Creating healthy breakfast traditions


Though it may taste great and smell glorious, mos health-conscious cooks avoid the good old-fashioned American breakfast. It's easy to see why. The total fat count from fried eggs, toast with butter, hash browns, bacon, and coffee with cream can bring a person close to the recommended limits for an entire day.

The test-kitchen staff of Eating Well magazine likes a hearty breakfast as much as anyone and relished the task of developing low-fat, quick recipes for a lightened breakfast. The result was nine new low-fat recipes that can all be prepared in less than 45 minutes.


Curried vegetables with eggs

Serves four

An occasional whole egg at breakfast is no problem if your fat and cholesterol consumption is within recommended limits. (Even the American Heart Association allows four whole eggs per week.) For brunch entertaining, this recipe can be multiplied easily.

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 tablespoon curry powder

10 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and sliced (3 cups sliced)

1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 yellow summer squash or zucchini, trimmed and diced

1 14.5-ounce can whole tomatoes, with juice

1/8 teaspoon red-pepper flakes (optional)

1 tablespoon tomato paste

salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

4 small or medium eggs

4 slices French or Italian bread, toasted

Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a large non-stick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and saute until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in curry powder and cook, stirring, for one minute. Add mushrooms, green peppers and squash or zucchini; saute until the mushrooms are limp and exude liquid. Add tomatoes and mash with a wooden spoon. Stir in red-pepper flakes and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and season with salt and pepper. (The recipe can be prepared ahead to this point and stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to two days. Reheat before continuing.)

Spread the vegetable mixture evenly over the bottom of a shallow 3-quart baking dish. Make four wells in the vegetable mixture and break an egg into each one. Season eggs with salt and pepper. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the eggs are set. With a large spoon, gently transfer eggs to plates and surround with the vegetable mixture. Serve with toasted bread.

Per serving: 251 calories, 13 grams of protein, 8 grams of fat, 33 grams of carbohydrate, 420 milligrams sodium, 213 milligrams cholesterol.


Cantaloupe smoothie

Serves one

If on a hurried morning you eat nothing but this smoothie, you will still be doing your body a favor. The drink packs a powerful punch of potassium, calcium, vitamin C and beta carotene.

LTC 1 ripe banana

1/4 ripe cantaloupe

1/2 cup non-fat or low-fat yogurt

2 tablespoons skim-milk powder

1 1/2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate

2 teaspoons honey

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Place unpeeled banana in the freezer overnight or for up to 3 months. Remove banana from the freezer and let it sit for 2 minutes, or until the skin begins to soften. With a paring knife, remove the skin. Cut the banana into chunks and put in a blender or food processor. Seed the cantaloupe quarter and cut the flesh from the rind. Cut the flesh into chunks and add to the blender. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Serves 1.

Per serving: 427 calories, 21 grams protein, 1 gram fat, 86 grams carbohydrate, 290 milligrams sodium, 8 milligrams cholesterol.

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