Tag: breakfast

Foodie Swellness: Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker


To say that food occupies my thoughts much of the time is an understatement. What will I eat next. What will I order for dinner out tomorrow? (I’ve actually asked friends what they plan to have, and my question has been met with expressions of “I can’t believe you’re already thinking of what you’re going to eat there”). What will they be serving at the lunch I’m attending? What groceries I need to pick up. How I really want to try more Malaysian cuisine. How a pizza would hit the spot right about now. Even when I’m on a plane and we all know how awful plane food can be in economy, I ponder when it will be served and what will be on that little plastic tray.


And while I do enjoy cooking, sometimes it does feel like a chore. So I occasionally have breakfast for dinner; it’s easy to make something breakfast-y that is simple but tasty and I often have the ingredients in my fridge. Another reason is because I do quite enjoy it, and breakfast sandwiches are something I crave from time to time. So when I saw the adorable Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker, an award-winning product, I knew I had to try it out. (The company gave me some of their appliances to test out, full discolosure!)

What it is and how it works? Basically, on the bottom portion, after heating up the machine, you place the bottom of your sandwich bread (think bagel or English muffin), and any veggies, cooked meat or cheese you want in your sandwich, then on the top portion you crack an egg and break the yoke and top it with the top of your English muffin. Close the top on the appliance and about 4 minutes later, you swing out to the side the middle non-stick plate with the tab so that your sandwich becomes, well, a sandwich (one layered piece) and then you lift open the appliance (wearing an oven mitt for safety as parts of it are hot!) and use a spatula to slide off your warm breakfast sandwich. The cheese (I always put cheese!) has melted nicely, the egg is cooked and the bread has a nice warm crispness to it.


It’s super easy to clean and pretty nifty but I suppose you have to eat breakfast sandwiches pretty regularly to make getting this appliance worth it. I can see it being great for a family with a few kids. Or someone in college or university living in a dorm. The appliance is quite small so storage even in my small downtown condo is not an issue. The only way I feel it can be improved is if it could also cook whatever meat you want in your sandwich; when I was growing up McDonald’s for breakfast was a treat and I’m still a fan of their Sausage McMuffin with egg. But I can’t make a similar homemade version using this appliance since the Maker won’t cook a sausage patty (and cooking it separately to then insert into the completed breakfast sandwich defeats the convenient purpose of only using the Maker).


Currently I’m using the Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker to make a small yet filling breakfast after a run (when I’m typically lazy to fuss with cooking anything more elaborate) but I go through spurts of using it often one week and then giving it a break the next. I think I need to experiment with more ingredients, but so far my fave sandwich includes tomato, ham, cheese, egg and avocado, on an English muffin.

Stay tuned for my next Hamilton Beach product review: the Searing Grill!


1 Comment August 8, 2016

Foodie Swellness: #TrainWithGrains GIVEAWAY

savoury oats


THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. Congrats to @blondefriesen who is the winner of this prize!

I’m in training for a marathon about 45 weeks out of the year for the past five years. And I’ve been called a machine by many people. I actually use this idea of being a machine to help me during a run; I try to really think of myself as a machine, one that can keep on keepin’ on without feeling any of the agony and pain marathon training can entail. I’ll likely be thinking of this next weekend when I’m running the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon as I work towards my summer of sweat #keepsweating goal.

To keep this machine performing well for training and racing, grains are key part of my diet. Healthy whole grains help the body to recover from a tough workout and they help provide the energy our muscles need to get through the training (whether it’s speed work on a track or an easy recovery run) or the 42.2 kilometres of the big race day.

Another great aspect of whole grains? They will have you feeling full so I’m a fan of having a bowl of steel-cut oats for breakfasts, and especially so before a morning run. And while I’ve been eating it simply (usually with just a touch of honey and a small handful of nuts), I’ve started trying it as a savoury dish.

avocado, bacon, eggs, oats


With a splash of soy sauce and chopped scallions, it reminds me a lot of congee (that soupy rice that’s a comfort food I grew up with).  Thanks Mark Bittman for the idea. Post-run, I have more time to cook so one of my new favourite savoury ways to eat my steel-cut oats is topped with some crumbled bacon, avocado and a fried or poached egg (I finally tried poaching eggs using a mesh strainer and, yay, success!) and some chopped chives and sriracha. I think it’d also be delicious with some caramelized onions and a soft-boiled egg, and maybe even some blue cheese, hello, stinky but yummy breakfast bowl!

Whether you’re just kickstarting a new workout routine or are a fitness buff, #trainwithgrains and you’ll have the fuel and improved recovery your body needs to perform at its best. Want to add this to your diet! Well…I can help you with that!

To help you #trainwithgrains for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon ( or your personal fitness goal, Grain Farmers of Ontario has given me a $50 President’s Choice giftcard to give away to one lucky fitness fan in Ontario. This way you can create your own delicious recipe with barley, grain corn (think corn meal, flour or starch), oats, soybeans or wheat so that you can ensure your body is getting the wholesome, clean fuel it needs to help you perform your best.

N.B. To enter this Good in Every Grain Giveaway, you must be a resident in Ontario.

You can enter to win the $50 President’s Choice giftcard in four different ways:

  1. Email me at healthandswellness@gmail.com with your name and address (please put “Good in Every Grain” in the subject line).
  2. Twitter. Follow me on  Twitter (@healthswellness) and tweet:

I want to #trainwithgrains and enjoy the good in every grain by winning this @healthswellness #giveaway! http://bit.ly/1N0VYz6

  1. Instagram: Follow me on Instagram (@healthandswellness), “like” the photo of this savoury egg, bacon and avocado oats bowl, and tag a friend who you think would also benefit from the good in every grain.
  2. Facebook: “Like” the Health and Swellness page on Facebook (www.facebook.com/healthandswellness)–not just the photo but the page for Health and  Swellness — and comment on the savoury oats photo about what grain dish you think you’ll make using the giftcard if you’re the winner.

This giveaway is open to Ontario residents and you can enter up until 12 p.m. EST, Tuesday, October 13, 2015. The winner will be chosen at random and notified via the method they’ve won. If they do not claim their prize within five days, another winner will be selected at random.

Good luck! And stay tuned for another tasty grains dish from me next week!


Leave a Comment October 8, 2015

Foodie Swellness: Chia pudding

chia pudding with strawberries and peaches

Chia pudding — aka my usual breakfast this summer. I like it because it’s fast to make, I usually have all of the ingredients on hand, it’s a nice change from my other usual breakfast (Greek yogurt), and, of course, because it’s tasty. And there are loads of reasons to eat chia — it’s high in fibre, contains omega-3 ALA, calcium, iron and more.

This is all that you need:

chia pudding ingredients

Three tablespoons or so of chia seed, a can of light coconut milk, about a tablespoon of honey and fresh fruit. Makes about five servings.

Chia pudding in a jar

Throw it all (except for the fruit) into a mason jar, give it a stir and a shake; I leave the mason jar in the fridge overnight, and by morning the chia seeds have become gel-like. Spoon some into a bowl, toss some strawberries and peaches on top (I also like to use mango) and that’s it. If it’s all a little too gooshy in texture for you, top it off with some nuts, too, for crunch.

Leave a Comment August 21, 2013

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