Coconut Granola

Coconut Granola 2
I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July! We spent the weekend at my parents house visiting with them and my grandma and aunt who were visiting from Florida. We went to a family friends house the night of the 4th to light fireworks together and Hannah proved herself to be a little pyromaniac like the rest of us. Every time a firework was done she would sign “more.” Oh, and she laughed maniacally while they were exploding. That’s my girl.
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After all the food I ate this weekend, I’m thinking we need to lighten things up this week. To me, nothing is better than an easy, healthy breakfast that doesn’t require any brain power in the morning. I don’t do mornings all that well. That’s where the granola comes in. Make this up the night before and all you have to do when you wake up is pour some milk over it or layer it with some yogurt and fruit. I don’t love the texture of yogurt so I always have a good dose of granola on top to make it bearable.
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I adapted this recipe to make it clean and it’s just as good as a granola sweetened with sugar. I even sprinkled this over some strawberries (with a small amount of whipped cream) when I was craving something sweet after dinner but didn’t want to blow my day.
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It’s packed with walnuts and almonds to make it hearty and keep you full all morning. It’s great to have on hand for healthy snacking too.
Coconut Granola 1

Coconut Granola
recipe adapted from Table for Two

2 cups old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
4 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Combine oats, walnuts, almonds, coconut, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla. Pour into oat mixture and stir until fully combined.

3. Pour oats onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 30-45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet then break up and store in an airtight container.
Coconut Granola

Maple and Brown Sugar Bacon and Egg Biscuits

Maple and Brown Sugar Bacon and Egg Biscuits 5
It seems like people either love or hate breakfast. I, unfortunately, fall in the second category. I just don’t feel like eating right when I wake up and if I don’t, the kids wake up, chaos ensues and there is no longer time because they like to eat the second their eyes open. Plus, I don’t love most breakfast foods, especially sweets. I mean, I wouldn’t ever turn down a doughnut, we’re not talking crazy here, but I don’t love sugary sweet in the morning.
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So when I do eat breakfast, if I’m not sucking down a smoothie, I usually reach for something more on the savory side. Like this biscuit of deliciousness. I would eat it everyday if I could but a) I want to see my kids get married someday and b) ain’t nobody got time for that.
Maple and Brown Sugar Bacon and Egg Biscuits 1
They aren’t too complicated, especially if you use frozen biscuits like I did, but the bacon takes a bit of time (that I just don’t have most mornings with my children). If you have the bacon made up already then they are pretty quick and simple.
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I know I’m gushing about this bacon, but it just brings this biscuit sandwich to a new level. Plus, the runny yolk. It all combines to elevate the ordinary bacon and egg biscuit to something a little bit fancy.
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And just FYI, this bacon isn’t just for breakfast. It converts from breakfast sandwich delight to dinner star on a burger, just saying.

Maple Brown Sugar Bacon and Egg Biscuits
serves 4

4 biscuits (I used these, but if you want homemade try these)
4 eggs
4-8 slices Maple Brown Sugar Bacon*

1. Prepare biscuits. While they are baking, heat a skillet to medium heat. Lightly butter the pan and cook the eggs to your preference. We like ours over easy (and the runny yolks keeps them from getting too dry).

2. Slice the biscuits in half and place an egg and slice of bacon on the bottom half. Top with the other biscuit half and enjoy.

*I only used 1 slice of bacon on mine but if you want them extra meaty, use two.

Buckwheat Pancakes {Clean Eating and Gluten Free}

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I’m bringing you a healthy recipe today in honor of the weekend I just had because there was not a single thing healthy about it. Every year, Joel’s company has a work retreat in Vegas and the spouses come along for a fun filled weekend. While the guys work for a couple days, the girls brunch, walk the strip and lay by the pool. Then the company throws a big party Friday night and we do whatever we want during the weekend.

I had every intention of laying by the pool and writing posts to share with you all last week but the hotel wifi was terrible so it just didn’t happen. So instead of writing about food, I consumed lots of it.
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My main goal on our Vegas trips is to eat all the food. We have a list of favorite restaurants that we always try to hit and usually add a new one each year. Next year will be our fourth year so it’s going to be tricky fitting in all our necessary eats. I ate fries, burgers, tacos, pizza, brunch and so much more that I just don’t even want to think about because I’m scared just dreaming of them will add more calories. At least we walked a ton, right?

And now I have a growing list of things I want to recreate from our trip…did somebody say carne asada fries? This guy.
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Photo Friday this week will be dedicated to our Saturday adventure in Vegas. Since it was our third visit, we decided to get out of the city and do something different.

So, onto the pancakes. These bad boys are clean, gluten-free and dairy-free. Plus, you mix up the batter the night before so all you have to do in the morning is heat up the griddle and cook them up.
Buckwheat Pancakes 1
I had never had buckwheat pancakes until I whipped these up when the in-laws were visiting. I love the nutty, hearty flavor it brings. I promise you I wouldn’t have guessed they were healthy or sugar free if I hadn’t made them. These are the perfect way to start a lazy, yet healthy Saturday brunch. Much better than mine last weekend…..

