How To: Healthy Breakfast – Savoury Squash Pancakes

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I’ve had my eye on this recipe for a long time.

It’s been bookmarked in my “recipe to try folder,” along with so so SO many more. Well, thank goodness for national food holidays. When #pancaketuesday rolled around last month, it was the perfect excuse for a breakfast-for-dinner meal.

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And oh how glad I was that I made these. They are deceivingly simple sounding. Just some roasted and mashed squash, an egg, some cheese and yogurt, and flour. That’s basically it. And somehow, through the magic that is Smitten Kitchen, they become addictive little pancakes that you eat so fast you thoroughly regret not making a double batch.

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These pancakes are honestly perfect for any time of day – feeling like a savoury breakfast but also want pancakes? Make these! Feeling like you want something a little different for lunch? Make these! Feeling like a breakfast for dinner type meal? Make these! Feeling a little peckish mid afternoon? Make these! The fact that they come together lickety-split makes it really easy not to miss out. They also freeze wonderfully so make up that double or triple batch, you won’t regret it.

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I’ve eaten them plain, topped with a dab of butter, and a drizzle of maple syrup. But my favourite way is to top them with a little extra plain yogurt. But you do you – I imagine a soft poached or fried egg on top would be lovely.

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So make them and tell me your favourite way to eat them, okay? And if you’ve made a double or triple batch, give me a ring!

Dara

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Savoury Squash Pancakes

Serves 4-6
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Breakfast, Main Dish, Side Dish
Website Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash (halved and seeds removed)
  • 1/3 cup 2 % Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 3/4 Tsp salt
  • 1 Tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • butter (for frying pancakes)
  • additional butter or yogurt, maple syrup, sour cream (for serving)

Note

These pancakes are great for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! I love them as a side to eggs and topped with some extra butter or yogurt. You could definitely cook up a double batch as they freeze really well.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place squash flesh side down on baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes, or until very tender. Remove and let cool slightly and scoop out flesh and mash. Measure out 1 cup of mashed squash and store the rest in the fridge or freezer for another time.
3. In a large bowl whisk together squash, yogurt, eggs, cheese, salt, and baking powder until combined. Add flour and stir until just mixed in.
4. Heat a large non stick skillet over medium heat and add some butter to coat the bottom of the pan (I used about 1 tbsp or so). Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, spoon batter onto pan, flattening it slightly with the back of a spoon.
5. Once brown on the bottom side, flip and cook until brown on the other side. If the pancakes are cooking too quickly, turn down the heat slightly. If you aren't eating them right away you can keep them warm on a parchment lined baking sheet at 200 degrees.
6. Serve as is, or topped with some maple syrup, additional butter, or yogurt.

How To: Healthy Breakfast – Baked Plum & Almond Butter Oatmeal Pie for #ChileBrunch

By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Fruits From Chile and I am eligible to win a prize associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

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Pie for breakfast? Sign me up!

Now wait a second. Isn’t this a so-called “healthy recipe” blog written by two registered dietitians? What’s the deal here?

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This ain’t no ordinary pie! One of our most popular breakfast recipes is the baked peanut butter and apple oatmeal. Have you made it yet? You should! It’s hearty, loaded with peanut butter, dense and doughy, and most importantly, delicious. So that got me thinking, why not change things up a bit and make a breakfast that would catch everyone’s eye, even that of the 3 year old with the ever changing taste buds. And oatmeal pie was born! #kidapproved

It also so happens that this said 3 year old has recently fallen in love with plums. So once I heard about this fantastic contest hosted by fellow dietitian Christy Brissette of 80 Twenty Nutrition and Fruits from Chile to develop a brunch recipe, I knew exactly what the star of this breakfast pie would be.

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If you’ve ever strolled through your store and grabbed a plum or two, chances are you were probably picking up fruit from chile. Same goes for your nectarines, grapes, and peaches. The plums I bought were perfectly juicy and also beautiful – check out that colour! The perfect pie topper.

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I paired the plums with a good serving of almond butter – not only does it add some extra staying power to your usual oatmeal, the almond flavour pairs so well with the sweet plums. With some ground flax for fibre, an egg for protein, and a hint of brown sugar, this pie is perfectly suitable for your breakfast meal. I don’t like my morning bowl of oats to be super sweet, but if you wanted to add some more sweetness, top your slice with a drizzle of maple syrup.

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I scattered some walnuts on top for some extra crunch, but they are totally optional. What’s not optional? The plums! Serve up a slice as is, topped with an extra dollop of almond butter, a spoonful of yogurt, or some more of those delicious fruit from chile plums. Totally fancy enough for your next brunch party and easy enough for a mid-week breakfast treat.

Before you know it we will be serving you cake for dinner! Crazy town!

Dara

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Baked Plum & Almond Butter Oatmeal Pie

Serves 5-6
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Breakfast

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup ground flax seed
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 Tsp salt
  • 1 3/4 Cups almond milk
  • 1 eggs
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 Tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1 cup plums (thinly sliced)

Optional

  • 1/4 cup walnuts (chopped)

Note

This pie could also be baked in an 8 x 8 pyrex baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. It won't be a pie, but it will still be delicious!

