Healthy Breakfasts

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Most people feel the need to go on a diet in January, so start the year right.

Make it a habit to eat breakfast before you head out into your day. I start my day with a cup (or two) of strong coffee, preferably a double espresso, followed by a healthy breakfast.

A bowl of hot oatmeal is my go-to breakfast on a cold morning. Toasting the oatmeal before cooking it imparts a nut-like taste without the extra calories. Adding vanilla and a cinnamon stick to the coconut water gives yet another layer of delicious flavor to the Toasted Steelcut Oatmeal.

Remember this classic diet food of the fifties? Fresh Pineapple With Cottage Cheese And Toasted Walnuts is an updated version that consists of fresh pineapple and cottage cheese drizzled with raw honey. It’s loaded with antioxidants, phytonutrients and enzymes and is topped with blood pressure-lowering cinnamon and nutritious walnuts.

According to health food pundits, eggs are no longer bad, but are now considered to be good for you. However, if you are under physician orders to not eat them, then don’t.

Early in the week, I hard boil 6 eggs and refrigerate them for Breakfast European Style.

When I’m yearning for a quick protein rich European style breakfast, I’ll use the entire egg, along with sliced chicken, tomatoes and red onions. But another day, I’ll throw away the yolk and stuff the egg white with hummus or salsa and eat it on the run.

Bon breakfast appétit!

Toasted Steelcut Oatmeal(Yields 4 to 6 servings)1 cup steel-cut oatmeal, toasted

3-inch cinnamon stick

2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

Pinch of salt

3 cups coconut water

Optional garnishes, per serving:

1 tablespoon chia seeds

2 tablespoons sundried cranberries or cherries

Almond milkTo prepare:To toast the oatmeal, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Scatter raw oatmeal on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet in an even layer.

Bake until the oatmeal is aromatic and the edges are light brown, stirring once or twice, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Cool to room temperature and store in a glass jar or sealable plastic bag.

In a large saucepan over high heat, bring coconut water to a boil.

Add oatmeal, cinnamon stick, vanilla, turmeric and salt.

Cover the pan and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat and cook until the oatmeal is tender, about 20 to 25 minutes, or according to directions on the side of the package.

Remove cinnamon stick and stir in cranberries and chia seeds.

Transfer cereal to warm bowls and serve at once with warm milk or almond milk.

Refrigerate leftovers for another breakfast or two.Fresh Pineapple With Cottage Cheese And Toasted Walnuts(Serves 2)1 to 1½ cups fresh pineapple chunks

8 ounces low-fat cottage cheese

1 teaspoon raw honey

Cinnamon, for dusting

1/2 cup toasted walnuts, whole walnut halves or toasted almondsTo prepare:Using an ice cream scoop, mound cottage cheese in the center of a salad plate or cereal bowl.

Place pineapple around and over the cottage cheese.

Drizzle honey over the whole affair.

Dust with cinnamon and scatter walnuts on top.Breakfast European Style(6 servings)6 organic eggs

1 tablespoon sea salt

3 small slices cooked chicken breast or turkey breast

1/2 medium tomato, sliced thin

2 to 3 thin slices red onion

Flat leaf parsley leaves, for garnish

Smoked paprika, for dusting

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to tasteTo prepare:Cook the eggs in a medium saucepan set over high heat and filled about two-thirds full of cold water.

Add salt and eggs.

Cover the pan and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to barely simmering and set the timer for 11 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat, drain off the hot water and immediately plunge the eggs into very cold water, cracking the shells on the side of the pan.

Let eggs stand in cold water until cool enough to handle.

Peel off the shells and rinse well.

With paper towels, pat the eggs dry and wrap each one in plastic wrap.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Can be done up to seven days ahead.

To assemble for one person, slice one hard-cooked egg and fan out onto a salad plate and dust with paprika.

Fan the slices of turkey or chicken breast in attractive fashion and arrange sliced tomatoes and red onion alongside.

Garnish the plate with sprigs of parsley.

Serve with a slice of whole-wheat toast and season with salt and pepper.

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