Recipe: Breakfast Cheesecake w/ Fresh Strawberries

I haven’t posted a recipe since HALLOWEEN?!

It seems kind of silly in hindsight but I just haven’t been in the mood to write. I’ve been reading a whole heckuva lot, and going hiking with my new guy and our respective pups, and doing some cooking, but the effort it takes to write recipes has eluded me until now.

I’ve been tweaking this recipe for a while now. It began with a breakfast ricotta cake I found online, has evolved into this current state, and no doubt will continue to evolve as I make it! I even have plans to make a savory version that includes cheddar cheese. For now, though, here is the simple but delicious and quite high protein Breakfast Cheesecake recipe!

This is a one bowl recipe, and the ingredients are simple: cottage cheese, sweetener, eggs, coconut flour and your favorite extract for flavoring. I used lemon because it helps mimic the tartness of cream cheese. You can either blend all of these things together in a food processor, which gives it a finer texture more like a dense New York style cheesecake, or you can mix it by hand, which will give it more of a crumb. For this recipe I’ve done it by hand, but I personally prefer the texture of the food processor (plus it takes like 60 seconds that way).

I stirred things together in steps to make sure it was blended properly:

Then spooned and pressed it into a large loaf pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray before placing it into a 350 degree oven for about an hour.

Just before baking.

This definitely need to cool completely and be refrigerated before you’ll be able to slice it, but it’s so worth it!

Here’s the full recipe:

Breakfast Cheesecake w/ Fresh Strawberries

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Cheesecake for breakfast that's loaded with protein?! Yes please!

Ingredients

  • 2 containers no salt added cottage cheese
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tsp lemon extract
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup sucralose/Splenda

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a large loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. In a food processor (smoother texture) or by hand (crumblier texture), mix together all of the ingredients.
  4. Spoon into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top.
  5. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the center seems set.
  6. Allow to cool completely and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours before slicing. Served topped with fresh berries.

Recipe: Greek-Style Cauliflower Steaks Over Black Lentils

It’s been a while since I’ve felt truly inventive.

Late summer and early autumn have had me swimming against the tide of my own emotions. I’ve been treading water for weeks, just trying to keep up with day to day life, and my creativity has suffered. Food has briefly become the enemy as my emotional energy has lowered and my desire to spend hours in the kitchen has fallen to almost nil.

water-2725337_640To give you an idea of how hard it’s been for me to get up the energy to write this blog entry, I had planned to cook this meal on Monday. I had dropped my car off for some minor repairs on Sunday and they couldn’t finish it before close, so I couldn’t pick up my car until almost noon on Monday. I missed my favorite class at the gym. I managed to pick up groceries, get to my therapy appointment and do my laundry, but all I had the energy for at dinner was some pasta. I managed to make my cauliflower steaks on Tuesday night and I took the photos but was too tired to edit them or write.

Halloween was Wednesday and I’m training new employees at work and I came home, ate some leftover pot roast in marinara on a nice Italian roll and treated myself to the best donut ever: a vanilla cut cream from Deluxe bakery. And then I promptly fell asleep watching Cable Girls on Netflix. Because I’m the coolest chick on the block. 😉 It even took me two days to write this out. But I did it!

My plasma donations have contributed to the lack of desire to cook a bit, as my protein is almost always so close to being too low for donation that I’ve just been eating meat meat MEAT, and truth be told, it’s been tedious for me. After the third month in a row with a low protein deferral, I decided to give myself an extra bit of time off to relax my need to so much protein and go back to the vegetarian meals I used to love.

Autumn brings dark and cold (although today it was a lovely sunny 75 degree day) and I want warm, comforting, hearty food that sticks to my ribs without feeling unhealthy. A year or so ago was the first time I tried making cauliflower steaks with lentils, but this time I wanted to try something different: Greek flavors!

The key to a near-perfect cauliflower steak is buying two heads of cauliflower.  You’re never going to get four evenly sized cauliflower steaks from a single head of cauliflower. Your best bet for getting nice thick steaks is to cut the head in half down the center, then to slice one inch steaks off from the cut ends. Don’t throw away the leftover cauliflower! Save it for cauli-rice or cauliflower chowder.

Liberally brush olive oil on a rimmed sheet pan covered in foil, and lay the cauliflower steaks flat. Brush the other side with olive oil too, then pop into a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. In the meantime, make the basting liquid:

In a small bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, oregano and red pepper flakes.

Stir to combine and use half of the dressing to baste the cauliflower steaks and bake for another 20 minutes.

To serve, lay each steak down on a bed of black lentils (I cooked mine until very soft and seasoned only with salt), baste with the remaining basting liquid, and top with feta cheese and fresh parsley. Doesn’t that look gorgeous?!

