Cranberry & Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Quinoa

Life on the Vedge: Cranberry & Apple Cinnamon Breakfast QuinoaThe most important meal of the day is also my most boring, meaning I have eggs almost every single day. (I’m really banking that the recent research showing eggs don’t raise cholesterol is true! I can’t get enough of them.) So, I am trying to switch it up at least once a week, and this breakfast quinoa is a good way to get protein – plus, you can make a big batch and save it for future breakfasts. When you warm it up again, add a bit of extra milk and you’re good to go.

Ingredients (Makes 3-4 servings):Trader Joe's Tricolor Quinoa
1 cup quinoa, rinsed (I used Trader Joe’s tri color quinoa, because it’s pretty!)

1 cup coconut almond milk (or any milk)

3 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp sugar

1 apple, chopped into small pieces and covered in a bit of lemon juice to prevent browning

1/4 cup dried cranberries

Instructions:

Life on the Vedge: Cranberry & Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Quinoa

  1. Combine quinoa and coconut almond milk in saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Turn down to a simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the cinnamon and sugar and combine. Simmer until almost all of the liquid is absorbed.
  4. Add the apple pieces and dried cranberries and combine. Life on the Vedge: Cranberry & Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Cereal
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Huevos Rancheros

Looking for a way to spice up your breakfast routine? Try this version of Huevos Rancheros. I was inspired by a recent trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and thought I’d create my own version.Huevos Rancheros - vegetarian and gluten-free
Ingredients (to make 1 serving):

1 corn tortilla
2 tbsp vegetarian refried beans (I use them right out of the can)
2 tbsp Mexican shredded cheese mix
2 eggs
cooking spray or olive oil
Salsa, salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:
1. In a small skillet, heat up the cooking spray or olive oil with a low flame. When heated, brown one side of the tortilla and flip it over.
2. Spread the beans evenly over the tortilla, and then cover with cheese. Cover the pan to allow the cheese to melt. Remove the tortilla and place on a plate.
3. Fry the two eggs to your desired consistency. Place on tortilla.
4. Garnish with salt, pepper and salsa.

Protein Powder Shake (that doesn’t suck)

Peanut Butter Banana Protein Shake

The idea of protein shakes used to make me cringe: I would mix a bit of powder into milk with a spoon and it never fully dissolved, which would inevitably lead to sips with clumps of powder. Yuck.

But I have come around to protein shakes, thanks to some important tricks:

1)      Get yourself an immersion blender: Blending your drink ensures that the powder is fully dissolved, and using a handheld immersion blender means that you don’t need to take out, dismantle and clean your blender each morning – just stick this hand blender in the cup you’re going to drink out of. Easy! I use one similar to this one on Amazon.

2)      Add peanut butter: Using peanut butter covers any unpleasant taste from the protein powder – and you only need a little to get the job done. A banana helps too.

3)      Keep it cold: Add some ice to your drink – a room temperature shake is not as appealing as an ice cold one.

My standard base recipe is below. You can also add other ingredients that you have around the kitchen, like strawberries, mango, some yogurt – mix it up! I use both whey protein powder and hemp protein powder, which has a slightly grittier texture, but you can use any protein powder you prefer.

Peanut Butter Banana Protein Shake

6-8 ounces of almond milk (you can use regular milk if you prefer)
1 banana, in pieces
1-2 tsp. creamy peanut butter
1 tbsp. whey protein powder
1 tbsp.  hemp protein powder

Combine ingredients in your  cup. Use immersion blender to mix, about one minute. Throw in a handful of ice (remember tip number 3), and you are good to go!

Mini Ve(d)getable Frittatas

I love breakfasts foods – but as someone who is perpetually running late, I never seem to have time to make a real meal in the morning. I like these mini frittatas (made in a cupcake tin) because you can make a week’s worth ahead of time and warm them up each morning (or take them for lunch). The recipe below includes some of my favorite fillings, but you can really use any vegetables or cheeses that you like.

Mini Frittatas

Mini Veggie Frittatas

7 eggs
1/3 cup lowfat milk
1/4 head of broccoli
1/2 cup spinach
10 grape tomatoes
1-2 ounces gruyere (this is a perfect cheese for quiches and frittatas – white cheddar as a less expensive substitute that also works well)
1-2 ounces smoked mozzarella
Italian seasonings

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Prepare fillings by cutting into bite size pieces.
Chopped fillings

3. Combine eggs and milk in bowl. Whisk.
4. Add fillings and a few dashes of seasoning to egg and milk combination and mix until evenly distributed.
5. With cooking spray, generously coat the cupcake tin.
6. Fill each slot until almost full.

7. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the tops are golden brown and a knife comes out nearly clean.

**Tip: while still warm, take a butter knife and circle the edges to make sure the frittatas don’t stick to the sides. After five to ten minutes, you can take them out and cool them on a plate. Refrigerate until ready to warm and eat.