Arabian Gulf Food Recipes by Moez Ageeb [epub | 1,23 Mb] ISBN: B00ROTDK16

  • Full Title: Arabian Gulf Food Recipes
  • Autor: Moez Ageeb
  • Print Length: 78 pages
  • Publisher: 
  • Publication Date: January 1, 2015
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: B00ROTDK16
  • ISBN-13: 
  • Download File Format | Size: epub | 1,23 Mb
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Arabian Gulf Food Recipes is a book contains 30 recipes from Arab Gulf area. I wish you enjoy every recipe in it.

 

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Keywords

er Gardens for Small Spaces

TOKIIRO

Contents

Succulents are Dynamic

CHAPTER 1

A Little Universe in a Pot: Planting Succulents in Containers

Basic Tools and Materials

Basic Methods for Planting

A Little Composition That Fits in the Palm of Your Hand

Reaching to the Sky

Planting in a Container with No Holes

A City Veiled in Red

Life Passed Down

Immeasurable Vitality

A New Star is Born

A Landscape Where a Guardian Deity Resides

On Wild Earth

A Mystical Forest

The Power of Vitality and Evolution

Celebrating Shadows

The Gentleness of Pink

A Jewel on a Moonlit Night

Mr Rabbit, What Did You See That Made You Jump?

The Flowers of Succulent Plants

Memory

Quietly Listening to the Voices of Plants

CHAPTER 2

Using Succulents to Add Color to Walls: Creating Wreaths and Tableaux

How to Make a Succulent Wreath

Using Succulents to Add Color to Walls

Seasonal Color

Tranquil Eternity

The World’s Most Enduring Greenery

Just Like a Corsage

Wreath Made with Air Plants

How to Make a Tableau Wall Hanging

A Pop-out Picture

CHAPTER 3

Floating in the Air: Hanging Succulents

A Forgotten Forest

Prepare the Container for Hanging

Three Spacecraft Flying Through the Air

Leaving Home

CHAPTER 4

Living with Succulents

What is a Succulent?

Succulents Love Water!

Photosynthesis Prompts a Love of Water

Creating an Environment to Promote Photosynthesis

Photosynthesis in Succulents Differs from That in Other Plants

Succulents are Not Good Indoor Dwellers

Light, Air and Water are Vital for Succulents

The Charm of Succulents

The Beauty of Succulents’ Fall Colors

The Growth Pattern of Succulents

A Little More About the Importance of Sunlight

Cultivating and Planting Tips for Succulents by Genus

Q&A: How to Grow Succulents Successfully

Our Own Journey with Succulents

To Our Readers

A Guide to Succulents

❶ Succulents That Grow Vertically

❷ Succulents That Spread Out

❸ Rosette Types

❹ Enjoying Haworthia

❺ Succulents for Wreaths

❻ Succulents That are Ideal for Hanging

Succulents are Dynamic

Always remember that. The succulent you see now is ever-changing—a fleeting image that reflects its current environment. These plants respond to their surroundings—tomorrow; the day after; a week, month or year from now, they’ll sport a fresh new look. They are never really complete. They are constantly evolving.

At TOKIIRO, we contemplate succulents from every angle so that our arrangements will celebrate the plants’ transformation over time. They resemble ikebana in the way they conjure up a world unfolding in space, and bonsai in the snapshot of scenery they offer.

For TOKIIRO, a plant container is like a sheet of drawing paper or a canvas. Succulents are the pastels, colored pencils and paints. We plant them as if drawing a picture inspired by a memory in the mind’s eye, or by the container’s small inner space (or outer space). Without the space created by the container, expression is impossible. The variations in the glazes and forms of the pots enhance the individuality of the “universes” created.

The pencils, paints and pastels that color these container universes aren’t anything special; they’re simply the materials at hand. In other words, the succulents used aren’t hard-to-find hybrids; rather, they’re what could be called garden varieties.

The motifs we draw are narrow lanes traversed in country adventures; mountain ranges that rise up above fields; the claw of a crayfish; deep forests in which ponds turn up out of nowhere. Somehow, matched with containers and succulents, these memories and imaginings have become little gardens and forests that evoke warm feelings of nostalgia.

What kind of picture will you paint with succulents?

