Kale & Portobello Breakfast Strata

Again, I’m on the quest for not-sweet breakfast ideas. I wanted to try to make something that wasn’t all that egg-y. I love eggs but breakfast seems to be either sweet or eggs or fruit. That’s it. I figured I’d try to make something not heavy on the eggs, just for a challenge.

This veggie strata isn’t all that authentic – I went light on the eggs and light on the bread. It is really heavy on the kale and mushrooms to make it filling. I liked it, but wouldn’t eat it weekly. I made a ton and froze a few slices once I got tired of it.

Google helped me come up with a name for this. There’s a fine line between quiche (traditionally has crust, more egg than other ingredients) versus frittata (crustless, often has potatoes)  versus strata (crustless, with bread in it).

The Three Bite Rule - Kale & Portobello Strata

Ingredients:

3 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 small onion, chopped
3 cups kale, deveined and chopped
1 pt portobello mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup swiss cheese
3 slices of light wheat bread, cubed
salt & pepper
2 tbs grated Parmesan

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375-degrees.
In a large bowl, add kale and mushrooms.
The Three Bite Rule - Kale & Portobello Strata
Add in the onions, cheese, and bread.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, garlic powder. Add in salt & pepper to taste.
The Three Bite Rule - Breakfast Strata with Kale & Portobello
Add the egg mixture into the veggie mixture, stir well until evenly coated.
Pour the mixture into a large baking dish, sprayed with non-stick spray in a thin even layer. (mine didn’t all fit so I put the remainder into a smaller ramekin.)
Sprinkle with Parmesan.
Bake for 30-minutes.
Let cool and serve a room temperature or slightly warmed.
The Three Bite Rule - Breakfast Strata with Kale & Portobello
This made about 8 very sizable servings for me. It seemed like a ton. There’s only 3 eggs and 3 slices of bread in the 8 servings. It would be an easy way to use whatever veggies you have around. I’m lucky that work not only provides lunch daily but there’s a salad everyday, but who doesn’t need more veggies daily? I liked that it definitely seems different than quiche or eggs. It was good to start the day with a serious serving of veggies for a savory breakfast.

Mushrooms are a great way to bulk up the quantity of food, without adding anything bad. They’re great fillers to meatballs or to make salad more filling or burritos or anywhere to reduce the meat without feeling hungry afterwards.

What else should I whip up for savory but easy breakfast?

Maple Peanut Butter Granola

I cringe every time I see the price of granola at the grocery store. It’s like $4-something per box, and that box is definitely smaller than the Cheerios! I googled around to see if there were any tricks for granola. Turns out, it is just super easy. Wait till you see the price per serving!

I went with peanut butter, maple syrup, salted sunflower seeds, and oats. I was hesitant to use lots of pricey nuts until I figured out cooking times…next time! I loooove all things peanut butter. I got some maple peanut butter for xmas and it wasn’t my favorite brand on it’s own so I thought I’d amp up the maple-ness with it for granola.
The Three Bite Rule - Maple Peanut Butter Granola

I can’t wait to try some other variations. It was the perfect not-too-sweet granola to top coffee greek yogurt!
The Three Bite Rule - Maple Peanut Butter Granola

Ingredients:

1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups oatmeal (not quick cooking)
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup brown sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325-degrees.
Over medium low heat in a small pot, melt peanut butter and maple syrup together. Stir occasionally.

The Three Bite Rule - Maple Peanut Butter Granola
In a large bowl, mix oats, cinnamon, brown sugar, and sunflower seeds.
The Three Bite Rule - Maple Peanut Butter Granola
Add the vanilla into the maple peanut butter and remove from the heat.

The Three Bite Rule - Maple Peanut Butter Granola
Mix the peanut butter mixture into the dry mixture with a spatula. Combine well.

The Three Bite Rule - Maple Peanut Butter Granola
Spread onto a baking pan lined with a baking mat or lined with parchment paper.
The Three Bite Rule - Maple Peanut Butter Granola
Bake for 15-20 minutes. I did 15 minutes and let it cool. (It wasn’t the crunchiest it could be so, I’d bake for 20 minutes next time.)

The Three Bite Rule - Maple Peanut Butter Granola
Let cool completely and break into crumbled chunks. Store in an airtight container.

