Pumpkin Pie Shake

Pumpkin Pie Shake

makes 1 serving

Blend everything in a powerful blender and enjoy immediately. 

This is a spin off of a recipe from Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook ‘It’s All Good’. I’ve tweaked some of the ingredients, added spinach to boost the health factor and substituted ground pumpkin for Gwyneth’s use of a cooked sweet potato. 

This is really yummy and a great way to use leftover canned pumpkin (possibly from making Autumn Pumpkin Bars!) 

2/3 cup canned pumpkin 

1 heaping handful of spinach 

1 1/2 cups cold unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 serving vanilla protein powder

1/3 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

2 pitted Medjool dates 

1/3 cup ice cubes

Morning Egg Muffins

Morning Egg Muffins makes 12-16

6 ounces ground sausage (I like crumbling up Bob Evan’s sausage patties)

1/2 cup chopped green and red bell pepper

3/4 cup chopped mushrooms

1 cup fresh spinach

10 eggs 

1/4 cup buttermilk, or coconut milk 

1/2 cup sliced green onions 

Coconut oil/cooking spray 

Heat some coconut oil in a skillet and cook the ground sausage, green pepper and mushroom 8-10 minutes or until sausage is cooked through. In the last 2 minutes of cooking add the spinach and wilt. 

Preheat oven to 350°. 

In a bowl, whisk the eggs then add the milk and blend. Stir in the sausage mixture and the green onions. 

Grease a muffin tin heavily (or use liners) and spoon mixture evenly into the cups. 

Bake 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. 

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Logan’s Notes

-Properly greasing the muffin tin is crucial to avoid a clean up mess. Alternatively I’d suggest parchment paper liners. 

-This is a fantastic recipe to make over the weekend for quick, healthy breakfasts all week long! I like to have 2-3 muffins along with a piece of peanut butter toast or a smoothie. 

-It’s easy to play around with the ingredients based on what you have in the fridge. This is a great avenue to sneak in vegetables to your first meal of the day. 

Morning Oats

One of my favorite breakfasts is oatmeal. I’ve nailed down a ridiculously easy and fast base that I’ll customize based on what I have in my kitchen. You can make this in less than 5 minutes for a healthy and filling start to your day! 

Morning Oats serves 1

1/2 cup instant original oatmeal

1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk 

Add ins


Combine your oats and almond milk in a bowl. Microwave for 1 minute 15 seconds. Stir in your add ins and enjoy! Some of my favorite combinations:

1 Tbsp peanut or almond butter + 1 sliced banana

1/2 cup fresh blueberries + 2 Tbsp walnut pieces  + 1/2 Tbsp honey

1 sliced pear + 2 Tbsp slivered almonds + 1/2 Tbsp agave nectar 

 I also love to add a dash or two of cinnamon on top. Each combination with the oatmeal is around 370-400 calories. 

CTB: Bruce Paltrow’s World Famous Pancakes

I ADORE this recipe. It’s definitely the hero of Gwen’s cookbook and it has become a staple in my kitchen over the last few years. The recipe is easily dividable to make however many pancakes you need. These also freeze well in case you make too many!

Bruce Paltrow’s World Famous Pancakes makes roughly 3 dozen pancakes; I usually make 1/3 to 2/3 the amount depending on my crowd 

3 cups flour

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons fine salt

3 cups buttermilk

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

6 large eggs

up to 1 cup milk, as needed to thin batter (note: I don’t use any)

maple syrup, warmed for serving 


Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk the buttermilk, butter and eggs together. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing just enough to combine (lumps are ok). Cover and refrigerate the batter overnight. 

The next morning, heat up your griddle or nonstick pan and grease with a little cooking spray. Add milk to the batter to thin it to your preferred consistency (thicker the batter, thicker and heavier your pancakes; thinner the batter, more delicate your pancakes). Cook the pancakes, flipping them after bubbles appear on the surface of the uncooked side. Let cook 2-3 minutes more, then remove. Eat with lots of warmed maple syrup! 


Logan’s Thoughts

This is just a fantastic pancake recipe-you will never make pancakes from a box again! I like to customize this recipe by adding in ingredients (i.e. chocolate chips or blueberries) to the batter before cooking.

