Smoky Brussels Sprout and Sweet Potato Breakfast Skillet

Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potato Breakfast Skillet // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Breakfast is a hallowed time in our home. Not brunch…breakfast. I primarily blame my husband for this tradition. He isn’t one for typical traditions but when it comes to breakfast on the weekend, it is sacred, it has to be from a skillet, and it happens before 9AM.  He was the crazy friend in college that would wake up one too many friends knocking on their door at 7 AM saying “it’s BREAKFAST TIME”.

AT SEVEN AM…

in COLLEGE. uuuuuh.

God bless him.

But now that we are in our mid-thirties, 7 AM is not that early to me anymore. My hubby still wakes up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (ugh) on Saturday or Sunday morning and says, “It’s BREAKFAST TIME”.  Usually there is a dance that goes with this statement as he pulls out his most prized flea-market find, an old Griswold cast iron skillet that he lugged back from MARFA, TEXAS on a PLANE.

God bless him.

Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potato Breakfast Skillet // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potato Breakfast Skillet // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Sunday mornings in our home consist of putting on a record, firing up the cast iron skillet, and brewing a pot of coffee. Currently, I have Sturgill Simpson on repeat and this Brussels Sprout and Sweet Potato Breakfast Skillet heating up. This breakfast skillet is similar to a breakfast hash that I get at my favorite breakfast spot in KC called Urban Table. There is something about getting breakfast served to you in a skillet, am I right?

Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potato Breakfast Skillet // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

I love the flavors of this breakfast with the smokey bacon, seared brussels sprouts, caramelized onions, and sweet potatoes.  I season the whole shabang with a spicy kick from the chipotle powder and smoked paprika, adding to the smokiness of the bacon.

Oh and a few cook’s notes –

1. Be sure to dice your sweet potatoes rather small so that they cook all the way through quickly.

2. If your brussels sprouts are humongous, just quarter them. Basically you want them to be just a bit larger than the sweet potatoes because the brussels sprouts will cook faster than the sweet potatoes. Cooking pieces that are slightly larger will allow them to be done at about the same time.

3. If you are serving this to tiny tots or people with a spice intolerance, I would hold off on the chipotle powder and use chili powder or nothing.  Chipotle powder is quite spicy.

4. To finish the whole thing off, cook the eggs separately to each persons desired consistency.  I love my eggs either poached or sunny side up, but the Breakfast Man likes over-easy eggs.

5. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, cry yourself to sleep and hope that santa brings you one. But never fear, you can make this in a regular skillet OR you could even roast your veggies (tossed with olive oil) in a 450F preheated oven for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking time.

Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potato Breakfast Skillet // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

So throw on some warm socks, brew a pot of coffee, and pull out your skillet. BECAUSE IT IS BREAKFAST TIME!!!!!

Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potato Breakfast Skillet

  • Servings: 2 to 4
  • Difficulty: Easy/Medium
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 slices of smoky thick cut bacon, sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced thin
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced into 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup of small brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 1/8 teaspoon chipotle powder (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 to 4 large eggs
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Add bacon and cook until the fat is rendered and the pieces are just crisp (not burned!). Remove the bacon slices using a slotted spoon and place on a paper-towel lined plate to drain.
  2. Reduce the heat under the skillet, add the sliced, sweet potato cubes, and halved brussels sprouts and stir to coat with the bacon grease. Cook for about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring often, until the sweet potato has softened. Add bacon and spices to the veggie skillet and stir to coat. Turn off heat.
  3. In a separate skillet, poach or fry eggs to desired consistency. Spoon out portions of the brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes onto separate plates and top with eggs.

Cook’s Notes

1. Adapted from my favorite breakfast at Urban Table and How Sweet Eats’ Brussels Sprouts Breakfast Hash.

2. This dish serves 2 GENEROUSLY or 4 smaller portions. If serving a crowd, serve with a fruit salad.

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Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread

Gluten Free and Dairy Free Pumpkin Bread // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

I was an only child until I was almost 11 years old. Then came my brother…and then a sister four years later. And then… four years later my mom asked me “Do you want another brother or another sister?” and my unfortunate response was “Neither”.

But despite my lack of enthusiasm…sixteen years ago today, my youngest sister was born. I was in college.  In the midst of college finals and stress and sleepless nights, I had just gained a new sister. I went home for Christmas break and stayed up all night with my newborn sister, watching 24-hours of Christmas Story over and over and over so that my mom could get some sleep.

