Sprouted Grain Strata with Spinach and Tomato

by Joanne on October 22, 2014

A healthy breakfast not only helps with mental alertness but also maintains control over our waistline.   Research continues to show that those who eat a breakfast made up of high protein, healthy carbs and fat weight less.  This is partially due to ingesting balanced nutrition to ward off cravings later in the day which may lead to over eating or at least chowing down on empty calorie items.   So get to it and eat your breakfast. 

Check out the following recipe and keep in mind this is just as good for breakfast as it is for brunch or dinner.  The recipe below is one we whipped up for a week night meal.

STRATA is a layered casserole made from a mixture bread, eggs and cheese. It can include meat if you eat meat or make it vegetarian.  

Gosh I was getting really bored with the same old meals.  We needed something different for dinner.  Something we hadn’t enjoyed for a long time. Strata!  … and I had just the perfect bread to use:  Food For Life Sprouted Grain Ezekiel 4:9 Buns.

ezekiel bun

Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Buns are flourless and a complete protein that parallels the protein in milk and eggs.  As indicated on the package, a direct quote “the protein quality is so high that it is 84.3% as efficient as the highest recognized source of protein..”   It contains 18 amino acids, all from vegetable sources.  The ingredients are organic sprouted whole wheat, filtered water, organic sprouted barley, millet, malted barley, lentils, soybeans, spelt…all organic and all sprouted.  The rest of the ingredients are fresh yeast, organic gluten, and sea salt.   … and THAT’S why it was used in my week night Strata.

Ezekiel Strata with Tomato and Spinach4

Serves 6 as a main dish.

Ezekiel Strata with Tomato and Spinach6


  • 1 cup Marinara or your favorite pasta sauce OR, you can simply use a 15 oz can diced tomatoes.
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 egg whites *Use all whole eggs if you prefer
  • 1 cup Egg Beaters *Use all eggs if you like or egg whites
  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • 6 oz 1/3 Fat Cream Cheese, room temperature/softened
  • 2/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 tsp each:  Salt, black pepper, garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper/cayenne pepper
  • 3 Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Buns, torn into pieces (or 4 1/2 cups torn bread – your preference)
  • 4 cups packed baby spinach
  • 4 oz Boiled Edamame (soy beans)  *Optional
  • 3 large plum tomatoes, chopped lengthwise, thin slice
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheese – your favorite


Preheat oven to 375 F.  Spread the marinara/sauce (or diced tomatoes ) over bottom of a 9 x 13 baking pan. Set aside.

In a large bowl, add all the eggs, milk, cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, red pepper.  Beat until combined.

Stir into egg mixture the torn Ezekiel buns and the spinach.   Mix to completely coat.  Pour into the prepared baking pan, on top of the sauce.

Top with Edamame if using then plum tomato slices.  Sprinkle on the green onions, seasoning, salt and top with cheese. 

Bake for 1 hour. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Ezekiel Strata with Tomato and Spinach2

How do you define a healthy breakfast?

Eggs for dinner? Yes or No?

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Too Much Research and Pumpkin Soup

by Joanne on October 20, 2014

Do you ever think that we might find more information than is needed when searching the internet?  I do especially when the information deflates confidence.  Here’s what happened.

The TCS NYC Marathon is fast approaching. I’ve just begun my tapering and had the time and energy to scope the internet for answers to this question:  “Is the NYC Marathon course harder than the Boston Marathon course?”   I looked at 3 sites and 100% said a BIG, NASTY …


There were also a few “Not a course to PR”.  There were more “Take it all in. Bring your phone and take photos.  Enjoy the race.  The last stretch into Central Park will take everything you’ve got”…. and so on.   You know, I think I did this very same thing to myself the first year I ran Boston.  By the time I finally made it to Athletes Village race day morning, my nerves were shot, my legs were jelly, and I wanted to go home. 

As race day approaches, I’m hoping to rustle up confidence and focus on the positive aspects of my training.  How strong I was in training this summer. How I felt so good during most of those long 20 milers and that slow but long 26.2 Portland Marathon with Ted. It’s really tough when we get nervous to dig deep and pull up positive thoughts to get over our fears.  Those fears are the hurdles we have to get over in order to succeed,   Let the mental games begin!

…And so we fuel our thoughts with warm comforting PUMPKIN SOUP!

I picked  the perfect little pumpkin.  It was perfectly round.  It had a perfect burnt orange color.  Thoughts of all the delicious things that could be made from that pumpkin! 

The air had a little chill in it and the leaves were blowing around the yard.  I could smell the fall air that hinted at the inevitable cooler season over the horizon.  Then I looked at my pumpkin and thought “soup”. 

Pumpkin soup3

Pumpkin soup1Pumpkin soup2

Serves 4

  • 1 small pumpkin or you might use a butternut squash if preferred
  • 1/2 TBS coconut oil
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 4 tsp. roasted pumpkin seeds (optional)

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Place pumpkin on a foil lined pan and allow to roast for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until fully cooked.  Allow to cool. *Cook time will depend on size of pumpkin.

Slice pumpkin in half and remove the seeds.

Pumpkin soup5

Scoop out the pumpkin “meat” and set aside.

In a large saucepan, heat the coconut oil over medium heat.  Add the onions and cook for 6-8 minutes until they begin to turn golden.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Add the pumpkin, the broth, salt and pepper, nutmeg and honey. Stir and allow to cook for 20 minutes with the lid on and stirring occasionally.

Pumpkin soup6

Don’t forget to top the soup with roasted pumpkin seeds when ready to serve!

Pumpkin soup4

Light, wholesome, and good for warming the bones.

How much emphasis do you put in the information you find on the internet when it comes to something that is very much under your control?  When it’s something that is very individualistic?  Do you think you’ll fall into the same category with the same outcome as everyone else?  or do you believe that you are different and the outcome will be different?

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Protein Cookie Disks, an Iron and B6 Loaded Snack

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