vanilla Greek yogurt (approx. Just use one small 6 oz container)
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango
  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup Milk of choice or water

Directions:

  1. Put in blender and blend on high until smooth. If you need to think it out more, add additional water or milk.

Pumpkin French Toast

PUMPKIN-french-toast

The other day, I walked into Trader Joe’s, and for the first time, I felt a little intimidated by the amount of pumpkin items on the shelves. I am a lover of all things pumpkin (well… most things pumpkin) and even I almost thought “they have gone overboard,” but something inside me just couldn’t mutter those words.

Seriously, I love fall: Halloween, Thanksgiving, shopping, crisp and cool air, apple cider, school starting and tourists leaving. The flavor of ‘pumpkin’ just really helps me feel like fall has arrived. Call it ritualistic if you will.

Pumpkin Stash

My Pumpkin Stash

I started with the Pumpkin PopTarts Organic Frosted Toasted Pasteries. They were amazing, but were admittedly an impromptu purchase that should have never ended up in my basket, and only did because I was starving. I am all about moderation, but these little guys have no place on your breakfast plate.

The next thing I purchased was the “Pumpkin Walks into a Bar” bar. I will try just about anything in that line of products because I think the title is just that clever. Fig has been my favorite, but the pumpkin was pretty delicious too. My first experience with this item was when I was coming home from Disneyland on Dapper Day, and was trying to make it back to San Diego before rush hour, so I skipped lunch and only had those bars in my car. They were so delicious, I ate two of them. The next time I had a whole one to myself (once I was properly fed), I felt it was a little too sweet for my liking. However, my 18 month old daughter LOVES these bars and goes nuts for them.

The other fancy item I tried this year was the Pumpkin Cornbread to go with my Black and White Chili. Without sounding like a broken record, I always find the cornbread at trader joe’s to be a little too sweet for my taste buds (and that is saying a lot!! I love sugar!!) and this was no exception. I was also missing out on the giant chunks of corn that come in the normal cornbread. It was delicious, but I think from here on out I would stick to the traditional cornbread mix. I DID however feel inspired to attempt to make pumpkin cornbread cupcakes with Maple Frosting out of this mix, so stay tuned for that.

Truth be told, I am a bit of a purist when it comes to my pumpkin. I much prefer just getting a can of old fashioned pumpkin puree and just adding scoopfuls to my recipes already in rotation. I purchased a can at Trader Joe’s on my last trip, anticipating I would make Taylor Switft’s Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies but ended up doing something different, but just as yummy.

pumpkin spice

If you go onto Pinterest, you’ll see close to a million recipes for Pumpkin French Toast…WELL HERE IS A MILLION AND ONE! But seriously, there is a reason why this is so popular: it is delicious. There are just some foods pumpkin just fits really well into (while there are others, like, say, Pumpkin Spice Pringles, that make me lose my lunch).

Another great part of this: my daughter loved it. But then again, I wasn’t really expecting her to NOT love it, because she is a hoover and eats everything, especially pumpkin spice things.

So, without further adieu, I present you:

Pumpkin French Toast

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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IMG_2674
Ingredients:

  • 3 Slices of Milton’s Multigrain Bread
  • 2 Tbsp Organic Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4-1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1/2 tsp Pumpkin Spice
  • Butter
  • Optional: Powdered Sugar and Agave Maple Syrup

IMG_2675Directions:

  1. Beat egg, add pumpkin puree and mix well. Add milk (start with 1/4 cup and if it looks thick, add more. I always try to put in as little milk as possible with my French toast). Finally add in the pumpkin spice (or if you are out, you could just use a mix of cinnamon, ginger, allspice and nutmeg and if you are trying to emulate the Trader Joe’s pumpkin spice, a pinch of clove too)
  2. GrillingHeat skillet on medium and add a pat of butter to the pan and let melt. I have tried to skip this step before,
    but the French Toast just gets stuck to the skillet, so, just do it and be liberal with the butter. You can always blot some off after.
  3. Dip bread (you can cut it in half if you like) in egg/milk mixture. Make sure each side is fully saturated.
  4. Cook French Toast a few minutes on each side until it starts to brown. Remove from skillet and top with powdered sugar and/or maple syrup.


**CUTE CULINARY ITEM ALERT**

powdered-sugar-spoonI had a little “me” time the other night, and I somehow found myself browsing the aisles of Crate and Barrel (which I could easily drop a couple thousand each time I walk in that store). I went to get a basket for my bathroom, but left with a quiche dish and the most adorable little powdered sugar spoon ever. I couldn’t pass it up, and was truly my inspiration for this post.

Sweet Potato Waffles with Fresh Berries and Cream

sweet potato waffle

Last year for my birthday, I convinced my husband to buy me a waffle iron.

“But you never make waffles!” He would say.

“I know! That is because I don’t have a waffle iron!”

“But how often would you make waffles?”

“ALL THE TIME!”

I was really just saying whatever I could to get the darn thing, but now that I have it, I find that I really do make waffles all the time (and not just because waffles just-so-happen to be my toddler’s all time favorite breakfast food.)

