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It's Not Just Popcorn!

Who Doesn’t Love Tater-tots Breakfast Casserole

I’ve made this recipe twice now and I tweaked it even more from the original recipe from Kraft. Made it better! And sorry, it’s not low-calorie, but come on, its got tater-tots in it! Or as they are sometimes called potato tots, potato puffs, etc. I have used Great Value brand and Aldi’s brand. Both came out amazing! The pictures are from the first time I made it, since I forgot to take pics the second time. It was Super Bowl Monday the 2nd time and it sure hit the spot that morning!

First time I made it I forgot to cover it when I baked it, still came out good but it needs to be covered. Omg, sooooo incredibly delicious! It can definitely be prepared the night before and then baked in the morning. For the sausage I use whatever type of sausage I have in the house. Usually some kind of chicken sausage. I’ve used the italian style and it’s fine. the original recipe also called for 2.5 ounces of bacon! HA! I used a whole pound. Also the original called for a 10.5 ounce can of cream of potato soup. The store was out of it when I went so I used the big “family” size can. I think it’s like 23 ounces. I used it all! Makes it much creamier.

This recipe is so simple to make. You will NOT be disappointed!

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 pound cooked ground sausage

4 large eggs, scrambled

1 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled

2 tablespoons finely chopped onion

3 1/2 cups thawed tater tots (any brand will be fine!)

1 family size (23 oz) can cream of potato soup (any brand is fine)

1 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp black pepper

1 cup sharp shredded cheddar cheese, divided in half.(use more if you wish!)

Sour cream for top if desired

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, except for 1/2 cup of the cheddar cheese.
  2. Pour into a large casserole dish making sure it’s all distributed evenly.
  3. Cover and bake for 35 minutes at 350°.
  4. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese and bake uncovered another 5 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly!
  5. Serve hot! If you want, add a dollop of sour cream to each serving.

 

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Banana Pumpkin Pancakes

I originally found this recipe in Cooking Light Magazine but it was just for banana pancakes. I kicked it up a few notches and made it mine! They are not your normal run of the mill pancakes, they’re a bit more on the rich and custard side but so good, and filling! Loaded with protein also, and when you add the pumpkin more fiber! Easy to make and super easy to eat! I’m not normally a breakfast person but these pancakes are a hit. You can add other items or topper to them but we just added butter and syrup. I also of course forgot to take pics so these are generic pancakes. Similar to the size of what I made. This recipe made about 10 pancakes.

pancakes

Ingredients:

3 medium ripe bananas (we had so many bananas in the freezer that had just gotten too ripe and they worked perfect in this recipe. Just make sure they’re thawed out before using)

6 tablespoons whole-wheat flour

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

½ cup canned pumpkin

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

½-¾ cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

  1.  Mash the bananas with a fork until smooth. Add the pumpkin, flour, pumpkin pie spice and eggs, whisk well.
  2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, or an electric skillet. I used a rectangular electric skillet so I could make more at once.
  3. Spoon/pour batter onto hot skillet into medium size pancakes. Cook 2 minutes or until tops are covered with bubbles and edges are cooked.
  4. Carefully flip the pancakes and cook another 1-2 minutes until done. They will be a little thicker than normal pancakes and this is fine. They’re kinda like french toast pancakes.
  5. Serve hot with your favorite topping!
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Bloody Mary Breakfast Bake

Well being back at work after 18 months is beyond exhausting. The main thing is I am now in an office job! Haven’t had an office job for 7 years! I LOVED my last job, I worked from home on my schedule. It was wonderful. But alas, our economy had other ideas. Either way I am now in my first week back and I’m so tired every night I barely have time to read emails. I am going to do my best to get the blog done without fail though. I’m sure once I get back in a routine I will be fine. But till then please bear with me! Thanks.

