(Family Features) If you’re juggling a new set of responsibilities right now, you’re not alone. Those busy mornings may still pose challenges even if your commute no longer exists.
Making breakfast in advance can give you a few extra minutes to move your body, center your mind or simply hit the snooze button one more time and still put a delicious, nutritious breakfast on the table. Aim to use ingredients with a mix of protein, fiber and good fats to keep you full and energized for whatever the day has in store.
Take morning meal prep off your plate for days at a time by making a batch of No-Bake Walnut, Cocoa and Cherry Bars or Savory Walnut Egg Cups, which can be made with mostly pantry staples or frozen ingredients to help limit trips to the grocery store.
Find more make-ahead recipes for any meal of the day at walnuts.org/meal-prep.
Savory Walnut Egg Cups
Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 9 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- 1 tablespoon stone ground Dijon mustard
- 1 cup baby spinach, coarsely chopped
- 1 small red bell pepper, diced
- 3/4 cup extra sharp shredded cheddar cheese
- Heat oven to 350° F and generously spray 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- In bowl of food processor, pulse oats until fine and flour-like. Add walnuts and pulse until blended with oat flour. Pulse in olive oil, salt and water until mixture comes together.
- Spoon walnut-oat crust mixture evenly (about 1 1/4 tablespoons each) into each muffin cup and press into bottom and partially up sides. Bake 25 minutes until crust begins to brown. Cool on wire rack 10 minutes.
- In large bowl, whisk eggs, garlic powder, oregano and mustard until well combined. Stir in spinach, bell pepper and cheese.
- Fill each muffin cup evenly with egg-veggie mixture and bake 20 minutes, or until eggs are set. Cool slightly on wire rack before removing egg cups by carefully inserting sharp knife between crust and muffin pan.
No-Bake Walnut, Cocoa and Cherry Bars
Total time:15 minutes
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup (about 12) pitted medjool dates
- 1/2 cup shelled walnuts
- 1/2 cup unsweetened dried cherries
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- In large food processor bowl, combine oats, dates, walnuts, cherries, cocoa powder and salt. Process 1-2 minutes, or until mixture resembles crumbly dough.
- Turn mixture onto wax paper and shape evenly into 1/2-inch thick rectangle.
- Chill at least 1 hour and cut into nine bars.
Source: California Walnuts
(Family Features) With its dramatic presentation, this freshly baked cake and ice cream-based dessert can impress guests at your next gathering.
Find more dessert recipes perfect for entertaining at Culinary.net.
Watch video to see how to make this delicious recipe!
Recipe adapted from Milk Means More
- 1/2 cup, plus 6 tablespoons, all-purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup, plus 2/3 cup, granulated sugar, divided
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup 2% milk
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 2 eggs
- nonstick cooking spray
- 1 1/2 quarts ice cream, any flavor
- 3 large egg whites
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- In large bowl, whisk flour, cocoa powder, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Make well in center of dry ingredients. Add milk, canola oil and eggs. Whisk until blended. Beat batter until smooth, about 3 minutes.
- Pour batter into 9-inch, round, greased cakepan. Bake 25-28 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack. Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze 1 hour.
- In glass bowl, spray with nonstick cooking spray. Layer inside of bowl with plastic wrap, draping some over edges of bowl.
- Scoop ice cream into bowl until full. Level ice cream. Place overhang of plastic wrap over ice cream. Freeze 2 hours.
- Unwrap cake and place on plate. Unwrap ice cream and place on top of cake. Wrap both together and freeze 2 hours.
- In medium bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until frothy. Add remaining sugar and vanilla extract; beat mixture to form stiff peaks.
- Heat oven to 500° F.
- Unwrap stacked cake. Place on oven-safe plate. Spread meringue, creating swirl motions around cake. Bake 2-4 minutes until meringue peaks are brown and remaining meringue takes on dry appearance.
- Serve immediately or cover with plastic wrap and place in freezer.
(Family Features) If chocolate for dinner sounds too good to be true, it’s because chocolate is usually associated with decadent desserts. However, it can also take comfort food to a whole new level when paired with savory ingredients like red meat.
A bit of bittersweet cocoa powder helps balance out the richness of red meats like duck. Although it’s leaner and lower in saturated fat than other red meats, duck has a bold flavor and texture similar to steak.
In this Mocha-Rubbed Duck Breast recipe, cocoa powder, ground coffee and savory spices are rubbed onto the meat before it’s seared and smothered with a luscious sweet cherry and red wine sauce. The toasty, nutty flavor of coffee complements the cocoa while dark sweet cherries, red wine and toasted almonds complete the sweet and savory dish.
Find more comfort food recipes and tips for cooking with duck at mapleleaffarms.com.
Mocha-Rubbed Duck Breast with Cherry and Red Wine Pan Sauce
Prep time: 2 hours, 10 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coffee
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder
- 4 Maple Leaf Farms Duck Breasts, thawed
Cherry and Red Wine Pan Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons reserved duck fat
- 1/2 cup minced shallots
- 3/4 cup dry red wine
- 1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 5 ounces frozen dark sweet cherries, thawed and halved
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- salt, to taste
- ground black pepper, to taste
- toasted sliced almonds, for garnish
- To make Mocha Rub: In small bowl, mix brown sugar, paprika, coffee, salt, pepper and cocoa powder. Set aside.
- Pat duck breasts dry and score according to package directions. Use half of rub on meat side of breasts. Cover breasts and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
- In cold saute pan, place duck breasts skin-side down. Place pan over low-medium heat 8-12 minutes, or until fat is rendered and skin is crisp and brown.
- Turn breasts over and sprinkle remaining rub on skin side. Cook breasts 1-2 minutes skin-side up. Turn breasts back to skin-side down 1-2 minutes to caramelize rub. Reserve approximately 2 tablespoons duck fat for sauce.
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- Place duck breasts skin-side up on rimmed baking sheet; bake 5-6 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 155° F. Let breasts rest 4-5 minutes before slicing. Temperature will rise during resting period to reach 165° F.
- To make Cherry and Red Wine Pan Sauce: Place saute pan with reserved duck fat over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until softened. Add wine to pan to deglaze. Stir in balsamic vinegar, sugar, cherries and thyme sprigs; simmer until reduced. Remove thyme sprigs. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
- Serve sauce over cooked duck breasts. Garnish with toasted almond slices.
Source: Maple Leaf Farms
Chocolate War Cake
Yield: 12 slices
Serving size: 1 slice
- 3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup natural cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cold water
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon confectioners’ sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F. In 9-inch round baking pan, whisk together whole-wheat pastry flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
- In small bowl or measuring cup, combine water and vinegar.
- Make well in center of flour mixture in pan and pour canola oil and vanilla extract into well. Pour water-vinegar mixture over top of flour and then stir well to blend all ingredients.
- Bake until set and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 30 to 35 minutes. Place cake on rack to cool in pan. Once cool, sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.
Note: Whole-wheat, all-purpose flour can be substituted for whole-wheat pastry flour.
Nutritional Analysis (per Serving): Calories 180; Fat 7 g; Saturated Fat 0.5 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 200 mg; Carbohydrates 29 g; Fiber 2 g; Protein 2 g