Category Archives: Breakfast

Chilaquiles With Homemade Tortilla Chips

Do you ever make something so delicious that you can’t wait to spread the news but wind up with lousy photos of the outcome?  That’s what happened with my chilaquiles.  But they were so enjoyable to eat and as much fun to say once I learned to pronounce the word (say it: chee/lah/KEE/lehs) that I just couldn’t keep it to myself forever, regardless of my poorly lit photo documentation.

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I made this dish for my brother and sister when they stopped in for a rest on their drive back home from a road trip to Texas.  My brother regaled us with stories of the interesting towns they visited and people they met including the Mexican songster who keeps a tin can on the US side of the border then sits across the river to serenade passersby, coaxing them to drop a coin in the tin.  Or the little girl who twisted colored wires into a peacock for my brother to bring to us as a souvenir. My sister mostly just enjoyed a little bit of space after being stuck in a van with my brother for two weeks.  Ah, siblings.

I don’t travel much these days but hearing my brother’s stories and seeing his photos helped me to see a glimpse into another world and made me long to travel.  It’s so easy to forget that we are all just such a tiny part of such a big world.  I listen to state and national news every day and feel like I know what’s going on but all I really hear are a finely curated selection of stories.  Traveling forces you out of your sliver of the world and into the lives of others.  It forces connection. I get so wrapped up in going through the motions to make sure I meet all of my responsibilities at home and at work that I forget that everyone else in the great beyond is doing the same thing…just trying to navigate this world, find happiness, and make sure their basic needs are met. We are all looking for connection, for similarities, for synergy.  We are all looking for someone to look inside and understand us and love us for who we are.  When I remind myself of that, I feel so much more connected, a whole lot more tolerant, and a little bit silly for being so focused on my teeny corner of this world.

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Back to chilaquiles…one thing that helps me to feel more connected is trying new dishes from places I’d like to visit.  While I couldn’t drop everything and go on a road trip to Texas, as much as I’d have liked to, I could try a new recipe that would transport me there in my imagination.

A few notes:  first, the sauce is a touch spicy so adjust accordingly.  Second, the sauce recipe makes a fair amount so plan on using the leftovers for round two of this great dish. Third, there are more chilaquile recipes than can be counted.  Different regions and even different families have their own recipes for chilaquiles.  If this recipe doesn’t do it for you, try with tomatillo sauce or a mole sauce instead or pour the sauce on at the end, keeping the tortillas crispy for a nacho-esque dish instead. This recipe is from Bon Appetit (apart from the method for the tortilla chips) and is an excellent choice for your first go-round with chilaquiles.

And finally, you may use bagged tortilla chips for this recipe but if you don’t have any on hand, making your own tortilla chips is easy, satisfying, and makes for a heartier dish with a little less salt (this is also an excellent way to use up stale tortillas).  We always have tortillas on hand but don’t often have snack foods so it’s nice to have the homemade tortilla trick up my sleeve when the need arises.  See below for a few photos of the process.  Very easy and very worth it!

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Chilaquiles With Homemade Baked Tortilla Chips

Ingredients

  • 7 dried guajillo or New Mexico chiles
  • 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, drained
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, with seeds, chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon smoked or Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • Olive or vegetable oil to brush tortillas.
  • 9 6-inch corn tortillas or 36 large tortilla chips
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled queso fresco or mild feta
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack or Cheddar
  • 4 large eggs
  • Finely chopped white onion
  • Thinly sliced radishes
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Lime wedges

