Broth for Breakfast

When it comes to breakfast Americans love their bacon and eggs, and most of all we love our sugar.  But, there are better choices for breakfast than pop tarts or cereal that’s so sweet you can smell the sugar (yes, you actually can).  As a matter of fact most of the rest of the world, if they get breakfast, start the day with soup which seems to be catching on here in the U.S.  One of the hot new trends is switching from a big, overpriced cup of gourmet coffee to a big, overpriced mug of bone broth.   I guess it’s a move toward better nutrition, but it’s still overpriced, and it’s made from bones, so I’m opting for a plant based version instead.  To each his own.  For me, there’s something comforting about a big mug of warm soup, and once you get over the idea that soup for breakfast is just too weird, you discover a whole panorama of tasty possibilities.  Here are some ideas I’ve  come up with that are broadening breakfast horizons at my house.  Give it a try.

 Spicy Breakfast Broth 2 Ways

Ingredients

  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • ¾ cup V8 Juice (spicy or original, your choice)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped scallion including some green tops
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 ounces plain avocado or guacamole
  • ¾ teaspoon Siracha (optional)

Directions

In a saucepan, heat the scallions in a small amount of vegetable stock.

Broth for Breakfast - Scallions 4

 

 

 

 

 

Add V8 juice, oregano, cumin and salt and pepper.  Season with a few drops of siracha.

  1. Serve with avocado toast on whole wheat bread.
  2. Whisk avocado or guacamole into the broth and serve a hard-boiled egg on the side.

Spicy Vegetable Broth - Breakfast 2                                                  Spicy Vegetable Broth - Breakfast 4

 

This recipe makes 2 generous 1-cup servings.  Store in a glass container in the refrigerator.  Pop in the microwave to warm or serve it chilled.

Broth with Bean Sprouts and Vegetables

Scallions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • ½ cup mixed vegetables, fresh or frozen
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped scallions
  • ¼ cup bean sprouts
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 fresh mushrooms thinly sliced, or 1 tablespoon mushroom powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 Directions

  1. In a saucepan, heat the scallions, garlic and ginger in 2 tablespoons of broth until softened.
  2. Add the rest of the broth, vegetables and mushrooms or mushroom powder. Salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Add the bean sprouts and heat through before serving.
  4. For extra protein float a boiled egg or serve on the side with toast sticks.

Thai Style Coconut Soup

Of course, if you prefer your breakfast creamy and a little sweeter, here’s a slightly more exotic way to start your day.

Thai Style Coconut Soup

Ingredients

  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 smallish red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small carrot, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I used almond oil but olive oil works also)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 3/4 cup diced tomatoes (fresh is best but canned will work)
  • 1 cup coconut milk, unsweetened or vanilla
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (I used almond)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • salt to taste
  • ¼ cup fresh chopped mint, basil or cilantro leaves for garnish

Directions

Sautee the onion, peppers and garlic in olive oil in a large pot until onions are soft, about 3-5 minutes.

Coconut Soup 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add the remaining ingredients, except for the basil and bring to a simmer. Allow to cook over low heat for one hour.

Coconut Soup 2

 

Coconut Soup 3Transfer half of the soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Return to the pot. Add basil or cilantro and enjoy your coconut soup!

*You can add ¾ cup chickpeas to increase the protein content, but it’s optional and I usually leave them out.

Great Pumpkin Remainders

Just in case no one has noticed, Thursday is Thanksgiving.  You know, the day before Black Friday that actually starts on Thursday which is Thanksgiving.  It’s traditional to post something about turkey, potatoes, gravy or exotic side dishes, maybe even pumpkin pie.

I’m feeling seasonally challenged so I decided to explore some of the other ways to use up that leftover pumpkin puree, starting with breakfast (or as they say in my house, brunch).  There is a deep philosophical divide among family members about how thick or thin pancakes should be.  Some want them fat and fluffy.  I’m more of a crepe, Swedish pancake type.  But, since I’m cooking, I chose the middle path.

Pumpkin Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

In a medium size bowl or large measuring bowl, beat the egg until fluffy.  Add the pumpkin puree, sugar, milk, sugar, and coconut oil.

Once that is combined, add the flour, baking powder, salt and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.  Mix well to make sure the dry ingredients are incorporated, but leave it a little lumpy.  If you think it’s too thick add a couple of tablespoons of milk.

Pumpkin Pancakes 003

Heat your skillet over a medium heat (about 375 degrees).  Grease with coconut oil, or butter if you prefer.    Pour about 1/4 cup of batter in the center of the pan and swirl the pan to spread the batter.

Pumpkin Pancakes 006Cook until the top is bubbly and the edges are nicely brown.  Turn and cook the other side until golden brown.

Pumpkin Pancakes 010

 

 

 

 

Fold on the plate, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with warm maple butter syrup.

