Sunrise Quesadilla

Breakfast made easy, but not boring!  These sunrise quesadillas are  cinch to whip up and a great way to use leftover tortillas from taco night. 😉

sunrise breakfast quesadilla

In addition to being fast (20 minutes for the whole family), these are a great way to get in some extra veggies.  They are pretty much scrambled eggs with sauteed vegetables and cheese.  You can add in leftover bacon if you like as well.

Start by melting butter in a skillet, then adding in chopped onion, garlic, bell pepper, and tomato.  When everything starts to soften remove it to  plate and beat some eggs.  Scramble the eggs in butter in the same skillet (I always like to save on dishes!).

Then layer the eggs and veggies mixture over tortillas.  Top with cheese and green onion.  Put the top (another tortilla) on each one and return to the same skillet just enough to crisp the tortillas. 

Cut into fourths and serve with your favorite quesadilla toppings.  In our house that is sour cream and hot sauce. One kids likes salsa. 

sunrise breakfast quesadilla

7 Healthy and Quick Snacks I Love

7 things I reach for time and time again to satisfy my need for snacks without sacrificing health or flavor.

7 quick and healthy snack ideas

Sometimes when I see snack ideas I think, “That’s not a snack.  That’s a small meal!”  A snack for me has to not only be small enough to be a snack, but it also has to be quick.  It does need to be satisfying, but if it isn’t something I can just grab and go, then it better take less than about 3 minutes to make. 

I am not going to make meatballs from scratch, no matter how easy, for a snack.  I’m not going to bake something for 20 minutes as a snack.  I am not going to spend half an hour chopping vegetables for a salad ‘snack’.

So what are the healthy things I turn to time and time again? (We’ll ignore the unhealthy things today 😉 )

1- Trail mix packs. 

healthy quick snacks

I found these at Trader Joe’s.  They are individual sized packs and they have a variety of types.  I like the Happy Trekking as well.  I always have one of these in my purse for sudden hunger or when I’m out running errands and don’t have time to eat without running through a drive through.  They are quite filling and keep me going until I can get home for a late lunch.

 

2-  Romaine Spears or Wraps

avocado bacon lettuce spears

I make these with just about anything in them: lunch meat, previously chopped veggies, leftover taco filling, or my favorite, avocado and uncured bacon.  I use leftover bacon that just ‘recrisps’ in a pan while I get the romaine out and the avocado chopped.  They almost always have salt and pepper on them too.

Just for today I made this with non-leftover bacon to see how long it would take.  I put half a strip in a pan to sizzle while I got out the romaine and chopped half an avocado.  Then my bacon was pretty much done.  Chopped it and sprinkled on top.  4 minutes, not rushing. 

To keep these healthy you really want to focus on buying good quality, no nitrate bacon.  Also, use just enough to taste, don’t make it the main flavor. 

PS- My 8 year old would like you to know that she likes bacon cheddar in hers.  I am cutting out more and more dairy due to hormonal issues so no cheddar for mine. 

 

3-  Mandarins

seedless mandarin oranges

This one is new to my repertoire.  I’ve historically not really liked oranges as snacks due to their messiness, but these are really minimally messy while peeling and also peel pretty easily.  In addition, they are more portable than many snack ideas that involve fruits or veggies. The seedless ones are fabulous and they smell great too!

 

4-  Fresh Veggies

how to get your family to eat more fresh vegetables

I know, you’re thinking, but chopping those takes a long time! That breaks all your rules!  You’re right.  Except for this one case.   A couple of years ago, when I first started trying to get the family to eat more veggies, I started this new afternoon thing.  I put out a tray of fresh veggies every day at 4 pm.  This is the snack everyone in the family can have.  They cannot ask for anything else, cannot complain of being hungry, cannot ask me about dinner…You see where I am going with this?

This veggie platter has been one of the best things I ever did to get my family to eat more veggies.  They cannot have fruit for snack at this time. (We already eat plenty of that. The point was to add in veggies)  They can use homemade dressing or garlic salt on it (we currently have ranch and Italian) and they can eat as many as they want.  I figure if they’re spoiling their appetite by eating too many veggies, I’m OK with that.

At first they picked out a lot of new veggies to try and got adventurous.  It was fun.  We discovered that we like raw beets!  There are usually mushrooms, cucumber, and celery on this plate too, but we’re currently out.  I need to refill the plate soon.

So how is this a quick snack?

I don’t make this when I’m hungry for a snack.  I make this plate every Monday right before I start dinner. At dinner time I cover what’s left and put it in the fridge.  One large plate lasts 3-4 days before I need to refill it.  Something funny happened when I started putting this out to get my family eat more vegetables.  I started eating more too. 😉  Sometimes, on my most lazy days, I just reach under the wrap in the fridge and just grab a handful of whatever is on that plate for my snack.  It may not be what I’m craving at the moment, but I often reach for these when I’m deciding on something else that I never end up eating because these filled me up.  They’re quick because they’re already made.  Shhhhh.  Don’t tell my kids I’m eating them all day long.

 

5-  Good Ol’ Apples and nut butter

apples and nut butter snack

Sometimes I like sunflower butter, sometimes almond butter, sometimes peanut butter.  These slice fast, and with a scoop from your jar you have a snack in less than 2 minutes.  Just make sure your nut butter has just nuts, no added sugar or other nasties.

