One of my favorite panini flavor combinations happened to be a roasted chicken pesto sandwich that I used to snag at my local supermarket for a special treat. Filled with pesto and rotisserie chicken with a little spinach and tomato, it was one of my favorite supermarket splurges after a day of errand running. I wanted to capture those chicken pesto flavors in a frittata recipe and dreamed up this gluten-free version of my favorite panini that I can enjoy for breakfast or as a filling lunch.
If you have never made a frittata before, welcome to the world’s easiest breakfast that can serve a crowd. All you need is an oiled cast iron skillet for this easy one-pot dish. Years ago I got this one for less than $15 and it has served a million frittatas over the years. If you take great care of it, this small investment can last you a lifetime and be handed down to your kiddos. I have so many fond memories of the good things that we ate out of these skillets when I went to my grandma’s house.
To make a frittata in this, you just heat up the toppings and then pour the beaten eggs on top. Using a wooden spoon, I just shift the fillings around until they are covering the entire pan, heat for a few minutes on medium heat to develop the crust on the bottom, and then transfer it into the oven to finish. Within minutes, you have a frittata that can be divvied up into portions for a busy week or an impressive dish to serve a crowd.
I rely up on my favorite big batch roasted chicken recipe, that I make for our wraps for the week, to add even more protein to this dish. This seasoning mix never fails me for rotisserie flavor on a small budget. Bursts of flavor from sun dried tomatoes really brighten the flavoring in this base. Of course, you can’t add those without a healthy amount of spinach and pesto, in my humble opinion!
I hope you love this yummy frittata as much as I do! I had a couple of gatherings that I took this to and it was a huge hit with everyone, even the egg haters. The pesto mellows the strong egg flavor in this so it’s a great one to give a spin if people in your family don’t always embrace eggs.
A chicken pesto frittata that is bursting with flavors from sun dried tomatoes, spinach, pesto, and deliciously seasoned chicken. It's a great dish to share with friends or to package up for a busy week ahead! Did I mention gluten-free? Yay!
2 tablespoons olive oil
1- 8 ounce bag spinach
1½ cups roasted chicken, diced or shredded (see above for my recipe)
Preheat oven to 375 F. In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs, milk and sea salt until fully incorporated.
Heat a large cast-iron to medium-high heat. Add olive oil and spinach and then lower to medium heat and allow spinach to wilt.
When spinach has wilted, add pesto, sun dried tomatoes, and roasted chicken. Stir to incorporate. Add egg mixture and use your spoon to spread the fillings out evenly in the skillet. Heat for a few minutes to create the crust on the bottom of the eggs.
Place skillet in the oven, uncovered, and bake for 25-28 minutes or until the top is set and the edges are golden brown. Remove and allow to cool 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Finish with a sprinkle of flat-leaf Italian parsley.
This post is sponsored by Honeysuckle White. All thoughts and opinions are my own!
“I could eat breakfast for every meal,” is a common phrase spoken in our house. For us, breakfast is a feast that should be enjoyed anytime of the day and a sweet luxury when indulged in at our favorite restaurants. Simple ingredients like eggs, potatoes, and bacon all feel elevated though when combined into an elegant skillet dish and these are dishes I choose most often when we go out for a family brunch.
Why do I feel I have to go out to eat to enjoy a skillet dish?
Well, I don’t feel that way anymore!
There is no need to spend a fortune dining out when you can enjoy this breakfast treat at home! Today’s recipe is created in partnership with with Honeysuckle White as we put their delicious Smoked Turkey Bacon to work in this beautiful Spinach & Turkey Bacon Skillet Dish. Thanks to their commitment to keep their products affordable for their consumers, all while retaining the highest quality meats, this entire skillet dish will cost you less than one meal out.
One of the reasons I really love these skillet dishes is that this can be a great way to put leftover ingredients to work in your kitchen. Thanksgiving season, as we have discovered, is when our fridge is loaded with odds and ends that need to be used. Last night’s roasted potatoes, for example, can be used as the base in your skillet. Odds and ends from your produce drawer, like mushrooms or spinach, can be woven into your potato base. Goat, parmesan, cheddar, or blue cheese can also be added for a creamy element.
