Tag Archives: Healthy Breakfasts

A toast to toast: 3 of my favorite ways to eat toast

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“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”

“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?”

“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.

winnie & piglet

Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing,” he said.”

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Many of us get into a routine of eating the same things over and over again. At times this can be good – like when we are pinched for time and need a go-to no-fail meal. I know I certainly could do for some more routine in my eating regimen. But I, like Pooh, get quite excited by meals, especially breakfasts. So that means I like to switch things up every now and again.

Recently toast has been a quick, easy, and economical breakfast for me. And, not to mention tasty, nutritious, and hunger-satisfying.  The trick to make toast a fulfilling meal is by adding an ingredient that brings fat and protein to the table. Without fat and protein in the meal, toast is just carbs and sugar, which we know will not suffice for the ol’ body, mind, and spirit.

Here are 3 of my favorite ways to enjoy toast.

The-Laughing-Cow-Cheese-Spread1)  Toast + Laughing Cow Original Swiss Cheese (1 wedge) + whatever jelly/jam I’m digging at the moment (could be pepper jelly, apricot, ligonberry, the list goes on). I was introduced to this cheese from my dear friend Irene. I like the taste, the ease of the spread, and the portion controllable packages. The cheese adds protein and fat to the meal, which is great, and who doesn’t like cheese?
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2) Toast + Earth Balance Crunchy Coconut and Peanut Spread + fruit slices (apple/banana). I was given a taste test of this delightful spread when I was walking in the Linden Hills Co-op on a yoga teacher training Sunday afternoon. Since my first bite I have not found a happier, nutty spread. In addition to putting it on toast I like to eat it as a snack with fruit or veggies. This spread adds balance with its healthy fats and protein. If I feel like spoiling myself, I admit I do sometimes add a little Nutella or some dark chocolate chips to the mix. Obviously, this would not be the healthiest version, but it is definitely a good option if you are in the treating yourself kind of mood 🙂 

3) Toast + Salmon Spread + Egg (hard-boiled, sliced). I came up with this creation a few days ago. I had to pick up my husband from the airport last Tuesday, so I figured I’d make a pit stop at my favorite co-op, Mississippi Market. While there, I decided to try out their smoked salmon spread. We always keep hard-boiled eggs on hand for quick and easy snacks, so come the next morning, I decided to slice one up and put it on top of the salmon spread to see how it tasted. Turns out it’s my favorite new way to eat toast. YUM!

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Honorable mention: It would be unfair for me to go without mentioning avocado in this post. Toast1/2 of an avocado + seasonings (a little sea salt, thyme, pepper) – or an egg if I’m really hungry, is another way I like to enjoy toast.  Because I do normally like to add a fried egg (because I am normally hungry), I would not consider this as quick of a breakfast option, but it is quite delicious!

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What do you eat for breakfast? What’s your go-to meal? How do you like to eat toast?

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How to Keep Your Holiday Tradition and Skip the Food Coma

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Mandala Reflections is excited to introduce guest blogger, Elisabeth Meyer. This post will hopefully be the first of many, because Elisabeth is an amazing cook! But most important, she is real. Read on to hear how she finds balance amidst extravagant holiday eating.    

For many of us, the holidays are a time to celebrate with loved ones…and lots of indulgences come along with all of the celebrations!  If you’re trying to eat healthy or stick to a specific diet, this time of year can feel stressful.   I know it always has been for me:  I would obsess over all the unhealthy food I was eating.  Mind you, I still ate it – but I felt terribly guilty about doing so.

I have a new, more balanced philosophy this holiday season:  I am going to eat the foods that are special treats for me, eat healthy when I’m at home by myself, and stop worrying so much about all of it.  For me, this means I will eat the special foods that my family makes at this time of year (lasagna on Christmas Eve, my grandfather’s homemade kolache, my dad’s French toast the day after Christmas) and any special foods that are offered at other celebrations (homemade Christmas cookies, for example) without guilt or regret.  I’ll skip the treats that I don’t get too excited about but often eat anyway just because they’re available (candy canes at the office, store-bought cookies and cakes).  And when I’m home alone in between the merriment, I’ll make the healthy foods that I’m accustomed to eating the rest of the year.  I can’t tell you how much better it feels to eat the foods I love and allow myself to really enjoy them, and consciously pass on all the extra junk that I never enjoy that much anyway.

In between the indulging and the abstaining, one of the things that keeps me grounded and tied to my commitment to eating healthy, whole foods is having whole grains for breakfast almost every day.  Breakfast is an easy meal to commit to eating healthily during the holidays, because most of the partying happens later in the day, and hot cereal is such a great way to start off the morning in the wintertime.  I like to cook a large batch of grains at the beginning of the week, and keep them in the refrigerator to reheat in small portions all week long.  A couple of my favorite recipes are below:

Cinnamon-Berry Quinoa

(makes 4 servings)

1 cup milk

1 cup water

1 cup quinoa (tip:  if you rinse quinoa before you cook it, it will eliminate some of the bitterness that people often associate with quinoa, and make it taste much better!)

2 cups frozen berries (fresh berries are great too, but not seasonally available for most of us in December!)

½ teaspoon cinnamon

Chopped pecans and agave nectar or honey, to taste

Combine milk, water, and quinoa in a saucepan.

Bring to a boil, reduce to medium-low, and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed.

Turn off heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.

Stir in berries, cinnamon, and pecans.

Add agave or honey to taste just before serving.

Cranberry-Ginger Oatmeal

(makes 3 servings)

1 cup old-fashioned oats

2 cups water

¼ cup raisins

¼ cup dried cranberries

¼ cup sunflower seeds (shelled and unsalted)

2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

1 tablespoon maple syrup

Bring water to a boil.

Add oats, raisins, cranberries, ginger, and a pinch of salt.

Reduce heat to low.

Cook until water is absorbed and oats are creamy – about 7 minutes.

Add sunflower seeds and syrup.

Serve with milk if desired.

Elisabeth Meyer owns and directs an early childhood center in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota, where she teaches cooking classes for children and families that focus on natural, whole foods cooking.  She is also a holistic health graduate student at St. Catherine University, where she focuses her studies on child nutrition and a (lapsed) blogger at Cooking in Cathedral Hill, where she blogs about her favorite recipes and experiences in her own kitchen.