eggplant french toast

Honestly, I don’t even know if I should share this. Because even though this is a #strangebutgood meal, I’m not sure how good it really is.

I mean. It wasn’t bad per say, and it’s so far out there I feel like I have to share it… but it definitely is not for everyone.

You’ll see what I mean.

Eggplant French Toast

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Yup. You heard me.

Eggplant for breakfast seems pretty far out there, but if you haven’t made eggplant bacon yet…well you need to get on that.

But I know eggplant is not everyone’s cup of tea, I however happen to love it.

One of my favorite Thai dishes is a spicy basil eggplant and more recently Whole Foods introduced me to an amazing spicy grilled eggplant that is just too good to pass up when it’s on the hot bar. But I can honestly say I had never had a a sweet eggplant dish. Well, I changed that.

I’m sure I got the idea in my countless hours spent on Pinterest. And I don’t know what actually pushed me to try this one, but I did.

It’s pretty simple, you basically just use the eggplant in the place of your traditional bread.

And since when I make French Toast, I typically make protein French Toast, I decided to stick with that.

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Ingredients:

(serves 1)

– 2-3  1/4″ thick slices of eggplant

– 1 large egg white (or 3 tbsp liquid egg whites)

– 1/4 cup vanilla almond milk

1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder

– 1/2 tsp cinnamon

– liquid vanilla stevia (optional)

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Directions:

– In a bowl combine egg whites, almond milk, protein powder, cinnamon and stevia if using. Mix together.

– Place the egg plant slices in mixture and soak. (Note: This may take longer than your traditional bread)

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– Fry in skillet over medium high heat for approximately 2-3 minutes on each side.

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– Top with desired toppings. I sprinkled mine with more cinnamon and a drizzle of maple syrup.

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I actually think this has potential to be a delicious dish, however there are a few things I think I would change if I make this again.

Next time I think I would slice my eggplant a little thinner and let it cook longer to get softer.  I also think before soaking I will poke the eggplant with a fork allowing the mixture to soak better into the eggplant.  And finally I think I will top my next batch with peanut butter, because really. Peanut butter makes everything better.

So this recipe is a work in progress and I am not giving up on it yet, if you decide to try it let me know how it turns out for you!

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What’s the strangest thing you’ve made for breakfast?

sweet and savory [two recipes]

Hello my loves!

I hope everyone is having a great week. I come to you today with some fun new recipes. Yes I said recipes. I know I have been slacking in that department lately, but my cooking lately has basically been throwing random things together and calling it breakfast, lunch and dinner.

But with that being said I am trying to create new and different things. Basically because I was getting bored with my same ole meals I had been having. Yes I am a creature of ruts and convenience, but this girl needs some variety!

So I have a a little sweet and a little savory to share.

First the sweet! A new breakfast for me.

Nothing too new and nothing too fancy, but those are the best sometimes.

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Banana Protein Pancake

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I see protein pancakes all over Instagram and always want to make them, but honestly, I have never been a huge pancake person.

I mean don’t get me wrong, the impressive pancakes stacks people post get me drooling.

I finally decided to cave in and started with a pretty simple pancake recipe.

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Ingredients

(serves 1)

– 1/2 banana (mashed)

– 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder (I used Growing Naturals Pea Protein – Vanilla Blast)

– 1 tbsp coconut flour

– 1/3 cup liquid egg whites

– 1 tsp ground flax seed

– 1/2 tsp baking powder

– cinnamon and vanilla stevia to taste

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Directions:

– Blend all ingredients together – allow batter to sit for a few minutes

– Cook on heated skillet over medium heat for approximately 2 minutes per side

– Top with desired toppings

I topped mine with a lemon spiked greek yogurt, trail mix and coconut chips.

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I loved the banana in this pancake and since I love the Growing Naturals pea protein so much, the combination was pretty much meant to be in my opinion. Am I a pancake convert? Jury is still out, but this was definitely a nice switch up!