And that’s when I fell in love with that little bundle of joy. I was so happy to have her in my life.

She was so tiny, so beautiful, so new.

And so LOUD! Holy crap.That kid could cry!

Newborns.

Yikes. Talk about insta-birth control for a college kid. Ovaries on shutdown mode. Thanks!

Gluten Free and Dairy Free Pumpkin Bread // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Gluten Free and Dairy Free Pumpkin Bread // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Over the years, watching her grow up has been amazing. She is a talented young girl who is super creative and has the biggest heart. I was always worried that the age difference between the two of us would be hard to stay close. When I moved away 6 years ago, it killed me to know that I wouldn’t be able to go to her sports games or see her get awards or be there for her birthdays. I was missing out on all those little moments.

Gluten Free and Dairy Free Pumpkin Bread // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

I was really lucky this past weekend because I was able to see her and my other sister and brother for Thanksgiving! I couldn’t get enough.

I whipped up a double batch of this pumpkin bread and took it to Thanksgiving for breakfast since pumpkin is one of her favorite flavors. It is moist, light, fragrant, and nutritious! Aaaaand did I mention that it was gluten free and dairy free? Double bonus.  But seriously, friends, I was blown away by how perfect this pumpkin bread turned out.  It uses only two flours: oat flour and almond flour.  Arrowroot powder is also used to keep the loaf from being too dense. It is simply amazing.

Gluten Free and Dairy Free Pumpkin Bread // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

This recipe makes a double batch which is super helpful during the holidays. You can always give a loaf away to a friend as a gift, or wrap it up tightly and freeze it for later. I promise that you WON’T regret having two loaves.

So Haaaaaappy Birthday to my lovely and beautiful little sister. I am so glad that you were born, because I gained a sister and a friend. Hope you have a wonderful day!

Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread (Gluten Free and Dairy Free)

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Makes 2 loaves

Ingredients

  • 2 cups gluten free oat flour*
  • 1 cup gluten free rolled oats
  • 1 cup almond flour*
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • one 15oz can of pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filing)
  • 6 tablespoons melted coconut oil or butter
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Prepare loaf bans by applying butter and then set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients (oat flour through nutmeg). Whisk to combine.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, whisk eggs and maple syrup until slightly frothy. Stir in vanilla, canned pumpkin, and melted coconut oil (or butter). Gradually add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir to combine. Stir in 3/4-cup of pecans into batter.
  4. Transfer batter to the loaf pans and smooth the tops with the back of the spoon. Sprinkle remaining 1/4-cup of pecans and coconut palm sugar on the tops of the loaves. Place the loaf pans on the middle rack of the oven. Bake for about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes until a toothpick or butter knife inserted into center comes out with a few moist crumbs.
  5. Remove from oven and let cool in the loaf pans for about 15 minutes. Turn out the loaves onto a wire rack and let cool completely.

*Notes

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Remember that time that you thought you tasted the best zucchini bread ever?

I think you were wrong. I’m so sorry to bust your bubble… but….

THIS gluten free zucchini bread recipe that I am presenting to you today is literally the best zucchini bread I have eeeever had. literally.

Ever. Had.

I’m serious. And I sort of think of my self as a zucchini bread expert. Not to brag, but I’m a bit of a big deal in the zucchini world. Just saying.

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

But back to these muffins. These are soooooo good. And they are gluten free and only made with two types of flour: oat flour and almond flour. Ya. Gettyup!

After my first bite of these gluten free zucchini and chocolate chip studded muffins that are sweetened with pure maple syrup…I had to sit down, regain composure, and do a double take…and then shove the rest of it in my mouth. Gluten free eaters and gluten lovers alike will be amazed. They are moist, light, and fluffy.

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

I was really really really sad when I was finished with my muffin. It was the “watch your childhood best friend move away and all you could do is run to your room and write a letter as soon as possible so that she had it waiting for her when she got to her new home” kind of sad. And then I realized how thankful I was that there were 11 muffins left…shhhhhhh! I can’t say it too loud, or others will here and come steal my little precious precious precious zucchini muffins and their melty delicious chocolate chip bitsies.

Snack time just got a HUGE boost. You are welcome!

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Note – I made these muffins with a white skinned zucchini that I bought at the farmers market. Although the white skinned version was easier to shred, I missed the green flecks of zucchini skin in my muffins. But if you have pick eaters in your family, removing the skin of the zucchini or using a white skinned zucchini is a great way to add this vegetable to muffins without them knowing. Muahahha.

