Breakfast Egg “Muffins”

Good morning!!

Okay, okay, you got me, it’s not morning!  But I tell you what…it WILL be a good morning when you make these!!

See what I did there?  😀

 

Anywho…these little fellows are super fun and cute!  And can even be made the night before to help your family get tasty protein on busy mornings!  That’s how I did it!  I came home from work at like midnight one Saturday night, and was amped up on the caffeine I had downed to get me through a 15 hour shift.  My husband had to be at the church before 7, and I know how stressful Sunday mornings can be for him.  On top of that, he has to resist the free pizza provided for the worship teams.  So I wanted to make sure he had a chance to get a good healthy breakfast in him to hold him over.  Cause let’s just be honest…who wants to wake up at 5 just to cook yourself breakfast?

I, for one, do not!

And so I decided to use my late night energy to make these for him.  They are my own version of Abel James’ “Pizza Muffins.”  I added some greens and beans because Mr. Rodgers is determined to get those with every meal.  And I also added a sauce for a “frosting” of sorts, and changed up the meat because I prefer sausage to pepperoni!  Are you ready for this recipe?!  Let’s do it!

 

Here’s what you need:

MUFFINS:

  • 6 Eggs
  • 4 tsp Coconut Oil, Melted
  • 2 Tbsp Grassfed Butter, Melted
  • 4 Tbsp Coconut Milk (Or Almond)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2/3 C Almond Flour
  • 1/4 tsp Oregano
  • 1/4 tsp Basil
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 C Uncooked Italian Sausage (I used two home made meatballs from my freezer!)
  • 1/4-1/2 C Sundried Tomatoes (Depending on your tastes.  I don’t like them to be too overpowering!)
  • 1/4 C Onion, Diced
  • 1/3 Can Black Beans

PIZZA SAUCE “FROSTING” (Adapted from Budget Savvy Diva)

  • 1 (7 1/2 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 1/2 whole bay leaf

 

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400*
  2. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat.  Add in your sausage and cook until starting to brown.  I used two home made Italian meatballs I had frozen!  It worked so well!
  3. Add in onion and cook until translucent, stirring often.
  4. Add in beans, sundried tomatoes, and kale.  Cook and stir until kale is wilted and everything is warmed through.  Set aside to cool.
  5. Mix together eggs, coconut oil, butter, coconut milk, and salt.
  6. In a different bowl, mix together flour, spices, and baking powder.
  7. Combine your egg and flour mixture and mix until all is combined smoothly.
  8. Add your cooled meat mixture and fold in.
  9. Pour into a lined muffin pan and cook until done, about 15 minutes.
  10. While muffins are cooking, add all sauce ingredients into a small sauce pan over medium heat.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, letting the flavors infuse until ready to “frost” on top of your eggy meat muffins!  ENJOY!

 

Egg Muffins 1

Egg Muffins 2

Egg Muffins 4

Egg Muffins 5

Egg Muffins 3

Egg Muffins 6]

Egg Muffins 8

Egg Muffins 9

Egg Muffins 10

Egg Muffins 11

Egg Muffins 12

Egg Muffins 13

 

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My Monster Green Smoothie

Yes, I have finally jumped on the green smoothie boat!  I used to just do fruit smoothies, sweetened with orange juice and a little coconut.  But I had to come back down to earth and be honest with myself.  They just didn’t make me feel good.  I would legitimately get acid reflux from the insane amount of fruit I would ingest, and we all know that orange juice really isn’t that great for us!  So in our journey with Abel James I decided to try out the green ones.  And I decided…I like them!  I thought they would freak me out because of the texture…I am more into juicing veggies.  But it makes it so much more filling and I really do love it!  And I feel GREAT afterwards.  It’s so hard to explain, but I usually tell Mr. Rodgers this way: “My insides feel clean!!”  Haha, can anyone relate?!

Also…I felt the need to post a healthy drink to balance out my last post…the delicious but not so nutritious Fireball Apple Cider.  We all need treats now and then.  😉

I have tweaked this smoothie quite a lot, and I think I am finally at the place where it is ready to share!  And PLEASE!  I would love to try your recipes too, so feel free to share!!