Chapter

1

A Little Universe in a Pot

Planting Succulents in Containers

Outer space is free of boundaries. TOKIIRO thinks of plant arrangements in the same way. Because succulents have an incredibly strong life force, by responding to their environments they evolve over time to achieve their unique forms. Each succulent you plant in a little pot evokes a new world that far exceeds human imagination. That new world, too, continues to evolve. In it is a beauty that only time can create. In tiny pots, arrangements of succulents give birth to a world view thousands of times bigger than themselves. Try imagining this view of nature when planting succulents in containers.

Basic Tools and Materials

Let’s begin by talking about the tools you’ll need to create arrangements of succulents. There’s nothing that’s particularly hard to obtain—it’s easy to make a start as these are all items that can be found at home or in a home center.

1 Mesh

Placed over the hole in the base, mesh prevents
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t tooth and craved high-quality chocolate, which I had trouble finding in Rio. Luckily, a friend of mine had opened a branch of the well-known Payard pâtisserie and restaurant in São Paolo, and he kept me supplied with good chocolate. In fact, I loved Payard’s chocolates so much that I opened a branch of the Payard pâtisserie myself in Rio. This was the beginning of my food career. It was a big change from working in public relations. All of a sudden I was dealing with food orders, waiters, and cooks—it was a new world for me. I rented a kitchen and started doing a lot of catering for events and parties. Brazilians really watch their figures (probably because we want to look good on the beach), so in addition to all the butter-heavy pastries I prepared, I began to experiment with healthier options, using local fruits and organic and dairy-free ingredients. The response was overwhelming, and the business took off!

In 2009, my life changed again when I sold my business in Rio and moved to New York City. I knew that in order to continue in the food business I needed to follow my instinct and do something that I was passionate about and really believed in—something that would affect people’s eating habits on a larger scale. Eventually the Vegan Divas concept was born: My goal was to combine high-quality, wholesome ingredients, classic pastry technique, and an elegant presentation to create a line of vegan treats so delicious that even non-vegans would come back for more. Today, with a bustling café, a constant stream of catering orders, and a devoted and loyal clientele, I consider that goal accomplished. Our bakery is successful because we allow people to indulge their sweet tooth without guilt. And the recipes in this book will help you do the same!

THE ETHICAL DIVA

Let me start by saying this: Even though I love it when people choose to eat a plant-based diet, I believe everyone has the freedom to eat what they want. The same way I expect people to respect the way I eat, I must respect other people’s food choices. For me veganism is not just reflected in my diet; it’s a life choice. But everyone is on his or her own journey and we must appreciate that.

Food is much more than nourishment; it is a cultural and social event that brings us together for everything from birthday parties to family celebrations to business events. Food also creates unforgettable memories and emotions that are translated into flavors, tastes, aromas, and colors that are linked to memories of our childhood, favorite places, and loved ones. Over time we find ourselves almost addicted to certain flavors and textures, whether it’s a succulent steak, crispy fried chicken, rich, cheesy pasta, creamy ice cream, or any of the other “palate pleasers” that we have come to associate with the pleasure of life. It is this concept of palate pleasers—and the traditions handed down to us by our families—that largely dictates the choices we make when it comes to food. To me, there are other important considerations: our health, the health of animals, and the health of our planet.

In my opinion, being vegan not only offers a healthier lifestyle; it also makes it easier to extend compassion toward all living creatures (human and animal). I believe that pain is pain, and suffering is suffering, whether the victim is human or beast. I believe in the laws of karma, and that all suffering is intertwined. It’s clear to me that the less we desire meat, the more aware we are of the suffering of animals and others. When veganism is supported by spiritual practice, it makes us more sympathetic. Whether we realize it or not, what we choose to eat is fundamentally linked to our spiritual beliefs as well as environmental and global issues.

The environment is also a key consideration in the vegan lifestyle. Large-scale, industrial livestock production is not sustainable for the planet. In the United States alone, half of all the water used is for livestock production. Seventy percent of land used to grow food in North America is used for animal feed. By growing this food and passing it through an animal first, a lot of energy is lost. If we all ate meat every day, there just wouldn’t be enough food to feed us all without supplementing with plant-based foods.

