We all need something to put the steam in our engine for the entire day, so I encourage everyone to try this to give you powerful protein-filled strength tomorrow morning.
The term “cordon bleu” refers to the highest rank of knights instituted by King Henri III of France in 1578. These knights wore a sash of blue to distinguish themselves and this simple breakfast will bolster you with all the fortitude of which those cordon bleu knights ever dreamed.
In just five minutes you can strengthen you day with these few ingredients:
- one egg, whisked
- 2 oz. diced grilled chicken breast
- 2 oz. diced cooked ham
- 1 oz. diced or shredded Swiss cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- Garnish with fresh spinach
Get a small skillet and pour a whisper of olive oil in and get the heat going until little ripples can be seen in the oil. Add your meats. Get them good and warm. Add the egg and the cheese and scramble it all together until the eggs are set. Shut the flame and let the heat of the pan gently melt the Swiss cheese. Stir in a tiny pat of butter to finish and tumble it all onto your plate and season to taste.
This is one of those dishes with that great idiot-proof factor. No matter your cooking skills, this one can be done on the fly with nothing but the tastiest of results. If ham, or meat for that matter, isn’t your thing, play around. Use mushrooms and onions. Try beef or veal. You can’t go wrong. Don’t like cheese? Use roasted peppers and garlic. What ever you choose, you will have a blue ribbon winning breakfast and the energy of the highest appointed knight to fuel your morning.
Cooking any type of cutlet is a simple process in the skillet; add a little oil, season the meat and sear on both sides until slightly firm to the touch. I seasoned these pork loin cutlets with salt, pepper, a dash of soy sauce and mirin (a sweet white wine vinegar). You have to be very watchful with a sweet marinate as it burns quickly.
I put four cutlets in the skillet as not to crowd the pan and get too much juice rendering and boil the meat. You want it to brown nicely on both sides. Again, be attentive. It only takes a few minutes to get done on high to medium high. When the meat is nearly done be ready to deglaze with a splash of water and a lid to contain the steam. Let the meat rest a short time to finish cooking under the lid until it feels like the middle of your out stretched palm, not squishy like the heel of your hand. Remove the meat to finish resting aside on the counter. That splash of water really brings the browning off the skillet and gives you a rich bit of brown broth. I added another splash to get it all. A little salt and pepper and another dash of soy sauce made about a third cup of sauce to cook the naked egg rolls in.
So what’s a naked egg roll? It’s all the yummy goodness of the inside of an egg roll without the wrapper. Here’s what you do:
- In one big bowl, grate one half a head of cabbage.
- Grate two medium carrots.
- Finely dice an onion.
- Finely dice some celery, leaves and all. Use at least one rib; two if they are small.
- Laugh a bit because the above sounds like something Dr. Seus would say.
- Cook down the prepared vegetables in that third cup of juice and cover with the lid, adding a bit of water every now and then. You want it to just scorch between water additions and bring out the sweetness of the aromatic veggies.
- When the vegetables are quite tender and nicely caramelized around the edges lower the heat, beat one egg in a small bowl and pour it over the veggies.
- Stir everything until the egg is set then add a few good dashes of soy sauce, some pepper, powdered ginger, and powdered garlic to taste (about half a teaspoon each).
- Put the lid on and let it sit a while with the flame off then fluff it up here and there to distribute the seasoning.
- Go back to the cutlets and pour the juice that will have collected on the plate into the veggies and stir that good flavor back in the skillet.
- Plate up and enjoy a healthy, lean, low carb. delicious meal.
Bonus: If you don’t use all the cabbage mixture in the bowl you can add
- about three tablespoons apple cider vinegar,
- two tablespoons sugar
- a teaspoon of poppy seed
- a half teaspoon of salt
- a healthy dollop of mayonnaise; about a quarter cup.
Stir all that together and let the ingredients marry in the fridge for a great side of coleslaw at your next meal.
I love Indian food! It is so full of flavor and aroma but I don’t always have the spices they use on hand. I don’t know why. I suppose I’ve been conditioned. I suppose I’m an American used to a different set of spices. Well, since they say, “Variety is the spice of life”, the same is true in the variety of spices. Certain spices make foods come alive. A little piece of chicken breast can become a masterpiece of taste with the right combination of spice in the sauce. Places around the world have their unique flavors like Mexican cuisine, Italian, Moroccan, Chinese, Tai; but the Indian spices really are my favorite. I found a little jar of Tikka Masala simmering sauce on an end-cap at the store and decided to try it. This is what happened.
This little chicken breast got all dressed up with just a few ingredients.
