Wednesday, September 14, 2011

5 Great School Morning Breakfasts

Marvelous Meals around our house are not limited to family dinners.  While I try to lounge in bed with a pillow over my head as long as I possibly can in the morning, DH is up and at it fixing breakfast for the kids.  We are both true believers -- bolstered by lots of research -- in the need for our kids to have a good breakfast in order to do their best at school .  A healthy dose of  protein is paramount.  We try to serve whole grains and minimize the sugar where possible.  Add a glass of low-fat milk and some fresh fruit to each of these for a breakfast you can feel good about.

Except for the Sausage Pinwheels  and the Mini-Frittatas which are do-aheads that make larger quantities, the ingredients listed are for two servings.

Sausage Pinwheels

While not nutritionally perfect, Sausage Pinwheels are a great do-ahead option that includes good protein.  You can find the recipe for this all-time kid and grown-up favorite here.


Toad in a Hole

Ingredients: 1 tablespoon of butter, 2 slices whole grain bread, 2 eggs, pinch of salt and pepper.
Directions:  Melt the butter in a large non-stick skillet or griddle over medium heat.  Cut out a 1 1/2 to 2-inch hole in the center of each bread slice using a glass or biscuit cutter.  Swirl the butter in the pan and drop in the bread slices and the bread rounds (cut from the holes).  Crack the eggs and drop them into the holes.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook on medium high heat on one side until the egg is just set and the toast is lightly browned on the bottom, about 2-3 minutes.  Carefully flip the bread and the bread round over and cook for 1-2 minutes on the other side for over-easy.  Cooking times will vary depending on how thoroughly you like your fried egg cooked. 


French Toast

Ingredients: 2 eggs, 1/4 cup milk, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, stale bread (4 slices of cinnamon raisin bread,  6-8 slices wheat baguette or equivalent), 1 pat of butter.  Maple syrup, powdered sugar or strawberries and whip cream for toppings.
Directions: Vigorously whisk together the eggs, milk and vanilla.  Drop the bread into the egg and milk mixture, soaking for 10-20 seconds on each side depending on how dry the bread is.  Both sides of the bread should be thoroughly coated with the custard.  Melt the butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Swirl the butter in the pan and  drop in the bread slices.  Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side until lightly browned and slightly firm.  Serve with the syrup, powdered sugar or strawberries and whipped cream.



Ham (or Canadian Bacon) and Cheese on an English Muffin

Ingredients: 2 sliced english muffins (look for Bay's new whole grain english muffins), 2 slices of ham or canadian bacon, 2 slices cheese, mustard and sliced tomato (optional).
Directions:  Lightly toast the english muffins. Layer the ham or canadian bacon on one side and the cheese on the other.  Return to the toaster and lightly toast until the cheese is melted.  Put the two halves back together to make a sandwich.  Our grown-up version includes a little mustard and a slice of tomato when in season.


Scrambled Egg and Ketchup Sandwich

Ingredients:  4 slices wheat bread, 1 pat of butter, 3 large eggs, 1 tablespoon of milk, pinch of salt and pepper, 3-4 tablespoons ketchup, 2 slices of cheese (optional)
Directions:  Drop the bread slices into the toaster.  Melt the butter over medium heat in a small non-stick skillet.  Break the eggs into a small bowl, add the milk and lightly beat with the salt and pepper.  Scramble to desired consistency.   If you need to hone your scrambling technique, check out this step-by-step tutorial.  Smear ketchup on one side of each of the slices of bread.  Put half of the eggs and 1 slice of cheese on two slices.  Top with the other two slices and cut in half.


Mini-Frittatas 

Mini-Frittatas  are  a great do-ahead to throw in the microwave for an easy breakfast that  make both parents and kids happy. We have made many variation on this Cooking Light recipe for Ham-and-Cheese Mini-Frittatas.  For the kids, we use whole eggs (as opposed to whites).  Use whatever kind of cheese your kids like and whatever vegetables you think you can get away with -- minced broccoli or spinach, shredded zucchini, sauteed mushrooms are all great add-ins. Toss in chopped ham, canadian bacon or cooked bacon. The possibilities are endless!

We consider these to be relatively quick breakfasts, but clearly, our idea of "relatively quick" may be quite different from yours.  And some of our kids' favorites include fewer complex carbs or more sugar than we would like. But even if our kids would get up more easily and eat breakfast more quickly (and be more organized with their school work and know where the heck their shoes are, etc.) so that we had all the time in the world to make breakfast, we would still need to make something that they will actually eat. Ultimately, making school morning breakfast is like any other part of parenting -- a balancing act.



This post is linked up over at These Chicks Cooked.



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