Instructions

  1. Red Chile Sauce: Place chiles in a medium bowl; cover with 2 cups boiling water. Let chiles soak until softened, about 15 minutes. Drain, reserving soaking liquid. Discard stems and seeds; place chiles in a blender. Add tomatoes, next 4 ingredients, and 1 cup reserved soaking liquid; purée until smooth.
  2. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add purée (it will splatter) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, partially covered and stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes (add more reserved soaking liquid if too thick). Stir in honey and season to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and chill. Rewarm before using.
  3. Tortilla Chips: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using a pastry brush, brush one side of each corn tortilla with a light layer of olive oil. Stack one on top of the other with oil side up - the un-oiled side will become oiled from the tortilla it is set upon. Cut the stacked tortillas into 8 wedges. Place tortilla pieces on a single layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt. Bake 10 to 12 minutes until lightly browned.
  4. Preheat broiler. Toss chips and 1 cup sauce in a large bowl. Transfer half of chips to a large ovenproof platter or skillet. Scatter half of cheeses over chips. Top with remaining chips and cheeses, along with 1/2 cup more sauce. Broil until cheese is golden and melted, 4–5 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, pour oil into a nonstick skillet to lightly coat. Heat over medium heat. Add eggs and fry until whites are set but yolks are still runny, about 4 minutes.
  6. Top chilaquiles with chopped onion, radishes, cilantro, and lime wedges. Top with fried eggs and serve with remaining sauce alongside.
http://dinnerwithaura.com/chilaquiles-with-homemade-tortilla-chips/

Pumpkinseed, Date, and Tahini Bars

DSC_0807 It’s been quite a while so this is going to be a looooong post….about pumpkinseed, date, and tahini bars.  About Transitions lenses.  About motherhood.  Let’s start with transitions.

Transitions…I’ve had a few.

Three years ago I lived by myself in a historic home in downtown Grand Rapids.  I worked from home and spackled, sanded, and painted my house in the evenings.  I took my dog for a walk nearly every night and would stop to watch live music downtown.  I did yoga four to five times per week – once I even did thirty classes in thirty days for a challenge.  I posted on this blog every week.  Yup.  Every week.

That feels like a lifetime ago.  In what feels like the blink of an eye, my whole world has forever changed.  I recently did five yoga classes…in seven weeks.  It was a small victory. Parenting, nursing, and working full time doing research for a footwear company has changed the every moment and the every day.  For one, I’ve had a real reality check in the kitchen.  Like packing my breakfasts, lunches, and snacks for the entire work week on Sundays so I can eat well throughout the week.  Like steaming, baking, and pureeing everything I can think of so my little one can enjoy healthy and diverse solid foods and learn to love food like I do (puh-lease do not turn out to be a picky eater…I will crumble).  Like burning the rice syrup while making these granola bars because he crawled out of the room (how did he get so fast???).  Like nearly burning the granola bars because I left them in for two extra minutes.

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Now put away your tiny violin.  I’m not telling you a sob story.  Most of everything has been so positive.  My son brings more happiness to me than I could have ever imagined.  I get to see the world from his perspective and finally have someone else in the house who completely gets my humor (he giggles when I pretend to smell his feet and say peeeeeuw!).  And like everything else, this stage is a transition, a phase that won’t last forever.  So I’ll just do my best, and keep on trucking.

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But I digress.  I wanted to talk about Transitions for another reason.  The good folks at Transition Lenses asked me to try out a pair of glasses.  Don’t mind if I do, I said, I’ll try anything once.  I have to admit that the first image that crossed my mind was Cindy Knoebel.  Seventh grade.  Small glasses not much larger than swim goggles.  Looking like she wore her sunglasses inside for ten minutes after first hour started.  It didn’t really seem like my thing.  Now, keep in mind that I was not exactly hip.  I wore ugly-with-a-capital-U non-Transition lenses.  Non-shading and non-transitioning from ugly.  And keep in mind that Cindy Knoebel turned out to be prom queen and married the prom king.  Maybe she was onto something.  Anyhow, I gave them a shot and I have to say…I was pleasantly surprised.  The tinting changes much more quickly than in the past.  I was asked to choose from several shading options.  And was able to add all the fancy stuff like anti-glare and a blue-screen filter to protect my eyes from the many hours in front of the computer screens at work.  I also ran into two very cool people at an outdoor music festival this weekend wearing Transition lenses.  Seems like it may be the cool people wearing them after all.

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Well finally, let’s get back to what this blog is all about.  Food.  These granola bars from Cooking Light are my snacks for the week.  On principle, I don’t buy snack bars because I know I can make them myself (but never do).  They were so easy to make (they require about 10 minutes of dedicated attention), very easily adaptable, and very healthy to boot.  I made this version, adding almonds, chia seeds, and some dried cherries to it.  Let me know if you try these…and especially let me know if you come up with fun adaptations for the recipe!

