Sweet Potato Egg Muffins

OK so my last two post have been breakfast/brunch items and this is no different BUT who cares because breakfast is amazing, anytime of the day. I have been making egg cups for one of my clients that I do weekly meals for and I try to switch it up and make them with different ingredients and different ways, sometimes I scramble the eggs then put in the muffin tins or I drop the egg right into the muffin tins, or I’ll do just egg whites and load it with cooked spinach, onions, peppers, sausage, cheese, scallions, fresh thyme and so on.  My mom called me the other day and whenever she sees something she thinks ill like on the Food Network she will call and tell me alllll about it.  She was watching Ree Drummond, from the AMAZING blog and now TV show The Pioneer Woman made hash and eggs cups in a muffin tin.  She made shredded potato hash and lined the muffin tins with hash and then the egg mixture on top and bake.  I thought it was a pretty cool idea.  It’s great to make a lot and store and have for breakfast on your way out the door for the week.  I figured I’d test it out on my client who loves eggs cups.  He prefers to eat on the healthy side so I knew fried white potatoes wouldn’t work here.  So I thought of using sweet potatoes instead and bake them instead of frying.  I also added maple brown sugar breakfast sausages and that worked so well with the sweet potatoes.  My client LOVED and requested it again the next week.  My tip, store in air tight container in the refrigerator or freezer and pop in the microwave in the morning and start your day on a good foot and happy stomach!

Sweet Potato Egg Muffins

Special Equipment: 2 non stick muffin tins, baking sheet

1 dozen eggs

4-5 sweet potatoes

1 lb breakfast sausage (I used a maple brown sugar flavor)

2 TBS onion powder

1 TBS garlic powder

1 Teaspoon paprika

2 TBS olive oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

Cooking / baking spray

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Peel and cut potatoes into 1 inch cubes. Place in a bowl and sprinkle with 1 TBS onion powder, garlic powder, paprika and salt and pepper. Add olive oil and toss together. Line the baking sheet with foil or parchment and lightly spray, then spread out the sweet potatoes and bake for 30 minutes.
  3. While potatoes are in the oven, cook the sausages, either in a pan or bake in oven. Whisk the eggs with a whisk or fork and season with the remaining onion powder, salt and pepper.
  4. Cut sausages into pieces and set aside. When the potatoes are done, turn the oven done to 350 degrees. Spray each cup of the muffin tins (you can be generous here).  First divide the sweet potatoes among the cups, mine came to about 5-6 pieces each.  Take the back of a spoon or your fingers (best tool in the kitchen) and mash the potatoes into the bottom of the tins.  Then add the pieces of sausage on top of the potatoes.  Then pour the egg mixture into each cup (be careful not to overfill).
  5. Bake for about 15 minutes. Cool on a baking wrack and then store in an air tight container. ENJOY!

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If you make this, (and you should) take a picture and hash tag on facebook or instagram #PersonalDish 🙂

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Quick Lunch Salad– Kale, Grilled chicken, and Roasted chickpeas

I came up with this salad the other day while I was in a panic in the morning realizing that I forgot to prepare a lunch for the day. I have been trying hard not to buy lunch and thought I would have to that day. But I had a few things in my fridge and had a “make it work” moment and it turned out to be great! The night before I had grilled up chicken breast to have for a salad or to add to a quick pasta dish. I had a kale which I love for salad because it hold up to salad dressing well without wilting and is packed with nutrients and flavor. I had roasted chickpeas the day before(which is my new thing..love it) and a good chunk of blue cheese I had bought the other day. So I thought if I just pack all this up I can assemble a pretty good salad for lunch. All it takes is a little preparation the night before and you have nice gourmet salad and be the envy of all your coworkers who are drooling over your lunch! Pack the chicken in one container, and the vegetables in another. I always make my own dressings so I know what exactly is in them and they often taste better then store bought, but this is your lunch so do whatever makes your stomach happy!

Grilled Chicken Kale Salad
1-2 cups kale, cut up in bit size pieces, hard stem removed
2 pieces of chicken breast, cooked and cut into thin slices
Few pieces of thinly sliced red pepper and onion
2 TBS of roasted chickpeas
Few crumbles of Blue cheese

Assemble a bed of kale on a plate making a slight dome shape. Add the grilled chicken around the dome, then the peppers, onions and chickpeas around and on top of the salad. Add the cheese last and drizzle with your favorite dressing or the yogurt dressing below!

Creamy Yogurt Dressing
1 cup Greek plain yogurt
juice from 1 lemon
fresh thyme, sage or Italian season blend
3 TBS red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Add everything to a small bowl and whisk with a fork or small whisk, add salt and pepper to taste.

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Photo May 07, 1 17 58 PM

Peanut Butter Flaxseed Granola Bars

I love granola bars, it’s quick on-the-go breakfast or snack during the day. The problem is that they are super expensive (im cheap, thanks mom) and who knows what “preservatives” companies are putting in these things, and lets not even get into the amounts of sugar in these bars. So I decided to make my own, which turned out to be incredibly simple and completely addictive! I used my favorite ingredients; oatmeal, peanut butter, chocolate chips, dried cherries, flaxseeds, coconut oil, honey, nutmeg and cinnamon. You can of course put in what YOU love and mix it up each time.

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Photo Apr 30, 9 25 13 AM (1)

Peanut Butter Flaxseed Granola Bars

3 cups oatmeal
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup crushed and whole almonds or cashews
1/4 cup dried fruit or raisins (I used dried cherries)
1/4 honey or maple syrup
2 tbs flaxseeds
2 tbs coconut oil
Few dashes of cinnamon and nutmeg

Prepare a 8×8 baking dish line with parchment paper and sprayed with baking spray. Have the parchment hanging over the sides so its easy to pull out in the end.

