Category Archives: breakfast

Kale, Squash and Cranberry Saute (Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free)

Kale Squash and Cranberry Saute from https://jenfongeats.wordpress.comI try to eat vegetables at every meal, in order to get 7-9 servings of vegetables a day. I’ve found it’s done dramatic things for my health and waistline. When it was summer, it was easy to find a variety of vegetables at the Farmer’s Market. But now that it’s winter, my options that are organic and not imported are a lot fewer. So I’ve been doing a lot of winter squash and kale.

I’ve been on a big kale and butternut squash kick recently. I eat both nearly every day in a variety of ways. Green smoothies, soup, stir fries, you name it. But one of my absolute favorite ways to enjoy both is in this hearty dish that I make for breakfast a few times per week.

This dish also uses cranberries, which I stock up on during the holidays and keep in the freezer. I love the way the cranberries in this dish complement the earthy flavors. So often we think of cranberry as sweet, since we typically add so much sugar to them. But in this dish the tangy, sour flavor of the cranberry adds a lot.

I hope you enjoy this healthy dish as much as I do!

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Kale, Squash and Cranberry Saute


  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 slice nitrite-free bacon, sliced into small pieces
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 4-5 leaves kale, washed and trimmed from stems, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup roasted butternut squash, cut into bite-sized pieces (I typically prepare a whole squash, and keep the cooked cubes in the freezer)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh whole cranberries (unsweetened), chopped
  • 1/2 cup broth (chicken or vegetable) Note: Can also use water
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 1-2 eggs

Here’s What To Do:

  1. In a large frying pan, melt coconut oil. 
  2. Add chopped bacon and onion, and saute for 5 minutes over medium heat.
  3. Add kale, butternut squash, cranberries, broth, salt and pepper, and saute for 5-7 minutes or until kale reaches desired tenderness.
  4. Toss in pumpkin seeds, and stir fry for 1 more minute.
  5. Put on a plate.
  6. Wipe out saucepan, and then cook 1-2 fried eggs.
  7. Serve eggs over kale saute.

What’s your favorite way to serve kale and squash?


Favorite Gluten-Free Recipe Roundup

Chicken, Bacon, Dates and beet greens. Total yum! A recipe I’ll share next week!

This week I’ve been exploring some new recipes from some of my favorite food bloggers. All of them are gluten and refined-sugar free. I wanted to share some of these fantastic recipes with you today. Enjoy!

  • Slow-Cooked Coconut Ginger Pork: The juice this dish produces in the crockpot will blow your mind. It is so succulent. About 30 minutes before it was done cooking, I threw in some baby spinach and sliced carrots which added a nice nutritional punch, plus some color. If you do grains, you could serve it over rice. Otherwise serve it in a bowl. You’ll want to drink the liquid for sure!
  • Rosemary Spaghetti Squash Egg Nests: I’m realizing that I have quite a few vegetables I’ve avoided over the years because of some less than pleasant early experiences with them as a child. Spaghetti squash was one of them. However when I saw this recipe from the Urban Poser, I knew I needed to give it another chance. I am SO glad I did. This is awesome, and quite filling. One is more than enough to fill you. Next time I make it I’ll prepare the nests ahead of time, and then I can cook them with the egg inside when I’m ready, and I can keep the yolks gooey (they cooked solid before the nests were done.) This makes a great breakfast or even dinner.
  • Red Chicken Coconut Curry: OK, this one is one of mine. But it’s a meal that comes together SO quickly, that I had to include it. In 20 minutes, dinner is done!
  • Blueberry Pumpkin Pie Protein Shake: It’s pumpkin pie in a glass. No lie. I’m not even all that big a fan of pumpkin pie, but I LOVE this shake. And the best part is that it leaves me full and totally energized all morning.
  • Coconut Cream Pie Larabar Recipe: I’m a big fan of Kind bars, and typically prefer them to Larabars. But when I was in the grocery store this week I was starving and saw these in the checkout line so I picked one up. TOTAL yum! Because I don’t love the price on any of these bars I quickly looked up a recipe on how to make them at home. This one is great.
  • Cinnamon Bun Muffins: This is the first recipe I ever made from the Elana’s Pantry food blog, and it’s still one of my favorites. (I replace the agave with 100% pure maple syrup.) Make them. You can thank me later!

Do you have some favorite gluten and refined-sugar free recipes? Please share them in the comments!

