Dragonfly Home Recipes

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Category: Breakfast (page 2 of 3)

Two Easy Quinoa Breakfast Bowls

Superfood quinoa is combined with fruit, nuts, almond milk, and natural flavorings to make up a delicious, healthy, energizing breakfast.  Mix and match the fruits and the nuts, add more toppings if you wish! These breakfast bowls help keep me sane on busy mornings.  They can be thrown together quickly and are packed with protein and flavor to start your day in a positive way.

Made up of ingredients many of us keep on hand, these breakfast bowls are easy to make in the morning when your brain is not fully awake, yet once they are eaten, they provide the body and brain with lots of high-quality energy.  To make things even easier, you can cook a batch of quinoa ahead of time, and then in the morning, warm up the desired amount on the stove in a bit of almond (or regular) milk. Then just add the desired flavoring (maple syrup or honey and vanilla), fruit, and nuts, and you have breakfast.  If you are cooking the quinoa that morning, just use twice as much liquid (water or almond milk) as you do quinoa, and simmer it for about 15 minutes, until tender.

There are endless combinations you can use for this type of breakfast bowl–in this post I am just sharing two basic and easy ones that I enjoy, because sometimes the most simple recipes are the most accessible and helpful in our everyday lives.

dried berry quinoa breakfast bowl 4Our mornings are still chilly at this time of year, so a nice warm bowl of quinoa with fruit and nuts is comforting and cozy, as well as delicious and healthy.  Spring comes in fits and starts here, rarely smoothly.  Following our spring snowstorms we had a major heat wave, and now it’s back to damp, foggy weather today.  The spring peepers have started, stopped, and started peeping again at least a couple of times in the past couple of weeks.  They say that after the peepers have started and stopped peeping three times, then spring is finally here to stay.  I have lost count, but we must be about there.  Our lilac bushes and cherry trees have little buds on them.  A birch tree we thought was dead has just sprouted tiny little leaves!

banana quinoa breakfast bowl 6With spring comes soccer for our kids, which means full schedules and lots of muddy laundry, mixed with lots of fresh air and fun.  I get a chance to spend time with my fellow soccer moms, who are some of my favorite people on this earth.  Last night they helped me identify some recipe ideas to develop in the coming weeks, since we are all in need of quick, energizing foods and spring crock pot ideas to help us get through these active times with grace and vitality.  I have lots to work on!

dried berry quinoa breakfast bowl editNo matter what the weather is–cold or hot, damp or windy, have you noticed how good the spring air smells?  It is full of the promise of new life and new experiences, while at the same time waking up long-buried emotions and bringing back memories from past springs.  No wonder spring is such an emotional time! That’s why it’s important to have a good, stabilizing breakfast.  I hope you all have a lovely weekend! I’m sharing this post with Angie’s Fiesta Friday, co-hosted this week by Judi @ cookingwithauntjuju and Cynthia @ eatmunchlove.

Two Easy Quinoa Breakfast Bowls

  • Servings: 1
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For Quinoa with Dried Berries and Pecans

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of cooked quinoa (follow the package instructions, or gently warm up one cup of leftover quinoa in some milk)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of almond milk (or cow’s milk, if you prefer)
  • 1-2 teaspoon of maple syrup or honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • a handful of dried cherries or dried cranberries
  • a handful of chopped pecans

Directions:

Spoon 1 cup of cooked quinoa into a bowl.  Moisten it with the desired amount of milk.  Stir in the maple syrup or honey and the vanilla.  Top with desired amount of dried cherries or cranberries and pecans. Enjoy!

For Quinoa with Sliced Banana and Walnuts

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of cooked quinoa (follow the package instructions for cooking, or gently warm up one cup of leftover quinoa in some milk)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of almond milk (or cow’s milk, if you prefer)
  • 1-2 teaspoons of maple syrup or honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • a handful of chopped walnuts

Directions:

Spoon 1 cup of cooked quinoa into a bowl.  Moisten it with the desired amount of milk.  Stir in the maple syrup or honey and the vanilla.  Top with the banana slices and the desired amount of chopped walnuts.  Enjoy!