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins (Gluten Free and Dairy Free Option)

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: Easy/Medium
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 cups grated zucchini meat (try to avoid the seeds)
  • 2 cups GF oat flour (grind 2 cups of GF rolled oats in a food processor to a fine oat flour)
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (or honey)
  • 6 Tablespoons butter, softened (or melted and cooled coconut oil)
  • 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt (or applesauce)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Remove items from refrigerator to come to room temperature.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F. Place paper liners in 12-cup muffin tin. Set aside.
  3. Shred zucchini (with or without skin) in a bowl. Press with a clean towel to remove excess moisture. Set aside covered and allowing to drain.
  4. Place oat flour and almond flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Whisk together and set aside.
  5. In the bowl of a food processor or mixer, beat eggs for 1 to 2 minutes or until frothy. Add maple syrup and butter and process an additional minute until well incorporated. Add greek yogurt and vanilla. Pulse until combined.
  6. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Mix together until just combined (don’t over mix). Gently stir in shredded zucchini and chocolate chips. Allow to rest for 1 minute.
  7. Fill muffin tins to 3/4 full. Place muffin tin on middle rack in preheated oven. Back for 35 to 40 minutes, or until tops are browned and slightly cracked. Remove from oven and allow to cool on cooling rack for at least 30 minutes (if you can!). Get ready for zucchini muffin heaven!

Note –

1. This recipe was inspired and adapted from Edible Perspectives Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cake.

2. Dairy Free – sub out the greek yogurt for applesauce and use coconut oil instead of butter. Dairy free chocolate chips can also be used in place of the regular chocolate chips.

3. These muffins will freeze well for up to 3 months. To thaw, place in microwave for 30 second intervals. Makes a quick and easy breakfast or after school/work snack.

Grain Free Pumpkin Apple Coffee Cake

Pumpkin and Apple Coffee Cake - Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

It’s fall and we all know what that means. It is comfy time.

It is sweater time!

It is jeans time!

It is WOOL SOCKS time!!!!!

It is pumpkin time!

But first, before I roll into pumpkin flavored everything….I have to tell you about my big accomplishment. This weekend I went on a fall cleaning and organizing mission. This is monumental, people. I peeled everything out of all of our closets and was ready for a massive PURGE. Usually when I do a “purge” I just sit around staring at old memorabilia and becoming even more attached to the T-shirts that I bought 15 years ago but haven’t worn in 10 years. But seriously, folks…how can you get rid of a shirt that says “Not everything is flat in Kansas“!!?!?! I know! Precious. My point exactly.

Man, you guys just get me.

So this weekend’s purge was different. I properly purged. (No, don’t worry I didn’t get rid of that awesome T-shirt.) But I DID manage to organize everything in our closets (a.k.a shove-crap-wherever-it-would-fit space) and get rid of:

  • Other not-so-cool shirts,
  • Expired medicine (goodbye Benedryl from 1990),
  • Stained things (note to self – QUIT buying white things…ketchup loves it too much),
  • Single socks that have permanently lost their partner (let’s have a moment of silence for all of the poor sock widows), and
  • A metric boat load of half-marathon race packets with sample bottles of weird things, etc.

As I stuffed and crammed these unwanted and unnecessary items into either goodwill sacks or the trash, I wondered why have I held on to this crap for so long? Holding onto stuff is an interesting thing. I put a big importance on odd things, but seriously not EVERYTHING has to be a gem, does it? At this rate I will need to get a separate storage unit just to store my “awe remember when…” items.

But now I feel fabulous and comfy. I’m wearing my comfy old T-shirt and a pair of wool socks that I lost. My closet is clean, stacked, organized, and comfy. Everything is just…comfy.

Comfy like the fall weather blowing around the leaves outside.

Comfy like old love letters from my husband that I found in a shoe box at the back of my closet.

Comfy like my favorite broken-in sweatshirt that I found crammed underneath a suitcase (okay, so I didn’t purge EVERYTHING…baby steps, people).

Comfy like nearly anything pumpkin flavored!

Pumpkin and Apple Coffee Cake - Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

We all get bitten by the pumpkin bug every year! I have held off for quite a bit, but now it is on like a pumpkin thong. Hrmmm….wait. Bad idea. A pumpkin thong would NOT be comfy. Scratch that…

Just make this pumpkin apple coffee cake instead. I promise that the scent of it will make you swoon. You will want to wrap up with a comfy blanket, have a warm cup of coffee, and grab a big square of this warm coffee cake.