- First I made cutlets of the chicken; little medallion size pieces seared in a skillet until just firm. that takes about 3-4 minutes per side
- Next, I removed the chicken, set it aside and replaced them with a bag of frozen fajita veggies; multi-colored peppers and onion and stir fried them. That took about ten minutes
- Then I put in half the jar of the Tikka Masala sauce (about 2/4 cup) and tossed the chicken back in for a swim.
- Wow! the smell of India just happened! When everything simmered together for a couple of minutes I was ready to dive in.
- I plated up a serving and garnished it with raisins, peanuts and a sprinkle of shaved coconut. YUUUUM!
This magic sauce is made of tomato puree, yogurt, coconut cream and those lovely curry, corriander, cardamom, and garlic spices so prevalent in the Indian cooking. I’m not a person who goes for pre-fabbed foods and I really want to come up with my own Tikka Masala sauce some day, but this lovely dish took a mere twenty minutes start to finish. Every bite was such an explosion of flavor! I hope you try it. You won’t be disappointed.
It is well known that when one combines carbs and fat regularly in the diet, one tends to gain girth. Think of the delectable donut…flour and water, fried in grease then glazed with sugar. Probably the worst food ever; bereft of nutrition but oh so tasty!
Think of pork fried rice. It consists of a starch fried in grease like the donut without the sugar coating. Instead, there is some meat and a little vegetation with the carrots, onion. This is a better food than donuts but still that starch and grease combination is a recipe for putting on the pounds.
A friend told me recently you can purchase cauliflower in rice form today. I have never seen it where I shop but I traditionally stick to the perimeter of the store where all the natural foods live. Processed foods can be found by the tons up and down the the aisles. In my friends description she said this cauliflower rice is simply shredded. Well, I happened to have a beautiful head of cauliflower on the counter and I shredded it myself and made a big mixing bowl full of what ended up looking like a fluffy bowl of rice. No cooking, measuring, timing or turning the kitchen into a steam sauna was required.
Cauliflower is very low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol, it is also a good source of Protein, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Potassium and Manganese; a super food. This is why it is such a great substitute in making a much healthier version of my favorite Chinese delectation. Six ingredients simmered in a skillet about ten minutes and we’re there but without the carbolicious guilt. Here’s what you need:
- 1 head of shredded lightly salted cauliflower
- 2 or so tbsp. Bacon grease
- 1 medium shredded carrot
- 3 fresh sprigs chopped chives
- several strips of bacon, crumbled
- soy sauce to taste
Truly, all you do is heat the first five ingredients until everything is tender. A little splash of water helps if the vegetables need the steam. I add the soy sauce last for that hit of Asian zing.
I hope you get the opportunity to try this healthy version of fried “rice” with tons more nutrition, way less of that horrible carb/fat combination and all the deliciousness you desire. You could make any version you like, either plain or with beef or shrimp too. Have fun!
It’s the weekend, you’ve got to go places and get things done. Wake up a little early and enjoy the peace of morning while you quietly prep this beautiful fruit salad.
- Peel and dice one ripe mango
- Peel and supreme slice one orange with the juice
- cut up 6 or 7 strawberries in chunks
- cut 1 cup red grapes in halves
- garnish with fresh sprigs of mint
It will be there in its colorful, healthy, fruity, sparkling splendor when everyone gets up. It goes great with home made yogurt if you happen to have some. Now go relax. Breakfast, done!
The hubby and I are on a diet because well, we got fat. I have a sedentary job…admin type; and working in a church, the heavily carb fat laden pot-lucks are endless. Hubby is a cop and yes, donuts happen too (worst food ever).
It wasn’t until I went to give blood at a drive that I discovered my blood pressure to be quite high. High enough to be turned away. The shame was unbearable.
I was agitated with my daughter’s tween angst about something when I left the house and had a huge flight of stairs to climb just before turning left into the blood drive place. That may have made things worse but still, I had never had a blood pressure problem before. I decided that day to do something about it. Not in favor of being advised to go on medication, I turned to diet and exercise
I kept checking on my pressure as I made huge changes in my diet. A very low carb plan got me results quickly without much sacrifice. Turns out, fat in the diet is good! Bread and sugar not so much. It took a few days to detox the sugar/starch out of my body but once that happened, I lost the cravings for sweets, bread, starchy food like potatoes etc.
I have been able to eat bacon and eggs with butter, steak and many other natural meats, cream, lots of greens, mushrooms, olives, pickles, nuts and seeds and have lost 43 pounds since October. My pressure is currently back to my usual 110/70.
