Category Archives: breakfast

Smoothie Moves

After trying a delicious (but expensive) smoothie at the gym a few months ago, I was inspired to start making them at home. Now they’re part of my breakfast routine at least twice a week.

My basic recipe below will make two servings, or about four cups. If you have large 2-cup mason jars, it’s easy to take these on the go.

Wild Blueberry Chocolate Smoothie

Here’s my typical smoothie base:

  • 1 banana
  • 2 cups of almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons of chia seeds (I soak them in the almond milk overnight)
  • a handful of greens or about 1/2 cup of frozen spinach
  • 1/4 cup of Bob’s Red Mill whey protein – you can omit this, but I love the frothiness and body it provides

Then, I give it some flavor with at least 1 cup of fruit, usually one or more of the following.

  • frozen (strawberries or blueberries are great, other berries have too many seeds for my taste)
  • fresh (papaya or pineapple are nice)
  • frozen fruit pulps (such as the Goya branded ones found in the international freezer section of my grocery store – I’ve tried these in tamarind, passion fruit, and blackberry)

Sometimes, I add a couple of tablespoons of cocoa powder (great with blueberries!). I’m low on fruit, or just in the mood, I sometimes make a peanut butter chocolate smoothie with cocoa powder and peanut powder.

The blueberry chocolate smoothie pictured above had the base ingredients with a cup of frozen wild blueberries and 2 tablespoons of raw cocoa powder. My wildest smoothie so far has been carrot cake, with shredded carrot, golden raisins, flax seeds, cinnamon, and a spoonful of sour cream for flavor.

Best Recipes for Rolled Oats

Ten pounds of organic oats? When I picked up my order from the Urban Greens Buying Club, the bag was bigger than I thought. But to my surprise, I went through all ten pounds in a couple of months, and oats eclipsed flour on my list of pantry staples.

Here are some of the recipes that had me loving oats this winter. What about you?


Homemade Granola Bars Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Pumpkin Oatmeal

Like the rest of the northeast, I’m in a pumpkin thrall when fall finally rolls around. Pumpkin lattes are too sweet for me and I’m not a daily pastry eater, so my favorite way to get my pumpkin fix is this oatmeal.

If you’ve never made oatmeal in a large batch, try it! This morning I was wondering how instant oatmeal even exists when one can invest just 5 minutes of prep to make delicious, healthy oats for the whole week.


This recipe makes 4 large servings or 5-7 small servings (perfect for the work week). Vary the salt, sugar, and spices to your taste. I love spices so I am heavy handed.

Recipe: Pumpkin Oatmeal


  • 1 cup regular (not quick) oats
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 can pumpkin puree
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar (you could substitute maple syrup)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon (note – you could substitute all 3 spices with pumpkin pie spice)


  1. Bring water and salt to a boil.
  2. Add the oats and raisins and simmer for 5 minutes or until most of the water is absorbed by the oats.
  3. Stir in the pumpkin puree, sugar, and spices and cook, stirring once or twice, or 5 more minutes or until the consistency is to your liking.
  4. To reheat, if refrigerating: Place one serving in a bowl and break it up with a spoon. Stir in a few tablespoons of half and half, milk, or water. Microwave for 1.5 minutes, pausing once to stir.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time: 15 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4-7


Chicken and Waffles

Last March we stayed at the Venetian in Las Vegas and enjoyed two amazing brunches at Bouchon. One morning, Jeremy ordered the Chicken and Waffles, described on the menu as “roasted chicken, bacon and chive waffle, Tahitian vanilla bean butter, sauce chasseur.” We couldn’t stop talking about it, and after a Google search, I see we’re not alone.

Today I made us Bouchon-inspired chicken and waffles for brunch.  This Chicken and Waffles recipe from The Cookworks was a good basis, but I made a few changes.

For the waffles, I added minced chives and three slices of finely diced crispy bacon to the batter (also, I substituted milk with a squeeze of lemon juice for the buttermilk, simply because I didn’t have any).  Instead of skin-on chicken breast, I used moderately sized leg quarters. Last, I omitted the dijon cream sauce and instead emulated Bouchon’s menu with vanilla butter and something like a sauce Chausseur (I didn’t go crazy with ingredients here – I essentially made a gravy from rich chicken stock with some shallots and wine).

Dreaming of Bouchon

I’d rather eat the Bouchon version, but when I’m over 2000 miles away, this is a pretty good brunch. Next time I make it, I’ll omit the sugar in the waffle recipe. The Bouchon version uses sourdough, so maybe I’ll try a yeast dough as a base…well, before “next time” we have to eat our way through the 10 leftover waffles in the freezer. Not that I’m complaining.

Three Days of Salmon

After a fishing trip to Alaska last year (which I still need to blog about), we have some large pieces of salmon in the freezer. As someone who rarely cooked fish before, this has given me a wonderful opportunity to try new recipes and cooking techniques.

