Hash Brown Lasagna

My mother-in-law is the queen of biscuits and gravy. Nobody can even compete with her recipe. It sounds like she has been perfecting it over the last 30 years. I saw this recipe and wasn’t sure how my husband would feel about it. I made this delicious Biscuits and Gravy Casserole dish from an old coworker. He told me the jar country gravy was “too salty”. For this recipe, I made the McCormick Country Gravy. I think he was ok with this gravy in a dish that is very different than his mother’s original. We did like this dish but I think I like a few other breakfast recipes better like Breakfast Sliders, Weight Watchers Breakfast Quiche, Mini Maple Bacon Rolls, Creamy Biscuits, or Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Ring.

Hash Brown Lasagna from Pinterest
img_00341/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
shredded hash brown potatoes
salt and pepper
sausage crumbles
bacon
cheddar cheese
mozzarella cheese
McCormick Country Gravy packet prepared
1 Tsp. butter, melted

Bake bacon in the over at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Cook sausage according to package.

In the meantime, pour gravy packet into a medium pan. Slowly pour two cups of milk over mix while whisking. Cook over a medium heat to a boil, stirring frequently. Then, reduce your to low and simmer for 1 minute.

Spray 8 x 8 pan. In a bowl, mix hash browns, Parmesan cheese, salt & pepper, and eggs. Pour half of mixture into pan and even out. Top with a layer of cheese, gravy, and meats. Repeat with other cheese, gravy, and meats. Top with remaining remaining hash browns. Pour melted butter on top. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool slightly before cutting.

Notes:

  • I used a 13 x 9 pan because it appeared to be too much for the pan.
  • I used skim milk to prepare my gravy mix. It cut the fat and salt in country gravy.
  • I thawed the hash browns slightly in the microwave. This helped them break-up easier. Looking back, I wish I had baked the bottom layer for 10 minutes before topping to give me a slightly cruncher crust. 
  • I used turkey sausage.
  • I only used four slices of bacon. I really couldn’t taste it so you either need to use more bacon or opt it out. Sausage can be an overwhelming meat flavor.
  • The recipe suggested both mozzarella and cheddar. They suggested a prosciutto wrapped mozzarella and Velveeta cheese slices. I used shredded cheese. I’d suggest just mozzarella because I think it matches the flavors of the country gravy better. 
  • Make sure you have a lot of time to cook this recipe. I think I took me a good 40 minutes to prepare before backing. 
  • If I made it again, I think I might create a crust with something different like crescent rolls.
  • Jar gravy and precooked meats can save you time. 

 

 

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Sausage Breakfast Bombs

I love breakfast recipes. I am a bit of a breakfast snob though because I only like to eat it at breakfast time. My dad made fried eggs way too much for dinner in my childhood. I hope you enjoy this super easy peasy recipe.

fullsizerender-10Sausage Crescents from Pinterest
4 sausage patties
1 package of refrigerator crescent rolls
3 eggs
shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Microwave sausage patties according to package directions. Cut each patty in half. Cook eggs to a scramble. In a sprayed muffin tin, place a crescent roll in each cup leaving half hanging out. Top each with a half sausage, eggs, and cheese. Take excess crescent roll and cover ingredients. Bake for 11 minutes.

Notes:

  • I used turkey sausage. It’s healthier for you.
  • I used reduced fat crescent rolls.
  • I added a little skim milk to my eggs to make them fluffier.
  • I used 2% cheese – it’s healthier.
  • If you prefer ham and cheese, check out this oldie but goody recipe.

Breakfast Sliders

Last Christmas, my mother-in-law made the Hawaiian Ham & Swiss Sliders for Jeremiah and I to take on the road. At the holidays, we alternate between our parents’ homes. That means a 5 ½ hour Christmas afternoon road trip between Kansas City and Wayne. These little sandwiches were definitely tasty snack along the way. She also whipped up a Gluten-free, dairy free version for her grandson. (Just substitute with Gluten-free rolls and dairy-free fake butter.)

Recently, I ran across this slightly sweeter breakfast variation on Pinterest. I cooked up a batch for Jeremiah and I on Tuesday morning. Delicious and filled us up until lunch time. Perhaps you could cook up a batch for your family over the Christmas break.