 

So, here’s what you need:  (This will make enough for 2 people for a light breakfast…or if you are like me and don’t have a chance stop and eat at work…it will be good to fill up your cup a few times and sip on as you are running hither and to like a mad woman trying to get things done ;))

  • 8 oz Coconut Milk (Or Almond, or the 50/50 mix.  I’ve used them all!)
  • 2-3 Good handfuls Spinach
  • 2-3 Good handfuls Kale Leaves (you don’t want big stems…they’re pretty bitter)
  • 1/2 Cucumber, Thickly Sliced
  • 1 Small Banana
  • 1/4 C Blueberries (Frozen)
  • 1/2 C Strawberries (Frozen)
  • 1 Scoop Whey Protein (Optional…if you can find some without added crap!)

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Pour your coconut milk into the bottom of the blender.  Add your spinach and kale.  Mine usually fills the blender to the top.
  2. Blend until all the leaves are gone and you have a nice green liquid at the bottom (you will be amazed how the greens shrink!)
  3. Add your cucumber, banana, blueberries, strawberries, and whey if you are using it.  Blend until smooth.  Pour into a cup, drink, and feel how squeaky clean your insides are, haha!

 

Peectures!!

Photo (2)

Measure your coconut milk into the bottom of the blender.

Photo (3)

Add all your greens!  See what I mean?  Filled right to the top!

Photo (6)

Blend till you have nothing but a nice green liquid at the bottom!

Photo (7)

Add in your banana, cucumber, and berries…

Photo (8)

Blend (I tried to get an action shot, it didn’t work as well as I had hoped).

Photo (9)

Pour…admire…drink!  So much healthy going into your body right now!!!

Photo (10)

Yay!!!

 

Crispy Kale Chips

I had heard my sisters in law rave about the kale chips they would make, and how yummy yummy they were.  Honestly, I was a little skeptical at first.  (Sorry girls!).  It didn’t help that my first experience with kale was juicing after Mr. Rodgers and I watched Fat, Sick, and Nearly dead.  I was not a big fan of raw kale juice…even if it was mixed with a little bit of apple haha!  But if you are one of my original, faithful followers you will remember how I did a 180* turn around on my opinion of kale as soon as I made Kale Pesto and put it on a Cauliflower Crust Pizza.  Best meal ever!!  Still…the idea of a kale chip was a little scary for me!

Then I went home for a visit to be with my family when my grandmother died last month.  As we sat down to a usual Family FEAST…(Kirkwoods don’t make meals, they make feasts!)…they began to pass around the kale chips made by my beautiful sister in law Becca, who I lovingly refer to as “Jim.”  Yeah, it’s a long story.  So, I decided to try a few.  I tasted them.  And tried a few more.   And a few more…and was really sad when I realized the bowl was empty because everyone else was enjoying them as much as me!  😦  But even still, I am so happy for the experience, because now I know…I LOVE KALE CHIPS!  I am a “salty” lover, and the crunchiness along with the fantastic flavor that only comes from roasting something in an oven…man!  It was fantastic!!

I am back home now.  And still loving kale chips.  I made them just a week or so ago to go with some Garlic Bacon Butter Fish I made.  (Recipe coming soon!)  So I shall share with you the beauty of these crispy little flakes of loveliness, haha!  They are super easy as well!

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1 Bundle Kale leaves
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Chile Powder (Just cause we like them with a kick!)

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Rinse the kale and separate the leaves from any large pieces of stem, tearing into slightly-larger than bite size pieces.  Use a salad spinner to dry, or lay out on paper towels and dab, getting as dry as possible.  It will prevent mushiness!  If you are brave and trust the whole “putting it in the oven will kill any germs” thing, you could skip the rinse part.  🙂
  3. Put kale in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and toss so coated.
  4. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, chile powder…and really any extra seasonings you may desire if you want to toss in a little garlic or something tasty!
  5. Line a large cookie sheet or two with foil.  Lay out kale chips in a single layer and do not over crowd!
  6. Bake until they reach your desired level of crispy brownness.  I probably got mine darker than most people would enjoy, but I wanted a stinking crunch!!!  Haha!  And they were lovely!!  Start with about 10 minutes and go from there.  🙂

Peectures!

Photo (12)Remove stems, rinse, and dry thoroughly!

Photo (13)Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, chile powder, and whatever seasonings you crave!  Simple is delicious…but maybe you will discover something wonderful as well!