I love this. I didn’t make a huge batch because I needed to see how it went. Next time I might double it or increase it a bit. I do like the idea making small batches different each time to test ‘em out. The peanut butter with cafe latte Greek yogurt was great. I loved it with coconut and vanilla Greek yogurt too.

The Three Bite Rule - Maple Peanut Butter Granola
It’s pretty good for a sweet treat in addition to breakfast. I’d love some chocolate chunks or mini chips and more nuts next time!

cost breakdown: 
2 cups of old fashioned oats = $0.53
1/2 cup sunflower seeds = $0.42
1/2 cup peanut butter = $0.40
1/2 cup maple syrup (I don’t buy the real stuff) = $0.50
total = $1.85 for about 6 servings or $0.30 per serving.

that’s insane. THIRTY CENTS per serving. annnnd you know what’s in it. It could go up a lot depending on what goes into it. But I’d love walnuts or almonds and a 1/2 cup of those is not going to put this close to a $1 per serving. I think I’m likely to end up with more like 8-10 servings since it’s just a sprinkle onto of my yogurt. Case closed. I’m making my own from now on.

Quiche Lorraine

Let’s chat about breakfast. I loooove weekend brunch but it seems like all quick breakfast items are sweet (yogurt, oatmeal, cereal, muffins), or really doughy (bagels, muffins, toast). I’d be happy with a bagel regularly (#everythingbagelchivecreamcheese), if it were at all nutritionally balanced. My January self-imposed cooking challenge would be savory breakfast.

The Three Bite Rule - Quiche Lorraine

Quiche is super easy to make and I can eat from it for awhile. I figured whipping this up on a weekend would carry me through the week. I dare say I could throw this together in the morning while jumping in the shower when it bakes. It also wouldn’t be crazy to make at night.

It makes a good lunch or dinner item too. This week and last week were busy with work events at night and it is great to come home to a light bite.

Ingredients:

pie dough, defrosted
3 slices of bacon
3 eggs
2 egg yolks
1 cup light cream
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
salt & pepper
10 oz swiss cheese, shredded

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350-degrees.
Fry the bacon until crisp then drain on paper towel and chop.
Whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, cream, mustard, cream of tartar, salt, and pepper.
The Three Bite Rule - Quiche Lorraine
Spray a tart pan, or springform pan, or pie pan with nonstick spray.
Lay the pie dough into the pan pinching together any cracks.
The Three Bite Rule - Quiche Lorraine
Sprinkle in the cheese and bacon onto the crust.
The Three Bite Rule - Quiche Lorraine
Pour in egg mixture.
The Three Bite Rule - Quiche Lorraine
Bake 30-40 minutes at 350-degrees.
Let cool 5-minutes before slicing.
The Three Bite Rule - Quiche Lorraine
It puffs up a little but sets solidly. I really love how simple it is. The bacon flavor and swiss are perfect together. I appreciate the flavors and the subtly of the bacon with the swiss with the mustard. Yum. I used a surprisingly small amount of bacon. It was a good practice of restraint not adding tons of bacon, and just enough to taste it. I think frozen crust rolled up seems significantly better than the pie crust that comes in a tin.

The Three Bite Rule - Quiche Lorraine
I last made quiche a few years ago with a bacon, spinach, and mushroom quiche. Think quiche isn’t your thing? I made Tomato Ricotta Pie that is along the same lines. I like the lightness of quiche and need to make it more often. It doesn’t take any longer than other breakfasts because of the advance prep, I just needed an idea.

Quiche makes for some variety since a usual breakfast for me is yogurt, a smoothie, or an English muffin.

suggested adaptations: 
quiche lorraine + spinach/arugula + tomatoes/onions/mushrooms – bacon = vegetarian quiche
quiche lorraine + smaller pan = deep-dish quiche

Hmmm. I wonder what my next “year of the self-imposed-cooking challenge” should be.

Eggnog French Toast

Today I’m lucky enough to have a snow day! Woohoo! I love snow days now that I don’t have to make them up. We got out early yesterday and are home today. Snow days are so fun to be unproductive and drink hot chocolate all day. Since today feels like a weekend day, I wanted to share with you a brunchy food I made for Christmas Eve breakfast.

