Mom nailed it: a hot and wholesome start to the day can make a tremendous difference for all of us. So why do over 31 million Americans still skip the first (and maybe the most important) meal of the day? It’s hard to know for absolute certain, but easy to guess: we are short on our most precious ingredient: TIME. When we experience a hectic morning, trying to get the family out the door, it’s tempting to let breakfast slide, yet having something to eat can make a huge difference in how the rest of our day unfolds.
Since the literal meaning of the word “breakfast” means to “break the fast” that’s taken place since you last ate (say at least 10-12 hours ago), it’s a pretty fitting term. If we choose not to eat within 2 hours of waking, we are literally running on empty, just as we launch into our day.
- Rev up our metabolism and provide energy?
- Increase concentration and cognitive function?
- Help us fight cravings during the afternoon?
- Leave us less hungry throughout the evening hours?
- Prevent us from being cranky (….aka HANGRY)?
Below are 5 of my favorite breakfast recipes. I find that preparing one or two of these at the beginning of each week helps me provide warm, quick nourishment for those hectic mornings that require on-the-fly-I-need-the-microwave options for my guys. Good luck!
Ham and Swiss Quiche Pie
1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed (approx. 1 cup)
¼ cup melted butter
Combine and press into the bottom of a deep dish 8” pie plate.
1 tsp. granulated onion
2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup sour cream
6 large eggs, beaten
2 cups diced, cooked ham
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. (325 degrees F. if using a glass pie plate). Place filling ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk to combine well; pour into prepared crust. Bake at 350 degrees F. approx. 25-30 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 5-10 minutes before slicing to serve. Quiche reheats well in microwave. May substitute Cheddar cheese for Swiss and cooked ground sausage for ham, to vary recipe.
Pressure Cooker Warm and Nutty Quinoa Bowls
1 cup water
1 cup quinoa
pinch of kosher salt
½ tsp. cinnamon
chopped toasted pecans
Place quinoa, salt, cinnamon, and 1 cup water (water is replacing the milk used in the stove top recipe) into pressure cooker pot; lock lid into place and choose high setting; set timer for 1 minute. When timer sounds, use a natural release for 10 minutes, then a quick pressure release to release any remaining pressure. Remove lid carefully and fluff quinoa with a fork. To serve, divide warm quinoa between 4 bowls and top with yogurt and pecans; serve at once.
Amy’s Maple-Apple-Glazed Breakfast Meatballs
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup finely chopped red-skinned cooking apple
2 teaspoons snipped fresh sage
3/4 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound of ground pork (not sausage)
1/4 cup apple jelly
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
Fresh sage for garnish
Line a 15x10x1 inch baking pan with foil; coat with cooking spray. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat egg lightly. Stir in oats, apple, sage, fennel seeds, salt and pepper. Add pork; mix until combined.
Shape mixture into forty 1-inch meatballs. Place meatballs 1/2 inch apart in prepared baking pan. (At this point, meatballs can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 4 hours.) Bake meatballs on the middle rack of a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes, or until cooked throughout.
In a small saucepan, heat jelly and maple syrup over medium-low heat, whisking until jelly is melted and mixture is smooth. Drizzle 1/4 cup of the jelly mixture over the baked meatballs, lightly toss to coat, and bake meatballs 2 minutes more. Transfer meatballs to a serving platter and drizzle with the remaining glaze. Garnish with fresh sage, then sprinkle with a small amount of coarse sea salt or kosher salt. Recipe from Amy Good, Olsburg, Ks.
Ham and Egg Cups
3 Tbs. unsalted butter
1/3 cup chopped scallions
½ lb. baby bella mushrooms, finely chopped
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 Tbs. sour cream
1 Tbs. minced fresh tarragon (or ½ tsp. dried)
12 slices ham (we prefer Black Forest Ham)
12 large eggs
additional sour cream, for garnish
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large sauté pan, sauté scallions and mushrooms in unsalted butter over medium high. Stir often, until mushrooms are tender and scallions translucent, approx. 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in tarragon and sour cream. Fit one slice of ham into each of 12 oiled muffin cups (ham will protrude above cups). Divide mushroom mixture among cups and crack one egg into each cup. Bake on the middle rack of the oven until whites are cooked but yolks are still soft, approx. 12-14 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and carefully remove from cups. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and serve at once.
8 oz. package brown and serve sausage links
16 oz. loaf raisin bread (approx. 12 cups)
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups half and half
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 Tbs. pure maple syrup
1 cup chopped, toasted pecans
Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick baking spray. Brown sausage, drain and cut into bite size pieces. Cube bread into 1 inch pieces into prepared baking dish along with sausage pieces. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, add milk, half and half, vanilla and spices until well blended; pour this mixture over sausage and bread in prepared baking dish, pressing bread down into egg mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight or at least 8 hours.
To prepare topping, combine brown sugar with butter and maple syrup; stir in pecans. Drop this mixture by spoonfuls over prepared casserole. Bake, uncovered, in preheated 350 degree F. oven for 35-40 minutes. Serve drizzled with warm maple syrup, if desired.