My days are about to become incredibly busy, since college starts on Monday. I figure I ought to start eating breakfast (and I don’t think my can of Pepsi and a Snickers really counts as a healthy meal ). So I would like ideas for good breakfast foods and/or recipes. However, I would like for them to be fairly healthy and either quick to fix in the morning or something that can be made ahead of time and reheated later.
I make this every time our lives get seriously busy…easy to make, reheats great.
I use the light sour cream, “Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter” and light canned soup. Can’t taste the difference. Still has great flavor.
Hash Brown Casserole
1 2 lb. pkg. frozen Hash Browns (the shredded kind)
16 oz. Sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 stick butter
1/2 C. Chopped onion
2 C. grated Cheddar Cheese **personal note, I like sharp the best
Melt butter in the microwave. In a bowl add minced onions, sour cream, and cream of chicken soup, and melted butter. Season with salt and pepper. Mix these items together. Stir in the still-frozen hash browns. Spread mixture in a greased 9x13 inch pan.sprinkle with Cheddar Cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until all is completely warm, and the cheese begins to melt.
In the past few years I’ve come to understand the importance of breakfast. You’ve already fasted at least 6-8 hours, and then you get up and begin the arduous task of getting ready, maybe getting other people ready, traveling to work, and then working. And LOTS of people that I know don’t eat breakfast. It boggles my mind.
When you go long periods without eating, as you do when you skip breakfast, your body goes into starvation mode and converts more of the food you do eat into fat to prepare for the next time you’re going to starve it. Add in the release of stress chemicals, which causes you to store more fat, along with blood sugar spikes and crashes, and it’s perfectly clear: Breakfast IS the most important meal of the day.
It takes more work to try to eat healthfully when you’re rushed in the morning, but it’s important to stay away from processed junk food, refined sugar, and white bread. You want protein and complex carbohydrates. The things I rely on are leftovers (I have no problem eating last night’s dinner for breakfast- it’s free, fast, and filling), wheat toast with peanut butter, yogurt, and a piece of fruit, scrambled eggs with wheat toast, oatmeal, and cream of wheat.
Good on you for aspiring to eat breakfast.
Chop and fry a small onion in butter. Peel and chop a potato and add it. Season with salt, pepper, and paprika. Cover the pan and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes.
While that’s cooking, chop up whatever leftover meat you have around. Or a small amount of breakfast sausage, kielbasa, frankfurter, whatever. Toss that in.
When the meat browns a bit, beat a couple of eggs, season with S&P, and put into the pan. Toss until the eggs set.
Turn onto a plate and serve.
(Caution: the above is neither healthy nor quick to fix)
Make a batch of granola every weekend, and eat it with milk or yogurt in the mornings. 3 cups rolled oats plus smaller (less than a cup) amounts of nuts, seeds, dried fruit, flaked coconut, wheat germ, etc etc etc. Mix 1/4 cup oil and 2/3 cup honey into it all, then spread it on a baking sheet and toast at 350 for 15-20 minutes. Store in airtight container.
Whole wheat* toast with PB (&J, if you do it lightly), a piece of fruit or some OJ, and a glass of milk will work. Scramble an egg for extra protein if you like.
Alternatively, make hot cereal in the microwave. Put 1 cup cold water and half a cup of rolled oats or a multi-grain mix (not instant!) and a little pinch of salt in a bowl. Optionally add a few raisins or whatever dried fruit you have (fresh fruit is good too), and stir it together. COVER IT! (You want to cover it. Trust me.) Plastic wrap works fine as long as you leave a vent for steam. Microwave on high for two minutes, take it out and stir again, then back in for about two minutes more, depending how thick you like it. Watch out for the hot bowl! Total prep and cooking time is five or six minutes.
*Almost all toast is made of wheat, so the phrase ‘wheat toast’ is close to meaningless. Yes. it’s a nitpick, but it has always irritated me. Grumble, grumble, …)
The night before, measure out about 1/3 to 1/2 cups oatmeal into a snap-lid plastic bowl; add 1/3 to 1/2 cups milk, water or fruit juice; and a pinch of salt. Seal and pop in the fridge. (At this point you can also add some chopped dried dates, apricots, whatever too; just up the amount of liquid.) Set aside a plastic spoon, just in case you oversleep.
In the morning: toss in a chopped apple, some sliced grapes, whatever; a dash of sunflower seeds or other nuts; a drizzle of maple syrup or honey or a sprinkle of brown sugar; then mix in some plain yogurt. Toss in what you like and what’s handy. It’s fast, very tasty, filling and healthy.
