Vanilla Protein Pancakes

If I could have pancakes every day, I think I just might. My kids have also inherited my love of the most perfect breakfast food there ever was. I’m not above making them for dinner either. 

Regular pancakes are pretty much just a plate of carbs covered in sugar syrup and butter. And there isn’t anything wrong with that, except that there isn’t really anything good about that either. They don’t really offer much in the way of nutritional value. I’ve tried other “healthy” pancake recipes and I was never too thrilled with them. The 3 ingredient ones with just bananas and eggs or some such nonsense? Yeah, those aren’t very good. I like my pancakes fluffy! I do enjoy Kodiak pancake mix, but I was looking for something I could make myself. Something that I could throw together on Saturday morning with stuff I already have in my pantry. 

Enter: These delicious protein pancakes! I’m sure you could change up the flavors if you want by using other flavored powders, but I like the plainness of vanilla. The vanilla offers sweetness without adding too much sugar and it lends itself well to a number of different toppings.

Vanilla Protein Pancakes

2 eggs

1 cup plain Greek yogurt

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup all purpose flour

1 scoop vanilla protein powder* or vanilla Shakeology**

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

* You can use whatever kind of protein you want. It doesn’t matter if it is plant-based or whey. I really like this whey powder from MTS Nutrition.

** Shakeology is a great nutrient-dense meal replacement drink. Contact me if you want more information. You can follow this link here. I used this when I made them because 1. We were out of MTS vanilla and only had the cookies and cream, and 2. I wanted the extra nutrients that are in the Shakeology.

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, yogurt, and vanilla extract. Then add the dry ingredients and mix well.

Ladle onto a hot griddle sprayed with non-stick spray. Cook until golden brown and flip. Should only take a few minutes. Cook until golden on the other side.


Serve with your favorite toppings.

Greek Yogurt Banana Nut Muffins 

I know the beginning of the year is usually when the healthy resolutions begin. Gym memberships, healthy eating. Well, we are only a couple days away from the new year, so why not get a little head start on the eating part? 

When my son asked me to make muffins for breakfast, I checked out what I had in the cupboards and fridge and threw this batter together. The result was a golden brown, moist and airy muffin, with lots of banana flavor, not too sweet, and packed with protein from the Greek yogurt.

Greek Yogurt Banana Nut Muffins 

2 bananas, mashed

2 eggs

1 cup plain, nonfat Greek Yogurt 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

1/3 cup sugar

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking sofa

1 teaspoon baking powder 

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

Dash of nutmeg

1/2 cup chopped walnuts 

In a bowl, whisk together bananas, eggs, yogurt, vanilla, and sugar.

In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg.


Add the dry ingredients into the wet and mix well. Fold in the walnuts.

Scoop the batter into a greased muffin pan. I used coconut oil spray. I also used an ice cream scoop to measure out the batter evenly. I got a dozen good sized muffins this way. 

Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.


Enjoy warm with a nice cup of coffee. 


Ham and Peppers Egg Casserole

Like I’ve mentioned before, every Christmas for as long as I can remember my mom made a casserole for breakfast. Now that I’m a mom myself, I’ve continued the tradition. 

I tend to change the recipe up year after year, but this year’s was really good! I was so happy with how it turned out!

Ham and Peppers Egg Casserole 

3 whole eggs

6 egg whites

1 cup milk (whole, low fat, half and half… doesn’t matter)

Salt and pepper

1 tablespoon chopped chives 

Olive oil 

5 sweet mini Peppers, diced

1 leek, diced white and light green parts

Frozen hash brown potatoes

Diced ham

1 cup shredded cheese 

In a skillet, heat up the oil and sauté the peppers and leeks with a little salt and pepper until soft. Set aside to start cooling slightly. 


In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg whites, milk, chives and a little more salt and pepper. 

In a buttered baking dish, add a layer of hash browns. Top with the ham. I used leftover ham from a dinner we had a couple days before, but you can use any ham. Then top with the sautéed veggies and cheese. I used cheddar, but you can use whatever you want. 


Finally, pour the egg mixture over the top. You can make this the day before and stop here if you want. That way it’s ready to go Christmas morning. Just cover it tightly and store in the fridge.


When you’re ready to bake it, put it in a 375 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes or until eggs are cooked and the top is nice and golden brown. 


Let it sit for a few minutes so the eggs set up a bit. This will make it easier to serve up.


Enjoy! 

Rabanada (Brazilian French Toast)

Good morning!!  Welcome to my first post of this year’s Christmas series. If you remember, last year I shared recipes that went with a Christmas movies theme. (If you don’t remember, you can check it out riiiiggggght here. See the individual recipe posts in the “Ping Back” section at the end.)