This coffee cake recipe is adapted from my Pumpkin and Apple Almond Flour Muffins and the Peach Streusel Topped Coffee Cake recipe featured in the fabulous Against All Grain Cookbook. It is moist and light with warm spices to fill your belly.  I whipped this up for a football brunch watch party last weekend. My house smelled SO good while it baked and for days afterwards.  I definitely think I will make this again for the holidays (or tomorrow).

Pumpkin and Apple Coffee Cake - Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Note – To make this recipe, I used Honeyville blanched almond flour. I prefer this brand because it makes baked goods lighter and flufflier than almond meal. I have not tried this recipe with other brands or with almond meal. If you try it with another brand or almond meal, please let me know how it turned out. This coffee cake takes nearly an hour to bake. If you need something that cooks in less time, try my delicious Pumpkin and Apple Almond Flour muffin recipe.

Pumpkin and Apple Coffee Cake - Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Pumpkin Apple Coffee Cake (Grain Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Paleo-Friendly)

Coffee Cake Ingredients

  • 2 cups blanched almond flour (I use Honeyville)
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves or allspice
  • 3 eggs (room temperature)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup (or honey)
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 Tablespoon coconut oil (or grass-fed butter), melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 medium apples (dice one and thinly slice the other)
  • Streusel topping (recipe below)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Grease a 9X9 inch square pan or 9-inch round springform cake pan with coconut oil. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients (flours, salt, baking soda, and spices) with a whisk. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer or food processor, mix the eggs and the maple syrup on medium speed until eggs become frothy (about 2 minutes). Add remaining wet ingredients (pumpkin, applesauce, oil, vanilla). Mix until all ingredients are combined. Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Stir in diced apples (about 1 cup). Spread mixture into the prepared pan. Place thin apple sliced on top. Sprinkle streusel topping evenly over the top.
  4. Place pan on middle rack of the preheated oven. Cook at 325 F for 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.  Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Streusel Topping (adapted from Against All Grain Cookbook)

  • 1/3 cup pecans or walnuts
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the streusel ingredients into the bowl of a small food processor. Pulse a few times until the nuts are chopped finely and the streusel comes together.
  2. Sprinkle ingredients onto the coffee cake or store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 1 day.

Rosemary Almond Flour Tart Crust

I’m on a mission to take life slower. Sometimes things move so quickly that I get caught up in trying to get everything done perfectly and on time and I miss the important things that are going on around me. I forget to breathe. I forget the basics. I focus on the wrong things.

This weekend I decided to slow down, to be present, to breathe.

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Hang my clothes out on the line.

Read a book.

Spend meaningful time with dear friends.

Eat butter pecan ice cream and remember my father.

Remember the basics.

Hold my husband’s hand.

Eat simply. And simply eat.

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Bake something wholesome…. like a savory tart, which is where this basic tart crust came into my life this weekend. Everyone should have a basic pie crust and tart crust recipe up their sleeves. And bonus for the gluten and grain free gang, almond flour makes a wonderful flaky and light crust.

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This basic tart crust is based on a fabulous recipe from the Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook by Elana Amsterdam. (Which is a great book for those who are breaking into the world of almond flour baking.) This basic tart crust recipes is easily adaptable to go to the savory side or the sweet side. Currently my fave way to serve this tart crust is by adding fresh herbs from the garden and filling it with eggs and heirloom tomatoes. Simple. Done. And leftovers will be breakfast for the upcoming week! Man, I’m liking this simple life.

For other savory fillings, you could use this crust for a quiche crust or as an open pot pie crust! However, if going sweet, eliminate the black pepper and rosemary and add a tablespoon of honey. This would be simply great filled with lemon curd. Mmmm.