One thing that I bet you not to sacrifice though is the salty addition of the bacon for a perfect finishing touch on your dish.
Turkey bacon is a great way to get that salty addition, but with 50% less fat in your dish, giving you all the flavor without all the guilt.
If you are gluten-free, you’ll be happy to know that this bacon is a gluten-free product. It also contains no added hormones or steroids and no growth-promoting hormones. They even let you virtually meet the farmers on their products so you can get to know exactly where your meat is coming from.
One of my favorite food combos is spinach and sun-dried tomatoes and I thought the addition of these would compliment this dish perfectly. To save time, look for bags of already julienned sun-dried tomatoes to save you some chopping time in the kitchen.
To save even more time on this dish, I’ve discovered that my Instant Pot is an incredible gift for making quick work of cooking potatoes for the week. Simply add a cup of water to the bottom of the pot, pierce your potatoes (I put in as many as I can fit!), lock the lid, and cook on manual pressure for 10 minutes. I then quick release the pressure and dice up the potatoes for our dishes or make delicious baked potatoes out of them by finishing them in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 450 degrees, slathered in olive oil and rolled in kosher salt!
If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can still make quicker work by starting those potatoes in the microwave, a technique that we have used often in our house. Once again, just prick the potatoes and then microwave on high for five minutes. Give them a few minutes to cool, and then you can start chopping them into cubes for your skillet.
I hope this dish inspires you to create your own skillet dish in the kitchen and, perhaps, put a few of those delicious Thanksgiving leftovers to work in a skillet of your own.
Serve this healthy skillet dish packed with veggies and protein for your next brunch with any combination of odds and ends in your refrigerator. This recipe is a gluten-free crowd pleaser!
2 russet potatoes, scrubbed (skin left on)
3 slices Honeysuckle White Smoked Turkey Bacon
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups baby spinach
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, julienned
⅛ teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
Freshly ground pepper
Prick potato in several spots in a fork; microwave on High for 4 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, then chop into ½-inch cubes.
Meanwhile, cook bacon over medium-high heat in a skillet until crisp (following directions on packaging for timing). Remove the bacon from the skillet, but leave the bacon drippings in the pan. Add oil, diced potatoes, and sun-dried tomatoes and cook, stirring frequently, until the potatoes are browned, about 5 minutes. Add spinach; stir to combine and just wilt, about 1 minute. Season with salt.
Make 4 wells in the center of the hash and crack one egg into each well. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the eggs are partially set, 2 to 3 minutes. Cover with a lid and cook until the eggs whites are completely set, 1 to 2 minutes. Chop the bacon and sprinkle on top. Garnish with a generous grinding of pepper.
This post is sponsored by Honeysuckle White. All thoughts and opinions are my own!
This post is sponsored by Mamma Chia. Thank you for supporting the companies that make this site possible!
I am always on the hunt for great post-workout snacks that can keep me fueled throughout the day. Today I wanted to share with you how to make two delicious smoothie bowls and I am pairing them with a fun new drink from Mamma Chia, called Chia Energy Beverages, that you can now find on Walmart shelves. Doesn’t that sound like a delicious pairing?
I always struggle with finding new things at the store so, in case you are on the hunt, I wanted to show you where you can find them at Walmart. These drinks can be found in the produce section at the front of the store. Our drinks were on full display on the top shelves and come in 4 flavors: Grape Power, Cherry Charge, Blackberry Blast, & Raspberry Razz. These drinks are the first beverage that combine chia with the energy of guayusa.
For those of us with a coffee addiction (ahem!), these are a great way to get energy for the day without that caffeine crash.
Caffeine crashes are THE WORST.
