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Slow Cooked Steel Cut Oats

I love oatmeal for breakfast. It’s fast, easy, and good for you. Especially since I learned that some of my bloodwork numbers were starting to get a little higher than I’d like them to be. Not to mention it’s one of the few things The Man will stop to eat in the morning. We usually eat the Better Oats brand of oatmeal because they have a ton of tasty flavors and the packet is designed to be used as a measuring cup for the water, including a “fill to here” line on the side. Really doesn’t get a whole lot easier than that, and easy is important in the morning before coffee. Well, a couple years ago I started hearing about steel cut oats and how they were supposed to be even better for you than regular rolled oats, but that they took a bit more work to make. As I said, I like my morning routine as easy as possible, so I put off giving them a try. Then Pinterest came along and I kept seeing recipes for steel cut oats, and I knew it was only a matter of time before I made them. I found this pin for Rise and Shine Oatmeal from a blog called Cooking and Living on a Ground Beef Budget that made oatmeal in the slow cooker overnight. And I’m pretty sure you guys know how much I love using my slow cooker, so I had to give it a try.

The recipe uses the slow cooker as sort of a water bath, you put the ingredients in a glass bowl and place it inside the slow cooker, then fill the slow cooker itself with water. This was really the only difficult part and it’s wasn’t the recipe’s fault. I had problems finding a glass bowl that would fit correctly inside my slow cooker. I finally discovered that my four cup measuring cup did the job pretty well. The recipe also said that it makes two or three servings worth, but The Man and I discovered that it was just enough for four servings (so two days worth). I didn’t add any dried fruit to it the first time around, but I can definitely see trying it the next couple times I make it. Or maybe adding some fruit puree to it. Either way, I’m glad I pinned the recipe and it’s definitely going to one I make a lot!

Slowcooked oatmeal-001

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Gravy for Biscuits

We’ve really been doing a lot of breakfast for dinner lately, but I don’t mind because we don’t usually have a chance to have special breakfasts for breakfast. We love biscuits and gravy in our house, it’s filling and tasty! If you left out the sausage mixture you could use the gravy for just about anything else you would like.

The nutritional values don’t include the biscuits because there is such a variety of them you could use. You don’t even have to use biscuits! You could use toast, bread, or even pour it over potatoes.

Ingredients
12 oz reduced fat ground pork sausage
1 cup chopped onions
3 cloved minced garlic
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups low sodium beef broth

Directions
In a large saute pan, cook the onions, garlic and sausage together until the sausage is no longer pink. Remove from the pan and set aside. Melt the butter in the same pan and mix in the flour, whisk in the beef broth and let it come to a boil. Turn down the heat and let it simmer for a few minutes to thicken. Add the sausage mixture back in and let it cook for a few more minutes. Serve over biscuits or toast.

Nutritional Info•Servings Per Recipe: 5
•Amount Per Serving
•Calories: 293.0
•Total Fat: 22.5 g
•Cholesterol: 66.9 mg
•Sodium: 602.6 mg
•Total Carbs: 9.3 g
•Dietary Fiber: 0.8 g
•Protein: 13.2 g

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Sausage and Cheese Biscuits

Since my husband and his guys had to work over the weekend, I thought I’d make up something to try to make it a little more bearable.  Since they are out in the field getting Army reservists ready for deployment, it had to be something that could almost literally been eaten on the run.  Which meant nothing with silverware or plates.  I thought about making sausage biscuit sandwiches, but sometimes those can get a little messy when stuff starts falling out of them.  So I wondered what would happen if I just baked the sandwich makings into the biscuit.  It seems to have turn out pretty well, judging by how the guys responded to them.  I threw a couple in the freezer to see if these could work as a grab and go hot breakfast for the husband.  The first one was a little soggy, but that’s because I left it in the container with the lid on when I microwaved it.  The second one was just on a plate and it seems to have worked much better.  It was only in there for 30 seconds, but we also have a new, crazy powerful microwave.  You’ll have to adjust the time for your microwave.  The recipes makes a lot, which means you’ll have breakfast figured out for almost a month!

