It’s day three of vegetables for breakfast and, rather than offer a specific recipe of my own, I instead present my quick hit list of ways to get those vegetables in the early a.m. I drew inspiration from the list this very morning and made a quick scramble eggs with scallions and diced roasted tomatoes mixed in (see the link to the roasted tomato recipe from Gourmet at the end of this post—amazingly good, and it starts with a can of tomatoes). I think I may stay on this vegetable kick longer than I expected to…
Camilla's Quick Ideas for Breakfast Vegetables
Add assorted vegetables to egg scrambles and omelets
Whether scrambled or an omelet, eggs are a great vehicle for getting some morning vegetables—deliciously. Remember the frozen pepper and onion mix and frozen spinach I mentioned in my list of frozen favorites? Both make excellent and easy additions in a snap (remove a small amount from the bag, microwave for a minute, then blot or squeeze out any excess water). Also consider using leftover vegetables from dinner or sauté any favorite vegetable of your choice for the omelet filling or scramble.
Grate some vegetables into muffin or pancake batter
Add grated carrot or zucchini to pancake and muffin batter; really easy and tasty.
Down some vegetable juice
I know, not a recipe suggestion at all; but a reminder that there are some really good vegetable juices available on the market. You can also do half and half mixes of orange and carrot juice, for example, in a blender smoothie.
Make a morning sandwich
Who says you have to be traditional at breakfast-time? A sandwich of lean meat, cheese and vegetables (tomatoes, spinach, or leftover roasted vegetables from dinner the night before) on whole grain toast (or an English muffin or multi-grain bagel) is a great breakfast on the run. You can also do a half sandwich topped with a sprinkle of cheese and slide it under the broiler for a minute until hot and melty—so good!
Make a breakfast burrito or quesadilla
Cheese, vegetables and eggs (or tofy) in a warm whole wheat tortilla? It’s great when you are craving something savory at breakfast-time. Or make a vegetable and cheese quesadilla, using a scant amount of canola oil in a nonstick frying pan.
Make a quick white or sweet potato hash (and add a few more vegetables)
Grate the potatoes—they’ll cook much faster that way. One of my tricks is to microwave the grated potatoes (an initial par-cook); then I blot dry an pan fry in a teaspoon or two of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. It produces crispy potato hash in no time. And it’s easy to add a few peppers, onions, or other vegetables to the mix.
Eat pumpkin, pumpkin and more pumpkin
I mentioned yesterday that pumpkin is considered to be a superfood: it has so many nutritional attributes, plus it’s cheap (typically less than a dollar per can), convenient, and easy to incorporate into a wide variety of recipes. One of my favorite ways to eat it is to combine it with yogurt (along with some honey and spices). It also makes great breads, muffins, pancakes, and more for simple, delicious, healthy and nutritious breakfasts—what’s not to love about that? For recipe inspiration, search pumpkin on the following websites:
http://www.verybestbaking.com/ (home of Libby’s brand pumpkin recipes)
I do have four recipe suggestions, too. They are not mine, but instead are ones I’ve tried and enjoyed (tremendously).
Fluffy Baked Eggs with Roasted-Vegetable Hash (from Gourmet, March 2006)
Yum, yum, yum. You don’t need to make this for a crowd—I’ve made it for me and my husband and it kept well for a few days in the refrigerator.
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/232420 (from Self Magazine)
Really simple and really good—I use this recipe as a template, varying the cheese and vegetables according to what I have on hand.
Slow Roasted Tomatoes (from Gourmet January 2008)
This recipe is part of this month’s Southern food cover article in Gourmet. They are incredible and begin with a can (yes, a can) of whole plum tomatoes—cheap and easy! I made them ahead and had them for several days (simply stored in the refrigerator and reheated in the microwave). The roasting makes them jammy and sweet, great with morning eggs (or in them) and toast (they are also great at dinner, too, as an easy side).
The second time I made them I cooked them at a slightly lower temperature (300 instead of 350) for about 15 minutes less than the recipe directed; I found it left them a bit juicier that way; but they are divine either way.
Vegetarian Breakfast Burrito
This was featured on Oprah’s show a while back—a friend forwarded the recipe. Like the frittata recipe above, I use this as a template recipe and vary the seasonings and vegetables to my taste (also, I am not a fan of fat-free cheese or fat-free sour cream—I prefer a small amount of the real thing).