As you know, I have been struggling with my health and I am really committed to eating better so that I can improve how I feel. The founder of Mamma Chia, Janie Hoffman, was also struggling with many debilitating autoimmune disorders and found a great deal of relief from adding chia into her diet. Her mission was to share that gift with others so that they can experience the health benefits too. I also love that the company donates a portion of their proceeds to support farmers, community groups, & organizations that build healthy, local food systems.
It makes you feel doubly good about your purchase!
Today I thought I would incorporate the power of chia, not only in our drink, but as a topping in a healthy smoothie bowl. Chia is actually considered a superfood because chia seeds are rich in omega-3’s, fiber, protein, and essential vitamins and minerals. They also help you to sustain energy levels naturally while helping you stay fuller longer.
Today we are topping our smoothie bowls with chia. If you haven’t had a smoothie bowl before, you are in for a treat. I understand that many fancy-schmancy breakfast joints serve these now.
How lucky are you that you can save some money and make these at home for a fraction of the cost?
Let me share two recipes for smoothie bowsl with you and don’t forget to stick around to the bottom of this post for our giveaway with Mamma Chia- yay!
The idea is to make the smoothie thicker (make sure you have a powerful blender for this one) by using less liquid to create a thicker consistency. The fun part is the layering of delicious additions on top.
On this Chocolate Cherry Bowl, I have topped it with fresh raspberries, toasted coconut, & more chia. Try any combination of flavors you like though!
Smoothie bowls make the perfect snack or breakfast. Top with your favorite oatmeal toppings or try our suggestions for a healthy start to your day.
½ cup frozen banana
1 cup frozen cherries
½ cup almond milk
¼ cup avocado
¼ plain greek yogurt
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
Toppings: toasted coconut, berries, chia
Combine all smoothie bowl ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth.
Pour into a bowl and top with your favorite toppings
I love berry anything and I loved pairing a Raspberry Smoothie Bowl with the delicious flavor of the Chia Energy Blackberry Blast drink. I still wanted some of the chocolate flavor in this one so I topped it with a chocolate granola, and chia. The vibrant hue from the raspberries in this one make such a pretty bowl, don’t they?
This is certainly a powerful motivator to get my workout done so I can enjoy this snack when I get home.
Give me all the berries! This Raspberry Smoothie Bowl is packed with berries and can be topped with crunchy granola, chia, and more berries for a fun post-workout treat.
½ cup frozen raspberries
1 frozen banana
¼ of an avocado
½ tsp vanilla
½ cup almond milk
Toppings: granola, raspberries, blueberries, and chia
Place all smoothie ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Pour into a bowl and top with your favorite toppings.
Today I’m giving away to one lucky winner a $50 prize pack from Mamma Chia that will include one each of the Mamma Chia’s new organic Chia Energy Beverages and some of their other delicious products. Please enter the giveaway in the widget below and I hope this post inspires you to give these new drinks a try!
It’s become an embarrassing pattern of mine to make a resolution every year to be better about eating breakfast. Each time, I start on the path towards healthy eating. However, as life becomes fuller and mornings more hectic, I find that eating a good breakfast often gets pushed to the side.
This year, I discovered how invaluable my slow cooker was in creating a beautiful, hot breakfast for my entire family that I could serve in the morning and enjoy for mornings to come. I could also serve it as a midday pick-me-up or as a healthy late- night snack. The discovery might seem a bit old-fashioned, but a batch of oatmeal is a great way to start the day. This isn’t just any old oatmeal though—this oatmeal is made from delicious steel cut oats.
What’s the difference between rolled oats and steel cut oats? Well, a part of it is their structure and the other part is the way that our body digests them. While both contain whole grain oats, they are processed differently. Rolled oats are steamed, rolled, steamed again and toasted, ending up as thin flakes. Steel cut oats are made from oat kernels that have been chopped into thick pieces.