Breakfast Sliders from Pinterest
img_01671 package of King Hawaiian rolls
1 stick of butter
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. maple syrup
6 slice of ham
6 scrambled eggs
6 slices of cheese
1-2 T. poppy seeds

Cook scrambled eggs and sit to the side. In a pan or microwave dish, melt the butter, Worcestershire sauce, and syrup together. Meanwhile, slice rolls in half. Spray a 11 x 7 pan with non-stick spray. Place the bottom halves of rolls in dish. Top with half of butter mixture. Cover with ham, cooked scrambled eggs, and cheese slice. Top with remaining bun tops and press down into pan. Brush remaining butter on top of buns and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Fall French Toast

You know how much I love breakfast. French toast is one of my favorites. This recipe came from my most recent issue of Simple and Delicious by Taste of Home. I saw this recipe created by a Kansas City suburbanite and it just screamed fall. I baked it while we were at the gym and it smelled amazing when we walked back into our apartment. Jeremiah and I thought it wasn’t super sweet so I would definitely recommend serving it with a little syrup. We did not the first day and figured it out quickly.

Cranberry French ToastCranberry Cream Cheese French Toast by Sandie Heindel
12 c. cubed French bread
2 pk. (8 oz.) cream cheese
1 can (14 oz.) whole berry cranberry sauce
12 eggs, lightly beaten
2 c. milk
1/3 c. maple syrup
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg

Spray a 13 x 9 pan with non-stick spray. Arrange half the bread in bottom of the pan. Top with cream cheese and spoonfuls of cranberry sauce. Cover with remaining bread. In a large bowl, mix eggs, milk, syrup, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour over the casserole. Cover and place in the fridge overnight. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake uncovered for 50-60 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Notes:

  • I halved the recipe and baked it in a 9 x 9 pan for the same amount of time.
  • I used skim milk and third less fat cream cheese.

Breakfast Burrito

I got this recipe from Harvesters’ Nutrition Department. This is a recipe that Jeremiah and I had originally planned to make for the week of the SNAP Challenge. We had to pass because it was too much for our budget. That’s too bad because they are healthy and super filling.

PicoHarvesters’ homemade pico de gallo
3 medium tomatoes, diced
2/3 c. cilantro, minced
½ small onion, diced
juice of 1 lime
1 jalapeno

Breakfast BurritoBreakfast Burrito
1 T. canola oil
1 medium bell pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 medium russet potatoes, diced
8 eggs, beaten
½ tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. black pepper
8 (10 inch) whole wheat lower sodium tortillas
1 c. low fat Cheddar cheese, shredded (4 oz.)

Mix all ingredients to make pico de gallo.

In a large skillet, heat oil. Add pepper, onion, and potatoes. Cook until potatoes are fork tender, about 8 minutes).

Spread potato mixture to the edge of the skillet and cook eggs in the middle.

Spread egg mixture into tortillas. Top with cheese and pico. Roll up like a burrito.

Nutritional Facts: 288 calories, 11 g. fat, 15 g. protein, 35 g. carbs, 6 g. fiber, and 193 mg. sodium.

Notes:

  • Nutrition says this recipe serves 8 at a cost of $1.35 per serving. I was able to make 12 burritos by using a smaller tortilla. Plus, we had a little pico de gallo left for homemade tortilla chips.
  • I omitted the jalapeno from the pico.
  • I froze some of the burritos. If you do this, please add more seasoning to your eggs/potato mixture.
  • We used a high fiber tortilla shell.

I Can’t Sleep

HJ Pancake

Creative Common Flickr photo by: rob_rob2001

It’s 5AM and I can’t sleep. I woke up worrying about how Jeremiah and I are going to eat on the Harvesters’ SNAP Challenge budget for the next week.

Our original plan sounded great. After dinner last night, we started working the numbers. Our original estimate was $93. Yikes! After taxes, we have about $41 to spend on food. It may sound like a lot – but I promise you it isn’t. We decided to go to Sprouts & HyVee and spent over two hours getting actual prices. Sadly, that was about $60. Then, we stayed up until 10:30 (way past our bed time) trying to figure this out. We made tough decisions like to buy the full sodium chicken stock to save $.38 per can. This was really tough for me since I am trying to watch my sodium intake for blood pressure reasons. We cut out meat. We cut cheese. And before going to bed, we cut our $3.99 Hy-Vee brand K-cups.

Day 2 – Back to the drawing board. We have two days to try to figure this out.

Breakfast was one of my biggest concerns. I work out in the mornings and burn 300 calories before breakfast. Plus, Jeremiah needs to eat something with his medicine. Our original plan was to make Harvesters’ Breakfast Burritos. My breakfast epiphany this morning was to buy the $1.25 Hungry Jack pancake mix and syrup (on sale at HyVee) for the week. (Bonus note – you earn $0.01 per item in Fuel Saver Rewards.) You only have to add water to the Hungry Jack mix to make pancakes. Water is free – not really but at least as far as our SNAP budget goes. We can each eat three pancakes every morning and will still have mix left. That means our price per serving is less than $0.09 per pancake (with butter and syrup). Take that SNAP budget! I couldn’t make basic French toast,  Oatmeal Cottage Cheese Banana Pancakes, Cinnamon Applesauce Pancakes, or the Whole Wheat Pancakes for less than that price per pancake.

