I enjoy a healthy and hearty breakfast every morning, but busy mornings leave me with little time for food prep. Overnight oats are one of my favorite go-to meals for hurried weekdays. They are almost effortless to assemble the night before and in the morning you have a delicious breakfast just waiting for you to open and enjoy. Preparing this recipe in a mason jar makes it a great portable breakfast option.
Pureed butternut squash is a fresh alternative to cooking with canned pumpkin, and it is extremely easy to make. After roasting the squash, simply puree in a food processor. If you have extra on hand it freezes well for future use, saving even more time when making these nutritious Fall Harvest Overnight Oats.
Ingredients: ½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats ½ cup pureed butternut squash ½ cup skim milk or non-dairy milk of choice ¼ cup non-fat Greek yogurt or non-dairy yogurt of choice 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts, toasted 1 tablespoon maple syrup ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
In a pint-sized mason jar, add all ingredients and gently stir to combine. Place the lid on the jar and refrigerate overnight. Enjoy as a cold cereal for breakfast in the morning.
I love the way the leaves fall off Brussels sprouts when you quarter them, resembling flower petals and creating a beautiful centerpiece for your plate. This cooking method caramelizes the vegetable, bringing out its natural sweetness. If your family members don’t love Brussels sprouts, this recipe may just change their mind.
This dish is so simple and mostly hands off, which is why I love roasting vegetables. You can step outside and grill your favorite lean protein while your Brussels sprouts roast. Pair this side dish with grilled salmon, a simple salad, fresh whole grain bread and your favorite white wine for an elegant and easy stay-at-home, date-night meal.
Ingredients: 2 pounds Brussels sprouts 1½ tablespoons olive oil 4 cloves garlic, minced ½ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon pepper ⅓ cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Trim the ends off the Brussels sprouts and cut into quarters, keeping the leaves (or as I like to call them, petals) that fall off.
Place Brussels sprouts on a large baking pan and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle minced garlic, salt and pepper on top and toss with a spatula to evenly coat.
Roast for 30 minutes, tossing halfway through the cooking cycle. Brussels sprouts will be tender with dark brown outer leaves. Sprinkle with hazelnuts, toss and serve.
Picky eaters will not even know they are eating a vegetable when they bite into this velvety cheese spread with a delicate taste of pumpkin pie. While pumpkin is all the craze, let us not forget about other varieties of winter squash that offer the same delicious taste of the season. If you are unable to find delicata squash, use any variety of locally grown squash. Delicata squash has a silky smooth texture when roasted and a slightly sweet and nutty flavor. If you want to enhance the nutty flavor and add a little more protein to your plate, top your toast with walnuts or pecans.
Ingredients: 1 medium delicata squash, cut in half and seeds removed 1 tablespoon butter 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, plus more for serving 8 ounces Neufchatel cheese, or reduced fat cream cheese, softened Whole wheat toast
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place squash slices, skin side down on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.
Cut butter into six cubes and place three in each squash cavity. Drizzle each squash half with a tablespoon of maple syrup. Roast until tender when pierced with a fork, about 40 to 45 minutes.
Remove squash from oven and set aside until cool enough to touch. With a large spoon, remove the golden squash from the skin and place in a food processor. Add pumpkin pie spice and cream cheese. Process until smooth.
Spread on whole wheat toast, top with a dash or two of pumpkin pie seasoning and serve.
Vegetables are one of my favorite things to eat for breakfast, but I had never thought about combining spaghetti squash with eggs until I had a similar dish for brunch at Posana in Asheville, NC. Their garden vegetable hash was superb and I enjoyed it on their dog-friendly patio where they even have a menu for fur babies. Back at home in my kitchen with my four-legged-boy, Rocco, beside me, I crafted my version with a light and creamy Dijon sauce in place of their leek vinaigrette.
This recipe is also a great one to make when serving breakfast for dinner. Looking for a grab-and-go breakfast option? Serve the hash in small containers and add boiled egg slices on top in place of the poached or fried eggs. Hope you enjoy this unique take on spaghetti squash and comment below to let me know about your favorite breakfast veggies.