To me, eggnog is like spiced up melted vanilla ice cream. I don’t believe people who say they don’t like it. I believe they would like it if they just tried it (I seriously assume they haven’t tried it or maybe not tried it in their adult years). It isn’t something I go around drinking non-stop during the holidays but a sip or two is de-light-ful…just about a 1/4 cup is plenty now and then. I drizzled just a touch into my coffee one morning and was swooning. #genius

The Three Bite Rule - Eggnog French Toast

Those 2-3 sip glasses of eggnog means there’s probably a lot left. Here’s what to do with it: Eggnog Baked French Toast. Ooooo so good! I’d also make eggnog pancakes or eggnog oatmeal. Maybe an eggnog glaze for cinnamon rolls? Love these thoughts! I whipped up this eggnog baked french toast for Christmas Eve breakfast. Mr. J and I hosted Christmas Eve dinner so this such a fun breakfast to make the day feel like a holiday before anyone even arrived to celebrate.

I learned at a young age that this is the good stuff and it only happens once a year so get the real deal. Go get some and make this so you aren’t singing the winter-time blues.
The Three Bite Rule - Eggnog French Toast

Ingredients:

1/2 loaf of crusty bread (like ciabatta or stale french bread), cut into cubes
1 cup eggnog
1 egg
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or a dash each nutmeg, cinnamon, all-spice)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350-degrees.
Whip up eggnog, egg, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla in a large bowl.
The Three Bite Rule - Eggnog French Toast
Add in the cubed bread and stir well.
The Three Bite Rule - Eggnog French Toast
Spray ramekins or a baking dish with non-stick spray before spooning the bread into the baking dish(s).
Pour any remaining liquid from the bottom of the bowl over the top of the filled baking dish(s).
The Three Bite Rule - Eggnog French Toast
Bake covered for 30 minutes.
Uncover, and bake for another 10 minutes.
The Three Bite Rule - Eggnog French Toast

Voila! It was so good. There was that slight hint of wintryness to it but it very mild flavored. I loved it and would have loved an eggnog glaze over the top too. Maybe less eggnog-crazed people would think this was enough flavor.

Baked French Toast is the way to go. It is sooo much easier. A big one people could slice into would be good but individual ones are just so fun.  It saved me from having too much with leftovers. There are enough leftovers during the holidays. This one was just enough. I love the crunchy pieces from the top so I made sure they toasted up.
The Three Bite Rule - Eggnog French Toast
More eggnog leftover? Try eggnog cocoa! Or it would be prettttty amazing in a milkshake or smoothie! Now I wish I had some left! I can’t imagine buying more. I’d have to have a lot of plans for it. Plus I think the nutritionists at work would be horrified and pop out from the grocery dairy cooler. I’m pretty sure it’s a rule you can only buy one per year.

What I Ate: Apple Cider Oatmeal

What I Ate’ is a series of posts for so-easy-this-doesn’t-need-a-recipe but I’m sharing with you for the idea or inspiration.

I was thinking about what could make my oatmeal better. I wanted to amp up the flavor big time. I opened up the fridge and what to my wander eyes did appear, but some apple cider! Normally I stir in some pumpkin butter from a never. ending. jar. This time I figured a different liquid could add some spice to my oatmeal.

Then I’m enjoying my apple cidery oatmeal and browsing through some blogs when I have a total deja vu moment! That very same morning I see that How Sweet It Is wrote about Baked Eggnog Oatmeal. No way! Yes way! It looked amazing. It made me want to put on jammies crawling back into bed to lounge and watch SVU marathons all morning.

Anywho, back to the oatmeal. I literally just replaced the water with apple cider. It would be even better with some chopped up apples, almonds, Craisins or whatever floats your boat.
The Three Bite Rule - Apple Cider Oatmeal
I loved it. I know apple cider is almost out of season, but if they’re still sellin’ it then I’m still buyin’ it, even though it is December.

The Three Bite Rule - Apple Cider Oatmeal
I made a ton and couldn’t finish it. I forgot how filling and how much oatmeal expands. Maybe next time I’ll start with less oatmeal. The flavor was big time, especially for the morning, but you could definitely do 75% cider and 25% water if it was too strong.