Photo (14)Place in a single layer on a foil lined cookie sheet and slide into your 350 degree oven.  NOTE:  I overcrowded my pan!  Most of them turned out crispy but I had a few mushy ones because they were too close together.  IF IN DOUBT, USE TWO COOKIE SHEETS OR ROAST IN SHIFTS!

Photo (15)Remove from oven…this picture really doesn’t do them justice…they were deeeelish!

Photo (16)Enjoy as a snack, or a side to compliment a lovely protein!!!  Yummy!!!!  Enjoy!!

Chef of Honor: Hannah Hayner with Kale Quinoa Feta Salad

Ohhhhhh man!  Earlier this summer Mr. Rodgers and I went to a barbecue crammed with good friends, good times (our life was forever changed by being introduced to Kan Jam!), and, of course….plenty of food temptation!   To make matters better (and worse!), it was held at our friend’s house who is a baking genius…oh man.  I was trying so hard to be good, but it was difficult with all the cakes and dips and the like.  But then I discovered this, made by one of my favorites, Miss Hannah Hayner.  WOW!  Just wow.  I no longer felt like I was missing out.  It had so much flavor, was so incredibly satisfying.  To put it simply, it rocked my world, haha!!  And so I escaped the post-bbq sick feeling, and was so satisfied!  Since then I have made this salad for Mr. Rodgers and I multiple.  It never lasts long.  It turns my husband into a human vacuum.  It’s so good.  You’ve got to try.  This lady is a flippin genius.  🙂   So, here’s what you need:

  • 10 leaves kale, cleaned and chopped into bite size pieces (or grab a bag of the pre washed, pre cut stuff and use a few good handfuls, enough to almost fill a large bowl.)
  • 1C uncooked quinoa
  • 2 C water
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 lg Garlic Clove, minced
  • 1 tsp black pepper (freshly cracked, reduce amount if using small grain stuff)
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/2-1 C Sunflower Seeds
  • 1 C Raisins or Craisins (She usually uses craisins, I stick with raisins because there is no sweetener added to them :))
  • 3/4 C Feta

Are your taste buds wailing yet?!  😉   And here’s how you do it:

  1. Start your quinoa cooking.  Bring the water to a boil, then stir in your dry quinoa.  Bring it back to a boil, put the lid on and turn it down to a simmer.  Let cook about 12 minutes, so that you can no longer see any moisture.  Remove from heat and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes.  Remove lid and let cool (if you are patient like that.)  We usually decide that we are starving and don’t care if our kale wilts a little by having hot quinoa dumped on top, haha!
  2. Whisk together your dressing ingredients!  AKA Olive Oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper.  Pour over kale and toss.
  3. Add sunflower seeds, raisins or craisins, feta. and quinoa.  Toss again and serve!  You won’t regret it!  SO much flavor, but still so fresh and “good-feeling.”

Pictures!

Kale Quinoa Salad 1

Make sure your quinoa is going.  Get your kale cleaned, cut, and in a bowl.  Whisk together the dressing ingredients, dump over the kale, and toss.

Kale Quinoa Salad 2

And the rest of the ingredients,

Kale Quinoa Salad 3Toss…

Kale Quinoa Salad 4

And enjoy along with a good healthy meal!  Thank you, Hannah, for introducing us to such a wonderful recipe!!!

Kale Pesto. Say Whaaaaaat?!

Yes, you read that right.  Kale pesto!!!  I LOVE PESTO!  And the fact that when you eat this one….you are unknowingly devouring a SUPER FOOD!  So tasty, and so beyond healthy!  Yeah baby!!  And the color is phenomenal, haha.  Green is my favorite 🙂  You can do so many things with pesto.  Chicken.  Veggie sides.  Pasta.  Pizza.  Why not whip up a batch of this fantastic pesto, and have it ready to substitute into your favorite recipes?  Here’s my thought…if you are a pesto lover, make this one change, have an even better flavor and unbelievable health benefits!  Eliminate the store bought pesto you get from a jar, and you eliminate the mystery…do you know what mystery I am speaking of?  The “what sort of strange chemical poo did they cram into this” mystery?  I have come to the terms that even if the ingredients on a bottle all seem legit…and if it has that “all natural” label on the front…you can’t trust it!  That one thing that I haven’t heard of…that big word I can’t pronounce….it’s probably where they snuck in the bad stuff that will hurt the body!  Oh and don’t even get me started on the whole “natural flavors” thing.  Ha!  Anywho.  This recipe eliminates that mystery!!!  You can KNOW what you are putting in your body, and have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your body is not being harmed!  And on the other hand, if you already make home made pesto, I altered this recipe to the point that it is crazy delicious without any cheese!  Not that I think a little Parmesan here and there is a bad thing.  But if you can have something that is so yummy without NEEDING cheese, you might as well eliminate it so that you can have some cheese where it IS needed, right?  Makes sense to me 😉

