Category Archives: Breakfast & Brunch

Not quite Irish, but close… Welsh Cheddar Egg Melt

Photo: Welsh Cheddar Egg Melt

Well, I’m a little late for St. Patrick’s Day, and I’m presenting a dish that uses Welsh cheese rather than Irish, although Irish White Cheddar is also excellent in it. I actually made a dish last night that I thought would be good, but I wasn’t happy with result. I’m going to work the recipe a little more to make it much better. That will come along when I perfect it. Besides, St. Patrick was originally kidnapped from Wales and taken to to Ireland as a slave, so it sort of fits, doesn’t it?

This makes a tasty breakfast or brunch meal. Add a little fresh fruit or broiled asparagus for a more filling meal.

Welsh Cheddar Egg Melt

4 strips thick-cut bacon or 2 slices Irish Style Bacon
1 slices low carb Focaccia Bread, cut through the middle
1/2 ripe Avocado, mashed
2 slices tomato
1/2 cup shredded Welsh (or Irish) White Cheddar Cheese
2 Eggs
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large skillet, cook the bacon until it is crisp. Drain on paper towels. Lightly toast the bread in the oven or toaster oven. Put bacon on top of bread, then layer a tomato slice and spread avocado over the it. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top.

Prepare eggs while the broiler heats. Use either fried, poached, or scrambled eggs to your preference. Salt and pepper to taste. Keep eggs warm.

Place sandwiches on the foil-covered broiler pan or in a pie tin and broil for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes until the cheese is melted. Top each sandwich with an egg and serve.

Serves two.

This focaccia bread recipe is 1.8 g of net carbs per slice. So, combined with this recipe, it’s only 4.7 net carbs if you use the whole slice or 3.8 g if you cut it in half.

Photo: Nutrition info

Broccoli and Cauliflower Crepes Are So Good

Photo: Broccoli and Cauliflower Crepes

Happy 2020. The start of a new year and a new decade. We’ve had better starts throughout the years, but let’s make this one the best we can. Right?

I launched my new year  with determination to conquer the crepe, so I bought a crepe maker. Not the dip and cook model I’d seen on Facebook that looks so simple, but the flat cooker that will make bigger crepes, not as big as the ones at the Las Vegas Paris Hotel’s buffet though. Those babies are huge! This one might go to a 10-inch crepe, but initially, I made the smaller and easier to flip 7 to 8 inch ones.  My first crepe on it was a mess, stuck, wasn’t completely cooked, and practically shredded when I tried to flip it. After that, I sprayed it with cooking spray, made sure it was up to high heat, and tried again with much better success.

New flash! It’s going to be a while before I’m an expert with crepe-making, but even with the odd-shaped pancakes, they do work and taste quite good.

So, I made a simply delicious broccoli-and-cauliflower-filled crepe with ricotta and spinach and an amazing cream sauce on the top. Pop in the oven to just lightly toast the sauce and warm the whole dish up and you have a great meal for a meatless Monday or a delightful side dish with any meat or seafood entree.

While I haven’t tried it yet, I believe you can make crepes with coconut flour and unsweetened coconut milk, which makes it easier to find the flour ingredients. I’ve posted the carb count and the recipe for coconut flour crepes in case you want to experiment. When I make a batch, I’ll update this to let you know how well it works.

So, without further ado, here’s the recipe for these heavenly crepes.

Broccoli and Cauliflower Crepes with Cream Sauce

1-1/2 cups of Cauliflower, chopped
1-1/2 cups of Broccoli crown and stems, chopped
3/4 cups Mushrooms, sliced
1 cup Baby Spinach
1/2 cup Ricotta Cheese
8 Cherry Tomatoes, halved

Cream Sauce
1 tablespoon Butter
1 tablespoon Low Carb Flour
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1/4 cup Water or Vegetable Broth
1/2 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb Seasoning
1/3 cup Parmesan Reggiano Cheese, grated

Crepe Recipe:
3/4 cup Low carb Flour
3/4 cup Cream
1/4 cup Water
2 Eggs
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Pepper
Basil or Oregano if desired

Make the crepes batter.  In a blender, add all the crepe ingredients and pulse until the ingredients are mixed together, then blend a little longer to make sure the flour is completely mixed in. Put in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.