Ok, this recipe I found in a Rachael Ray magazine but it’s also a recipe from CorningWare. I have not made this yet but it looks pretty easy and I plan to do this next time I have brunch or company stay over on the weekend. I love a good Bloody Mary so this sounded intriguing. No there is no vodka in it but that doesn’t mean you can’t make an actual Bloody Mary to go with it!  It’s an easy recipe so give it a try. I will swap out the photo once I make it myself! The recipe says to use a 1.5 quart square casserole but you can use a longer one also.

Photo is for illustrative purposes only

INGREDIENTS:

8 slices soft light white sandwich bread, crusts removed

3 cups shredded pepper jack cheese

9 large eggs (or egg substitute 2¼ cups)

2 cups low-milk or fat-free half-and-half

½ teaspoon celery salt

1 jar salsa (16 ounces), your choice

DIRECTIONS:

1. Grease a 1.5 quart square casserole dish. Arrange 2½ slices of bread in the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle 1/3 cup shredded cheese on top and cover with another 2½ slices of bread.

2. Layer on another 1/3 cup shredded cheese and top with the final 3 pieces of bread.

3. In a medium bowl, beat eggs, milk and celery salt. Pour over the bread layer; let stand.

4. Bake in a 375º oven for 40-45 minutes, then cover with salsa, sprinkle with remaining pepper jack cheese and bake for 5 minutes more.

5. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 12

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Blueberry Pancakes

Every so often we get that craving for pancakes on the weekend. But trying to watch the carb and calorie intake makes it tough. This recipe only has 4 grams of carbs per serving! No joke. And they are actually very good! I know many of us have tried the “Atkins” pancake mix, or other low-calorie low carb mix over the years and they were all just a little on the bland side. Not this recipe, which I got from “George Stella’s Livin’ Low Carb” book. I actually use this cookbook quite a lot. This coming from a true carb hound. The recipes are great! This recipe I actually had all the ingredients so we tried them out. It actually calls for heavy cream and I didn’t have any so we used half-and-half instead and it was great. The other minor ingredient I actually did not have on hand was baking powder! So I found my ‘substitution’ chart and made my own! Just combine ½ teaspoon cream of tartar and ¼ teaspoon of baking soda. Voila, baking powder. And since I only needed ¼ teaspoon of baking powder it was perfect. Also, usually we have the sugar-free syrup in the house for the pancakes and waffles we sometimes have, but this time we used the amber agave nectar!

Delicious and so much better for you! We also have the light one as well. Found it cheap at Marshall’s! Go figure!

INGREDIENTS:

Cooking spray or butter (for pan)

2 large eggs

½ cup heavy cream (I used half-and-half and it was fine)

¼ cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup soy flour

2 tablespoons sugar substitute (Splenda recommended)

1 tablespoon wheat or oat bran (I used wheat)

¼ teaspoon baking powder

½ cup fresh or frozen(thawed) blueberries

DIRECTIONS:

1. Grease a griddle or large skillet with cooking spray or butter and heat over medium heat for at least 5 minutes. The griddle should be very hot so that the pancakes don’t stick.

2. Mix all the ingredients except for the blueberries in a blender or food processor for about 15 seconds. Stop and scrape the sides and mix for another 15 seconds until well blended.

3. Pour about 12 little cakes onto the hot griddle (they should be about the size of the bottom of a soda can). Wait for the pancakes to bubble and then sprinkle with a few blueberries on each of them. Cook for a little longer, then flip with a spatula and cook for a few more minutes, until both sides are slightly browned. Serve hot with melted butter and syrup of your choice! You may have to do this in a couple batches.

Makes about 12 small pancakes. You can use other berries also just make sure you cut them up small enough to about the size of the blueberries.

