So this is a first for me here on the Quitterstrip blog … I was approved to review my very first cookbook! Not many of my readers know this, but I went to college specifically for Culinary Arts AND Baking and Pastry (yup, double major!). I never finished, but I’m okay with that. My mentality over the years has been that I learn more cooking on my own.
While this cookbook is published January 22nd, I’m breaking down the ENTIRE cookbook week by week. I’ll be taking the recipes 3 at a time over the course of weeks to review the recipe in itself as well as the monetary breakdown. One more thing I’ll be comparing is if there is any effect on my current weight loss journey. Each week will be labeled, and when I’ve completed the entire cookbook I will do one cumulative review to wrap up.
Talk about a recipe setting stands for this cookbook! I was a bit intimidated by this recipe due to the fact it had one measly little chile pepper in it (I’m not a huge fan of spicy food) as well as tomatoes- I know what you’re thinking, what weirdo doesn’t like tomatoes? This weirdo. I’m okay with them cooked (which these were) but raw- forget about it.
What I liked about this recipe was there were minimal ingredients. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy complicated, time-consuming recipes. This girl, however, is hungry in the morning and the quicker I can make something the better.
It’s so much easier to have everything chopped and separated to be at your fingertips while cooking. All you have to do is grab and dump!
This is the last step before baking these beauties. Hubs and I did a ‘his/hers’ breakfast- while I was separating the tomato mixture between the two bowls, I tried my hardest to give him more of the chile peppers.
The finished product! Even though I was a bit nervous with that chile pepper in there, I devoured this whole thing no problem. It tasted so good! So for someone that is like me and has a bit of a problem with spicy foods, I don’t recommend devouring this. I noticed when I went for back to back spoonfuls that the heat of the pepper was more intense. The taste was great (even with those tomatoes) very minimal seasoning so you could differentiate between all the food used. While I don’t think this particular recipe would make it in my typical breakfast rotation, I would DEFINITELY make this again. Hubs also loved it- he said he’d probably use our dried ghost peppers for himself next time.
I did notice that this meal satiated me longer than my usual breakfasts. Writing this blog post at the end of the week and hubs and I are STILL talking about this particular recipe. What’s great is we constantly have the majority of these ingredients on hand so I could whip this up for breakfast in a flash. Coming in around $7.19 for two servings makes this dish not only delicious but affordable as well!
Eggs Florentine in Portabella Mushrooms
Wow- that name is a mouthful! Thank goodness the name matches the dish. As far as breakfasts go, I would have to say that eggs benedict is my absolute go-to. Hands down if it’s on the menu, best believe this girl is getting it! So when I saw the picture, excited can’t even describe how I felt … then I remembered I was doing Keto …
So ultimately what I’m loving about these recipes (so far) is they’re using minimal ingredients (what I consider to be 10 ingredients or less). Don’t be fooled though. Just because a recipe has a small list of ingredients DOES NOT mean those ingredients aren’t egregiously expensive! With the New Year New Me and resolutions going on, if watching your budget happens to be in that resolution, you need to ask yourself what kind of leniency you’re allowing yourself when it comes to food.
For this particular recipe, I HIGHLY recommend preparing all your ingredients ahead of time (mise en place). This way everything is at your fingertips which you’ll be grateful for once you make it to the hollandaise sauce. If you are not the best at multi-tasking, this recipe will not be for you- unless you’re able to have a second pair of hands in the kitchen.
I’m a huge fan of 80% of the ingredients in this dish- unfortunately, the 20% I am not a
fan of is a main ingredient (wah wah wah). BUT since I am essentially paying homage to one of my fav breakfasts, I had to give it a go. If I’m being 100% transparent, if I didn’t know what was in this dish, I probably would have scarfed it all down. However, since I prepared it, I only took one bite. To some, that may not be enough to justify a review. In that one bite you had all the classic flavors of an eggs benedict. It had a richness of flavor, I would say coming from the ghee (clarified butter) and the smoked salmon. There was a chewy texture (my guess would be the portabello mushroom). The redeeming quality of this recipe has to be the hollandaise- the nectar sauce of all breakfasts.
Unfortunately for this recipe, the hollandaise called for too much lemon juice. I’m definitely a stickler for following the true recipe the first time through. I should know by now for things I actually like (for example hollandaise) to make my tried and true recipe. Since hubs had both servings, I asked him to describe in detail what he was tasting. He agreed with me that the sauce was way too acidic for a hollandaise. There was really no flavor in the spinach or portabello, all the flavor resided in the pre-packaged smoked salmon. If I were ever to make this dish again (unlikely) I would really have to play around with the flavors. Another reason I most likely won’t make this dish again is the cost for serving. For two servings, these eggs florentine came at a whopping $21.00. There’s definitely some wiggle room to go higher- the recipe did not call for the spinach to be sauteed in anything, I didn’t want burnt spinach so I sauteed in ghee (which would add to that cost). Before the breakdown, it’s clear to see which foods are the bank breakers- the smoked salmon and the portabellos.
Breakfast Egg Muffins Two Ways
This recipe came at the perfect time- the weekend! I knew it was a recipe that the minions would enjoy and would provide extra for warm-ups. I had every intention of making the two-way muffins, unfortunately, life (24-hour bug) hit the minions hard so this turned into breakfast egg muffins one way.
Again, we’re working with minimal ingredients (which I still find fantastic). Simple ingredients most people have on hand. With this recipe, I ran into my first hurdle. For the life of me, I could not find gluten free sausage at my go-to store. I’m dead serious when I say my grocery store has everything, and for all I know they could have gluten-free sausage, I was just too blind (and in a hurry) to see it. I substituted turkey sausage, which still contains a bit of carbs, but the lowest I could find. Also, I added to my eggs: there were leftover egg whites (which I saved) from the hollandaise sauce, so instead of wasting them, I added those to the eggs for this recipe.
This is such a simple recipe to throw together. It takes longer to cook than it does to prep it (which is great!) As you can see, I’m not great at portioning into muffin cups (HA!) I know that my recipe yielded more egg cups than called for because of those additional egg whites I added in. With two kids being out of commission with a stomach bug, I have plenty left over for when they are feeling better.
As far as looks go, I don’t find these aesthetically pleasing. As far as taste goes, the same could be said. All in all as a recipe, I found this to be lacking. These egg cup muffins are not any different than what I typically make, the only difference being full fat for keto. These desperately needed cheese; which I could’ve added, but like I stated previously, I’m a stickler for following the recipe as-is the first time around. For the future, I don’t think I would go out of my way to make this keto friendly. Budget for this recipe was unsurprisingly low: for 16 muffins, total cost was $7.45 so $0.47 a muffin.
I only made 3 recipes this week and my total was $35.49. That’s an average of $11.83/breakfast. Hypothetically speaking if this kind of budget were to keep up for the entire month of January alone, just my breakfast budget would be $366.73 (WHAT?!?!?!) I don’t know about you, but that number right there is almost my budget for an entire month, not just for breakfast! It will be interesting to see what the rest of the recipes add up to, but as of right now, keto is NOT a food budget I would approve. Hubs may not approve of keeping to 3 recipes per week as well (we are only a one income household) and as much as I love to review books and try new recipes, nothing is worth breaking the bank for.