The reason steel cut oats are so awesome is because they digest more slowly than rolled ones, leaving you fuller longer. Like all other grains in whole or cracked form, steel cut oats rank lower on the glycemic index than rolled oats. This just means that it takes longer for digestive enzymes to reach the starch inside the thicker pieces, slowing down its conversion to sugar. For me, those highs and lows are some rough stuff, and I’ve found that a bowl of steel cut oats keeps my blood sugar much steadier.
I make a variety of different oatmeal recipes in my slow cooker and have found one thing to be consistent no matter what kind I make. Can I let you in on my little secret? I absolutely hate cleaning the slow cooker after making oatmeal. I also hate that the oats can get crusty pretty quickly on the edges, yielding a less than creamy bowl even when I have the perfect liquid ratios.
Let me share my secret that yields the most perfect and creamy bowl you can imagine and it is probably something you already have in your kitchen:
1. Find an oven-safe dish that fits inside of your slow cooker and fill that dish with all of your ingredients for your oatmeal.
2. Fill a measuring cup with water and pour the water around your dish, just to about the halfway point. This creates a warm water bath (a lot like those candles we made this summer) and helps your oatmeal to cook more evenly yet remain delightfully creamy.
3. Put a lid on the slow cooker (no need to double lid) and set it to cook for eight hours. It’s okay if your slow cooker switches to “warm” in the night. Thanks to your water bath, your oats will not get overcooked, but stay hot until you wake up!
Once you have that perfect bowl of oatmeal, you can add your favorite toppings to it or create a quick toppings bar of ingredients for the week. For this Creamy Coconut Oatmeal recipe, I found the taste of rich blackberries and toasty almonds to be a delightful way to top it!
When I was a little girl, one of my favorite sleepovers ever included a beautiful breakfast buffet for us in the morning. The parents got up early to make stacks of waffles and laid out a variety of toppings to make our own waffle creation. It was the stuff that little girl’s dreams are made of, piled high with whipped cream, strawberries, and unlimited syrup.
I want to be that mom who rises early and makes these sleepover dreams come true, but often I am the mom dragging her tail out of bed after telling the kids to PLEASE, FOR THE LOVE, GO TO SLEEP IT IS THREE IN THE MORNING mom.
Are you her too?
That’s why I wanted to create a REALISTIC buffet that can be made in advance so you can just stumble into kitchen, put everything on the table, and curl up with a cup of coffee in bed with a little sweet silence.
Today I am partnering with Florida Department of Citrus to show you how to make this fun make-ahead sleepover breakfast buffet table complete with glasses of FLOJ for everyone at the party. Although waffle parties are fun, I wanted to create a healthy breakfast complete with a glass of Florida Orange Juice that provides 5 amazing nutrients in every glass for our guests. Not only are we loading our table with fresh fruit, but we are also getting, in just one single 8-ounce glass of 100% orange juice, our daily recommended serving of fruit! Winning!
Instead of spending your morning flipping pancakes, take a peek at my make-ahead recipe for breakfast burritos. This recipe yields eighteen delicious burritos and you can even make them gluten-free with the use of a gluten-free wrap. They are filled with eggs, turkey sausage, spiced potatoes, and cheese- yum!
Make these ahead and tuck them in your fridge or use these instructions for popping them in the freezer until the morning. The beauty in this one is that no matter what time they rise, each person can have a hot breakfast!
I made a simple breakfast bar with burrito toppings like olives, sour cream tomatoes, avocado, salsa, and sriracha. You can just chop and set this in the fridge on a cookie sheet for the big morning.
After warming their burritos, they can fill it with all of their favorites or simply put the toppings on top and dig in with a knife and fork.
Putting this spread together took me under an hour, even with all the chopping, and the best part is that I got to enjoy a hot cup of coffee even with a house full of kids. WINNING!
Thank you so much to Florida Department of Citrus for letting us share a make-ahead buffet with you. Be sure to kick back a glass of FLOJ for us and may your bedhead game be as strong as your coffee.
This blog was sponsored by Florida Department of Citrus. Thank you for supporting the companies that support our site!
