Friendly Food Snobs

breakfast

breakfast egg cups

breakfast egg cupsbreakfast egg cups

Only five days until Christmas, can you believe it? I am more organized this year since becoming a mama of two, I mean every present is already wrapped and normally I am always scrambling last minute. I am excited for the holidays and slightly nervous about two weeks of no nursery school for Oscar and keeping him somewhat quiet for Dash’s naps. Yikes. Back to the recipe!

I wanted to plan to make something delicious on Christmas morning that didn’t involve me standing over the stove for a long period of time. Hence these little breakfast egg cups were born. Christmas morning should be cozy and casual and I love these egg cups because they can sit alongside some croissants/fresh bread and berries and fruit on my table and be enjoyed as the morning goes on, more coffee is made and presents opened.

I love this recipe because the only thing you need to prep/cut is one little onion that adds a lot of flavour. I have made these ahead of time and also frozen them. That works, but I do prefer them made fresh.

If you have all the ingredients ready to go in your fridge they are quick to assemble and bake, are toddler approved in my house and do not require a fork and knife to eat..see my thoughts on cozy and casual above. Wishing you a happy and peaceful holiday friends!

Ingredients:

1 cup chopped onion (one small onion)

12 regular size eggs (use only 10 if using large eggs)

2 cups fresh baby spinach 

1/2 cup roasted peppers chopped (drained, from a jar)

1/2 cup feta cheese (or any cheese you want)

olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

non stick spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat the bottom of a frying pan with a little olive oil, Add the chopped onion, a little salt and pepper and cook for 10 minutes on medium heat until fragant. Add the spinach and cook for another two minutes until wilted. Combine the peppers with the spinach and onion in the pan and mix well.

Coat a muffin tin (12 cups) with non stick spray and fill each one with some of the spinach, pepper, onion mixture. In a large bowl beat the dozen eggs. Pour the eggs over each cup in the muffin tin. (I put the egg mixture in my plastic blender just to pour them because it has a spout, so less mess!) Top with crumbled feta, or whatever cheese you are using. Goat cheese or cheddar would work too.

Only fill the muffin tin 3/4 full as the cups will expand as they bake. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until tops of egg cups bounce back to the touch and look firm. My oven took 23 minutes. Let cool in muffin tin. To remove slide a spatula around the cups and wiggle them out. Store in the fridge for 3 days or freeze for longer. Reheat in the oven for a few minutes or microwave for 30 seconds on high. Hope you enjoy!

meditation, food prep and self care

Rachel Barbaro

We are in the busy weeks leading to the holidays and I was looking at the calendar earlier this week and felt that holiday anxiety set in. So much to do, so many commitments. And then yesterday I found myself eating a  protein bar in the car for lunch. Sad for me, because food makes me so happy usually!

I thought to myself, time to amp up my self care and food prep…I want to enjoy this season and not feel run over by it. I don’t know about you but eating well and taking care of myself seem to be the two foundations to stay calm and present. To be able to enjoy the sparkle in my boys’ eyes when I turn on the Christmas tree every morning or reading a book cuddled under a blanket. It’s the really simple mundane everyday moments that I love the most, not the high pressure ones. Here are a few rituals I’ve found so useful year round, but especially this season. 

Meditate 

I love to find some stillness between my thoughts before I start my day. I practice every morning and have for years. 

Here’s what I do: as soon as I wake up (before caffeine) I take a few minutes usually between five and ten to sit in stillness in my bedroom. (Yes I drink some water and visit the bathroom first..very very quietly to not wake the kids!) I don’t use a fancy meditation cushion or an app. This is old school zen meditation.  I sit cross legged on my bed and shut the door. If the kids are asleep or awake I still practice. And Neil protects those few minutes of the day for me because he knows how important it is. It just resets my mind to a place of stillness before the stream of thoughts and busy starts. Jon Kabat Zinn has a few amazing talks that you can watch on youtube. This post from Mindful.org helped me so much when I started my practice.

Self care/self love

Caring for yourself, honouring yourself is whatever fills up your cup. It is not usually going to spa for me or getting my nails done…after having two kids that isn’t realistic. I need actions that can be done simply and usually at home.

Here are my faves: chai or peppermint tea and watching a foreign movie or doc on Netflix (leave the chores for another day),  doing a mini facial and using a scrub/mask and my best face creams before bed slowly and mindfully, or making it to a yoga or bootcamp class to sweat out the old energy and breath in new. The point is to honour your body. 

Pure fun

Leave all screens in another part of the house and pile onto the couch or bed under a blanket with a magazine solo or with my kids and a dozen of their silliest books.

Walk outside in the trails and parks near my house with or without the little ones, noticing the change of the seasons.

Take myself for lunch or a coffee solo, my friend Tamara reminded me this is called an artist’s date and I love that.

Turn on music (like some 90’s rock or pop) and cook or bake usually super seedy banana bread or a soup that will be used for a few meals.

Onto the recipe below.

raspberry honey chia pudding

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons whole black chia seeds

2 tablespoons plain full fat yogurt

3/4 cup almond milk (or any milk you like)

shake of cinnamon

1 teaspoon honey

tiny pinch sea salt

topping ideas: fresh raspberries/any berries, raisins, granola, coconut flakes

Combine all ingredients in a glass bowl, stir well and cover and set in fridge overnight. When ready to eat give it a stir, and top with raspberries and whatever else you have on hand. If it’s too thick for your liking add a few drops of milk and stir.

