5 Ideas for easy, healthy and fast breakfasts

For me, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  It sets my tone for the rest of the day, and honestly, when I don’t eat one high in protein, with a little healthy fat and a few carbs, well, let’s just say you don’t want to approach me too suddenly talk to me be around me at all before I’ve had lunch.  Some of these can be made ahead, entirely, or partially, some are just quick and easy the day of!

Egg White Breakfast Tacos – protein, fat, carbs….this one has it all.  Chop the veggies in advance, and it’s ready in a snap!

breakfast tacos

Blueberry and Yogurt Breakfast Parfait – packing a big protein punch, this parfait and be made ahead for a few days in mason jars or other sealable containers for a quick breakfast at home or on the go.

parfait freemium

Denver Omelet Egg Muffins  – you can customize these make ahead egg muffins with any ingredients you like and have on hand!  An easy way to make breakfast for the whole week.

Egg Muffin Freemium

Cherry Chocolate Overnight/Refrigerator Oats – you can substitute your own choice of fruit and other ingredients to these.  Just start with the base of 1/3 c of oats, 1 TB of chia, 1/3 c greek yogurt and 1/3 c of almond or other milk, and play around!  These can be made quickly for breakfast all week.

oats freemium

Mixed Berry Banana Smoothie – for a quick breakfast you can take on the go, while also starting your day with fruit and veggies.

smoothie freemium

 

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Mixed Berry Banana Smoothie

The Greek yogurt gives this smoothie its 15 grams of protein, you can add to that by using protein powder, if desired. This is a great way to start your day with a serving of green leafy vegetables as well!

Ingredients:

  • 1 c spinach, fresh
  • 1 c vanilla unsweetened almond milk (or the milk or other liquid of your choice)
  • 1/2 a banana
  • 1/2 c of nonfat plain greek yogurt
  • 1 c frozen mixed berries
  • Optional: protein powder or smoothie starter (I love this vanilla one from Kura
  • Optional: honey (1 TB) or chopped pitted dates (1-2), if desired for extra sweetness

Directions:

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until desired consistency, adding ice or more liquid if necessary.

Make Ahead Tip:

You can place the spinach, berries and 1/2 banana in freezer bags ahead of time, and just pull one out for each day!

smoothie-freemium.png

Posted in Breakfast, Easy Breakfast, Freezer meals, Lunch, Make Ahead, Quick Breakfast, vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Blueberry and Yogurt Breakfast Parfait

Not so much a recipes as a quick, healthy breakfast idea!  With around 350 calories, this breakfast provides around 27 grams of protein and the healthy fat in the almonds will also help you stay fuller, longer.

Ingredients:

  • 1 c nonfat greek yogurt, plain
  • 1 c fresh blueberries (or the fruit of your choice)
  • 1/2 oz of raw almonds, chopped or slivered
  • 1/2 to 1 TB of honey or maple syrup (optional)

Directions:

  1. Layer half of each ingredient in either a bowl or other container.
  2. Finish with a second layer of each.
  3. Can be made ahead and stored for a couple days in a sealed container.

parfait freemium

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Egg White Breakfast Tacos

Ever had one of those weeks months periods of time 17 days long or so?  You know the ones.  Someone is sick.  School projects are due.  Sports are in full swing.  You open your planner and somehow you still have the page market set sometime in March and tomorrow is May?

Somehow you blink, and it’s been weeks, and you barely remember what you cooked or fed anyone.  That’s the kind of April we had in our house.  And that’s okay.  We all survived.  A little too much takeout was consumed.  It is my goal to make May a different month here in our household.  Do you have goals for May?  Step 1 for me was doing some prepping and planning this week – that always starts with breakfast for me.  So I made up a batch of Denver Omelet Egg Muffins for the week, and also chopped veggies for these on other days.  Because really, I could eat tacos three meals a day.  Also: I could eat eggs three meals a day.  Oh?  And avocado?  I could eat avocado at all three meals a day.  Every day.