Make this for a quick weekend breakfast before you do lots of holiday things. I’m seeing the POPS at Symphony Hall tonight and can’t wait! It might snow a little bit again so that would make for an ideal gift-wrapping-day on Sunday after a holiday party and volunteering on Saturday.

What I Ate: Pumpkin Smoothie

What I Ate’ is a series of posts for so-easy-this-doesn’t-need-a-recipe but I’m sharing with you for the idea or inspiration.

I almost wanted to call this pumpkin pie smoothie, but it is seriously much healthier for you. It only tastes like dessert. It is perfect for fall flavors. I freeze the bananas for smoothies to make it frostier and thicker, but a regular banana would be fine, just not a chilly.
The Three Bite Rule - Pumpkin Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 banana (preferably frozen)
6 oz vanilla Greek yogurt
1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 tbs pumpkin butter (optional)
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or make your own: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice)

Directions:

Add banana, yogurt, pumpkin, pumpkin butter, and pumpkin pie spice in a blender.
The Three Bite Rule - Pumpkin Smoothie
Blend and enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Pumpkin Smoothie
This is so good and tastes like dessert. The pumpkin butter amped up the pumpkin flavor even more, but could definitely be omitted. I use it in oatmeal, on toast, or mixed into yogurt during all-things-pumpkin season.
The Three Bite Rule - Pumpkin Smoothie

  • this recipe – yogurt + ice cream = dessert
  • this recipe + blend with ice + dark rum + rim the glass with graham cracker = cocktail

Does pumpkin-season end after Thanksgiving? What do you think?

What I Ate: Almond Joy Yogurt Parfait

What I Ate’ is a series of posts for so-easy-this-doesn’t-need-a-recipe but I’m sharing with you for the idea or inspiration.

I was thinking about how much I love coconut and wondering how to make a smoothie out of it. Then I decided I’d just dump stuff on my yogurt. When I dump more than one topping onto yogurt it makes it a parfait. “Dump stuff” is so classy, but hey, parfait is suuuuper classy. It makes breakfast fancy! Right? Right!

The Three Bite Rule - Almond Joy Smoothie

Coconut yogurt is the best. I shared my love for it here during a smoothie coconut almond milk. More and more brands are adding coconut to their Greek yogurt repertoire. Love it.

Ingredients:

coconut yogurt (or vanilla)
1/3 cup coconut
1/4 cup almonds (not salted, slivers are good too)
(optional: mini chocolate chips)

Directions:

Put a small skillet on over medium-low heat.
Tranfer the yogurt into a bowl (you need more room than a yogurt cup).
The Three Bite Rule - Almond Joy Smoothie
Add coconut to the dry skillet. Stir regularly as it lightly browns. Watch it to ensure it doesn’t burn.
The Three Bite Rule - Almond Joy Smoothie
Chop the almonds (and toast if desired)
Add the toasted coconut to the yogurt over the top and add the almonds around the edge.
almondjoy_bowl_590_390
It is so good. Toasted coconut makes me want a samoa girl scout cookie. I didn’t roast the almonds but that would be so amazing here. I seriously made this on a weekday for bfast. Toasting the coconut takes 5 minutes and is absolutely worth it. Some chocolate chips would make this legit Almond Joy but it was bfast so I decided not to go crazy.

Aren’t these guys so cute? They’re regular supporters and they felt like their cute mugs should be on the blog more often. Say hi to Windsor!
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Miss Bailee says hello too.
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Pumpkin Bread French Toast

Happy Pumpkin Week! The next few days are going to be PUMPKIN filled featuring some of my pumpkin favs. I hope this pumpkin breakfast makes for a happier Monday. The first few days after daylight savings are always weird. I felt old when I realized that I used to like daylight savings to get more to Saturday night. Now it makes for a longer Sunday.

