Monday, March 28, 2011

Now we know our ABC's...

... of grocery shopping.  Now that you have spectacular ingredient purchasing tips under your belt, let's get cooking!  And where better to begin than breakfast.
  Does this sound familiar?  You wake up and then you start the rush... get ready for work, get the kids out the door... breakfast, perhaps not.  Maybe you do get a chance to grab a buttered bagel or a muffin, maybe you even stop for an Egg McMuffin. On a good morning, you may eat a piece of fruit, a pastry, or an egg sandwich. Unfortunately, none of these are the best way to start the day.  In the Monday through Friday grind, it seems breakfast leaves us with few easy and healthy options.
  The first problem, not eating at all is a big problem.  Starting the day with an empty stomach means that by the time you are into your groove, your blood-sugar is dangerously low.  This results in needing an instant sugar fix, which is usually a donut or some other unhealthy choice.
  The second problem is that "on the go" breakfasts, such as pastries and cereal bars, are generally sugary and carb laden, low in protein, and nothing but empty calories. This starts your day with high blood-sugars, which your body naturally adjusts for, leaving your blood sugar on a roller-coaster ride all day long.
  The third problem is that "traditional breakfasts" are usually not convenient and definately not healthy.  Fried eggs, sausage, cheesy omelets, hash browns, and anything English or Scottish are just too fatty.
  So what are we left with?  There are actually a lot of options. Here are just a few ideas, but with these guidelines, I know you can think of many more.

*Look for protein with very little saturated fat.  Whole-grain carbs that are high in fiber and low-fat dairy or soy options add loads of nutrients.

   Where do you find the time? Get up just 15 minutes earlier and pack your breakfast to eat on the road or at work.  Waking up just a bit earlier allows you to drink your cup of tea or coffee and take a deep breathe before the chaos of your day begins.
Here are some easy ideas:

Hot Cereal
1/2 cup Instant Oatmeal
1 Tablespoon Ground Flaxseed
1/4 cup Fresh or Frozen Fruit
1/8 cup Sliced Almonds
    Add Cinnamon, Vanilla, and Honey (not a lot) for extra flavor. This quick meal is full of fiber, nutrients, and protein and only takes 5 minutes to make!

Cold Cereal                                                                                  

6 cups Rolled Oats
1 cup Unsweeted Shredded Coconut
1/2 cup Wheat Germ
1/2 cup Ground Flaxseed
3/4 cup Almonds
1/2 cup Pumpkin Seeds
1/2 cup Sesame Seeds
1/3 cup Honey
1/3 cup Flaxseed Oil
1/3 cup Orange Juice
1 teaspoon Vanilla

1- Mix together and stir well.
2- Spread in a thin layer on baking sheets.
3- Bake in preheated oven at 325F for 10 minutes.
4- Sir and bake another 10 minutes.
5- Stir again and bake 5 minutes (watch carefully to prevent burning)
6- Cool
7- Add 1 cup Died Fuit
8- Store in airtight container

  This is a whole-grain, high-fiber cereal. It has a high amount of protein and is low in sugar. Add low-fat milk or soy milk and some berries if you like...  This also makes a great snack.

1/4 cup Raw Spinach                                             
1 Tablespoon Onion
1/4 cup Tomatoes
1 Tablespoon Flaxseed Oil
1 Tablespoon Cheddar (shredded)
2 Egg Whites
1 Egg

1- Saute Vegetables in Oil.  Season with Salt and Pepper
2- Scrambled eggs in vegetables
3- Sprinkle with cheese and enjoy
    Egg whites have virtually no fat and cholesterol... but also limited flavor. Adding 1 whole egg to the whites adds to both visual and taste appeal without adding a large amount of lipids

1/2 cup Fresh Berries                                                                            
3/4 cup Non-fat Plain Yogurt
1/4 cup Granola
1 teaspoon Vanilla

1- Mix Yogurt with Vanilla
2- Layer ingredients and enjoy!

Cottage Cheese
1/2 Green Apple (diced)
1 Orange
1/2 Red Pear (diced)
1/4cup Grapes (halved)
5 Strawberries (halved)
1/4 cup Orange Juice

1- Toss cut fruit in Orange Juice
2- Layer with fat free Cottage Cheese                                                                                                 
1/2 cup Yogurt                                                                                    
1/2 cup Fat Free Milk or Soy Milk
1/2 cup Frozen Fruit
2 Tablespoons Almond Butter
1 Tablespoon Vanilla
1 teaspoon Honey

1- Blend together and Enjoy

   This quick meal is full of fiber, nutrients, and protein and only takes 5 minutes to make!

  I hope these help you get a great start to each and every day.
Happy Eating,
Chef Heather  


  1. I will second that homemade granola recipe. It's so fun to make a big batch that you can have on hand for a couple weeks and use with yogurt (like those parfaits), have as a cereal, or even eat like trail mix in a hurry!

  2. It is super easy and you can add any nuts and fruit you like. My kids love to make it and eat it!