Sweet Potato Breakfast Casserole

Doing the Whole30 sure has been eye-opening. I’m eleven days in and super happy with the changes (non scale victories) and most of all, the food. Especially my favorite meal of the day, breakfast! I’m all about quick wins for the morning, so I spent some time today prepping this sweet potato breakfast casserole to eat throughout the week.

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Sweet Potato Breakfast Casserole

Sweet Potato Breakfast Casserole

To make this savory (Whole30 Compliant) breakfast (that I’ve also had for lunch and dinner), you’ll need:

  • 8×8 casserole baking pan (this one is great because it has a lid for saving your leftovers) and a cookie sheet (treat yourself to a good set like these), each greased with EVOO spray
  • 2 large sweet potatoes – 1 cut in thin slices and 1 cut in cubes
  • Veggies of choice (recommend onions, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, or spinach)
  • 8 large eggs

Start off by roasting your sweet potato slices in the 8×8 pan (line it with the slices) and your vegetables on the cookie sheet. This happens best in a 425-degree oven for 20 minutes (recommend stirring the veggies at 10 minutes in).

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While the veggies are roasting, whisk the eight eggs together. If you like spicy, mix in some red pepper flakes or garlic.

Once the veggies are roasted, pile them into the casserole dish on top of the sweet potato slices (they’re going to serve as the “base” / what bread normally would do here).

I really could have just ate these veggies…

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Now pour the whisked eggs over the veggies and put the casserole dish back in the oven for another 20 minutes. You’ll want to be sure the egg cooks all the way through.

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You can now cut and store this (I still was enjoying four days in), eating it when you need a quick-win meal.

If you are not doing the Whole30, you might be all like WHERE IS THE CHEESE?!?!? Let me tell you, as a cheese addict, I was skeptical at first. Try it first, the sweet potato gives it something special, something that cheese would cover up. Just trust me.

PRO TIP: If you are doing the Whole30, perhaps you’ll want to pair this with some fruit or top with a compliant hot sauce. Totally recommending both. This is hearty and delicious! Need a compliant hot sauce? Tessamae’s is a choice of many Whole30 vets! Click the photo to get it shipped right to your door from Amazon! 

What is your favorite breakfast casserole? 

McCafe Moments (from McDonald’s)

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 McCafeCoffee

Ah, coffee. My love for it started when I was just a kid (my dad used to give me sips of his, and now I do this with Evan – Arianna has no time for it). But my real love of a a morning coffee about 3 weeks after I got pregnant with Arianna. Just plain, with a little bit of sweetener (the yellow pack). It went away for a few years, then when I started my weight loss journey I picked the habit back up again (go figure).

It’s funny my next sentence includes McDonald’s, but I’m not going to lie – they’ve been a lifesaver the past few mornings. Their McCafe coffees start at the simple, yet delicious coffee and go to mochas (including some brand new ones for the holidays), hot chocolates, and smoothies. Made from 100% Arabica beans, this coffee goes through a special filtration system and is brewed fresh every 30 minutes. (There’s even a video about the special process to brew it!)

I’ll be honest – at my local McDonald’s, the coffee almost tastes too hot, but that could be the pregnancy hormones talking. At the same time, I was excited to be sent a 12-pack of K-Cups and some ground coffee to test out at home. My thought was that I could brew it and it not bring the burnt taste to my “tender” taste buds. This was the lifesaver part. I could walk up to the Keurig and brew my McDonald’s coffee right there, in my new mug. It was a glorious way to start the day.

McDonald’s also sent me some coupons to try out their food (like breakfast, which did go great with my coffee) and sandwiches (which Greg will enjoy). They even want you to have some joy in your life – I was sent an identical set to the one I was given for one lucky winner. You’ll have until November 16 at 11:59 PM to enter this giveaway, I can’t wait to hear you say “i’m lovin’ it” too. Good luck!

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Coffee-Mate Girl Scouts Creamer

Disclaimer: I was sent samples of Coffee-Mate Girl Scouts Creamer in exchange for an honest review. All opinions, however, are 100% my own.

We’ve hit my favorite time of year, the days just before fall when mornings are crisp and cool. What better to have on a day like this than some coffee? How about coffee with Coffee-Mate Girl Scouts Creamer in Thin Mints and Caramel & Coconut? Trust me when I say they make your day better.

CoffeeMate

You get the flavor of the cookies you’ve grown to love, but that your skinny jeans won’t let you indulge in (the whole box) and by pairing it with you favorite coffee, you can’t lose.