CTB: Leek Frittata

This week for CTB I whipped up Gwen’s Leek Frittata. I tweaked the ingredients to incorporate fresh spinach and sage. I also substituted Gouda cheese for Gruyere, as the latter was quite expensive at the grocery store! 

Gwyneth calls for partially cooking the frittata on the stove before transferring it to the oven. As I don’t own a cast-iron skillet, I modified the cooking method below. 

Leek Frittata 

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large leek, washed, top discarded and white stalk very thinly sliced 

1 handful of spinach, roughly torn

1 bunch fresh herb (basil, sage, dill, etc.) 

salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 large eggs

1/2 cup milk

2 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (about 1/3 cup) (I used Gouda cheese) 


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a pie pan and insert pie bird (if using). 

Heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat in a skillet. Sauté the leek slices until soft and just barely browned, 6-8 minutes. In the last two minutes, add the torn spinach and fresh herb to slightly wilt. 

Meanwhile, beat the eggs and milk to combine in a mixing bowl. Scoop the leek mixture into the pie pan, pour the egg mixture over the leeks, and sprinkle the cheese on top.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until the frittata is just set throughout. 

Logan’s Thoughts

This was very easy to make. The cook time is quick and the ingredient list is small. I thought the consistency was great. This would be good for any meal of the day, though I would recommend serving this with something else to make a full meal. 

I did think there was a something missing in the overall flavor. Another herb, maybe some garlic powder, or simply a shake of hot sauce could remedy this. 

This is a good recipe to have on hand, and alter the ingredients based on what is in season or what you have available in your kitchen! 

Java Muffins

I’ve got a lovely recipe for you today-thanks to my mom! 

If you are like most people, Mondays are rough. No matter what your day looks like there is just something about facing an entire new week that makes you want to stay in bed. I decided to ease the frustration of being back at work by whipping up a batch of ‘Java Muffins’ for my coworkers. These are delectable with just the right hint of coffee flavor. 


Java Muffins (adapted from Taste of Home recipe): makes 12 muffins 

1/4 cup butter, completely softened

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup strong brewed coffee

1 Tbsp instant coffee granules (I used Starbucks VIA brand)

3/4 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans, divided (optional)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl or mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until crumbly. Add eggs and mix well. Add applesauce. 

In a small bowl, whisk buttermilk, coffee, coffee granules and vanilla until granules are dissolved. Add to butter mixture and mix in.

In another bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder and soda, cinnamon and salt. Add in as two batches to the butter mixture, stirring each batch in until just mixed. Fold in 1/4 cup of the pecans, if using.

Prep a 12-cup muffin tin with muffin liners, or coat with cooking spray. Fill each cup 3/4 full and sprinkle the remaining pecans on top (if using). Bake 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool several minutes before removing from the pan onto a wire rack. Serve warm. 

Enjoy! 

Yummy Bran Muffins {Giveaway}

I’m back with another recipe and another giveaway for you!

As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve recently partnered up with Hamilton Beach to become a Brand Ambassador. I’ll be reviewing their products and providing giveaway opportunities to my readers.

Read all about my experience with the SoftScrape 6 Speed Hand Mixer here and enter to win one for yourself! 

Today, it’s all about the Hamilton Beach 6 Speed Stand Mixer. I’ve paired my review with one of my kitchen staples: healthy yet delicious bran muffins! These rockstar baked goods can be customized with any combination of ingredients: some of my favorites include dried cherries, chocolate chips, or fresh lemon and blueberry like I made below. 

But let’s chat about the mixer first, shall we? I have never owned or used a stand mixer before. I’ve always thought of them as something that only “serious bakers” owned, plus was put off by the high price tag and large footprint on a counter. 

This is what makes the Hamilton Beach version so great. The size is compact; I love the narrow design and how it fits on my countertop. The bowl size is 3.5 quarts; for personal use this is a great size and I had tons of room to spare in the bowl when I made my single batch of muffins. If you were going to make a boatload of cookies though, you might wish that the bowl held more. The bottom of the unit has small suction cups which keep the mixer in place. The mixer comes with three attachments: a flat beater, a whisk, and a dough hook. 

But the best part? The top of the unit tilts up with the press of a button! This lets you easily pull out the mixing bowl or have more room to add ingredients. 

