Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Tuff Bites: Breakfast for Dinner

Making breakfast for dinner is always fun. I always feel weird about posting recipes because I never (EVER) follow them, I think of them more like guidelines and inspiration.  When I'm actually cooking, every ingredient added relates to my current mood, and the "recipes" for my meals change almost every time I cook. You'll learn as I share recipes that my measuring is not conventional either, I use terms like "pinch" and "handful" because that is how I cook... with my hands!

Having a toddler that eats the way Tuff eats makes it all the more fun, and it has forced me to be so much more open minded about my own palate. Like the ingredients that go into my meals, my favorite food shift from week to week. One week I will be obsessed with mangoes and include them in everything from salad to sandwiches and even eat them dehydrated for an after workout boost. The next week it's bacon, and the next week it's sprouts. Needless to say, my plate is everything but boring.

I have made egg "muffins" when it's just me and Tuff-man on the weekends for breakfast, but they are usually basic (egg, coconut milk, cheese, bacon). This week my taste buds are craving eggs and cheese, and I want them for DINNER. Cheese is a staple in my diet and I could not go a week without it. Eggs are another principle ingredient that I mindlessly add to everything for a creamier, fluffier and richer texture. Seeing a blog post from a fellow blogger earlier this week made my mouth water, and I could think of nothing else (see original recipe here from Multiply Delicious). Then the evil of Pinterest got a hold of my computer and flooded my poor brain with more ideas for these little fluffy angel muffins.

So without further ado, here is the recipe I went with (and the whole family gobbled up):

"Tuff Bites" Ingredient List:
1 chicken sausage, out of casing (we used the apple and mozzarella)
1/4 orange bell pepper, diced
4 baby carrots, grated
handful fresh spinach, finely chopped
4 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped

5 Italian parsley stalks, finely chopped (leaves and upper stems only)
pinch of Mediterranean sea salt
2 pinches of fresh ground pepper (or about 6 grinder turns)

14 rosemary leaves
1 tbsp melted coconut oil
1/2 C Colby Jack or Parmesan cheese, grated from the block
6 eggs (free rage, cage-free, extra large)

1/2 C unsweetened coconut milk

10 Steps to Perfection:
1. Preheat oven to 375

2. Chop vegetables and herbs, put them all in one bowl on the side

3. Remove chicken sausage from the casing, crumble with your hands and brown in a skillet on med-low (don't for get to wash your hands :)

4. Crack eggs in a mixing bowl and add coconut milk and melted coconut oil.. whisk, whisk, whisk!

5. Using a paper towel or dry (clean) wash cloth, dab in hardened coconut oil and then gently rub the insides of the muffin tin

6. Dump bowl of veggies and sausage into the whisked egg, turn over several times with a spatula

7. Pour egg mixture into muffin tin about 3/4 full each for full size muffin tin, almost to the top for small muffin tin (I find scooping with a small measuring cup makes this easier and reduces the mess)

8. Top each with a pinch (or so) of the cheese

9. Stick in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until you see the cheese bubble and brown up.

10. Let cool after removing for about 3-5 minutes, if you can, then GOBBLE, GOBBLE, GOBBLE!

This recipe is great for little hands if you use the mini muffin tin. I like that I can change this recipe so easily depending what groceries we have and it's still scrumptious! This is a more sophisticated version since it was for dinner, but I would eat them any time of the day. The mixture of the spices and sweetness from the orange bell pepper and apple make your tongue tingle. Then there is the smoky flavor of the chicken, so hard not to eat the whole thing by yourself!
I like pairing it with some Naan bread topped with the remainder of any seasonings I have left over (seen below with a few pinches of parsley and basil, and the rest of the cheese - pop in the oven for 10 minutes, voila!) Another cool thing about these is that I can put a few in the fridge (if any are left) and give them to Tuff for a little snack or pack them in his diaper bag to take with us when running errands. They keep about 24 hours in the fridge.

I really hope you enjoy my first recipe post, and I'm anxious to hear what your favorite "breakfast-for-dinner" food is in the comments below!