There are a few great gifts I give myself in the morning. The first, is to rise an hour earlier than necessary to get in an uninterrupted hour of reading (BLISS!). The second is to always program my coffeemaker the night before so I wake up to a fresh brew (HEAVEN!). The third? Packing my freezer with smoothie packets that make creating a morning smoothie filled with greens and fruits incredibly easy and practically effortless (WINNING AT LIFE).
I posted about my make-ahead smoothie packets on Instagram and got a lot of questions about it. Something I have come to think of as a weekly routine really sparked a lot of questions about my recipe, what the smoothie looked like, and what to do for fruit substitutions. I thought it deserved its own little post because it has become a very vital part of my morning routines and sets a good foundation for healthy eating the rest of the day.
Not only does this strategy save you time in the morning, but it also puts ripe fruit to work and is a great way to utilize spinach before it goes bad making the most of every grocery dollar. I never waste a banana in our house or any greens anymore because they always have a home. If I have run out of frozen berries, I just add the rest of these ingredients into a packet and get them ready for my next grocery day when I can get the frozen fruit to add to it. As someone trying to reduce their food waste, this has been an awesome use for those often tossed items.
Also, if you buy smoothies regularly, you know they are not cheap. A typical smoothie around these parts (said in my best Midwest accent) is around $4-6. Even if bought weekly, that can add up fast!
Here were a few of your questions for me!
Do you store these packets in the freezer and for how long?
Yup, I recommend freezing in quart-sized freezer storage bags and making sure to push out any air in the bags to keep these ingredients as fresh as possible. I would recommend using these in one month for optimum flavor.
How many smoothies do these packets make?
I drink an enormous smoothie in the morning (24 ounces) and my daughter has the size I am showing you in the cup below and this packet with my recipe I have listed makes enough for that. For “normal” people, maybe it might make three, but this is my breakfast, people, and I’m a big eater. I got one of these for me to help make toting these in the car a little easier since I drink these on the way to the gym in the morning. I also have this giant water bottle from the same company and it has improved how much water I intake as well as my healthy smoothie habit for breakfast. I have been happy how they have held up (over a year now!) compared to some other insulated cups I have tried.
Do you blend these with milk or use a milk substitution?
My stomach can’t process a lot of dairy so I use unsweetened almond milk in mine. I do use Greek yogurt though (either vanilla or unsweetened) and that doesn’t seem to bother me. You can definitely use milk, soy milk, or coconut milk if you would prefer. I’m a big fan of the flavor of the almond milk!
Can I make these without spinach? I don’t think my kids will drink these if they are green!
I just want to show you how very slightly these are tinged with green when you only add a cup or so of spinach to them. Additionally, if I am really concerned an extra handful of frozen blueberries cancels out all other colors so sometimes if I am really generous with the blueberries, these look more blue.
Are you using frozen spinach? Frozen berries? What does the spinach look like when it is frozen?
Here is a packet that has been frozen for three weeks and this is what it looks like. The spinach is fresh spinach (I don’t want to hassle with the frozen stuff- personal preference), the berries are frozen, and the bananas are fresh. I like to cut the bananas in half to help them break down a little easier in the blender. As you can see, the spinach looks almost the same as it did when I threw it in there.
The bananas may brown over time, but they will still taste the same. As rapidly as we go through these though, I have rarely even seen that happen.
By freezing these fruits and veggies, you eliminate the need for ice in your smoothie which creates a much creamier consistency and a smoothie that holds together longer. Sometimes I will make these in the morning and pop one in the fridge for my daughter for her afternoon snack. It always looks just like I had just made it. When I add water or ice, it tends to separate and grosses her out.
Should I flash freeze any of the ingredients?
If you aren’t familiar with flash freezing, I do this a lot with foods for our freezer. Typically, I fan whatever I am freezing out on an open parchment paper lined cookie sheet, freeze just until frozen, and then toss in a bag.