Next up is the savory.

Since I have nixed the sandwiches for lunch I have been having a lot more salads. Salads can be boring, but they don’t have to be!

I made this delish little combination to help me get some protein into my salads and also add some more flavor!

This can be used as a side dish, a dip for chips or a topping for a salad!

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Balsamic Black Bean Salad

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Ingredients

– 1 can drained and rinsed black beans (can use kidney, garbanzo, pinto or a combination)

– 1/2 red onion – diced

– 1 red/yellow/green pepper – diced

– 2 cloves garlic – minced

– 4-5 cherry tomatoes – chopped

– 1 handful cilantro

– 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

– 1/2 tsp chili powder

– 1/2 tsp paprika

– Optional red chili flakes

– salt and pepper to taste

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Directions

– Prep first 5 ingredients and combine in a large bowl.

– Whisk together remaining ingredients to make marinade and pour over bean mixture

– Serve immediately or store in fridge to allow flavors to blend and marinate.

Can be served warm or chilled.

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I tend to think that these types of dishes taste better after allowing the flavors to marinate, the longer the better!

As mentioned I used this on top of my salads, it’s a great way to not only add protein to the salad, but I also didn’t need to use any dressing due to all the flavor in the bean salad.

It also makes an amazing chip dip as well!

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This black bean salad really has endless uses, Matt also used it on top of nachos one night! With that being said it would be a great taco or burrito filling! Or really a spoonful straight from the container works too!

I loved the slight spiciness of this salad and it gave me the idea to make a sweeter version of it by adding fruit…

So be on the look out for more fun creations and variations.

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What’s your favorite breakfast food?

Do you prefer sweet or spicy?

bacon binge

Happy Friday loves!

This has been such a long week that I am so glad that Friday is finally here. There still is that simple pleasure of Friday even though I know I work Saturday and I know how crazy our schedule is. But still, there is just something about Friday’s that makes things a little bit better.

What else makes Friday’s great? It’s time for #strangebutgood eats with Laura.

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Sprint 2 the Table

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We all know I have made some interesting food combinations.

This week is no different.

The last few days  I seem to have been on a bacon binge. I know. This past vegetarian now loves her bacon.

Well turkey bacon, but baby steps.

But let’s be honest. I can’t just do you standard typical bacon and eggs. Oh no. I have to make #strangebutgood bacon creations.

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The first strange component: Sweet eggs. I know not too strange in the foodie world, but I love making my eggs sweet.

I took one egg + one egg white added some Growing Naturals vanilla pea protein powder, vanilla stevia and cinnamon and cooked it up in a skillet like an omlette.

I toasted an O’Doughs gluten free bagel and topped half with my sweet eggs and turkey bacon.

The second strange component: Cream cheese + blueberry jam.

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And the strangest part is combining it all together.

I can’t explain it, but it worked.

All with a nectarine on the side.

The bacon #strangebutgood creations didn’t end there.

Next came the waffle bacon sandwich.

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I took a Van’s gluten free waffle and filled it with more sweet eggs and turkey bacon.

And what’s a waffle without maple syrup?

Not a waffle worth eating.

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It was a sweet and salty sandwich of delicious.

Again, another combination that maybe shouldn’t have worked, but it did.

And the cherries on the side completed the meal. I love that it’s cherry season. There is something about when fruit is in season, it just seems to taste better. For obvious reasons I suppose.

So how long will this bacon obsession last? Who knows, but I sure am enjoying it for now.

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Do you like sweet/salty combinations?

What’s your favorite bacon dish?

quick catch up

Hey friends! I know. Long time no talk.

Ironically a lot has been going on, but I have just been so busy that I haven’t had time to actually sit and write a post.

So let’s do a quick catch up on what’s been going on.

First I had a very exciting weekend, which now was a week ago.

Matt’s parents came into town as they both had eye appointments and decided to stay in town over night, so we were actually able to spend more time with them.  We met them for dinner after their appointments and decided to have an early birthday celebration for Matt.