The large pieces sometimes mean several days of salmon.  Crafting a new meal out of leftovers is a creative exercise of which I’m very fond!  Here’s how I got three delicious meals out of one generous piece of salmon.

Day 1
Dinner: White wine-poached salmon topped with Pungent Parsley and Caper Sauce.  Green and yellow beans almondine.

Salmon SandwichDay 2
Lunch: Salmon sandwiches on 7 Stars Olive Bread spread with leftover Parsley and Caper sauce.

Day 3
Brunch:  Salmon cake benedict on 7 Stars Olive Bread with bearnaise sauce.  The leftover salmon and sauce made 5 salmon cakes when mixed with some onion, egg, old bread, and spices.

Sometimes, leftovers can be quite luxurious.

Pictured above: A salmon sandwich I made on olive bread – albiet a different one

Poached Egg Dishes

A poached egg is like a choice piece of jewelry; it has the ability to make a normal dish luxurious. The contrast between ethereal white and thick orange yolk is sensual. (But if you’ve had one, you already know that.)

Eggs Benedict Fall Veggie Hash
L: Smoked salmon eggs benedict

R: Fall veggie hash (sweet potatoes, acorn squash, onions, leeks, garlic, sage) topped with an egg

If you enjoy poached eggs but have never made one, try. The first few may not be perfect, but after a bit of practice, you’ll be ready to host a top-notch brunch (maybe for mother’s day?)  Speaking of mothers, mine can poach eggs very well. I’m sure I called her a few times trying to remember her tricks – but now I’m confident enough to make 6-8 at a time.  After coffee.

Sunday Brunch Veggie Benedict

L: Winter vegetables (romanesco cauliflower, napa cabbage, carrots, garlic, chili) in a lightly seasoned broth, topped with a poached egg.  Inspired by a breakfast at Nick’s on Broadway, a great place for egg-spiration.

R: Fall vegetables (delicata squash, onions, garlic, carrots, mild radishes, peppers, tomato) with sriracha hollandaise

There are step-by-step instructions for egg poaching on Simply Recipes.  My method is similar.  I don’t time my eggs, instead testing the egg with a very timid poke, and I err on the early side when removing the eggs, especially if they are headed for a warmed dish in the oven. I use a large skimmer from Ikea to remove each egg and gently shake off excess water.

Don’t forget that poached eggs can be great for dinner as well: on a hearty salad, bean stew, warm lentil salad… How do you like yours?


What is Muesli?  For many people, it’s the lonely imported box of oats and dried fruit at the end of the cereal aisle.  But I’ve always known it as a real treat – a mixture with oats and yogurt that my mom would make on weekend mornings.

Muesli was popularized by a Swiss physician at the turn of the 20th century as part of his regimen for healthier eating.  It’s one of my favorite power breakfasts, perfect after the gym or before a long day.

Muesli made with dried figs and cherries

Muesli (makes 2 small or 1 large serving)

Vary the amounts based on your mood – I often use an apple per person and very little of the other ingredients, making it more of a breakfast fruit salad.

  • 1 apple, cored but not peeled
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 1/3 cup oatmeal or granola
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts, such as almonds or pecans
  • 1/4 cup dried fruit, such as raisins or dried cherries

Grate the apple using a box grater and toss with lemon juice.  Stir in yogurt and add honey to taste.  Mix in remaining ingredients. If you prefer softer oats, allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes before serving.

Perfect Fall Breakfast

It’s getting chillier and the leaves are changing.  Having a warm, spiced breakfast on the weekend makes my whole day wonderful.

Pumpkin pancakes

Today I was in the mood for pumpkin pancakes with apple compote.  Apple compote is versatile and so quick to make.  I came back from a yoga class this morning and, ten minutes later, it was done.   You’ll find my recipe below.  For the pumpkin pancakes, here’s one recipe I’ve used, but I always change up the spices to taste.  If anyone has a favorite recipe, leave it in the comments!

Apple Compote
This is my basic recipe as best as I can write it down – I always just throw things together and add more ingredients to taste.   Today I even threw in a shot of orange juice!  I prefer not to peel the apples, but this is a matter of taste.

  • 2 large apples, cored and sliced (one of these makes the job quick)
  • 1 tbsp butter or margarine
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup nuts, chopped (optional – I used cashews today)

Melt butter in a large skillet with a cover.  Add the apples, brown sugar, cinnamon and ginger, and toss to evenly distribute the spices.  Cover and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, for about three minutes.  Add the raisins, lemon juice and nuts, cover, reduce heat to medium and cook for another couple minutes.  Remove the lid and cook until apples are tender and liquid is syrupy, about three more minutes.

Serve with pancakes, oatmeal, yogurt, or even on a cheese plate.