The ecological effects of animal grazing are widespread, and the elimination of grazing holds greater potential for benefiting biodiversity than any other single land-use measure. In Amazonia, South America, rain forests are being destroyed at an alarming rate in order to clear the land for cattle grazing. Ranching-induced deforestation is one of the main reasons for the loss of plant and animal species in that area as well. Raising animals for food also generates more greenhouse gases than all the cars and trucks in the world combined. It’s hard to believe, but a single dairy cow produces the equivalent of more than 1.5 metric tons of carbon dioxide! It’s obvious to me t
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THE LAW

While the wasteful excess of so much wild food left to rot drives me to distraction, I must also point out that we must all respect the law, codes of conduct and local byelaws, including those of the National Trust, when gathering or collecting. I have not included any rare plants in this book. Some flowers like the primrose or the cowslip were once commonly used to make wine or cake decorations, but are now rarely seen and must be left to seed and spread. Whatever you are picking, don’t remove too much at any one time – leave some for other wild-food enthusiasts, although blackberries may well be the exception to this rule as they ripen and spoil so quickly. It is worth familiarising yourself with the Wildlife and Countryside Act (WCA) and Countryside and Rights of Way Act (CROW), which is devoted to such thorny issues as rights of way and public access and the conservation of protected species. If private land has rights of way through it, you may not pick any cultivated fruits and vegetables therein, but you can pick wild plants and fruits – as long as they are for your own use and are not sold – though if you remove a whole plant, roots and all, then that does qualify as theft. You are not allowed to harvest any plants at all from land protected by CROW. Some plant species are protected and picking, selling or destroying them is an offence. For further information on WCA and CROW please see the Useful Organisations section.

Similarly, for fairly obvious reasons, you are not allowed to collect any road kill that you have run over – you can only collect something that someone else has killed. Dead animals found on private land are the property of the landowner. Many wild birds have protected status and arguably you could be prosecuted if found in possession of one – even if you didn’t kill it yourself.

FOOD SAFETY

You must also use common sense when collecting wild food: don’t gather anything from the sides of busy roads as it may well be polluted; fungi in particular absorb a lot of toxins. Similarly don’t pick anything from low down at the front of footpaths as passing dogs may well have been happily watering them for months! Take care when collecting seafood that there are no effluent pipes nearby; better not to take the risk and to hunt afresh a little further away.

These practical realities may not sound very pleasant, but please don’t let them put you off discovering the delights of nature’s natural larder. Fruit, nuts and herbs are natural starting points, but don’t stop there; once you’ve started exploring the tasty green leaves on your doorstep it becomes hard to stop. You’ll become braver about maximising the food that nature, not the supermarket, is offering. Maybe next time you come across a dead pheasant in the road you won’t drive around it – you’ll take it home for a fabulous dinner and you will be very, very pleased and proud of yourself! Food just doesn’t come more natural than this – so get back to your roots, get out there and hunt and gather.

FRUIT

Fruit is the one form of wild food that most people will collect with confidence, although if the abundance of fruit going to waste near me is anything to go by it is a pastime that has become less popular. As a child I used to come home with large bags of blackberries unbidden, but children are not allowed to roam so freely today. Yet fruit is the one form of wild-food collecting that children relish – you can guarantee that they will consume quantities as they go. It is vital that adults make time to introduce them to this tantalising natural food source.

Fruit makes a significant contribution to a properly balanced diet: it contains a range of vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre, dependent on variety, and is essential to good health.

There are a few varieties of delicious berries that I have not covered here, for they tend to grow in very specific locations. Cloudberries (Rubus chamaemorus), wine berries (Rubus phoenicolasius) and dewberries (Rubus caesius) are all delicious, if you can find them. They all have the look of a strange-coloured raspberry or blackberry – if in doubt, try one! Mulberries (Morus nigra) are also wonderful if you are fortunate to come across a fruiting tree.

PRESERVING FRUIT

Jams and jellies are two of the nicest forms of preserved fruit. Jam needs little explanation, but all kinds of interesting jellies can be made from wild fruit to accompany meat. I should confess that preserving is something of a passion of mine, those little jewel-coloured jars lined up on the shelves never cease to delight me.

The principle is simple: select a mixture of ripe and slightly under-ripe fruit for your jam. Never use fruit that is over-ripe as it will have little pectin content, and pectin is the essential ingredient that makes the mixture set. Then remove stems, cores and stones – though don’t bother with damsons, just let the
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905 Main Street

Bastrop, Texas

(512) 303-0919

Main Street in tiny Bastrop looks like it came straight from a Hollywood back lot, and Maxine’s on Main is exactly how you’d picture a Texas cafe. Pies, wagon wheel-size pancakes, chicken-fried steak, and big Mason jars of sweet tea make hungry diners here happy. For pure comfort food, try the pot roast. It’s savory and rich, and its chuck-wagon secret ingredient is a full pot of coffee, which makes for an incredible and eye-opening gravy. Have a big piece of pie, and before you leave Bastrop be sure to amble around the few blocks of its downtown, which is full of quaint stores and historic buildings.

