Tag Archives: breakfast

Whole Wheat Belgian Waffles

22 Aug

Pommes Frites. Bananaweizen. Currywurst. Spaghettieis. Schokolade. Doener-kebab. Broetchen. Torte. These were the foods that defined my time studying abroad in Germany. Six years ago, I spent the most wonderful semester immersed in the culture of my background, learning & speaking German, cheering on the German National soccer team during the world cup, making friendships to last a lifetime, traveling throughout Europe on long weekends, and eating and drinking…a lot.

Whole Wheat Belgian Waffles | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

I grew up eating German food, thanks to my mom, and Oma and Opa living right next door to us. I knew all about Spaetzle, Rolladen, Sauerkraut, Schnapps, and real, good chocolate. Studying in Germany was just as much about the classes as it was about the culinary experience. My friends and I tried new foods, beer you could only get locally (though not always the most delicious), and sweets that would make anyone’s mouth water.

That’s why, for this month’s Recipe Redux theme of “vacation foods,” I knew I had to recreate something from my travels. One trip that stands out from my semester abroad was when my friend Lisa and I traveled through three countries in four days. We hit up Luxembourg first, followed by a day in Brussels (where our hostel was next door to a Godiva factory), and finished with two days and nights in Amsterdam.

Brussels was an epicurean blur. In the span of 24 hours, I ate and drank:

  • the best beer of my life,
  • the most amazing chocolate,
  • original Pommes Frites, with real mayonnaise and caramelized onions,
  • and the best. waffle. ever.
Whole Wheat Belgian Waffles | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

This photo is from 2010!

That’s a lot to consume in one day. I still hold that we each gained 5 pounds in Brussels, which we luckily walked off over the duration of our trip. Those waffles were something from another sweet, delicious world. They were crispy and caramelized on the outside with a soft and sweet interior. The pearl sugar melts right into and onto the dough, creating a magnificent flavor.

Alas, bready waffles filled with pockets of sugar aren’t exactly healthy. So, for this recipe, I used mostly whole wheat flour, reduced the amount of pearl sugar, and swapped in coconut oil for traditional butter.

If you don’t intend to eat all the waffles at once (ha, good luck!), these freeze really well, which makes them perfect for a lazy weekend morning in the future.

Whether you’ve traveled to Belgium or not, I guarantee these sweet waffles will transport your mind, and stomach, all the way to Europe 🙂

Whole Wheat Belgian Waffles | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Whole Wheat Belgian Waffles, adapted from Chocolate & Zucchini

Makes 15 small waffles

  • 3/4 C lukewarm milk of choice – simply measure the milk into a large measuring cup and let sit on the counter for a bit to bring up to room temperature
  • 1 tbsp active dry yeast (two of the small packets)
  • 3 C whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 C all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 2 large or extra large eggs
  • 1/2 C + 2 tbsp softened coconut oil (place in the fridge while the milk warms up if yours is liquid)
  • 3/4 C pearl sugar

Mix lukewarm milk and yeast together. Let sit 15 minutes so it can become bubbly.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, whisk together the flours, salt, cinnamon and sugar. Pour in the milk and eggs and mix with a wooden spoon to begin incorporating the ingredients.

Using the dough hook on your mixer, knead the dough for 5 minutes on the slowest setting.

Add in the coconut oil and knead again long enough so all the oil is mixed in and the dough becomes one big, sticky ball.

Cover the bowl with a tea towel and let rise two hours, or until the dough is doubled in size. Time will vary based on the temperature and conditions of your kitchen.

With a wooden spoon, mix in the pearl sugar. Scoop out dough balls, about 2″ wide, and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. You should get 15 balls of dough. Let rest for 15 minutes while your waffle iron heats up.

Place one dough ball in each of the four parts of your hot waffle iron. Flatten with your fingers, press down the lid, and cook 4-5 minutes. You want the surface to be a shiny, sticky brown color, and the edges should look just cooked.

Transfer waffles to a cooling rack and let sit for 5-10 minutes before enjoying. It’s important not to place these on a plate, as the steam will make the waffles soggy, rather than creating the ideal crispy exterior.

Repeat with remaining dough balls. OR, place the baking sheet with the dough balls in your freezer and let freeze a few hours before transferring to a freezer-safe ziplock bag. When you want fresh waffles, thaw as many dough balls as desired for 3 hours at room temperature, and then cook like normal!