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Rosemary Almond Flour Tart Crust (Adapted from Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook)

Makes 1 9-inch tart crust

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour (I use Honeyville)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh chopped rosemary
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper (optional)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil (or butter), softened
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons cold water

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly butter or oil a 9-inch tart pan and set aside.
  2. Place the dry ingredients into a medium bowl and combine with a wire whisk.   Add softened coconut oil and mix with a spoon until combined. Add in the ice water, starting with just 1 tablespoon. Combine with your hands until the mixture begins to hold together. If the dough is not holding together, add a second tablespoon of cold water. Press into a ball. If making ahead, you can cover the ball of dough in plastic wrap at this stage and place in the fridge for a few hours until you are ready to bake it.
  3. Place the dough ball into the prepared tart pan. Starting from the center of the dough, press into the tart pan evenly working your way out to the sides. Press the dough up the sides evenly. Pierce the bottom of the crust with a fork a few times.
  4. If making a tart crust that will be cooked after it is filled, then you will want to partially bake the crust. However, if you are filling the tart with something that will not bake after it is filled, then you will need to fully bake this crust.  Place the tart crust in a preheated 350 F oven and either partially bake for 15 minutes or fully bake for 30 minutes or until the tart is lightly golden brown.
  5. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 5 to 10 minutes before filling.

Almond Butter Banana Muffins

I am a bit of a hoarder.  I’m definitely a food hoarder, but also a hoarder of things. My husband thinks it is junk.  Which it isn’t! But seriously, I keep things in boxes that I have never looked at for the past four years that we have lived here.  I find myself holding on to things because… “don’t you dare get rid of it because I am saving that chair just in case some day I want to paint it red and have a tea party”. Yes…that really came out of my mouth.

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He recently decided to have a garage sale…or an “Alissa’s Things Sale” as I refer to it. He doesn’t hold on to anything. When we got married, he moved into my house with a single box. I had a U-Haul trailer that could have fit a plane. So needless to say, purging is a hard thing for me. I remember every gift someone gave to me. I can’t seem to part with it even if that person totally does not remember giving it to me. They probably just picked it up randomly and thought “crap, it’s her birthday…uhm…ya, here’s a chicken tea pot…she eats chicken…she drinks tea…CHICKEN TEA POT!”.  And here I am 15 years later with the ugliest tea pot and refusing to get rid of it. Until one day I wake up and the love of my life is selling all of my precious belongings (crap) and other people are walking away with my chicken tea pot!  *sob*

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It was a similar feeling for me when I made the switch a year ago to give up gluten. Making the switch to being gluten free can be tough sometimes. It’s hard to not feel like an outsider when everyone is laughing and enjoying cake and big plates of lasagna. Family gatherings and cookouts and office parties offer a plethora of pasta salads and cupcakes and brownies and bread and crackers.  I would end up being the person in the corner snacking on carrots and a bag of nuts that I had stashed away in my purse like a squirrel.  BECAUSE I AM A HOARDER.

One day I decided to PURGE! I threw away everything that contained wheat or even traces of wheat.  It felt awesome.  I began researching and arming myself with easy recipes to bring to gatherings. So now I always offer to bring something that I know that I can eat and that will blow the socks off of others that have no idea how great gluten free food can be.

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This recipe uses nut butter in place of flour! No flour, no oil, no butter.  Basically it is just almond butter and bananas and honey and eggs. Those purged cabinets probably have these simple ingredients in them.  These muffins are rediculously good and rediculously easy!  I have made them with almond butter and also with peanut butter. Both are fabulous.  You can also add cocoa powder to the batter for chocolate cupcakes!

Almond Butter Banana Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond butter* (see note below)
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare a 12 cup muffin tin with muffin liners. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the banana, eggs, and almond butter until well mixed. Add the remaining ingredients except the cocoa powder. With half of the batter, fill 6 muffin liners 3/4 full. I use a 1/4 cup to measure for each. With the remaining muffin batter, add the cocoa powder. Fill the remaining 6 muffin cups to 3/4 full with the chocolate batter.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes at 350F. Muffins will be firm a slightly golden, but fluffy. Allow to cool for 10 minutes then remove from the muffin pan to a wire rack.

*Notes

  1. I have also made these with peanut butter and they were great. I assume other nut butters would work too. If you have a nut allergy, sunbutter (sunflower seed butter) would be a good substitute.
  2. I recommend all natural and unsweetened nut butters. However, if you aren’t using all natural nut butters (that is, if they have added sweeteners) then lower the overall amount of added honey in the recipe.
  3. These are also delicious as cupcakes!

Almond Flour Biscuits (Grain Free, Gluten Free, Paleo)

In most diners in small Oklahoma towns, B&G…that is biscuits and gravy…is a standard side that comes with your breakfast. You typically can get two eggs, bacon, toast, pancakes aaaaand B&G for under $7. Oh I forgot hash browns…you always get hash browns.  Oh and you will get a stretcher to roll yourself onto and go into a food coma.

