Simple Egg and Cheese Hashbrown Waffles

When it comes to kitchen appliances, I’m sure most of us would agree that we don’t want any gadgets that only serve one purpose. Never shall I own a Quesadilla Maker or a Hot Dog Toaster (yes, that is a real thing).

But a waffle iron? Sure, we can assume they only make waffles and therefore wonder if they are worth the purchase because of the single job they perform. But guess what? I’ve been on a “what else can I make in my waffle iron?” kick lately, and I’m here to share some delightful waffle iron hacks!

The Waffle Iron: Good for so much more than just making waffles. Check it out…

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It looks like a regular waffle. But it’s eggs, cheese, and hashbrowns, and it’s ridiculously good.

Why Waffle Iron Experiments?

Perhaps it’s the ease of making food in a waffle iron, the fact that I can easily offer a “made to order” option for picky eaters, and that I can make as many “waffles” that we need as we need them. Using a waffle iron instead of an oven on a hot day is also a huge perk because it doesn’t heat up the house!

And the best part: it’s fun. Somehow making food in the shape of a waffle is more fun than making food in the shape of normal.

Earlier this week I shared how you can make Waffle Omelets (otherwise known as Womelets). Later I will show you how you can make Waffle Muffins (perhaps we will call them Wuffins, though we hesitate to get carried away). And who knows what else this summer will bring as we avoid turning on the oven and test our waffle iron to the limits.

Today, I show you how to make Egg and Cheese Hashbrown Waffles. These are hearty and filling, naturally gluten/grain free, can be adapted for each family member’s preferences, and are fun to serve. The only difference is that there is no obvious way to cleverly rename these because saying Washbrowns is just weird.

Simple Egg and Cheese Hashbrown Waffles

Simple Egg and Cheese Hashbrown Waffles
 
Author:
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 6 eggs
  • 1½ pounds frozen hashbrowns (or freshly made, see link below)
  • 2 cups shredded cheese
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Add in options: chopped meat, chopped veggies such as onions, pepper, mushrooms, or asparagus
Instructions
  1. Whisk eggs and stir in all other ingredients.
  2. (For picky eaters, leave the add-in options separate to add to each waffle individually.)
  3. Scoop ½-3/4 cup of egg/hashbrown mixture into waffle iron.
  4. Top with add-ins.
  5. Close waffle iron and cook for 3-5 minutes until brown and crispy.
  6. Serve as is or with hot sauce if desired.

Want to make your own hashbrowns to keep in the freezer? Learn an easy method here!

Simple Egg and Cheese Hashbrown Waffles

Recipes for your Waffle Iron

Have any ideas for me? What creative ways have you found to use your waffle iron?

If you haven’t picked up your copy of The Prayer Mugs we’d love for you to get this 96-page parenting prayer packet full of lessons, stories, encouragement, printables, scripture, study guides, and prayer prompts! (Read more about this beautiful resource here.)

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5 {Easy!} Real Food Dinners for About $1.00 Each

Remember our $1.00 Real Food Breakfast ideas? I promised then that I would share some lunches and dinners too.

Undoubtedly, lunches and dinners are trickier than breakfasts if you want to eat on the cheap. And just to be clear – I’m not into cheap. I’m into nourishing. But it’s always great when cheap and nourishing collide, don’t you think? (I actually prefer the word inexpensive. Cheap sounds so…cheap.)

As I stated in my $1.00 Breakfast post, the following dinner servings are my size, not my teenage boys’ size. They usually eat what I eat multiplied times four or five. Technically, these dinners still cost about $1.00 per plate. It’s just that my kids eat 3-5 plates. Each. But who’s counting?

Ooh, good news not entirely related to food but about the cost of teenage boys! We just learned how to lower our 18-year old son’s car insurance bill. So now we shall proceed with allowing our 15-year old son to pursue his license. Hey, it was “you can either eat or you can drive, which do you want?” I’m kidding. Mostly.

5 Real Food Dinner Plates for About $1.00

5 Real Food Dinners for $1.00Yum

Each of the following meals can be made for approximately $1.00 per plate. They are all made with real food ingredients. They are all served with 2-4 fruits or veggies (which ups the bill, but it’s worth it by a million).

1. Chili or Chili Mac

The trick to this one is to go easy on the hamburger meat. Let the beans offer the protein. Stretch it with a little whole grain pasta. And if you happen to have home-grown, home-canned tomato sauce all the better on the money savings.

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2. Chicken Pot Pie

The best thing about this recipe is that it is a one-pot meal. It comes with veggies baked right in. Serve a salad on the side. Maybe a fruit. It is so good.

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P.S. I just figured out a Hamburger Pot Pie recipe that I’ll be sharing tomorrow!

3. Pasta Alfredo

This is so delicious and tastes even better than a restaurant version (which you get for about twelve bucks a plate). Serve this with salad and steamed veggies. Adding some chicken will add to the cost, but it sure does taste delicious. If you have a little leftover chicken, stir it in, and you’ll still be keeping this low in cost.

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4. Creamy Chicken and Rice Casserole

This casserole is super nourishing because you’re cooking your rice in veggie-rich broth. Plus there are carrots in the casserole. Plus you can serve a salad on the side. Plus you can make extra and freeze it for another time. So convenient!

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5. Garden Veggie Chicken Skillet

I love this recipe because you can use whatever veggies are on sale or that you have on hand. The potatoes help stretch this dish. Everything is flavorful.

