Category Archives: Breakfast

Spinach, Mushroom and Egg Bake

spinach, mushroom and egg bake

Sometimes around the holidays, with the parties, the cookies, the excess alcohol, and the comfort foods, you start to feel like you need a reboot. I’m at that point… gimme a plate of kale and a large glass of lemon water, please!

Nothing sets me back on track like heaps of vegetables and a few Nalgene’s of water, and maybe a multi-vitamin. My 7 mile dreadmill treadmill run yesterday couldn’t hurt either, right?

This egg bake is just the thing… it’s loaded with spinach and packs some serious protein. Top with some spicy sriracha to speed up your metabolism and you’ll be better in no time.

spicy, healthy breakfast

Spinach, Mushroom and Egg Bake

Serves 1

1 cup of frozen spinach, defrosted and excess water squeezed out with an old dish towel.

2-3 baby portabella mushrooms or white button mushrooms, washed and cut into a small dice

2/3 cup of egg whites, about the white of 3 eggs

Black Pepper, to taste

Preheat your oven to 350. Liberally grease a ramekin. Defrost spinach; I nuked mine in the microwave for about a minute and thirty seconds. Let the spinach cool slightly, Gather it in an old dish towel or some paper towels and wring it over the sink to squeeze out the excess water. Wash and chop your mushrooms into a small dice. Add the spinach and mushrooms to the ramekin and pour the egg whites over the top and top with freshly ground black pepper. Bake in the oven for about 25-30 minutes or until the eggs have set up and air firm. Finish with a minute under the broiler. Remove from the oven and to with your favorite condiment… mines sriracha!



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Cranberry, Orange & Almond Coffee Cake

coffee cake

How is it already December? Life seems to be in hyper drive. But December means it’s time to get festive!

festive candle

Sadly, no Christmas tree for us, but I do have my 88 cent poinsettia. Now, all we need is the snow!











I saw this recipe and it reminded me so much of my childhood around the holidays. Every year when I was little, my mom and I would make cranberry, orange, walnut bread for my teachers. Then we’d wrap it up in cellophane and tie it with a fancy bow and attach a home-made Christmas ornament.

I was a crafty kid.

Though the recipe is different, the flavors are the same.

ready to eat

Cranberry, Orange and Almond Coffee Cake
Adapted from Joy the Baker
Makes 1 loaf
2 cups of whole wheat flour
1 cup of granulated sugar
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
Dash of salt
1/4 cup of butter, I used earth balance
1 egg or 1 flax egg
3/4 cup of fresh squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon of orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup of fresh cranberries, chopped
1/2 cup of chopped almonds
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup of flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 cup of chopped almonds
1/2 cup of powdered sugar
Dash of cinnamon
1-2 teaspoons of almond milk

Preheat your oven to 350. Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan, and line it with a piece of parchment paper so that it hangs over the sides, for easy removal later. Grease the parchment paper and lightly sprinkle flour over the entire inside of the pan.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cube up the butter and mix it into the flour with your fingers until it is well incorporate. It should be a coarse meal.

In a medium size bowl combine the egg/ flax egg, orange juice, zest, vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients all at once. Mix until just combined. Fold in the cranberries and almonds. Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan.

In a small bowl combine the flour, sugar, butter, cinnamon and almonds with your fingers. Once combined, sprinkle the mixture over the top of the loaf. Place in the center of your preheated oven and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour.

Once a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, remove from the oven. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then remove it from the pan, using the parchment handles and cool it on a wire rack.

To make the drizzle, whisk powdered sugar, cinnamon and almond milk in a small bowl. Drizzle over the top of the cooled loaf. Slice and enjoy.

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Squash Muffins with Streusel Topping

Yesterday, Mark and I hiked Camel’s Hump for the second time. I’m not sure if its because I’ve been running more lately, but we flew up the mountain. We did the whole hike, including spending a half hour at the top, taking pictures and eating lunch, in less than 3 hours. At 4,083 ft., Camels Hump is the third tallest peak in VT. Its unique shape was carved by glaciers! The trail is just under 5 miles, round trip, and usually there are spectacular views from the exposed and undeveloped peak. When we got up to the top, the wind was whipping, clouds were swirling around us and it was freezing! After snapping a few pics of the less-than-stellar views, we hiked back down the trail a bit and found a little ledge on the leeward side of the mountain to have lunch.

Today, I spent the day attacking this massive trombone squash that Mark’s co-worker gave us… this thing is huge! Possibly 3 feet long. Trombone squash are a type of heirloom squash from Italy. They are notorious for being massive. In the summer, when they are green, these squash can be eaten like zucchini, and in the fall when they turn yellow, they can be used like butternut squash. So, I cut it up and roasted it in the oven at 375 for about 45 mins to an hour. Then some went into muffins for Mark’s office, some into squash soup for dinner tonight and the rest is being saved for squash ravioli later in the week.

Get your mind out if the gutter, I know what you’re thinking. You might also be thinking, why muffins… why not… this squash tastes a lot like pumpkin, think of them more as pumpkin muffins… or you can just use pumpkin if you want.