Pumpkin Pancakes 013

 

 

 

 

 

Up next is something different that could accompany breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Savory Pumpkin Popovers

Pumpkin Popovers 011

Now, I know Martha Stewart says if you don’t have a popover pan, just cut little bands of parchment paper and make these cute little cup extenders for your muffin pan.  Sounds great but I don’t have an army of interns sitting around measuring, cutting and stapling, so my recommendation is just spring for the $16 popover pan at Bed, Bath and Beyond, or do what I did and use the muffin tin.  The popovers won’t be as tall or impressive, but they will turn out just fine.  Please note there is no added sugar, so these are perfect to serve with lunch or dinner, or as a breakfast bread.

Ingredients

Pumpkin Popovers 004

 

 

 

 

 

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat your oven to 375 degrees.  Generously grease the popover pan or muffin tin.  Put in the oven to heat.

Whisk together the eggs, milk, and pumpkin puree in a large bowl.  Stir in the melted coconut oil.

Pumpkin Popovers 006

Add the flour, salt and pumpkin pie spice. Combine, but don’t over beat or the popovers won’t puff up.

Pumpkin Popovers 007

Remove your muffin tin or popover pan from the oven and fill the cups 1/2 to 2/3 full.   Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes.  DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN until ready to remove.

 

 

Serve with butter, honey, maple syrup or peanut butter.

Pumpkin Popovers 009

Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!    Ε

 

Breakfast Five Ways

If you’re one of those people that can’t stand the thought of food “pre-coffee,” you probably don’t spend any time thinking about breakfast which is too bad because it’s yummy and the most important meal you’ll eat all day.  No excuses, for your own good, suck up that first cup and prepare to force down that first bite of breakfast.  I guarantee by the third day, you’ll hit the floor hungry and be a lot more wide awake by the time you get to work.  Now, I have years of experience scrambling to get to work on time which made breakfast in the drive-thru really tempting.  But instead of indulging in a paper wrapped fat bomb, I managed to come up with some breakfast recipes that are fast, easy and offer maximum nutrition. No one wants to just eat the same thing every day (well, some people might, but I think that’s just downright boring), so here are five different breakfasts that I use to make those hectic mornings (heart) healthy and delicious.  You can have breakfast ready in less than 15 minutes and be out the door and on your way. 

Salsa Eggs on Toast (1 serving)

Salsa and Eggs

Scrambled Eggs with Salsa

I like to start my week with eggs, and Salsa Eggs on Toast is a tasty, convenient, high protein way to start the day.

  • 1 egg scrambled (or 1/4 cup egg beaters)
  • 1 slice of whole wheat toast
  • 1 tablespoon of your favorite salsa (I like black bean and corn)

Heap the scrambled eggs on the toast and top with spicy salsa.   For more servings just increase the amounts in proportion.

Blueberry Quinoa Parfait (1 serving)

Blueberry Parfait

Blueberry Quinoa Parfait

This is almost like dessert for breakfast.  Husbands, kids and other household entities will love it too.

  • 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cups vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 cups blueberries
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts or pecans, chopped

You can save yourself some time by cooking the quinoa the night before and putting it in the refrigerator.  I use quinoa frequently, so I usually have some on hand.

In a parfait dish or tall glass, layer the quinoa, yogurt and nuts.  You could also use cereal in the place of nuts. Again, adjust the proportions for more or fewer servings.

Avocado Toast with Fruit and Cottage Cheese (1 serving)

Toast with Avocado and Cottage Cheese with Fruit

Avocado Toast with Fruit and Cottage Cheese

If you’re not a big fan of plain avocado, try using guacamole.

  • 1 slices whole wheat toast
  • 1/2 ripe avocado, peeled and mashed
  • 1/2 cup fruit (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese (or plain Greek yogurt)

Peel and mash the avocado and spread on the whole wheat toast.  Sprinkle with lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste (try a few dried red pepper flakes)

Serve open face on a plate with a scoop of cottage cheese and fruit.

Egg, Cheese and Spinach Wrap (1 serving)

Spinach Egg Wrap

  • ¼ cup frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 egg plus or 1/4 cup egg substitute
  • 1 ounce shredded pepper jack cheese
  • ½ avocado, sliced or mashed (or use store-bought guacamole)
  • 1 whole wheat tortilla wrap
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Spray a skillet with cooking oil, sauté the spinach until wilted.

Combine the egg and egg white and beat with a fork or whisk.  Add to the spinach and scramble gently.

Egg and Spinach Scramble

Egg and Spinach Saute

Spread the mashed avocado on the tortilla and place the egg and spinach mixture in the center.  Sprinkle shredded cheese on top.

Tortilla with Spinach and Egg

Spinach Egg Cheese on a Tortilla

Fold burrito-style.  Cut in two pieces.  You could even wrap it in some aluminum foil for a take-along breakfast.

 Toasted Walnut and Apple Breakfast (1 serving)

Just the right amount of juicy and crunchy in a high protein bowl of goodness. 

 

Apple Cottage Cheese

What you’ll need

 

  • 4 ounces cottage cheese
  • 1 apple chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
  • 1 slice whole wheat bread toasted

Place cottage cheese in blender or food processor, process until smooth.  Stir in fruit and walnuts and spread mixture on toasted bread or eat it with a spoon, it’s yummy either way.

Cottage Cheese Apple and Walnuts

Apple Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowl

Please feel free to share your own variations and comments are always welcome.