One of the toughest meals of the day for me is breakfast. I am seldom hungry in the mornings and I am not a big fan of “breakfast foods.” However, every single thing you read tells you that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” and that is especially true if you are looking to shed a few pounds. I tried doing “shakes” for breakfast, but I have yet to find one that doesn’t make me sick as a dog within an hour of drinking it, or make me ravenous hungry which to me kinda defeats the purpose of a “meal replacement” shake if it all it does is make me WANT a real meal. I wanted something healthy, easy, and tasty… and I found it perfectly!
Every Sunday at church we have breakfast during Life Group after the service. Last week I wanted to contribute with something MADE… instead of just running by the grocery store on the way to snag something from the bakery like I normally do. I wanted something hot and nutritious… not just sugary. I hopped online but could not find exactly what I was looking for. So I just threw everything I wanted together and hoped for the best. Thankfully, it was.
Our Life Group has about 30 people each week, so this recipe will yield exactly 36 muffins. However, even if you are just cooking for your family, you can still make this recipe, as it is quick and easy, and they freeze and reheat perfectly! This is another recipe that I will make over and over to give my girls a great nutritious breakfast before school!
Breakfast Casserole Muffins
- 12 eggs
- 1 bag frozen hashbrowns, thawed
- 2 1/2 cups cheddar cheese
- 1 1/2 cups cottage cheese
- fresh cooked bacon, crumbled
Scramble eggs in a bowl. Add other ingredients, saving a handful of cheese to top with, and mix well. Spoon into heavily greased muffin tins and sprinkle cheese on top. Bake at 375* for 20 minutes or until eggs are done and potatoes and cheese are starting to brown. Serve hot.
This recipe was a HUGE hit at Life Group and just about everyone asked for the recipe. I love the idea of having a “breakfast muffin” with more substance than sugary bread. It is the perfect size to heat up and take on the go, and is not messy like all of these ingredients would be on their own.
I am making breakfast for our Life Group again tomorrow… this time a little bit differently, but the same concept. There was one thing missing from making this the “perfect all inclusive breakfast muffin”… check back tomorrow and see what it is!
Since beginning on the journey of Eating Clean this year, I have run across many conversations where the “jist” is that as long as you are eating healthy, clean food – you can just about eat as much as you want. I understand the concept – putting good stuff in opposed to bad stuff will help your body run better- but I still wasnt seeing the results on the scale that I was hoping for by cutting out all processed food and not drinking any wine (or alcohol of any kind)…. that is until this week.
Last Thursday I went to hang out with my friend Trisha just to get out of town for the day and have some much over due “girl time.” It was a relaxing day of walking around furniture stores and pet shops – me still trying to convince her that a ferret is a better pet for her daughter than a hamster.
We got on the subject somehow of weight and food that we eat and such and Trisha said – “I cook enough food for two people – and then divide it between the three of us.” I thought it was crazy since I have been cooking for my family of four for years now. If it’s chicken – four chicken breasts. If pork – four pork chops. I mean… there ARE four of us, right?
There are two adults, one preteen, and one child. That DOES equal four PEOPLE…. but not four SERVINGS.
So starting the very next day – Friday – I began cooking for three people. I gave Mike his portion, Sami her portion, and then I split the third portion in half and shared it with Taylor. I also cooked two sides – but only enough for 2/3 people. (i.e. one can of corn and one can of green beans) We divided the vegetables up evenly.
Here are the results -
First off, no one went hungry. When I changed the portion size I thought for sure we were all (wait – Taylor and I) were going to starve to death. We havent. In fact I have felt comfortably full, and Taylor has happily finished her whole plate with the family, instead of taking forever. Mike also hasnt been tempted to “help Taylor out” by finishing off her leftover portions.
Speaking of leftovers – there haven’t been any. There also hasnt been any waste. Normally if I cooked and entire bag of chicken, we would have 2-3 breasts left over - IF we did not over eat and stuff ourselves with a second helping at dinner. Now I only take out three pieces, and put the rest back into the fridge. This week Mike and I have been having those “leftover” breasts for lunch the next day instead – saving us from eating junk food our going out to a restaurant to eat.
I also also excited that our garbage disposal hasnt gotten a work out this week. When I was over-cooking, we would have a lot of left over waste. Which is not only disheartening – but EXPENSIVE! No wonder I was spending a fortune at the grocery store – I was throwing 30% of it AWAY!
My grocery bill / restaurant bill has been cut nearly in half. I admit one of the “benefits” to working at home and being your own boss is getting to go out to eat for lunch wherever and whenever you want to. However eating out for lunch every day is as hurtful to your wallet as it is to your waistline. We have pretty much eliminated the need to go out to lunch since I can just pop the “leftover” meats on the grill, and since now one package of meat lasts two meals instead of only one, my grocery bill is lighter.