Raspberry chia jam

chia seed jam
chia seed jamchia seed jamI love a slice of seedy sprouted toast for breakfast topped with nut butter and banana slices, berries, honey or jam. I take the time to eat it with a steaming mug of tea or cup of coffee before the day gets crazy and usually before anyone else gets up. It’s my happy place where I plan my day. I know traditonal jam is super high in sugar. I had heard rumours about chia jam and decided to try it. Such a winner! It was so easy and only took about ten minutes to make. Truth: my crew devoured this jam in just four days!

The chia seeds expand and act like natural pectin to thicken the jam. They are also little superfoods high in fibre and healthy fats. You can use blackberries, strawberries, whatever you prefer. The jam will last two weeks in the fridge. I  love it stired into some plain yogurt too. Let me know what you think in the comment.

Ingredients:

3 cups of washed fresh raspberries (two small clamshells)
3 tbsp water
3 tbsp whole chia seeds
2 tbsp maple syrup

Combine berries, water and syrup in a small pot and bring to a slow simmer over medium heat. Stir and mash the berries with the back of a fork. Let simmer for two minutes.
Add chia seeds, stir and remove from heat. Pour into a dish or clean jar, let cool and refrigerate covered. If you want a sweeter more traditional tasting jam try adding a little more syrup. We enjoyed it with just two tablespoons, but go with what tastes good to you. The jam takes about two hours to reach “jam like” consistancy in fridge.

This post was sponsored by Metro and all ingredients used in the recipe were purchased there. I only accept sponsorships and collaborations from brands and companies I love and trust, and I always share with my readers when a post is sponsored. In this case I was thrilled to work with Metro to purchase all these healthy summer ingredients and develop this recipe. Hope you enjoy it!

super seedy banana bread

I took my favourite banana bread and pumped it up with chia seeds, hemp hearts and nuts for extra protein and healthy fats. The recipe makes two loaves. Life is busy with two boys and this is my go to breakfast lately. Dashel arrived in April and Oscar is almost 3 years old in June. I’m doing a lot of batch cooking and baking like this to try to stay ahead of the game..or the next meal/snack! The key to freezing muffins or healthy homemade baked goods is to let them cool and freeze in freezer bags the day they are made. Then I quickly warm them in the microwave and breakfast is ready in under a minute and I know it’s healthy. Or keep one loaf and give one away to a friend. The bread freezes well and never lasts very long at our house. I love it with almond butter and a hot cup of tea or coffee for breakfast.

Ingredients:
5 large ripe bananas mashed
2 eggs
1/2 cup melted or room temperature coconut oil
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups flour
2 cups large flake oats
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup hemp hearts
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts

Topping: 2 tbsp sunflower seeds or pepita seeds to sprinkle on top of each loaf before baking

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients in one bowl and wet in another. Combine, but don’t over stir. Grease a loaf pan with coconut oil or canola oil using paper towel. Pour half of the batter into the loaf pan. Sprinkle the seeds on top. I think this looks lovely once it’s baked. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.  You can bake the second loaf right away or do it later, the batter can sit in the fridge. Once the first loaf is done, you can bake the second as a loaf or as muffins. You might only have one loaf pan in your kitchen like me.  I sometimes bake the other loaf as 12 muffins or bake it in the loaf pan later in the day once the kids are in bed. (For muffins increase your oven to 375 degrees.) Also if you’re short on time, you can bake the entire batter as muffins and it makes 24. Enjoy!

no sugar breakfast cookies

no sugar breakfast cookiesI have bought way too many muffins and cookies on our weekend adventures. I was inspired to make a refined sugar-free, yummy, healthy breakfast cookie. I’ve been making these easy breakfast cookies on repeat since nailing the recipe. They’re a great road trip snack or simple breakfast with a coffee when you need to get out the door. Packed with oatmeal, walnuts, coconut and bananas, pretty much all my favourite things and also pantry staples. Sweetened with only a drop of maple syrup and two bananas. Recipe makes 24 small cookies. I will often keep half the batch on the counter and the other dozen in the freezer in bags to grab and go. I often make these with dark chocolate chips + walnuts, or raisins + hemp hearts/chia seeds. I will use regular flour or gluten free (GF) all purpose flour depending on what I have on hand, both work. If you like these cookies you might also enjoy my no sugar banana muffins that follow the same style with no added sugar, but also taste delicious.

no sugar breakfast cookies

Ingredients:
2 ripe bananas mashed (can be previously frozen)
4 tbsp maple syrup
1 egg
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup all purpose  flour (or all purpose GF flour)
1/2 cup almond flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 heaping tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips (or raisins)
1/3 cup chopped walnuts (or hemp hearts or chia seeds or chopped pecans)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheer with parchment paper. Combine all wet ingredients in one bowl. Mix all dry ingredients in another bowl. Combine and stir until just mixed. Scoop teaspoon size balls onto a baking sheet. Bake 13-15 minutes until cookies set and bottoms are lightly brown. My oven takes exactly 13 minutes, and runs hot. Enjoy!

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