And what’s a birthday dinner without cake?

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We all split a chocolate lava cake with vanilla ice cream.

Yes this was as good as it looks.

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Yummm. Up close of the warm chocolate deliciousness.

It’s a good thing we were sharing, I could have easily demolished this whole thing myself.

The next day we took Matt’s parents to one of our favorite local breakfast joints The Breakfast Club.

I ordered a 3 egg white omelet with red bell peppers and onions with broccoli, tomatoes, fresh fruit and cottage cheese on the side.

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This was the perfect light breakfast to start the exciting day I had ahead of me.

However, I wasn’t prepared for how exciting it was going to be.

Since Matt’s mom was in town and we actually had more time, we decided to take advantage of it and go wedding dress shopping. Now, I really had no intentions of purchasing a wedding dress in the near future as our wedding is not until April 2015, but I thought it would be a nice opportunity to get an idea of what I liked and was looking for.

Let me tell you, the second dress I tried on.. I fell in love with.

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It fit perfectly, I felt beautiful and I thought it would be perfect for the outdoor ceremony we are having. I thought I found my dress.

But I wanted to try a few others on just to see my options.

Well guess what guys. The fourth dress I tried on. It truly was the one.

I went back and forth between the two just to make sure, and yup. The fourth dress won every time. I knew it was my wedding dress.

So loves. I said yes to a dress and purchased it!!

(I however can not post the real dress as I am traditional in the sense I do not want Matt to see it!)

I can not describe how excited I was! I had texted Matt almost immedietly, but when I got home all I wanted to do was go celebrate.
So that’s what we did.

With fancy drinks!

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We went to a restarant called Pig and Pickle that is known for their unique drinks and meat dishes. Now, since I don’t eat a lot of meat, eating there was never too appealing to me, but the drinks sounded good and I love that they try and source everything local when they can. To drink I ordered the Stonie Bah-Lonie which was made with Hophead vodka, fresh lime, grapefruit juice, hop-grapefruit bitters, with an IPA float.  It was interesting but probably not something I would order again.

Matt got two drinks. His first was called The Landing Strip which was made with Breckenridge bourbon & Breckendridge bitters with cinzano & black cherry. I of course stole the cherry.  As we were drinking out first drinks we saw the bartender prepare this ridiculous looking drink. In asking what it was, it was their house Bloody Mary, but goodness did they know how to garnish!

Loads of pickled veggies and the kicker was a piece of their pork belly. Matt was in heaven.

To continue the celebrations we decided to go out to dinner later that evening.

We decided on a favorite of ours Blanco Tacos and Tequila.

In ordering though I was conflicted. I haven’t talked about it much on here, but I have been doing a mini elimination diet and trying to cut gluten and dairy out of my diet as I have a suspicion I may have an intolerance to one of them.

That makes going out for Mexican a bit challenging.

I did it though.

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We still ordered guacamole, but I resisted on the chips. You better believe I ate the guacamole out of the bowl with the spoon. With no shame.

For dinner instead of my regular chicken burrito (which I missed dearly) I opted for a salmon salad. Ok. Now I will say it was hard going to a Mexican restaurant and not getting my burrito, but this salmon was amazing.  Matt also got salmon, but on top of a potato hash and we both agreed it was some of the best salmon we have had.

So basically that weekend was a really good one and buying my dress really makes the wedding a lot more real. It also made me realize I have a lot more to plan! But it really got Matt and I excited and motivated. And I have my wedding dress! ahh!

Well loves I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend! I will be back soon to fill you in on the Fourth of July fun that was had!

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If you’re married did you immediately know your wedding dress was the dress?

 

banana coconut protein pancakes

Ok loves, get excited. Because I am.

 I  have not one, but two delicious recipes to share with you.

I know I have mentioned numerous times that my cooking mojo has somewhat disappeared, but for some reason this weekend while Matt was still sleeping away, I decided to use that quiet time and cook.

