Topped with Pecan Sorghum Granola, these pumpkin-like, mini-muffins make the perfect addition to a brunch spread and are also a great grab-and-go breakfast option for busy mornings. Pureed butternut squash and pumpkin pie spice deliver flavors of fall in a moist muffin that is not overly sweetened. If you manage not to eat them all within a few days, extras freeze well for a quick and delicious breakfast that is safely stored away for another day.
Ingredients: 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 cup whole wheat flour 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice 1 teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon salt ¾ cup brown sugar ¼ cup canola oil 2 eggs, lightly beaten ½ cup unsweetened applesauce ½ cup low-fat milk 1 cup pureed butternut squash ¾ cup Pecan Sorghum Granola
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 24-cup mini-muffin pan with oven-safe paper cups or coat with cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flours, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt together.
In a large bowl, beat the sugar, oil and eggs until the mixture turns light yellow and slightly frothy. Stir in the applesauce, milk and butternut squash. Mix dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in small batches until combined.
Spoon mixture into the prepared pan and sprinkle tops of batter with granola. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. When done, muffin tops will be golden brown and a toothpick will come out clean when inserted in the center.
Fresh fall pecans were the inspiration for my nutty and slightly sweetened granola. This protein-packed snack is made with only five ingredients and is so simple to prepare. In around 30 minutes, you can have a homemade treat that far exceeds the quality of the boxed varieties you’ll find on grocery store shelves. Enjoy straight off the baking sheet or make a parfait with Greek yogurt, diced apple or pear and granola. For some unique was to eat my Pecan Sorghum Granola, add as a crunchy topping for a fall salad or sprinkle on top of pumpkin muffins just before baking.
Ingredients: 2½ cups pecans 1½ cups old-fashioned oats 2 tablespoons sorghum 1 tablespoon butter, melted ½ cup dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly oil or cover a medium baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, combine pecans and oats. In a small bowl, whisk together sorghum and butter and drizzle over pecan mixture. Stir until worked through.
Place granola on the baking sheet, spreading it out and gently pressing into an even layer with your hands. Bake until golden brown and crunchy, for about 15 minutes. Use a spatula to flip pieces of granola over and continue cooking for 5 to 10 more minutes.
Let cool completely. Then, break granola into small chunks. Add cranberries and toss to combine.
Zucchini is so versatile and using it in baked goods is just one way I like to cook with this beloved summer vegetable. Pecans add a nutty flavor, crunch and protein to this grab-and-go-breakfast. An ice cream scooper with a release lever works wonders to fill the cups without making a mess. When I have extra zucchini on hand, I like to double the batch and freeze these tasty treats for a quick reheat breakfast on a busy morning.
Ingredients: 1½ cups all-purpose flour 1 cup whole wheat flour 2 teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon ¾ cup brown sugar ¼ cup canola oil 2 eggs, lightly beaten 1 cup unsweetened applesauce 1 cup low-fat plain yogurt 2 cups grated zucchini (1 large or 2 small) ½ cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with oven-safe paper cups or coat with cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flours, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together.
In a large bowl, beat the sugar, oil and eggs until the mixture turns light yellow and slightly frothy. Stir in the applesauce and yogurt. Mix dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in small batches until combined.
Fold in the zucchini and pecans. Spoon mixture into the prepared muffin pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. When done, tops will be golden brown and a toothpick will come out clean when inserted in the center.
Eggs and vegetables are two of my favorite pairings and breakfast is one of my favorite meals, but this sandwich is not only delicious in the morning. It is also perfect for an easy weekend brunch with a Bloody Mary or for a quick dinner on a night when you would rather read a book than spend time in the kitchen. Spinach and swiss chard make great alternatives to kale and shiitake or white button mushrooms work well in place of the portabella. Enjoy your panini however you choose to make it and whatever time of day you decide to savor this meal.
Heat panini press to medium-high heat. Spread 4 slices of bread with equal amounts of goat cheese and set aside.
Roughly chop kale leaves. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and sauté for 5 to 6 minutes, until brown and tender. Add kale and water to the skillet and sauté for a couple of minutes, until greens are wilted. Add balsamic vinegar to the sautéed vegetables and cook for another minute. Season with half of the salt and pepper and remove from heat.