Enjoy warm, and try not to eat them all 🙂

Whole Wheat Belgian Waffles | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

As the first and only recipe challenge founded by registered dietitians, The Recipe ReDux aims to inspire the food lover in every healthy eater and inspire the healthy eater in every food lover. Thank you for visiting. We hope you enjoy! (Please note that this is a closed link-up for Recipe ReDux posts only. Any links added to this collection for non-ReDux posts will be deleted.)

Tropical Protein Baked Oatmeal

24 Jun

Do you ever make the next day’s breakfast before you get to dinner? Do dream about what’s going to be on the breakfast table and wake up inspired? Are you known for planning out a week’s worth of breakfasts before the week even begins?

I doubt I’m the only one who gets so excited for breakfast that I frequently do all of the above. This recipe is a product of that trifecta.


Tropical Protein Baked Oatmeal | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com


Breakfast is never a question in my mind. In fact, it’s always a given. I do my best to switch up my breakfasts to reduce boredom and try out different flavor combinations. But I also don’t enjoy having to make individual breakfasts every single day, which is why I’ve begun prepping up to a week’s worth of breakfasts all at once. Sometimes that’s a batch of breakfast chia puddings, a dozen veggie egg muffins, a loaf of hearty breakfast bread, a panful of granola, or in this case, a dish of baked oatmeal.

This baked oatmeal is the perfect make-ahead breakfast. It’s packed with fresh, tropical fruits, shredded coconut, fiber-rich oats, and plenty of flavor with cinnamon and freshly grated ginger. It’s moist and yet can be eaten on the run, and can be enjoyed cold or reheated in the microwave if that suits your fancy.

Need a bigger batch? You can easily double this recipe and bake it in a 9×13” baking dish, or portion it out into a muffin or mini loaf tin.

Tropical Protein Baked Oatmeal
Serves 6

  • 2 C old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 C shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 eggs, beaten – or make flax eggs with 2 tbsp flaxseed meal + 5 tbsp water
  • 1-1/2 C nondairy milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp coconut extract
  • 1 large over-ripe bananas, mashed well
  • 1 kiwi, diced
  • 1 mango, diced
  • 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 8×8″ baking dish.

In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon. Mix in the eggs, milk and extracts. Finally, mix in the fruit and fresh ginger.

Pour the oatmeal into prepared dish. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove and cool for 5 minutes before slicing into six pieces.

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge up to 5 days, or freezer up to a month. Reheat leftovers in the microwave.

Tropical Protein Baked Oatmeal | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Roasted Rhubarb Granola Bites + My First Hiking Trip

24 May

Can you believe that before this past weekend, I had never been hiking?! This fact seemed to shock quite a few of my friends. After all, I’m a runner and a lifetime Girl Scout – week-long summer camp was a regular annual experience for me, but aside from walking from our tents to the mess hall, I’ve never been on a proper hike. Until now.

Roasted Rhubarb Granola Bites + My First Hiking Trip | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Boy, have I been missing out! Our friends Adam and Jill invited Chris and myself to join them on a hiking day trip in Utica, IL. Sounded like it could be fun, so we were in. Starved Rock State Park is a 2.5 hour drive from Milwaukee, so we left early in the morning to arrive around 10:30am. Being the over-planner that I am, we had figured out all the food & drink, clothes, first aid and emergency supplies that we could possibly need for the day. I was tasked with making a pasta salad that could sit in the cooler all day, homemade trail mix, and some kind of granola bar or bite to replenish the carbs we’d quickly burn through.

Roasted Rhubarb Granola Bites + My First Hiking Trip | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Once we walked up to the two “tourist” spots in the park – Starved Rock and Lover’s Leap, we had had enough of all the slow pokes, so we moved the car to a parking lot further away from the visitor’s center to do some real hiking.

Roasted Rhubarb Granola Bites + My First Hiking Trip | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.comA quick lunch of sandwiches and fruit salad from Jill, my veggie pasta salad, chips, and perhaps a little something from Wisconsin (cheers!), we hiked out to see a few gorgeous canyons, complete with small waterfalls. The closer we got to the canyons, the cooler it became – a welcome relief from the hot, sunny 80+ degree day. The ground was pretty easy to walk on with a handful of muddy spots. The streams were what got me – too big to jump over (mostly) but too small to warrant turning around. Thankfully, Chris was really good at finding me the best places to cross where my shoes would become only slightly wet (they dried off quickly, too).