Because – the agony – Greg doesn’t like mint OR coconut, I’ve been sampling the flavors with a co-worker. Neither of us has a clear favorite. They definitely beat out any creamer we’ve tried before (especially the powdered creamers), but both have their time and place. Let me explain.

The Coconut & Caramel has paired great with almost every coffee we’ve tried it in – I’m talking non-flavored dark, light, medium roast, decaf, whatever fits your fancy. I prefer it a little later in the morning because it is a good, sweet flavor that my teeth aren’t quite ready for in the morning. (But co-workers reading this, you’ll vouch that it doesn’t stop me from adding it to my morning coffee, ahem.) Creamy caramel plus coconut – I am really not sure how you could go wrong. 

The Thin Mints was going to be the clear cut winner for me – that’s my favorite cookie (and I LOVE jamming them in a sugar cookie for Christmas…); however, I am truthfully torn. This one works really well with a dark roast coffee, and although it’s fine in others, there’s just a perfect marriage with the dark. Can I say that I’d also consider just drinking this straight if it weren’t for the calorie content? The only thing missing from the minty, chocolately goodness of a Thin Mint cookie is the crunch (and who wants that in their coffee anyhow?)

If you’re interested in giving these a try, I am voting you get both. Seriously, I can’t say which one I like better since both are great. The only downside for me is that you probably wouldn’t want to add these to a vanilla or hazelnut flavored coffee, but that pretty much makes sense. Coffee-mate creamers last about 2 weeks in the fridge; however, it’s likely you will want to drink enough coffee to use it up by then (so that could be a downside depending on how much you shop!).

So, before you let another chilly morning slip by, get to your nearest grocery store (I know that my local one carries both of these) to stock up and enjoy. You taste buds will thank you.

If you’d like more details on either flavor or to check out the auditions for Girl Scouts to star in an upcoming commercial  check out www.girlscouts.coffee-mate.com

Camping Must: Campfire Biscuits

(*articles may contain affiliate links*) When I was a kid, one of the parishioners at my dad’s church made AMAZING biscuit rolls over the campfire. These were canned biscuits wrapped around a dowel rod, held over the fire, and then filled with squeeze butter, cinnamon, and sugar. I was in love with them, and really wanted to make them when we went camping. Ah, campfire biscuits.

campfire biscuits

Problem? I didn’t take dowel rods. Not that it mattered anyways. I tried to make them the right way last weekend and ended up with a gooey, burnt mess. Sorry that I cannot remember the right way to do it, but glad that I found an amazing work around that I will now share with you. Your MOUNTAIN PIE IRON works wonders for this. If you’re going camping and don’t have one, why not!??! Head over to Amazon now and get yourself a mountain pie iron so you’re ready for camping // fire season.

Campfire Biscuits

Ingredients

Canned biscuits
Squeeze Butter (Healthy Option: I grabbed one that’s 5 calories a serving!)
Cinnamon
Sugar (Healthy Option: Splenda)
Mountain Pie Iron
Olive Oil Cooking Spray
optional…cream cheese icing

Instructions

1. Heat your mountain pie iron (pudgie pie works best!) in hot coals.
2. Once heated, spray the inside of both iron sides generously with cooking spray.
3. Spread two canned biscuits into the iron, one on each side.
4. Sprinkle a mix of cinnamon and sugar on your biscuits (one side).
5. Close up the iron, return to coals for about 3 minutes per side. Check, remove from fire when golden brown.
6. Plate, squeeze some butter (or cream cheese icing) over the top. Enjoy!

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Delicious campfire breakfast or snack option. Think of it as a cinnamon roll! Yum.

Eggs in a Bag

(*articles may contain affiliate links*) As I hinted in the first camping memory post, Missy wowed us with Eggs in a Bag. I know, it sounds really gross and I am sure you are skeptical that this would result in runny eggs and food poisoning, something you don’t want while camping, right? Greg will eat anything, so he supported Missy’s efforts; Tom and I were willing to try, but had back up plans just in case. Oh, thank goodness we trusted her.

eggs in a bag

You see, “Eggs in a Bag” became our breakfast both days. It was that good.

Missy found a recipe online and we set out to make our own versions (once we fought with the fire and pan to get water boiling–note, this takes forever while camping, so maybe next time we’ll try this kettle).

Eggs in a Bag

Ingredients: 
Eggs
Veggies, Meat, and Cheese (as desired)
Milk (if you like it in your eggs)
Seasonings (such as salt and pepper, the ‘lil Burghers LOVE paprika and red pepper flakes)

Tools:
Pot with Boiling Water
Sealable Plastic Bags – we used Quart Size
Tongs

Step One: Put your eggs and a tablespoon of milk per egg in a ziploc bag. You can do up to three eggs in a bag. I opted for egg whites (from the carton) and skim milk for a healthy twist.