But ooooh that B&G. I dream about it. Even though it is presented as a mere “garnish” to that HUUUGE breakfast, it so amazing. The gravy is so thick. The biscuits are so light, so fluffy, so buttery.   Sure it packs a huuuge caloric and carbalicious load on the badunkadunk. But let’s not ruin my B&G dreams.

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After realizing that I had a gluten intolerance, I thought I would never have a soft, flaky, buttery, amazing, warm biscuit again. I have tried making grain free biscuits using coconut flour, but I was less than impressed. Tropical flavored biscuits are a far cry from flaky biscuit heaven.

But I couldn’t give up. I found this basic almond flour biscuit recipe on Elana’s Pantry.  Victory!!!! These almond flour biscuits are much closer to my beloved southern biscuits…flaky and buttery.   I made the basic biscuit recipe and also adapted a batch by adding cinnamon and raisins. Mmmmmm.

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Don’t expect these to taste like real buttermilk biscuits, people…once you give up gluten…those suckers are gone. But these grain free biscuits are the closest I have tasted.  I just have to remember that by giving up gluten, I have gained so much in the way of health, tummy comfort, and hormone balance! So with that in mind, these come in really close to the read deal in taste. Plus they stand head and shoulders over the “real deal” when it comes to health, protein power, and the fact that they don’t pack on the poundage on the budunkadunk.

Now I just need to tackle a gluten-free gravy….I’m not so sure that is going to be possible. But challenge accepted!

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Almond Flour Biscuits (adapted from Elana’s Pantry)

Makes 8

Basic Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups almond flour (I use Honeyville)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup butter or ghee (or coconut oil)
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 2 eggs (at room temperature)

Cinnamon-Raisin Biscuits Add-ins:

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place parchment paper (or silpat mat) on a baking sheet and set aside.
  2. Combine all the dry ingredients (almond flour, baking soda, salt, and optional cinnamon) and blend well with a fork. In a separate bowl, whisk together all the wet ingredients (honey, butter, eggs) and combine with the dry ingredients. Mix until a dough forms. (If making cinnamon raisin biscuits, stir in raisins now).
  3. For easier handling, roll the dough into a ball and place it in the freezer for about 10 minutes.
  4. Take the dough out and form biscuits with your hands using a 1/4-cup scoop, rolling into a ball and flattening to about 1 inch thickness. Or place the dough between two pieces of parchment paper and roll it to a thickness of about 1 inch and cut the biscuits with a cookie cutter.
  5. Place the biscuits on the prepared parchment paper on the baking sheet.  Bake at 350 F for about 12-15 minutes, or until they’re browned on the outside and a toothpick stuck into the center of the biscuit comes out clean.

Dijon Ham Steaks with Apples

Snow snow snow snow!!!! Winter is not giving up in Kansas City with predictions of 10 to 15 inches of snow and zero visibility. Plus, we are not just getting metric boat loads of snow, but….(cue deep booming echoing voice) THUNDER SNOW.  It sounds more like an X Men character or superhero name or maybe they should add this as the next movie in the Mad Max movie serious….Return of Thunder Snow….anyone? come on!

Ham steak

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It’s really strange to see the light snow falling and hear booming thunder outside.  They have canceled and closed everything around here including schools, work, gyms, ceremonies. The grocery stores have been like war zones the last few days with people stocking up for Snowmeggedon.  So now there is nothing left to do but hunker down, cook up a hearty breakfast, put a fire in the fireplace, add a roast in the oven to cook low and slow, and cuddle with my favorite boys…Guinness and Kiley.

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Even if you aren’t getting (booming voice) THUNDER SNOOOOOW…. you can still make a heart-warming breakfast that deserves being stranded in a snowy mountain cabin with a warm fire in the fireplace.  My local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) meat supplier provides us with 12 to 16 oz bone-in ham steaks.  We like to brown these in a cast iron skillet for breakfast.  In the summer, I like to cook these steaks on the grill.  When cooking indoors in a skillet, I cut the ham steak into four equal portions to cook evenly and quicker.  A simple Dijon sauce and butter-sauted apples pair well with the ham. This is even good as a quick dinner.