I experimented with this and here is what I will say about that. You can cut the bananas in half and flash freeze and they will stay separated, making it easier to pour into your blender and it is really great. It’s an extra step though. My lazy freezer routine is to cut them in half right in the bag, freeze (where they tend to fuse back together) and then smack the bag as hard as I can on the counter until they loosen from each other while I listen to the political crap insight on NPR. It’s kind of like a therapy session. You can do it whichever way fits your lifestyle best.
What kind of protein powder do you use? What can I use if I am vegan or dairy-free?
When I was dairy-free, I experimented with a lot of terrible protein powders so I can honestly tell you this is the only brand that I really liked that was plant-based. Now that I’m not dairy-free, I just purchase the store brand protein powder at our local grocery store in a vanilla flavor. Like I said, we had to try a few before we found the ones we liked best and I always try to keep my eyes peeled for a sale to maximize the savings. The goal is to keep this as a frugal routine for us.
What kind of blender do you have?
I have had the same blender for probably eight years or so and, unfortunately, they don’t make mine anymore. When mine bites the bullet, I will probably invest in this one because I have heard they last forever. In order to blend up these fruits, you really need to have a high powered blender though. If you have a $20 blender, it will burn out your motor. I say this because I did it. Twice. Invest in a good blender and it will more than pay for itself, I promise you!
I can’t eat bananas. Do you have any recommendations for substitutions for my smoothie?
Do your kids really like these? My kids are really picky!
They really do and so do I. My daughter was a terrible breakfast eater, like her mother, and I worried a lot that she wasn’t eating enough to be fueled for her day at school. This is what she “eats” and she stays full until lunchtime. If she is running late, it is something that can be finished while she waits for her bus. Fun straws are always a great addition to this morning treat especially when first pitching this idea to your kids. She says it tastes like a milkshake.
For me, it’s been an incredible way to get fueled before I workout. Working out on an empty stomach isn’t a good idea for someone with low blood sugar. Eating something too heavy made me feel like I was going to be sick. These smoothies are a great option to be fueled without a lot of heaviness in my stomach. Sometimes I drink half and pop it in the fridge until I get done exercising and finish the other half when I’m done.
I hope these tips are helpful and I hope you love these as much as our family does!
I’m so honored to have my friend, Liz of The Lemon Bowl, sharing this amazing smoothie recipe with us today!
Hi friends! I’m Liz from The Lemon Bowl and I am honored to be guest posting today for the beautiful and crazy talented Amy. As a healthy recipe blogger and busy mom of two young boys, I love creating easy recipes made from simple ingredients.
I don’t know about you but we love smoothies in our house. Not only are they a great way to use up fruits and veggies that are a little past their prime but they are literally a meal in a glass.
Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, this protein-packed Mango Coconut Green Smoothie is naturally sweetened and has no artificial coloring. Made with creamy coconut milk, juicy mango and sweet bananas, your entire family will love this healthy and delicious smoothie.
Whether you make it for breakfast, an after-school snack or dessert, just promise me you’ll make it.
Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and puree until smooth.
To prepare glass, pour ¼ cup or so of chia seeds on a plate. Run the rim of a glass under running water then carefully dip the top of the glass onto the plate until the rim is covered in chia seeds.
Pour the smoothie into the glass and serve.
If you are working with frozen fruit you may need to add a bit of liquid to get the smoothie blending - I like to add water or a bit more coconut milk to reach the desired consistency.
Nutrition Information Serving size: 1 glass Calories: 391 Fat: 14.9 g Saturated fat: 7.2 g Unsaturated fat: 7.7 g Trans fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 58.2 g Sugar: 33.1 g Sodium: 145 mg Fiber: 16.5 g Protein: 17.1 g Cholesterol: 0 mg
Perfect for the fall and for our M Challenge Focus on Better Mornings, I’m republishing this easy breakfast of pumpkin flavored quinoa with yummy sugared pecans because it will definitely help get your day off to a great start!
I can’t think of two ingredients I am loving more than pumpkin and quinoa right now. This recipe is a deliciously satisfying pairing of pumpkin and quinoa together in this Pumpkin Nut Quinoa Breakfast. The best part is the fun topping addition of sugared pecans that make this dish such a standout!