I’ve shared quickie pumpkin muffins last year. Spice Cake + pumpkin = easy muffins. I believe Weight Watchers suggests this because there’s no eggs, and no oil. I drop in cinnamon chips. I made that into bread using some leftovers into french toast. Craisins or walnuts would be so good in here.
The Three Bite Rule - Pumpkin Bread French Toast

Ingredients:

pumpkin bread (2 slices per person)
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Head griddle to medium heat.
Mix up eggs, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla into a shallow dish.
Dunk pumpkin bread into the liquid mix on both sides.
The Three Bite Rule - Pumpkin Bread French Toast
Cook on the griddle for 3 minutes on each side, flipping once.
The Three Bite Rule - Pumpkin Bread French Toast
Serve with butter and syrup.
The Three Bite Rule - Pumpkin Bread French Toast
I loved this. It was also a really seasonal bfast made of some pumpkin bread that was getting stale. This idea came to me at a local diner which uses banana bread for french toast. This would work with any sweet bread! How great would lemon poppyseed be? Or blueberry pound cake? Yum! It would be easy for a crowd all chopped up as french toast – bread pudding.

Make this for Thanksgiving breakfast. Stay tuned for more pumpkin recipes this week!

Coconut Milk Smoothie

I have many more vacay meals to share but I’m trying to space ‘em out so I don’t lose all my readership on the same day. See that? I’m keeping ya on your toes. You don’t know if you’ll get something delicious or if you’ll just have to endure my delicious European adventure. I’m back to Cali for another event (last one!!!) so a smoothie seems timely for today.

Just add mango and coconut to my smoothie and poof! I think I’m in the Caribbean. I made a smoothie adding coconut, then I saw that Chobani had a new coconut yogurt and I was thinking about coconut milk and it all came together.

coconut_smoothie_590_390

Ingredients:

6 oz coconut Greek yogurt
1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
1/2 cup frozen peaches (or strawberries)
½ cup coconut Almond milk

Directions:

Assemble
coconut_smoothie_cup_590_390
blend & enjoy.
coconut_mango_glass_390_390

I wondered if buying a half gallon carton of almond milk with only smoothies in mind was a waste of money. Mr. J ended up liking it on it’s own and it stays good for longer than regular milk. I also froze some into cubes before one of my trips when I didn’t think it would be used.

We used to drink soy milk occasionally in cereal. I’m not a milk drinker but soy & almond is not the same in cooking, baking, or even drinking it straight. I think they’re great options (higher protein, higher calcium sometimes, lower fat contents, etc). I don’t envision this coconut milk is a flavor anyone wants regularly, but it was so great in smoothies.

Green Smoothie

I did it. I mean, in my defense, what kind of food blogger would I be if I didn’t give a green smoothie a shot and get on that bandwagon finally?
The Three Bite Rule - Green Smoothie

I’ve snuck some spinach into a smoothie before, but I did it with blueberries which hide the green-ness. I think this is more about the color and texture than about the flavor. Let’s be real: raw spinach blended doesn’t give off any huge aggressive flavor. It seems about time to blog about a green smoothie, with spinach, and avocado.

Ingredients:

1 green apple
2 cups fresh spinach
1 small avocado (or ½ of a regular avocado)
1/2 banana, frozen
6 oz greek yogurt
1 tbs honey
⅓ cup milk

Directions:

Blend all the ingredients.
Enjoy!

The Three Bite Rule - Green Smoothie

I liked this green smoothie a lot. It wasn’t as sludge seeming as I’ve heard the green juiced drinks are. I didn’t include any parsley or lemon which bottled green ones often have.

I didn’t feel like I was doing a cleanse detoxing. That scares the beejesus out of me. Do you know people who’ve done it? Bahhh. Yikes. Eeeek. I can’t imagine. I like the idea of detoxing off overly processed foods or striving for as many raw/whole/real foods. I’d rather try to eat more veggies or really, anything other than all liquids.

This smoothie isn’t exactly going to detox you, but the yogurt makes it come together and the milk & honey make it slightly sweet and drink-able. The apple & banana are both sweet and the spinach and avocado are kind of neutral to me. It is for sure a good way to get some more veggies into your day. That’s a plus for everyone.
The Three Bite Rule - Green Smoothie

Avocado – good for fiber & good fat
Spinach – barely any calories, more vitamin A than your usual bfast
Apple – upps your vitamin C & fiber
Banana – Potassium is ideal after an intense workout, or after an evening of drinks.
Greek yogurt – Greek yogurt has about 2x – 3x the protein of regular yogurt and wayyy more protein than just milk would give you, making this smoothie be filling enough for a meal. It’ll help get to your calcium daily suggested amount.

All that being said, I’d do it again. Do I want to juice green things? No thanks.