Friday, March 21, 2014

Magnificent Muesli

Magnificent Muesli

Are you looking for an easy to make, filling and nutritious breakfast? Then look no further! This Swedish breakfast may sound too good to be true, but it is just what you are looking for! Read on to learn more about what this funny sounding meal is and see how easy it is to start the day off on a healthy foot.

While flipping through this past month’s issue of Bon Appetite the other night, I came across a strange breakfast recipe that I could hardly pronounce.  The name sparked my interest, but the super simple directions kept my attention. After scribbling down the  RECIPE, I decided to take to the web to get further details on what exactly I was about to make and see if it was as healthy as it appeared. The more I read about this intriguing food, the more I wanted to make it for breakfast for the next week straight!

It turns out, Muesli (pronounced mu-zli) is a Swedish dish that was invented by a physician around 20th century; he wanted to ensure that his patients had a healthy diet. Since then, this super easy and super nutritional dish has evolved into a variety of shapes and flavors. The primary ingredient is normally rolled oats, accompanied by fruits (dried or fresh), nuts, seeds, and some sort of liquid to soften the oats.

I would have to say that my favorite part about thisrecipe, is that it is made the night before; so you pretty much wake up and eat. I have loved oat meal ever since I was a kid, so this new variation allows me to easily change up my morning meals while still eating healthy and getting filled up before I take on the day.

Banana Coconut Muesli

Servings: 2
Calories: 592
Carbohydrates: 72.5g
Protein: 32.5g
Fiber: 10.5g
Fat: 8g
Note: These are my rough estimates that will vary depending on ingredients, so please don’t quote me!!

Grocery List:

1 cup old- fashioned Oats
1 cup coconut milk (I accidently purchased vanilla flavored, but they both work great)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 Banana, sliced
1 cup Greek Yogurt
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1 tsp Honey

Putting It Together:

My not so pretty, but oh so tasty Muesli!
1) Combine old fashioned oats, coconut milk and cinnamon in a medium bowl, COVER and chill overnight.
2) The next morning, mix in the Greek yogurt and honey.
3) Finally, sprinkle on the almonds and top it off with the banana.

If you don’t have these exact ingredients, feel free to use what you have on hand instead. No coconut milk? Add in some apple juice instead. No almonds? I’m sure some flax seeds or toasted walnuts would work just fine in its place. I was thinking some vanilla extract or a bit of nutmeg would fit right in with this type of breakfast too, but I might have to save those for the next time I whip up a batch.  I bet you could get pretty creative with some of your favorite ingredients now that you know of this magnificent muesli and how to make it, so feel free to make your very own creation!

If you get a chance to try out my muesli recipe, please comment and tell me what you think! I would also love to hear about your own adventures in the kitchen with making your own original creation, so please share your experiences with making your very own recipe below as well!



Monday, March 17, 2014

Blogging from A To Z: A Daily Challenge


What Is Blogging From A to Z...
It all started in March 2010, when April Hosteam put forth a challenge to all bloggers for the month of April. The challenge read, "Can you post every day except Sundays during this month?  And to up the bar, can you blog thematically from A to Z?" Since there is 26 days in April (minus the Sundays), it allows for 26 unique blog posts that all revolve around a new letter of the alphabet. 

Originally, her intent was to just have some fun as she celebrated her 200th follower, but now this event has evolved into a way to make new friends and for fellow bloggers to become more active in the blogging community.

My "Topic" For This Challenge...
Since Fuel For The Furnace is about cooking and healthy recipes, I thought I could blog about a new ingredient each day of the month. I love trying new things, be it food or otherwise, so I thought this might be a good opportunity to review some of my favorites ingredients and some that I might want to try in the future. Its a pretty big world out there, with each culture using different plants, spices and animals in their dishes, I won't be able to cover all of them but I will do my best to pick from all of the regions!

What It Means To Me...
I have fallen in and out of blogging for a few years now, never really sticking with any one blog for more than a few months and never really putting the time aside to have more than one decent blog post every couple weeks. They say if you're going to do something, do it right... I'm going to do my best to dedicate myself to writing in this blog as much as I can and to provide great recipes and cooking stories from my kitchen. 

I truly hope you enjoy following my blog, as we take on this culinary adventure one meal at a time. Feel free to subscribe and follow along to see where we go next!

Happy cooking,


Monday, March 10, 2014

Easy Peazy Soft Boiled Eggs

Growing up, I used to go fishing with my dad and grandpa almost every weekend during the summer time. Since the best fishing seemed to always be in the early hours, we had to wake up VERY early to get out on the water before the sunrise. The last thing you want to do when you get up at 4 o'clock in the morning is to be fiddling around with breakfast, so it was important that we ate something fast and filling. Soft boiled eggs was our breakfast of choice, it is still one of my go-to breakfasts when I need something in a pinch.

Soft Boiled Eggs

What you will need:
2-3 eggs
2 Slices bread
Salt and pepper to taste


1) Fill sauce pan with water, just enough to barely cover the eggs.

2) Place your pan on your stove, covered with a lid, and turn the burner all the way on.

3) Set your timer for 8 minutes and 30 seconds. Note: This amount may vary depending on how many eggs you are cooking and how efficient your burner is. I would say increase the time by 30 seconds for every additional egg that you cook. If your stove isn't the best at boiling water, then you might also need to add a little extra time. The best thing to do is just give it a try and adjust the time from their!

4) While the eggs are cooking, you can use this time to toast and butter your bread.

5) After the 8 and a half minutes is up, remove eggs from heat and let sit uncovered for about 20 seconds.

6) Now that the eggs are done cooking, dump out the hot water and begin to pour cold water over the eggs
for about 10 seconds. This step prevents the eggs from becoming over cooked and to be at a temperature that you can handle them.