Ingredients
12 oz reduced fat sausage
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped red peppers
1/4 cup minced garlic
6 cups flour
3 tablespoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 cups milk

Directions
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. In a large pan, cook the sausage, onions, peppers and garlic until the sausage is no longer pink and the vegetables are tender. In a large bowl mix the flour, baking powder, and cream of tartar.  Add the sausage mixture and butter, mix it until a crumbly texture forms.  (You should be able to squeeze it into a ball, but it’ll fall apart when you drop it back into the bowl.)  Add the milk and cheese to the bowl and stir until when combined. Drop large spoonfuls (about 1/4 cup per biscuit) on a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart from each other.  Bake for about 12 minutes, or until they start turning golden brown.

Nutritional Info
  • Servings Per Recipe: 36
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 147.6
  • Total Fat: 4.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 15.2 mg
  • Sodium: 323.4 mg
  • Total Carbs: 19.0 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 0.7 g
  • Protein: 6.6 g

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Breakfast Cookies: Oatmeal-Chocolate-Cranberry-Pecan Cookies

It’s that time of year when I start channeling Betty Crocker and do a couple all night cookie baking marathons. This year it looks like there’s going to be at least seven types of cookies, so somewhere around thirty dozen cookies. I’ve done five of them so far and I thought I would share one of them with you guys. I stumbled upon the combination a few years ago when I was playing around with an oatmeal cookie recipe. Cranberries can be rather tart (like in my Cranberry Nut Pie), but it’s balanced out nicely with the cookie and chocolate. I call these Breakfast Cookies because they’re great for a grab and go when you’re in a hurry.

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups softened butter
2 cups brown sugar, packed
1 cup white sugar
3 1/2 cups flour
2 eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup dried cranberries

Directions
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the sugar and butter together. Add the flour, eggs, baking powder and soda, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Mix until everything is thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips, pecans, and dried cranberries. The dough is going to be very stiff.
Drop by rounded teaspoons on to cookie sheets and bake for 12 minutes or until the cookies start to brown. Let them sit on the cookie sheet for a couple of minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

Nutritional Info
◦Servings Per Recipe: 60
◦Amount Per Serving
◦Calories: 160.2
◦Total Fat: 7.2 g
◦Cholesterol: 18.6 mg
◦Sodium: 33.9 mg
◦Total Carbs: 25.7 g
◦Dietary Fiber: 1.2 g
◦Protein: 1.8

Breakfast cookies

Tomato Bacon Quiche

Since the husband has to work night shift this week, we’re going to have breakfast for dinner (or lunch, or brunch, or whenever he decides to eat). I personally love quiches and frittatas because they are so easy, just mix some stuff together and bake it. I bet you could even mix the stuff the night before and just pour it in the pie shell and bake it the next morning. They also reheat pretty well, which is always a plus when there’s only two of us in the house.

Ingredients
4 eggs
1 can evaporated milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
4 scallions, sliced
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 frozen pie shell

Directions
Preheat oven to 375. Whisk together eggs, egg whites, milk, salt, cayenne pepper, chili powder, onion powder and garlic powder. Add bacon, scallions, tomatoes, and cheese to bowl, stir together. Pour filling into frozen pie shell. Bake for 45 – 50 minutes, or until the filling it puffed and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes.