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Mediterranean Omelette

Last Sunday I started out making a Greek omelette then I added a few Italian ingredients and changed the name to Mediterranean Omelette. I used real eggs in this but you can, as always, use an egg substitute. Usually on the weekends I make egg salad for John but he likes it warm (yuck) and I like it cold. So this past weekend I decided to make a large omelette we could share. It was so good I wanted more. And I am not a breakfast person! Though the gyro omelettes we had in St. Augustine at Athena’s Greek Restaurant were incredible! Nothing like it anywhere! Ok I digress…This omelette was nice and easy and since we both liked all the ingredients I could make it in one pan and just split it.

INGREDIENTS:

4 large eggs

½ cup fat-free half and half

½ cup chopped frozen spinach, thawed and drained

1/3 cup red onion, chopped small

1/3 cup tomato, chopped small

1 clove garlic, chopped fine

1 teaspoon fresh basil chopped/torn

¼ teaspoon dried oregano

½ cup Light Feta Cheese (crumbled)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon butter/butter substitute

DIRECTIONS:

1. Beat the eggs and half and half till light and fluffy. Set aside.

2. Heat a medium skillet  and add butter and olive oil. Melt on medium heat till a little bubbly.

3. Add the onion and sauté till soft. (A few minutes) Add garlic and sauté a few more minutes.

4. Add the spinach and stir well into the onion and garlic, till warm. (a few minutes)

5. Add the egg mixture. Add the tomato and stir well.

6. Cook the eggs, letting the liquid run to the edges, constantly pulling edges away till almost all liquid is dry. Add the basil and oregano and feta cheese.

7. Gently fold over half the omelette and press gently to seal. If you wish to flip it go ahead, but this is a large omelette and it may be hard to do.

8. Cut in half and serve!

Serves 2

DON’T FORGET MY WEBSITE!!! www.cucinadiandrea.com

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Chicken Egg Foo Young

Egg Foo Young is a really good chinese dish. But I know how high in calories it can be so I usually stay away from it. My husband loves it too and usually gets the pork variety. This recipe can be made with pork, chicken, ham, or shrimp. Pretty much any protein you want to put in will work just fine. I took parts of this recipe from a Rachael Ray recipe as well as another recipe I had found. I left out what I didn’t like (yes, peppers! Eww…) and added my own touch. Another high calorie part of this recipe can be the sauce. Not in this recipe. There are a lot of ingredients and it does look daunting but give it a try. It’s not difficult and it will taste incredible! And it looks so good doesn’t it! If there are any leftovers they make a great breakfast too!

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups of egg substitute (I use the plain but you can substitute a flavored one if you like. )

1 cup chopped cooked chicken (leftover chicken is great for this)

1 cup fresh bean sprouts (A few big handfuls is good)

½ cup shredded carrots

¼ pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced (I used canned because the fresh were too expensive)

1 cup baby bok choy, shredded

1 8-ounce can water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped

1 bunch scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced on an angle

1 inch fresh ginger root, peeled and grated, plus 2 thin slices

2 large cloves garlic, grated or minced

salt and pepper

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 cup fat-free chicken stock or broth

¼ cup tamari (aged soy sauce, use regular low-sodium if you can’t find)

1 teaspoon hot sauce (more if you like a spicier sauce)


DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat a griddle pan over medium heat and brush it with some olive oil.

2. In a large mixing bowl pour in the egg beaters, chicken, bean sprouts, carrots, mushrooms, bok choy, water chestnuts, scallions, grated ginger and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and mix until completely combined.

3. Using a large mixing spoon, drop about ½ cup of the mixture onto the preheated and oiled griddle. Cook the pancakes about 2-3 minutes on each side,until golden. (Careful flipping them, it’s a little tricky. Well it was for me anyway!)

4. In the meantime, combine the cornstarch with a splash of chicken broth/stock to dissolve it. Place the rest of the stock/broth, tamari, cornstarch, hot sauce and sliced ginger in a small pot. Bring to a boil and stir until thickened for about 3 minutes or until you can coat a spoon with it. Remove the sliced ginger and remove from heat.

5. Serve 2 pancakes per person with gravy poured over the top.

Serves 4

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