This year, I decided to go back to the roots of my blog and explore Christmas Around the World. I did a little research and found some fun Christmas recipes that are considered traditional in other parts of the world. I gotta say, the more I researched for this and decided what to make, the more excited I got! I hope you enjoy this theme as much as I do.

For the first recipe, I chose Rabanada, which is a Brazilian-style French Toast. At first I was thinking it would just be like any other french toast, but I can assure you it is not. This is seriously next level french toast! It is really easy to make and it tastes amazing. This is a breakfast table game changer.

French toast goes back really far in history, to the 4th and 5th centuries even. It is sometimes referred to as “Poor Man’s Toast” because it is used as a way to not waste stale bread. Many different countries have their own version. Rabanadas are popular in Brazil for special holidays, like Christmas and New Years, although they are typically eaten as a dessert rather than breakfast. These are so good though, I can’t see why they can’t be made all year round anytime of the day! They are fried, so they are perfectly crisp on the outside and nice and soft on the inside from soaking in the custard overnight. It’s almost like a churro!

When searching for recipes, I learned that there is a basic way to make these, and everyone has their own way. I took that as license to run with it! I hope you like it as much as my family did!

Rabanadas (Brazilian French Toast)

1 French Baguette (use the skinnier baguette, not the big one)
2 eggs
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1-1/2 cans regular milk (use the empty sweetened condensed milk can)
splash of vanilla
pinch of salt
vegetable oil, for frying
1 cup sugar
a couple tablespoons cinnamon

Slice the bread on a bias (at an angle) into about 1 inch-thick pieces. If the bread is fresh, leave it out to get stale. If it’s already stale, then congratulations. You are one step ahead!


In a 9×13 baking dish, whisk together the eggs, sweetened condensed milk, regular milk, vaniila, and salt. Add the bread and turn over to coat in the custard mixture. Put in the fridge to sit about 4 hours or overnight. It’s easiest to just do it the night before. Who wants to get up that early?


When ready to make the rabanadas, heat enough oil in your skillet to come about halfway up the slice of bread. Let it come to about 325 degrees.

Take the bread out of the custard and let the excess mixture drip off. Add to the hot oil. You’ll probably need to do this in batches to not crowd the pan. I think I was able to do about 5 or 6 in each batch.


Fry on each side for about 4 or 5 minutes, until golden brown. This will give you a nice crunchy outside and soft inside.

While the bread is frying, mix together your cinnamon and sugar in a shallow bowl or pie plate. I eyeballed this and it really all depends on how much cinnamon you like. If you like it really cinnamony, add a lot. If you just want a hint of cinnamon, add a little.

When they are done, remove them to a paper towel-lined plate. Then, while they are still hot, dredge them in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. After this step, they will look an awful lot like a churro. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! :0)


Now, serve them up and watch them disappear fast!

Orange Cranberry Muffins 

When I was in college, I was a barista at a couple different coffeehouses. I was just surrounded by muffins of all kinds. I almost always ate a bagel for breakfast, but every once in awhile I really wanted a muffin. It was at this time that I discovered the wonderful flavor combination of orange and cranberry.

That was the inspiration for these muffins. When I was trying to think of a good way to repurpose the cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving leftovers, it hit me that they would be great in a muffin! So went to work creating this recipe.

These turned out really yummy. My hubby says they could use a bit more orange flavor, but they were also good as-is. If you also want more orange, I would suggest adding more zest and juice and a little less of the cranberry sauce. You will probably have to compensate for the extra liquid with a bit more flour though.

Orange Cranberry Muffins (makes a dozen muffins)

2 cups flour

1/2 cup sugar 

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup orange juice 

Zest from one orange

1/4 cup melted butter or vegetable oil

Leftover cranberry sauce

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

Create a little well, and add your eggs, milk, juice, butter, and zest. Mix well.

The batter should be thicker than a cake batter, but not cookie dough. 

Scoop in some leftover cranberry sauce. And fold it into the batter.

Finally, fill a sprayed or lined muffin tin with the batter. I’m a big fan of using the ice cream scoop to fill the cups. It’s usually the perfect amount.

Bake at 375 degrees 15-20 minutes.

Let the muffins cook a bit and drizzle with a glaze made from 1 cup powdered sugar and enough orange juice to make it the texture you want (some people like thicker or thinner glazes).

Serve and enjoy!!!

Homemade Granola

Ever since I started this “new” healthy eating habit back in May, I’ve become obsessed with granola. I mean, I’ve always liked granola—what’s not to like?—but it wasn’t ever a big part of my regular diet. Now, it has become one of my favorite breakfasts. Mix it with some greek yogurt and fruit and you’ve got yourself the perfect start for the day!

I’ve been buying my granola at the store and they do have a lot of variety to choose from. I did notice, however, that the store-bought brands can get a bit pricey and are sometimes high in calories and sugar. It didn’t take long to occur to me that I could probably make this at home for less money and sugar.