For this and many other DIY healthy snack bar ideas, head to Cooking Light’s DIY Snack Bar slideshow.

Pumpkinseed, Date, and Tahini Bars

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1/3 cup brown rice syrup
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups puffed barley cereal (I couldn't find any so used puffed millet)
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup prechopped dates
  • 1/3 cup toasted pumpkinseed kernels
  • Cooking spray
  • 3 tablespoons toasted uncooked quinoa (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Combine tahini, syrup, olive oil, vanilla, and salt in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH 1 minute or until bubbly. Alternatively, you can heat this on the stove but you must stir constantly and watch carefully so as not to burn the brown rice syrup mixture.
  2. Combine cereal, oats, dates, and pumpkinseed kernels in a medium bowl.
  3. Pour tahini mixture over barley mixture; toss well to coat.
  4. Press into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with quinoa (if using), pressing to adhere.
  5. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until set. Cool completely in dish.
http://dinnerwithaura.com/pumpkinseed-date-and-tahini-bars/

 

Baked Oatmeal With Walnuts and Blueberries….AND an Announcement!!

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Hi!  Great news!  My sweetie and I are getting hitched!  Just thought I’d let you know.  I feel so fortunate.  Drew is a gentle, kind soul.  A hard worker.  A true friend.  An artist.  And he brought baked oatmeal into my life.  What more could you ask for?

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Huevos Rancheros With Tomatillo Sauce

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Order up! Many years ago, when I was in college, I worked at a vegetarian restaurant called Gaia Cafe. The restaurant is still open after almost 30 years, and the menu has changed very little over the years. When you have a good thing, why change it? It’s one of my favorite places for breakfast or lunch, with a cozy, eccentric vibe and self serve, fair trade, and strongly brewed coffee so you never have to wait for your server to deliver your morning buzz. If I didn’t cook all the time at home, I’d be a regular at Gaia–I sure do miss my almost daily meals there from my four years of serving. Continue reading

Lighten Up, America! It’s Red Flannel Hash! And a Giveaway!

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Every year where I grew up, we had November 15 off of school.  It wasn’t always that way.  Over the years as we grew up, so few kids came to school that day, the district finally caved and it became a recognized day-off, no absences counted.  What, you ask, happens on November 15?  Opening day of deer season. Boys and men dressed in their favorite flannels and boots and headed out to their deer blinds as if heading off to war.  The ladies?  They went to Green Bay to go shopping.

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Cold Oats with Dried Fruit and Nuts

‘He looked at his watch, astonished how the months had fallen out of it.”  –The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx

This summer has flown by in a happy, hectic whirl.  Amidst the excitement and busy-ness, there have been a few constants.  Warm, heavy evenings interrupted only by the crack of the bat and the roar of a crowd while listening to the Detroit Tigers on the radio.  Letting the dog out, then in, then out again.  The slow summer rhythm of the neighborhood, with neighbors spilling out on porches and long, spontaneous chats while walking the pup.  Drew’s wet waders slung over the white pipe railing of the back porch to dry, oozing tales of trout or simple tales of a good wade down a stream (“That’s why they call it fishing, not catching,” he reminds me).   The communion of friends sharing meals and stories under the twinkle fairy lights on our back patio.  Saturday mornings bumping into friends and talking with our farmers at the market.  The sweetness of a good night kiss shared.  Cold oatmeal for breakfast.

We have eaten cold oatmeal nearly every morning over the last four months.  And yet, each day I wake up looking forward to it in its many variations.  Soon the warm months will have moved on and we’ll be switching back to oatmeal in other forms, oat bran, cooked rolled oats, baked oats, oatmeal griddle cakes.

Cold oats can, and have, been enjoyed in our household in every which way.  On a Saturday morning in summertime, in a patch of sunlight on the back stoop, glasses still on, hair wild, eyelids heavy, one hand thumbing through a cooking magazine.  On a Tuesday morning, racing to get out the door to work, spoon in one hand, blow dryer in the other.  At the desk at work, typing with one hand, eating a greatly anticipated breakfast with the other.  At the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula at a campground, coffee bubbling in the percolator on the camp stove, a morning fire in the fire pit, reading the What’s U.P.? paper, a hodgepodge of odd news and Upper Peninsula real estate.  On a Sunday, listening to our BBC radio drama, The Archers, and drinking our pour-over coffees.

