Bytes of Love

Working mommy. Startup daddy. Rascal toddlers.

Category: Breakfast, Brunch & Lunch (Page 2 of 4)

Maple-Berry French Toast

One of the things I miss most about not having my mom nearby is that she knows how to make killer French toast. In Europe, you’ll find more savory French toast types than sweet ones, so when I moved to the US, I really didn’t like the French toast served here at first. But over time, I got accustomed to the flavors and got curious enough to try to develop my own killer recipe. This still isn’t quite my mom’s French toast (and probably never will be), but we still love eating it for brunch on a rainy Sunday morning!

Ingredients (for 2 – 3 people):

1/2 loaf of Challah or Broiche bread – other types of bread works as well, but these are best
3 -4 large organic eggs, beaten
1 cup of milk or half & half
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
a pinch of salt
grated fresh nutmeg to taste – be careful with this, as nutmeg has a very strong flavor
2 tablespoons of butter, more as needed
cooking spray
4 cups of organic strawberries (sliced) and blueberries
maple syrup to taste



1. Slice up the berries and set aside. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and mix the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, salt, and nutmeg in a large bowl.

2. Heat one tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Generously dip each slice in the egg mixture and add to the skillet. Repeat until the skillet is full. Turn each slice after a few minutes, or until each side turns to a light golden brown.

3. Add all slices to a foil covered baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Bake the toast at 350 for about 10 minutes.

4. Top each slice with berries and a drizzle of maple syrup when ready to serve. Brunch is done!

Buffalo Tofu Wraps

Love the flavor of buffalo chicken, but want to try something healthier? Buffalo tofu wraps might just work out for you then. Many people don’t like the flavor of tofu, but what I love about it is that it’s one of those foods that easily takes on the flavor of whatever you season it with. It’s kind of like eggplant in that sense – the “bread” of veggies. And, it’s quite a bit healthier than fried chicken. Here’s how I put together buffalo tofu wraps for lunch:

Ingredients (for two people)

2 to 3 whole wheat wraps
2 cups of shredded Romaine lettuce
1 container of extra firm tofu, water drained
1 Roma tomato, seeds removed and finely chopped
1 cup (or more) of your favorite buffalo sauce (we like Frank’s red hot buffalo)
1/2 cup of blue cheese crumbles
1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt (2% or fat free)


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Carefully dry the tofu with paper towels and cut into bite sized cubes. Dry again after cutting, so that the tofu is as moisture free as it can be.

2. Toss the tofu with the buffalo sauce and add more sauce if desired. Bake on a baking sheet lightly covered with cooking spray on 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. Turn the tofu about halfway through the baking process.

3. Chop the lettuce (unless you bought pre-shredded lettuce) and tomato. Mix the blue cheese crumbles with the Greek yogurt and set aside.

4. With about 5 minutes of baking time left, heat the wraps in a frying pan on low-medium heat.

5. Once the tofu is done, build the wraps by adding tofu first, then the lettuce and tomato, then the yogurt and blue cheese mixture. Eat right away to avoid the wrap getting soggy.

Apple Date (or Prune!) Bars

Here’s another recipe that I found online and thought was worth re-posting. It’s delicious for breakfast or as a snack and contains tons of great vitamins, fiber, and nutrients. Instead of using regular flour, I opted for the gluten-free kind since I sometimes cut out all gluten products for a week. I find that going gluten-free for periods of time gives me more energy. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with using regular flour. Since I did not have dates on hand (which the recipe requires), I chose to use prunes instead. The results were fantastic, even without the dates. I added some extra cinnamon to the recipe as well. If you don’t have ground cloves or nutmeg on hand, you can use pumpkin pie spice as well, which is an excellent substitute. Here’s the full recipe…let me know what you think!

Smokey Chipotle Turkey Burgers

Anil usually makes fantastic Indian style masala burgers, but last week, it was time to toss something different on the grill. Bring on the chipotle! For those of you who have never had chipotle peppers, they are essentially smoked jalapeños. You can find them canned with Adobo sauce in the grocery store. We added the chipotle, lots of cilantro and some Vidalia onions to the burgers to make them incredibly juicy and with plenty of kick. Summer’s almost over, so give this a try soon!