Buckwheat Pancakes
recipe slightly adapted from The Leftover Queen

2 1/4 tsp. (1 packet) instant dry yeast
2 cups warm water (about 100°F)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups buckwheat flour
2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
1 tsp. cinnamon
Maple syrup, for serving

1. In a large bowl, combine yeast, water, salt and buckwheat flour. Cover with a kitchen towel and leave on counter overnight.

2. In the morning, preheat griddle or skillet to medium heat. Meanwhile, Stir in molasses, baking soda, coconut oil and cinnamon. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, portion pancakes onto the griddle. Cook until edges set and bubbles start to form on the surface. Flip and cook until no longer doughy, about 30 seconds. Repeat until batter is gone. Serve with maple syrup.

Corny Banana Blueberry Pancakes

Corny Banana Blueberry Pancakes 4
I have another recipe from The Skinnytaste Cookbook to share today. When I get a new cookbook, I flag the must try recipes with little sticky notes and this was one that jumped out at me. So we tried it right away naturally.
Corny Banana Blueberry Pancakes 5
We really enjoy pancakes on a lazy Saturday morning but I’ve found that it’s really hard to make a yummy tasting pancake that’s healthy too. We’ve had some serious fails but I don’t have to look any further now.
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I just love the flavor and texture that the cornmeal lends to the pancakes. The ingredients are approachable and you most likely have them all in your house already yet they combine to create a such a fancy and unique pancake. My whole philosophy behind this blog is just what these pancakes prove. You can take normal, affordable ingredients and turn them into something special. Love it!
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And just think about the other mix ins that would be tasty in these. Swap out the blueberries for chocolate chips and a sprinkle of cinnamon or diced strawberries. These pancakes are definitely a new breakfast favorite. So much so that I’m doubling the recipe next time and freezing half for easy, healthy breakfasts on school days. Can’t beat that.
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Corny Banana Blueberry Pancakes
recipe from The Skinnytaste Cookbook

3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup fine ground cornmeal
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 large ripe banana, mashed
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. low-fat buttermilk
3 large egg whites
2 tsp. canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup blueberries
Cooking spray
Maple syrup, for serving

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt.

2. In another bowl, mix the banana, buttermilk, egg whites, oil and vanilla.

3. Add the dry mixture to the banana mixture and stir until just moist. Be sure not to overmix as to keep them light and fluffy. Gently fold in the blueberries.

4. Heat a large griddle over medium-low heat. When hot, lightly spray with oil.

5. Scoop out 1/3 cup of batter for each pancake and cook until it starts to set and is golden on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Flip the pancake and cook again until golden brown, another 2 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve with maple syrup.

Chicken Sausage, Broccoli and Potato Frittata

Chicken Sausage, Broccoli and Potato Frittata 3
I always have an ongoing list of cookbooks I want to add to my “collection.” I haven’t counted but I’m sure I already have close to 30 and have officially run out of space to store them in my kitchen. So rather than get rid of some, or stop buying more, I add this Ikea cart to my dining room for storage #cookbookproblems. It’s research and inspiration I tell you…or at least that’s what I tell Joel. I’m not sure he’s falling for it though.
Chicken Sausage, Broccoli and Potato Frittata 1
This year, my cookbook wish list consisted of all food blogger cookbooks recently released and I got them all, yay! I’m very excited to cook out of all them but I was especially motivated by The Skinnytaste Cookbook with the new year and eating healthy and all that. Don’t worry Seriously Delish by Jessica Merchant (have you seen her baby, so stinkin’ cute), Homemade Decadence by Joy the Baker and The Girl Who Ate Everything by Christy Denney will get plenty of use too!
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Do you sit and read cookbooks or is it just me? I spent hours perusing through them, flagging recipes and making a grocery list so that all the deliciousness could come to my kitchen. We love brinner around here (breakfast for dinner) so I decided to try this Chicken Sausage Frittata first. The original recipe calls for kale but the kale didn’t look so great at the store so I decided to add in some broccoli instead. Spinach would be a great alternative but I knew broccoli would go over better in my house.
Chicken Sausage, Broccoli and Potato Frittata 4
This frittata is lightened up with egg whites, chicken sausage and a healthy dose of veggies. It would be a great way to start off your day or a filling way to end it.

Chicken Sausage, Broccoli and Potato Frittata
recipe adapted from The Skinnytaste Cookbook

5 large eggs
3 large egg whites
2 Tbsp. grated Romano cheese
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
6 oz. fully cooked Italian chicken sausage, cut into half moons
1 cup broccoli florets, finely chopped
10 oz. Yukon gold potatoes, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. paprika
Grape seed oil spray*

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Whisk eggs, egg whites, Romano cheese and a pinch of salt and pepper together in a bowl. Set aside.