Easy breakfast wraps
The night before…lay out a whole-grain tortilla on top of waxed paper or cling wrap. Prepare fillings you have handy, combinations to taste:
- cook a scrambled egg
- spike cottage cheese w/ S&P, some dried veggie soup mix, dried chives, whatever
- cheese of choice
- thinly sliced leftover meat: chicken, ribs, mystery meat, faux sausage–forage!
- stray veggies: thinly sliced bell peppers, onions, whatever–it’s your fridge
- somewhat complementary condiments at hand: salsa, ketchup, tabasco, etc.
- anything you have handy that
Just cook the stuff the obviously requires cooking—eggs, uncooked meats, etc.–a bit then plop the combinations onto the tortilla. Don’t overstuff; when in doubt, go for thin coverage and make a second second wrap. Tuck, fold and wrestle into a somewhat tidy package.
In the morning…nuke if appropriate. (Dead cold food usually isn’t all that tasty.) But in a pinch, grab and run anyway. If you set aside a paper napkin, ready for grabbing, you’ll still feel like you’ve dined instead of settled.
Both of these can be done in about 10 minutes, max.
Who’s graduated, so to speak, to toasted bagels
I keep a lot of fruit, washed, cut-up and stored in zip bags or those Gladware containers in the fridge. I slice off a few hunks of some kind of cheese, and perhaps toast an English muffin, and eat that with the fruit.
You could also bake a few loaves of date bread, or banana bread, or whatever - and store them in the freezer. Before you go to bed, take a loaf out to thaw. In the morning, slice and spread with cream cheese. Or toast a few slices of date bread (yum…) Or. make a couple batches of blueberry muffins and store in the freezer; proceed as above (only I don’t think you can toast those.)
There are a billion recipes floating around for French Toast casseroles, although I don’t have one handy at the moment. But you make those the night before and pop them in the oven the next morning.
You can also do what my daughter does - take whatever is leftover from dinner the night before and slap it between two slices of bread. She’s probably the only kid in town who eats spaghetti sandwiches for breakfast.
I love spaghetti sammiches.
I dump some dry cereal into a plastic bowl and take a container of yoghut to work. Then mix and eat. Sometimes I add raisins and/or nuts.
Pour cereal into a bowl. Add milk. Eat.
Total prep time: approximately 10 seconds, depending on the strength of your local gravitational field.
If you like biscuits but hate having to make the whole package of them for just you, Pillsbury now has these resealable bags of them in the freezer section - you just pop however many you want in the oven at 375 for about 20 minutes. They’re fantastic - even my aunts have stopped making their own buttermilk biscuits and gone to these, honestly (okay, they’re not QUITE as good as a Georgia cathead biscuit, but it’s definately a reasonable substitution). The buttermilk kind is good for “traditionally breakfasty”, they have a layery kind, and the cheese and garlic are to die for.
Er, that’s the American sort of biscuit, obviously.
It’s not really healthy, but biscuits and syrup is delicious.
Fruit is good because it’s portable and doesn’t require a lot of clean up.
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, especially on toasted bread, makes a good meal.
Instant oatmeal, sounds boring (and it is) but it is healthyish. Now you could follow the package instructions and it does come together pretty darn quick, but for those mornings when time gets past you just get yourself a tall glass of water then tear the little foil envelope open, tilt your head way back and pour the stuff as far down your throat as possible. Then wash it down with the water and while on your way to work, smile as it sets up in your stomach.
(For some reason every time I do this I get a strange feeling that the little Quaker guy on the box is scowling at me and my snooze alarm. Judgmental freak, Aunt Jemima never tries to hassle me like that.)
I will usually make a whole mess of waffles on Sunday morning and freeze them. Then in the mornings, it’s easy to pop them in the microwave for thirty seconds and then finish them off in the toaster oven, to make them crispy.
Also, I can’t recommend Grade B maple syrup. It’s much more maple-y than the Grade A stuff you get in most supermarkets. Heat that up in the microwave while the waffles are finishing.
Nothing like hot waffles and syrup first thing in the morning!
I’m hungry now.
Durrrrr. I can’t recommend Grade B maple syrup ENOUGH. I need sleep!
We’re talking about a college student here. Anything they cook has to be prepared on a hotplate with a hangover.
Stick with the oatmeal or granola suggestions. Fruit helps, too.
Since I don’t drink, I don’t have to worry about hangovers.
I’m asking for simple though 'cause I’m pretty dangerous in the kitchen while I’m still half-asleep!
A nice hot toasted bagel with cream cheese.
Eight egg whites, six ounces of skimmed milk, half a cup of oats and some sort of flavoring (vanilla, fat-free cocoa) or, if you like it cold, fat free ice cream and a banana in a blender. Takes about three minutes to make and thirty seconds to chug. Healthy and yummy, too.