And did it ever pay off.

I have always said I wasn’t a huge pancake fan. If you know me you know I love my waffles.

It just seemed every time I tried to make pancakes, they just didn’t turn out so stellar.

This may be because this protein powder queen always insisted on using protein powders in her recipes and wondering why things didn’t turn out fluffy and normal.

Well as much as I love cooking with protein powders, and have no intentions on stopping, sometimes you just have to go with common sense and do what works.

But before we get to that, I actually do have a recipe using protein powder that even though it wasn’t texturally normal, it sure did taste good.

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Ingredients:

– 1/2 cup chickpea flour (could sub gluten free flour, almond flour or oat flour)

– 2 tbsp oat flour

– 3 tbsp chocolate protein powder (I used Plant Fusion – Phood chocolate caramel)

– 1/4 tsp baking powder

– 1/3 cup pure pumpkin puree

– 3 tbsp liquid egg whites (or 1 large egg white)

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Directions:

– Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix until well sifted.

– Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until there are no lumps. (batter will be thick)

– Heat skillet on medium heat and spray with cooking spray.

– Pour batter in batches and cook for 3-4 minutes on one side, then flip and cook for another 3-4 minutes.

– Top with your choice of toppings.

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I topped mine with a Click mocha protein frosting, coconut shreds and a local granola mix.

Like I mentioned these were not your fluffy pancakes, they were a bit more “rubbery” as most of my protein baking tends to be, but the taste totally made up for that and I actually don’t mind that cakey texture.

If you’re looking for a more traditional pancake that is lower carb and high in protein, then this next recipe is for you.

As I mentioned in my last post, I recently discovered banana flour.

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In trying to think of what to use it in first, I thought it would be a great substitute for coconut flour, and I had been wanting to make a coconut flour pancake, so I decided to go with that!

In order to get it high protein without the powder I knew what I had to do.

Add eggs.

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Ingredients:

– 1 large egg

– 2 egg whites (or 6 tbsp liquid egg whites)

– 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk (or milk of choice)

– 4 1/2 tbsp banana flour (could sub coconut or almond flour)

– 1/2 tsp baking soda

– 1 tsp cinnamon

– 1 tsp vanilla extract

– 8-10 drops liquid coconut stevia (could sub vanilla or other sweetener of choice)

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 Directions:

– Place all ingredients in a magic bullet and blend until smooth.

– Heat skillet over medium heat and spray with cooking spray.

– Pour batter in batches – cook for 3-4 minutes (or until bubbles form) on one side.

– Flip and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.

– Top with whatever toppings you prefer!

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I topped mine with a coconut spiked greek yogurt and granola.

Guys. I can’t even describe how excited I was to make a fluffy pancake. Who would have known using eggs would cause this.

Oh wait. A lot of people.

Since I am not a huge egg fan, I don’t typically have eggs in the house, which is why I think I always try to find recipes that don’t use them, but I had a client give me fresh eggs from her own chickens, so I was looking for things to make with them.

I have a feeling the rest of the them will be going to making pancakes.

Because seriously. That fluff.

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The great thing about these recipes is it makes left overs. And I will say the banana coconut pancakes are excellent both warmed up and straight from the fridge!

So am I a total pancake convert? That is still to be decided.

But I think it’s safe to say there is room for both pancakes and waffles in my life.

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 Do you prefer pancakes or waffles?

Have you had a successful fluffy protein powder baking recipe?

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free gifts for you!

 Hey friends!

Wednesday kind of snuck up on me, but that is probably due to having Monday off. I’m not really complaining though because it was reeeaaallly nice having two days off in a row. I will never complain about that.

I must admit that my eats have either been take out/dine out or really lazy.

Lately I’ve been obsessed with some classics as well. An age old classic.

Peanut Butter and Jelly.

But not just any peanut butter.

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Have you guys heard of My Oatmeal?