Squash Muffins with Streusel Topping
Makes 12 large muffins (adapted from Mark Bitman’s Whole Wheat Muffin Recipe)
2 1/2 whole wheat flour, use whole wheat pastry flour if you can
3/4 cup of sugar
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of squash puree (I used trombone, you could use butternut, acorn, delicata, pumpkin or any other winter squash)
1/2 cup of vegan butter, such as earth balance, melted
1/2 cup of almond milk (or other non-dairy milk) mixed with 2 teaspoons of cider vinegar (making our own butter milk)
1 egg or one flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flax and 3 tablespoons of water, mix and let sit in the fridge for 15 mins to 1 hour to set up)
Preheat your oven to 375 and line a muffin tin with 12 liners, or spray with cooking spray.
In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, combine the squash, melted butter, milk and (flax) egg. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Spoon evenly into muffin tins. Top with streusel (see below) and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and drizzle on spiced drizzle using a spoon and enjoy!
 For the Streusel
1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of flour
2 tablespoon of oats
1/4 cup of melted butter, I used earth balance
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Divide mixture evenly over the top of the 12 muffins.
Spiced Drizzle
1/4 cup of powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon of maple syrup, look for a “pure” maple syrup with the kosher label, otherwise it might not be vegan (or omit)
1-2 teaspoons of almond milk (or other non-dairy milk), start with a little and add more to reach desired drizzly consistency 
Dash of cinnamon
Dash of pumpkin pie spice
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Drizzle over muffin after they are baked

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Coconut Pumpkin Bars

Mark had a business trip this week, which meant I was on my own for 2 nights… I’ve never really lived alone, so the idea of being home alone at night still kinda creeps me out. But, I had to put on my big girl pants and be brave. After all, we are adults now, with full time jobs, and business trips, and bills, and all that real life stuff. It was weird to cook for just myself… one night I just ate roasted Brussels sprouts (with dried cranberries, a mustard glaze, and a balsamic reduction). Luckily, Mark’s next business trip isn’t until January.

Today, I rode my bike (15 miles round trip) to the farmers market with $13 in my pocket. I got quite the haul and I have big plans for dinner this coming week.

I confessed my pumpkin re-obsession last post and promised these coconut pumpkin bars… so here they are… they disappeared quickly, most were shoved secretly into our mouths, over the sink, when we though the other wasn’t looking.  Some were enjoyed on a plate with a cup of coffee. Luckily, each slice has only 128 calories and is vegan.

Coconut Pumpkin Bars

1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spices

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1 cup of shredded coconut

1 cup of pumpkin pure

3/4 cup of sugar

1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup of oil

1/3 cup of water

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 8×8 inch pan, and line it with parchment paper, for easy removal. In a small bowl, combine the flour, spices, baking soda and coconut. In a medium sized bowl, cream together pumpkin, sugar, vinegar, oil and water. Then add the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth it out. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes, remove from the pan and cool completely on the wire rack. Slice into 16 slices and enjoy with coffee or as a snack.

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Pumpkin Pie Breakfast Smoothie

My runs have been cold the past few morings, the leaves are starting to change, it is starting to smell like fall and I’ll take any excuse to bust out the pumpkin! I might have been obsessed last year, but I can feel that this year will bring it to a whole new level. I brought out the fall centerpiece for our table and the apple pie candle.

One case of Shipyard Pumpkinhead has already been consumed.

Coconut Pumpkin Bars have been made (more to come in the next post)

Pumpkin Pancakes have been eaten

And every morning for the past week and a half I have eaten a Pumpkin Pie Breakfast Smoothie

It packs 18 grams of protein, 10 grams of fiber and 290 calories… keeping you full and satisfied until lunch.

On a side note, I started training for a new full time job last week at KeyBank. It was hard to leave Green Mountain Coffee, but after weighing the pros and cons, even though Key is not my ideal job, it makes more sense regarding job security, benefits and pay. And it’s only for a year… it’ll motivate me that much more to get into grad school next fall at UVM (fingers crossed). GRE study books: get ready to be dusted off and poured over.

Linking this back to pumpkin, this breakfast smoothie is supper great for those busy morning before work/school, you prepare it the night before, then in the morning give it a whirl in the food processor or blender with half a frozen banana and voila… breakfast is ready.

A little note on the protein powder…I like to use Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein. It has 15 g of protein and 8 grams of fiber in a 3 tablespoon serving and it only has 1 ingredient: ground hemp seeds. Hemp protein is an “easily digestible, high quality plant protein with branched-chain amino acids that are vital for good heath”, boasts the packaging. It is also contains magnesium, iron, zinc and 8 essential amino acids. I like the Hemp Protein 15g because it has a higher protein content and it is ideal for dissolving in smoothies. Let’s be honest, some protein powders are chalky and loaded with weird ingredients you can’t pronounce… not to mention most soy based protein powders are processed with hexane, which is a petroleum solvent similar to gasoline. (Nutiva is not). (I am not endorsing Nutiva, I just happen to really like it)

Pumpkin Pie Breakfast Smoothie

1/4 oats

1/4 cup pumpkin

2/3 cup kefir

2 teaspoons maple syrup

dash of cinnamon

dash of pumpkin pie spice

1 1/2 tablespoons of hemp protein (or whatever you like)

1/2 a frozen banana

Combine all ingredients except for banana, and place in fridge overnight. In the morning, blend the mixture in a blender or food processor with the banana until smooth, about 30 seconds.


