Friendly Food Snobs

breakfast

tomato + zucchini baked egg shakshuka

IMG_4561shakshuka

Tomatoes, zucchini, garlic and feta – maybe some of my favourite flavours ever. Shakshuka hails as a breakfast dish in the Middle East, but I often make it for weeknight suppers or late lunch on Sunday afternoons.

It cooks in one pan, and we sometimes have fresh bread from the market on Saturdays to scoop it all up with. Other wins? Shakshuka cooks in one pan, is meatless and loaded with veggies and protein from those eggs. Can you tell I have gone back to work with the cooks-in-one-pan business? Life’s full of big beautiful feelings with my boy now in daycare and it’s BUSY. Three of out four meals I am cooking these days cook in one pot or pan i.e.: soups, frittatas and dishes like this one. Okay enough about me, back to the recipe! I used tomatoes and zucchinis, but you can easily substitute any veggie your family likes. Red peppers, mushrooms or spinach all work. I’ll often make this on Sunday and enjoy it Monday for lunch, it’s one of those dishes that reheats well the next day too. Recipe makes four servings when paired with a green salad or fresh bread.

tomato + zucchini baked egg shakshuka

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion sliced into half moons
2 cloves garlic chopped
2 small or 1 large zucchini sliced into half moons
2 tomatoes diced
1 and 1/2 cups canned tomatoes or leftover tomato sauce
4 eggs
handful feta
chopped flat leaf parsley for garnish (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat olive oil in an oven proof pan (like a cast iron) on the stove top. Add onion and salt and pepper. Saute onion on low-medium heat until fragrant, approximately 5-10 minutes. Add the garlic, zucchini and fresh tomatoes and paprika and cumin. Cook for an additional 10 minutes until the tomatoes begin to break down and zucchini lightly browns.

Add canned tomatoes or leftover tomato sauce scrapping up any bits that are sticking. I almost always use leftover marinara-style tomato sauce which I usually have hanging around in my fridge or freezer. This has some basil and oregano already in it, so feel free check the seasoning and add a pinch of each and some extra salt and pepper if using canned tomatoes. If they are whole canned tomatoes, break them up a bit with your hands as you add them. Cook and stir occasionally until canned tomatoes warm. Lastly, using a wooden spoon push back the sauce and veggies creating an empty space in the pan for each egg. Break the eggs (I use a bowl in case of shells) one by one and add in. Transfer pan to the oven. Sprinkle feta on top. Bake for 5-10 minutes based on how well done you want your eggs. With a little toddler eating this at my house I veer more towards the 10 min mark. Serve straight from the oven topped with parsley and dive in.

no sugar banana muffins

no sugar banana muffinsno sugar banana muffins

no sugar banana muffinsHeading on a road trip to the beach and baked these muffins up to nibble on, because trip snacks are half the fun right? In other news, also heading back to work in two weeks and hoping a freezer stocked with these will ease what will soon be very busy weekday mornings. I like big life events that I can prepare [read: cook/bake] for.

This recipe came about as I cruised the kids aisle at the grocery store and found all the snack items to have sugar listed in the top ingredients. I am trying to avoid giving any to our 13 month old. Not entirely, just not on a routine basis. So I whipped these up (I think the photos are from the fourth batch I’ve made this summer) and skipped adding any sugar or maple syrup and don’t even miss it!

Naturally sweet bananas and dates work so well together. Feel free to throw in some chocolate chips if you like but we thought these were pretty delicious as is.

Recipe makes 12 muffins. Topping one with almond butter is my favourite breakfast this week. Wishing you happy summer adventures big and small.

no sugar banana muffins

1 cup oats
3/4 cup flour (or gluten free alternative)
1 + 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 + 1/2 teaspoon baking powder (use 2 tsp if using gluten free flour)
1/2 tsp salt
5 dates pits removed and chopped into small chunks OR raisins
1/2 cup walnuts chopped OR shredded coconut to be nut free)
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 ripe bananas peeled and mashed
1 egg
1/3 cup melted coconut oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix wet and dry ingredients in two separate bowls. Combine them being careful not to over mix. Batter should be lumpy. Use muffin liners, or lightly grease the muffin pan with coconut oil or non stick spray and scoop out batter, filling each cup about 2/3 full.