Ingredients (for 4 – 6 burgers)

About 1 pound ground turkey (we buy natural, hormone and antibiotic free turkey with about 8% fat)
About 3/4 of a cup of breadcrumbs
1 cup of cilantro, finely chopped
1 cup of  shredded 2% Mexican blend cheese
3 -4 tablespoons of light sour cream
1/2 Vidalio onion, finely chopped – cut the other half into thin strips
3 – 4 chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce, finely chopped
1 cup Cremini (baby Bella) mushrooms, sliced
4 -6 slices of 2% Pepper Jack cheese
Salt and pepper to taste



1. After chopping the onion, cilantro, chipotle peppers and mushrooms, take the turkey out of the package and mix in the onion, peppers, cilantro, shredded cheese, and sour cream. Add salt and pepper.

2. Slowly add the breadcrumbs, until the turkey mixture is firm enough to form patties.

3. Form patties and place on a foil wrapped cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray.

4. Grill each patty for about 15 – 20 minutes on low heat (on a gas grill). Add a slice of Pepper Jack cheese to each patty during the last 3 – 5 minutes.

5. While the patties are grilling, spray a small skillet with cooking spray and sauté the mushrooms and onion strips for about 10 minutes.

6. Top the patties with the mushrooms and onions and serve with an ice cold glass of beer. Enjoy summer while it lasts!



Curried Quinoa Bowl

If you’ve never tried quinoa before, you’re missing out on a great rice / grain substitute which happens to be an excellent source of protein and dietary fiber. Quinoa is a grain often found and eaten in South America. The cooking process is similar to rice, which makes it easy to prepare. I often whip up quinoa bowls that Anil and I pack for lunch during the week. Here’s how you can recreate one:

Ingredients (for 2 people)

1 to 1.5 cups of quinoa
1.5 of your favorite frozen mixed veggies
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons of curry powder
Salt and pepper to taste


1. Cook quinoa according to package directions. While the quinoa is cooking, heat the olive oil in a medium skillet and add the frozen veggies.

2. Saute the veggies for about 10 minutes and add the curry powder, salt, and pepper.

3. Mix in the quinoa when it’s done cooking and stir the entire mixture so all flavors can combine. Enjoy as a quick and easy lunch or as a side for dinner.

Olive Oil & Herbes de Provence Pita Pizza

I love pita pizzas! Pocket-less pita bread makes a perfect pizza crust and allows you to create personal pizza with just about any topping you like. I recently experimented with a light olive oil base to create a nice and light pizza to go along with a wonderful glass of French wine. Here’s what I came up with. This pizza can be eaten as a light dinner or cut into smaller pieces to serve as a nice and hearty snack.

(for 1 person)

1 pocket-less white or whole wheat pita
1/2 teaspoon of herbes de provence
1/4 teaspoon of dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 small tomato, thinly sliced and seeds removed
1 crimini mushroom, thinly sliced
a small handful of fat free or low-fat feta cheese
a sprinkle of good quality extra virgin olive oil



1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

2. Slice the tomato and mushroom and brush the pita with olive oil. Sprinkle all herbs evenly all over the oiled pita.

3. Top the pita with the feta cheese and bake for about 10 – 15 minutes, until the crust is fairly crispy. Serve warm with a glass of your favorite vino!

Weekday BBQ Turkey & Gouda Panini

My husband, Anil, came up with this fantastic recipe that’s super simple to make and is great for brunch, lunch, or dinner. Toss a salad or serve with some chips to make this into a light, but satisfying meal. Leave out the turkey and add more cheese (or different kinds of cheese) to serve this to vegetarians.

Ingredients (for 2 people)

4 slices of panini style bread, or regular whole wheat bread
4 -6 slices of Gouda cheese, more if desired
6 – 8 slices of low-fat sliced turkey breast, more if desired
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
your favorite BBQ sauce (we like Bone Suckin’ Sauce Hot Thicker Style)
cooking spray for the grill


1. Warm up your panini maker or grill, add some cooking spray to a small frying pan and fry the onion until almost translucent.