Egg White Breakfast Tacos

This makes 1 serving, 2 tacos (kids could probably split it!)

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp olive oil (or other cooking oil of your choice)
  • 1 diced bell pepper (I diced up 3, so I have more for another day!)
  • 1/2 c egg whites (or, if you prefer, 2 whole eggs, beaten)
  • 2 TB of pico de gallo (or you could chop up tomatoes, onions, cilantro etc. on your own…but since Safeway already did it…..)
  • 2 small corn tortillas, warmed
  • 1/2 small avocado, diced

Directions:

  1. Sauté the bell pepper in oil for 2-3 minutes until beginning to soften.
  2. Add egg whites, stirring frequently to scramble.  Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until cooked through.
  3. Add pico de gallo and stir/scramble, cooking another minute, or until heated through.
  4. Top each tortilla with 1/2 of the mixture, then top with the avocado.
  5. Fold or roll and eat!
  6. If you want to go low carb, skip the tortillas and eat on a plate with a fork!

Processed with VSCO with e8 preset

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Spicy Black Bean and Quinoa Mason Jar Salads

Oh, I have a blog.

Apparently I forgot for a few weeks.  Unfortunately, on occasion, I get so busy being a mom, running FIT4MOM Phoenix Scottsdale, and just living, that the planning, the prepping, and even the pouring get forgotten.  In other words, my family is super sick of Chick Fil A and rotisserie chicken from the grocery store.  I am equally sick of existing on chocolate mint builder bars, raw almonds, clementines and gummy bears.   After 5 days on the road, part of my reintroduction to polite society today involved breakfasts and lunches for the next few days.

Spicy Black Bean and Quinoa Salad in a Mason Jar

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 c. quinoa (measured before cooking), prepared according to package (I used a multi-color variety and cooked it in the rice cooker with vegetable broth and some lime juice), cooled
  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 c. frozen corn, defrosted
  • 1 can of rotel, cilantro and lime variety (or you could just use fresh tomatoes and cilantro, but let’s be honest, any of this was a stretch today for me)
  • 4-5 sliced green onions
  • 1 diced green pepper (or whatever color you want!  I had green)
  • 1 large avocado, diced and tossed in lime juice
  • 4 cups of shredded romaine

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 3 TB olive oil (I used a chile lime variety)
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1-2 tsp of taco seasoning (I used my homemade), depending how much spice you want to add
  • 1-2 tsp of honey, depending how much sweet you’d like

Directions:

  1. Combine all salad ingredients other than avocado and romaine.
  2. Blend salad dressing ingredients together.
  3. Toss salad with dressing.
  4. Divide among 4 wide-mouthed, quart sized mason jars.
  5. Add avocado to jars.
  6. Finish with romaine.
  7. Cover tightly and refrigerate for up to 4-5 days.  Immediately before serving, shake to mix, and pour into a bowl or onto a plate.
Posted in Lunch, Make Ahead, Mason Jar Meals, salad, vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Chopped Chicken Cobb Salad in a Mason Jar

This recipe makes 4 large salads, perfect for lunch or dinner!  They will keep in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days.

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard

Salads:

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 English cucumber, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 4 hardboiled eggs, peeled and chopped
  • 1 avocado, peeled and diced, tossed with lime juice
  • 4 slices of bacon, cooked, cooled and chopped
  • 16 oz of cooked chicken breast, cubed or shredded
  • 4 TB blue cheese crumbles
  • 4 cups of thinly chopped romaine lettuce

Directions:

  1. Whisk dressing ingredients together until blended thoroughly.  Divide evenly among 4 quart sized mason jars.
  2. Add 1/4 of the remaining ingredients to each jar, in the order above (starting with tomatoes, ending with lettuce).
  3. Seal jars tightly (I like these plastic lids) and store in refrigerator.
  4. When ready to eat, shake jar, dump on a plate or into a bowl and serve!