I do wish it tilted back a bit more; I had to weirdly angle myself to add in ingredients. Some of this might have been due to where I positioned the mixer on my counter. This isn’t a deal breaker, just something to get used to when using the mixer. 

The mixing head spins as it rotates inside the bowl, scraping the sides to allow minimal scraping by hand with a spatula.There are 6 speeds and a special “fold” setting. I love the little cheat sheet that is on the side of the unit for what attachment and speed to use!

I was very impressed by this mixer and would not hesitate to recommend it to friends. It was easy to go through the steps of my recipe, adding in the ingredients as needed. As I mentioned I barely had to scrape the sides of the bowl as the design of the attachment let the whisk do all of the work. It’s also definitely important to mention that this product retails for a fraction of the cost of the “it” stand mixer by KitchenAid. I’m looking forward to incorporating the stand mixer into my cooking! Now for what I made: 

Bran Muffinsmakes 12 muffins

1 cup each: rolled oats, plain yogurt

1/2 cup each: no sugar added applesauce, packed brown sugar

1 egg

1/3 cup each: oat bran, wheat germ all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour

1 teaspoon each: salt, baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 pint of fresh blueberries*

zest of 1 lemon*

*You can customize the ingredients to your liking; the possibilities are endless! Nuts, peanut butter chips, pineapple, any dried fruit, coconut….go crazy with your combinations! 

 

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12 muffin cup pan with liners. 

Combine oats and yogurt and let stand for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the applesauce, sugar and egg in your stand mixer (or with a hand mixer). 

Combine oat bran, wheat germ, both flours, salt, baking powder and soda in a separate bowl. 

Yes, that is a spatula with a pig on it. I may also have a matching whisk...
Yes, that is a spatula with a pig on it. I may also have a matching whisk…

Add the oat/yogurt mixture in with the applesauce/sugar/egg mixture until blended. Then add in the flour mixture. 

By hand, stir in your add-on ingredients of choice.

Divide batter among muffin cups, about 2/3 full. Bake about 22-23 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. 

Muffins should be stored in an airtight container up to 3 days (more like 2 if it is warm in your kitchen), or 4 if in the refrigerator. These freeze wonderfully; I recommend making a double batch and freezing the lot! You can then defrost as needed. 

I hope you love these as much as I do! They really are surprisingly wonderful; the applesauce ensures they aren’t dry. And you don’t have to feel guilty about having one! 

And drumroll….the giveaway! 

The details:

-This giveaway will run from Wednesday, May 7th (12 AM) to Friday, May 9th (11:59 PM).

-To clarify, you are entering to win a brand new Hamilton Beach 6 Speed Stand Mixer. I will coordinate with the winner and Hamilton Beach to have the mixer shipped directly to you from their distribution center. 

-Using the Rafflecopter box below, log in and leave me a comment below telling me what your favorite spring-inspired dish is to make. 

-You can also follow me on Twitter (@loganmer) for extra points to win!

-Make sure you have clicked the link for this particular post so that the comment box shows up!

-Rafflecopter will randomly select the winner, who I will reach out to over the weekend. 

Good luck! 

Update: This giveaway has ended and a winner has been selected at random by Rafflecopter. Thank you to all who entered and I appreciate you checking out Sage & Serendipity! 

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“Five Star” Muffins

In keeping with my vegan attempts for the month of March, I made a batch of completely vegan and gluten free sweet potato muffins. The key ingredient in these is Chinese five-spice powder, which in my mind I keep accidentally calling “five star” powder. After making these, I think it’s fair to call them “five-star” muffins : )

“Five Star” Muffins

adapted from “It’s All Good” recipe

2 sweet potatoes (or 1 really large one)

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

3/4 cup good quality maple syrup, plus a little extra for brushing the muffins

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups gluten-free flour (and add 1 tsp xanthan gum* if the flour doesn’t include it). You can also use regular/whole wheat/spelt/whatever flour you have on hand if you don’t mind the gluten. 

2 tsps baking powder

2 tsps baking soda 

1 1/2 Tbsp Chinese five-spice powder (I found mine at Whole foods; it’s a blend of cinnamon, fennel, cloves, star anise and white pepper, and really takes these muffins to the next level.)

1/2 tsp fine sea salt 

*This is a binding agent to hold food particles together, making it the ideal substitute in gluten-free baking. It’s a tad pricey but a little goes a long way.

