Rhubarb for Breakfast Two Ways

Rhubarb has such a wonderfully tangy and fresh flavour, which makes it the perfect addition to your breakfast plate! It brightens up that first meal of the day, and makes you excited to face whatever adventure is heading your way. At least, it does for me! Check out these two breakfast ideas that will fuel you up and keep you energized. Let me know what you think!

Stewed Rhubarb on French Toast

Serves 4

Ingredients

Stewed Rhubarb

2 cups rhubarb, chopped

1 tablespoon water

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon honey (more or less, to taste)

French Toast

8 slices bread of your choice

4 eggs

½ cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon nutmeg

1 tablespoon butter

Toppings

1 cup plain Greek yogurt, 2%

Cinnamon

Honey (optional)

Directions

  1. Add all ingredients to a small pot, and place over medium-low heat. Cook for 5 – 8 minutes, stirring frequently and mashing as the rhubarb starts to soften. Once rhubarb has softened completely, it’s all ready to go!

  2. To prepare French Toast, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.

  3. Heat a pan over medium-low heat, and melt half of the butter. Once the butter is sizzling, dunk 4 slices of bread into the egg mixture, and place in the prepared pan. Cook for approximately 3 minutes per side, until the French Toast is golden brown. Flip and repeat on the other side, then repeat the process for the 4 remaining slices of bread.

  4. Top your prepared French Toast with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt, a generous scoop or two of stewed rhubarb, and sprinkle cinnamon on top.

  5. Breakfast is served!

Recipe created & photographed by Alex Chesney, RD

French Toast with Stewed Rhubarb and Greek Yogurt.jpg

Rhubarb Crisp Parfait

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 cups rhubarb, chopped

2 tablespoons sugar

½ cup oats

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1 tablespoon hemp hearts

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ cup butter

2 cups Greek yogurt

1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375⁰F.

  2. Mix together the rhubarb and sugar, and place in a small baking dish. Next, combine oats, chia seeds, hemp hearts, and brown sugar. Once combined, cut in the butter until a crumbly mixture forms.

  3. Top the rhubarb with the oat mixture, then place in the preheated oven and bake for 35 minutes, until bubbly and rhubarb is softened.

  4. Allow the mixture to cool, then you can begin to assemble the parfaits!

  5. Find 4 tall glasses or mason jars and add ¼ Greek yogurt to the bottom of each. Next, add a scoop of rhubarb crisp. Top with another ¼ cup of Greek yogurt, and finish with another scoop of rhubarb crisp on top. Screw on the lids if using jars or cover with saran or beeswax wrap if using glasses and store in the fridge until ready to eat.

  6. To serve, top with an additional sprinkle of chia seeds and hemp hearts. Enjoy!

Recipe created & photographed by Alex Chesney, RD

Straightened Crisp Pic.jpg

Quick & Easy Asparagus Benny

Sunday morning brunch is one of my favourite meals of the week. I typically have more time to prepare it than I do for a weeknight dinner, which makes for a more relaxed cooking experience. I also love to cook with a coffee in hand, music in the background, and morning sunshine streaming in through the windows. And this weekend, eggs benedict is on the menu! Except… not really. I’m making a sneaky, super quick & easy version. Don’t get me wrong, I adore Hollandaise sauce, but it’s not something I make on the regular. It’s pretty labour intensive, and very rich. In my quick & easy version, I swapped out the Hollandaise for a simple white sauce + Swiss Cheese. And I’m giving you options for the eggs — you can poach ‘em if you feel up to it, but a simple sunny-side-up will work just fine!

Most importantly, though, this eggs benedict features the spring veggie we’ve all been waiting for: asparagus! It pairs deliciously well with eggs, and the cheese sauce ties it all together perfectly. Choose whole wheat English muffins for an extra dose of fibre, and you’ve got yourself a tasty and balanced brunch. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Cropped Asparagus Benny 3.jpg

Serves 6

Ingredients

6 whole wheat English muffins

12 eggs

2 bunches Thames River Melons Asparagus, washed & trimmed

2 tablespoons butter (plus more for buttering)

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups milk

1 ½ cups Swiss cheese, shredded

6 slices deli ham, sliced in half (optional)

Pinch of salt

Pinch of pepper

Fresh parsley, minced, for serving (optional)

Directions

  1. Wash & trim the asparagus, then set aside.

  2. Begin to make your swiss cheese sauce: melt the butter over medium heat and cook until sizzling. Sprinkle the flour over top and mix together to form a thick paste. I like to use a rubber spatula for this step, to ensure I get into all the corners of the pot.

  3. Cook the butter-flour mixture for 1 – 2 minutes, until fully thickened. At this point I typically switch to a whisk. Next slowly add some of the milk, whisking constantly to combine. Add a little milk at a time, whisking until combined. Once all of the milk has been added, continue to whisk constantly.

  4. Continue to cook for 5 – 6 minutes. Watch the pan closely and monitor the heat. You want the sauce to heat at a slow and steady pace – too fast, and it will boil, which could cause the mixture to separate! You want a silky smooth sauce for this delicious breakfast.