 

Classic Blueberry Muffins

With just a few basic ingredients, these blueberry muffins come together quickly and easily, offering that classic blueberry muffin taste that is so comforting and sweet, with a hint of  zing from some lemon zest.  This recipe works with fresh or frozen blueberries, so you can make these crowd-pleasing treats at any time of the year.  Plus your kitchen will smell amazing as they are baking!

Last weekend, we had a cherished (and rare, these days) lazy Saturday morning, and I asked the kids if they wanted blueberry muffins for breakfast, since we had some blueberries in the freezer.  Yes, they definitely wanted them. “But,” said my daughter, “can you not make them too healthy this time?”  Oh…by healthy, I guess she was referring to the wholesome blueberry muffins I sometimes make, which are really tasty, but are more crunchy, (probably more nutrient-rich), and less like cake.

Well, it’s all about balance in life, so I indulged her and made these yummy, fluffy, and classically delicious blueberry muffins.  And yet they are not really unhealthy, much healthier than some muffins, in that they are homemade, with high quality ingredients, including fruit, and no preservatives.  And we enjoyed every last one of them!  If you are looking for a basic, simple, reliable, and delicious recipe for blueberry muffins, this is a great one.  Even better when you can enjoy them warm, right out of the oven, in a warm, cozy room or on a sunny porch.

classic blueberry muffins on plate 2The recipe I use for these muffins is based on one from my well-loved Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, Tenth Edition, that I have had for many years. The only thing I change when I make these, is that I use melted butter instead of cooking oil, because I really like the flavor of butter from grass-fed cows.  Frozen blueberries work great, when fresh ones aren’t available.  And the lemon zest adds a great blast of flavor, which we really appreciate.  If you don’t like lemon, you can certainly leave that part out.

We are getting closer and closer to feeling like spring here.  The temperatures have been warm and cold, changing almost daily, but those warm days feel so good.  And the colors outside are starting to brighten. The sunlight is more vivid, the grass is starting to turn a fresh, bright green, and the daffodils are starting to bloom.  I hope you are all having a great week!
classic blueberry muffins on porch 4classic blueberry muffins in tinclassic blueberry muffins 5

Classic Blueberry Muffins

  • Servings: 12 muffins
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Ingredients:

  • 1 and 3/4 cups of all-purpose, unbleached flour
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cup of milk
  • 1/4 cup of unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup of blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 teaspoon of finely grated lemon peel (lemon zest), optional

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Lightly grease a muffin tin, or line with paper baking cups.

Heat the butter in a small pan on the stove until just melted.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Make a well in the center of the bowl.  In a medium bowl, combine the egg, milk, and melted butter. Pour the wet ingredient mixture all at once into the well in the center of the dry mixture bowl.  Stir until all the ingredients are just combined.  The batter will be a little lumpy.  Fold in the blueberries and lemon zest, and stir gently until just combined.  Spoon the batter evenly into the 12 muffin cups.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until the muffins are golden.  Remove the muffins from the tin to cool.  Serve warm. Enjoy!

This recipe is adapted from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook, Tenth Edition.

 

 

Cozy Wheatberry Breakfast Bowl

With wheatberries, chopped apple, walnuts, and yogurt, this breakfast bowl is full of important nutrients to help you start your day.  Maple syrup and vanilla give it a naturally sweet flavor.

Though I love a warm bowl of oatmeal on a winter morning, sometimes it is important to change things up a bit.  Wheatberries are the whole kernel from a wheat plant, therefore they have more fiber, vitamins, and minerals than the processed wheat we often eat.  They are a good source of fiber, protein, iron, and B vitamins, just to name a few.  (Wheatberries do contain gluten, so they are not good for those who cannot tolerate gluten).

wheatberry breakfast bowl with mug 7For this recipe, I am using a type of wheatberries that I bought already parboiled, so they only take about 20 minutes to cook, which is pretty important to me, since my mornings are often rushed.  They are fairly easy to find, in natural food stores, or in the grain or health food aisle of many grocery stores.  If you have wheatberries that have not been previously parboiled, they can take up to an hour to cook, which is fine if you have the time.  One nice thing about wheatberries is that the leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days, and they are very versatile, so you can make a big batch and serve a breakfast bowl a couple of times a week, or use the leftovers in savory dishes as well.  Just warm up the leftovers on the stove with a little added water, or even in the microwave.