While the crepe batter is chilling, prepare the filling:

In a skillet, heat a tablespoon olive oil. Add cauliflower and broccoli and sauté until lightly browned. Add 1/4 cup of water plus Garlic and herb seasoning and stir. Cook a few minutes more until the vegetables are almost tender. Add sliced mushrooms and cook another 3 to 4 minutes. Remove vegetables to a bowl and set aside.

Add about a teaspoon of olive oil to the pan and heat it a minute. Add spinach and sauté until it is limp. In a small bowl, place ricotta cheese and stir to loosen and smooth,, then stir in spinach. Add a little basil or Italian seasoning and mix. Set aside.

Cook the crepes: Heat an 8 inch skillet or crepe pan until a drop of water skittles across the surface. Spray the surface with cooking sprray for each crepe. Pour 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan, lift pan from the heat, and gently roll until the batter coats most of the pan. If you have a crepe pan, spread the batter with the back of a spoon or a spreader, keeping the rounded or oval shape. Cook until the crepe looks dry on the top then carefully slide a wooden or silicone spatula under the crepe and flip it to cook the back side.

Cook for about a minute, then put on a plastic, parchment, or foil sheet on a plate. Put another sheet on top, then make the next crepe. The recipe will make 8 crepes. You will only need four for this recipe, so save the others for another meal. You can fill with eggs and cheese for breakfast.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Assemble the crepes. Put the crepe in a baking pan, spread 1/4 of the ricotta mixture down the middle. Spoon in 2 to 3 tablespoons of the vegetables, then top with two cherry tomatoes cut in half. Roll or fold the crepe over the vegetables. (Mine looked more like tacos.) Slide the crepe to the end of the baking dish and repeat to make four crepes.

Photo: Top view of crepes.
A few of my tomatoes escaped during the plating, but they still tasted yummy. You can see these weren’t the neatest crepe yet they tasted wonderful. Cooking doesn’t have to be perfect.

Make the sauce. In a skillet or pan, melt the butter. Lower the heat to medium. Stir in flour and cook until it begins to form a paste. Add cream and water along with seasoning and stir until the liquid sauce begins to thicken. Add grated cheese and stir until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Spoon 1/4 of the sauce over each crepe. Bake for 15 minutes or until the sauce looks slightly browned.

Serve with a salad or riced cauliflower.

Makes 4 crepes. A pair of crepes make a substantial dinner serving, or you can use just one as a side dish.

Coconut Flour Crepe Recipe

5 tablespoons Coconut Flour
1 cup Unsweetened Coconut Milk
2 Eggs
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Pepper
Basil or Oregano if desired

In a blender, add all the crepe ingredients and pulse until the ingredients are mixed together, then blend a little longer to make sure the flour is completely mixed in. Put in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes. Pulse a couple of times before using.

Cook as directed above. Take extra care in turning the crepes as they will be delicate.

Nutrition for Broccoli Cauliflower Crepe

Nutrition for Crepes with low carb flour and with coconut flour

Nutrition Information for filling
Nutrition information for the filling and sauce only.

Amp Up the Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Photo: Deluxe grilled cheese sandwich

Still looking for a “meatless Monday” option for lunch or dinner? Here’s an easy but delicious suggestion. A grilled cheese sandwich! Not just any grilled cheese, but the deluxe version.

I’ve heard about using cheese on the outside of your sandwich for some time now and I decided to try it while elevating the basic grilled cheese sandwich a little. To do this, you need a non-stick skillet. I used my copper saute skillet to make it. It worked perfectly.

I used a low carb Muffin-in-a-Minute made in a bowl to make a tasty low-carb bread roll that I sliced in two horizontally. You can find the basic recipe link below. While I used flax meal and Bakesquick for my roll, this is easily adaptable to any low carb flour options you prefer.

To complete your meal, you can add a side salad or fried zucchini sticks, or turnip, kohlrabi, acorn squash, or celery root fries.

Low-Carb Muffin in a Minute recipe.

