Supercharge Your Fitness
Breakfast or “Break - the - fast!” Long-hailed the most important meal of the day, it has been a topic of research and debate. A nutritious, balanced breakfast is both energizing and satisfying and a break from the fast of a nice long sleep. Then there’s brunch – the new happy hour – a fun way to reconnect with family and friends on a lazy weekend morning. Brunch can be a hybrid of breakfast and lunch dishes or a flexible meal to announce an occasion. This time of year there’s always a reason to brunch…Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter, graduation…you name it!
What is typical for you?
The balance of food is important – rich and low calorie, savory or sweet. The balance of prep is important – no slaving early morning hours before guests arrive. Set the table and prep the night before and enjoy some extra time in bed or hit the gym early! A balance of foods from all the food groups is also important including protein-rich foods like eggs, dairy foods like Greek yogurt, fruit and veggies and whole grains like whole wheat bread or cereal to name a few.
Eggs are eggstra-ordinary and a nutrient goldmine and are often the centerpiece at a brunch meal! One large egg has varying amounts of 13 essential vitamins and minerals and high-quality protein, all for 70 calories. While egg whites contain some of the eggs’ high-quality protein, riboflavin and selenium, the majority of an egg’s nutrient package is found in the yolk. So don’t yolk around – eat that egg yolk! The yolk contains Vitamin D which is critical for bone health and immune function. Eggs are one of the only foods that naturally contain vitamin D; choline that is essential for normal functioning of all cells, and very important during pregnancy to support healthy brain development of the fetus; and lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that are believed to reduce the risk of developing cataracts and slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration, a disease that develops with age.
Here are a few recipes for your next Eggstra-ordinary breakfast or brunch!!
Berry Fruit Salad with Lemon Sauce
- 1/8 cup prepared lemon curd
- ½ cup plain or vanilla-flavored Greek yogurt
- 1 quart fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
- 1 pint fresh blueberries
- 1 pint fresh blackberries
- 1 pint fresh raspberries
- Fresh mint leaves for garnish
- To prepare the sauce, place lemon curd and yogurt in a small bowl and stir until blended.
- Wash and drain fresh berries and combine them in a serving bowl.
- Serve berries with a dollop of lemon sauce.
Yield: 4 servings
Source: adapted from eatingwell.com
Chicken Sausage Slow-cooker Breakfast Casserole
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- One 12-ounce package cooked smoked chicken sausage with an apple cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
- 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 leek, white and light green part only (or 2 green onions)
- 8 eggs, lightly beaten
- ½ cup low-fat milk
- ¾ cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese (approx 3 ounces)
- Coat a four-quart slow cooker with cooking spray; set aside.
- In a large nonstick skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add sausage; cook for 6-8 minutes or until brown. Add sweet potato, red bell pepper and leek; cook for 3-5 minutes or just until tender, stirring occasionally. Transfer sausage mixture to the prepared slow cooker.
- In a medium bowl, combine eggs and milk. Stir in ½ cup of the cheese. Pour egg mixture over sausage mixture in cooker. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 1-2½ hours or until eggs are set.
- Sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup cheese. Let stand for ten minutes before serving.
Yield: 8 servings
Source: adapted from bhg.com
Crunchy Bran French Toast
- 8 slices whole-grain bread
- 4 Tbsp fat-free or light cream cheese
- 4 tsp low-sugar orange marmalade
- 2 large eggs plus 2 egg whites
- Zest and juice of 1 orange
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1½ cups bran flakes cereal
- 1 to 2 Tbsp canola oil
- 1 to 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 Tbsp confectioner’s sugar (optional)
- Spread four bread slices with one Tbsp cream cheese each; spread the other four with one tsp marmalade each. Combine to make four sandwiches.
- Whisk the whole eggs, egg whites, orange zest and juice and vanilla in a shallow bowl. Place the bran flakes in a resealable plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin or your hands. Pour the crumbs onto a plate. Dip both sides of each sandwich in the egg mixture, then in the crumbs, gently pressing the crumbs onto the bread.
- Heat one Tbsp each oil and butter in a skillet or griddle over medium heat. Add the sandwiches in batches and cook until the outside are golden and the insides are melted, 3-4 minutes per side.
- Slice the French toast sandwiches into triangles. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar if desired.
Yield: 4 servings
Boost your fitness plan with a Nutrition Consultation with Cindy Kleckner, RDN, LD, FAND, a registered dietitian nutritionist and culinary expert at the APEX Centre, City of McKinney’s Aquatic and Fitness Facility. Contact Cindy at 214-293-5306 or email at email@example.com.