Maxine’s Pot Roast

This is the darkest, richest pot roast I’ve ever tried. The restaurant makes a much larger batch, which uses a whole pot of coffee. We’ve scaled it down to a more reasonable home-kitchen size and put it in a slow cooker for even more ease.

2¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper, divided

2½ tsp. garlic powder

1½ tsp. onion powder

1½ tsp. seasoned salt

1 (3-lb.) boneless chuck roast, trimmed

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

3 medium-size red potatoes, quartered

2 celery ribs, coarsely chopped

1 large carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped

1 small onion, diced

3 cups strong, freshly brewed coffee

¼ cup Worcestershire sauce

1 Tbsp. browning-and-seasoning sauce (optional)

3 Tbsp. butter

⅓ cup all-purpose flour

¾ tsp. salt

1. Stir together 1½ tsp. pepper and next 3 ingredients in a small bowl; rub over roast. Brown roast 3 to 4 minutes on each side in hot oil in a large skillet over high heat. Place roast and potatoes in a 6-qt. slow cooker.

2. Sauté celery, carrot, and onion in hot drippings in skillet over medium-high heat 2 minutes. Add coffee, Worcestershire sauce, and, if desired, browning-and-seasoning sauce; cook 3 minutes, stirring to loosen particles from bottom of skillet. Pour mixture over roast and potatoes.

3. Cover and cook on LOW 8 hours or until roast and potatoes are fork-tender. Transfer roast and vegetables to a serving platter, reserving cooking liquid. Shred roast with two forks; cover and keep warm. Skim fat from cooking liquid.

4. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; gradually whisk in flour. Gradually whisk in reserved cooking liquid. Add remaining ¾ tsp. pepper and ¾ tsp. salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes or until thickened. Serve gravy with roast and vegetables. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Note: We tested with Kitchen Bouquet browning-and-seasoning sauce.

The Porch

2912 North Henderson Avenue

Dallas, Texas

(214) 828-2916

Though The Porch’s menu is full of Texas comfort foods such as macaroni and cheese and schnitzel, it’s not the sort that hits you like a stagecoach. “I don’t want people to go home and feel like they have to take a nap,” says Cordon Bleu-trained chef Kenneth Hardiman. The decor puts you at ease. The restaurant’s beamed ceiling, rich leather booths, and long, commodious bar have an upscale Western feel, kinda like the King Ranch edition of a Ford F-250. Indulge in a martini and some watermelon salad— refreshing accompaniments to an afternoon on the porch—or settle in for a meal with a cheese plate and terrific pork schnitzel.

The Porch Black and Blue Martini

It’s more deep raspberry in color than black or blue, and it’s so sweet, you’ll hardly notice the alcohol.

6 fresh blueberries

6 fresh mint leaves

3 fresh blackberries

2 Tbsp. vodka

2 Tbsp. St. Germain elder-flower liqueur

1½ Tbsp. fresh lime juice

1½ Tbsp. Simple Syrup

2 Tbsp. club soda, chilled

Garnishes: fresh mint leaves, lime zest curl

1. Muddle first 3 ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add vodka, next 3 ingredients, and ice to fill shaker. Cover, shake, and strain through a fine sieve into a chilled martini glass. Gently pour in club soda. Makes 1 serving.

Simple Syrup

1 cup sugar

1. Bring sugar and 1 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Boil, stirring occasionally, 7 minutes or until sugar dissolves and mixture is clear. Let cool 10 minutes or to room temperature. Store, covered, in refrigerator for use in cocktails. Makes 1⅓ cups.

The Porch Watermelon Salad

The Porch uses yellow watermelon for a twist, but pink- or red-fleshed melon will do.

1 Tbsp. fresh orange juice

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

1 Tbsp. Champagne vinegar

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. freshly ground pepper

¾ tsp. honey

¼ cup grapeseed oil

4 cups (1-inch) cubed seedless yellow watermelon

2 cups grape tomatoes, halved

2 cups (8 oz.) crumbled feta cheese

2 cups peeled and seeded cucumber, cut on a bias

1 cup vertically sliced red onion

½ cup thinly sliced fresh basil

3 to 4 oz. prosciutto, coarsely chopped

1. Whisk together first 7 ingredients. Gradually whis
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wice a week. The rest of the time, cooks used “seasoning meat” as a condiment—a means to round out a vegetable-and-grain-focused meal. Seasoning meat is usually pork, but never a fancy cut. Instead, it is every nook, cranny, nugget, and bone salted, smoked, or ground into sausage to lend flavor to pots of anything you can boil.

