Category Archives: Breakfast

Single, Healthy Quiche

Healthy cooking is challenging, but single-serving healthy cooking is doubly challenging.  I normally use a small pie pan to make quiche and heat up the remaining portions for future meals, but a great idea leaped into my head this morning.  Why not just use a single size container?

Years ago, my sister came up with a simple and healthy quiche crust – wheat germ, regular oats, and olive oil as a binder.  Mix it up until it sticks together and press into your pan.  Cook at 350° – 400°, depending upon pan size, for 10 to 20 minutes, until lightly toasted.  This provides a solid base for the egg mixture. 
Today, I didn’t have wheat germ, so I mixed up cracked wheat, regular oats, olive oil, and pressed into a Corning Pyrex 8 ounce custard cup.  It’s the perfect size for a single serving quiche!

I surveyed the refrigerator and freezer and found baby portobellos and cooked bacon.  Penzey’s Herbs de Provence, salt, pepper, and shredded Parmesan cheese finished the dish.  I used an immersion blender (excellent invention) to blend 1 egg and the egg white equivalent of one egg.  I cooked the mixture for about 20 minutes at 350° Fahrenheit.  It was wonderful and satisfying!

Winter Breakfast – Mahnomin Porridge

Having grown up in the land of 10,000 lakes (4x°N latitude / 9x°W longitude) and being a devoted fan of wild rice, I am surprised that the first time I heard of Mahnomin Porridge was just a few days ago.  What have I been missing?!

The recipe creator, Chef Mitch Omer, was inspired by reading journals written by trappers in the 19th century.  The primary ingredient of this comfort food is wild rice, which is really not a rice at all, but a grass.  It grows in small lakes and slow moving streams.  The Ojibwa culture calls the plant, manoomin, meaning “good berry”.  The traditional labor intensive harvesting methods are still practiced today.  Wild rice is high in protein, fiber, and, like other rice, is gluten-free.  Consumer demand resulted in commercially grown and harvested varieties.  This commercial variety takes much longer to cook than naturally grown types.  I embarked on the Mahnomin Porridge recipe this morning,  making one modification (with much respect for the creator).  I continue to be focused on low fat and healthy eating, so I could not bring myself to use heavy cream, as indicated in the original recipe.

Ingredients
4 cups cooked wild rice
¼ cup pure maple syrup
¼ cup dried blueberries
¼ cup dried cranberries
½ cup roasted, cracked hazelnuts
1 cup heavy cream *
     * low fat alternative: substitute heavy cream with 25% fat free milk and 75% fat free sour cream

Preparation
In a heavy non-stick sauté pan, add the cooked wild rice, heavy cream, and maple syrup, and warm through.  Add the blueberries, dried cranberries, and hazelnuts.  Stir to mix well.
Serve in a bowl with sides of warm heavy cream and maple syrup.

 

Even without the heavy cream, this was scrumptious, and satisfying!  Even without the heavy cream, this was scrumptious, and satisfying!  I reduced the recipe to approximately 25%, starting with 1/4 cup of dry wild rice.  I put the finished mixture in an 8 ounce ramekin and was content with 2/3 of that portion.

Do drain the cooked wild rice well.  Otherwise, simmer the mixture longer to evaporate the excess liquid.  Roasting the hazelnuts (or filberts) is key.  The final result is a fantastically rich combination of nutty, crunchy, savory, and sweet.

I did use sweetened dried cranberries and sweetened dried blueberries, since they were the simplest to find.  I will search for unsweetened varieties next time I make this, as it was a bit sweet.  The blueberries really added to the overall flavor, offering a nice contrast to the cranberries.  One could experiment with various dried fruits and nuts – perhaps apricots, almonds.  I’ll try cinnamon, too.

Chef Omer now has a cookbook called “Damn Good Food,” which features favorite Hell’s Kitchen recipes – Bison Sausage Bread, Lemon-Ricotta Hotcakes, Mahnomin Porridge (of course) – and his stories.

Yum!

Tangled Noodle on Mahnomin Porridge http://tanglednoodle.blogspot.com/2009/09/mmm-mmm-mahnomin-porridge.html

Hell’s Kitchen Minneapolis http://hellskitcheninc.com/

Blizzard, Pumpkin bread, mulled cider and wine

It’s all over the news today – Minnesota’s autumn (technically) blizzard.  About one foot U.S. has fallen since late last night.  I have blown snow from the driveway once and a helpful young man in the neighborhood is working on his second round with all of us.  It’s fortunate I have been spending time with the NordicTrack and eating healthy.  I was pushing snow and an 8 h.p. dual stage Toro around this morning for 80 minutes.

Local reports indicate this storm dropped more snow than the 1991 Halloween blizzard.  [I was amazed to find that Wikipedia has an entry for the “Halloween Blizzard.”  Check it out.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halloween_Blizzard]
I remember, well, the 1991 blizzard.  I planned a big Halloween party for Saturday night.  I love Halloween.  I got the call at 7 AM Friday morning that the office was closed for the day.  I spent much of Friday and Saturday cleaning and preparing for the party.  I was worried that the party would be a bust because of the snow.  I had myself a little pity party at 8 PM on Saturday when no one was there.  Sure enough, people start arriving within the hour – fun party and funny memories.

NOAA reported that my piece of the state had 11.1 inches of snow at 2 PM CT today, 12/11/10 (note the cool reverse sequence on the date).  I’m thinking there must have been 2-3 inches since that time.

When I finally admitted to myself that I was stranded in the house for the day, I thought I would try a pumpkin bread (more like cake) recipe that had been waiting a week for me.  It is really fabulous, but I may be biased because I love anything with pumpkin and spices.  Give it a try.  I recommend you double the spices.
http://www.weightwatchers.com/food/rcp/index.aspx?recipeid=143381
It’s a perfect choice for a day like today.  Even better that I have Greg Norman Pinot Noir, Penzey’s Mulling Spices, and apple cider.  This collection makes Minnesota winter almost magical.

Eggs Florentine with Mock Hollandaise

My girlfriend shared this recipe from the cook at quilt camp.  She said it was awesome – it is.  However, I wasn’t paying attention when I first made it and used regular yellow mustard, instead of Dijon.  It was still really good, but I think it would be better as written.  I also plan to try Jack Daniels No. 7 mustard.  I found that 1/2 serving was filling enough for breakfast.  My calculation for 1/2 serving came to 3 WW points, with 1/2 a Thomas’ Light multigrain English muffin.  

Eggs Florentine with Mock Hollandaise
Makes 1 serving
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS
1/4 cup fat free plain yogurt
1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 eggs
1 whole wheat english muffin, split, toasted
1/2 cup fresh baby spinach leaves
Dash pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. In small microwavable bowl, microwave yogurt, mayonnaise and mustard on High 20 to 40 seconds or until warm. Stir; set aside.
  2. In 10-inch skillet, heat 1 1/2 to 2 inches water to boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low. Break each egg into shallow dish; carefully slide eggs into hot water. Quickly spoon hot water over each egg until film forms over yolk. Simmer 3 to 5 minutes or until eggs are desired doneness.
  3. Meanwhile, spread about 2 tablespoons sauce on each English muffin half. Top each with half of the spinach leaves.
  4. With slotted spoon, remove eggs from water; place over spinach. Top each with half of remaining sauce; sprinkle with pepper.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION – 1 serving
Calories: 372
Protein: 23g
Carbohydrate: 35g
Dietary Fiber: 5g
Total Fat: 16g
Saturated Fat: 4.1g
Cholesterol: 432mg
Calcium: 340mg
Sodium: 563mg