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Will It French Toast?

Once upon a time, I had possibly my most brilliant blog idea ever. An idea so great I decided it deserved a separate blog all of its own.

You see, I am a woman of many questions. I like to think of them, ask them, and then quickly replace old questions with new questions. But one was always on my brain.

Will it French toast??

Yes, these are the important topics that litter my brain all day.

The concept was simple.

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I create an egg wash of sorts…

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Two eggs, splash of milk, cinnamon, and vanilla extract.

Dip some bread-like product in it…

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Fresh fluffy bakery bread is the bestest.

Throw it in a hot frying pan…

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And call it “French toast.”

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Can’t forget a drizzle of my favourite syrup:

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Probably the only “no sugar added product you’ll still see me eat.

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Dee-lightful.

But somewhere between getting a full-time job, then going on sick leave with cancer, the French toast blog fell by the wayside. And now I am left with half a dozen pictures and ideas I never ended up blogging about!

So now that we have the classic idea of French toast down, let’s shake things up a bit.

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A while back, I made The Pioneer Woman’s cinnamon rolls. They were screaming to be given the French toast treatment. I started off by letting them soak in egg whites overnight to get them completely soft and saturated, like a cinnamony bread pudding.

I used carton egg whites. You’ll notice it’s what I use when the French toasted item is on the, ahem, decadent side. I actually eat the things I make, and plain egg whites still make for a great egg wash with an already flavoured item!

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Placed them on to a greased frying pan and immediately got excited about all the eggy bits I’d have on the ends – the best bites!

Cooked on low for a while to ensure even cooking, I was left with two sweet, spicy, soft, warm, cinnamon rolls.

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Drizzled in my favourite syrup of course.

Not sure how I’m ever going to eat another normal un-French-toasted cinnamon roll again.

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To be continued!!

A Frittata For Your Thoughts

Happy Sunday!

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As I lay in bed this morning thinking about food, as I am wont to do, I realized we had the makings of a great frittata sitting in the fridge as leftovers.

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Have you ever made frittata before? I used to make them all the time during my weight loss days. One giant slice is usually low in calories and high in protein.

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All you have to do is pick the veggies you want as the filling, sauté them with whatever spices you like, turn the heat down, then pour an egg/milk mixture over the veggies in the pan. How many eggs you use depends on the size of your pan, but a medium pan is generally 6-8 eggs. I like to use buttermilk or yogurt instead of milk sometimes too to make the eggs fluffy.

From there you let the eggs “set” on medium-low heat for about 10 minutes. Until the edges are solid, but still liquid in the middle. Sprinkle cheese on top, wrap the pan’s handle in tinfoil if it’s not cast iron, and stick the whole thing under the broiler for about 3-5 minutes.

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Today’s mix included potato, mini portobellos, corn, green onion, smoked paprika, and goat yogurt instead of milk. Sprinkled with old cheddar on top. A nice surprise for my dad and sister to wake up to this morning!

Instead of yammering on today, I want to ask you for some feedback. I have never done this before and I find myself increasingly curious about it. For new and old readers alike, what brings you to my blog? What about this blog in particular keeps you coming back? What are some of your favourite topics? Are there any other topics you’d like to see featured more often? I’m a big girl, I can handle constructive criticism. Please comment below, leave a note on my Facebook page, tell me on Twitter, or pop me an e-mail at thegreatbalancingact@gmail.com. Thank you!!

Chicken Not Pie

Happy Waffle Wednesday!! 

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Best breakfast of the week. Yup. Even better than all those fancy brunches. Well, minus french toasted pastries and giant pancakes. But you get my drift.

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A very simple recipe for one belgian waffle, or two rectangular ones:

  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp egg whites (or one whole egg)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup almond milk (or any kind of milk)

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Today’s topping consisted of 1/2 cup cottage cheese, 1 tbsp peanut butter, 2 tbsp sugar-free syrup and cinnamon to taste. A cinch to whip up and completely delicious! Also, a nice break from the oatmeal and egg sandwiches I’ve been eating lately.

After yesterday’s indulgent pie recipe, I decided it was time to balance things out with a non-pie.

Chicken Not Pie

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Yes, that would chicken pot pie without the pastry. The filling is actually my favourite part (well, technically, the chicken is). So consider this your “healthier” version of a homestyle favourite :)

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If you don’t have any leftover poultry to use (my mom often makes this with turkey leftovers) start by boiling your chicken breasts until just cooked. I used two very big chicken breasts – around 12-14 oz all together.

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While that’s going on, chop up one leek. Around two cups worth. Cook it in a greased frying pan along with 1/4 cup onions, a clove of garlic and a quarter teaspoon of dried thyme.

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Potatoes! Two of ‘em. The key to any homestyle dish.

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Y’all know I’m a fan of the frozen veggies. I added a 500g bag of a carrot, corn, pea and green bean mix. But you can add any veggies you like. Mushrooms, parsnip or turnip would be great too. Around 2 cups worth.

IMG_5369I also have an abnormal fear of store-bought broths. I think it’s because at one point my doctor told me I could have an allergy to monosodium glutamate (MSG) and a lot of broths have it. Turns out I just have an intolerance to certain raw fruits and veggies – but the fear stuck!

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Phew. Safe :)

By now the chicken should be close to done, so just drain it and set aside to cool.

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Meanwhile, mix 2 cups of the chicken broth with 1 cup low-fat milk, 3 tbsp all-purpose flour and a squirt of dijon. Whisk baby whisk! It takes around 10 minutes to get thick.

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Once your hand is cramped from whisking, and your veggies are off the burner, shred the cooled chicken and combine everything into a large casserole dish.

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Cover with tinfoil and bake at 375 for around 45 minutes or until potatoes are cooked.

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Voila! Chicken Not Pie. Who needs pie crust or biscuits? More importantly, who has the patience to make pie crust or biscuits on a weeknight? Not this girl.

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Ingredients (makes 4 servings)

  • 2 large chicken breasts (or 4 small ones, around 12-14 oz)
  • one chopped leek (around 2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 potatoes, diced into small cubes (around 2 cups worth)
  • 500g bag of frozen veggies (or 2 cups veggies of choice, chopped small)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup low fat milk (I used 1%)
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions

Boil chicken breasts in a large pot of water. Cook leeks, onions and garlic in a pan until soft. Add potatoes, spices and frozen vegetables. Once chicken is cooked, set aside to cool. Add broth, milk, mustard and flour to a small pot and whisk on medium-high heat until thickened. Around 10 minutes. Once chicken is cool enough to touch, shred it with your hands. Mix chicken with veggies and add to a large casserole dish and pour broth mixture over top. Cover with tinfoil and bake at 375F for around 45 minutes or until potatoes are cooked.

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Even better than the warm, comforting taste are the nutritionals! Each serving has 273 calories, 3g fat, 33g carbs, and 28g protein. I ate my bowl with a side of some carrot sticks and apple slices, because I eat everything with a side of carrot sticks and apple slices.

OR, if you’re really smart, you’ll follow up your Chicken Not Pie with a piece of Fluffernutter Pie.

You know, for balance ;)

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