Enough talk!!!  Let’s hop to it!!  I’m excited for you to try this gem…and I’m excited that in a few days, I get to show you how I used it!  FANTASTIC!

Adapted from marycrimmins.com

So here’s what you need:

  • 2 Small Bunches of Kale, Stems Removed
  • 1/2 C Olive Oil
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 C Walnuts, Chopped
  • 1 tsp lemon juice (ish, to taste and texture 😉 )
  • 1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning, or something similar
  • Salt and Pepper to taste (Careful with the salt if your Cajun style seasoning has salt in it!)

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.  Place your walnuts on a cookie sheet and toast, keeping an eye on them to make sure they don’t burn 🙂  You just want them to get a little browned and bring out that fantastic toasty flavor!!  Yummmm!  Set aside 🙂
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
  3. Add kale leaves to boiling water and let cook for about 10 minutes.  Should be nice and tender.
  4. Put your toasted walnuts, cooked kale, and garlic in a food processor.  Or blender, but food processor works better 🙂  Get it nice and blended!
  5. Pour in oil and lemon juice slowly, until you get the consistency you want.  Mine was creamy and spreadable, which was perfect for my use 🙂
  6. Whiz in the Cajun seasoning, salt, and pepper…taste and adjust!

WABAM!  AMAZING!  That’s all I can say!  Amazing!!!  I hope you enjoy this…it was a huge discovery for my kitchen 🙂

Oh my gosh.  I just had a thought.  Kale pesto.  Plus spaghetti squash.  Holy inspiration.  Ahhhhh.  That must happen.  Really soon.  Wow.  Maybe I should blog while watching Iron Chef more often.  For real.

Holy boiling kale batman!

Kale Pesto 1

So green!  Yay green!  Tastiest darn green I’ve ever had!!!

Kale Pesto 2

Yum!  I have more pictures for you…but I’m not giving them to you yet…cause I want you to see them all together when I reveal the finished product.  The life-changing, wonderful, beautiful finished product.  Haha.

Sweet & Sour Sesame Kale

When I saw this on the meal plan, my thought was…”well, kale is super healthy…I have forced myself to like things before, I can do it with kale too.” So I decided to be brave and try the recipe!! Jay and I ate this, and agreed…it was so yummy, and something we would actually WANT to eat again 🙂 In fact…it made enough for left overs and it was still good warmed up the day after, and we were excited to have more!!! You should try it 🙂 It’s sooooo good for you 🙂

Kale 2

 

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 Clove Garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
  • 1 (generous) Tbsp Honey, preferably raw
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 lb Kale

 

And, as always, here’s how you do it 🙂

  1. Rinse your kale, and trim off the stems…at least the big ones!! That’s where you get the bitter flavor 🙂
  2. Zest and juice your lemon.
  3. Melt the coconut oil in a ginormous pan. If you do not have a huge pan…halve the recipe or do it in batches. I used a 6 qt soup pot and still didn’t have enough room!!
  4. Add everything except your kale and sesame seeds. Stir it up and make sure the garlic cooks at least 30 seconds-ish. It should be getting fragrant 🙂
  5. Add the kale and cook for about 5 minutes, tossing in the sauce. It should shrink quite a bit.
  6. Top with sesame seeds and toss again, then heap it on your plate and enjoy!!! See why I call it sweet and sour? The honey is such a nice dessert-y flavor, but you still have the tang of the lemon…you might forget you’re eating kale!! So delicious and nutritious!!

Kudos to whoever submitted this to Perfectweightamerica.com…you made kale pleasant!! I salute you!!

So tell me…does anybody else have a favorite way to prepare kale?

Kale 3Yummy!! A nice, sturdy veggie side for something light like fish!!

Kale 1Yeah buddy!!!