Cold oatmeal (aka Muesli) has been a constant in these moments over the warm spring and summer months.  It has been both a breakfast made for the simplicity and the quickness of it, and a breakfast made for the enjoyment of it.  Some of the best meals are the simplest and this is an excellent example.

Because oatmeal is such a constant in my life, it has become the unsung hero of my mornings.  I have not thought to post about cold oats until this post came about, opting to write about more savory, later-in-the-day meals instead.  But how could I not share this beloved meal with you?

Cold oatmeal can be made in a huge variety of ways, whatever suits your tastes or pantry at the moment.  The formula I usually follow is oats, almond milk, dried fruit, nuts, maple syrup.  Occasionally if the fruit is good I’ll stir in some fresh peaches, blueberries, raspberries, figs, or plums but usually I enjoy dried fruit, soaked in the oat mixture over night.

One of the best things about this breakfast is that it is a huge time saver.  The night before, you simply put old-fashioned rolled oats into a jar or bowl, cover with just under twice as much plant-based or animal-based milk, any additions you want, and place back in the fridge overnight.  In the morning, you don’t need to lift a finger (or turn on the stove if the day is a hot one) to enjoy a filling and satisfying breakfast.  Convinced?  Follow the easiest-recipe-in-the-world below and you’ll be singing its praises too.

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Cold Oats With Dried Fruit and Nuts

  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 and 3/4 cup almond milk, soy milk, or cow’s milk
  • 3-4 dates, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons walnuts, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup, optional (some folks are happy with the sweetness of the fruit without additional sweetener)
  1.  Mix all ingredients into a jar or bowl.
  2. Let sit overnight in the refrigerator.
  3. Grab a spoon, stumble to the fridge, grab cold oats, and dig in.

Serves 2

Variations:

  • Substitute raisins, cranberries, dried plums, dried cherries, or any other favorite dried fruit.
  • Add fresh fruits when in season.  Blueberries, peaches, nectarines, prune plums, raspberries, blackberries…all are good options.
  • Cook up some apples with cinnamon and stir into the mix.
  • Substitute yogurt for some or all of the milk.
  • Experiment with raw pumpkin seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, or any other nuts you love.

 

Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes with Michigan Maple Syrup and a Lovely Easter Weekend

Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes

This weekend we finally got a taste of spring for one day before it got cold again. My sweetie and I seized the opportunity to get outside after a long winter and opted to head to the Blandford Nature Center to celebrate just being outside without freezing our nose hairs off.  Michiganders are funny creatures.  You know you are in Michigan when it’s the first 40 degree day and you see a convertible with the top down.  True story.

Anyway…I want to tell you about this great place.  The Blandford Nature Center is just outside of Grand Rapids and has almost 150 acres to explore.  It is also home to an amazing environmental school that any kid would be lucky to attend.  I love the perspective they take:  Blandford Nature Center believes children and adults learn best through personal experience. Our job, and our passion, is to invite our community to get their hands dirty in nature – whether that be standing knee-high in water to learn about stream ecology or planting squash seeds to start a garden.

We walked the trails for a couple of hours, visited all of the injured animals (mostly birds–the owls were adorable!) that have found a permanent home at Blandford, and took a ton of photos.  The trails were great and I was THRILLED to be walking around outside in the sunshine.  Can you tell?

Walking through the woods--and just so happy to be outside!

Walking through the woods–and just so happy to be outside!

The best part, though, was visiting the sugar shack to watch maple sap boil down into maple syrup.

The sugar shack at Blandford Nature Center

The sugar shack at Blandford Nature Center

 Every 6th grader at the three environmental schools in Grand Rapids gets their own tree to tap at the nature center.  What a cool learning experience.  We saw both the modern method of making maple syrup and the native way of making maple syrup.

Native Americans used wooden spiles to tap their trees.

Native Americans used wooden spiles to tap their trees.

Native Americans boiled their sap in cauldrons over fire.

Native Americans boiled their sap in cauldrons over fire.