Cobb salad1

 

 

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Make Ahead and Freeze Black Bean and Cheese Burritos

When things get really busy, and I haven’t prepped and planned enough, one of my on the go favorite foods is Amy’s Burritos.  While these aren’t the worst choice I could make, they obviously are pretty processed and full of sodium (and the ingredient list isn’t short either).  I decided to try my hand at my own this week.  I like these for breakfast or for lunch.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb dried black beans, rinsed and soaked
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 TB minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp dried crushed jalapeno (optional)
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1, 14.5 oz can of no salt added petite diced tomatoes
  • 15 tortillas or wraps (large-sized/burrito sized)
  • 8 oz shredded cheese (I did some with cheddar and some with pepper jack)

Instructions:

  1. Place soaked beans, onion, garlic, salt, cumin and jalapeno (if using) in 8 cups of water in a large pot on the stove.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, semi-covered, for 2 to 2.5 hours, or until beans are cooked to desired consistency.
  2. Remove beans from pan and drain off excess water, if any.
  3. Heat oil in pan over medium heat, and return beans to pan.  Using a potato masher, mash beans to desired consistency (I like to leave some whole beans and chunks, but you may like a smoother consistency).  Add tomatoes (undrained if you need a little more liquid, drain first if not).  Stir and cook, uncovered, for 4-6 minutes.
  4. Taste and adjust any seasonings, as necessary.
  5. Allow bean mixture to cool to room temperature.  If your tortillas are refrigerated, allow to come to room temperature.
  6. To assemble each burrito:
  • Lay the tortilla on a sheet of aluminum foil.  Place the cheese on the tortilla, then the bean mixture.
  • Roll the burrito up.  Here’s a video showing how.
  • Wrap the burrito in the foil.

Freezer storage:

  1. The vast knowledge of the google indicated that I should then freeze them all individually, then remove them to gallon zip lock bags together.  Instead, I placed each burrito in a smaller zip lock bag and tried to get all the air out, sealed, and froze that way.
  2. Google also tells me these should be good in the freezer for 3 months.  At the rate I am going, mine will not last that long.  But then I needed to eat them this week so I could experiment with reheating!

Reheating instructions:

  1. Toaster or regular oven: I removed the burrito from the zip lock bag and popped it in my toaster oven in the foil at 375 degrees for around 30 minutes and it was good to go!
  2. Microwave: remove burrito from all wrapping and place on a microwave safe plate.  Microwave for around 2.5 minutes (this may vary depending on the microwave).

 

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Weekly Meal Plan, February 13 through 19, 2017

This was one of those weeks where I’m typing up what we did, after the fact, because I did not have my sh*% together enough to plan it in advance.  I suppose we all have weeks like that – but it sure made life harder.  As we move into spring sports season, I’m hoping to not have another one where I’m flying by the seat of my pants!

Breakfasts:

1 egg + 1/3 c egg whites scrambled with pico de gallo.  Every day!  Sometimes I added diced avocado or cheese.  And a side of fruit.

Lunches:

Thank goodness for those single serving leftovers!  I pulled out White Chicken ChiliNavy Bean Soup With Ham and Chicken Tortilla Soup for lunches, supplemented with veggies and dip or fruit on the side.

Dinners:

Monday – Crockpot/Slow Cooker Honey Mustard Pork Loin, brown rice and green beans.

Tuesday – Taco Tuesday!  Not very Valentine’s Day celebratory of us, but a meal that everyone enjoys.  BONUS: last time I did some bulk cooking, I had browned ground beef and frozen it in one pound bags.  So I pulled one out, defrosted, added it to a pan with a can of diced tomatoes and chiles and 2 TB of Taco Seasoning Blend and simmered it all together for 10 minutes or so.  Easy, quick dinner.  Everyone built their own from crispy shells, flour tortillas, chips and all the usual taco toppings.

Wednesday – Repurposed Leftovers!  I love a meal that does double duty.  I turned the Crockpot/Slow Cooker Honey Mustard Pork Loin leftovers into Pork Fried Rice for a one pan dinner!