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Dijon Ham Steaks with Apples (Adapted from Gourmet, 1999)

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 12 to 16 oz uncooked ham steak (1/4-inch thick), trimmed of fat and cut into 4 portions
  • 1 Tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 small apples (or 1 large), cored and sliced in 1/4-inch slices

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 250°F.
  2. In a small bowl, mix whole grain mustard and Dijon mustard. Spread mustard mixture on top of ham steak.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over moderately high heat. Add ham steaks to skillet and sauté until browned (about 5 to 6 minutes). If your ham steak is thicker than 1/4-inch, cook a little longer. Transfer browned ham to a heat-proof dish, loosely covered with foil, and place in preheated oven to keep warm while apples cook.
  4. Add remaining tablespoon butter to skillet and sauté apple slices, turning once, until golden and tender, about 4 minutes total. Remove ham from oven. Top each piece of ham with apple slices. Serve with fried eggs for a fabulous fancy country breakfast.

Flourless Brownie Bites (Grain Free)

Merry Christmas!

I hope you all are having a wonderful and cozy day.  My husband I made the trek from KC down to Oklahoma to visit my family.  My brother had back surgery a week ago and has been recovering.  It was wonderful getting to spend time with all of us together.

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We cooked, we ate, we laughed, we made our gingerbread house, and we watched christmas movies on repeat while my bro was horizontal in bed recovering. He’s getting around better and was able to eat dinner with us and walk around with his walker.

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We had to leave a day early because Oklahoma freaks out over the mere mention of a slight chance of snow. So thinking Snowmaggeddon is on its way, we had to make a mad dash up north to Kiley’s family’s house in Tulsa last night to try to miss this “massive” snow storm. We woke up this morning to clear skies and no snow. Womp womp.  But at least we are safe and sound in Tulsa with Kiley’s family now with the warmth of coffee and a fire in the fireplace.  We hope you and your families are warm, cozy, and enjoying time together and slowing down this season.

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I’m whipping up a batch of flourless bite-sized brownies. I love the tiny size for snacking.  There is no flour, only cocoa powder, melted chocolate, honey, eggs, and butter or coconut oil! They are super easy and can be topped with anything you have on hand. Yes…even bacon.  I topped some with bacon (it was a hit), some with crystallized ginger, others with toasted walnuts, and some with salted caramel (my fave). The recipe is inspired by the flourless brownies in my new favorite cookbook, Practical Paleo. The recipe is found below.

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Also, if you are looking for some last minute quick gluten-free recipes to make for Christmas dinner, I’ve gathered up a few of my favorites….

Gluten-Free Breakfast:

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Mexican Breakfast Casserole (Grain Free and Dairy Free)

Crustless Quiche (Grain Free and Dairy Free)

Pumpkin-Apple Muffins (Grain Free and Dairy Free)

German-Style Apple Walnut Pancake (Grain Free and Dairy Free)

Gluten-Free Appetizers:

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Spinach-Cheese Balls (Vegetarian and Grain Free)

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs (Grain Free and Dairy Free)

Nutty Coconut Date Balls (Vegetarian, Grain Free, and Dairy Free)

Gluten-Free Side Dishes:

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Kale Salad with Cranberries, Pecans, and Apples (Gluten Free and Vegan)

Roasted Cauliflower 

Grilled Delicata Squash with Kale (Gluten Free and Vegetarian)

Gluten-Free Desserts:

Ginger Chocolate Chip

Chewy Ginger Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten Free, Grain Free, and Dairy Free)

Fudge Brownies (Gluten Free and Vegan)

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Flourless Brownie Bites (adapted from Practical Paleo)

Makes 30 brownie bites

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces dark chocolate (I use 85% cocoa from Trader Joes), melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil or butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • Toppings or mix-ins: bacon, walnuts, crystallized ginger, caramel, unsweetened coconut, flaked salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease mini muffin tin with butter, coconut oil, or nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. To melt the dark chocolate bar, break into small pieces and place in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high at 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until the chocolate is melted. It takes me 2 minutes.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the melted dark chocolate, melted coconut oil (or butter), maple syrup, vanilla, and eggs. Slowly sift the cocoa powder over the wet ingredients, whisking it evenly to ensure there are no lumps. Stir in salt and baking soda.
  4. Spoon the brownie batter into the mini muffin tins (about 1 1/2 tablespoons per muffin tin), filling about 3/4ths full. Top the batter with the topping of your choice (chopped bacon pieces, walnuts, ginger, coconut, caramel pieces, kosher salt). Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.