Place eggs and remaining salt and pepper in a medium bowl and lightly beat. Melt butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add eggs and scramble.
Place ¼ of scrambled eggs on top of the bread slice with goat cheese. Add ¼ of the kale and mushroom mixture on top of the eggs and top with a slice of bread. Working in batches, place two sandwiches on the panini press and heat for about 5 minutes, until cheese has melted and light brown grill marks appear on the sandwiches. Repeat and serve.
Not your traditional muffin, this savory version is packed with mashed sweet potatoes, hearty oats and maple breakfast sausage. Enjoy these warm muffins with a cup of coffee or hot tea to fuel up on a chilly winter morning. Getting an early start to your day? Pair a muffin with a boiled egg for a packable, on-the-go breakfast. Store leftovers in the refrigerator or freeze for up to three months and reheat when ready to serve.
Ingredients: 1¼ cups whole wheat flour 1¼ cups all-purpose flour 1 cup rolled oats 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon mustard powder ½ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon white pepper 1½ cups mashed sweet potatoes 2 large eggs ½ cup milk 1 tablespoon maple syrup ½ pound maple breakfast sausage, cooked and drained
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease or line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, oats, baking powder, mustard, salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, whisk together mashed sweet potatoes, eggs, milk and maple syrup. Gradually add dry ingredients to the bowl of sweet potato mixture, stirring to combine. Fold in sausage.
Fill muffin cups and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown.
Start your Thanksgiving morning off with these scrumptious Fall Harvest Pancakes made with pureed butternut squash and pumpkin pie spice. Whether you are refueling after running a turkey trot race or kicking back and watching the Macy’s parade, this breakfast dish will satisfy your morning appetite and give you a new appreciation for fall squash. If you are eating light to save room for all the carbs to come, extra pancakes will freeze well for a quick reheat another day.
I am thankful for my blog readers today and every day. I hope you all have hearts full of gratitude and plates full of delicious food. Happy Thanksgiving!
2 cups whole wheat flour
4 tablespoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
2 cups milk
1½ cups pureed butternut squash
1 tablespoon sorghum
1 tablespoon canola oil, plus more for greasing the griddle or skillet
freshly grated whole nutmeg or ground nutmeg
walnut pieces, toasted
maple syrup for serving
Preheat a griddle or large skillet to medium heat. In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Add milk, squash, sorghum and canola oil and mix to combine.
Working in batches, pour around ¼ cup of batter onto the griddle or into the skillet to create pancakes, keeping them evenly spaced apart. Cook until bubbles start to form on one side and the bottoms turn golden brown. Flip to cook the other side and repeat until you have 18 to 20 pancakes.
If desired, sprinkle pancakes with a dash of nutmeg and top with walnuts and a drizzle of maple syrup.
I enjoy a healthy and hearty breakfast every morning, but busy mornings leave me with little time for food prep. Overnight oats are one of my favorite go-to meals for hurried weekdays. They are almost effortless to assemble the night before and in the morning you have a delicious breakfast just waiting for you to open and enjoy. Preparing this recipe in a mason jar makes it a great portable breakfast option.
Pureed butternut squash is a fresh alternative to cooking with canned pumpkin, and it is extremely easy to make. After roasting the squash, simply puree in a food processor. If you have extra on hand it freezes well for future use, saving even more time when making these nutritious Fall Harvest Overnight Oats.
½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
½ cup pureed butternut squash
½ cup skim milk or non-dairy milk of choice
¼ cup non-fat Greek yogurt or non-dairy yogurt of choice
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts, toasted
1 tablespoon maple syrup
½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
In a pint-sized mason jar, add all ingredients and gently stir to combine. Place the lid on the jar and refrigerate overnight. Enjoy as a cold cereal for breakfast in the morning.
Hearty quinoa with its nutty flavor compliments sweet berries and crunchy almonds in this breakfast bowl that will keep you satisfied all morning. Substitute the blackberries and blueberries for any seasonal berry in your region of the world. Quinoa is a complete protein, offering all of the essential amino acids, making it a great choice for vegetarians. It’s also an excellent whole grain option for those with celiac or gluten sensitivities since it’s naturally gluten-free.
