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      Breakfast Ideas & Breakfast Sandwiches
       excerpetd from Vegetarian Family Cookbooke : Featuring more than 275 recipes for quick breakfasts,
       healthy snacks and lunches, classic comfort foods, hearty main dishes, wholesome baked goods, and mor

    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 seasonally.

    * 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 cereals.

    * Hot cereals: See the listing of possibilities.

    * Embellishments for hot and cold cereals: Dried fruits, nuts, and seeds.

    * 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 topping cereals.

    * 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 available.

    * 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 10).

    * 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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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

    Breakfast Sandwiches

    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 whenever possible.

    * 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

    dairy/vegan option

    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)

    Dairy option

    • Calories: 270
    • Total fat: 6 g
    • Protein: 13 g
    • Fiber: 5.9 g
    • Carbohydrates: 44 g
    • Cholesterol: 7 g
    • Sodium: 485 mg

    Vegan option

    • Calories: 266
    • Total fat: 6 g
    • Protein: 8 g
    • Fiber: 6.5 g
    • Carbohydrates: 49 g
    • Cholesterol: 0 g
    • Sodium: 444 mg

     

    Vegetarian Family Cookbook
    Vegetarian Family Cookbook The only vegetarian cookbook designed to satisfy every member of the family. It can be challenging to create nutritious family meals that appeal to everyone at the table, including the picky eaters. But Nava Atlas has solved the dilemma with a collection of down-to-earth recipes reflecting the way families really eat. Flexible, adaptable, and filled with ways to make wholesome food more attractive to children,The Vegetarian Family Cookbook tackles breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack time like no other vegetarian cookbook on the market. Covering everything from family-friendly salads to comforting casseroles, Atlas shows how simple it can be to make enticing meat-free meals, with selections such as Quick Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili, Vegetable Upside Down Casserole, and Alphabet Soup, sensational sandwich fare for home or school, as well as energy-packed choices to start the day. She also takes the mystery out of cooking with soy and provides dozens of delicious whole-grain, low-sugar desserts. Most of the recipes include vegan substitutions for eggs or dairy products. Whether you are a committed vegetarian or are simply cutting back or eliminating meat for economic, ethical, or health reasons, The Vegetarian Family Cookbook makes this an appealing, stress-free decision.

     

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