Showing posts with label breakfast. Show all posts
Showing posts with label breakfast. Show all posts

Friday, July 13, 2012

Breakfast of champions: awesome greek yogurt parfait

Breakfast of champions: awesome greek yogurt parfait

Breakfast really is an important part of having a healthy day and the name comes from the original intention; breaking the fast from your night of slumber. It is important to jump start your metabolism so that your body is ready to use the nutrients and calories provided rather than trying to store them (ie build fat). 

Yogurt is a great choice as it is a rich source of protein and if you choose one with live and active cultures, you're also getting a nice dose of healthy bacteria, also known as probiotics, to keep your immune system strong and your gut happy. Greek yogurt is also a great choice because it is strained and therefore has a higher amount of protein per serving. 

The trouble is, most fruit flavored yogurts are LOADED with sugar. While some sugar is naturally occurring from both the milk and the fruit, labeling doesn't differentiate between that and what is added. Plain yougurt is lower in sugar, but in my opinion, a bit dull (and I'm a dietitian!).

Enter the parfait!

This is a great option because you can prepare your breakfast the night before; in a bowl if you're going to eat at home or in a glass jar if you're going to hit the road and take breakfast with you.

Greek yogurt parfait:

  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 - 1 cup berries, fresh or frozen (raspberries are the highest in fiber)
  • flavorings such as cinnamon, vanilla extract or nutmeg
  • 1-2 tablespoons slivered almonds

  1. Scoop your yogurt into desired bowl or jar. Add seasonings to taste and mix it up!
  2. Pour fresh or frozen fruit on top
  3. Top with almonds
  4. In the morning, the fruit will have gotten juicy and when you stir up the parfait, the ruby red color is lovely (although perhaps defeating the purpose of layering the parfait...)

Plain yogurt spiced up with cinnamon and vanilla

Frozen fruit is often less expensive than fresh (but is just as nutritious)

Ready for the fridge!

Breakfast of champions!

In terms of minding your wallet, I also love getting the large containers of yogurt as they're usually less expensive per serving. This is also lighter on the planet because I reuse those containers. Other than starting seeds, I don't have much use for those individual yogurt cups and you can't always recycle them either.

Added bonus of the spices? Beyond excellent flavor, they're also loaded with antioxidants! You can also add them to your coffee grounds before brewing your morning Joe. Double dose of antioxidants in the morning? Double win!

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

From my kitchen: Red Pepper Frittata

Red pepper frittata topped with pico de gallo and fresh blueberries
From my kitchen: Red Pepper Frittata

If you've never had a frittata, you're in for a treat! What is it, you ask? It is pretty close to an open-faced omelet, but the vegetables and cheeses are cooked with the eggs rather than as a filling. Another benefit of a frittata is that one frittata feeds many folks, whereas an omelet is generally make for one person at a time.The general idea is to cook some veggies in the skillet, add the beaten eggs and cook slowly until the eggs are almost set. At this point you can either use a plate to help flip the frittata, or you can finish in the oven or broiler. Your choice! For the one I made today, I used the oven to set the eggs.

Red Pepper Frittata

  • 1 cup diced red pepper
  • 1 cup diced red onion
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup queso duro (I would have preferred goat cheese, but I didn't have any)

  1.  Heat your skillet over medium heat and spray well with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 (or if you're baking something else, use that temperature, this is flexible)
  3. Add the diced veggies, garlic, salt and pepper and cook for 4-5 minutes or until softened and edges begin to brown. 
  4. Crack eggs into a small bowl and beat well with a fork or whisk
  5. Pour eggs into cooked veggies and nudge vegetables around until they're evenly distributed throughout the eggs
  6. Top with cheese and leave on stove until eggs are almost set
  7. Pop pan into oven and bake for about 5-10 minutes or until done. When is it done? When the top has browned a bit, the eggs have puffed up and pulled away from the sides and if you stick a knife into the eggs, it doesn't look wet when you pull it out.
Saute your veggies!

Add garlic, salt and pepper

Break eggs into bowl and whisk!
Add eggs to your cooked veggies

Sprinkle on your cheese

Ready for the oven!

All done!

Serves four folks; try it with some fresh fruit!

I topped mine with pico de gallo; yummy!
Surprisingly, frittata actually reheats decently well. You could make this on the weekend for yourself and enjoy for breakfast throughout the week. Veggies for breakfast? Well done!

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Baked Oatmeal: Love child!

I was recently informed by my friend Sarah Schwartzman that something in my life had been missing; an excellent breakfast treat that is healthy and delicious....BAKED OATMEAL! What is this treasure? It is a layered treasure of whole grain oats, fruit, nuts baked together with milk and eggs and a touch of cinnamon. The texture is something like the love child of fruit cobbler and a bowl of thick oatmeal. Delicious!

I scoured the internet for recipes and found several. I found one recipe that used significantly less butter than most and then made it my own. Here is what I did:

Blueberry-Banana Baked Oatmeal

  • 2 cups berries (fresh or frozen are both fine)
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 2 cups old fashioned oats - not the minute kind
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup nuts
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seeds
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 cups low-fat milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees

    Spray a square pan with non-stick cooking spray
    Frozen blueberries; mixed berries would also be delicious!
    1 sliced banana

    Pour berries into bottom of prepared square pan; top with sliced bananas

    In a 4 cup measuring cup, mix together the oats, brown sugar, baking powder, nuts, cinnamon and flax. Cover fruit with dry mixture and even out surface.

    Dry mixture

    Cover the fruit!

    Reuse your measuring cup to melt butter in microwave (let's not create more dishes than necessary!). Add eggs, milk and vanilla and whisk together until smooth. Pour liquid mixture over oats evenly.

    Not too much butter!

    Pop into the oven and bake for about 40 minutes or until fruit layer is bubbling and edges are browned.

    All ready!

    Cut into rectangles and serve with a splash of milk and a tiny drizzle of maple syrup or honey, if desired.

    This reheats well in the microwave. I make this on the weekend when I have more time and then enjoy throughout the week for a fast and healthy breakfast. Enjoy!

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