Deluxe Grilled Cheese Sandwich

2 Muffin-in-a-minute rolls, sliced horizontally
1 cup Cheddar Jack cheese, or Cheddar Cheese, shredded
2 slices Colby Deli Cheese
2 oz Cream Cheese
1/4 teaspoons Mrs. Dash Chipotle Pepper Seasoning
2 small Sweet Peppers, seeded and sliced or chopped
2 to 4 slices Tomato, depending on tomato size
2 slice Onion, sliced (optional)

Prepare muffin bread in the microwave and slice across to form the top and bottom of each roll.

Mix cream cheese with seasoning and add 1/4 cup shredded cheese. Spread 1/4 of the cream cheese on the inside of each slice. On one slice. On one side, place the chopped sweet pepper. On the other side, place sliced tomatoes to cover the top. Add onion, if you wish.

Preheat skillet on burner until hot, then turn to medium heat.

Place cheese slice on top of the pepper side. Put about 2 tablespoons of shredded cheese into the middle of the pan and spread it around to form the shape of the bread. Combine the two sides of the roll with filling in the middle. Place sandwich on top of the shredded cheese in the pan. Press down with the spatula to make sure the bottom of the sandwich is sticking to the cheese.
Grill for about 1 minute or until the middle cheese is beginning to melt. Put another couple of tablespoons of shredded cheese on the top of the sandwich. Place a lid over the top to keep the heat in and melt the center piece of cheese.

Carefully, using the spatula and pressing down on the top, turn the sandwich so the grilled cheese is on top. Cook for another minute until the cheese on the bottom is grilled and toasty. Remove the pan and serve.

Makes two sandwiches.

Use Prepared Mix to Make a Fiesta Scramble Breakfast Bowl

Mann's Nourish Bowl

I noticed this newish product in my grocery store among the prepared salad ingredients and bowls of cut fruit. I’d seen Mann’s Nourish Bowls on their web site when I was checking on what other prepared fresh vegetables they had. The Nourish Bowls are a complete meal for one that you may have to add an ingredient or two to complete. In this case, this was the Breakfast Fiesta Scramble bowl.

According to the instructions on the package, you just add two beaten eggs, pour in the included packet of sauce with chicken chorizo, and put it in your microwave for two or three minutes to cook. Add the small package of grated cheese on top and viola! You have breakfast. Well, I couldn’t let it sit at that since I prefer cooking my eggs in a skillet — not that I haven’t used the microwave. But in this case, I think all the fresh ingredients gained from cooking on the stove top. I did add a little extra cheese as the package has maybe a quarter of a cup. I also added two more eggs to make a total of four to serve two people. Honestly, they’ve packed enough veggies into this bowl to easily feed two and possibly three people unless you’re super hungry.

What kind of veggies, you may be asking? Good, low-carb ones. It includes cauliflower, kohlrabi, butternut squash, and kale. The packet also includes the sauce with chicken chorizo, (trust me, not a lot of it. In fact, I couldn’t really distinguish it in the sauce) and the packet of cheddar-jack cheese. You could make your own mix by chopping up equal parts of the same vegetables, but this is really convenient.

So, below are the directions to make the basic Fiesta Scramble Bowl using four eggs to serve two people. Below that are two possible variations to add more meat and flavor to the basic bowl. To be frank, I think there’s enough for two servings easily, and it wouldn’t be hard to eke out a third serving, which in turn keeps the carbs lower.

After this recipe, I’ve added two possible variations on the basic recipe that will bring more and different flavors to the bowls.

Image: Fiesta Breakfast Scramble

Fiesta Scramble Bowl

1 package Mann’s Nourish Bowls Breakfast Fiesta Scramble
4 Eggs
1 tablespoon Butter

Add butter to a large skillet and melt. Stir in the vegetables from the Fiesta Scramble package and stir fry for about 5 minutes to soften the veggies. Check to make sure that the butternut cubes are almost tender. If not, stir fry a little longer.

In the meantime, break four eggs and add pepper then whisk in preparation.

When the veggies are softened, add the packet of sauce with the chorizo chicken in it. Stir it in well and rinse the package in about two tablespoons of water, then add it to the skillet. Stir until the sauce is mixed evenly.

Add the whisked eggs and stir to scramble them into the veggies. Cook and stir until the eggs are firm. Remove from heat and sprinkle cheese on top.

