a very special breakfast

Light, fluffy waffles smothered in blueberries.  It makes for a very special breakfast.

There’s something about a plate full of waffles.  It brings me right back to Christmas morning. 

Tissue paper everywhere.  Colorful bows hanging from the sides of opened packages.  The smells of coffee and buttery fried eggs floating through the air.  Christmas morning.

Once the majority of excitement and commotion died down, mom would reveal a heaping plate of waffles.  Thick, buttery waffles.  On the side, there was always—always— a large dish of steaming hot blueberries.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but I’m pretty sure these waffles were mom’s little secret.  The one tried and true way to pull a bunch of kids away from the Christmas tree and into the dining room. 

This morning, when the idea of waffles entered my head, there was just no going back.  Besides, I had a full bag of graham flour sitting in my pantry.  Waffles were the obvious choice.

I considered many different recipes, and finally decided to make Jess’s (aka, “Healthy Exposures”…click for recipe!) Cornmeal Graham Waffles.  Sometimes it’s best to leave these kinds of things to the experts, you know?  I’ve always envied her waffles and figured it was due time to try them for myself. 

I didn’t really change much, other than the fact that I replaced the chia seeds with 1 T. of flax because that’s what I had on hand.  I also doubled up on the portions since I had a busy morning planned.

For the toppings, I brought about a cups worth of frozen blueberries to a low boil, added in a tsp of corn starch to thicken, and served alongside. 

Yes.  There’s something about waffles covered in warm blueberries (…walnuts and coconut too!) that makes any ol’ morning feel downright special. 

THANK YOU Jess for sending me the Graham Flour (and also for the great recipe!)  I’ve only put a dent in the bag, and I’m looking forward to many more yummy meals. 😀

Click HERE for recipe.

Question: Do you have any food or non-food traditions on Christmas morning?

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playing favorites

I know it’s wrong.  Playing favorites, that is.  But I simply can’t help myself.  When it comes to blueberries, I feel nothing but pure, incomparable love.  Just the sight of them makes me break into a smile.  And while I could exhibit a level self-control by eating one–just one!–strawberry, this would be next to impossible with blueberries.  They are, quite simply, my favorite of all fruits.  And whenever blueberry season comes around, I greedily eat them to my heart’s content.

  • 1/4 c. oatbran
  • 1/4 c. wheat bran
  • 1 c. milk + 3/4 c. water
  • 1/2 banana
  • cinnamon and nutmeg
  • toppings: 1 tsp chia seeds, 2 T. Galaxy Granola Hint of Honey, scoop of chunky Teddy peanut butter and 1/2 c. blueberries

Favorite.  Breakfast.  Ever. 

Quick Morning Snack!

I took advantage of today’s cooler-than-average temperatures and headed out for an 11-mile spin around town on my bike.  My legs were still feeling sore from yesterday’s strength training/yoga routine, so I kept things relatively easy until the very end when I decided to speed my way up a steep hill.  My legs were on fire by the end.  But then I realized something else.  My knee didn’t feel a thing.  It wasn’t floaty.  It wasn’t in pain.  It wasn’t popping.  It just was.  I love that I’m seeing some progress with this whole knee injury thing!  Maybe next year my knee will be up for another 10k or (gasp!) mabye even a half-marathon.  One step at a time. 😉

Lunch

I love leftovers.  I rarely eat them the same way twice, but I think that’s what I love most about them.  It gives me a chance to get creative and enjoy a whole new meal minus any serious preparation.

I topped a basic salad (i.e., greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, etc.) with sliced bell peppers, 1/2 an avocado, some leftover sweet potato fries, a leftover black bean patty (which I diced), and a sprinkling of feta cheese.  The drizzle of olive oil completed the meal (+ some kashis on the side of course!) 

So fresh!

And then I proceeded to eat a copious amount of watermelon.  It became my dessert for lunch and for dinner, along with being a snack in the afternoon.  I love–LOVE!–watermelon.  In case you couldn’t tell. 

Afternoon Snack: 6-oz. plain yogurt + 2 T. crushed flax + 2 T. Galaxy Granola Hint of Honey

Meatloaf.  You either love it or you hate it. 

I for one belong to the meatloaf lovers group.  This may sound silly, but it’s the one meat recipe that I truly, honest-to-goodness love.   I could do without steaks, chicken on the grill, and even a slice of turkey on Thanksgiving (crazy, I know!)  I’d much rather enjoy the sides—the roasted vegetables, the creamy potatoes, the homemade honey wheat bread.  But give me meatloaf, and I instantly become a meat lover.  Or, rather, a meatloaf lover.

This recipe found its way into my home through a Cooks Illustrated Light cookbook.  It’s one of my favorites, not only because the saturated fat content is kept lower through the use of lean ground turkey (you could just as easily substitute lean ground beef or bison even!) but it also remains moist and flavorful.  Cooks Illustrated has yet to let me down, and this is no exception. 

I served steamed broccoli and oven roasted garlic potatoes on the side with some Trader Joe’s ketchup for dunking.  I went back for a little more meatloaf and finished off with some watermelon.  It made for one very delicious meal. 😀

Turkey Meatloaf with Brown Sugar-Ketchup Glaze—minor substitutions based on what I had on hand

  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • salt
  • 1/2 c. milk (I used 1%)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp hot pepper sauce (such as Tobasco)
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 lb. 93% lean ground turkey
  • 1-1/3 c. fresh bread crumbs (I used whole wheat, homemade bread crumbs)
  • 1/4 c. dried parsley
  • 1/2 c. ketchup
  • 1/4 c. packed light brown sugar
  • 4 tsp cider or white vinegar
  1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 350.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and place a wire rack on top.  Set aside.  Fold a piece of heavy-duty foil into a 10×6 inch rectangle;set aside.
  2. Combine the onion, garlic, oil, and 1/8 tsp salt in a medium skillet.  Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the onion has softened, 8-10 minutes; set aside to cool.  In a medium bowl, whisk the milk through the ground pepper and 1/4 tsp salt together.
  3. In a large bowl, mix turkey, bread crumbs, parsley, cooked onion mixture, and egg mixture together with your hands until uniformly combined.  Press the mixture together into a compact mass, then turn it out onto the foil rectangle.  Using your hands, press the meat into an evenly thick loaf about 2 inches tall and 1 inch smaller than the foil on all sides.
  4. Transfer the foil and meatloaf to the center of the prepared wire rack.  Stir the ketchup, sugar, and vinegar together, then brush half of the mixture evenly over the meatloaf.  Bake the meatloaf for 45 minutes.
  5. Brush the meatloaf with the remaining ketchup glaze, and continue to bake until the center of the loaf registers 160 degrees on the thermometer, about 15-20 minutes longer.  Cool at least 20 minutes before slicing into 1-inch thick pieces.

Per Serving: Cal 260; Fat 10g; Sat fat 3g; Pro 26g

Question: Meat Loaf—love it or hate it?