Thursday, February 8, 2007

Two great, easy breakfasts that support weight loss

I've read from numerous sources--most recently Bob Greene--that breakfast is a terribly important meal, as it fires off my metabolism and also sets the tone for my day's food consumption. I've eaten breakfasty nearly daily for a couple of years, but recently, I've been working on making sure I eat a healthy breakfast daily--and finding breakfasts that keep me at least mostly satisfied until lunchtime rolls around. As many of us know, if we want a meal that will not leave us hungry again in a short period of time, it's important to include some protein and a little bit of fat. My college roommate, who is great at managing her weight, has recently gone vegetarian. She told me that she eats a breakfast with a fairly big dose of protein, a lunch with a smaller portion of protein, and then, if she wants them, a higher dose of carbs (pasta or rice or whatever) at dinner. I don't order my food that restrictively, but I do think she is onto something. Here are two breakfasts that I have found leave me mostly satisfied until around noon. As a bonus, both of these are easy meals for people who do not need to make enough food for a whole family.

The first one is the one I have been eating daily for a while.
Nummy Toast

1 piece of whole-grain bread (I use great bakery bread and freeze it, defrosting one piece daily as needed)
~1 T natural almond butter (I love Kettle brand)--you could also use peanut butter, cashew butter, etc., but you want a kind that is only nuts, maybe salt, and oil (the regular store kinds contain way too much stuff that's bad for you, like high-fructost corn syrup)
1 apple or pear
~1 tsp. honey

Toast the bread. While it's toasting, thinly slice your fruit. When the toast is crisp, spread the nut butter on it. Lay the pieces of fruit on top of it--you'll probably use about half the piece of fruit. Drizzle about a teaspoon of honey on top of that. Enjoy! (I eat the remaining apple or pear half over the course of the morning.)

I alternate among different types of apples and occasionally use pears. Each weekend, I buy enough apples and/or pears for the following week and keep them in the fridge at work. (I eat breakfast first thing at work each weekday.)

I really love this breakfast, because I get a healthy dose of protein from the nut butter, and the sweetness of the fruit and honey is very satisfying.

The next recipe, which had the starting point of a South Beach recipe, is going to look more complicated, but on a day-to-day basis, it's really easy, because you just make a dozen, freeze them, and then microwave one each morning for breakfast. It's quick and delicious.

Egg Cups . . . muffeggs? something.

(This makes a dozen. They freeze well and are easily reheated in the microwave.)


cooking spray
4 stalks of green onions
1 c. of reduced-fat, extra sharp cheddar
1 pckg. vegetarian sausage links (I hear regular works fine, though the fat and calories would skyrocket)
other veggies, as desired (I intended to add spinach but forgot. I expect chopped red peppers would work well, too.)
1 tsp. Lowery’s seasoning salt
2 tbsp. whole-wheat or white flour
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 dozen eggs

Heat your oven to 375 and thoroughly spray a muffin tin with cooking spray.
Grate your cheese.
Thinly slice your green onions.
Defrost your veggie sausages (cook them completely if you aren't using veggie sausages) and mash them up into little bits. (If you cook the veggie ones completely and then bake them they may end up tough.)
In a large bowl, combine the seasoning salt, paprika, flour, and eggs. Whisk until well beaten.
If you are using extra veggies (bell peppers, broccoli, spinach), chop them up.
Stir veggies and sausage into the egg mixture.
Pour in muffin tins until the tins are mostly full. The heavier stuff--the sausage and veggies--may settle to the bottom of your mix, so be sure to spoon some of those into each muffin cup.
Bake 15-20 minutes–until eggs puff up like muffins and begin to brown. (Like popovers, they may deflate some when you get them out of the oven.)

When they are done, after they sit for a minute, you should be able to easily remove them from your muffin pan.

I let mine cool and then transfer them to a large freezer bag and put them in the freezer. These reheat from frozen beautifully in the microwave–1.5-2 minutes on high. They actually taste better reheated than they do straight out of the oven!

So you can see how they look out of the pan, here's a photo of a couple of egg cups with some oatmeal that's covered in sauteed apples (that was our dinner one night):

I hope these recipes will serve some of you as well as they have me!


Mal said...

Sally, these look wonderful. I love my oatmeal breakfast, but sometimes we all need to mix it up. Besides, portability is a huge factor in a meal for me, since I never know where I'll be eating or how late I'll be as I'm running there. I look forward to trying the egg cups.

Sarah said...

Oh man, the egg cups look really yummy. I have some eggs at home I need to use up too!

csmc said...

Wow... the eggs look like a great idea. I keep meaning to try and bring eggs with me to work but never seem to have the time in the morning to do it. Just taking it out of the freezer is a good way to go! I'll try it.

PS: You my friend are one smart cookie. I do feel a little like the robot these days... but I'm getting past it. ;P

~~Midnight Raider~~ said...

One of my favorite high protein breakfast foods is a tofu frittata. I put firm tofu in a food processor with some nutritional yeast and process til smooth. Then I add in (already sauteed) onion, spinach, diced tomatoes, garlic, broccoli bits, faux sausage crumbles... whatever I have on hamd. Pour into a cast iron skillet and smooth out, then bake 350 about 40 minutes. It keeps in the fridge, so I cut it into slices and eat a slice a day!

ArleneWKW said...

I did a copy of the egg dish to my Word program. That seems like a hearty breakfast and, as you point out, can be used for dinner as well. Thanks for including the photos. Also, thanks for encouraging me on my blog.

Linds said...

Oh Yum! That makes me want to eat breakfast! I know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but I find it so hard to get it into me. I'd rather have the extra mintues sleeping, as supposed to making breakfast. Something I need to work on, Thanks for inspiring me!

lisa jane said...

yum yum yum yum
you are delightful:)

lisa jane said...

oh and what big toast you have,that wouldnt fit in my toaster :)

CactusFreek said...

Oh my goodness! This is the first time i've looked at this blog, and now i'm starving!! Thanks a lot!! lol
These recipes sound/look just too yummy!

ArleneWKW said...

I made the eggs for dinner last night with some Arlene modifications. My hubby twice remarked how good it was. I'll have to check out some of your other recipes.

I'm Fat said...

Once again you have accomplished making me hungry. The eggs are definitely something I am going to try. Thanks!

Sarah said...

I made the egg muffins today and they were sooooo yummy. I did add turkey sausage, tomato, and spinach and they turned out wonderfully! I also used egg beaters instead of eggs. Thanks for the idea!

ohh, and I went to this cute french restaraunt for brunch yesterday and they had toast for an appetizer very similar to yours except they used some sort of cheese spread and had a "balsalmic honey."

the veggie paparazzo said...

Thanks for all the comments!

Midnight, I had tofu quiche at a friend's house a few weeks ago and was surprised at how tasty it was. Love the cast-iron skillet aspect to yours.

Linds, I understand. On weekdays, I make breakfast at work. I see my co-workers stop work to make coffee and tea, and my breakfast doesn't take longer than those to make, so there you go.

Lisa, the plate is smaller than it might appear, but that actually was pretty big toast. It was from a nearly round loaf of bread, and the middle slices on those loaves are pretty huge. Yum. I eat only bakery bread these days--none of the regular store stuff. If I am eating bread I want to enjoy every bite deeply.

Arlene and Sarah, glad they came out well for you!

texasgal said...

thanks for sharing your recipes. The toast was wonderful I tried it today. Also, so sorry for your husbands accident. You have been through a lot!

the veggie paparazzo said...

Tex, glad you enjoyed the toast. I look forward to it every morning!