1. In a sauce pan add the peanut butter and honey and heat for 2-3 minutes and shut off
2. In a bowl combine the remaining ingredients and add a sprinkle of kosher salt
3. Add the peanut butter mixture and combine everything well
4. Add mixture to the prepared pan and push down tightly with your fist. Cover with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge to set for 2 hours
5. When it’s set, take out of pan and cut in squares or rectangular bars Enjoy!!

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Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

I LOVE sweet potatoes, in any form, mashed, cut up in little pieces for a breakfast hash, candied for  Thanksgiving, in a pie, fries, but my hands down favorite is roasted. There is truly nothing better than sweet potatoes put in an high oven and roasted to perfection. You can add a little butter and cinnamon but I like it just the way it is, it’s sweet enough that it doesn’t require much of anything.  In restaurants I have seen where they like to “kick up” a baked sweet potato with junk like marshmallows, and not that there is anything wrong with marshmallows but sweet on top of more sweet is just gross and a good way to ruin a perfectly good vegetable.  Not to mention the spike in calories.  Sweet potatoes already have a great amount of nutrients, why not compliment it with even MORE healthy goodness?  I got this great idea from a post on Pintrest. You split open a perfectly baked sweet potato and stuff it with this lime cilantro infused black bean and corn mixture.  The idea is genius, delicious AND couldn’t be easier!   This is a great side dish or main dish.  Try it tonight..seriously DO IT!

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

4 Sweet potatoes

1 can of black beans, drained

1 can of corn or frozen corn, cooked

1 orange or yellow (or red or green) bell pepper, chopped

1 small or 1/2 of a big red onion, chopped

3-4 limes, juiced

1/4 cup of cilantro

2 tbs honey

a few dashes of hot sauce

3 TBS of olive oil

Course salt and pepper to taste

1. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.  Put potatoes on sheet and roast in oven for 30-40 minutes

2. Meanwhile make your stuffing.  In a bowl mix the onion, pepper, corn,  and beans.  In  separate bowl whisk together the lime juice, honey, hot sauce, oil and salt and pepper.  Add dressing to the bean mixture.  Keep refrigerated until potatoes are done.

3.   Take potatoes out when they are soft and tender throughout.  (you can prick with a fork to test)

4. Using a pairing knife split open lengthwise and cut 3 quarters of the way down.  Making enough room for the stuffing.  Add  spoonful’s of the bean mixture to each potato.  You can add more lime juice to the top or more hot sauce (ME) or even a little feta cheese if you have it!   Its so incredibly refreshing and so good! Enjoy!! (Tip- make extra stuffing and add it to fish, chicken or beef for a great topping!)

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Photo Feb 16, 3 50 41 PM

Recipe adapted from: HERE

Lentil Patties

My 21 day cleanse is officially over and I feel great and lost a few pounds (hooray!) the best part of this process was trying new foods and new ways of cooking that I’m not normally use to.  I’m a sucker for two things; pizza and burgers.  And I will never give that stuff up, it’s really all about moderation.  I was never into the veggie burger thing, why would I have a veggie burger instead of a juicy, greasy, succulent all beef burger?!  But this cleanse was all about trying new things and being open minded.  I was reading through the February edition of Martha Stewart Living magazine and saw these really good looking lentil patties made with green lentils. She accompanied the patty with capers, yogurt and Bibb lettuce. I figured I would try the recipe (with my own interpretation of course) and it turned out really great! I added more vegetables in the mix and instead of yogurt I accompanied mine with fresh made salsa on a bed of romaine hearts. It was a delicious, fresh and filling meal.

No, it will never replace that juicy, fatty, luscious all meat burger on a bun but its great alternative for a healthful meal! Green lentils are best here, they are firmer and hold the whole thing together really well. I tried it last week with red lentils and it was hard to keep together and way more mushy. I’m going to try next time with a mix of green lentils and black beans..yum!

Lentil Patties

Special equipment note: I used a food processor to grind the ingredients if you don’t have one make sure all vegetables are chopped finely and mash lentils with a masher or fork)

1/2 cup Green Lentils
1 Red onion chopped (if its a big one use half)
2 Eggs (lightly beaten)
1 Cup Almond flour (for binding, feel free to use breadcrumbs or panko)
1/2 of a green or red pepper, finely chopped
6-8 White button mushroom
2 TBS of chopped parsley
1 TBS smoked paprika
1 teaspoon of chili powder
Course salt and fresh black pepper

Accompaniments
Salsa
Romaine lettuce
Sliced red onion
Chopped parsley
Other options: fried egg, plain yogurt mixed with cayenne pepper, hot sauce, any type of cheese, sautéed vegetables just to name a few!

1. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil and add lentils. Season with salt and continue on medium heat for about 20 minutes until lentils are tender. When they are done drain them and let cool in a bowl.
2. Combine lentils, mushrooms, onion, peppers, parsley, paprika, chili powder, almond flour, eggs and salt and pepper in a bowl.
3. Take half the mixture and pulse in a food processors (or mash) until smooth. Add back to the other half and mix together until well combined.
4. Use a small ice cream scoop and form patties. (tip- spray your hands with cooking spray when forming the patties, it wont stick to your hands)
5. Heat a skillet with oil (olive, veg, coconut etc.) on medium heat. Cook in batches until crisps on both sides, about 3 minutes each side. Let cool on a baking sheet.
6. Use one romaine heart per patty. Lay patty on top of lettuce (you can dress your lettuce with fresh lemon juice) then add your salsa on top of patty or whatever toppings you decide to use. Enjoy!

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