Let's face it: Even the best of intentions won't change the fact
that many of us are tired and rushed in the morning. Also, since
some people are just not that hungry first thing, the not-yet-awakened
appetite is none too ambitious. It's unfortunate that the first
hour of the day is rush hour, but for most of us, that's the reality.
My sons have always liked a fairly hearty breakfast, so for us,
the morning meal is a given. We try to decide the night before what
to have for breakfast on school days, so that if the choice is waffles
or a hot cooked cereal, I know to allow a little extra time. And
because time is so short in the morning, one of my strategies has
been to compile a list of possibilities so we're not scrambling
for ideas. Speaking of scrambling, you'll note that eggs play a
small role in this chapter, with a suggestion or two in the simple
breakfast ideas and breakfast sandwiches list; that's because most
people who eat eggs already have a set of simple ways to fix them
to their family's liking. Instead, you'll find many ideas and easy
recipes based on whole grains--these complex carb foods are perfect
for getting revved in the morning yet are easy on the palate. Smoothies
and other fruit-augmented recipes round out the selections.
A Basic Breakfast Pantry
One way to mitigate the breakfast rut is to have an array of good-quality
breakfast foods on hand. Go through some of the recipes and ideas
in this chapter and jot down the basic ingredients to shop for.
See if you can clear a portion of a pantry (or at least a couple
of shelves) to keep together all your nonperishable breakfast items--such
as hot and coldcereals, granolas, and pancake mixes.
Here is a list of what you might consider keeping in your pantry.
Of course, you need not buy everything on this list, only what appeals
to your family. Once you have a basic breakfast repertoire, you
may enjoy adding new items from time to time or changing some items
* Good-quality cold breakfast cereals: Have an assortment of organic,
whole-grain varieties on hand.
* Granolas: These are good on their own or mixed with other cold
* Hot cereals: See the listing of possibilities.
* Embellishments for hot and cold cereals: Dried fruits, nuts,
* Flour tortillas: These are great for roll-ups and breakfast quesadillas.
* Fresh fruits in season: Bananas are welcome all year around,
berries are good for summer, and oranges and mangoes are delicious
in winter. Serve as is or use for making juices and smoothies or
* Whole-grain flours for pancakes and waffles: Whole-wheat pastry
flour, spelt flour, and cornmeal are especially useful. You might
also like to stock good-quality prepared pancake and waffle mixes
if you can't see starting from scratch on weekday mornings.
* Whole-grain frozen waffles: If you're not inclined to make fresh
ones in the morning, there are some excellent organic toaster waffles
* Maple syrup and/or honey or other natural sweeteners: Use sweeteners,
even natural ones, sparingly in the morning!
* Fresh whole-grain breads, rolls, bagels, and English muffins:
Mix and match for variety; keep some in the freezer.
* Spreads for bread: All-fruit preserves, nonhydrogenated margarine,
dairy or nondairy cream cheese, peanut and other nut butters.
* Yogurts: Organic low-fat dairy or nondairy varieties; aside from
eating on their own, yogurt is useful in homemade pancake and waffle
batters, and for making biscuits and other baked goods (see Chapter
* Organic dairy or nondairy cheeses and cottage cheese
* Organic cage-free eggs
* Soy-based faux breakfast meats: This one is entirely optional,
but if you like this type of product, you can keep "sausages"
and "bacon" in your freezer to use from time to time as
a side dish or in breakfast sandwiches.
Some Simple Breakfast Ideas
Breakfast Burritos: Wrap a flour tortilla around a scrambled egg
or a small portion of the basic recipe for Tofu Scrambles Galore;
Sprinkle with grated dairy or nondairy cheese if desired. Roll up
snugly. Serve with orange slices in the winter and strawberries
in the summer.
