Egg-Stuffed Baked Potato

I’ve heard it called an “Idaho Sunrise” by a fellow foodie blogger, Our Best Bites.

While I’ve never been to Idaho, I’ve heard the land is beautiful, so I’ll fallaciously correlate that with equally beautiful sunrises and equally wholesome breakfasts. Hey, you’ve got to have a good breakfast, especially if you’re living/ working in Idaho’s rugged terrain.

I really like this recipe idea. A few tips to make it better for you though:

First, use a smaller egg for stuffing or scrape out more of the insides. I used a large egg and it overflowed, making things a bit messy.

Second, season well and consider sprinkling with cheese, salsa, chives, or whatever other toppings you like.

Third, serve warm and allow ample time for the egg to cook all the way through. For a quicker cook, microwave the potato to soften, then stuff with egg and broil on high, checking frequently.

Otherwise, preparing is pretty simple.

Ingredients

1 medium- to large-sized potato

1 egg

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet or ramekin. Set aside.

Wash potato well.

Slice a thin, but not too thin, layer of skin off one side of the potato. Carve out a hole and fill with egg (or stuff with additional toppings on the inside). Do not add toppings to the outside yet because they’ll cook too quickly.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until potato is tender and egg is cooked all the way through.

If you add toppings, you can do so now and bake an additional 3-5 minutes. Or you can broil for a crispier finish.

Garden Veggie Yogurt Dip

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Yogurt, especially Greek yogurt, is so versatile.SAM_4859

I’ve made it into ice cream, mixed it into smoothies, baked it into cakes, whipped it into pancakes, thicken pasta and taco sauces with it, and made more dips with it than I can recall.

Here’s one I really like. If you’ve ever had a craving for a thicker veggie spread for your bagel or chips or raw veggies, this one is really yummy.

And easier than it looks.SAM_4851

Ingredients

1 6-oz. serving of Greek yogurt (plain, non-dairy alternatives work just as well)

2 T finely chopped onions

1 t onion powder

1 T dillSAM_4852

slight dash of garlic powder, pepper, and paprika

Optional mix-in ideas: small carrot shavings, chopped green onions, finely diced red pepper

Directions

Simply remove the cover on the yogurt and begin adding in each ingredient until well blended. Chill about one hour. Transfer to a small serving dish.SAM_4860

Hmm… I wonder what else this could top? I’m open to suggestions.

Une Vanilla-Pear Cupcake

There’s something rare about a pear.

No, really. That rhyme is purposeful, at least in our cultural context.

I think that we Americans, and some Amerikans, too, love our apples. It’s as American as apple… You already know what I’m going to say. And that, I think, proves my point.

But every once in a while, the American diet says “Bon voyage!” to this staple fruit and sets sail for a slightly different fruit alternative, le poire.

Pair that pear with a sweet cream cheese frosting, and you’ve got a winning combination.

Ingredients

3 T spelt or ww flour (or coconut flour for a gluten-free version)

dash of nutmeg and baking powder

2/3 T stevia

fresh lemon zest to taste

splash of vanilla

2 T nondairy milk

1 t organic vanilla yogurt

a few pear slices

Directions

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a muffin tin or silicone muffin cup. Set aside.

-In a small bowl, mix all dry ingredients; then blend in the wet ingredients. You can leave the pear out or you can mash some of the slices up for a very soft, fruit-puree dough.

-Transfer to prepared dish. Bake for about 10 minutes.

-While baking, mix 1 t Neufchatel cream cheese with 1 t stevia and a scant splash of vanilla. Microwave for 5-6 seconds if too thick. Blend until smooth. Set aside.

-Remove finished cupcake. Let cool a bit, and then spread frosting and top with extra pear slices.

Indoors Cookie S’mores

It’s March, and by my standards, still a bit too chilly. But what about March has me excited? The prospect of summer to come and getting back outdoors.

A favorite outdoor treat of mine is the good old-fashioned s’more. Does anyone really dislike the s’more? If so, I’d like to meet them and hear the reasons why.

If you follow this blog, you know I’ve tried s’mores 101 different ways: frozen, baked, as whoopie pies, etc. But here’s just one more for the adventurous sweet tooth who’s not quite ready to make one while camping, but would love to enjoy a “healthified” version while wondering the great indoors.