It is this awesome site that basically lets you build your own oatmeal and peanut butter flour blends. It’s pretty amazing.

I of course opted for the peanut butter flour blends, because let’s be real, I love peanut butter. And I figured I could bake with it as well.

Head over to the site to check out all the oatmeal creation options though, it’s pretty intense. You get to choose your base like rolled oats, steel cut oats or a blended mix. You can add chia seeds, flax seeds, dried fruit and flavor it with almost any flavor combination imaginable.

For my peanut flour I made a carrot cake flavor sweetened with brown cane sugar.

And it was just as good as it sounds.

Another flavor I created was with a glazed donut flavoring sweetened with brown cane sugar.

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Another fun thing is you can name your blends whatever you choose! Fresh Out Of The Oven sounded cute for a donut right?

I thought so.

I used this one to help save my plantain waffle fail.

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It worked. I have yet to master a plantain waffle, but I think I just need to give in, stop making it so complicated and go the whole plantain+egg route and keep it simple. But even as a visual textural fail, with the addition of my peanut butter, it was still delish.

To continue the waffle talk though, I did manage to make a protein waffle success.

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Topped with banana slices, cocoa paradise mix (from my Graze box – use my code R4WFVPTWP and you get your first box for FREE!) and my favorite protein frosting using Growing Naturals Vanilla Pea Protein.

I love waffles.

Well loves that’s all that’s happening over here, have a wonderful rest of your week.

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What are you favorite add in’s for oatmeal?

Do you have a perfect waffle recipe?

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all things mini

Happy Wednesday my loves!

And by happy Wednesday I really mean is it Friday yet? That’s basically how I feel every Wednesday.

But since it’s only Wednesday I guess it’s only right to share some eats I’ve been enjoying lately for What I Ate Wednesday. It’s been awhile since I’ve participated as we all know how unmotivated and unproductive I have been lately. And the fact that 1/2 of my meals have been eaten out, there really hasn’t been much to share.

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As I was looking through pictures for my past eats I kind of noticed a funny trend. I actually usually have the problem of not knowing what I have a taste for because I usually have a taste for everything. Something sweet, savory, salty, spicy… you name it. Sometimes I’ll go as far as to put it all on one plate.

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Peanut butter chicken, coconut cinnamon roasted kabocha topped with a maple whipped cottage cheese, and brussel sprouts with mustard. Really, those three things should not be on the same plate.

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Raw carrots, oven roasted broccoli and cauliflower (with ketchup for dipping) and an english muffin with chocolate coconut butter on one half and chocolate peanut butter and blueberry jam on the other… again another pretty questionable combination. But such is the life of one indecisive eater.

With all that being said, I have found a lot of my meals tend to be a bunch of mini portions. Whenever I find recipes I am always looking for ways to scale it down. My past eats have been no different.

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It started with my wanting to switch up my breakfast and finding a fun recipe for apple protein mini cakes.

I topped mine with my favorite protein frosting ever using Growing Naturals vanilla pea protein.

Dinners have been very mini as well.

We had some left over grass fed beef so I made good use of it. Mini style.

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A mini burger with home made fries.

(don’t worry way more fries were consumed then what is pictured)

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With a mini pita pizza.

Made with Trader Joes whole wheat mini pita’s, Trader Joes organic pizza sauce, nutritional yeast and left over grass fed hamburger crumbles.

And then on the side…

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 BBQ parsnip chips topped with guacamole.

I’m pretty much convinced that guacamole makes everything better.

So maybe not a complete dinner theme, but it works in satisfying all my cravings…all at once.

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Do you mix and match your cravings during meals?

What’s the oddest combination you’ve had at a meal?

making food pretty

I love pretty pictures of food. I think the countless hours I spend on Pinterest prove that. A recipe can be the most delicious dish, but with the addition of a beautifully posed picture of the finished product can seal the deal with me on if I will attempt to make it or not.