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 and spray a 9 inch pie plate with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl combine oats, flax, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In a small bowl combine almond milk, egg, applesauce, and vanilla.
3. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir to combine. Add almond butter and stir again until evenly incorporated.
4. Pour mixture into pie plate and evenly place plum slices on the top. Sprinkle with walnuts and bake for about 30 minutes, until brown and cooked through.
5. Serve topped with additional almond butter and plums, yogurt, or a drizzle of maple syrup.

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How to: Use Walmart.ca Grocery Pick-Up and Make Grab-and-Go Breakfast Frittata

December can be a real son of a gun.

I won’t lie friends.  As I write this post, I have about 86 things on-the-go and I’m struggling to get my act together. Don’t get me wrong, decorating the tree, using copious amounts of butter for my holiday baking and watching my 1-year-old lose her mind (in a bad way) on Old Saint Nick’s lap, totally gives me the Christmas warm and fuzzies.

But having to juggle all that with work, commuting, holiday parties, dog walks, exercise, laundry, dinnertime and grocery shopping? How ‘bout no?

PS, I’m calling your bluff if you tell me you don’t hope for your kid to be a little scared of Mall Santa. Why? Best photos ever.

Point is life is busy. Add a hectic holiday schedule in to the mix and, well, my Christmas goose is cooked.

Lately I’ve been looking for ways to streamline…life, in any way I can, so when Dara and I were approached to work with Walmart Canada in promoting their urban Toronto Walmart.ca Grocery Pick-Up service through Penguin Pick-Up, I thought, “Gee, what perfect timing.”

I know Walmart Supercentres (which carry groceries) have been a thing for a long while, but in my 13 years of living in the heart of this great city, I haven’t lived close enough to one to consider them a viable option. Having somewhere to grocery shop close to home is #1 on my list of “Reasons I Shop Where I Shop.”

With their new walmart.ca grocery pick-up locations at Yorkville, Yonge & Davisville, Leslieville and Harbourfront, Walmart is now officially in the hunt for my hard earned grocery dollars.

First, let me briefly tell you how it works. Then, I’ll give you the inside scoop on why it’s kind of great. Finally, a recipe (obvs)!

You can visit Walmart.ca or download the Walmart Canada app on to your Smartphone. The app will take you through a quick tutorial to show off some of its cool features.

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The online shopping aisles, which allow you to browse by category, are both intuitive and easy to navigate. You can also browse by Rollback items (sale items) in each category, so it’s like you’re carrying the flyer in one hand and pushing your cart with the other (that’s what I call streamlining).

If you know what you’re looking for, you can also use the search engine.

*Warning: if you search ‘yogurt’ be prepared for over 200 hits! The variety is actually staggering.

Add and remove items from your virtual cart as you go and when you’re all set choose a location  and a two-hour time window for pick-up. You can even pick up same day via Penguin Pick-Up, for orders placed before 11 am.

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Side note: If you’re feeling weird about someone else picking produce for you, let me tell you that, first, I totally get it (I was there too) and second, don’t. Their experienced shoppers are awesome and pick the best of the best. Truly, I couldn’t have picked better myself.

I picked up my order at the Leslieville Penguin Pick-Up location, where the entrance and parking are well marked.  A nice young man came to greet me at my car window with a tablet and confirmed my order with a piece of ID then proceeded to load up the trunk.  I was in and out under 5 minutes. Guys, 5 minutes!!! (more streamlining!)

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On top of the obvious time savings, another reason I like this service is the quality guarantee. If you’re not totally happy with any product in your order, you’ll be credited or refunded without fuss by calling customer service. I was even reminded of this when I picked up my order.

Finally, and this is the big one, you save money. Like, a seriously decent amount. With Toronto real estate and rental rates soaring and the cost of food also on the rise, peeps like Dara and I, who also appreciate good quality fresh food, are looking outside the box to find new options. The prices online are the same great in-store prices Walmart is known for.

Here’s a new recipe using fresh groceries from my most recent pick-up order. I wanted to choose something that showcases fresh produce, you know, the me being-a-dietitian thing.

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These simple grab–and-go breakfast frittatas are a quick, healthy, get-out-the-door-before-traffic-is-a-disaster breakfast. Make 12 at a time and freeze what you don’t eat within a couple of days and heat them with a quick zip in the microwave when you’re ready for more.

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Customize as you will, but always be sure to cook your fillings thoroughly before adding the egg and baking. You want to avoid too much moisture.

 

img_0609img_0613img_0617I wish you luck in your holiday streamlining too, friends!