Sweet Potato Black Bean Hash (vegetarian, gluten free)

Canned corned beef hash…Yuck!

When I think of the word “hash” I hearken back to pink stuff that came out of a can with teeny tiny cubes of what I think were potatoes that my mother used to serve with eggs. Yeah…this isn’t that.

I love sweet potatoes. They’re delicious all by themselves. But they are also fantastic as a base for this delicious breakfast dish (that actually could be served at any time of day.)

I also have a bit of a problem when it comes to black beans. We buy cans of black beans by the case (yes I know I could do it with dry beans in my crockpot, but I haven’t gotten myself together enough to do that and properly store them.) I love that they are an amazing protein source that all of my kids will eat and be happy about it.

So it was a natural thing to bring sweet potatoes and black beans together for this dish. Then in keeping with my desire to add as many veggies to each dish as possible I threw some more in. The result was an absolutely beautiful (and totally delicious) hash that I think you’ll love. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Black Bean Hash
Serves 1-2


  • 1-2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 1 baked sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup torn baby spinach leaves
  • 1 Tbsp pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)

Here’s What To Do:

  1. Melt the coconut oil over medium heat in a large frying pan.
  2. Add the chopped onion and bell pepper. Cook and stir over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until fairly soft.
  3. Add the cubed sweet potato to the pan, and cook 2 minutes.
  4. Add the black beans to the pan, and cook 2 minutes more.
  5. Turn off the heat, and add the spinach leaves. Stir until JUST wilted.
  6. Place on plate, and sprinkle with pepitas.
  7. If desired, top with a fried egg.


Gluten and Refined Sugar Free Banana Nut Cacao Pancakes (Paleo)

Banana Nut Cacao Pancakes

My kids are back to school, which means I’m getting up before the sun to make breakfast and be sure my kids get a good start to the day. Like a lot of parents, I wrack my brain to try to come up with tasty, high protein options that are easy to make when the coffee is still kicking in, and that the kids will actually eat. The bonus is when the breakfast is something I can eat too (no wheat or refined sugar.)

Well this recipe totally fits that bill. The inspiration came from Marla Sarris, who guest posted about Paleo breakfasts over at The Mogul Mom. This recipe is a variation on that theme. These were a HUGE hit in my house.

Plus the ingredient list isn’t complicated. You can use cocoa powder if you don’t have raw cacao. (And the cacao provides a nice shot of antioxidants.) And you can omit the liquid stevia all together. You can make them with almond butter, peanut butter, or any nut butter of your choice.

Banana Nut Cacao Pancakes


  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 heaping Tbsp nut butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp cacao or cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 5 drops vanilla stevia (optional, to taste)
  • Coconut oil or butter, for frying

Here’s What To Do:

  1. In a blender, combine bananas, nut butter, eggs, cacao powder, cinnamon, and stevia until well mixed.
  2. Heat a little coconut oil or butter in a large pan over medium heat.
  3. Pour batter on heated pan. I made silver dollar sized pancakes, but you can make them larger as you prefer. These cook quickly so as soon as the edges seem cooked, flip and cook a minute longer.
  4. Remove from heat and serve. If you use the stevia, they are sweet enough on their own, and you can just serve with fruit.

Next time we make these, I’m going to try them with pumpkin instead of bananas, omit the cacao, and use pumpkin pie spice. I’ll let you know how they turn out. 

Fruit, Nuts, and Oats Breakfast Bars

A trayful of oaty goodness!

Last night I watched the premier of Jamie Oliver’s new show, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, on ABC.  Now I have to tell you, most reality television does very little for me.  I don’t watch Survivor or Big Brother, American Idol or the Real Housewives of anywhere.  But this show is different, and it had a profound impact on me.  If you haven’t watched it, I highly recommend that you click the link above and take a look.  And I have to hand it to Jamie Oliver.  He’s taken a big personal risk by going into the unhealthiest town in America, and trying to help them change their eating habits.

I think the scene that struck me the most was when he went into a classroom, and the children couldn’t name a single vegetable…not a tomato or a potato…but they could easily name chicken nuggets, french fries, and pizza, because that’s what they were being served for breakfast and lunch at school, and probably for dinner at home, too.

Now I actually make a pretty big deal of vegetables in my own home.  As a mom of three young children, I take my kids shopping in the produce aisle, encourage them to try new ones they’ve chosen, and try to serve a vegetable at every meal.  But then there are the nights when I work overtime, and we wind up eating pizza or fast food.  My daughter’s favorite food when we eat out is chicken nuggets.