The very first thing I made in my waffle iron was the whole grain waffle mix from Trader Joe’s. And, I thought it was awful. Very cardboard-y, pretty disappointing. I could do better (I thought to myself).

And so at that point, I set out to perfect a waffle recipe that did NOT use Bisquick (which is loaded with trans fat, one of the only exceptions to my “all foods fit” theory). My grandma and mom use Bisquick, so I couldn’t go to them for an amazing recipe that had been passed down from generation to generation. I was on my own for this one.

Sweet potato waffle ingredientsI tried whole wheat flour, I tried oats, I tried flax, I tried apple sauce, I tried using oil instead of butter…I think I went through every variation possible. Then I ended with this general combination, that included sweet potato in place of the fat (many recipes use a few tablespoons of oil or melted butter), and white wheat flour instead of dense whole wheat flour. I also added ground flax seed for a little healthy fat (since I had completely removed it with the sweet potato addition) and stuck with my 1% milk that I have in the fridge. I think coconut milk or almond milk would also taste great in this waffle, but, alas, I just don’t regularly stock it at my house (we are dairy drinkers around here).  In fact, sometimes I will even add shredded coconut to the waffle, for a little but of a chunkier texture, and it is great!

frozen toaster sweet potato waffles from the Fearless Flying KitchenThere are two things that I really LOVE about this waffle recipe:

  • You really don’t need to use any toppings. My daughter eats this waffle plain, and I do too sometimes. If you do feel like putting topings on, you really don’t need much. I sometimes like to fancy mine up with a tiny amount of agave maple syrup, diced berries and whipped cream. That just feels so decadent (but really isn’t that decadent, since it is a fairly healthy waffle).
  • frozen toaster sweet potato waffleEven if I make waffles for the whole family, there is always enough left over to make freezer waffles. I just use 1/4 cup (or a heaping Tbsp) of batter as opposed to a full 1/2 cup. The waffles come out in a square shape, just the right size for the toaster.

I also love that my daughter loves these, and I can feel good about serving them to her because they are full of vegetables, healthy fats, whole grains, and not too much sugar.

kid tested, and kid approved sweet potato waffles from the Fearless Flying Kitchen

Sweet Potato Waffles

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1blogger-image--1584073228 cup 100% White Wheat Flour
  • 1 tablespoon Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground Flax seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 large Egg
  • 1 cup 1% Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Tahitian Vanilla extract
  • 1 Small Sweet potato

Directions:

  1. Preheat waffle iron. Cook sweet potato in a microwave by rinsing, poking with a fork, wrapping in a paper towel, and cooking for 5-7 minutes, until sweet potato is soft.
  2. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl, and slowly add the cooked sweet potato (removing outer skin), mashing the sweet potato as you go. If you want less chunks of sweet potato, you could also mix the wet ingredients in a blender or mixer. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated.
  3. Pour 1/2 cup of batter into preheated waffle iron and cook until ready.
  4. Top with fresh berries and cream or agave maple syrup.

Quinoa Crust Quiche

Quinoa Quiche

My dietitian friend of mine, we’ll just call her Rachael,  has been having stomach issues for the past two years. After going to several doctors, her final diagnosis was IBS, which is usually the “we can’t find anything definitively wrong with you, so we’ll call it IBS so you stop showing up in our office.” Usually the treatment for IBS includes having a balanced diet, exercise and stress management. She did a bit of research on the Low FODMAP diet and after trying it for a few days, her symptoms finally went away and she felt “normal” again.

Since IBS is a very (very) common complaint and diagnosis, we gave the LowFODMAP diet a test run in my house a few months back. I found it very difficult to prepare meals for, because everything I use in almost all of my dishes were on the “no-no” list: ONIONS, GARLIC, WHEAT, LACTOSE, and many forms of FRUCTOSE (many fruits as well as high fructose corn syrup).  For those suffering from abdominal distress and pain, making a few slight dietary changes though doesn’t seem to be an issue.

One of my standard meals I make on an almost weekly basis is quiche. It is my “clean out the fridge” meal that is packed with veggies and I always have the standard ingredients. I also can whip up a crust in less than 5 minutes in my kitchen aid (Using this recipe from William’s Sonoma, but omitting the sugar). Quiche also happens to have an abundance of onions, garlic, wheat and lactose in it (well, mine does any way). I decided to attempt to make a pie crust out of quinoa, since wheat and wheat flour was not allowed.
And to my dismay, it actually turned out pretty good! I was surprised by how much I liked it.

Since I was doing things completely out of the box, I went all out and added some bacon, and used half hard boiled eggs and half raw eggs in the mix (normal quiche recipes don’t use hard boiled eggs)…and it turned out just fine!

So, here is what I did:

Quinoa Crust Quiche

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: moderate
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QUINOA CRUST:

  • 1 heaping cup of cooked quinoa
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine ingredients well and mash along the bottom  and up the sides of a 9″ pie pan. Bake for about 10 minutes. Leave the oven on, you’ll be using it again real soon.

