Breakfast

Cinnamon Zucchini Oats

If you’ve been around here long enough you know I love adding vegetables into my meals wherever I can, and that includes breakfast! Sure, eggs are an easy breakfast base to pile on veggies, but I also like to give my oatmeal the royal treatment by sneaking in some extra fiber and color too.

Summer is winding down, so I’m soaking up all the tomatoes, stone fruits, and summer squash before September ends, which means my meal preps are leaning heavy on these farmers market goodies. This weekend I was reminded of zucchini oats, or as I like to call them “zoats”, by a friend, and just like that I had my week’s breakfasts planned.

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For these oats I went the extra step and utilized the steel cut variety of oats. I say extra step because they do take a bit longer to cook than old-fashioned oats, but I find it’s definitely worth the extra nutrition! Steel cut oats contain about double the fiber as rolled oats, which means they have a lower glycemic index and impact blood sugar spikes less dramatically, making them great for sustained energy and hunger satisfaction.

If you’re wondering about the zucchini taste of this breakfast rest assured that the squash flavor is subtle and essentially nonexistent thanks to the warm cinnamon and other toppings you may choose to add.

Make up a big batch and portion some out each morning, with toppings of your choice- now you’re zOATally ready to tackle the day!

Cinnamon Zucchini Oats- serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 cups water

  • 1 cup steel cut oats

  • 1 small zucchini shredded (about 1 1/4 cups)

  • 2 tbsp vanilla collagen peptides, such as Primal Kitchen Collagen Fuel

  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

  • pinch of sea salt

  • Toppings of choice- fresh or frozen berries, nut butter, hemp or flax seeds

Directions

  1. In a medium pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Once boiling add the oats. Simmer uncovered over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes until the oats become thick and fully cooked.

  2. Turn off the heat and add in the shredded zucchini, collagen, cinnamon, and salt. Stir until well combined.

  3. Store in a single or individual airtight containers in the fridge for up to 5 days. To serve, warm in the microwave and add desired toppings.

Asparagus and Turmeric Dinner Frittata

When I’m at a loss for ideas and need an easy, “gimme” dinner, I can pretty much always count on eggs! It’s rare that I don’t have a dozen in my fridge and I use them in everything from breakfast to baking, and when in a pinch, dinner.

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Frittata’s are the lazy couple’s answer to an omelette as you don’t have to worry about flipping or an end-product that is too wet or runny. The filling can be whatever you have on hand and the slices are great warm with a side of toast, or eaten cold the next day.

Feeling in the spring mood, we recently enjoy an Asparagus and Turmeric Frittata for dinner upon deciding that we really didn’t want to decide on anything to eat. When you conveniently have nutritious foods in your fridge and pantry, dinner can actually take very little planning or thought at all!

And yes, eggs are nutritious, everyone! Despite what the recent #fakenews that is spreading, eggs- yes, even (especially) the yolks- are rich in protein, healthy fats, and vital micronutrients such as choline, vitamin D, and lutein. So, if anyone asks why you’re eating little bombs of cholesterol, just tell them, “my dietitian told me to!”

Asparagus and Turmeric Frittata- serves 2

Ingredients

  • 5 pasture raised eggs

  •  ½ bunch of asparagus, or about 2 cups worth of spears diced

  •   ¼ of a medium red onion sliced thinly

  •   1 tsp turmeric

  • 2 spoons of goat cheese

  • Olive oil, salt, pepper

 Directions

  1. Preheat oven broiler function. 

  2. In a small bowl, crack eggs and whisk to break up yolks. Add turmeric and a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside.

  3. Cut asparagus into a small dice (about ¼ inch, or little pea-sized bites) and slice red onion into thin pieces.

  4. Heat a 9-inch cast iron skillet. Add a drizzle of olive oil to the warmed skillet, then add asparagus and onion. Saute for about 5 minutes.

  5. Pour in egg mixture and using a spatula gently move egg mixture around for a few seconds. You’ll want the asparagus and onion to be evenly distributed in the egg mixture. Let the eggs settle and cook for about 1-2 minutes while you then add dollops of the goat cheese on top.

  6. Turn off the heat and place skillet under the broiler. Cook for 2-3 minutes until top of frittata starts to become golden brown. Remove and slice into 6 triangles. Serve 3 slices per person and with a side of toast or lightly dressed greens on the side. 

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Matcha Oatmeal Cups

Have you tried matcha yet? If you’ve stepped into any coffee shop lately you’ve probably noticed matcha lattes on a menu, or if you haven’t seen it there then you’ve likely spotted this bright green beverage take Instagram by storm because it’s #trendyaf. I mean it is pretty lovely to look at.

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And luckily, not only does it look amazing, but it contains amazing nutritional properties as well! Matcha is the entire green tea leaf formed into a powder that is 137 times more concentrated in antioxidants than regularly brewed tea- yes, 137 times more! And to boot, matcha contains more antioxidants than blueberries and pomegranate, which are also excellent, more well known, sources. Antioxidants are vital to our body’s defense system and can better help us fight off a cold or infection.

In addition, matcha tea contains an amino acid, L-theanine, that has been shown to produce a calm and soothing effect. So, unlike coffee, you get a boost of energy but with a clearer, less jittery head and hands.

All of these health benefits aside, I have to admit that I have some matcha in my cabinets but rarely pull it out! But seeing as we were celebrating St. Patrick’s Day (yes, I’m writing this post quite belated) I decided to include this powerhouse powder in a breakfast recipe.

I made these Matcha Oatmeal Cups for quick and easy breakfasts that can be eaten cold or warmed up. I like to serve mine with a little bit of extra plain yogurt and a sprinkle of hemp seeds for added protein and staying power, or you could even add in a scoop of your favorite plain or vanilla protein powder to the mix instead. I hope you enjoy them!

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Have you ever tried matcha?

Leave me a message below with how you like to enjoy it!

Matcha Oatmeal Cups- makes 12

Ingredients

  • 2 very ripe bananas

  • 1 whole egg

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, liquid

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

  • 2 cups unsweetened almond/soy/oat milk

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tbsp ground flax seed

  • 4 tbsp matcha powder

  • Dried banana chips for topping

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350' and grease a muffin tin. I prefer to not use liners because I find the cups just steam rather than crisp up on the outside.

  2. In a large bowl, combine the mashed banana, egg, oil, and maple syrup and whisk well to combine. Whisk in the salt, nut milk, vanilla and matcha. Stir in the oats, baking powder and flaxmeal and let it all sit a few minutes. 

  3. Distribute the mixture between the tins, should leave you with 12, about 2/3 full (they don't rise). To the top of each cup, set a banana chip before sliding into the oven. Bake for 20 minutes or until you press on the center and it is tender, but not squishy wet. They will continue to set as they cool. They are fine at room temperature for a day, then keep cups stored in the fridge for up to a week, or freeze for longer storage.