Ingredients

1 graham cracker sheet (I like Back to Nature’s version)

1 mini bar of Hershey’s chocolate (dark chocolate preferred)

3 T white-whole wheat or spelt flour

1/2 T stevia

dash of cinnamon and baking soda

optional: dash of salt and brown sugar (I omitted and thought they tasted just fine)

2 T nondairy milk

1 t coconut oil

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Break graham cracker sheet into two pieces and place on cookie sheet. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine all dry ingredients, then mix in milk and oil ’til well blended. If you have the time, refrigerate for a few minutes.

Place a dollop of the cookie batter on each graham cracker. You may have enough leftover for one good-sized sugar cookie, too. Bake for about 6-7 minutes or until the cookie dough is baked to your liking.

I can tell you that I let mine underbake a bit. I like this better because it then tastes gooey-er, like a traditional s’more, and since there aren’t any eggs required you don’t have to worry about food poisoning.

Also, you may want to bake your chocolate in the oven, or press into warm cookies as they come out. Again, either way works, it’s just a matter of personal preference. I’ve tried both and enjoyed both results.

Instant Deep-Dish Oatmeal Cookie

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A lot of you say you read my recipes but never actually try them because it looks like they take too long to make. I often get told, “Yes, that sounds healthy and delicious, but why would I want to make just one? I’d make a whole batch instead… I don’t like getting all those ingredients for one little treat… Too much work… I’m tired…”SAM_4890

I’m not going to say those are excuses in my book, but I will give you a no-excuses recipe I think you’ll like. But first, a few reasons:

1. Do it for your bank account! Single servings save you money.

2. Do it because few leftovers are ever as good as their original selves.

3. Do it to save resources. How much of the materials and ingredients used to make multiple-serving recipes just end up stale and in the trash?SAM_4483

4. Do it for portion control. The one Americans understand the least.

5. Do it because it’s fun! I love to experiment with cooking/ baking, and single-serving recipes let me try lots of new types of cuisine. Some fail. Some are delicious.

On to the super simple deep-dish cookie…

Ready for this?

IngredientsSAM_4493

1 packet of oatmeal

1-2 T almond milk (or regular milk or yogurt)

optional: dash of baking powder, vanilla

and whatever mix-ins you like (I like cinnamon + peanut butter, and chocolate chips on top)

Directions

Empty out the oatmeal into a microwave-safe dish. Mix in milk or other substitute (you should add in about half of whatever the oatmeal directions specify so it’s not runny.SAM_4888

Mix well, but again, make sure it stays firm and wet, not soupy. If you’re not feeling too lazy, you can add in the dash of baking powder and vanilla. Top with whatever mix-ins you like. Microwave as directed. If not completely firmed up like a cookie, press sides together with the side of a spoon and microwave a tad longer or pop it into the broiler for a crispier finish.

It’s essentially like some of my baked oatmeal recipes and it’s delicious.

So, no excuses! Try it. I dare your lazy bones… šŸ˜‰

Sunrise Tortilla Egg Bowls

Want a breakfast that’s as bright as you are in the morning?

Okay, maybe you’re not as alert and enthusiastic as I am in the mornings–which I think frightened the poor students in my 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. sections of English 250–but your morning could be a lot brighter with this very simple tortilla bowl recipe.

Ingredients

1 whole-grain tortilla

cooking spray or vegan butter

3 egg whites

1 T non-dairy milk

desired spices for eggs (I always use cumin, plus dried cilantro and paprika this time)

sprinkle cheese of your choice

optional: salsa

Directions

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a muffin tin. Set aside.

-Heat a small frying pan to medium heat for a few minutes. Prepare eggs and milk and spices in a small bowl, mixing well. Once pan is hot, coat with a little cooking spray and begin scrambling eggs.

-Meanwhile, make the tortilla bowls by cutting the tortilla into three evenly sized triangles. I used Ā a pizza cutter for smooth edges. Press into muffin tin, folding as necessary to fit.

-Once eggs are nearly finished, start transferring to tortilla bowls. Distribute scrambled eggs evenly, and top with cheese and salsa, if you like. I also sprinkled the dried cilantro and paprika on top for a little color.

-Bake for 6-8 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the tortilla edges have started to crisp. Let stand and cool a few minutes before serving. Serve warm.

Easy Caprese Skewers

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So quick.

So easy.

And yet, still so darling.

When I didn’t know what to bring to a writing center meeting last fall, I remembered those fancy little caprese skewers on Pinterest. They pop up all the time, but I can’t help but wonder if anyone ever makes them? They look easy enough. But I imagine that the caprese skewers, like so many other popular pins, are pinned and forgotten.