Wrap your sweet potatoes in a dish towel and microwave until soft (about 8 minutes). Cut in half and allow to cool. 

Meanwhile, whisk together your wet ingredients (olive oil, milk, maple syrup, vanilla extract) in a medium sized bowl. Set aside. Mix together your dry ingredients (everything else) in a large bowl and set aside.

Peel the skin off of the sweet potatoes and place into the bowl with the wet ingredients. Using an electric beater, whisk the ingredients together until blended. Add in the dry ingredients until everything is mixed.

Heat your oven to 400 degrees. Prep a 12 cup muffin tin with muffin liners and spoon the mixture into each section. Bake for 12 minutes, then baste the top of each muffin with maple syrup. Bake for another 5 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Enjoy!

Note: like many homemade baked goods, these have no preservatives and therefore will dry out/get yucky quickly when left out. Keep these in a sealed container in a dry, cool place and transfer to the refrigerator after a day or so. They should then keep up to 5 days. You can also freeze them and defrost as you need. 

Vitamix Preview and Mocha Protein Smoothie!

In the midst of January I saw one of my friends after a particularly rough week for her. She’d clocked 60+ hours at work and was, very understandably, exhausted. She told me that one night around midnight, she was sitting at her desk and decided that if she made it through the week she was going to motivate herself by promising to buy something that weekend. Well, the actual statement used was “I’m going to buy myself something really f-ing nice!”

I thought this was a) hilarious and b) spectacular motivation. Now, I must say that my friend had been wanting to make this purchase for a while. The buying was not impulsive but merely a motivation to get through a stressful week. Inspired by this story and looking at a rough next few weeks I made myself a similar promise. So without further a do, my “really f-ing nice” purchase:

Vitamix 7500

I cannot express how excited I am to integrate my Vitamix into my daily cooking routine. For my lifestyle this is definitely a worthy investment piece that I know will be a staple in my kitchen.

I absolutely plan on providing a detailed review here on the blog once Mr. Vitamix and I get to know each other a bit more. I just couldn’t wait to share and for now, I thought I’d post one of my latest favorite smoothie recipes! I like this either as a mid-morning boost, a post-workout snack or as breakfast along with a piece of toast.

Mocha Protein Shake

1 cup coconut milk*, plus filtered water to get to desired consistancy

1 packet VIA instant coffee

1 handful of greens (I used frozen kale, however I’d recommend fresh spinach or kale if you have it because it blends better with this particular set of ingredients)

1/2 scoop chocolate protein powder

a few ice cubes (optional; depending on whether you want this to be super cold!)

Throw everything into your blender and blend for about a minute. Depending on your blender you will need to add some water to get the smoothie to your desired consistency (I like mine to be a bit more liquid-y so I add about 1/2 cup of water).

Approximate calories per smoothie: 175

*Note: I am a devoted almond milk user and this was my first purchase of coconut milk. I have since learned that Silk (my brand of choice!) sells an unsweetened version that I will be buying from now on. This will reduce the calorie count on the recipe by 35 calories, and cut 6g of sugar versus the original. Check out Silk’s product options here. Enjoy! You can shop for Vitamix blenders here.

Beet, Kale and Apple Smoothie

Traveling for work has its perks. The effect on your eating habits is not one of them.

I returned home from being out of town at a client all week feeling like a big slug and craving health food. For me, nothing gets me back on track quite like a smoothie. Over the last few months I have developed a serious devotion to smoothies, and decided I wanted to jump start my system with a new recipe.

Adapted from Gwynie (book link), I present the Beet, Kale and Apple Smoothie:

Made even better when consumed out of a Chicago Blackhawks glass

8oz beet juice (I bought a pint at Mariano’s)

1 large apple, chopped

1 1inch piece of ginger

1/2 lemon, zest and pith removed

1/2 cup kale (Trader Joe’s sells bags of frozen kale…it’s a game changer)

A few ice cubes

1/2 cup+ water

Throw everything into a blender and whizz for about a minute. Stir in additional water if your end result is too thick. This makes two large glasses full; you can share or store the rest in the fridge for a day. Drink up and feel instantly healthier!

The only downside I can think of to beets is that they make your glasses/sink look like a crime scene!