Tag Archives: sunflower seeds

Sausage, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Casserole

As I’ve mentioned before, Sam and I do a lot of running.  Currently, we’re training for the Rock ‘n Roll USA Half Marathon, which is held in DC in March!  Are any of you running it?  I would love to see some bloggers and readers out there!

For me, the hardest part about training for distance races (halfs, fulls, etc) is providing your body with enough nutrition and energy.  Specifically, the day you do your long run- ours tend to be Saturdays.  What can you eat after a run during which you’ve burned over 1,000 calories?  A burger definitely hits the spot, but I some mornings all I want are eggs.

A couple of weeks ago, I was perusing my Google Reader and I saw the perfect post-long run breakfast dish.  It was from Liza, of (a)Musing Foodie- a fellow blogger I met at the Eat, Write, Retreat Food Blog Conference.  The best part was, it’s a dish you put together the night before, and just pop it into the oven in the morning.

Sausage, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Casserole

Even if you don’t have a long run planned for this Saturday, this is a perfect dish for your brunch guests.  Easy, delicious and very versatile!

Sausage, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Casserole

Sausage, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Casserole
Adapted from: (a)Musing Foodie

Liza used a baguette, I did not have one on hand- so I used leftover whole-wheat bread from Trader Joe’s that had flaxseeds and sunflowers seeds in it.  Feel free to use what you have in your bread box!  Additionally, use any type of milk product for the 2 1/2 cups of liquid (regular milk, soy milk, almond milk, etc)- I ran out of the soy milk so I substituted the rest with the half ‘n half.

2 cups of bread, cubed
6 slices of bacon
1 large onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño, chopped (optional)
1 lb Polish sausage, cut into small pieces
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
10 large eggs
2 cups soy milk
1/2 cup half ‘n half
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Spray a 9×13” baking dish with cooking spray. Then spread the bread cubes on the bottom of the baking dish.

Heat up a large skillet, place the bacon on it and heat it up until crispy on both sides.  Set aside on a paper towel, but leave the bacon grease in the pan.  Then add in the onion, let it cook until translucent over medium heat, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and jalapeño, cook for another 2-3 minutes.  Next, add in the sausage and cook for about 5-10 minutes, until it begins to brown.  Add all of these ingredients into a large bowl.

Once the bacon has cooled off, chop it up and add it to the bowl.  Then mix in cheese, spinach, and green onions.  Once the meats and vegetables are mixed, spread this out over the bread cubes in the baking dish.

Next, in a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, soy milk, half and half, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper.  Then pour this mixture over the layers in the casserole dish, and gently press down so the liquid drips down.

Cover the casserole, and let it sit overnight in the fridge.

Once you’re ready to cook it, preheat the oven to 375ºF.  Bake the casserole covered with aluminum foil for 45 minutes.  Then uncover it, and bake it for another 15 minutes when it starts to bubble.

Let it rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Leafy Brussels Sprouts with Nuts

When making Faith’s, of An Edible Mosaic, Saffron Rice I needed another side to have a filling dinner.  We didn’t have any meat or fish in our fridge, so instead I opted for a veggie side dish.

Sam and I love brussels sprouts- and this variation was a perfect way to indulge.  For those of you looking for Thanksgiving side dishes, this is definitely one to consider.  The brussels sprouts came out light, slightly sweet and a perfect pairing with this rice.  And with the leaves peeled, this gives you just a slight variation of texture, and elegance to this side dish!

Leafy Brussels Sprouts with Nuts
Adapted from: Kiss My Spatula

1/4 cup pecans, chopped
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup dried pomegranate seeds
3 tbsp butter
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 lb brussels sprouts
1 tsp olive oil
1 large shallot, diced
1/4 tsp pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

To prepare the candied nuts, mix the pecans, walnuts, sunflower seeds and pomegranate seeds with 1 tbsp of butter, brown sugar and 1/4 tsp salt in a saute pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until everything is slightly caramelized.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Using a small knife, cut off the brussels sprout stems, then peel off leaves.  You can discard the middle of the sprout.

Heat a large saute pan over medium heat, add the butter, olive oil and shallots.  Saute shallots for about 1 minute, then add the brussels sprouts, 1/4 tsp salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.  Gently stir the brussels sprout leaves until they are slightly caramelized and the edges begin to brown.

