Tired of cold cereal every morning? With just a pinch of extra time and planning you can serve up balanced, nutritious, delicious morning meals that will keep the whole family full until lunchtime.
For a healthy breakfast on the go, throw your favorite combination of yogurt, milk, ice and fruit in a blender and let it whir away until smooth. TIP: Using frozen fruit can eliminate the need for ice cubes. Your smoothies will be creamier and will blend together faster. Slice fresh bananas and keep them in a Ziploc bag in your freezer for easy smoothies anytime!
Here are a few of my favorite smoothies (each recipe makes one big smoothie):
Pumpkin Pie (perfect for fall!)
¼ cup canned cooked pumpkin
½ cup vanilla Greek yogurt (I use Greek yogurt because it’s much higher in protein)
1 teaspoon honey
½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
½ cup milk
½ cup ice cubes
½ cup vanilla Greek yogurt
1 cup frozen strawberries (whole or sliced)
¼ cup pomegranate juice
½ cup frozen orange juice concentrate
¼ cup vanilla Greek yogurt
½ cup milk
2 teaspoons sugar (or to taste)
½ cup ice cubes
Peanut Butter & Banana
¾ cup milk
1 cup frozen banana slices
2 tablespoons peanut butter
For a sweet spin, add a teaspoon of honey.
Chewy Granola Bars (from The Best of America’s Test Kitchen 2011)
Make a batch of these wholesome, yummy bars on the weekend for breakfast on the go all week long!
⅓ cup slivered almonds
⅓ cup chopped cashews (I’m allergic so I substitute with peanuts)
¼ cup unsalted pumpkin seeds
3 tablespoons butter
2 cups rolled oats
1½ cups Multigrain Cheerios (or Rice Krispies)
¼ teaspoon salt
⅓ cup water
1 cup sugar
¼ cup half-and-half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Line a 13 by 9-inch baking pan with foil, letting it come up and over the edges. Toast the nuts and seeds in skillet until fragrant and golden brown and then transfer them to a large bowl. Melt the butter in the skillet over medium-low. Stir in the oats and cook until they are golden (about 5 minutes). Add the roasted oats to the bowl with the nuts and seeds and stir in the cereal and the salt.
Stir together the water and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, without stirring, until the caramel has a faint golden color. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the caramel turns a dark amber color. Remove the pan from the heat, add the half-and-half, and whisk for 30 seconds before adding the vanilla.
Stir the caramel into the oat and nut mixture and pour everything into the prepared baking pan. Firmly press the mixture into an even layer and let it cool completely. Use the foil overhang to lift the granola from the dish and cut it into bars. Keep your chewy granola bars in an airtight container, between layers of parchment paper to prevent sticking.
The first time I made these for Phil, I called them Omelet Cupcakes (since he loves it when I make cupcakes!). These little egg muffins are easy to make and fun to eat. They can be fully customized to suit your tastes (and what’s in your fridge). Recipe serves 6 (two muffins each).
¼ cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup shredded cheese (suggested: cheddar or Jack)
Chopped vegetables (suggested: broccoli, bell peppers, tomatoes, or green onions)
Chopped cooked bacon or ham (omit for vegetarians)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and prep a 12-muffin tin with cooking spray. Fill the muffin tin with your desired combination of meat, veggies, and cheese; the cups should be about two-thirds full. Beat the eggs in a large bowl with the milk and salt. Distribute the egg mixture evenly among the muffin cups and bake them for about 20 minutes, until they are puffy and set.
UPDATE: This morning, I decided to try omelet muffins in my mini-muffin tin. As you can see, they turned out really well! The best part was they only need about half the cooking time (10-12 minutes). The assembly process is the same, but I would highly recommend beating your eggs in a glass measuring cup with a spout for easy pouring. I used 2 eggs to make the 8 mini-muffins pictured here (which is enough to feed 1 adult).
Green Eggs and Ham Sandwiches
These protein-packed sammies are flavorful, whimsical, and fun! Serves 4.
¼ cup milk
3 tablespoons pesto
4 whole-wheat English muffins (or sandwich thins), toasted
4 slices ham or turkey ham
4 slices cheese (provolone, smoked gouda, or cheddar work well)
Optional: If you want really green eggs, add a drop of green food coloring
Heat a skillet over medium heat. Whisk together the eggs, milk, and pesto and scramble. On each English muffin bottom, layer a slice of ham, a quarter of the eggs, and a slice of cheese. Replace the tops and serve.