Ask the cook: Quick and healthy breakfast ideas

Diane Balagna

Question of the week:

What are some good, fast, non-cooking options for breakfast?

Are you rushed in the morning? Aren’t we all? Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but how often do we skip it and then find ourselves ravenous midway through the morning, madly in search of the nearest coffee and pastry?

Here are a few ideas for a healthy and quick breakfast that will keep you going until lunch. They’re just guidelines and can be adapted to your unique tastes, so be creative!

The Super Egg Sandwich: Take an egg (or ¼ cup egg substitute) and microwave it in a small bowl (sprayed with non-stick cooking spray) until cooked. Microwave times vary, so start with 30 seconds and check to see if it’s still runny. If so, keep going in 30-second increments.

Meanwhile, toast two pieces of bread and spread just a little bit of barbecue sauce on them. Put the cooked egg, a slice of cheddar cheese and a few slices of ham or turkey on the toast, and you’ve got a hearty, satisfying breakfast. Variations include Dijon mustard and Swiss cheese, a little bit of salsa and co-jack cheese with a tortilla instead and classic American cheese on an English muffin.

Beyond oatmeal: It’s getting colder in the morning. Have you ever tried adding granola to your oatmeal? Hearty, flavorful and guaranteed to keep you full ‘til lunch. Add a touch of honey, a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg. Bonus nutrition points for dried fruit, wheat germ and ground flax seed, which provide fiber, protein and omega-3’s, respectively. Add regular milk, soy milk or rice milk and pop it in the microwave for a warm and filling breakfast in less than 10 minutes.

Better than PB&J: Top a waffle with ricotta cheese or creamy yogurt and berries, spread peanut butter on a tortilla and roll up with sliced apples and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Or replace peanut butter and jelly with something more exciting, like almond butter, tahini (sesame seed butter) or cashew butter. You could try raspberry jam, honey or even fig jelly.

Find your favorite flavor combination. Add slices of a your new favorite fruit. Explore all the bread options out there. Think bagels, flatbreads, even buckwheat pancakes. All these bread options freeze well. Pop one or two slices in the toaster, top with your favorite ingredients and you’ve got a quick, healthy and filling breakfast to go.

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