wheatberry breakfast bowl with mug 18I love the hearty, nutty taste of wheatberries, and they are satisfyingly filling too.  I can eat a bowl of them and feel sustained for at least a couple of hours or so, without feeling overly full.  The ingredients in this breakfast bowl are simple and accessible.  I am continually striving for a balance between convenience, nutrition, and good taste.  It doesn’t take much time or extra planning to chop an apple, swirl some maple syrup and vanilla extract into some plain yogurt, and sprinkle on a handful of walnuts.  wheatberry breakfast bowl with mug and appleYet it tastes flavorful, comforting, and sustaining, like it will give me energy to get my day started in a positive way.  Sometimes a recipe can be so simple, yet it’s what we need to give us an extra nudge to try something.  I can imagine that bananas, dried fruits, almonds, and milk would also taste really good with this.

I hope you are all having a good week so far, and stay warm!wheatberry breakfast bowl ingredients

Cozy Wheatberry Breakfast Bowl

  • Servings: 2-4
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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of wheatberries
  • 2 and 1/2 cups water
  • 1-2 apples, chopped
  • 1/2 half cup of walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup of plain yogurt (I like Greek yogurt)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup (more or less, to your desired sweetness)

Directions:

Place the cup of wheatberries with 2 and a half cups of water in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil, and then lower heat to medium-low.  Simmer, covered or partially covered, for about 15-20 minutes, if the wheatberries are parboiled.  If they have not been previously parboiled, simmer for about an hour.  Check the wheatberries often to test their tenderness.  They are done when they have burst their shells and are tender and chewy.  Cooking time may vary–it does for me.

While the wheatberries are cooking, chop the apple(s) and walnuts.  Place the yogurt in a small bowl and swirl the maple syrup and vanilla extract with the yogurt.  When the wheatberries are done, spoon them into bowls and stir in the yogurt mixture, apples, and walnuts.  Refrigerate the leftover wheatberries (if there are any), and warm them up when you use them again. Enjoy!

Cranberry Almond Bars

Bright, tart cranberries are simmered with maple syrup and honey, then given some extra zing with a splash of lime juice.  The result is a thick, intensely flavorful filling that jazzes up a base of ground oats, almonds, and whole wheat flour.  These cranberry almond bars are delicious and nutritious, and they are perfect for breakfast, dessert, a snack, or a treat to pack in the kids’ lunchboxes.

I must admit that until recently, I have kind of under-appreciated cranberries.  But it is cranberry season, and it seems cranberries are everywhere! I have made these almond bars in the past, and used strawberry jam for the filling (also very good), basing the recipe on one I found in the September 2015 issue of Real Simple magazine.  However, now that it is November, I wanted to make these bars with something seasonal, so pumpkin and cranberries came to mind.  I’m still working on the pumpkin angle–I haven’t hit upon the right proportion of ingredients yet–but the cranberry filling? Amazing! It is so good, that I am thinking of tripling the recipe and using it as cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving dinner.

cranberry filling 3I now fully appreciate the powerful flavor of cranberries, not to mention their gorgeous, ruby-red color and their health benefits (vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients).  For me, sweetening the berries with things like maple syrup and honey, rather than sugar, makes the filling even more appealing.  Talk about rich, flavorful, and natural!  The filling recipe below is one I put together from researching different recipes for cranberry sauce.  Lots of the recipes called for orange juice or orange zest, but I added a splash of lime to mine, because that’s what I had on hand, and it works great. cranberry bars outside cranberry bars 7The filling thickens as it simmers, and thickens even more as it cools.  The base and the topping of these bars is nutritious, with ground almonds, oats, and whole wheat flour making up most of it, providing lots of protein, iron, and fiber.  All in all, these bars have it all:  great taste, great texture, and lots of health benefits.