Nutritional Info•Servings Per Recipe: 8
•Amount Per Serving
•Calories: 259.4
•Total Fat: 16.2 g
•Cholesterol: 122.8 mg
•Sodium: 377.5 mg
•Total Carbs: 15.7 g
•Dietary Fiber: 1.3 g
•Protein: 12.5 g

Tomato Bacon Quiche

Green Smoothies

Sometimes the hardest meal to get my husband to eat is breakfast. Part of it is that he doesn’t have much time in the morning, so whatever he eats needs to be either quick or portable. I started making smoothies for myself awhile ago and then I heard about green smoothies. It was all over from there, not only are they packed with good for you stuff like calcium, iron and vitamin c. Plus you can alter them to your own taste, changing the fruits to suit your tastes (or whatever is in your fridge). If you like them thicker you can use frozen fruit. For us, I use fresh so it’s easier to drink them from the to go cup the hubby has. I suggest putting either the liquid or the fruit pierces closest to the blender blades and the spinach the furthest away, it blends a lot easier that way.

Tropical Yogurt Smoothie

Ingredients

1 container greek yogurt with honey
1/2 scoop of vanilla protein powder
1/2 cup mango chunks
2 clementines, peeled and seeds removed
1 cup fresh spinach

Directions

Put everything in a blender and blend until smooth.

Nutritional Info
•Servings Per Recipe: 1
•Amount Per Serving
•Calories: 313.9
•Total Fat: 0.6 g
•Cholesterol: 25.0 mg
•Sodium: 145.7 mg
•Total Carbs: 59.1 g
•Dietary Fiber: 5.2 g
•Protein: 21.9 g

Peach Berry Smoothie

Peach Berry Smoothie (No Yogurt)

Ingredients

2 peaches, chopped into small pieces
6 oz fresh raspberries
2 cups fresh spinach
1 scoop vanillla protein powder
1/2 cup water

Directions

Layer the ingredients in a blender, raspberries closest to the blender blade, peaches next, then spinach. Mix the protein powder and water together and pour over everything. Blend until smooth.

Nutritional Info

◦Servings Per Recipe: 2
◦Amount Per Serving
◦Calories: 140.7
◦Total Fat: 1.2 g
◦Cholesterol: 20.0 mg
◦Sodium: 123.7 mg
◦Total Carbs: 25.8 g
◦Dietary Fiber: 9.9 g
◦Protein: 9.8 g

Tropical Smoothie (No Yogurt)

Ingredients

1 mango, peeled and diced
1 orange, peeled with seeds removed
3 kiwi, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup diced pineapple
2 cups fresh spinach
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1/2 cup water

Directions

Mix the protein powder into the water. Layer the rest of the ingredients in a blender, starting with the pineapple and mango, then the orange and kiwi, with the spinach the furtherest from the blade. Pour the protein powder and water over everything. Blend until smooth.

Nutritional Info
◦Servings Per Recipe: 2
◦Amount Per Serving
◦Calories: 265.5
◦Total Fat: 1.8 g
◦Cholesterol: 20.0 mg
◦Sodium: 132.1 mg
◦Total Carbs: 57.7 g
◦Dietary Fiber: 10.8 g
◦Protein: 11.1 g

Creamed Asparagus and Ham

I don’t know about you, but I love having breakfast for dinner. Especially on those lazy days that you didn’t want to get out of your pj’s. Plus you can have the leftovers the next morning. This is great over whole wheat toast, which is pretty impressive for me to say since I don’t like whole wheat toast like I said the other day. I didn’t include the toast in the calorie count because it can vary.

Ingredients

2 cups asparagus, fresh, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 table spoon cornstarch
1 1/2 cups 1% milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1 1/2 cup cooked ham, cubed
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Directions

Steam the asparagus until tender, set aside. In a sauce pan, mix cornstarch with two tablespoons milk (before turning on the heat). Add butter, garlic salt and remaining milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until thick and bubbly. Add parsley, ham, cheese and asparagus, cook until cheese is melted and ham is warm. Serve over toast or biscuits.

Nutritional Info

•Servings Per Recipe: 6
•Amount Per Serving
•Calories: 201.6
•Total Fat: 12.2 g
•Cholesterol: 49.3 mg
•Sodium: 740.8 mg
•Total Carbs: 6.8 g
•Dietary Fiber: 1.0 g
•Protein: 16.7 g

Creamed Aspparagus and Ham