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Cooking with Love

Breakfast delights

Brooke Hagerty

(3/2015) Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and is also the most skipped meal of the day. Studies show that anywhere between 25 and 50% of people under 55 do not eat breakfast. Over 55's are more likely to eat the most important meal of the day with just 15 to 25% skipping it. Often people use the excuse that they don't have time for breakfast or that they don't want to eat breakfast because they are trying to lose weight.............screeeeeeeeeeeech - BIG MISTAKE - eating breakfast actually helps you to lose weight! A study by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health states the following about eating breakfast:

  • Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
  • Breakfast provides you with the energy and nutrients that lead to increased concentration in the classroom.
  • Studies show that breakfast can be important in maintaining a healthy body weight.
  • Hunger sets in long before it's time for lunch, but because it's not convenient to eat properly, many people who have not eaten breakfast snack on foods that are high in fat and sugar.
  • People who skip breakfast are unlikely to make up their daily requirement for some vitamins and minerals that a simple breakfast would have provided.
  • Breakfast provides energy for the activities during the morning and helps to prevent that mid-morning slump.

Making a delicious and nutritious breakfast is easier than you think. There are many recipes that you can make one day that can last you for up to a week and all you have to do on a daily basis is add an egg or other protein. Breakfast should include proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Beans are a great way to add protein and carbs. Spinach is a wonderful addition to add protein and carbohydrates as well. Getting GOOD fats into your breakfast is easy with the addition of avocado. Sweet potatoes are also an excellent choice to add to your breakfast and the best part is you can bake them and mash them on the same baking tray for easy clean up! Do you need a breakfast on the go? I saw a great one over the weekend that I am going to share with you!

First up, my favorite go to breakfast....it doesn't even have a name but if you have an idea for one please, please let me know. It is an amazing breakfast packed with protein, carbohydrates and fats. It is a great make ahead recipe and gets finished off on a daily basis with your favorite egg (over easy for me, please). Depending on the number of people you are serving and/or the number of days you are cooking for you will adjust the amounts as needed.

Combine black and white beans (15 ounce can each) with a large handful of halved grape tomatoes and diced jalapeno to taste. Season with cumin, coriander, salt and pepper (I use lemon pepper and truffle salt). Stir all ingredients to combine well and heat on high for about five minutes or until tomatoes start to wilt. Add instant oatmeal according to package directions and stir. Add a handful of your favorite baby greens (I have found baby spinach and arugula are a very nice combination) and stir to combine. Remove from heat. Serving size is about 1 to 1.5 cups, top with an over easy egg or your favorite egg. The bean mix can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week and reheated in the microwave or on the stove top. Prepare the eggs daily! To reheat I use a flat skillet and sometimes will turn them into hash by heating on high to get a nice crust.

Another great breakfast favorite of mine is highlighted by one of my favorite foods, avocado. Most people only have avocado in guacamole but avocado on it's own is quite creamy and delicious. I like to grill my avocado for a great smokey taste. To grill your avocado slice in half and remove the pit. Season with a little EVOO, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper and a dash of your favorite hot sauce. On a hot grill (outdoors) or a medium high grill pan (indoors) place the avocado open side down for 3 to 5 minutes and then flip to the shell side for 3 minutes. Remove by sliding a spoon under the skin and scooping out the flesh.

Now that you have your grilled avocado you can start building your five minute breakfast! In a saut pan sprayed with pan spray saut a large handful of baby spinach until just wilted. Remove to a plate and place in the center, top with your grilled avocado. Fry an over easy egg in the same pan and slide on top of the avocado. Chop bacon and top as a garnish! Voila - breakfast in five minutes. Note: make bacon ahead of time and heat to order while spinach and egg are cooking (in the same pan).

Sweet potatoes are another great addition to your breakfast repertoire! Baking and mashing them is so easy and can be done on the same baking sheet. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. Line your baking sheet with aluminum foil (spray both pan and foil with cooking spray for super easy clean up). Prick holes in your potato and leave the skin on. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until you can stick a fork through and the potato is soft. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Using your hands peel the skin of the potato and discard. Keeping the potato on the same baking sheet mash with a potato masher or fork. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Note: you can also use cinnamon or favorite seasoning. As I always say, get creative and the sky is the limit.

As always, should you have a question, an idea for an article or are in need of my personal chef/catering services please contact me at brooke@thefoodchick.biz. Be sure to check out my website, www.thefoodchick.biz.

Until next month, Happy Eating!

Read other articles by Brooke Hagerty