Roasted Rhubarb Granola Bites + My First Hiking Trip | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

The views really were beautiful. Everything was bright green, we were relatively well-shaded, and the rocks of the canyons had this amazing layered yellow hue to them. Hiking to and from each canyon spot made us work up an appetite, so we stopped for a snack break before hitting the final, steepest trail. The granola bites I ended up making are filled with a tart roasted rhubarb puree. The crust is made up of ground oats, 7-grain cereal, coconut oil, peanut butter, flax, and cinnamon – definitely a hearty, compact snack! I wanted to make sure we were set with carbs, protein and fat, and I think I nailed it! These had to stay in the cooler and the perfect snack break.

Roasted Rhubarb Granola Bites + My First Hiking Trip | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Our final trail of the day was the most challenging. The view up looked daunting. It was steep, and lacked a lot of footing. There is a wooden staircase built in for the steepest portion (which is also right next to a county road), but we had to manage the rest on our own. And it was well worth it! A few water stops later, and we were presented with a fantastic view of the river and surrounding park. I can see why people enjoy this! I can now say I’m one of them 🙂

Roasted Rhubarb Granola Bites + My First Hiking Trip | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

The descent to the bottom of the trail was almost just as challenging, as we worked to avoid slipping and falling. When we returned to the car, I experienced the most wonderful feeling of taking off my shoes and socks! Haha, yeah, that felt great – I’m so glad I brought flip flops to change into and rest my feet.

Roasted Rhubarb Granola Bites + My First Hiking Trip | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

We headed home, with a pit stop along the way for a bathroom and much-deserved cold beer, and finally reached Milwaukee again. I had so much fun, that the four of us are already working on our next hiking trip! In the meantime, I’m going to be making these roasted rhubarb granola bites pretty often. It’s a great way to use your rhubarb harvest, and is a much healthier snack than cake or pie. They’re easy to make, and can be frozen for enjoyment later on!

Roasted Rhubarb Granola Bites + My First Hiking Trip | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Roasted Rhubarb Granola Bites
Makes 12 bites

  • 3 C chopped rhubarb
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp creamy nut/seed butter of choice
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/3 C Maple
  • 3/4 C Oat flour
  • 1 C Bob’s grain cereal
  • 2 tbsp Flaxseed meal
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking pan with foil and spray with PAM.

Spread chopped rhubarb on the baking sheet. Drizzle with honey. Roast for 25 minutes, turning the pan around halfway through, to prevent burning.

Transfer rhubarb to a bowl and mix in the cornstarch. Use an immersion blender to puree the roasted rhubarb. Set aside. Note: leave the oven on!

In a medium bowl, melt together the nut butter and coconut oil. Mix in the maple syrup, salt and cinnamon. Stir in the oat flour, cereal and flaxseed meal until well-combined and hydrated.

Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of the crust mixture into each paper liner and pat down with the back of the spoon. There should be some crust mixture remaining.

Spoon in a scant tablespoon of the rhubarb puree. Finally, spoon about a teaspoon of the leftover crust on top of the rhubarb.

Bake at 375 for 18-20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely in the tin. Transfer the tin to your fridge and let chill a few hours or overnight. This will help set it up.

Remove from tin and serve. Refrigerate leftovers up to 5 days in an airtight container.

Roasted Rhubarb Granola Bites + My First Hiking Trip | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Strawberries & Cream Breakfast Quinoa

18 May

Ok, it’s still not exactly warm here in Milwaukee, but by golly, I declare spring is here! The produce selection is gradually improving, the grass is greener than ever, and I hear birds singing all the time. All. The. Time.

And that means it’s time to start transitioning to chilled breakfast options! As much as I love a hot bowl of creamy oatmeal, the last thing I want upon waking up on a warm spring or summer day is a warm breakfast. The solution: overnight oats and quinoa!

Strawberries & Cream Breakfast Quinoa | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

The flavor and ingredient options are pretty darn endless. Creamy, fruity, nutty, spicy, you name it – they’re all delicious. And to incorporate the gorgeous strawberries that are popping up everywhere, I wanted to create a new version of breakfast quinoa. This bowl is packed with nutrients: protein, fiber, vitamin C, and omega-3. What’s better is that it’s packed with flavor and amazing texture. The strawberries and yogurt make for a perfect springtime breakfast, and the quinoa gives this dish a nice chew to contrast the creamy yogurt.

Strawberries & Cream Breakfast Quinoa | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Basically, you need to mix up a bowl of this deliciousness. Use leftover quinoa, or cook up a fresh batch. Make breakfast for one, or for your whole family – this keeps well in the fridge for a few days, so breakfast can be a stress-free meal you can actually enjoy!

Strawberries & Cream Breakfast Quinoa

Serves 1, can be doubled

  • 3/8 c cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp flaxseed meal or chia seeds
  • 1/4 c water
  • 1/2 c plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 strawberries, halved and sliced

Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl. Mix in the wet ingredients. Stir in the sliced strawberries, reserving a few slices to garnish on top. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or at least four hours.