 

Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins

100_1269This morning, I was looking for a new recipe to cook. I looked through several in which I was missing at least one item to make it. For this recipe, it was buttermilk. I was fairly certain I could do something to turn the milk I had into buttermilk. Sure enough, one cup of milk and 1 T. lemon juice sitting at room temperature for 10 minutes makes buttermilk.

I reminded me of a story about buttermilk and my nephew. Each night before bed, my nephew pours himself a glass of milk. My sister buys 1% milk. My nephew poured himself a glass and went to chug it down. Immediately he was spitting it out screaming to my sister that the milk was bad. My sister was sure that wasn’t possible because she had just bought it. When Steph looked at the jug, she noticed it was buttermilk. Apparently, 1% and buttermilk use the same color for labeling.

Although Brock wouldn’t recommend that you drink buttermilk, I am sure he would approve of the taste baked into this recipe.

Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins from Pinterest
2 c. flour
¾ c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 c. buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
¼ c. applesauce
1 c. chopped strawberries
½ c. rhubarb

Topping
½ c. flour
½ c. light brown sugar
¼ c. melted butter

Whisk buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, and applesauce. In a separate bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Combine wet and dry ingredients and stir. Fold in strawberries and rhubarb. Put in muffin cups. Top with crumb mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Notes:

  • I used frozen strawberries and rhubarb.

Whole Wheat Pancakes

This recipe is for all of you out there trying to eat healthy but are still feeling hungry. My sister is doing the doing the Mayo Diet where you don’t eat sugar (non-natural sugar) for 10 days. I’ve been watching my diet and tracking everything I eat for the last two months. Sugar is in everything – or added to everything to make it taste better according to the documentary Fed Up. I told my sister I thought she could eat this recipe if she use the Cary’s sugar free syrup my grandma has to use for diabetic reasons.

I ate three of these as was so full that I skipped lunch.

Whole Wheat PancakesWhole Wheat Greek Yogurt Pancakes from the Coffee & Quinoa Blog via Pinterest
1 ½ c. whole wheat flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 c. plain nonfat Greek yogurt
¾ c. skim milk (or almond milk)
1 egg
2 T. maple syrup
½ tsp. vanilla

Mix together dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix all wet ingredients. Pour into dry and stir. If it seems too thick, you can add 2 T. of milk. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Pour and cook. Serve with fresh fruit or milk syrup. (Made six medium pancakes.)

Skinny Cini-minis

100_1202Last week, I joking said I would marry the pastry chef at Seasons 52 because their mini-indulgences are so big in taste and light in calories. I’ve set a weight loss goal that is going to take some serious changes in my eating habitats. I gave up caffeine and my candy bowl of M&Ms. I’m watching my sodium intake and increasing my potassium consumption. Less processed foods and more fresh fruits, veggies, and whole grains. I’m also working out six days a week again. Since February, I’ve lost 19 pounds but I still have a way to go to reach my ultimate goal.

Today, I’m sharing a Weight Watchers cinnamon roll recipe that might help you when you want a “mini-indulgence” to keep going. It’s very easy with just four ingredients and also tasty. Just make sure you don’t eat too many because each little cinnamon roll is 1 WW point.

Skinny Cinnamon Rolls from Pinterest
8 oz. can of reduced fat crescent rolls
4 tsp. of cinnamon
½ c. powder sugar
2 tsp. skim milk

Roll out crescent rolls into four squares – pressing together seams. Sprinkle each with cinnamon. Roll up length wise and cut into five pieces (20 total per container). Place on a baking sheet and cook at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Whisk together powder sugar and milk. Spoon over warm rolls and serve.

Banana Oatmeal Muffins

Honey, bananas, and Greek yogurt are great healthy recipe substitutions. The recipe has all plus the low fat, high fiber quick oats. Throw in a little flax seed which is currently being researched to prevent breast cancer. You might be surprised to learn this recipe is actually pretty good. I would totally make it again.

Banana Oatmeal MuffinsBanana Oatmeal Muffins from Pinterest
2 ½ c. oats
1 c. low-fat Greek yogurt
2 eggs
½ c. honey
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 T. flax seed
1 tsp. vanilla
2 ripe bananas

Food process oats to a finer consistency. Add remaining ingredients and blend until mixed. Pour into 12 muffin cups and bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes.

Notes:

  • I halved the recipe and it still made 9 muffins.
  • I substituted low-fat vanilla yogurt because it was what I had on hand.
  • I added some frozen berries to a few muffins. Feel free to mix chocolate chips or nuts into yours. The plain muffins were also good.
  • I didn’t have any flax seed so I made it without.