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Step Two: Add any add-ons you’d like. We opted for variations of ham, veggies, and shredded cheese (I’d suggest getting ham cubes and pre-chopped veggies if camping).

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Step Three: Seal your bag very tight. I am BAD at this. Once sealed, squish everything around real good. This was kind of fun!

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(Here’s what they all look like, ready to go in the pot.)

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Step Four: Place the bags in the boiling water and put on the fire. We had to leave ours on for almost ten minutes. (BTW, best tip ever with sausage, get the pre-cooked, it’s much faster and safer if you’re worried!)

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Step Five: Slip out of the bag and enjoy. Just trust us, okay? (Our other name for these is “egg loaf”, they are like omelettes, but in a loaf form.)

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Eggs in a Bag will definitely be on our camping must list every time from now on. So glad we trusted you, Missy!

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Pro Tip: One other thing we learned while camping? Don’t get eggs in cardboard containers. Instead, put them in a plastic container like this before putting them in your cooler. Otherwise, this is what happens:

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You’re welcome.

The Banana Exchange

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There’s nothing worse than getting to work, realizing you forgot your banana at home, and having to buy a green one from the fruit bowl. (Okay, maybe there is.) But you know what’s better? When you have a dear friend who is willing to participate in the banana exchange so no banana gets left behind.

You see, I HATE green bananas with a passion. They don’t taste right and take too much effort to chew. But that banana up there with a few beautiful brown freckles? Amazing. Perfect. Delicious. I am not talking ready for banana bread brown, but I am talking slightly soft and freckled. What’s so bad about that?

Apparently something. Jess will not go near one of those “gross” things, so she has been known to throw them away. I may have been known to dig these beauties out of the trash. She’s learned her lesson. And I learned mine. If I have a green banana, I will wait and see if Jess has one she’d rather toss. We engage in the banana exchange and both end up happy.

Chime in–what’s the perfect banana look like for you? 

Healthy Eating: Over the Edge?

A few months ago, I determined I would be over the edge of this whole healthy eating thing when I got a scale. Well, that’s done. And then it changed to “when I start eating funky stuff”. Give me a few spare points here, who is to determine what “funky stuff” is? Regardless, today while eating breakfast, I think I finally tipped over the edge.

I mean, seriously, take a peek at my meal:

Today’s breakfast was taken directly from a Facebook pal’s page. Yup. Stole it and loved the result. The thing is, I think this meal really took me over the edge and into full blown healthy eating.

I’d hold a contest and give yinz bonus points for figuring out what I ate, but I am pretty sure 99% of you would be wrong, so here’s the scoop:

  • Blueberries
  • Peanut Butter
  • Coconut Oil, hardened (yes, I ate oil for breakfast)
  • Chia Seeds (you can’t really see them, they sunk to the bottom…but they are there)
  • Flax Seeds

Talk about a punch. Now, if yinz aren’t healthy eaters but think that looks good, I highly suggest eating some other healthy stuff for a week or so beforehand. My body (the one that revolts when I add ice cream or white wheat to it) had an almost immediate, uh, processing reaction. Yet…the crazy thing? I loved this and would definitely eat it again.

In fact, I might see if I can get the kids (minus the PB) to eat it. Greg’s out, he was disgusted as he watched me pack it. But that’s okay, this journey is about me enjoying life and getting healthier, two things this meal did for me.

Would anyone be interested in a weekly round-up of the healthy stuff I’m adding to my life? If so, comment so I know you’d be interested in me sharing the delicious (and sometimes funky) things I’ve been eating (and making my family try). Lemme know.

Take Your Taste Buds to the Tropics

source: Purex

 

The kids and I have a new favorite cereal. In fact, we totally fought over our review box of Honey Bunches of Oats Tropical Blends: Crispy Mango / Crunchy Coconut. You see, it’s healthy and tasty and crunchy and sweet. We really just couldn’t get enough of this box.

Here’s the healthy scoop: 10g Whole Grain, 120 Calories per serving, 6g sugar, heart healthy. That means I can eat it as part of my healthy breakfast AND not feel guilty sharing it with the kids. Good for them, and good for me.

And the yum scoop: The blend of crispy and crunchy bunches with the Honey Bunches of Oats I already love was taken to a whole ‘nother level with this delicious blend. Greg didn’t go for the cereal because he’s not a big coconut fan, but I loved the coconut flakes and mini slices of mango. Every bite took me to the tropics, a perfect combination for this blustery winter.