Let the quinoa sit out of the fridge a half hour before enjoying. Top with, pepitas, shredded coconut, nut butter and/or cacao nibs. This is even better enjoyed on your balcony or porch in the early sunshiny morning 🙂

Strawberries & Cream Breakfast Quinoa | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Spent Grain Waffles with Chocolate Clementine Sauce

2 May

I just love waffles on the weekend. A lazy Sunday morning is the perfect time to bust out the waffle iron, whip up a delicious batter while coffee brews, and enjoy a filling breakfast in plush robes and slippers on the couch. Ok, that’s not the reality for us every weekend, but when those rare days come around with nothing significant planned, I take full advantage and go all out.

Spent Grain Waffles with Chocolate Clementine Sauce | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

This waffle recipe goes to the extreme, using spent grain flour. For the non-brewers reading this, spent grain is the leftover grain from brewing beer. It can be made up of any variety of wheat, barley, oats, and more. Homebrewing leaves you with several pounds of spent grain, which is perfectly edible. And in an effort to reduce food waste, I took some spent grain, dried it in a low-heat oven, and then ground it as finely as I could in my food processor. The result is a course flour with a TON of flavor, and just a hint of beer taste. Note, you can totally use ground oat flour in place of the spent grain flour if you’re not a homebrewer.

Spent Grain Waffles with Chocolate Clementine Sauce | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

These flavorful waffles are topped with a creamy chocolate clementine sauce, made completely vegan with avocado, cocoa powder, clementine juice, maple syrup and nondairy milk! It’s a delicious sauce for just about any dessert or even just fresh fruit! But let me tell you: it’s WAY better than plain old maple syrup on these waffles. Don’t skip this one 🙂

Spent Grain Waffles with Chocolate Clementine Sauce | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Speaking of things not to skip, it’s almost time for Star Wars Day!! If you didn’t know, May 4 is officially Star Wars day because of a pun. And I LOVE puns…it’s May the Fourth. Get it? Like, “May the Force be with you.” 🙂 Yep, I’m a huge nerd, and this means there’s a themed virtual run!! Level Up Virtual Runs is hosting a May the Fourth Be With You run – you pick the distance, run it when & wherever you want, and then log your time on their website. AND you get this super adorable BB8 medal – everyone should have a BB8, ’cause he’s just so darn useful! Register today and use the code SAVE10 for 10% off the price. And when you tweet and share on Facebook, you can get an additional $1 off registration for each social media action!

may medal

So basically, make some waffles, register for the Star Wars run, and get out there! Let the spent grain fuel your run for the Rebels 🙂

Spent Grain Waffles with Chocolate Clementine Sauce, adapted from The Pretty Bee

Makes 6 waffles

  • 1 C all purpose flour
  • 1/2 C whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 C spent grain flour
  • 1/3 C coconut sugar (or other sweetener of choice)
  • 1-3/4 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1-1/2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt (dairy or nondairy)
  • 1-3/4 C water
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Chocolate Clementine Sauce

  • 1/2 medium avocado (could sub 1/2 cup of ripe mashed banana)
  • Juice of 1 clementine
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup or honey
  • 3 tbsp nondairy milk

Preheat your waffle iron.

Melt the coconut oil in the microwave; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk in the water, melted coconut oil, yogurt, and lemon juice. Let sit 5 minutes to hydrate the flours.

Spray the hot waffle iron with nonstick cooking spray. Scoop 1/2 cup of batter into the center. Press down the lid and cook about 3 minutes. The waffle is done when the exterior is crispy, which you’ll hear when you tap with a fork. Transfer the cooked waffle to a cooling rack – this will ensure the waffles stay crispy on the outside, rather than becoming soggy on a plate from residual steam.

Repeat the process with the remaining batter. You should yield 6 waffles.

While cooking the waffles, make the sauce:

In a blender or mini food processor, combine all the sauce ingredients. Puree until smooth. Add more milk to reach desired consistency. Transfer to a small bowl or ramekin.

Serve the waffles warm and drizzle with the chocolate clementine sauce. Let any leftover waffles cool completely before storing in a freezer-lock bag in the fridge or freezer. Extra sauce should also be kept in the fridge in an airtight container.

Spent Grain Waffles with Chocolate Clementine Sauce | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Linking up with Running on Happy & The Fit Foodie Mama, and Confessions of a Mother Runner & A Whisk and Two Forks for #MeatlessMonday!

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