2. Add the cheese and turkey to the bread, top with half the onion and the BBQ sauce.

3. Spray the panini maker or grill with cooking spray, put the bread on and let it do its magic until the panini is golden brown. Get ready to devour!

Hash browns with Avocado and Fried Egg

One of my favorite meals is brunch. I love coming up with new brunch ideas and particularly like this hearty version of eggs and hash browns. It keeps you full for hours and makes the perfect weekend brunch. Serve with hot coffee or tea.

Ingredients (for two people)

4 medium potatoes, or 3.5 cups of frozen hash browns
2 medium Haas avocados
1 small Roma tomato, finely chopped
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
1/2 lime, juiced
2 eggs
4 tablespoons olive oil
a handful of cilantro, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
picked or fresh sliced jalapenos (optional)


1. Wash and grate the potatoes, sprinkle with salt and set aside so the water can be drawn out of the potatoes. Alternatively, you can also use frozen hash browns to speed up the prep time.

2. Peel and mash the avocados and chop up the onion, cilantro, and tomato. Mix these together and add the salt and lime juice.

3. Place a medium skillet on medium-high heat and add two tablespoons of olive oil. Add the hash browns, salt, and pepper. Fry the hash browns until they turn golden brown, turning them over every few minutes.

4. Take the hash browns out of the skillet, add the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil and fry the eggs to your liking. Add salt and pepper to taste.

5. Divide the hash browns in half, add to each plate and top with the avocado mixture (similar to guacamole at this point!) and the fried eggs. If you like spicy foods, like we do, you can also add some pickled or fresh jalapenos on top. Eat up!

Spicy Asian Soup with Bok Choy

Try this Asian-style veggie soup for a light and healthy lunch or dinner. It’s super comforting, especially in winter. You can easily adjust the salt and spice level by adding more soy sauce or chili oil or paste.

Ingredients (for two people)

32 fl. oz of vegetable broth (I like Pacific Natural Foods low sodium organic veggie broth)
1/8 cup of soy sauce, more to taste
2 teaspoons of toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon of olive oil
2 green chilis, chopped
1 green onion, chopped
4 inches of fresh ginger, cut into small pieces
1 package frozen veggie potstickers
2 teaspoons ginger-garlic paste
3 baby bok choys
chili oil or paste to taste


1. Chop the chilis, green onion, fresh ginger, and bok choy. Take out the vegetable pot stickers and defrost.

2. In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil and toasted sesame oil on medium heat.

3. Add the chilis, ginger-garlic paste, fresh ginger, green onion, and bok choy and saute for about 7 minutes.

4. Add the soy sauce, then the vegetable broth and wait for the soup to boil.

5. In the meantime, pan fry, microwave, or boil the pot stickers.

6. Allow the soup to boil for about 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and server warm. Add the potstickers on the side, or right in the soup. Serve with chili oil or paste. Enjoy!

Chipotle Chicken Tacos

One of my favorite ways to make tacos with spicy pulled chicken breast!


For the chicken

2 whole chicken breasts
2 tablespoon of crushed chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce
4 tablespoons of tomato paste
1 lime, juiced
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
salt to taste

For the tacos

4-6 flour tortillas
2 cups of shredded cabbage
1 cup of shredded Mexican cheese blend
1 tomato, chopped
a handful of cilantro, chopped
sour cream (optional)
extra hot sauce (optional)


1. Marinate the chicken breast in the crushed chipotle peppers (run this through the food chopper or processor to get the peppers finely chopped), tomato paste, lime juice, garlic powder, black pepper, and salt overnight or for at least two hours in the refrigerator.

2. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan and add the chicken breast. Cook on medium-low heat until chicken is completely cooked from the inside.

3. Allow chicken to cool until it can be shredded. In the meantime, chop the cilantro, tomato, and cabbage, if needed.

4. Shred the chicken with a fork into bite-sized shreds.

5. Add to a warm tortilla and top with cabbage, cilantro, tomato, and cheese. You can add sour cream and extra hot sauce (my husband and I LOVE “El Yucateco” habanero sauce) as needed. Enjoy!

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