Erin

Grab and Go Breakfast Frittatas

Serves 6
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 9 Large eggs (beaten)
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 Tsp salt (divided)
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 Small onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 red bell pepper (finely chopped)
  • 227g cremini or white mushrooms (finely chopped)
  • 3 Cups fresh chopped spinach
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 75g)

Note

I love this Bon Appetit Guide to Making a Perfect Frittata and used their great guidelines to make these.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and a 1/4 tsp of the salt.
2. In a large frying or sauté pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and mushroom and cook until most of the moisture is cooked out and they begin to brown, about 5-7 minutes. Add red pepper and cook until softened, another 2-3 minutes. Using tongs, mix in spinach and remove from heat once it begins to wilt. Season with the remaining 1/2 tsp of salt.
3. Spray the inside of a 12 cup muffin pan thoroughly with cooking spray or brush with butter. Divide the vegetable mixture among the cups, about 2 tbsp each. Using a ladle, pour egg mixture over top, filling each cup about 3/4 of the way. Sprinkle each with crumbled feta cheese.
4. Bake for 18-20 minutes until frittatas are puffed and very lightly browned around the edges. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes, and run a small spatula or knife around the edge of each cup to remove them.
5. Eat within 2-3 days if refrigerating or freeze in packs of two, first by wrapping them in paper towel and then transferring to small freezer bags. Reheat in microwave for about 1 minute on high in the paper towel (depending on your microwave you may need more or less).

 

How To: Healthy Breakfast – Single Serve Flour Free Banana Pancake

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I have absolutely nothing against flour. In fact, the more gluten the better I say!

I love our pumpkin pancakes and the coconut version is on regular rotation here on Sunday mornings, but I’ve recently been experimenting with a more eggy variety. Last weekend my cereal loving husband even asked for one for breakfast. And when he asked for it again the next day and the next, I knew I had a winner. And I also knew my husband needed to learn the recipe himself! So I sure hope he’s reading this post!

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I’ve seen many variations on the world wide web for the two ingredient banana pancakes. Having made them a couple times I just found them like a giant wet and spongy omelet. Sound appetizing? Here, a spoonful of flax seed is added which replaces the flour and helps give this more of a pancake-like feel AND a healthy dose of fibre. Doesn’t get much better than that!

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This pancake is perfect for when you want a pancake, but don’t want to make a whole stack. It is perfect for when you want a pancake, but don’t want to take a nap after breakfast. It is also the perfect canvas for all that peanut butter you want to just eat with a spoon. Oh, is that just me?

Dara

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Single Serve Flour Free Banana Pancake

Serves 1
Meal type Breakfast
Website Adapted from Fannetasticfood

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg whites (or 1/4 cup egg whites from a carton)
  • 1 Tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1/2 Tsp cinnamon
  • peanut butter, berries (for topping)

Note

This pancake is a little delicate, so if it breaks when flipping to not fret! It will still taste delicious! Just continue to cook the pancake pieces on the opposite side. Letting the pancake sit and cook untouched for a good 5-8 minutes is key in keeping it together. I love it slathered with almond or peanut butter, but you could also top it with some toasted nuts or seeds, a spoonful or two of yogurt, or eat it as is.

Directions

1. In a small bowl mash banana well with a fork. Add egg, egg whites, ground flaxseed, and cinnamon and mix very well to combine.
2. Preheat a non stick skillet over medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Pour banana batter in pan and let it cook for about 5-8 minutes. Using a spatula, lift the edges carefully to see if it is brown underneath.
3. Very gently flip pancake using a flexible large spatula and let it cook for another 1-2 minutes on the other side.
4. Remove to a plate and top with a spoonful (or three!) of peanut butter and berries, if desired.

 

How To: Healthy Snack – Double Sesame Cereal

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My husband is religious about his breakfast – 364 days of the year he has a bowl of cereal with almond milk.

What about that other day? Challah french toast. But 9 times out of 10 it’s a bowl of cereal. And not just one cereal – four cereals go into his bowl. A layer of raisin bran, then comes kashi go lean, multigrain cheerios, and lastly a sprinkle of bran buds. Gotta stay regular.

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Now, if we he’s lucky, he gets a fifth fun cereal. His favourite? Homemade granola. While he does love our pumpkin version and the almond butter one also ranks up there, this new almost savoury spin has been the latest addition to his morning bowl.

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I have a recent obsession with tahini – it’s just as creamy as peanut butter but has such a unique flavour. And along with maple syrup, it acts as the “glue” for the dry oats and rice krispies. The “double sesame” component is a couple spoonfuls of sesame seeds that get mixed in with some coconut, which all together amounts to an extremely crunchy and delicious final product.

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This granola like cereal is great on it’s own, sprinkled over yogurt, or drowned in almond milk, my husband’s preference.

Dara

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Double Sesame Granola

Serves makes about 1 1/2 cups
Meal type Breakfast, Snack
Website Adapted from Shutterbean

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rice krispies
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 3 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1/4 Tsp salt

Note

While I was eating this cereal, I tossed in a handful of toasted almonds and it was just delicious. So I would suggest adding a handful of the nut of your choice to the oat mixture before baking it. You could substitute honey for the maple syrup if you would like.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, combine rice krispies, oats, coconut, and sesame seeds. In a small bowl mix together the maple syrup, tahini and water.
3. Pour tahini mixture over oat mixture and stir until evenly coated. Pour mixture over parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Serve with milk, yogurt, or just eat straight up. Store in an air tight container for up to 1 week.