But here is the biggest part…. I lost five pounds. In five days. Five pounds. That’s like a pound a day.
There are all kinds of tools to help you with portion control – decorative plates that tell you how much to fill with which food group, fancy schmancy food scales, “snack bowls” that are no bigger than the palm of your hand…. and they are all great. However, if you are like me – feeding a FAMILY with even one young child, and need something just quick and easy that you can begin implementing as early as dinner tonight… just simply make one less serving.
Now that I am doing this, its seems like such a “no-brainer” but it took someone actually saying it out loud for it to click. Even though I had been feeding my family healthier food, I was still overfeeding us all. I will never cook four full portions for my family again…. or at least until Taylor is old enough to actually need a full portion… you know, when she is thirty.
Does portion control really matter?
My five pounds in five days says – OH YEAH!
Last week I told you about the Breakfast Casserole Muffins I made for my Life Group class at church. They were a HUGE hit so I decided to make them again… but this time using sausage instead of bacon, and adding in a “missing ingredient.” As someone who doesn’t like sausage all that much, I have to say I was surprised at just how much more I liked these! And apparently the class did too as I took 48 this time and they ate every single one of them!
- 12 eggs
- 3 small packages of pork sausage
- 1 bag frozen hashbrowns, thawed
- 2 cups cottage cheese
- 2 cups cheddar cheese
- crescent rolls… the missing ingredient!!
See, last week I told my Life Group that they were “Breakfast Muffins” and had everything you would normally order for breakfast, but all together in a muffin. However, one of my buddies politely said …“where is the biscuit?”
First brown your sausage, breaking it up into the smallest bits you can. Make sure ALL of the pink is gone. Set aside.
In another bowl mix the eggs, cheese, and hashbrowns. Gently mix to make sure all is well coated. Gently stir in cooked sausage. Set aside.
Spread crescent rolls and pinch together perforations to make one big sheet of dough. Use a round cookie cutter (I used a glass… someone please tell Santa about me learning to cook after 30…) to cut little round “biscuits” to put in the bottom of a well greased cookie sheet.
Pour egg mixture over dough… and keep in mind, this one is gonna RISE!!
Bake at 375* for approximately 15 minutes or until egg is done and potatoes are browning. Be careful not to overcook crescent rolls! Muffins will easy pop out. Serve hot.
Breakfast Casserole Muffins are great for big group gatherings or just for making at home to feed your family. My favorite part about these is that they are quick and easy, and so much more nutritious than a PopTart or danish, and easy to freeze and reheat one at a time! My girls gobble them up every time I make them – and I can feel good about them getting a good source of protein before school. The crescent roll is just what they needed to make them absolutely perfect.
NOW they are an entire breakfast… all in one little muffin.
It is a well known fact that me in the kitchen most often results in either smoke or stitches, but this week I actually concocted something edible.
A few months ago we went to Wednesday Night Supper at church where they were serving “Taco Chili” – I nearly turned on my heels and left. I didn’t think that even SOUNDED appetizing. It isn’t that I don’t like tacos or chili… I just never would have put them together in one bowl. However, since my friends were there and the girls were “starving” we stayed. I have to admit – it was AWESOME. Like, I was considering getting seconds.
I mentioned it to my friend Jeannie and apparently she has been cooking it for years – I had never even HEARD of it until that night at Church… probably because it is not on any menu in Pensacola. Anyhow, she sent me the recipe but naturally I left it at home, so I called from the store parking lot and then tried to remember what she told me when I went inside. I know.
So my plan for shopping was anything Mexican-y or Chili-y was going in it! I just kept throwing stuff in the buggie and here is what I ended up with:
- Ground Chuck
- One yellow onion
- 2 packages of Taco Seasoning
- Large can of tomato Sauce
- Original Rotel
- One can Mexican Chili Beans
- One can Black Beans
- One can MexiCorn (didn’t know THIS existed either!)
- Small can of niblet corn
- One can dark red kidney beans
- Tortilla Chips
- Shredded cheese
- Sour cream (optional- the girls liked it)
I did this in two pots but Jeannie says she does hers in two. Since I AM a pro with the Crock Pot, I decided that was probably my best strategy. SO -
I browned the meat and onion together in one pan, added a cup-ish (I mentioned I don’t measure stuff, right?) of water and one package of Taco Seasoning. In the Crock Pot I put everything else -including the second Taco Seasoning -and then mixed in the meat and onions. I left the Crock Pot on low for about 3 hours.
Then I lined the bowls with Tortilla Chips and spooned the Taco Chili right into the center. I topped mine with a little bit of cheese, and the girls liked cheese and sour cream on theirs.
I have to tell you – it was AWESOME. I was pretty proud of myself. (not that this took any real skill here, but let me have my moment, k?) It also isnt too bad fat/calorie wise either…
Note: It’s EVEN BETTER the next day… so all you “no-leftover” people… just send it all to me!