Garden Veggie Chicken Skillet 2

I’ve got more $1.00 Breakfasts coming soon (here’s the first one I posted). Plus I’m working on some $1.00 Lunch ideas too!

I love all this proof that healthy eating doesn’t have to be expensive. :)

Why My Whole Foods Menu Plan Might Be Overwhelming

menuplanner1webI love planning a menu for my family. Without a menu plan, it takes me way too long to figure out what we’re eating each day. I also like sharing my menu plan with all of you each week. Many of you have mentioned how helpful you find my plan and have told me that you often “steal” many of my meal ideas. I love that!

But, I also really appreciate the perspective shared in a comment last week – the perspective that my menu plan may be overwhelming to some of you. The fact that I plan all three meals for each day of the week, and the fact that all three meals tend to be big meals – yep, I can definitely see how that could be overwhelming!

I decided to take the time to explain my menu plans just a little bit. I certainly don’t want to overwhelm anyone, nor do I think that planning all three meals for every day of the week is a necessity for everyone. It’s what works for me, but I know it doesn’t work that way for everyone. In fact, menu planning doesn’t work at all for some people. If you’re good at winging it at meal time – go for it! :)

I have found that planning all three meals each day for our family works well for me for the following reasons:

1. My family eats a boat load of food, for every meal.   Having a plan for which boat load of food is going on the table really helps me keep my head above water. (Get it? Boat load? Head above water? Ha.)

2. Having a plan in place for each meal of the day helps me focus on other things so that I’m not constantly distracted by what I’m supposed to feed us next. Trust me, the boys ask all the time – “What are we eating for breakfast/lunch/dinner?”

3. Most of my boys wake up ready to eat my leg if I don’t have breakfast ready to offer them when they wake up. I need to know what I’m making for breakfast before I get out of bed. I like having two legs. It’s very handy.

So the question could still be then:  Why don’t I just feed my family cereal for breakfast and sandwiches for lunch each day, and then focus on our evening meal plan?

Well…I do feed them cereal and sandwiches every once in a while. But wow, the cost of feeding us this type of meal really adds up for us. I did the math one time on how much it costs to feed my family sandwiches. You can read about that here, but add even more to that dollar amount because we now eat probably double what I added up for a meal since my boys are older. (Did I mention that my oldest son has jumped several shoe sizes during the last year?)  Therefore, I find that it really saves our family a lot of money if I cook heartier, more nutrition packed meals if possible.

Some tricks I use to make putting three big meals on the table each day just a little bit easier:

~ Just about every meal I make for my family is simple – especially our breakfast and lunchtime meals. I really don’t find that making a “bigger” lunch for the family takes a whole lot more time than making a bunch of sandwiches.

~ Sometimes we have leftovers to eat, so I don’t have to cook something new. But I don’t always know when we’ll have them, so it’s hard for me to plan those into my menus.

~ I try to have food made and in the freezer to pull out for quick lunches.

~ I have a list of “back up meals” and all ingredients on hand to throw them together if needed.

~ While I do have a detailed menu plan, I switch it up all over the place throughout the week depending on what’s going on and what sounds good. The plan is there, but it is flexible.

~ I give myself grace. If I really just can’t get a good meal on the table, the cereal is in the background waiting to be pulled out.

For a little bit more information on this subject, sure to read my Cooking Healthy Meals When the Menu Plan Fails post. Also, you’ll find a free downloadable page full of healthy, easy lunch ideas here.

Okay everyone. Jump in here with your ideas and thoughts about making menu planning simpler. What do you do about planning breakfast and lunchtime meals?

Menu Plan for the Week

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My living room is still a big, big mess…but we’re getting there. The insulation is in, now let operation drywall begin. Instead of showing you pictures of the mess, I decided to show you a more appetizing picture of Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins because pictures of plaster all over the floor does not inspire you to plan a lovely menu, does it? I’ll post a whole lot of living room pictures once I have more to show!

My father in law will only be here until Wednesday, so here’s hoping he and Matt get most of the drywall up in the next two days. They have been SUCH hard workers and I am just so appreciative. 

Here’s what we’ll be eating this week:

Sunday, October 17
Oatmeal, apples
Chicken and Noodles, carrots, honey wheat muffins
Turkey cheese melts on biscuits, pears

Monday, October 18
Chocolate chocolate chip muffins, fruit-kefir smoothies
BBQ meatballs, baked squash, green beans
Tacos (on homemade tortillas and using the last fresh tomatoes of the season)

Tuesday, October 19
Honey whole wheat bagels, applesauce
Tuna salad on toast, cottage cheese and peaches, carrot sticks
Italian roast wraps with tomatoes and kreme fresh, strawberry-peach slushies

Wednesday, October 20
French toast, peach syrup, whipped cream
Popcorn chicken, ranch potato wedges, green beans
Cheesy beef and rice, tossed salad, corn

Thursday, October 21
Creamy orange cooler, peanut butter honey toast
Egg and turkey sausage casserole, orange muffins
Lamb chops, baked potatoes, peas

Friday, October 22
Fried eggs on toast, applesauce
Corn dog muffins, carrot sticks, fruit-kefir smoothies
Homemade pizza

Saturday, October 23
Whole Wheat Donuts
Leftovers
Fall Party at church

If you’re having a hard time coming up with good lunch ideas, you may want to listen to this Podcast…as well as download this free Healthy Lunch Ideas cheat sheet to stick on your fridge!!