Ingredients: 1 medium spaghetti squash 16 ounces small potatoes, diced 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided 1 leek 1 bunch or 6 ounce bag of spinach salt and pepper ½ cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt 2 teaspoons whole grain Dijon mustard 2 cloves minced garlic 4 eggs, poached or fried
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Trim the ends of the squash and slice in half. Remove the seeds and discard. Place squash cut side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in the center of the oven until tender and squash flakes with a fork into noodles, about 40 to 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, place potatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with ½ tablespoon olive oil. Roast until tender, for 25 to 30 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Remove vegetables from the oven and cover potatoes with aluminum foil to keep warm. Let spaghetti squash sit until cool enough to touch.
Meanwhile, remove the dark green stalk from the leek, keeping the light green and white section. Wash the leek well to remove dirt in between the layers and thinly slice. Heat remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add leek to the skillet and sauté until tender and fragrant, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add spinach and sauté until wilted, for a couple more minutes. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and set aside on low heat to keep warm.
In a small bowl, add yogurt, mustard and garlic and stir to combine, creating creamy garlic sauce.
Use a fork to remove the strands of spaghetti squash by lightly raking across the inside surface. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add ¼ of squash, spinach and potatoes to each plate and serve with an egg on top and a dollop of creamy garlic sauce.
Oh, how American’s love French fries, myself included included. The crispy, greasy, fried potato is the perfect burger companion. For a healthy alternative that is just as satisfying, I’ve created an oven-baked version with sweet potato and kohlrabi and a creamy garlic sauce for dipping. The sweetness of the potato is a perfect balance for kohlrabi, which has a slight bitter taste. Enjoy as an appetizer or pair with a hamburger or your favorite sandwich for healthy pub grub at home.
Ingredients: 1 large sweet potato 1 large kohlrabi bulb 1½ tablespoons olive oil 1 teaspoon smoked paprika ½ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon pepper ½ cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt 2 teaspoons whole grain Dijon mustard 2 cloves minced garlic
Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Peel sweet potato and kohlrabi and cut into fry shaped strips.
Place sweet potato and kohlrabi strips in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with paprika, salt and pepper and toss to evenly coat.
Arrange vegetables in a single layer on a large baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and flip with a spatula. Continue baking for 15 to 25 minutes, until golden brown.
Meanwhile, add yogurt, mustard and garlic in a small bowl and stir to combine, creating a creamy garlic sauce for serving.
Served over hoecakes, made from fresh ground cornmeal, this is a southern vegetarian version of Dr. Suess’ breakfast. Sautéed kale and a light avocado sauce give this traditional egg dish two shades of green and a healthy makeover. Create a make-your-own Eggs Benedict station for brunch guests by adding ham or smoked salmon as additional options. Pair with a fresh glass of orange juice, mimosa or Bloody Mary to finish out the meal.
Hoecake Ingredients: ¾ cup cornmeal ¼ cup whole wheat flour 1 teaspoon baking powder ½ teaspoon salt 1 egg 1 cup buttermilk canola oil, for greasing the griddle
Green Eggs Benedict Ingredients: 1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled Juice of 1 small lemon 4 teaspoons canola oil, divided ¾ cup water a couple pinches of salt and pepper 1 bunch kale, stems removed and leaves chopped, or 5 ounces baby kale 8 eggs, fried or poached
Prepare a griddle over medium heat. In a large bowl, make the hoecake batter by stirring together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt. Add the egg and buttermilk and whisk to combine.
Lightly brush griddle with canola oil. Ladle the batter onto the griddle, working in batches to create 8 hoecakes. Cook until bubbles start to form on the top and the bottom is golden brown. Flip and cook until the other side is golden brown and the center is cooked through. Place cooked hoecakes on a serving platter and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. Repeat with the rest of the batter, adding remaining oil to the griddle as needed.
Place avocado in a blender or food processor. Add lemon juice, 2 teaspoons canola oil, water and a pinch of salt and pepper. Puree until smooth, adding more water as needed to reach desired consistency.
Heat remaining oil in a medium skillet and add kale leaves. Sauté until wilted, for about 3 to 4 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Top each hoecake with sautéed kale and an egg. Drizzle with avocado sauce and serve.
Hearty quinoa with its nutty flavor compliments sweet berries and crunchy almonds in this breakfast bowl that will keep you satisfied all morning. Substitute the strawberries and blackberries for any seasonal berry in your region of the world. Quinoa is a complete protein, offering all of the essential amino acids, making it a great choice for vegetarians. It’s also an excellent whole grain option for those with celiac or gluten sensitivities since it’s naturally gluten-free.
