I’ve been trying to come up with healthy breakfast ideas for O lately that can be made ahead. He’s been eating a ton of oatmeal lately (both the refrigerator kind and quickly-cooked that morning), and there’s always some sort of fruit involved. For a few days he had whole-wheat waffles with peanut butter and maple syrup, but then the toaster tried to kill me.
Seriously, flames shot out of the bottom. That’ll wake you up.
I bought some barley for the cauliflower salad I made to go with my beer chicken, and I thought it would make a nice breakfast for O. Barley is full of good things like fiber (not that my kid really needs more fiber…) and whatnot.
The only problem is that it takes about 40 minutes to cook and we just don’t have that kind of time in the morning.
Oh, hello there crock pot.
Yes, my favorite kitchen item (besides my 8 inch chef knife) can also do breakfast duty.
This is seriously the easiest thing in the world, and it’s entirely customizable. You can stir in peanut butter or maple syrup, nuts, granola, dried fruit, fresh fruit, chia seeds, almond milk… Whatever makes your heart sing!
Overnight breakfast barley
1 cup pearl barley, rinsed
4 1/2 cups water
Before you go to bed, use a mesh strainer to rinse barley, then dump it in the crock pot. Add water, give it a stir, and set it on low. I got mine started around 11:00, and I woke up around 7:30. I’d say at least 6 hours should do it.
To serve, I threw some frozen berries in a bowl, spooned the barley on top, and then stirred in some sliced almonds, honey, cinnamon, and a little milk.
The frozen berries cooled the hot barley, and the heat from the barley thawed the berries. It was a delicious breakfast that was really simple and healthy.
I spooned the leftover barley into an air tight container and put it in the fridge, but you could easily freeze it in individual servings.
What are your favorite healthy breakfast ideas?
I don’t generally cook with beer or wine… I suppose I worry that the alcohol won’t totally cook out, and the one time I decided to get wild and add some Guinness to my beef stew it ended up bitter. That was a sad day.
I keep hearing about this magical beer chicken, though. The most simple recipes call for little more than chicken and beer, but some call for herbs and spices. You apparently end up with super moist and flavorful chicken, just for pouring a beer in the pot.
And maybe pour one out for your homies.
…What? I don’t know…
Coincidentally, I happened to see Guinness Blonde at the store recently. I love Guinness, and I wanted to try this new, lighter version…I can’t remember the last time I actually purchased beer, let alone drink one, so I’d been hoping to see it in a 40 ounce bottle. Of course I’d need a brown paper bag with it because I’m super classy…Ok, really I wanted to find a 40 because I couldn’t justify spending the eleven freaking dollars for a sixer of beer just so I could drink one. You know what? I’m getting way off topic. Back to the chicken.
(I did end up buying a six pack of the Guinness Blonde, but from a liquor store for eight bucks.)
Not only is this the best chicken ever, but it was insanely easy. I did toss a few extra ingredients in there, but nothing wild or hard to prep. You should totally put this on your meal plan soon, if you’re the type to be that organized.
Crockpot Beer Chicken
3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 12 ounce bottle Guinness Blonde (or your favorite beer)
About 1/2 of a medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced
3 garlic cloves
About a cup of chicken broth
3 or 4 small to medium potatoes, cut into chunks
Salt and pepper
Trim any excess fat from your chicken, then place it in the bottom of your crock pot along with the onions and garlic cloves. Pour in beer, crack some pepper over everything and sprinkle in a little salt. Put the lid on and let it cook on high for about four-ish hours.
After four hours, add the chicken broth (I dissolved chicken bouillon in a cup of hot water), celery, carrots, and potatoes. Turn the crock pot to low and let it go for at least another three hours.
Serve this chicken with this delightful warm cauliflower and herbed barley salad from Bon Appétit, and maybe a hunk of warm, crusty, French bread to soak up the juices.
This made a really satisfying meal, and the leftovers make excellent sandwiches. I think I’ve managed to finally conquer my fear of cooking with beer…Now I may be adding it to everything!
Better late than never, right?
Yesterday was a much busier day than I anticipated. My mom and I had hair appointments in the morning, and since we were already in town I ran by the post office and grabbed some coffee at my favorite coffee shop. After a couple more stops, we went back to mom’s for lunch.
When I finally sat down to announce the winner, I realized that my laptop was in desperate need of maintenance. I spent the afternoon dumping a lot of memory hogs and doing some long overdue updates. Of course, by the time all of that finished (it took for-ev-er) I had to go home and get dinner ready for two very hungry guys.
As I worked on dinner, I decided to get the post written after I put O down for the night.
After O was settled in bed, washed my face, cleaned up the kitchen a bit, and settled in my chair with a blanket and my laptop.
And then I fell asleep.
So I apologize that this is late, but I apparently was in desperate need of some shut-eye.
SO. Without further ado…
The winner is…
Please email Courtney at jamwithcourtney (at) gmail (dot) com with your address and wrap choices…Congratulations! Feel free to come back and show off your beautiful nails.
As for my wraps…believe it or not, they are STILL going strong! I can’t believe they’ve held up so well. I’ve been converted, for sure. Thanks SO much to Courtney for giving me the opportunity to try Jamberry!
If you’re interested in purchasing Jamberry wraps through Courtney, she can be reached on Facebook, her Jamberry site, and of course through the above email address. If you have a special event coming up, I strongly suggest you give these a shot!
Is there a beauty product you’d like to see reviewed? Do you have a product I should try? Shoot me an email at willfullydisobedientblog (at) gmail (dot) com and let me know!