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Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

I hope everyone had a restful 3 day weekend. Mark and I turned our weekend into a 4 day weekend and headed up to the infamous “red camp” in the north woods of Maine. Red Camp is Mark’s family’s lakeside cabin. We hung out with a few friends from college and Mark’s parents.

(source: Mark’s Dad)

We hiked, kayaked and lounged on the deck while drinking beers… sounds like a good weekend to me. Our big hike was up Little Spencer Mountain, and don’t let its name fool you…even though it’s 3,040 ft tall… the climb up was mostly scrambling up boulders and even up a 25 ft chimney (crevice). According to many Moosehead Lake Region Hiking Guides, it is one of the most difficult hikes in the region. The scrapes and bruises from the overgrown, steep trail were worth it for amazing views from the top… you can see the entire Moosehead Lake Region.

It was really hard to leave on Monday. I mean with views like this… who would want to.

Blue Moon Rising over Katadin

Katadin by day

There are certain foods that are camp foods… they need to survive the hour trip down logging roads, be cooked over an open fire and of course be delicious. At this point in the late summer, zucchinis are still coming out the wazoo and you might be sick of making loafs and loafs of zucchini bread. These chocolate zucchini muffins contain a whole zucchini but you can hardly tell. These flavorful muffins taste more like a brownie than a healthy zucchini and banana laden muffin, and did I mention that they are vegan and only have 100 calories each. These muffins are the perfect car snack for that long drive and defiantly a camp approved food.

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins 

makes 12 muffins 

1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 c unsweetened dark cocoa powder**

1 1/4 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1 ripe banana, mashed

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/2 cup almond or nondairy milk

1 zucchini, shredded and the excess water squeezed out

**I found this at the grocery store and I love it, you could use regular cocoa powder

Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease you muffin tin or spray with cooking spray. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon together in a small bowl with a whisk. In a large bowl cream the apple sauce, banana and sugar. Then add in the zucchini. Add the dry ingredients a half cup at a time to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined… it should look like brownie batter. Spoon the mixture evenly into the prepared muffin tin. Bake for 20-25 minutes, a toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean when done.

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Muffin Tin Omelets

So Mark and I have been obsessed with the Olympics… watching it every chance we can get. I’m sad that it’s ending tonight, can’t it just go on forever. Staring at these uber fit athletes has highlighted that this whole working full time thing has made me feel like I’m starting to get out of shape. I went on a 4.5 mile run yesterday and let’s just say: Asthma 1, Maggie 0 (I think it was due to the humidity and pollen count but it was still really discouraging). So I mixed it up today and went for an almost 20 mile bike ride out to the causeway in Colchester.

So, I go on these breakfast kicks where I eat the same thing every day for months on end. As of late however, I’ve been looking to change it up… I need something to keep me satisfied until lunch and that is easy to make in the morning. Enter make-ahead muffin tin omelets. These single serve “muffins” are customizable and I can make a whole batch on the weekend then pop them in the freezer. The night before I transfer the number of muffins I want to the fridge. Then in the morning, I pop them back in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes to reheat them.

They’re packed with protein and veggies and they’re portable… perfect for a rushed morning. You can use whatever veggies you’d like…

Muffin Tin Omelets

Makes 12 muffins

½ cup of broccoli

1 teaspoon of oil

¼ cup of chopped onion

¼ cup of chopped red pepper

¼ cup of mushroom

½ cup of spinach, shredded

2.25 cups of eggs or egg substitute (about 9 eggs)

Black pepper

Red pepper flakes

Preheat the oven to 350. Cook the broccoli by steaming, blanching or microwaving. While the broccoli cooks, heat the oil in a small sauté pan, add in the onion and sauté for 2 minutes then add in the bell pepper and sauté for 2 minutes. Then add in the mushroom and sauté for 2 minutes. The stir in the spinach and let it wilt and remove the pan from the heat and add in the broccoli.

Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray or rub with and oiled paper towel. Spoon 2 tablespoons or so of veggies into the bottom of each cup. Crack eggs into a bowl and beat together, or measure out 2.25 cups of egg substitute. Mix in the pepper and red pepper flakes. Spoon about 3 tablespoons of egg into each cup. Place the muffin tin in the oven for about 20 minutes. I turned the broiler on for the last minute to brown the tops.

You can eat them hot, or you can freeze them and then pull them out and put them in the fridge the night before you eat them. To reheat, stick them in a 350 oven for 5 to 10 minutes, with the broiler on for the last minute.

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