Over this past year I have showcased lots of fun recipes to try with quinoa from basic preparation to summer salads to breakfast bowls to stuffed peppers. What you might not know though is that there is another variety of quinoa that you can purchase for your baking and breakfast needs. Quinoa flakes remind me of Cream of Wheat in their texture, but they are packed with loads of protein. They can be found at natural food stores and are often available in both a boxed variety or can be purchased in the bulk section of the store.
Last winter I became addicted to these quinoa flakes for a hot breakfast bowl. I dressed mine up simply with a little stevia, maple syrup, and almond milk, but I wanted to try another spin with this ingredient for the Fall.
This recipe for Pumpkin Quinoa can be modified to your own dietary needs. I prepared mine with almond milk, but you can use regular milk too. The nuts are tossed in cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg and a little egg white. They remind me a lot of these Sugar & Spice Nuts that I love to share around the holidays.
If you are vegan, try substituting the egg white with 2-3 tablespoons of water and 1 tablespoon of flax, mixed well, to coat the nuts. For those living gluten-free, no modifications need to be made! It is one of those recipes that is easy to modify for your family!
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did. I reheat my leftovers in the microwave and add a little milk to thin them out again. This is a great one to tuck in your fridge for a hot breakfast all week long!
Author: Adapted from Deliciously G-Free by Elisabeth Hasselbeck
Recipe type: Breakfast
A deliciously gluten-free dish that can be enjoyed on Fall mornings. This pumpkin quinoa is packed with protein and has added flavor & texture from the amazing sugared pecans that adorn it.
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon cornstarch
Pinch of Salt
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 egg white (see above for vegan substitution)
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup pecan halves
1¾ cup water
1¾ cup milk (or milk substitute)
1⅓ cups quinoa flakes
1 cup canned pumpkin
¼ cup half-and-half (or additional milk substitute)
¼ cup light brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place the sugar, cinnamon, cornstarch, salt, ground cloves, and ground nutmeg in a plastic bag, seal the bag, and shake to mix.
Pu tthe egg white and vanilla in a bowl, and beat until slightly foamy. Add the pecans and stir to coat them well. Using a slotted spoon, lift the pecans out the bowl and transfer them to the bag of sugar and spices. Shake, making sure the pecans are well coated with the seasoning. Spread the pecans out on the prepared baking sheet, and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet.
Meanwhile, place the water and milk in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the quinoa flakes and reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 5-10 minutes, until the liquid has decreased by half and the mixture is thick.
Combine the pumpkin and the half-and-half (or milk substitute) in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Swirl the pumpkin into the quinoa and sprinkle with the brown sugar. Divide among four bowls, sprinkle with nuts, and serve immediately.
Have you tried making oatmeal in your slow cooker overnight? We have made it many times since discovering this foolproof technique, and adding apples is such a good addition! I thought this would be a perfect recipe to publish again (originally from October 2013) for you to go along with our M Challenge Focus on Better Mornings – what could be better than waking up to breakfast all ready to go?
Apple season is one of my favorite produce seasons and one of my favorite snacks. Today I am sharing a recipe for slow cooked honeycrisp apple oatmeal that you are going to love for a warm and satisfying breakfast on chilly fall mornings. The best part about all of this though, is my incredible tip for getting creamy oats that won’t burn or stick to your slow cooker.
While shopping for apples at Walmart, I noticed these tags on each bin of apples that share exactly what each variety of apple is perfect for- whether it be salads, baking, or just eaten fresh. I found it really helpful when choosing which apples to use in my recipes and it can be a great way to experiment with a new variety of apple you haven’t tried before.
Often when it comes to baking, I reach for a Granny Smith apple. When researching different varieties of apples that are best to bake with, I discovered that the Honeycrisp Apple and the McIntosh apple were both great varieties to choose when baking. I decided to put the Honeycrisp Apple to work in an overnight oatmeal recipe.