This show made me take a good, long, hard look at places we as a family could improve.  And I’m hoping it helps a lot of families do the same thing.  We may be further along than some of the folks in the show, but there’s always room for improvement.

So who’s with me?  Will you join me in the quest to move away from processed food, and towards more healthy ingredients?  Will you try and put a fruit or vegetable on the table for every single meal?  I’ll be sharing recipes here as we go along (I will be sharing one today.)  Would love to hear your thoughts on this.

And here’s today’s recipe.  My kids love granola bars, but I don’t like how much sugar and fat are in them.  I stumbled on this infinitely adaptable breakfast bar recipe by Nigella Lawson, and have adapted it.  I’m also using it to teach my kids more cooking, another resolution I’ve made as a result of Jamie Oliver’s show.  I’ve always had them do some cooking, but I’m more committed than ever to teach them how to prepare healthy foods they’ll enjoy.  I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I do!

Fruit, Nuts, and Oats Breakfast Bars

1 can fat free sweetened condensed milk
2 1/2 cups rolled oats (not instant)
1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
1 cup dried fruit (we like dried cherries, cranberries, or raisins)
1/2 cup flax seeds
1/2 cup seeds (we like pumpkin, sunflower, or sesame seeds)
1 cup unsalted nuts (we like pistachios, cashews, or almonds)


  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Heat condensed milk for 1 1/2 minutes in microwave-proof container, on high in the microwave.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients.
  4. Pour warmed condensed milk over oat mixture, and stir with rubber spatula until combined.
  5. Pour mixture into prepared 9×13 dish, and bake in 250 degree oven for 1 hour.
  6. Allow to cool for 15 minutes, and then cut into 16 squares.

We like to individually wrap the squares in plastic wrap, so we can take them with us.  They get better the longer they sit.

I hope you enjoy these as much as we do.  My kids inhale them.  And all the whole grains, seeds, and nuts make this a really nutritious and satisfying breakfast.

Enjoy with a piece of fruit and a glass of milk!

Banana Flax Oatmeal Muffins

Just a little shout out first to John Boyd and his Coffee Pot Cooking blog.  He blogged about adapting both my slow cooker “roast” chicken recipe, as well as my slow cooker black bean and brown rice chili recipe, so that they are cooked in a coffee pot!  No lie.  He actually cooks in his coffee pot.  BRILLIANT in my opinion.  Go check him out and comment!  Great stuff going on over there.  🙂

Today I was in the mood for muffins.  Now I recently picked up a bag of flaxseed meal, and discovered that it’s a natural appetite suppressant.  Did you know that?  It was news to me.  And this morning the boys and I decided that banana muffins sounded good, so the result was this recipe with bananas, flax seed, and my beloved whole wheat pastry flour, which is the BEST for healthy baked goods that aren’t heavy.  Try them and let me know what you think!

Banana Flax Oatmeal Muffins


1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup flaxseed meal
1 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup oat bran
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cups raisins
3 bananas
2 egg whites
1 whole egg
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease 24 muffin cups (or line with paper liners.)
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, flaxseed meal, oatmeal, oat bran, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, walnuts, and raisins.
  3. In a separate bowl, mash bananas.  Then, add egg whites and whole egg, and beat lightly.  Add milk and vanilla, and combine well.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, and mix just until blended (do not overmix!)
  5. Spoon batter evenly among 24 muffin cups.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center muffin comes out dry.
  7. Cool on wire racks.
  8. Serve.  We like it with honey!

Now John, tell me true…can you make these in a coffee pot?

Slow Cooker Apple Pie Oatmeal

red_apple432My middle son would eat oatmeal every day of the year if I allowed it. He likes it that much. And I love the fact that it is so flaming easy to make oatmeal in the slow cooker. With fall and apple season here, I got inspired to make this apple pie oatmeal in my slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Apple Pie Oatmeal


1 cup steel cut oats
1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped
2 tsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp butter
2 cups apple juice
2 cups milk


  1. Put oatmeal in a small round slow cooker.
  2. In a small bowl, combine apple, cinnamon, brown sugar, and flour.  Add to oatmeal in slow cooker and stir to combine.
  3. Add butter, apple juice, and milk to slow cooker.
  4. Cook on low overnight.

In the morning, serve with raisins (if desired), more brown sugar, and cream.  Enjoy!