With Thanksgiving, my husband’s birthday, and my daughter’s birthday approaching, all within the same week, things are ramping up into high gear around here.  I have so many things on my mind, it feels like the thoughts are swirling around like the leaves that blow all over our yard.  And these thoughts are trivial compared to what has been going on in the larger world lately.  So what do we do with the scattering thoughts and the chaos?  We gather.  We feel for those who are affected by violence around the world, and we gather around a table and give thanks for what we have.  We scatter, and then we gather.

My family went to a special park this past weekend, and I took some pictures of moments I wanted to hold onto.  The beautiful river, the clear water carrying leaves downstream, and the old roots of a tree near the riverbank.  The water moves, and the roots anchor.  We scatter, and then we gather, and often food is in the center of the gathering, connecting us.  If you are gathering for Thanksgiving this upcoming week, Happy Thanksgiving in advance!  And have a wonderful weekend too.water and roots Huron Rivercranberry bar ingredientscranberry filling 1cranberry bars, uncutcranberry bars on porch 3I look forward to the weekly blog gathering of inspirational bloggers at Angie’s Fiesta Friday co-hosted this week by Loretta @ Safari of the Mind and Petra @ Food Eat Love.

Cranberry Almond Bars

  • Servings: 12 bars
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Ingredients:

For the filling:

  • 1 cup of cranberries (frozen or refrigerated is ok. If frozen, run cold water over them first)
  • 1/4 cup of maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • 1 lime

For the base and topping:

  • 1 cup of old fashioned rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup of whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup of raw almonds
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) of unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into pieces
  • 1/3 cup of packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon of salt

Directions:

For the filling:

Measure the cranberries, maple syrup, and honey into a small saucepan.  Bring just to a boil, and stir until the cranberries pop.  Then turn the heat down to medium-low to low, and gently simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce begins to thicken. Allow the sauce to cool, and as it cools, it will thicken more.  Add a splash of lime juice, to your taste.

For the base and topping: 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line an 8 inch square baking dish with 2 crisscrossed pieces of parchment paper, leaving an overhang of paper on all sides, and pressing the paper down inside the dish.

In a blender or food processor, pulse or puree the oats, flour, and almonds until finely ground.  Transfer to a mixing bowl.  Add the butter, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Cut the butter into the dry ingredients with a fork or pastry cutter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs and everything is combined.  Reserve 1/2 cup of the crumble mixture (for the topping).  Press the remaining crumble mixture into the baking pan, using a straight-sided glass or measuring cup to pack it down evenly.

Spread the cranberry filling over the bottom crust, distributing it evenly.  Scatter the reserved 1/2 cup of crumble mixture evenly over the top.  Bake until golden brown and set in the middle, 35 to 45 minutes.

Let it cool completely.  Then, holding the overhanging parchment paper, transfer it to a cutting board and cut with a sharp knife into 12 bars.  Enjoy!

Feta-Parmesan Frittata

frittata in skilletWe have some good friends (who also happen to be neighbors), and they are raising ten hens.  I get our eggs primarily from them, and these eggs are some of the best eggs I have ever tasted.  The eggs are fresh, and I know they are free-range chickens, because I see the hens wandering all over their grassy yard, energetically pecking at the ground and eating all the natural things chickens love to eat.  Since these eggs are a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, I like to find ways to use them to feed my family. eggs in bowl The frittata recipe I have posted below is very simple and basic, which at least for my family makes it kid-friendly.  The recipe is also quick and easy to make, which is a bonus on busy days.  All you need are eggs, Parmesan and feta cheese, a little olive oil for the pan, and some fresh chives, if you like chives.  Or if you are aiming to please different tastes, as I was this morning, you can put chives on just half of the frittata.  This time of year, a frittata tastes delicious with fresh, juicy, ripe tomato slices on the side.  And if you have some frittata left over, it also tastes good cold between a couple of slices of bread and tomato.  There are countless ways to add vegetables and more herbs to frittatas, but for this recipe I have kept it simple, and sometimes that is the best.

frittata on plate 2frittata with chives on plate

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