I admit that I have never had good success with overnight oats. The oats were usually burnt or overcooked and I always had a hard time getting my slow cooker clean after a batch.
That is why I am so excited to share with you this easy technique to create a double boiler right in your slow cooker:
Find a oven-proof dish that you can place inside of your slow cooker and spray it well with a little cooking spray.
Place your oatmeal ingredients right inside of the the dish and then, using a liquid measuring cup, pour water around the dish to create a water bath. It doesn’t need to be really full, just an inch or so.
Set your slow cooker to LOW and you will have perfectly creamy oatmeal with no burnt spots every single time.
I can’t wait for you to try this recipe in your kitchen!
This recipe can be personalized according to your family's dietary needs or what variety of apple is on sale at the grocery store. I loved preparing this one with almond milk! Try my technique for creating your own double-boiler to get a creamier oatmeal!
1 cup steel cut oats (NO substitutions)
3½ cups milk (or milk substitute)
1 Honeycrisp apple, diced
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Spray your slow cooker with cooking spray. Place the steel cut oats, milk, honeycrisp apple, butter, cinnamon, brown sugar, and vanilla extract into a slow cooker, and stir to combine and dissolve the sugar.
Cover the cooker, set to Low, and allow to cook 6 to 7 hours (for firm oats) or 8 hours (for softer texture).
Have you ever prepared hard boiled eggs in the oven? I had seen the tutorials floating around Pinterest, but we never really ate hard boiled eggs in our house. Recently though, my daughter and I have both discovered how much we love these for an afternoon snack or for a quick lunch with chopped veggies so I thought I would prepare these for our week.
It seems kind of crazy to bake your eggs, but this is a great way to make a lot of eggs for your week. This week I made two dozen since we went through a single dozen so quickly in our house. Although egg prices are high right now, this is still a really affordable snack and a great source of protein.
Here is the thing, results seem to vary on success with baking your hard boiled eggs in the oven and it’s a good idea to give these a test run in your oven with just a couple of eggs rather than wasting an entire dozen.
What Can Improve My Experience Baking Hard Boiled Eggs?
Get an Oven Thermometer- I am telling you that one of the best gadgets you can buy if you are not getting consistently good results with baking in your oven is an inexpensive oven thermometer. I have had ovens in homes that were fifty degrees off or more and I could have saved myself a lot of tears and burnt dishes if I would have known that this cheap little gadget could improve the results in my cooking in a dramatic way.
Try Different Temperatures- Once you know that your oven temperature is correct (or how to gauge it if isn’t) try baking the eggs at 325 degrees first. If your eggs are not to your liking, increase the temperature to 350 degrees.
Stop the Brown Spots- Brown spots can develop on your egg from resting in the muffin tins, particularly with a dark muffin tin like the one I am showing in this picture. Although the spots don’t really bug me, you can prevent them by using a silicone muffin pan, baking in a mini muffin tin, or lining your muffin tin with liners, tin foil, or I have even heard that cotton pads/balls can offer a buffer between your egg and the bottom of the pan. Alton Brown actually recommends placing the eggs directly on your oven racks and skipping the muffin tin altogether. I’d love to hear your thoughts on that one!
Make Peeling Easier- Fresh eggs can actually be more difficult to peel, as we have discovered, so it’s best to use older eggs for an easier peeling process (one week or more old).
How Should I Store My Eggs?
Once you have your week’s worth of eggs, how the heck do you store them? I read a lot of advice on this one when we prepared our eggs! Ideally, you want to keep these in their shell since it acts a barrier to bacteria and it helps them last longer too. Within the shell, you can eat these safely for up to seven days (although they never last that long in our house!!). Peeled hard-boiled eggs can be stored in the refrigerator in a bowl of cold water to cover for about five days (change the water daily) or in a sealed container without water (cover the eggs with damp paper towels) for the same length of time.
We store ours in their shell since I am worried about the bacteria factor!