But I remembered. And I wanted to try.SAM_3610

Ingredients

Mozzarella, fresh preferred

1 carton of grape tomatoes

balsamic vinegar for dressing the skewers

fresh herbs to garnish

Directions

Not exactly rocket science on this part either. Just skewer–in whatever order or pattern or amount you like–drizzle with balsamic, and serve on something cute. (Great-tasting food is always 50% presentation.)

A bright, healthful addition to any potluck, and as always, my co-workers thanked me for bringing something fresh to the table. It’s always a pleasure to hear that.

Sweet-On-You Valentine’s Fruit Skewers

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So you can put any kind of fruit on any kind of skewer, chill it, and it will add a lovely, bright touch to any potluck.SAM_4897

Or you can bring out your inner-Martha side and pick fruits you can shape. Melons are great for this.

As you can see, I had a Valentine’s Day potluck for my writing center. Wanting to deliver a healthy treat, I picked the reds (no, not wine, strawberries!!) and used a heart-shaped cookie cutter to shape the pinks (watermelon, not kisses).

They were pretty adorable.SAM_4893

And they must have been good because I didn’t even get to try one. They were gone in a flash, and that just proves my theory on presentation and my theory on healthy choices. On presentation, that’s 50% of a good dish. On healthy choices, I don’t care when anyone grumbles, they always reach for it and appreciate it.SAM_4896

Deux Dark-Chocolate-Stuffed Crescents

In the spirit of all things faux-French, I had a rich and chocolate-y strike of insight…

Take new beloved pastry dough recipe. Fill with my favorite ingredient: dark chocolate.

If you remember my Healthified Pop Tarts recipe, you remember how impressed I was with the consistency and melt-in-your-mouth goodness of the dough.

I contemplated a chocolate-stuffed pop tart, but where’s the challenge in that? It would have been practically the same. So if you want a chocolate-filled pop tart, simply follow the recipe below and fill as you please.

But if you want to take a culinary trip abroad (well, sort of), try the same recipe with the following modifications:

1. Roll out dough and form into two triangles.

2. Use a pizza cutter to remove rough edges.

3. Place chocolate of choice on top of the triangles, keeping the chips a half inch or so from the sides.

4. Roll into crescents and lose yourself in some French folk music while you bake.

Recipe For Pastry Dough:

  • 1 T + 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 t baking stevia
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 t plain Chobani Greek Yogurt
  • 1.5 t vegan butter, diced at refrigerator temp.
  • 1.5 Ā T non-dairy milk
Directions:
  1. In a mixer combine flours, Stevia, and salt.
  2. Slowly add in milk and Chobani
  3. Beat in butter until thick. (You may have to add more flour if your butter is warm)
  4. Roll up dough and wrap it with plastic wrap.
  5. Place inĀ refrigeratorĀ until ready to use.
  6. After all the fillings are prepared take the dough out of theĀ refrigeratorĀ and roll out into a thin crust. Cut into 2x2in squares. Before you stack the dough make sure to sprinkle with flour to prevent sticking.
  7. Lay a sheet of wax paper onto a baking sheet and spray with Pam. Lay twelve of the dough sheets onto the pan. Add the fillings on top.
  8. Take the tips of the fork and press down the edges. Working with this dough is kind of like working with clay. The score marks will help the sides stick.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees for 7-8 minutes. Remove when the pastries are golden brown.

Hotcake Hearts Bar & Muffins

“Only boring people get bored.” quoth Ruth Burke.

I’m always looking for a new and crazy recipe inspiration, something odd and out there, and this is because I get bored easily with the most commonplace dishes that make up the American diet.

Does this mean I’m boring?

Or does the pursuit of new baking ideas make me an innovator? The antilogoi to boring?

Did you ever think food preparation could be so philosophical?

I did and do. Just read my “Philosophies & Such” page.

Or make this warm brunch treat and see what you can learn about yourself.

Makes 1 big hotcake heart or 6-7 mini muffins.

Ingredients

3 T nondairy milk

1/2 T melted vegan butter or applesauce

1/4 large egg or flax egg, mixed

1/2 T stevia

1/4 cup spelt or white whole wheat flour

dash of baking powder

splash of vanilla

optional: dash of salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease whatever pan you’d like to bake in. Set aside.

In a small bowl, mix all dry ingredients. Then blend in wet.

Transfer to prepared dish and bake for 6-7 minutes for mini muffins, 10-12 for the hotcake heart.

Serve warm and top with whatever you like. Pure maple syrup is delicious, but so is my favorite cream cheese frosting.