Breakfast Quesadillas: For each serving, place a 6- to 7-inch flour
tortilla in a dry skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle the entire
surface lightly with dairy or nondairy cheese and cover. When the
cheese is melted, fold over to a half-circle. Continue to cook on
both sides, uncovered, until the tortilla begins to turn golden
and crisp. Cut in half to form two wedges to serve. Serve with a
fruit smoothie (see page 000) or a breakfast fruit salad (see below)
for a lively way to start the day.
Peanut Butter and Banana Roll-ups: For each serving, heat 1 flour
tortilla in the microwave until warm and flexible, about 20 seconds.
Spread the entire surface with peanut butter (or other nut butter)
and place thin banana slices here and there (you'll need about 1/2
medium banana). Roll up snugly; cut in half crosswise to serve.
Cream Cheese and Berry Roll-ups: For each serving, heat 1 flour
tortilla in the microwave until warm and flexible, about 20 seconds.
Spread the entire surface with dairy or nondairy cream cheese. Place
thinly sliced strawberries over most of the surface or sprinkle
with small wild blueberries (or use a little of each). Roll up snugly;
cut in half crosswise to serve.
Pasta for Breakfast: I'm always happy to find plain leftover noodles
in the refrigerator in the morning. Angel hair or any small pasta
shape (tiny shells, elbow macaroni, ditalini, and such) seem more
palatable for breakfast than large, chunky shapes. I like mine with
a bit of nonhydrogenated margarine and a little salt, generously
topped with wheat germ and ground flaxseed. My husband likes his
mixed with nonhydrogenated margarine, cinnamon, and natural granulated
sugar, then topped as I do mine. I haven't yet convinced my sons
to try pasta for breakfast, but maybe they'll learn eventually.
This meal is nicely completed by a fruit smoothie.
JP Products 21x13x8 Breakfast-in-Bed Tray, White For
those special occasions when breakfast in bed seems apropos, this
tray holds all those morning favorites - warm croissants, fresh
fruit, cereal and hot tea. The tray is made of natural hardwood
with sturdy legs that extend outward. The tray's top is white laminate
trimmed in a raised, hardwood edge to prevent items from slipping
off the sides.
Woodward & Charles 17x25 Bed Tray Breakfast
in bed can be made better when you display your food on this lovely
bamboo tray, which measures 17-in. high x 25-in. wide x 10-in. long.
The tray is roomy enough so that it can hold a few plates, a glass
of juice and a cup of coffee. Its bamboo construction is durable
and stable so that you don't have to worry about knocking it over
onto its side and the design allows you to slide it comfortably
over your lap. To clean, simply wipe down with a soft damp cloth.
Up North Basket Company Blueberry Morning Gift Basket Treat
that special someone to breakfast in bed with this glorious breakfast
basket. It includes wild blueberry pancake mix, Vermont maple syrup
in a leaf-shaped bottle, blueberry tea, Anna's cookies thins and
lemon and almond thimble cookies.
Le Creuset 22-oz. Poterie Breakfast Jug, Blue This
22-oz. breakfast jug is great for drizzling maple syrup over your
pancakes or even to hold milk for a cafe au lait in the morning.
Made from traditional stoneware, this item surely will add spice
to your table.
Homer Laughlin 6-pc. Fiesta® Breakfast Set, Scarlet Start
your morning off on the right foot with this solid-colored, art
deco Fiesta Scarlet Breakfast Set. The set is six pieces, made of
high-fired vitrified ceramic for durability and outstanding chip
resistance, coated with a lead-free glaze, and includes 2 mugs,
2 cereal bowls and 2 9-inch plates. The colors are fun, vivid and
perfectly coordinated with every piece in the Fiestaware collection.
Breakfast Fruit Salad with Cottage Cheese or Yogurt: For a refreshing
start to the day, consider fruit salad. To make it more feasible,
make your fruit salad the night before and pack it in an airtight
container. Summer is easy, with its abundant offering of melons
and grapes; strawberries, blueberries, and other berries; peaches
and nectarines; and more. Winter fruits are more limited, but you
can still get creative with bananas, pears, mangoes, orange slices,
and canned pineapple; embellish with some dried fruit if you'd like,
such as apricots or pitted prunes. Top your breakfast fruit salad
with a mound of cottage cheese or a scoop of low-fat vanilla yogurt
or soy yogurt. If you'd like, sprinkle with chopped nuts or granola.