 

6-  Berries

berries for snack

Don’t tell.  Sometimes I buy one of those small containers of raspberries, or blackberries, or a little green basket of strawberries at the farmer’s market, and keep it just for one single snack for myself.  Straight antioxidants!  By the way, this picture came from this post (not my own) about the health benefits of berries.  It’s just soooo pretty!

 

7-  Olives

olives for snack

Just drain and eat. Seriously easy.  If I am craving something salty I’ll eat the green ones.  Loaded with healthy fats, it doesn’t get much quicker than this.

I’d love to know what fast and healthy snacks you reach for!  Leave them in the comments below please.  I’m always looking for new ideas.

My Favorite Cauliflower Pizza Crust

I have to admit I held off on the cauliflower crust thing for quite awhile after it came out.   Now I actually really like my cauliflower pizzas.  Once I finally did try a few recipes, I had to work on my own version to find an easier way. 

Secret: I am a bit of a lazy cook sometimes.  Most cauliflower crust recipes have several steps (ricing, steaming, squeezing, etc…) and I found myself wondering if I could take any shortcuts.  Also, while I enjoyed the taste of the crust more than I thought I would, I really thought they were also kind of bland. 

After a few experiments this is what I came up with.  It’s an easy crust with few steps and lots of flavor.

First step, buy cauliflower already riced or put yours in a food processor to get the small bits.  This is 2 cups and makes a 9″ pizza crust of medium thickness.

riced cauliflower

To the riced cauliflower you want to add 2 eggs,  1/2 cup mozzarella, 1/2 C Parmesan, 1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning, and 2 teaspoons garlic powder.

cauliflower pizza crust

Mix it all together and pat it out onto a silicon baking mat.  This really is the best way to make sure it doesn’t stick. 

the best cauliflower pizza crustBake it at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes, until it starts to brown.

cauliflower pizza crustOnce you’re at this stage, you can add your normal toppings.  On the pizza below I was having an indecisive day so I made half of it pepperoni and the other half just shredded fresh basil (after putting sauce and cheese all over).  I topped both halves with a little dried oregano and a light dust of sea salt.  Return it to the oven just long enough for the cheese on top to melt and the toppings to look done.  This usually takes me between 5-10 minutes.

the best cauliflower pizza crust

My Favorite Cauliflower Pizza Crust
Serves 1
A quick and tasty cauliflower crust for low carb or gluten free pizza.
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Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 Cups riced cauliflower
  2. 2 large eggs
  3. 1/2 Cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  4. 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  5. 1 Tablespoon dried Italian seasoning blend
  6. 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  7. Pizza toppings of your choice (sauce, cheese, pepperoni, etc...)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. If your cauliflower isn't already riced, put it in a food processor and process until it is in small bits.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine all the crust ingredients well.
  4. Pat it out onto a silicone mat in a circle.
  5. Bake about 15 minutes until the top is starting to brown.
  6. Remove and top with desired toppings.
  7. Return to oven until the toppings are warmed through, 5-10 minutes. Do not let the crust burn.
Daily Ration https://dailyration.net/

 

 

No Recipe Vegetable Soup

…or clean out the fridge soup.  I call it both.  This is today’s lunch. 

no recipe vegetable soupThis is something I made up a while ago, just to get more vegetables into my diet.  I’ve found, over time, that it has the added bonus of helping me use up odds and ends of produce in my fridge.

Here’s how it starts:

I usually use olive oil or butter to saute some onions and garlic.  While that’s going on, it chop up and drop in any hard vegetables.  This one has carrots, celery, broccoli, and a few fingerling potatoes.

Once that stuff starts to barely soften and possible stick to the pan, I add in water.  You can use broth too, especially if you have a portion you need to use up.  I add just enough to scrape up any bits on the pan.  Then I season with salt and pepper and add enough water to cover the veggies.

Let it go:

This is where it really gets easy.  Just let it sit and simmer on low, adding in water if it gets low.  I added two quart jars during the making of this large pot. I let it go for at least an hour, but I often start it in the morning and have it for lunch, so about 3 hours.  This one was a 3 hour batch. 

If you have any soft veggies you want to add, like tomatoes or kale, go ahead and add them in once you get it simmering.

Jazz it up:

Anywhere in the cooking process you can add more seasonings or dried herbs.  If you use fresh herbs, wait for the end.  For this bowl I added dried Italian seasoning.  Then when I spooned it into the bowl, I added some chopped avocado I needed to use up, some fresh parsley from the garden, and a squeeze of lemon juice.

no recipe vegetable soup

Have anything else you need to use up?

Are you sensing  theme here?  Have you noticed the repeated use of the phrase “use it up”?  I noticed that I have some shredded chicken in the fridge and I’m planning on adding that to my soup for tomorrows lunch- viola!  Chicken and veggie soup! 

There really is no wrong way to do this.  Just keep tasting and seasoning when you stir it every half hour to an hour or so.  I have put in just about every combination of things in the past and it always mellows down into this savory, warm, almost sweet concoction that I crave every fall and winter now.

The leftovers go into a jar for other quick meals the rest of the week.  It could also be taken to a friend. 

vegetable soupWhat’s your go-to easy lunch?