QUICHE:

  • 3 strips of bacon, crumbled and cooked
  • 2 slices of swiss cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 big ole’ zucchini, shredded with a grater
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 2 tomatoes (enough to cover the top of the pie)
  • 1 oz goat cheese
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk (because of the FODMAPS diet, I used Lactaid)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes

Directions:

On top of the baked crust, add bacon and swiss cheese. Cook the zucchini, basil and baby spinach for a few minutes in a pan (I used the same pan that I cooked the bacon in, just drained some of the bacon fat). Add cooked zucchini, basil and spinach to the pie. Mix together eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and red pepper. Pour over the bacon, swiss cheese, zucchini, basil and spinach. Top with tomatoes and goat cheese. Pop it in the oven for 35-40 minutes, or until the quiche has set.

Serve along side a simple salad of greens mixed with equal parts Balsamic Glaze and Meyer Lemon Olive Oil with freshly ground sea salt and pepper.

Acai-less Bowl with Mixed Berries, Flax, Bananas, Hemp Granola and Honey

Acai-less bowl with mixed berries, ground flax seed, bananas, hemp granola and honey.

The Acai Bowl trend has begun to die down, which means cafes and coffee shops around the country feel comfortable with putting this item on their menu. Now, I personally love me a good acai bowl. I feel like I am doing my body a favor with giving it a whopping dose of antioxidants and fiber…and dessert… all at the same time.

Only thing with preventing me from eating Acai Bowls for every meal:  Acai is an exotic fruit from South America, thus making it a little on the pricey side. Most Acai Bowls I come across are easily $6-8. Also, Trader Joes doesn’t sell frozen Acai…or any acai that I know of. Becasue I love saving money any chance I get, I figured, why not try to re-create my beloved acai bowl with ingredients I purchased from Trader Joes in my fridge?

Challenge Accepted

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When you deconstruct an acai bowl, you will notice that most of them follow a similar set-up:

  • Sorbet-type texture base of acai and other fruits. Because Trader Joes doesn’t carry Acai, then neither do I! I did happen to have a bag of frozen mixed berries, which would have to do.  One of the great things about Acai is that it is loaded with antioxidants, but fruits like blueberry, strawberry, raspberry and blackberry are also jam packed with antioxidants, so I didn’t feel like I was being cheated nutritionally.  I also added some Organic Low-Fat Vanilla Yogurt (because I had it on hand…and for a little extra protein) and 1% milk (because it was the only thing on hand aside from water that would work as a liquid do blend the fruit. You could use any dairy or non-dairy based beverage. I am sure coconut milk or almond milk would be delicious). I also added half of a banana to make it just a little bit more delicious (save the other half for the top, see below). Blend it all together in a super blender (Vitamix or Blendtec or Ninja-type of blender) until smooth.
  • A crunchy topping. I normally don’t purchase granola because I just don’t think it makes sense to eat as cereal. Normally, you get a half a cup for 200 calories, and who can REALLY eat just a half a cup of granola for breakfast? Not me. If I have a bowl of granola for breakfast I easily have 1.5 cups, which, with milk, coffee, and fruit, my breakfast is easily over half my days worth of calories. BUT I went against what my dietetics compass was saying and bought some delicious hemp granola, for the sake of deliciousness.  I also always have Bob’s Ground Flaxseed in my fridge (because of the fat content), which I use in my pancakes, so I threw a bit of that on top as well, which helps boost the omega 3 content and add a unique flavor.
  • Diced Fruit. Banana (the other half) diced was all I went with this time, but when I have other fruit on hand, I will add that too. In the past I have also topped with blueberries and diced strawberries…pretty much more of what is on the inside.
  • Extra garnishes that make it taste damn good. I used a hint of shredded coconut and a drizzle of honey. You could probably skip this step, but it would take this from a 9.5 to about a 7…definitely worth the extra calories.

I’m not going to tell you this was the most amazing thing I have made in my vitamix (I’ll save that for another post), but it was pretty close. It is definitely refreshing, and delicious, and cheaper than purchasing an acai bowl from the cafe across the street. Because I was able to customize this too, I am willing to bet mine had a better nutrition profile than those heavy handed versions. Granted it might not have quite “as many antioxidants” as a traditional acai bowl, but I am perfectly fine with the amount I am getting.

Acai-less Bowl with Mixed Berries, Flax, Bananas, Hemp Granola and Honey

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • Acai Less BowlHalf Bag of Frozen Berry Medley
  • 1/3 Cup Organic Vanilla Yogurt
  • 1/3 Cup Milk (or Non-Dairy Beverage of your choice)
  • Half Banana

Blend together in your super blender (Vitamix on High) until smooth, like sorbet. Spoon out into a large bowl.

  • 1/4 Cup photo 2 (8)Hemp Plus Granola
  • 1/2 Tbsp Ground Flax Seed
  • Half Banana, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 Tbsp Shredded Sweetened Coconut
  • Drizzle of Honey

Assemble remainder of ingredients on top of mixed berry puree in order listed and enjoy.