Serve with a slice of whole-grain toast or an English muffin.
Cottage Cheese Salad: For those who are open to veggies in the
morning, this is a tasty way to start the day. Simply mix some finely
diced tomato, cucumber, and bell pepper into a scoop of cottage
cheese. If you'd like, sprinkle with toasted sunflower seeds and
fresh dill. Serve with a slice of whole-wheat toast.
Morning Parfaits: I always thought of parfaits as dessert, even
if they were made with yogurt rather than ice cream, until a reader
gave me a new view of this treat. Layer low-fat vanilla yogurt or
soy yogurt with seasonal fruits in a tall glass or parfait dish,
and top with toasted walnuts, almonds, or a sprinkling of granola.
Serve with a toasted English muffin or whole-grain bagel.
Dressed-up Cold Cereal: There are all kinds of ways to make cold
cereals more exciting. First of all, make sure the cold cereals
you choose are whole grain and all-natural. If they're organic,
so much the better. Top cold cereals with any of the following or
with any combination that appeals to you:
* Fresh fruit (berries and diced peaches in summer, sliced bananas
in cold weather)
* Dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, chopped apricots, dates)
* A sprinkling of chopped nuts (toasted slivered almonds or chopped
walnuts are particularly good on cereal)
* A sprinkling of granola
* Wheat germ
* Ground flaxseeds
* Toasted sesame or sunflower seeds
Spreading something nourishing between two slices of bread is an
easy and sensible way to start the day. But in the morning, most
appetites dictate lighter choices than those you might crave for
lunch or dinner. You don't need recipes for making breakfast sandwiches,
just a cache of good ideas. Here are some to get you going, and
remember, if using dairy cheeses or cream cheese, choose organic
* Nut butter (try almond, cashew, or soy nut butter as alternatives
to peanut butter) and banana on whole-grain bread
* Any nut butter or fruit butter or all-fruit preserves on whole-grain
bread or a roll (apple butter, pear butter, or orange marmalade
offer a change of pace from all-fruit preserves)
* Grilled cheese (using dairy or nondairy cheese of your choice;
try sliced rice cheese, which is low in fat and high in calcium)
on whole-grain bread; add sliced tomato, if desired
* Cream cheese (dairy or nondairy) on good-quality cinnamon-raisin
bread or Quick Cinnamon-Raisin Bread (page 000)
* Cream cheese (dairy or nondairy) and sun-dried tomatoes or cured
olives on a whole-grain English muffin or bagel
* Scrambled or fried egg and a slice of organic dairy or nondairy
cheese or sauteed soy Canadian bacon on a whole-grain roll
* Sauteed soy Canadian bacon and a slice of dairy or nondairy cheese
on a whole-grain English muffin
* Sauteed soy Canadian bacon, tomato, and mayonnaise on a whole-grain
roll for the heartier appetite
* Grated organic Cheddar or Cheddar-style soy cheese melted over
thinly sliced apple, avocado, or tomato on open-faced English muffins
4 to 6 servings
- 2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
- 11/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds, optional
- 11/2 cups low-fat yogurt or soy yogurt
- 11/4 to 11/2 cups low-fat milk or rice milk
- 2 tablespoons nonhydrogenated margarine
- Pure maple syrup, all-fruit preserves, or one Quick Fresh Fruit
Sauce (page 000)
- Calories: 270
- Total fat: 6 g
- Protein: 13 g
- Fiber: 5.9 g
- Carbohydrates: 44 g
- Cholesterol: 7 g
- Sodium: 485 mg
- Calories: 266
- Total fat: 6 g
- Protein: 8 g
- Fiber: 6.5 g
- Carbohydrates: 49 g
- Cholesterol: 0 g
- Sodium: 444 mg