One of the most frequent questions my clients ask me is “What should I eat for breakfast?” It’s well known that a low sugar breakfast that includes protein is your best bet not only for providing important nutrients but also for keeping you satisfied for several hours. Although eggs are one of nature’s most perfect food, for quite a long while, they got a very bad rap. The truth is, eggs contain a little bit of almost every nutrient we need. Eggs are among the best dietary sources of choline, a nutrient that is incredibly important but most people aren’t getting enough of. Omega-3 enriched and pastured eggs contain significant amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids. Eating these types of eggs is an effective way to reduce blood triglycerides. So if Omega-3 enriched and/or pastured eggs are available to you where you live, by all means choose those. If they’re not, you can still enjoy many other health benefits from including eggs in your diet.
In case you’re still of the “But eggs are high in cholesterol!” mindset, note that your blood cholesterol levels have very little to do with dietary cholesterol intake. In fact, if you are genetically predisposed for making excessive amounts of cholesterol, your liver is going to make it regardless, and out of a lot of things you eat, but especially processed foods and added sugar. This is why, in addition to recommending a breakfast containing protein, I recommend that your breakfast contains little to no added sugar.
But this is where my breakfast “walk” starts to unfortunately, not resemble my “talk.” Personally, the last thing I want, first thing in the morning is something as hearty, savory and as protein-filled as eggs. If you are at all the same, know this: it’s ok! You don’t have to eat breakfast the second you get up. I suggest that you do eat breakfast however, within 2 hours of rising.
Many people do like to eggs first thing in the morning, so I just had to share one of my favorite recipes: Crustless Quiche. I have found these individual mini quiches to be a perfect solution to the “what if I want something more interesting than a hard boiled egg?” dilemma. I love them because they are nutritious, high in protein, easy to make and so convenient to grab on-the-go. And, at only 120 calories each, you could either have two, add something else to your breakfast, or have one as a mid-morning snack. What might be my most favorite things about them though, is that they get you eating vegetables – for breakfast, which just adds a whole lot more good stuff like vitamins, minerals and fiber to your day.
This recipe is extremely versatile (Imagine that? Just like the perfect egg itself). You can use virtually ANY vegetable you like and have on hand. It’s important to saute anything that’s raw or crunchy first to reduce the water content and improve the final product consistency. Feel free to add some cooked, sliced or chopped sausage or crumbled bacon to the raw egg mixture for even more protein and added flavor. Also, in this all-veggie version I kept the added salt to a minimum, so you may want to add a touch more or even some crushed red pepper flakes for some kick.
Make a batch on Sunday night (or any night) and in the AM, pair with a piece of fruit for a delicious, nutritious grab-and-go breakfast. Here’s the recipe:
3 cups Chopped Vegetables of your choice (for this recipe, I used broccoli, shredded carrots and baby spinach)
1/2 cup chopped scallions (green onions)
2 tsp. vegetable or olive oil
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup milk (1 or 2% works best)
1/4 tsp. Celtic or Sea salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground cracked pepper
Vegetable cooking spray
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray muffin pan (or the individual muffin tins pictured above) with cooking spray.
Chop vegetables into small pieces. Heat oil in a medium saute pan. Add vegetables to pan and saute on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until veggies become tender, about 5-6 minutes. Turn off heat, allowing vegetables to slightly cool.
In a large bowl, whisk eggs. Whisk in milk. Add salt. Stir in cheese. Fold cooled vegetables into the egg mixture and stir until thoroughly combined. Ladle egg mixture into prepared muffin tin. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, cool and remove each from the pan. Quiches* may be individually wrapped and stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. *(after much debate and research, determined that yes, “quiches” is an acceptable plural of quiche).