We don’t cook our beans and greens this way simply because we like it. The custom comes out of the need to preserve meat. Families came together after the first cold snap, slaughtered a few hogs, and turned those hogs into food for the frigid months to come.

This tradition is responsible for beloved pork products like country ham, smoked side meat, jowl bacon, ham hocks, and sausage. Pig tails, feet, cubes of fat, neck bones, and noses got salted down, packed into crocks, and hung from rafters till a cook imitated Jesus with His loaves and fishes and called on a hunk of cartilage and bone to turn a bunch of nothing into supper. Often simmered in water and nothing else, seasoning meat produces a porky broth bubbling with white fat, smoke, and funk that transcends the days of hog killings to become an essential cooking medium.

Southern cooks have strong opinions. Since this is my book, I’m calling mine “wisdom.” Here it is.

Seasoning-Meat Wisdom

Air-dried sausage: The seasoning meat of choice in Eastern North Carolina. Its funk, tang, and umami accentuate the bitter notes of turnips in an incomparable way. See here for more.

Smoked pig tails and feet: These offer body as well as fat and flavor. Look for feet and tails that have been split in half. They’ll give up their sticky-fingered, lip-smacking, body-building qualities faster and gnawing on the carnage will be less offensive. I like these for soups and greens, not for beans and peas.

Smoked ham hocks: A cross-section of what you could call the pig’s calf, ham hocks are the quintessential collard-green seasoning machine. Hocks offer flavor, body, and good-size chunks of meat to their companions. It takes a lot of cooking to coax meat from hocks, but the result is luscious pink pearls bobbing in your pot.

Country ham: To me, country ham’s place is in a biscuit or next to grits, not in a pot of greens. In a pinch, I’ll use it as seasoning meat, along with its skin and bone. Country ham is short on fat and broth-body-building qualities, so look for chunks with the large pieces of fat and skin that we call “chips.”

Smoked neck bones: These have a devoted following. Cross-sections of the neck studded with fatty nuggets of meat get simmered and gnawed on like a chicken leg. They do double duty as seasoning and centerpiece.

Belly bacon, side meat, streak of lean, and jowl bacon: Bacon is generally cured, smoked pork belly, but a fattier bacon with a stronger flavor is made from a pig’s jowl. That’s jowl bacon.

Pork belly that’s cured but not smoked is side meat or streak of lean. The term refers to the strip of meat between the two pillows of fat on every pork belly. I like when it’s rubbed with black pepper on top of the salt cure and sold in slabs. It’s my go-to for soups and beans because I find too much smoke distracting.

There are two ways to use bacon and side meat for seasoning. You can render it in your pan and set the crispy meat aside before you add water to make the broth, or put the meat straight in with the water like a ham hock. Usually I render some and leave a few whole chunks or slices for the water.

Fatback: Just what it sounds like, this is fat taken from the back of a pig. It is hard, flavorful, and great for rendering into lard. To make it seasoning meat, the skin is left on and the fat is cured in salt. Like pork belly, it can be rendered crisp or dropped straight into the pot.

Roots

I DIDN’T LEARN TO MAKE biscuits and elaborate Sunday lunches at my mother’s knee. Nope; growing up, I was busy plotting my grand exit from the middle of nowhere, Deep Run.

I had big dreams, the kind I believed you could never realize in a community that was home to more pigs than people. I didn’t aspire to be a chef. I wasn’t thinking about becoming a big-city lawyer or an opera singer either. I just wanted night to sound like car horns and people instead of frogs and crickets. I wanted traffic, not tractors, and to walk somewhere other than to the car. And was an Applebee’s too much to ask for?

My family made their living in tobacco, and when that industry faded we farmed hogs instead. My mom’s parents, Buck and Lorraine Hill, and my paternal grandparents, Iris and Currin Howard, grew, harvested, and preserved much of their own food. Until I was four or five, my parents did too. It now sounds like a locavore’s dream, but I thought our barbecue, creamed corn, and butterbeans were boring. I felt I deserved greater sophistication: regular dinners at Chili’s, perhaps?