Once cooked, mix the brussels sprout leaves with the candied nuts in a large bowl.  Then divide the greens and serve.

Oatmeal Chocolate Bars

I’m a huge fan of granola bars, oatmeal bars or any other snack that comes in a bar form.  I’ve made different bars before, and I always like the homemade one’s much more than the store bought one’s.  And you can pick your own flavors that go into it.

Also, how many times have you grabbed the organic or all-natural granola snack bar, and then turned it over to read the ingredients?  You’ll see some words that you have no idea what they are, or what they mean.  So what’s the best way to control what you put into your tummy?  Make it yourself!

These bars are great.  After we cut them up, we kept them in tupperware containers in the fridge.  I would take them to work for a mid-day snack.  By the time I would eat it at work, the chocolate would be slightly melty, and the granola would be soft.  Feel free to play around with different flavors of the dried fruit, or change the type of peanut butter.  There are so many varieties to be made.

Not only do these make great mid-day snacks, but they’re also a fantastic way to fuel up before a long run (or after)!  Maybe bring it with you when you’re traveling in the car, or a flight (it’s way better than those pretzels!).

Oatmeal Chocolate Bars
Adapted from: Eat, Live, Run

1 cup of honey
2 tsp maple extract
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup creamy sunflower butter (or peanut butter)
2 cups of oatmeal oats
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup dried pomegranate seeds
1/4 dried currants
1/2 cup dried cherries
3/4 cup of chocolate chips

Combine honey, maple extract, salt, sugar and sunflower butter in a small saucepan.  Bring the mixture to a boil, and then simmer for 4 minutes while stirring it.

Add the oats, coconut, sunflower seeds, dried pomegranate seeds, dried currants,  dried cherries to a large bowl.  Once the honey-sunflower butter mixture is done cooking, add it to the large bowl.  Fold the two mixtures together.  Lastly, add the chocolate chips, but be sure to not melt the chocolate chips.

Grease a 9×12 inch pan, and then pat down the bar mixture.  Chill in the fridge for at least an hour, and then cut the bars into the pieces.

Spicy Asian Salad with Sunflower Seeds

This past weekend, my friend PB* (Happy Birthday!) and I took a walk on the Theodore Roosevelt Island.  If you live in the D.C. area, or are visiting- this is definitely a relaxing walking/running path that does not make you feel like you’re in the city.  We got to see the flowers that have bloomed, and the leaves with their deep green colors.  We also got to see some animals:

All the greenery made me think of foods that take you back to basics.  Earthy flavors.  So, this is a different type of a salad which we had this week (it’s a green one!).  I’ve actually made this for a couple of friends before (C* this is for you, but I’m sure you already know the recipe by heart!), and decided we needed to have it for lunch because it was that delicious.

I’m sure recipes like this one are floating around somewhere.  From a nutritional standpoint, many salads miss out on the flavor and the nutritional boost.  This salad definitely does not lack on either.  I don’t always feel like making a salad, no matter how easy it might be to make.  I love to eat them out, but at home I feel like they are a little too much work?  (I know, this sounds silly).  But when you see how good this is for you, and take the first bite, you’ll start to crave it!

One of the distinct changes I had made from the original recipe was that I used sunflower seeds rather than pumpkin seeds.  Both are delicious, I just couldn’t find pumpkin seeds in the store- come October it’ll be the perfect addition.  Until then, find the seeds that you prefer!

Spicy Asian Salad with Sunflower Seeds
Adapted from: Vegetarian Times

Salad:
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 cups baby spinach leaves
1 cup bean sprouts
1 cup carrots, grated
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
2 green onions, chopped

Dressing:
juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp Asian Stir-fly Oil
1/2 tsp sriracha chile sauce
1/4 tbsp ginger, grated

Coat a skillet with cooking spray, and heat it over medium heat.  Pour eggs into the skillet, and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until firmly set.  Transfer the omelet to a cutting board, and let it cool.  Once it’s cooled, chop the omelet into 1/2-inch strips.

To make dressing, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.

Add the spinach leaves, bean sprouts, carrots, sunflower seeds, green onions and egg pieces to a large bowl.  Finally, add the dressing, and toss to coat.