Vanilla Bean French Toast with Rhubarb Compote + Weekly Menu

I am the exact opposite of my high school self. I used to roll over, see 10:00 AM on my bedside alarm, roll over, and head back to sleep without a care in the world. Now, if I roll over and see 8:00 AM flash I about fly out of bed, assuring myself the whole day hasn’t been wasted. I am my mother’s (and father’s) daughter. I did what I never thought I would do — become a morning person. And like it.

My favorite “me” time is in the morning and it includes things like coffee, breakfast, occasionally a workout, maybe some TV during a quick morning cuddle with Lily, and when the weather is nice here in the Midwest: the farmer’s market!

Early bird gets the worm, especially when the weather has been poor conditions for growing and farmers are selling their slim pickings. Literally. So this past Saturday morning, I snagged a multi-grain loaf of bread from the Amish, a 2lb bunch of rhubarb, and another huge bag of spinach for $7. There’s no way you can get that at your local grocer for that cost, especially at that quality…and have it be local 🙂

When I returned home, beaming with pride over my farmer’s market steals, Mr. Prevention wanted to know what I was going to do with all that rhubarb and all that spinach. The spinach I could figure out – it’s so versatile. But the rhubarb, hmm. Seeing as this was my first shot at creating anything with rhubarb, I was at a loss. After a quick Google search, I was certain a rhubarb crisp of some sort was in order (more on that another day…yum!), but I also wanted something then. At 9am.

And since I was feeling brave and adventurous (2 things I am normally not), I decided to just wing it with a little inspiration on the side. Lesson learned: rhubarb needs sugar. The stuff alone is enough to make anyone pucker up, and not in a good way. Though, I’m not one of those individuals who sucks on lemons and limes and enjoys it. If you are, you can get by with less sugar. Rhubarb is tarrrt! But when reduced by means of heat with a source of sweetness, it’s incredible…and perfect to start off, finish off, or compliment any day! Cheers to the first yield of spring!

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Vanilla Bean French Toast with Rhubarb Compote inspired by Tesco Real Food

1 cup fresh rhubarb, sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 Tbsp sugar
4 slices multi-grain bread, cut 3/4-inch thick
2 eggs
2/3 cup fat-free half and half
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds removed (optional)
1/4 cup lower-sugar syrup

Directions:

Slice rhubarb and put into a small sauce pan with 2 tablespoons sugar. Toss to coat. Simmer rhubarb and sugar over medium heat until softened, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine eggs, half and half, and vanilla bean in a shallow dish. Soak each slice of bread on both sides and place into a pre-heated skillet over medium heat. Cook 3-4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.

Place 2 pieces of french toast onto each of 2 plates and top each with half of rhubarb compote. Drizzle each with 2 tablespoons syrup. Serve immediately. Yield: 2 servings.

Nutrition Information (per 2 slices with 2 tablespoons syrup): 502 calories; 10.5 g. fat; 215 mg. cholesterol; 629 mg. sodium; 87 g. carbohydrate; 9 g. fiber; 17.5 g. protein

Result: A breakfast fit for a queen! Or king 😉 This was a splurge, but very satisfying…and filling! This is a perfect spring brunch item, showcasing in-season rhubarb sweetened to perfection. A quick breakfast delight that is sure to “wow” anyone! Enjoy!

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Weekly Menu (a day late): May 29th – June 1st

Lots of leftovers this week. I also made oven-fried pickles over the weekend, and there’s leftovers of those. I choose exercise and enjoying the nice weather over cooking too much this week!

I was planning to work today, but I think the weather is too nice (91 and sun, thank you!) to spend it in a cold, stuffy clinic. Plus, I slept in (til 8:30!!!) after a late hockey game last night. 😉 Mr. Prevention and I went on amazing 11 mile bike ride on Saturday, and I think I want a repeat today 🙂 Maybe a mini duathalon is in order?!

Question: Do you like rhubarb? Any favorite recipes?

P.S. I did weigh-in on Saturday morning – +0.6. I strongly recommend not weighing in the morning after a 10pm dinner of sushi. The restaurant didn’t even have low sodium soy sauce…I knew it would be ugly. Not discouraged, though. 🙂

Happy Memorial Day!

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8 Comments

  1. May 30, 2011 / 11:12 am

    I love rhubarb, but I haven’t made any in years. Your French toast looks amazing!

    Enjoy your day!

  2. May 30, 2011 / 9:48 pm

    I love my Grandmother’s rhubard crisp! I agree that rhubarb is a little more difficult to work with.

  3. May 31, 2011 / 11:26 am

    I have never cooked with rhubarb but I want to! I keep hoping we will get some in our co-op basket (we do a local fruit/veggie co-op each week). This looks amazing!

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