Unfortunately, the only thing about this box that I didn’t like was that it didn’t last nearly long enough once I let the kids have a bite. Which led to the fact that I realized I hadn’t taken a photo of the cereal until I was chowing down on the very last bowl.

Oops. I guess I can only hope that whomever wins my giveaway (see below) is willing to share a bowl with me. Only kidding. Sort of. 😉

Post, you’ve got something good here with the Honey Bunches of Oats Tropical Blends, great choice!

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Disclaimer: Post provided me with a sample to review and to share with my readers. All opinions in this post are 100% my own.

Heart Healthy Huevos Ranchero Biscuits

As I was thinking about a third recipe for the Red Pack contest I am participating in this week, I was leaning toward Huevos Rancheros, since it is on my 30 things by 30 list. I googled and searched Red Gold to see if I could find anything, and I came across this biscuit version. An absolute favorite breakfast item of ours is “Lucky Biscuits”, a discovery from Burgh Baby, so I am sure I can come up with a great adaption that we’ll have this weekend. If you beat me to the punch, please tell me how good it is!

Heart Healthy Huevos Ranchero Biscuits
adapted from this RedGold Recipe

Ingredients:
Heart-Healthy Biscuit Mix, prepared for 2 mixes
2 cups of egg substitute (equivalent of 8 eggs)
1/2 cup milk (skim or soy)
1 14.5 oz can Redpack® Petite Diced Tomatoes With Green Chilies, drained
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup salsa

Directions:
1. Bake the biscuits according to package directions.
2. In large bowl combine egg substitute and milk, beat until well blended.
3. Add tomatoes with green chilies to the egg mix and mix well.
4. Spray a 12-inch skillet with cooking spray and heat the skillet until hot over medium heat.
5. Add the egg mixture and cook until set, 4 to 5 minutes.
6. Add cheese and stir gently.
7. Cover skillet and remove from heat. Allow to stand for 2 minutes to melt cheese and set eggs.
8. Place split biscuits on serving plate. Spoon the egg mixture over biscuit and top with warm salsa.
9. Enjoy!

source: redgold.com

Honey Bunches of Oats #Giveaway #HBOats #Coupon

Don’t mind me, I am just up early bringing you another review and giveaway! Oh, and enjoying my bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats – Honey Roasted!

I was given a sample box of Honey Bunches of Oats – Honey Roasted to try out. Unlike Greg, I never really ate the cereal much growing up (he actually would have his mom buy the “Just Bunches”), so I can’t say I know how to compare this improved version with more granola bunches, but I can tell you the amount of granola bunches versus flakes was a great ratio. It made me understand why he was all “get me the Just Bunches”!

How did I enjoy my Post Honey Bunches of Oats? Well, the first thing I did was look at the nutrition facts. I loved that they have 10 grams of whole grain (I always look for the seal, if a box of cereal doesn’t have it, I don’t eat it). The sugar content was a good match, too, just 6 grams. The grains in the bunches are a huge help to “shock” the system by eating different foods. Honey Bunches of Oats “bunches” include wheat, oat, corn, and rice. And, it’s a heart healthy cereal with 0 grams Trans Fat. Wins all around for Mama. On the downside, I had ‘lil Miss A by my side asking for her breakfast, too. Unfortunately, the next thing I look for is the ingredients. If it has the nice bold milk listed, she can’t eat it. Unfortunately, she can’t give this one a try. 🙁

You see in the picture above that I enjoyed about a cup and a half of the cereal. This was a double serving at 120 calories per 3/4 cup (I needed the calories, so I went for it). I added in 1/2 cup of my plain greek yogurt (figured it would be good because I usually enjoy that “seasoned” with honey anyhow) and a handful of raisins (to get my fruit in). It was absolutely delicious. I am sure you milk drinkers would enjoy it with your favorite version of milk, too. I am just not a milk drinker.

This cereal will definitely be worked in to my meal rotation, and I am interested to taste some of the other flavors like “Pecan Bunches” and “Fruit Blends”. Hopefully you’ll think about picking up a box next time you’re at the grocery store!

Interested in getting your own box? Great! I am giving away coupons for two free boxes…and there will be two lucky winners! Just enter in the Rafflecopter form below (enter often!), and I’ll be sending the winners two coupons to try this for free, too! 🙂 It’s easy, and you have one week to enter and share with others. So, what’s stopping you? Enter now!

Disclaimer: Post provided a free sample of their Honey Bunches of Oats – Honey Roasted for this post. My participation is voluntary and my opinions, as always, are my own.

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