When I was a kid my family tapped all of the trees lining our property, which gave us enough maple syrup to get through the year.  Did you know it takes forty gallons of maple sap to make one gallon of maple syrup?  As you can imagine, that take a lot of time and a lot of boiling.  I very fondly remember standing outside in the snow around the barrel stove fitted with a stainless steel pan, waiting as the sap boiled down.  The aroma of the boiling sap is a scent memory I will never forget and one that I am at a loss for words to describe.  When we walked into the sugar shack and smelled that amazing aroma, I was on cloud nine, transported back to the U.P. in early spring.

Inside the Sugar Shack watching sap boil into maple syrup.

Inside the Sugar Shack watching sap boil into maple syrup.

As you can imagine, we simply had to buy a quart of this syrup after watching it being made.  We couldn’t wait to try some and decided that Easter morning we would make buckwheat blueberry pancakes and douse them in this liquid gold.  And we sure did.  It was everything a Sunday should be.  Sleeping in, eating pancakes after noon, listening to the Archers Omnibus (the longest running radio drama, aired in the U.K.–I am hooked!), and making a Ukranian egg.  Although Easter was decidedly un-Eastery I must say it was still a lovely, lovely day and truly a beautiful weekend.

Psanky Easter Egg I made on Sunday.  I grew up with this great tradition.

Psanky Easter Egg I made on Sunday. I grew up with this great tradition.

For the pancakes, I just pulled a recipe from the Food Network website.  The only difference was that I used frozen wild blueberries instead of fresh (fresh taste so icky to me out of season).

Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes

Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes adapted ever so slightly from The Food Network

  • 3/4 cup buckwheat flour
  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup nonfat milk
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, divided
  • 1/2 cup real maple syrup
  1. In a large bowl whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  2. In another bowl, beat together the buttermilk, non-fat milk, honey, eggs, and oil.
  3. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, mixing only enough to combine them. Stir in 1 cup of fresh or still-frozen berries (if you are using frozen berries, thaw the other cup of berries at this time so they are thawed for serving but make sure the blueberries you add to the batter are still frozen otherwise they will turn your batter blue!).
  4. Preheat a large nonstick griddle or skillet over a medium flame. Ladle the batter onto the skillet with a 1/4-cup measure. Flip the pancake when it is golden brown on the bottom and bubbles are forming on top, about 1 1/2 minutes. Cook the other side until golden brown, about 1 1/2 minutes.
  5. Serve topped with more blueberries and the maple syrup, your favorite book, and your coziest PJs.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ellie-krieger/blueberry-buckwheat-pancakes-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback

Homemade Granola with Fruit and Nuts

Homemade raisin almond granola

A while back I taught you all how to make your own yogurt.  I recently also shared this how-to with updated photos on the Grand Rapids Cooking School Blog.  Now that you know how to make your own yogurt, wouldn’t it be great if you knew how to make your own granola to eat with that yogurt?  Granola is a great breakfast and a great snack but is often so expensive to buy in stores and is often much higher in calories than it needs to be.  The good news is that it only takes about 40 minutes (only 10 minutes hands-on) to make a large batch of granola.  Not only is it considerably less expensive, it is so much tastier and you can put anything in it that you want.

Below is a basic granola recipe that can be easily adapted to suit your needs.   For the oil, you can experiment with olive oil, coconut oil, or canola oil.  For the sweetener, you can try maple syrup, agave, or honey.  For the fruit and nuts, try any combination that you like.

If you are still not satisfied with your options (I thought I had perfected granola until my sweetie begged for clumpy granola), read on past the recipe to learn how to make CLUMPY granola!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups rolled oats (be sure not to use quick oats)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup dried fruit (I switch it up depending on what I have on hand.  I have used raisins, dried apricots, currants, cranberries, or diced prunes–I bet dried blueberries would be great too!)
  • 1 cup nuts and seeds (I usually do a mix of chopped walnuts, sliced almonds, raw pumpkin seeds, and raw sunflower seeds…but any combination of nuts and seeds will work!)
  • 5 tablespoons melted coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1 tsp real vanilla extract
  • ½ cup real maple syrup, agave, or honey if you aren’t vegan
  • Optional:  sesame seeds, flax seeds, coconut flakes…anything else you want to add!

 Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300°
  2. Mix together oats, cinnamon, salt, nuts and seeds in a big bowl.  Please note:  I have added fruit to the mix at this point mostly with success…but due to burning the fruit a couple of times during the baking process I now choose to add it at the end!

Granola in bowl 3.  In a separate bowl, whisk together maple syrup, oil, vanilla, and salt until smooth.

4.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, stirring until all dry ingredients are well coated. Spread mixture onto two oiled baking sheets (make sure they are rimmed sheets!).Spread evenly and press down firmly into a single layer with a spatula.  You can leave an empty space in the middle of the pans to create another “edge” to prevent an uncooked middle.

Granola Spread Out in Baking Sheet

5.  Bake in preheated oven for 25-35 minutes until granola is golden brown and crisp at the edges. You can bake it to your preference.  One time I made the granola lightly browned:

Golden Brown Granola

And the next time I baked it a little longer:

Browned Granola

6.  Add fruit to the granola while still warm.  Allow to cool for 15 minutes on baking sheet before eating and at least 30 minutes before storing (allow to cool completely).  Store in an airtight jar.

Finished Granola

Now, since you’ve been so patient, I’m going to tell you the secret to making clumpy granola…egg whites!  I’m not sure yet how to make a vegan clumpy granola but so far, as a non-vegan, egg whites are doing the trick for me.  If you want clumpy granola, mix 2 egg whites into your wet mixture before adding to the dry.  When you bake the granola, be sure not to stir it while baking.  This will break up the clusters.  When the baking is complete, allow to cool completely before breaking the granola into nice big chunks.  There will be some chunks and some free bits too.

Now enjoy your amazing homemade granola and yogurt!

Homemade Granola and Yogurt

Migas Breakfast Tacos

Oh migas!  Where had you been all my life?  I’m about to let you in on one of the best breakfasts. Ever.

Migas Breakfast Tacos

My boyfriend spent a few weeks on the road recently and about two weeks of it was spent in Austin, TX.  I tried to contain my jealousy as he told me about his daily breakfast fix of migas tacos from Maria’s Taco X-Press.  Up until recently, I had enjoyed migas only once or twice.  A deli in Kalamazoo, MI serves it as side dish and it is quite yummy but nothing in comparison to this Tex-Mex version, cooked up with eggs and cheese and served in warm corn tortillas.

After listening to my sweetie lament the loss of his new favorite breakfast, and being a good little foodist, I suggested my best solution…make them ourselves!  A quick search found a recipe from none other than Maria’s Taco X-Press and we set about whipping up our first of many migas breakfasts.  The only differences?  A little bit of cheese (I hear they are heavy-handed with it down in Austin–everything is bigger in Texas!) and instead of wearing tee-shirts and sunglasses in Austin we were bundled up in sweaters, leg warmers, flannel, and shearling boots to brave the frigid January-in-Michigan temps.  Maybe in July we’ll get that Austin feeling as we tuck into our probably fiftieth migas breakfast.  At about 3 or 4 times a week, we are establishing  a lifelong habit!  And I’m alright with that.

Migas Breakfast Tacos

First, add the onions, tortilla chips, and peppers to a hot pan with one teaspoon of oil:

Cooking Tortilla Chips, Onions, and Peppers

Add tomatoes and cook over medium heat 3 to 4 minutes or just until onion is translucent.

Cooking Migas...Tortilla Chips, Tomatoes, Onions, Cilantro, Peppers

Add eggs to skillet, and cook, without stirring, 1 to 2 minutes or until eggs begin to set on bottom…the full recipe is below!

Adding the eggs to the Migas

Served with my homemade Habanero hot sauce…..yes, ma’am!