I love to make a big batch of Berry Breakfast Quinoa on the weekend for a fast reheat and eat breakfast on busy morning. A nutritious and delicious breakfast doesn’t have to be time-consuming.
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water, plus more for rinsing
⅓ cup dried cranberries
6 ounces blackberries
6 ounces blueberries
⅓ cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons sorghum or honey
Using a fine-mesh sieve, rinse quinoa with water.
Combine quinoa, water and cranberries in a rice cooker and cook for 30 to 40 minutes.
Add berries, almonds and sorghum. Stir to combine and serve warm or chill and enjoy cold.
This velvety, butternut squash sauce is nutritious with a taste of decadence. Enjoy this guilt-free, creamy sauce topped with a little sausage or substitute toasted pecans for a vegetarian meal. Roasting the squash in advance makes this a quick meal to throw together for family or friends. When I have a lot of butternut squash in my CSA share, I like to roast up several batches to freeze for later use. Simply follow step one below and scoop the inside flesh from the squash. Store squash in zip-top bags and freeze until ready for use. Defrost squash in the refrigerator the day before preparing this recipe and you’ll have a homemade meal with farm-fresh ingredients on your table in less than 15 minutes.
1 large butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
2 teaspoons butter
8 ounces any short whole grain pasta noodle, cooked according to package directions
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup skim or low-fat milk
½ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon white pepper
½ pound mild ground sausage
Fresh grated Parmesan cheese for serving
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. On a medium baking sheet, place squash halves flesh side up. Place 1 teaspoon of butter in the hollow of each squash. Roast until flesh is tender, about 50 to 60 minutes. Set aside until cool enough to touch. This step can be done several hours earlier or the day before.
Scoop inside flesh of squash from skin and place in a food processor or blender. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and sauté for about a minute, until fragrant, and combine with squash. Set skillet aside for later use.
Add milk to food processor or blender and puree to create a smooth and creamy consistency. Pour butternut squash sauce into a medium sauce pan and warm over medium heat, stirring occasionally and careful not to boil. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low to keep warm until ready to serve.
Meanwhile, cook the sausage in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until browned and crumbly, about 5 to 7 minutes. Drain the fat and set aside.
Divide pasta on four plates and cover with equal amounts of sauce. Top with sausage and Parmesan cheese.
Shrimp and grits are one of my favorite southern duos. This dish is often prepared with heavy cream and can take some time to make with slow cooking grits. I created this lighter, quick-cooking version, which is ideal for summer evenings when you want a delicious homemade meal in less than 15 minutes. Fast meals like this one free up time to dine on the patio and enjoy warm summer evenings.
After dinner, I love watching the sky change colors as the sun sets and fireflies start to shine, listening to birds singing and reminiscing of summers spent outside as a child. I may have an ice cream cone or watermelon for dessert, something that takes me back to fond summer memories. Oh how refreshing and relaxing it can be spending outdoors. Cheers to spending less time in the kitchen, while still making delicious and nutritious meals this summer.
½ cup quick cooking grits
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch kale, thick stems removed and leaves coarsely chopped
12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ ground black pepper
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 roasted red bell pepper, diced
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
2 tablespoons half and half
Prepare grits according to package directions.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and sauté for about a minute, until fragrant. Add kale and continue cooking for about 2 minutes, until wilted. Add bell pepper and stir to combine.
Push kale and pepper mixture to the edges of the skillet, creating an empty space in the middle. Add shrimp to the center of the skillet and sprinkle with salt, pepper, lemon zest and juice. When shrimp becomes pink on the bottom, flip and continue cooking until both sides are pink and shrimp is cooked through. Stir vegetables and shrimp together to combine.
When grits are done cooking, remove from heat and add grated parmesan cheese and half and half. Stir until cheese is melted and grits are thick and creamy. Add grits to serving plates and top with shrimp and kale mixture.
Note: For the roasted red bell pepper, you can use freshly roasted bell pepper or jarred roasted red peppers rinsed and diced.