  5. While the sauce cooks, prepare the asparagus. You can steam, sauté, or roast – any method will work! Cook until the asparagus is tender, but still holds its shape. Regardless of cooking method, this typically takes between 4 and 6 minutes, depending on the thickness of the stalk.

  6. The sauce should begin to thicken by now. Once it has, sprinkle in the shredded cheese, salt, and pepper, and whisk to combine. Once the cheese has melted, the sauce should be thickened and ready to eat! Reduce the heat to low and whisk occasionally as you continue to prepare the remaining ingredients.

  7. Toast the English muffins and cook the eggs. Again, how you cook the eggs is up to you! A traditional eggs benedict calls for poached eggs, but for this quick and easy recipe I would recommend a simple sunny side up. Alternatively, check out this handy guide to oven-poached eggs.

  8. Now, you are officially ready to assemble!

  9. Lightly butter each side of the English muffins, then top them with the ham (if using) and several stalks of the prepared asparagus. Next, add an egg to each half, and finish it off with a generous drizzle of the Swiss cheese sauce.

  10. Sprinkle with a pinch of fresh parsley, and you’re ready to eat! Enjoy.

Mixed Berry Muffins

These muffins are hearty, filling, and delicious! Chock full of fiber from the whole wheat flour, oats, and berries + a boost of protein from the hemp hearts & chia means they'll make the perfect addition to a breakfast-on-the-go or as an afternoon pick-me-up snack. Try topping with a tablespoon of natural peanut butter and pair with a glass of milk. Enjoy!
*Makes 12 muffins

Dry Ingredients:
2 cups whole wheat flour
½ cup oats
1/8 cup hemp hearts
1/8 cup chia seeds
¼ cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder

Wet Ingredients:
1 cup milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
¼ cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 ripe bananas, mashed

Add-ins:
1 cup mixed berries (I used raspberries & blueberries)

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a muffin tin, or fill with muffin liners. Set aside until batter is prepared.

In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly whisk together all dry ingredients. Set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together wet ingredients. Slowly stir wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix gently until just combined. Do not overmix or muffins will be tough and chewy! Finally, gently fold in berries.

Using a spring-loaded ice-cream scoop (my favourite tool to ensure evenly sized muffins!) drop muffin batter into muffin tins.

Bake in pre-heated oven for approximately 20 minutes. To check doneness, insert a toothpick. If it comes out clean, your muffins are ready to be removed from the oven.

Let cool, and then dig in!

Recipe created by Alex Chesney, RD

 

Chia Seed Pudding + Blueberries

It's blueberry season! I have been adding blueberries to just about everything these days, because they are not only super delicious but also packed with nutrition! Blueberries are an excellent source of fibre and of Vitamins A & C - which are important micronutrients and antioxidants! They make the perfect mix-in for this creamy chia seed pudding.

Chia seeds are these nifty little guys that form a pudding-like texture when soaked in liquids. The end result is kind of like tapioca pudding, but with packed with fibre, healthy omega-3 fats, and minerals like iron & calcium. Here I chose a mixture of 1% milk and coconut milk, which allows gives the pudding some incredible creaminess without being too laden with fat.

This recipe can be enjoyed as an afternoon snack or as a tasty dessert! Try it out today & let me know what you think.


*Makes 4 servings

3 tbsp chia seeds
½ cup 1% milk
½ cup coconut milk
1 tsp maple syrup
½ tsp vanilla extract

Place all ingredients in a blender and pulse gently until mixed well. Place the mixture in the fridge for an hour. Transfer to mason jars, top each serving with ¼ cup of berries, and enjoy! For an even prettier presentation, try layering - a few spoonfuls of pudding, a sprinkle of blueberries, and repeat!

Recipe developed by Alex Chesney, RD

 

Rhubarb & Yogurt Parfait

Here's a quick & easy, plus healthy & delicious treat that can be enjoyed as an on-the-go breakfast, or as a light dessert! Rhubarb & oats provide filling fiber, and Greek yogurt gives a boost of protein. Prepare ahead of time for easy enjoyment. Here's the recipe: 

*Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:
6 cups rhubarb, chopped
6 tbsp honey
¼ cup water
3 cups Greek yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups large flake oats

Preparation:
Place chopped rhubarb, 3 tbsp of the honey, and water in a medium stock pot over low heat. Simmer for approximately 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until rhubarb is completely softened. 

Meanwhile, whisk together Greek yogurt, 3 tbsp of honey, and vanilla extract. 

Once rhubarb is cooked, begin to layer your parfaits into 4 mason jars. Start with 1/2 cup yogurt mixture, then layer on 1/2 cup rhubarb, then repeat once for each jar (total of 1 cup of yogurt and 1 cup rhubarb per jar). Top each parfait with 1/2 cup oatmeal.
Store in fridge until ready to enjoy!

Recipe created by Alex Chesney, RD