IMG_4323The salty feta works perfectly with the toothsome cauliflower and creamy lentils, and all of that is brought together perfectly by the garlicky lemony basting liquid. A hearty, filling vegetarian meal for a cool autumn night. ❤

Greek-Style Cauliflower Steaks Over Black Lentils

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Stick to your ribs vegetarian meal with Mediterranean flavors.

Ingredients

  • 2 large heads cauliflower
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 2 oz. lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 4 oz. feta, crumbled
  • 4 tbsp. minced parsley
  • 2 cups black urad lentils, cooked according to package directions, and salted to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and brush with 1 tbsp. olive oil.
  3. Slice each cauliflower in half down the center, then slice off a 1″ steak off of each side. Save the leftover cauliflower for later.
  4. Lay the four steaks on the oiled baking sheet, and brush with another tbsp. of oil. Roast for 20 minutes.
  5. While the steaks are roasting, combine the remaining olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes and kosher salt. When the 20 minutes is up, use half of the mixture to baste the cauliflower steaks, and roast for an additional 20 minutes.
  6. To serve, lay down a base of lentils and top with a cauliflower steak. Brush with the remaining basting liquid and top with a sprinkle of parsley and feta cheese.

Recipe: Breakfast Carrot Cake Squares (Gluten Free)

I have a bit of a love for cream cheese frosting. And carrots. And warm spices. I mean, cake in general is pretty amazing, but carrot cake has vegetables in it. Vegetables. It should, by all accounts, be healthy, right? Yeah, it’s totally not. But it can be! And then you can eat it for BREAKFAST! And they’re gluten free! And to make them easy to eat on the go, the cream cheese is now inside the bars!

This recipe has all of the important notes of carrot cake:

I switched out regular cream cheese for Neufchâtel cheese and used dried egg whites for fresh, because I had it on hand. If you don’t have dried, just use 3 fresh and cut back on the water a little bit. Also, I’ve been having a discussion about dates with a close friend and I realized this recipe would be amazing sweetened with chopped dates if you don’t like sucralose. I also used brown rice flour here, since I had some I wanted to use up. That makes this recipe gluten free, but if you don’t have brown rice flour, feel free to use whole wheat flour or oat flour.

IMG_3950

I peeled and grated carrots until I had 1 1/2 cups of shredded carrots. I used my hand grater, which, at the time, felt like way less work than dragging out my food processor and then cleaning it. I was being lazy.

Then it’s as simple as combining all the dry ingredients and adding water. I started off with a half cup of water but had to double it to get the right consistency, so it’s okay to tweak it a bit. It’s just water anyway. But you want the batter to be thick: it shouldn’t be pourable.

The next step is to sandwich the Neufchâtel cheese between two layers of carrot mixture, so I pressed half of the mixture into a baking dish prepared with cooking spray. Then gently add the remainder of the carrot mixture on top and pat down gently and evenly. It should look like this:

IMG_3976

Then pop that baby in the oven! Mine took 35 minutes at 350 degrees. It never browned on top, but the surface was dry and not “squishy” when I gently prodded it with a finger. The next step is the hardest part. Wait. I’m serious. WAIT. You want this to be totally cool before you even try to slice it. If you don’t, it will fall apart when you try to pick it up, and drop molten cream cheese on your lap. (Don’t ask how I know this.)

IMG_3981

Once it’s cool, you can slice it and enjoy! This is much more like a dense square than a cake, so it will keep you full for quite a while. I paired mine with a banana for a breakfast around 300 calories.

I think I’ll definitely make this again using dates as a sweetener, but it was super yummy! What do you think? Do you love carrot cake as much as I do? Let me know in the comments!

Breakfast Carrot Cake Squares

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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A slightly sweet, dense carrot cake sandwiched around cream cheese for a slightly tart, warmly spiced bite.

NUTRITION PER SERVING: 197.4 cals, 8.7g fat, 292.3mg sodium, 24.4g carbs, 6.7g protein.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tbsp dried egg whites
  • – 1/4 cup sucralose
  • 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 cup water
  • 8 oz block Neufchâtel cheese, room temperature

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients thoroughly.
  3. Stir in the water until there are no dry pockets, then fold in the carrots.
  4. Press half of the carrot mixture into a loaf pan sprayed with cooking spray, pressing it into an even layer.
  5. Cut the Neufchâtel into 8 pieces and lay out in a grid on top of the bottom layer.
  6. Carefully spread the remaining carrot mixture on top of the Neufchâtel and press into an even layer.
  7. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes until the squares feel firm when pressed with a finger. Allow to cool completely before cutting into 8 squares.