Migas breakfast tacos with habanero hot sauce

Migas Breakfast Tacos; adapted recipe from My Recipes, as shared by Maria’s Taco X-Press in Austin, TX

    • 1/3 cup lightly crushed tortilla chips
    • 1/4 cup chopped onion
    • 1/4 cup diced tomatoes (during the winter months, use canned chopped tomatoes, strained)
    • 2 tablespoons chopped jalapeño peppers (for a less spicy version add green bell pepper instead).  I also add a couple tablespoons of hot salsa verde sometimes.
    • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
    • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
    • Pinch of salt and pepper
    • 2 (8-inch) corn tortillas, warmed
    • 1/2 cup (2 oz.) shredded 2% reduced-fat Mexican four-cheese blend
  1. Sauté tortilla chips, onions, tomatoes, and peppers in hot oil in a medium-size non-stick skillet over medium heat 3 to 4 minutes or just until onion is translucent.
  2. Whisk together eggs, salt, and pepper. Add to skillet, and cook, without stirring, 1 to 2 minutes or until eggs begin to set on bottom. Gently draw cooked edges away from sides of pan to form large pieces. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes or until eggs are thickened and moist. (Do not over stir.) Spoon egg mixture into warm tortillas, and sprinkle with cheese; serve immediately folded into corn tortillas with sliced avocado and plenty of hot sauce.  I love mine with my homemade Habanero hot sauce but Valentino or Topatio are also fantastic!

 

Oatmeal Griddle Cakes

Oatmeal Griddle Cakes

Welcome to another Food Matters Monday!  I’m excited to be hosting this week and excited to see what everyone else comes up with.  I’ve included the original recipe below–for variations on the recipe, head on over to the Food Matters Project site and look through the comments.  To see visuals of all of the oatmeal griddle cake recipes, head on over to Pinterest for some eye candy!

I had a roommate that ate oatmeal every morning for breakfast and I always made fun of her.  “What are you, 80?”  Fast forward 3 years…I eat oatmeal almost every morning.  Who’s laughing now, right?  It never ceases to amaze me that I never get sick of oatmeal.  But truth be told, my oatmeal is often not the same from day to day.  One day I may have oat bran with dates and walnuts, the next, baked oats with blueberries and almonds, the next, steel cut oats with apricots and coconut.  Thanks to the Food Matters Project, I now have yet another way to get my oats fix:  oatmeal griddle cakes.

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These griddle cakes easy to make and reminded me a bit of spaghetti pancakes in that I was able to take leftovers and reinvent them into something soft on the inside, crispy on the outside (if you’ve never tried spaghetti pancakes, I encourage you to try–take cold leftover spaghetti with marinara and fry it in a pan with some olive oil until crispy on the bottom.  Flip over and cook until crispy on the other side.  Ahhh…..college memories are flooding back).

The griddle cakes are quite unlike what I would have expected before making the recipe.  Rather than turning out cakey like pancakes, they were soft and slightly sweet oatmealy goodness on the inside and crispy on the outside.  Served with butter and a blend of molasses and maple syrup, these made for a healthier alternative to pancakes…but still allowed me to get my fix.

Oatmeal Griddle Cakes with Maple Syrup and Molasses

Oatmeal Griddle Cakes; from Mark Bittman’s Food Matters Cookbook

  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour (I used gluten free all purpose flour)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (I used gluten free all purpose flour)
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used almond milk and needed to add about 1/8 extra becasue the mix was quite thick)
  • 2 cups cooked oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Molasses or maple syrup, for serving (I blended 1/4 cup maple syrup with 1 tablespoon molasses and 1/4 cup agave nectar)
  • Optional:  I cooked sliced apples with a small amount of water until soft to serve on top
  1. Heat the oven to 200° F.  Combine the flours, oats, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and milk; stir in the cooked oatmeal and raisins until just incorporated.  Add the oatmeal mixture to the flour mixture and stir gently; don’t overmix.  The mixture should be the consistency of thick pancake batter; if not, add either a little more milk or whole wheat flour as needed.
  3. Put a large skillet or griddle over medium heat.  When a few drops of water dance on its surface, add a thin film of vegetable oil and let it get hot.  Working in batches, spoon the batter onto the griddle or skillet, making any size pancakes you like.  Cook until bubbles form on the top and pop, 2 to 3 minutes; you may have to rotate the cakes to cook them evenly, depending on your heat source and pan.  Carefully flip the griddle cakes and cook until they’re browned on the other side, a couple of minutes more.  As they finish, transfer them to the oven while you cook the remaining batter.  Serve drizzled with molasses or maple syrup and topped with cooked apples if you like.