7)  Now all you need to do is peel and enjoy! I prefer eat my soft boiled eggs in a bowl with toast that has been broken up into pieces and a dash of salt and pepper. If your feeling adventurous, you can add in some garlic salt and some shredded cheese. :-)

What I love most about this meal is that it only dirties one dish, the bowl. Eggs are probably one of my favorite breakfast foods, and I can basically set it up and walk away until the timer goes off. When done right, the whites of the egg should be completely cooked, but the yolk should be runny. You could say that it is a cross breed between a hard boiled and fried egg, and it goes perfected served over a couple pieces of toast.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them in the comments below!

Happy cooking,


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Green Super Smoothie

The other day, posted an article on the "5 Morning Rituals to Keep You Productive All Day Long". I liked their suggestions and I thought that I might try applying them to my own life, starting with their smoothie recommendation. I wasn't too keen on the suggested recipe that they provided and after a little digging online, I couldn't really find a green smoothie that appealed to me. After my searching came up fruitless, I decided to make my own recipe from scratch. This recipe works great with a blender or with a juicer, so feel free to use whatever one you have on hand!

In addition to the recipe, you can find a break down of the ingredients and some of their characteristics that make them so darn good for you!. In the end, the smoothie only cost me about $2.50 a drink! Not bad for a smoothie that tastes great and is super healthy, especially since most people will pay twice that for a designer coffee each morning. The most expensive ingredient was the kiwi, which I am considering swapping out for some pineapple or honeydew melon to reduce the price and change up the flavor. 

The most important factor in drinking this smoothie for me, was the consistency and texture. I tried this smoothie recipe several times, once as a juice, another blended in a regular blender and then the last time in a nutribullet. Using the nutribullet was by far the best for me because it made everything a very smooth consistency; I plan on using it going forward in my smoothie making endeavors.

What You Will Need

1 cup Kale (about a good handful)
1/4 inch Piece of ginger
3 Stalks of celery
1.5 cups Apple juice
3-4 Ice cubes of green tea
1 Mint sprig or about a Tbsp
1 Kiwi
1/5th of a avocado
Honey to taste (about a tsp for me)


1) Place the heavier ingredients at the bottom of the blender, and finish off with the frozen green tea and juice. THOROUGHLY Blend into a liquid consistency.

2) Enjoy your fresh smoothie!!

Nutritional Breakdown

Green tea:
Green tea is considered one of the world's healthiest drinks and contains the highest amount of antioxidants of any tea. The natural chemicals called polyphenols in tea are what are thought to provide its anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic effects. Besides giving our smoothie a great boost in antioxidants and natural chemicals, it also provides a bit of caffeine to the drink and will help give a bit of pick me up in the morning!

For the tea I use in this recipe, I will take about 5 or 6 tea bags and let them steep over night in a pitcher of water. The tea will be a little bit on the strong side, but you can hardly taste it in the smoothie. You can either use this as is or freeze it to help thicken your smoothie. I prefer to freeze it, and just throw in a handful of ice cubes in each smoothie.

This super food has earned the nickname "queen of greens", and for good reason! One cup of chopped kale contains 33 calories and 9% of the daily value of calcium, 206% of vitamin A, 134% of vitamin C, and a whopping 684% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. Pound for pound, kale is a heavy hitter when it comes to its vitamins and minerals; they will help get you the vitamins you need to start the day off right. 

Besides tasting great, kiwis are full of foliate and potassium. Foliate plays a key role in the complete development of red blood cells and also helps with maintaining healthy circulation. Potassium is an essential nutrient used to maintain fluid and electrolyte balance in the body. The main reason why I wanted to include them was for the sweet tart taste, but I couldn't deny the fact that they fit right in with all of the other super foods!

This little herb has a lot more to offer than just flavoring your chewing gum, it has many health benefits that help cleanse the body and mind. Originally, I had chosen to add mint to this drink as more a way to help with flavor than anything else, but then I learned of all the health benefits of the plant. Mint is said to help with digestion, it relieves anxiety and depression and can even help with allergies by inhibiting the release of histamines! To read more on the herb, go ahead and check out the link posted at the end of the post!

When I was a kid, I used to love eating a stalk of celery smothered in Peanut butter, who would have thought that it is actually good for you! Celery has a plethora of healthy compounds, such as Flavonoids, phthalids, and butylphthalids, which may help with different health issues like lowing your blood pressure and helping with reducing your "bad" cholesterol.

These fruits get their rich and creamy texture from the "good" fats that they contain.They are packed full of vitamins and minerals that our bodies need, such as vitamin K, Vitamin B9, vitamin B6, vitamin B5 vitamin C, and vitamin E. A serving size is only about a 5th of a fruit, so you can make one avocado last for most of the week.

This legendary spice has quite a list of benefits; it has been used for hundreds of years in Asian culture and is still a staple in flavoring many dishes. One of gingers most well known attributes is its effects on the digestion system. This zesty little morsel helps stimulate digestion and the absorption of nutrients, and it also helps problems like nausea, appetite and gas. It packs a a lot of flavor, so a little bit goes a long way!

 Not yet convinced that these greens are what you need to start off you morning? Go ahead and keep reading from the links below! Most of us don't eat enough vegetables to meet our daily requirements, starting the day with them is a step in the right direction in eating healthier and meeting your bodies needs for veggies! If you get a chance to try my smoothie, please let me know what you think in the comments below!!

Celery information,

Kale information,

Ginger Inforamtion,

Avocado information:

Mint information:

Green tea information:

Kiwi information:

Happy Blending,

~Mr. McLovin