Thursday – here’s where the lack of planning caught up with me.  The kids and spouse enjoyed the Arcadia Chick-Fil-A while I had some eggs and veggies…

Friday – here again….fail to plan, plan to fail?  Well, my children didn’t think so.  Because they enjoyed pizza that came to the door.  Yes.  Again.  If you’re counting, I’m pretty sure it’s the 4th Friday in a row.  The spouse and I went out for dinner.  I had a fantastic chopped salad at Cowboy Ciao.  If you’re local to the Phoenix/Scottsdale area and haven’t had this salad, well, why are you still reading, get over there and have it.  NOW.  It’s that good.

Saturday – No Boil Chicken Sausage and Pasta Casserole, salad and a veggie tray.

Sunday – Black Bean, White Bean and Beef Taco Chili, cornbread and a veggie tray.

Posted in Baked Pasta, Breakfast, casserole, Dinner, Leftovers, Lunch, Make Ahead, Meal Plans, Repurposed Leftovers, Slow Cooker | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pork Fried Rice

I love repurposed leftovers!  And fried rice is super easy to throw together on a busy weeknight.  You could also use leftover chicken, beef…..really anything you have in this one.  No leftovers?  Make veggie fried rice!  My best tip for fried rice is this: you don’t want freshly cooked, warm rice.  You want to use rice from yesterday that’s been chilled in the fridge.  Or even 2 days ago.  I don’t know why.  I just know it works better.

Pork Fried Rice (Serves 4-5)

Ingredients:

  • 4 tsp canola or vegetable oil, divided
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 TB minced garlic (I use the jarred stuff)
  • 1 TB minced ginger (luckily, you can now buy this in a jar or tube too!)
  • 1 bag of frozen carrots and peas (or, if, like me, you only have the bag that has corn too, that), defrosted (I also added some leftover green beans from the Honey Mustard Pork, chopped small)
  • 3 c leftover COLD rice (we like brown)
  • 2-3 TB soy sauce (adjust to your tastes)
  • 8-12 oz of leftover Crockpot/Slow Cooker Honey Mustard Pork Loin or Soy Ginger Pork Roast (or any other already cooked protein of your choice), chopped into small pieces
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 c sliced green onions (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Heat 2 tsp oil in wok over medium high heat.
  2. Add beaten eggs to pan.  Scramble/cook eggs, breaking into small pieces.  Remove eggs and set aside, keeping warm.
  3. Heat remaining 2 tsp of canola/veggie oil in wok over medium high heat.
  4. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, for 30-60 seconds.
  5. Add veggies and cook, 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add rice and soy sauce and continue to cook until rice is heated and beginning to brown, stirring occasionally.
  7. When rice is warmed and browned, add eggs and pork and stir, cooking until everything is heated through.
  8. Finish with sesame oil and (optional) sliced green onions.

pork-fried-rice

 

Posted in Dinner, Leftovers, Make Ahead, Repurposed Leftovers, Slow Cooker | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Crockpot/Slow Cooker Honey Mustard Pork Loin

I threw this together last Monday for dinner, and was able to repurpose it into Pork Fried Rice on Wednesday as well – I love when I can get 2 meals with minimal effort!

Honey Mustard Pork Loin (Serves 6-8)

Ingredients:

  • 1 boneless pork loin roast, 2 to 2.5 pounds
  • 1/2 c hot water
  •  1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons of whole grain or Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
  •  16 oz bag of frozen green beans (or use fresh)

Instructions:

  1. Place pork loin in slow cooker.
  2. Whisk together remaining ingredients, other than green beans, and pour over pork.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  4. 1 hour before roast is done, add green beans to slow cooker, replace cover and continue cooking.  If you aren’t home then to do this step, simply steam the green beans on the stove top or microwave right before dinner instead.
  5. Serve over rice, with the sauce from the slow cooker drizzled over the top.

 

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