I got my wish at age fourteen, when I left home for an all-girls
r congenital heart defect, I have seen her personify steadfastness and perseverance. Keeping her family steady requires a lot of hard work, and I can confidently call her an expert on flexibility and managing expectations.

Carissa says, “With all the busyness that comes with our big family, one of my favorite things to do when I am cooking is to make extra to freeze for later.” She has lots of tips for mastering the craft of batch cooking. When making spaghetti sauce or taco meat, double your recipe and make it last for two meals. For example, you can eat spaghetti now and freeze a spaghetti pie, or have tacos tonight and taco salad tomorrow. Extras from a large roast can become a beef stew, and a slow cooker full of chicken breasts shred and freeze nicely for future casseroles.

CARISSA’S GERMAN CREPES

Whipping up this breakfast is a tradition of Carissa’s big German family, but it goes by its German name in their household—Blinna. It has even earned the status of favorite food by every one of her children! I like these crepes topped with jam and powdered sugar.

Serves 5 to 6

1 packet active dry yeast

1 cup warm water

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sugar

2 ½ cups warm milk, divided

⅓ cup canola oil

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

Butter for greasing skillet

Optional toppings: sour cream, light brown sugar, jam, powdered sugar, butter

1. Dissolve yeast in 1 cup of warm water.

2. In a medium bowl whisk together yeast water, flour, salt, sugar, and 2 cups warm milk. Cover bowl with a towel and allow to rise 8 to 12 hours, or overnight, at room temperature.

3. The next day whisk ½ cup warm milk, oil, and eggs into the flour mixture. Allow to rise again for 30 minutes.

4. Pour ¼ cup batter into a large greased skillet over medium heat. Lift pan from burner and swirl to spread batter thinly. Once bubbles form, flip and cook to a slight golden brown.

5. Add topping and roll crepe into a spiral.

BREAKFAST PITAS

Brinner is slang for having breakfast foods for dinner. This recipe reverses it and recreates your typical pita entrée as a complete morning meal. Perhaps we should call it Dreakfast? Whatever name you choose, you can skip the fork for this breakfast on the go.

Serves 2

1 avocado, mashed

2 pitas

½ cup arugula

4 large eggs, scrambled

½ cup shredded white Cheddar cheese

½ pound ground breakfast sausage, cooked

Hot sauce to taste

1. Spread mashed avocado onto pitas.

2. Layer with arugula, scrambled eggs, white Cheddar, and breakfast sausage. Top with hot sauce.

FLOURLESS YOGURT AND BANANA PANCAKES

Using bananas and yogurt as a base in these flourless pancakes makes them a healthy option without losing tastiness. This is especially popular with gluten-free friends.

Makes about 12 pancakes

2 very ripe bananas, plus banana for garnish

¼ cup vanilla yogurt

4 large eggs

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Maple syrup

1. In a medium bowl mash the bananas.

2. Add yogurt, eggs, cinnamon, baking powder, and vanilla, then whisk together.

3. In a large skillet over medium heat, pour ¼ cup batter into circles. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes on each side.

4. Serve with maple syrup and additional banana slices.

BREAKFAST CROISSANT SANDWICH

Finding a fast and nutritious breakfast is so difficult that sometimes I just give up and eat cake. (A whopping stack of pancakes basically has the same level of nutrients, right?) If you have a similar struggle but do not want to end up making a dessert for your breakfast, this easy-to-make, savory sandwich is a win.

Serves 3

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 cups fresh spinach

1 clove garlic, minced

A dash of ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

3 croissants, sliced

3 large eggs, hard-boiled and sliced

1. Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add spinach and sauté with garlic, nutmeg, salt, and pepper until spinach is wilted.

2. Layer spinach on croissants and top with eggs.

BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKE STUFFED FRENCH TOAST

Many breakfast foods tend to be utilitarian, but sometimes it is nice to make something a bit fancy. When my husband eats this French toast, he says he feels like we are dining on a restaurant’s breakfast specialty. This recipe can inspire that kind of awe with only a little effort.

Serves 3 to 4

1 cup blueberries

3 tablespoons sugar

½ cup water

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

½ cup powdered sugar

3 large eggs

½ cup half-and-half

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 loaf of sliced French bread

Butter for greasing skillet

Whipped topping

Maple syrup

1. In a small skillet over medium-high heat, combine blueberries with sugar and ½ c

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