It was a fun affair with cheesecake, chips and chocolate but I wish to last long enough to see my youngest one graduate, marry and have kids.
I did find a way to enjoy a pancake breakfast with zero guilt and when ever I do get a sweet tooth this is what I do:
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 egg
- 1 packet non-sugar sweetener (Equal works for me)
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tbsp heavy cream
Combine the ingredients except the cream in a small bowl and mix until smooth. A mini processor works great, but a fork and a bit of elbow grease can also get the job done.
Heat a griddle or cast iron pan and coat it with the oil. Pour the batter into the desired sized pancake and wait for the edges to lose their glossiness, about a minute. Take a peek with a spatula if you need. When golden brown give them a flip, shut off the flame and let the griddle’s built-up heat brown the other side.
They don’t respond like traditional pancakes but if your spatula is wide enough they will turn without tearing.
When they are done, plate them up and splash a bit of heavy cream over them. There is a traditional Mexican cake called “Tres Leches” that really reminds me of how these pancakes taste…so decadent with only 4 grams of carbs per serving and this makes several 3″ diameter pancakes which could feed two.
Flour based pancakes net a whopping 30 grams of carbs per serving! My sister diva Eva Gabor might say, “Goodbye high carb life, low carb pancakes are here!” Bah da ba dum bum…bum bum!
All you need is a microwave oven, a Mason jar and a thermometer that goes to 200°F (93.3C), a quart of whole milk (better if it is antibiotic, hormone and GMO free), and about 1/4 cup Greek yogurt or the same size sample from a batch of previously home made yogurt. Using the microwave saves you the extra step and clean-up of a pan on the stove. This method is so easy you may never need to purchase the expensive stuff from the store ever again!
Step one: Have your 1/4 cup sample of yogurt ready to “seed” the quart of milk in your pre-sanitized Mason jar (boil half a quart of water in it prior, then cool it by slowly add the milk). The milk in the mason jar goes into the microwave for approximately 5 minutes or until the thermometer reaches 180° (82.2C). Stir occasionally to ensure even temperature top to bottom and skim light skin when it appears.
Just needs another minute…
Step two: Cool the scalded milk back to a temperature you would be comfortable bathing in; about 110°F (43.3C). Add the culture; about a quarter cup of plain yogurt from an earlier batch, or you could use a sample of store-bought plain Greek yogurt; the more organic the better. Not all commercial yogurts are created equal but FAGE is a brand highly recommended for taste and quality ingredients if you need to go that route for your culture. About half of a single serving tub is sufficient. Stir it in, mix well and screw on the lid. As long as you make the next quart of yogurt from your own stock you will never have to purchase yogurt from the store again! The taste and quality of home made is superior to anything mass produced.
The Cool-down and the Culture
Step three: Set the jar somewhere it won’t be disturbed but will stay warm the whole day; about 10 to 12 hours. Because it’s summer the temperature outside is perfect for culturing yogurt; about 90°F (32.2C) average. As long as the temperature stays between 80° and 100° it will be fine. This temperature range is the perfect temperature for the lactic acid producing bacteria to thrive and multiply causing the milk to thicken but not curdle. Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus are the common strains of bacteria which produce a creamy, thick, gut-health boosting yogurt. If you start this process at 7:00 a.m., by 7:00 p.m. the bacteria will have done its job. Watch the temperature outside carefully that it stays within the range I mentioned earlier. In this case the temperature outside was 80°F by 8:00 a.m. when the cooking and cooling was done and that was perfect. It got to the mid 90°s and by 7:00 p.m. it was 85°; again, perfect.
Set it out in the Hot Summer Breeze
Step four: Now put the jar in the refrigerator overnight and by 5:00 a.m. or so the next day you will have a delicious creamy, tangy, treat to eat for breakfast. If your end product is too thin you can strain the whole jar of its whey in a strainer with cheesecloth or a large coffee filter until it is the consistency you desire.
Bonus: Don’t throw out the whey! It can be used in soups, mashed potatoes, smoothies, etc…anything you usually add milk and water to will get a boost of protein and added flavor, plus the probiotic benefit.
The Greek yogurt business is in the 1.7 billion range today. I really get a kick out of taking away at least one customer. At the store at nearly $2.00 per serving you get 7 oz of a product in a plastic tub with an aluminum lid glued to it and who knows what else added. Give this pure and simple method a try! You too will keep that money in your own pockets and be so much more satisfied with the taste, and the knowledge of exactly what you are eating from a sterilized glass jar. Take charge! I’m having mine with chunks of home-grown tomatoes. YUMMO!