You’ve been warned. I said I’d end up baking during these crazy pandemic times. After irrationally craving cinnamon rolls–it is a Sunday morning–, I settled on making a version of Joanna Gaines’ cinnamon swirl quick bread from her cookbook, Magnolia Table. As a Christmas present, I’ve looked through this cookbook, but haven’t had a time to tackle any recipes. Given my brunch cravings and the copious time on our hands, I settled on making Cinnamon Walnut Quick Bread, but a lightened up version of this classic. I still think it’s crazy that the original recipe for this bread was supposed to have 2½ c sugar and a third of a cup of oil. Here, we use just under three-fourths cup sugar, less than a tablespoon of oil, and mix coconut and raisins. It’s perfect right out of the oven, but I recommend it cooling longer than we did, since we were a bit too eager to slice it up, thus left with some crumbly pieces. Ted and I enjoyed this warm, served with a cup of coffee and a side of Greek yogurt and strawberries (see first photo after recipe!). It was the perfect stay-at-home Sunday brunch.
Healthy chocolate muffins!? Is this a thing? Absolutely. I feel like I’ve been killing this muffin meal prep game. I love having these as a snack or before a workout. Mixed Berry Chocolate Protein Muffins are no exception. You satisfy your chocolate craving as a yummy breakfast or snack. I used my strawberry rhubarb compote to act as the berries, but feel free to use mashed raspberries instead; plus, I don’t know about you, but there’s something I love about the way blueberries bake into muffins.
These may not be my best looking muffins, but they’re like a chocolate chip cookie and fig newton wrapped into one. They’re dense, the figs are complimented by cardamom and the dark chocolate adds a bittersweet taste. I stumbled upon dried whole figs at a TJ Maxx/Homegoods when home in Maine, but I’m sure you can find them anywhere. As you know, I like making muffins with protein powder so they’re a bit heartier, nutrient-dense and keep me full longer. I reallyyyyy enjoyed these Chocolate Fig Protein Muffins, and they were both friend and boyfriend approved (which are both necessary measures of approval).
If you like grits, this Savory Oatmeal Breakfast Bowl reminds me a heck of a lot like cheesy grits. I’ve been meaning to make a savory version of oatmeal since my oat recipes are saturated with sweet options for either hot oatmeal or cold overnight oats. Since I haven’t posted an oats recipe in a few months, and this one seems worthy to break the hiatus. It’s cheesy, yolky, and just a bit spicy. Plus, it sticks to your ribs and keeps you satisfied all morning long.
Want a different toast and a clever way to use up that ricotta from lasagna? Here’s Lemon Ricotta Toast. It’s light and satisfying, without being over heavy or filling. I love the bright acidity the lemon juices adds to the creamy ricotta, simply flavors with salt and red pepper flakes. Pumpkin seeds add a delightful crunch, while spinach adds some color and a little extra something-something.
Continue reading “Celebrating Toast Tuesday with Lemon Ricotta Toast”
Happy meal prep! Class is about to start up again after a two week hiatus. Having 9 am to 9 pm class on Mondays is going to be a wee bit rough, so obviously I need some new muffins in my life. I concocted a batch of Almond Peach Protein Muffins since I love fresh, ripe, juicy peaches with almond extract in the summer. Topped with a little brown sugar and chopped almonds, the muffins aren’t overly sweet and hit the spot with just a hint of summer as we move to the fall.
I think I found my new favorite veggie pizza crust option: Zucchini Pizza Crust. I’ve tried my hand at a cauliflower crust and sweet potato almond crust. Naturally it’s time I try zucchini. I finally bought nutritional yeast to test out (and warning — I foresee this on my popcorn), so I decided to do a 1:1 ratio of nutritional yeast to parmesan. I also recently made a parchment paper investment, and this was worth it; it made for an easier transfer of the crust baking sheet to cutting board and was non-stick. I really like veggie curst options, but usually they’re loaded with cheese as the binding agent. I thought this was still quite “cheesy” without all the extra cups and the egg worked just fine to keep this like a true crust. I’m definitely setting up for a breakfast pizza — stay tuned for brunch tomorrow!
Mustard Salmon with Roasted Veggies is such a great and quick mid-week dinner. This recipe will be added to the rotating arsenal. I saw a video for this on Facebook from Eating Well. It looked so easy and simple to make that I just had to try it. Since I don’t have a spice grinder and didn’t feel like buying more spices, I tried a marinade that our family friend, Maura, whisked together when we were in Florida. Just EVOO, Jack Daniel’s whole grain dijon mustard (soooo much flavor) and lemon juice. Asparagus, sweet potatoes and salmon are baked in the oven while you poach an egg. While you can skip the egg to make this a true “one pan” dinner, the yolk adds some saucy texture and more protein overall.
I’ve been craving ramen. (If anyone wants authentic ramen in Boston, head to Porter Square and go to Yume Wo Katare. Be warned it’s cash only, the portions are huge and it’s definitely not healthy, but some of the best ramen I’ve had.) After having that this summer, I wanted a healthier, at home twist. This ramen (thanks to Lotus Foods at Whole Foods) was really fun and easy — plus it’s gluten-free, since it’s made with rice. I chopped up the veggies while the egg was heated to a soft boil, dumped in the veggies with the ramen noodles, waited 5 minutes, topped with the egg and sesame seeds and dug in. Side note, but you can tell I struggggggled peeling that soft boiled egg. Lotus Foods had a much lower sodium content then other brands. (To ditch the high sodium altogether, I’d recommend making your own broth, but that gets a bit more complicated than “easy” ramen at home.) Regardless, these Black Rice Ramen Bowls hit the spot when you want the ease of takeout, but the “healthiness” of homemade.