Feb 25, 2015

Eggs on avocado toast - easy, clean-eating breakfast or lunch!


The moment I saw the photo on Pinterest of Simple Poached Egg and Avocado Toast at Pinch of Yum, I was hungry for this combo! But I thought it would be even better with a sprinkling of crispy bacon on top. Especially since I had some already-cooked bacon in the fridge. (Because of this: the best and easiest way to cook bacon.)

Better with bacon? Yep: I was right! The contrast of crispy whole-wheat toast, creamy mashed avocado, warm/runny egg yolk and crunchy bacon = heaven!

Poached eggs are a little challenging; her method makes them a bit simpler, but you could also just fry your eggs. My avocado was a bit too firm, so I added a bit of mayo to it. And then a dash of garlic salt, just cuz. Sprinkled on some fresh ground black pepper and a wee bit of thyme -- totally optional, but pretty!

Now I wish I were going to be home for lunch tomorrow, because I am already hungry for it again!

Diet-friendly? Almost paleo (full-on paleo if you skip the bread); gluten free if you use gluten free bread for the toast; clean eating if the bacon passes muster; South Beach / low carb for maintenance level.

Feb 5, 2015

12 Easy Glaze Recipes for Roasted Chicken


One of the easiest meals possible is to get a plain store-roasted chicken, then add your own simple sauces or glazes. Of course, you can start with a chicken you've roasted yourself, too.

Why not just buy a pre-glazed one? Making your own glaze ensures that there's no corn syrup - high-fructose or otherwise - in the glaze, or other unwanted ingredients, be they soy, gluten, white sugar, high sodium, or MSG.

Most of these have a high level of sugar, usually in the form of honey or maple syrup. So to keep them from burning, you'll want to add the glaze right before serving or give it just a few minutes in the oven. If you're on a sugar-restricted diet, you can cut back the sugar part of the equation.

One suggestion: since a lot of these are sticky, you may want to cut the chicken up into serving pieces before glazing. But that's optional.

Here are a few simple recipes that you can whip up quickly and easily -- or make the night before and have ready to go right when you get home! Many of them have just three ingredients.

Chutney-glazed chicken -- Chutney, lime juice, and curry powder.

Maple black pepper glaze -- Maple syrup, butter, and black pepper. Pretty simple!

Honey-spiced glaze -- Honey, olive oil, cinnamon, and paprika. Rated 5 stars.

photo by Taste of Home

A fruit-and-wine glaze from Taste of Home -- White wine or chicken broth, apricot preserves or quince jelly, and a bit of mustard. Rated 4 stars.

Orange-rosemary glazed chicken -- Orange marmalade, rosemary, and your choice of vinegar.

Honey-lemon-soy glaze -- The ingredients are -- surprise! -- honey, lemon juice, and soy.

photo by Eating Well

Pomegranate glaze -- Uses pomegranate molasses (with instructions to make your own, if you wish), honey and black pepper.

Barbeque, honey and soy -- Another easy, 4-star recipe, from Taste of Home.

Red-hot honey glaze -- A buffalo chicken style sauce from Bobby Flay. Includes a recipe for a blue cheese dipping sauce.

photo by The Sriracha Cookbook website

Honey sriracha lime glaze -- Although this recipe is for wings, you can use on any chicken pieces. Experiment to find the right level of heat/sriracha for you. Also, I think the added salt is unnecessary.

Korean barbecue sauce -- This is one you might want to make ahead; it has several ingredients, and benefits from some time simmering. I've made this; if you cook it low and slow long enough, you can skip the corn syrup and water part. But don't cook it too high; it burns easily. (Voice of experience!)

Honey-mustard glaze -- You could skip the curry if you don't like curry or don't have any.

Jan 13, 2015

Cornmeal-flaxseed pancakes with maple berry sauce


Quick to whip up, wheat-free, gluten-free, sugar-free -- and still delicious! I've been making these for months, but just now got around to posting them. I'm trying life wheat-free for a while, and these are a great substitute for traditional wheat flour pancakes.

This recipe came about when I tried this recipe for Blueberry Flax Microwave Muffines via Spark People, I loved the ease, nutrition, and flavor of the original recipe, but the grainy texture just didn't seem right for a muffin.

So that actually became my inspiration. It reminded me of the texture of cornbread, and I LOVE cornbread! It's one of the things I missed the most when I went low-carb. When my kids were little (before I went low-carb), we would sometimes have cornmeal pancakes for dinner. Just swap out cornmeal for half the flour, and you've got a pancake with a texture somewhere between pancakes and cornbread. Soaked in melted butter and maple syrup; mmm...! Replacing some of the maple syrup with berries adds vitamins and fiber; a small nudge toward healthier fare.

But back to these wheat-free pancakes... Another drawback was that putting frozen blueberries in the muffins made them pretty ugly. Trust me: they looked NOTHING like the picture! Also, egg in the microwave has a super-fine line between undercooked and rubbery.

So to solve all these shortcomings but keep them quick and easy, I...

  • Replaced half the flaxmeal with corn meal
  • Turned them into pancakes, made stove-top
  • Took the blueberries out of the mix and served them on top as a sauce/syrup (I use whatever berries I have on hand: raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, or a mix.)

Result? Quick, easy, tasty breakfast!

IMPORTANT NOTE: The dry ingredient amounts below make a batch of dry mix, which you then use a little at a time to make 1 or 2 servings. The mix is enough to make four single batches.

Cornmeal-flax pancakes with maple berry sauce

Dry mix:
1/2 c. flaxseed, freshly ground
1/4 c. + 2 T. cornmeal (gluten-free, if necessary)
2 tsp. baking soda
4 pinches salt
Combine and store in airtight container, at room temp or in fridge. Makes four single batches.

Single batch:
1 egg
1 T. coconut milk (or other milk of your choice)
3.5 T.  dry mix (recipe above)
1-2 T. butter

Whisk the egg and the coconut milk, then whisk in the dry mixture. Stir till well combined.

Cook as you would pancakes. Heat a non-stick frying pan. (You know it's the right temp when splattered droplets of water immediately skittle across the surface.) Melt the butter in the pan; pour the excess into a small bowl and set aside for later.

Pour batter into the pan to make one large, two medium, or three small pancakes. It starts out pretty runny; you may need to nudge the edges in a little with your spatula, especially on the smaller cakes.

When the edges look puffy and dry-ish, and bubbles coming to the surface slow down in frequency, flip them over and cook a little less time on the second side. They should be just slightly golden-brown on both sides.

Use the leftover melted butter and brush or spread it on both sides of the finished pancakes, then plate them and pour on the berry syrup. Syrup recipe below.

Makes three mini pancakes, two medium, or one large.

Maple-berry syrup 

4 single-batch servings

1-1/3  c. fresh or frozen berries
2-1/2  to  3 T. real maple syrup

Combine and heat briefly in microwave or on stovetop.
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Nutrition info, via myfitnesspal. Serving equals one whole single batch:

Nutrition Facts
Servings 1.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 397
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 28 g43 %
Saturated Fat 15 g73 %
Monounsaturated Fat 6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 6 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 240 mg80 %
Sodium 730 mg30 %
Potassium 221 mg6 %
Total Carbohydrate 31 g10 %
Dietary Fiber 8 g31 %
Sugars 10 g
Protein 8 g16 %
Vitamin A13 %
Vitamin C18 %
Calcium9 %
Iron17 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.