With that being said, I know I’m not the best photographer and my pictures may not be the best, but there is definitely not a lack of effort. But sometimes you just don’t have time.

This friends is one of those times.

But minus pretty pictures, I still have some pretty tasty things to share with you.

Let’s start simple.

We all know I am a bread loving carb girl. No shame. Bread, bagels, english muffins, I love them all. Ironically, even though not gluten free, I have found that some of my favorite store bought bread items are gluten free ones. We all know I have a huge obsession with Silver Hills Bakery Gluten Free Chia Chia bread.

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And my favorite english muffins are Rudi’s Multigrain with Flax. Obsessed.

Both products however are a bit on the pricey side, so in order to try and save a few bucks I have tried experimenting in creating my own.

So I spent a few minutes hours searching pinterest for a simple english muffin recipe. I’ll be honest, I’m a lazy baker and the less effort and time I have to put into making something the better. I also wanted to find a recipe that didn’t make a huge serving, because yes I know I could halve a recipe, I’m not so great with math and somehow always mess us measurements.

Lucky for me I found a simple recipe that even I couldn’t mess up.

The only thing I changed was I left out the blueberries and I made mine into two decent sized english muffins instead of bagels.

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Paleo Cinnamon English Muffins

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Ingredients:

– 2 eggs

– 1 tsp coconut oil

– 1 tbsp vanilla

– 1/2 tbsp cinnamon

– 3 tbsp coconut flour (sifted to avoid clumps)

– 1/2 tsp baking soda

– Additional add ins: raisins, dried fruit, nuts/seeds

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Directions:

– Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
– Mix the wet ingredients together.
– Add the dry ingredients to wet and mix well.
– Pour the mixture into two greased ramekins or muffin tin. (or a bagel pan to make bagels)
*Makes 2 large english muffins (or 3 small)
– Place in oven and bake for 20-22 minutes, or until fully cooked.

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I always have such a hard time when choosing my toppings. On one english muffin I did half chocolate coconut butter and on the other half almond butter and apricot jam.

For lunch another day I again couldn’t make up my mind.

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More chocolate coconut butter on one half and on the other half strawberry jam, cottage cheese and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Loves, these english muffins were a winner.

I will say they were a little bit too eggy for my personal preference, but I think next time I make them I will add more cinnamon and possibly some add ins to help mask the egg taste, but over all I was so pleased with the texture of these english muffins. Firm enough to be eaten cooled and also to be toasted.


 Next we have the perfect example of how pretty pictures make me want to make something, and how I fail to even do the dish any justice.

This picture will make you want to make this breakfast

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The very talented Ashley at Edible Perspective won me over to try this breakfast.

Raw Pumpkin Chia Pudding

(Inspired by Ashley)

Ingredients:

– 3 tablespoon chia seeds
– 1/2 cup pure pumpkin
– 1 cup water
– 1 teaspoon cinnamon
– 2 teaspoon raw honey (I used pure maple syrup)
– 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
– pinch of ground cloves
– pinch of salt
*1/2 banana – optional – added in to blender (I added the banana)

This picture may or may not make you want to make this breakfast.

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Directions:

– Combine all ingredients and stir every 2-5 minutes for 20 minutes.I stirred mine probably once or twice to make sure it stayed incorporated and didn’t get too thick, then I let it sit over night. Add more water or milk if needed.
– If you want a smooth texture, add the mixture to your blender with 1/2 banana. You may also need to add more liquid.

To make this even more un-photogenic, I put mine in an almost empty peanut butter jar with a big glop of peanut butter slopped on the side.

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Pretty or not, both these recipes tasted great, which to me is all that matters.

So loves, my pictures may or may not make you want to try these recipes, but I really think you should.

Now I’m off to join Jenn for What I Ate Wednesday and take a few notes on photography. Because goodness that girl knows how to make food look good!


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Does a pretty picture make you more apt to try a new recipe?

Would an ugly picture deter you?