I love to make a big batch of Berry Breakfast Quinoa on the weekend for a fast breakfast to just reheat on busy weekday mornings. A nutritious and delicious breakfast doesn’t have to be time-consuming.
Ingredients: 1 cup quinoa 2 cups water, plus more for rinsing ⅓ cup dried cranberries 6 ounces strawberries 6 ounces blueberries ⅓ cup sliced blackberries 2 tablespoons sorghum or honey
Using a fine-mesh sieve, rinse quinoa with water.
Combine quinoa, water and cranberries in a rice cooker and cook for 30 to 40 minutes.
Add berries, almonds and sorghum. Stir to combine and serve warm or chill and enjoy cold.
If you know a local mushroom farmer or grow your own mushrooms, you are so lucky and I am a little jealous. I created this recipe when I had access to weekly fresh mushrooms at a Farmers’ Market when we lived in Wisconsin. Most Saturdays I would make this recipe as soon as I got home from the market and serve it with a fried egg for breakfast or side salad for lunch. I couldn’t wait to eat these mushrooms and this simple and quick dish made it possible to get them on my plate in about 15 minutes. The recipe quantities below make this a great appetizer for a small group, but just trim the amount back if you want to enjoy this as a meal for one or two.
Ingredients: 14 inch baguette 8 ounces shiitake or white button mushrooms 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons water 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon black pepper 4 ounces goat cheese
Turn oven broil setting to low heat. Slice bread into about 16 pieces and place on a baking sheet. Set aside while preparing mushrooms.
Remove stems from the mushrooms and gently wash the tops before thinly slicing. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and sauté for about four minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of water and continue cooking for another 4 to 6 minutes, until tender and golden brown. Add thyme, salt and pepper to the mushrooms and stir to evenly coat.
Broil baguette slides on each side for 1 to 2 minutes. Top with equal amounts of mushrooms and goat cheese and continue broiling for another 2 minutes until cheese is warm. Serve immediately.
We all have those busy nights when the fridge is sparse and we don’t have time to pick up fresh ingredients for dinner. My Pantry Pasta dish is the perfect meal to make during those moments. It takes less than 15 minutes to prepare, giving you more time to relax at the end of the day.
For a fresh version of this recipe during summer months, replace the canned tomatoes with vine-ripened tomatoes fresh from the farm or your backyard. Cheers to making meals that are both healthy and convenient.
Ingredients: 1 tablespoon olive oil 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 (15.5 ounce) can Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced and no-salt-added tomatoes ¼ cup red or white wine ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper ½ pound whole wheat spaghetti noodles
Optional Ingredients for Serving: Fresh basil, cut into ribbons Parmesan cheese, grated
Cook pasta according to package directions.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about one minute. Add beans, tomatoes with juices, wine, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer for about five minutes.
Serve over spaghetti noodles. Top with basil and Parmesan cheese if desired.
When I make my Sweet and Spicy Veggie Quesadilla, I don’t always make six servings, which means I have extra black beans and sautéed mushrooms on hand. That’s where the inspiration came from for this Mushroom and Black Bean Omelet. Treasure those leftovers and use a little creativity to transform them into a new delicious meal.
Breakfast is one of my favorite meals and I think weekday meals should be just as delicious as slowly savored weekend brunches. This recipe is fast and easy to make any day of the week. Create your own version by substituting the mushrooms and beans for last nights’ leftover vegetables, such as steamed broccoli and roasted potatoes.
Ingredients: 2 eggs ⅛ teaspoon salt ⅛ teaspoon black pepper ¼ teaspoon chipotle Chile powder ½ teaspoon butter ¼ cup black beans ¼ cup mushrooms, sautéed ¼ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded light sour cream and salsa for serving
Crack eggs in a small bowl. Season with salt, pepper and chipotle Chile powder and blend with a fork.
Melt butter in a small non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Pour eggs into skillet and lightly stir with a spatula, until the eggs start to come together. Use the spatula to start to loosen the edges of the omelet by gently peeling it away from the pan.
When the eggs are almost set, add black beans, mushrooms and mozzarella cheese to one side. Fold omelet in half to cover ingredients. Cook for about a minute longer. Flip omelet and cook an additional minute, until outside is lightly browned and cheese has melted. Top with light sour cream and salsa before serving.