I bake these for exactly 17 minutes in my oven (which runs hot) and they come out perfect every time. Bake until a knife comes out clean and tops are slightly golden. Let muffins cool for a few minutes in pan before removing.

sweet potato smoothie bowl

smoothie bowlI’m devouring this smoothie bowl as I type and it’s amazing. Slightly sweet and so satisfying. It feels a bit more mindful to eat from a bowl and spoon, rather than chug a smoothie straight from the glass, right?

Summer always feels busy. Our little man is turning 1 in a week, barbecues with family and friends are in full swing, and I am loving the last months of my maternity leave spending a lot of time at the park and local splash pad or cuddled up at home with my babe. I try to incorporate veggies in my breakfast and needed a break from green smoothies. This was a perfect change of pace.

A few tips for this recipe, boil your sweet potatoes the night before and this smoothie bowl comes together in a flash. I just stick them in the fridge cooked and whole and peel them quickly before I toss them in the blender. I added pepita seeds and shredded unsweetened coconut, but chia seeds and any nuts would be delicious. Makes enough for two small smoothie bowls, or one very hungry one!

sweet potato smoothie bowl

Ingredients:
1 pitted date
1 frozen banana
2 small organic sweet potatoes boiled and peeled (or 1 large)
1/2 milk of your choice
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
pinch sea salt
1 scoop protein powder
Suggested toppings: shredded coconut, chia seeds, pepita seeds

Combine all ingredients in blender and blitz until smooth.

slow cooker steel cut oats + musings about motherhood

slow cooker steel cut oatsEight months into motherhood and what have I learned? Be okay with unfinished. Nothing is going to be perfect. Ride the wave. And if I am still wiped? My mom taught me to quietly whisper to myself “this too shall pass”. And it’s so true. The weeks and months swim by and old challenges become new triumphs. It’s still dark in the mornings when we wake here in Toronto. Neil is running out the door after an early morning play session with Oscar and I am still nursing in the night so knowing that breakfast is made makes the day feel great. This recipe has been saving us of late. Steel cut oats are a commitment, as they take much longer to cook than oats but they are packed with protein and keep you feeling full longer.  I put a batch in the slow cooker Sunday afternoon. It’s foolproof and ready in 2 hours with minimal effort. I store in a container in the fridge and we have breakfast for a few days.

Slow cooker steel cut oats

Ingredients:
1 cup steel cut oats
pinch sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
4 cups water
1 tbsp coconut oil

Coat inside of the slow cooker generously with coconut oil. Leaving any leftover chunks in there. Combine remaining ingredients and cook on high for 2 hours, stirring once, or on low for 6 hours. Top and enjoy with more cinnamon, milk, banana slices, almond butter, raisins, dates, walnuts, maple syrup, goji berries, anything you have on hand. Recipe makes four servings and keeps well in the fridge for about a week. Wishing you happy mornings!

baked oatmeal bars

Oatmeal, cinnamon, bananas and berries. Humble, and so satisfying. I’ve been devouring these oatmeal bars after being up in the night with our four month old son Oscar. (Oats are great for nursing!) These bars are simple to make and I’ve even served them as a make-ahead breakfast for overnight guests.  Recipe makes 10 servings, but you can easily half it. I’ve also packaged and frozen these individually and they still taste delicious.

baked oatmeal bars

Ingredients:
4 ripe bananas cut into slices
2 cups thawed and drained frozen blueberries or mixed berries (can also use fresh)
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 cups large flake oats
1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups milk
2 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla
coconut oil for greasing baking dish

Heat oven to 350 degrees and generously grease a 9 x 13 (or similar size) baking dish with coconut oil. Layer the bananas, then half of the berries. Bake for 20 minutes. In a separate bowl mix the oats, salt, cinnamon and baking powder. Pour over the bananas, gently pressing down with your hands. Then combine the milk, maple syrup, eggs and vanilla and pour over the oats and bananas. Sprinkle remaining berries and walnuts on top and bake for 35-40 minutes until top is golden brown. Let cool, slice into desired slices and enjoy!

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