2. Heat a 10-inch skillet over medium heat (ensure that it is oven safe). Add a spritz of grape seed oil then add the sausage and broccoli. Cook for a few minutes, or until browned. Transfer to a plate.

3. Add another spritz of grape seed oil then place potatoes in pan in a single layer. Cook for 5 minutes with the lid on then carefully flip, cover and cook another 5 minutes or until brown and crispy. Add the sausage and broccoli and stir to combine everything. Pour the egg mixture into the pan, reduce heat to low and cook for about 6 minutes, or until edges are set.

4. Transfer pan to oven and bake until the frittata is set, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and carefully slide the frittata onto a plate. Cut into 6 wedges and serve.

*Located with the nonstick cooking sprays. If you can’t find it, you can use 2 tsp. olive or grape seed oil instead.

Sweet Potato Breakfast Casserole {Clean Eating}

Sweet Potato Breakfast Casserole 3
I’ve had a hard time finding big fancy breakfasts worthy of a lazy Saturday morning that are still clean and healthy. These waffles are pretty darn tasty but most of the time I am more of a savory breakfast kind of person. Not only is this recipe clean but it’s also gluten and lactose free along with paleo friendly. Boom, I’m pretty sure that covers it all.
Sweet Potato Breakfast Casserole 1
Plus, this can be whipped up the night before then refrigerated and baked the next morning. Joel’s family makes a yummy egg and sausage casserole but it involves bread so this is a nice alternative to keep it clean and avoid carbs.

The original recipe called for more onion but the first time I made it the onion was a bit overpowering so I reduced the amount. I added cheese to half the casserole to reduce the chance of whining from that husband of mine. He’s not a fan of sweet potatoes and healthy versions of things. He’s getting over it slowly but surely. Or at least learning not to complain so much.
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Sweet Potato Breakfast Casserole
recipe slightly adapted from Plaid and Paleo

1 1/2 lbs. breakfast sausage
1/2 Tbsp. coconut oil
12 eggs 
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and shredded
1/4 large sweet onion, shredded
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup almond milk (or any other milk)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, optional
1. Melt the coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook sausage until no longer pink.
2. Meanwhile, whisk together eggs, sweet potatoes, onion, garlic powder, nutmeg, salt, pepper and almond milk. Stir in sausage. Sprinkle with cheese if using.
3.  Pour egg/sausage mixture into a 13×9 pan greased with additional coconut oil. At this point you can bake the casserole at 375 degrees for 45 minutes then cover with foil and bake another 10 minutes. Or you can do what I did and cover and refrigerate overnight. Add an additional 5-10 minutes to baking time if you have made it the night before.

Healthy-ish Apple Doughnut Holes

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Let’s talk about carbs. Delicious, tasty, incredible carbohydrates. This is my open letter to carbs: I can’t quit you. I recently had a conversation on Facebook with my aunt’s friend who is doing a very low carb diet and was craving apple pie. She was wishing that a yummy no-carb apple pie existed and the conversation pretty much ended with me saying “there’s no such thing, #carbsforlife.”
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With all that being said, I do limit my carbs and the vast majority of the time I stick to the good for me ones. After our conversation I had apples on the mind and remembered a recipe I needed to share with you all that just might satisfy the apple craving a bit.
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We went to the annual apple festival in a nearby town a couple weekends ago and had a great time picking apples, enjoying a hay rack ride and inhaling hot apple doughnuts fresh from the oven. They were delicious and magical but not something we could indulge in every day. So when Noah requested apple doughnuts later that week, I told him yes, but on my terms.
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These apple doughnuts, cooked in a cake pop gadget for instant gratification, are made with very little sugar, just a bit of butter and are half whole wheat. I skipped the whole dip in butter and roll in cinnamon sugar to keep them on the healthy side but you could go ahead and do it if you wish. Just don’t tell me because I’ll be jealous. And don’t worry if you don’t have a cake pop cooker thingy, I’ve provided instructions on baking them in the oven as well. These are slightly sweet with a hint of apple. And you don’t have to feel so bad when you devour 3 or 4.

So here’s to a healthier way to get your carb on.
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Apple Doughnut Holes
recipe adapted from Chew Out Loud

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
1½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¾ cup whole milk
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp. regular butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 small (or 1 large) apples; peeled, grated, and squeezed dry

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees or preheat cake pop maker. In a large bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. In a small bowl, mix milk, eggs, butter, vanilla and apples together. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and fold until just mixed.

2. Either grease mini muffin tin or cake pop maker with nonstick spray. Fill 2/3 full and bake in oven for 7-8 minutes or 2-4 minutes in cake pop maker.

*For butter and cinnamon sugar coating instructions follow link above to the original recipe.