Makes two servings.

Image: Nutrition Info - Basic Bowl

Variation #1 – Mexican Fiesta Bowl

1 package Mann’s Nourish Bowls Breakfast Fiesta Scramble
4 Eggs
1 tablespoon Butter
1 Chorizo sausage
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/4 cup Onions, chopped
1/4 cup Cheddar Jack Cheese

In a large skillet, add the ground chorizo sausage or cut the sausage into thin slices and put in the pan. Cook and stir for a few minutes to get the chorizo done. Remove to a plate while you add the chopped onions and saute them for a couple of minutes, then add the vegetables from the Nourish Bowl packet. Cook and stir for about 5 to 8 minutes to mostly cook the veggies.

Add the chorizo back to the pan, then add the sauce from the kit. Stir to combine with the vegetables. rinse the package in about two tablespoons of water, then add it to the skillet. Stir until the sauce is mixed evenly.

Add the whisked eggs and stir to scramble them into the veggies. Cook and stir until the eggs are firm. Remove from heat and sprinkle cheese on top.

Makes two to three servings.

Image: Nutrition Info Mexican Bowl

Variation #2 – Italian Breakfast Bowl

1 package Mann’s Nourish Bowls Breakfast Fiesta Scramble
4 Eggs
1 tablespoon Butter
1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1/2 cup Tomatoes, diced
3 slices Bacon, cooked & broken into pieces
1/3 cup Mozzarella Cheese

Don’t use the cheese included in the kit.

Cook the bacon and break it into pieces. Cut up the tomato into small cubes.

Add butter to a large skillet and melt. Stir in the vegetables from the Fiesta Scramble package and stir fry for about 5 to 8 minutes to soften the veggies. Check to make sure that the butternut cubes are almost tender. If not, stir fry a little longer.

In the meantime, break four eggs and add pepper then whisk in preparation to cook.

When the veggies are softened, add the packet of sauce with the chorizo chicken in it, the bacon, and the tomatoes. Stir it in well and rinse the package in about two tablespoons of water, then add it to the skillet. Stir until the sauce is mixed evenly.

Add the whisked eggs and stir to scramble them into the veggies. Cook and stir until the eggs are firm. Remove from heat and sprinkle cheese on top.

Makes two to three servings.

Image: Nutrition Info: Italian Style Bowl

Spice it up with a Spanish Omelet Pepper Ring

Image: Spanish Omelet Pepper Ring

The first time I heard of a Spanish omelet was when I was a child watching an episode of “Dragnet,” and Friday’s partner was cooking one when Friday stopped by his home. My grandmother promptly made one for me the next morning based on the one in the show.

I’ve seen eggs cooked in bell pepper rings on a Keto diet as well as Atkins. It’s an excellent low carb option, but I decided to kick it up a level by making a Spanish omelet in the ring. It’s still simple to do and tastes muy fabulous.

Spanish Omelet in Bell Pepper Rings

2 Bell Pepper rings*
2 Eggs
1 tablespoon Ricotta Cheese
1/4 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb Seasoning
1/4 cup Cheddar Cheese
2 tablespoon Salsa
Salt and Pepper to taste

*To cut the rings, use a large bell pepper, slice off the top (or the bottom), remove the seeds, and cut across the pepper at about 1/2 inch to cut a ring. Repeat for the second ring. The pepper makes from 3 to 4 rings. Save the top and bottom for using elsewhere.

Put the pepper rings on a paper towel and microwave for 30 to 40 seconds to just soften it a little.

In a bowl, break the eggs, add the ricotta cheese and seasoning and whisk together until well mixed.

Heat a pan to medium-high heat and add a little butter. When it is melted and sizzling, put in the pepper rings and divide the egg mixture between them. The egg will leak out some, so use a spatula to push the egg back against the peppers. The eggs should begin to set with 15 to 20 seconds.

Once they are set, lower the temperature a little, put a lid over the pan and cook for about five minutes, then flip the eggs over. Put 2 tablespoons cheese on top and add a tablespoon of salsa. Let the cheese melt a little, then remove to a plate.

Makes two servings. (Or one hungry person serving.)