I set out to The Google and started researching recipes. I quickly discovered that, while there are actual recipes to be found, you don’t really need one! And that’s my kinda dish! Just throw it together. Measuring? Nobody has time for that! Granola is also completely customizable to your tastes. You can put whatever you want in it. Gotta love that too.

For this particular granola, I hit up the bulk bins at Sprouts. This allowed me to go from bin to bin and just pick what sounded good to me. I also only got the amount I needed instead of buying a big bag of, say Flax seeds, only to use a couple tablespoons. I think I spent less than $2 on all the ingredients and I’ve gotten a lot of breakfasts out of the batch.

Here is how I made mine. I just eyeballed everything. I used more oats than anything else because that’s the base of the granola. Try to get items that are raw and unsalted so you can control the flavor. I also used only a few ingredients since this was my first time making granola and I wanted to keep it simple.

Rolled oats

Flax seeds

Slivered Almonds

Pumpkin seeds

Dried Pineapple

Honey

Coconut oil

Cinnamon

Vanilla (just a dash)

On a baking sheet, add all your dried granola ingredients except for the pineapple. Always add whatever dried fruit you use after the baking process. My husband asked why I didn’t mix everything in a bowl first and the only reason is I didn’t want to dirty an extra dish, but feel free to do that if you want.

 

Once all the granola ingredients are mixed together, sprinkle with cinnamon to your taste preference. Then drizzle with coconut oil (melted if you are using the solid kind) and vanilla. I put these together in the same bowl so they were poured on at the same time. Mix together so the ingredients are all coated with the oil/vanilla. Spread in an even layer on the baking sheet.

 

Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes, until golden brown. Add a drizzle of honey and stir again. Bake about 5 more minutes.

Add the pineapple and let the granola cool before storing in an air-tight container.

 

First of all, this made my house smell sooooooo good! The toasted nuts and seeds, the vanilla and cinnamon. It was warm and heavenly. My husband did not like the pineapple addition, but that’s his personal preference. I liked it a lot. I will say, that I think it was over toasted just slightly. I don’t know if I left it in too long or if there wasn’t enough of it. Perhaps, the layer was too thin and got a bit over toasted. It wasn’t burned at all and was actually quite delicious, but I will be experimenting more with this recipe and various combinations.

What sorts of things do you like in your granola?

Breakfast Burrito, Take 2

So, if you remember, back in July I posted a recipe for a somewhat healthy breakfast burrito. I still haven’t posted my favorite breakfast burrito that I make (not at all healthy), but here’s another one I came up with after being inspired by an airport breakfast burrito.

Yes, you read that right. An airport. The more I travel, the more I realize how crappy of an airport LAX is. I mean, I suppose it’s fine as far as airports go, but I’ve been places. I’ve seen what’s out there. LAX, you need to get it together. And I’m weird, I really like airports, so I have standards. 

*Note, the international terminal is pretty great. And they are doing a lot of construction, so they get points for trying. I’ll reserve further judgement until the construction is done. 

Now, moving on. Our flight to New Orleans left pretty early, so we got breakfast at the airport. They are doing a lot of construction in the Southwest terminal, so there weren’t too many food choices outside of the super packed food court right outside the security lines, but it looks like put in a Rock & Brews since the last time I flew, so we decided to have breakfast there. They had breakfast burritos that were surprisingly tasty. They had a lot of flavor and were actually decent size. Everything costs way more at the airport than anywhere else, so I was glad they made up for the cost with a decent portion. 

Those burritos are where I got the inspiration for this recipe. Like with my previous burritos, these are very freezer friendly and actually pretty healthy as-is. Of course you can make adjustments to your tastes.  

½ pound turkey breakfast sausage

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

7 eggs

Milk

Low-fat mozzarella cheese (you can change this up if you want. Pepper jack would be delicious)

Salsa of your choice

Tortillas 

  
In a skillet over medium heat, brown your sausage and add your black beans. 

  
In a bowl, whisk your eggs and a big splash of milk together until combined. Add them to the skillet with the sausage and beans and stir around until cooked through. 

  
Add egg filling to your tortilla. Top with shredded cheese and some salsa. 

Done! Super easy. And really good.

  
I used the “soft taco” size tortilla and got 9 burritos out of this batch. They freeze really well, too. Like the other burritos, I just wrap them in foil and put them in a freezer ziptop bag. 

When ready to eat, just remove from the foil and put in the microwave for a couple minutes (2-3). Then I put them in a skillet for a minute or two. This step is optional. I do it because I find the tortillas get a little soggy on the outside and I’m a big texture person, so I like to crisp it up a bit. At work, I use the toaster oven since we don’t have a stove. 

It’s a nice change of pace from oatmeal and English muffins.