Thursday, December 5, 2013

Breakfast Sandwich

Quick, easy, healthy. What could be better?

1 egg + 1 egg white
1 oz diced meat (ham, smoked turkey, spicy sausage)
1/2 oz shredded cheese
2 slices bread

 In a microwavable container that is approximately the size and shape of the bread you are using, whisk the egg.
 Add meat and cheese. Because these are both salty, don't add any salt, but do consider other spices like pepper or curry. You can also add up to 1/2 cup leftover cooked vegetables. Raw diced bell peppers are also nice if you like some crunch.
 Microwave on high heat for 1 minute. Check if done - bottom center solidifies last so a clear container is nice so you can see. Cook up to 1 minute more. If you are adding frozen ingredients or vegetables, it may take 2 mintues total. Let sit for 1 more minute to finish cooking.
Invert your egg patty onto your bread (plain or toasted) and enjoy.

Cost: Fall 2013    $0.60

 Nutrition: 330 calories, 30 carbs, 26g protein, 650 mg sodium, 18% DV calcium, 14% DV Iron. (Compared to a commercial egg muffin, this has similar calories, but equivalent of 1 ounce more protein, 120mg less sodium and 3 g more fiber.)

Convenience Tip: I bought some portion cups at a restaurant supply store. I pre-portion the meat and cheese and freeze them for later. These can be washed and re-used several times.

Nutrition Tip: 2 egg whites in place of 1 whole egg saves 32 calories from fat with 2g more of protein.

 Nutrition Tip: Another way to increase flavor while decreasing fat is to add your own sausage seasonings to lean ground chicken, turkey or pork. As a compromise, cook your favorite spicy sausage with an equal amount of lean meat to cut fat in half.

Crustless Quiche

One of my first nutrition blog post was the recipe for an appetizer called "Spinach Squares" which I now make all the time as a crustless quiche with endless variations.

 Non-stick vegetable spray
3 eggs or 6 egg whites or 3/4 c egg substitute
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup non-fat milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 packages (10 oz each) frozen spinach, thawed & drained*
1/3 cup minced onion.
 * can substitute 4 cups of any cooked, diced or minced vegetables for the spinach & onion

Heat oven to 350. Spray 9x13 inch baking dish with non-stick spray. In a large bowl, beat eggs. Mix in flour, milk, salt & baking powder. Add cheese, spinach and onion. Spoon into baking dish and bake 35 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Cut into 12 squares

 Nutrition information: 144 calories, 10g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 10g protein, 8g Fat, 480 mg sodium, 90% DV of vitamin A and 24% DV Calcium. (lower fat and calories with egg whites or subs)

 Cost: Fall 2013 pricing     $6.29/recipe, $0.52 per serving

Lower Sodium:  Reduce or omit the salt.  Reduce the amount of cheese.  Buy lower sodium cheese.  Then increase the flavor by adding fresh herbs with the vegetables or try spices like curry powder.

Flavor:  Change the cheese:  by using strongly flavored cheeses you can use less, saving both sodium and calories.  Add herbs:  parsley, tarragon, thyme, sage are all great in this.  Vary the veg: onions, mushrooms, cooked greens, chopped broccoli, last night's leftovers.  Add some meat:  1/4-1/2 cup diced finely just to add flavor.  In addition to traditional "breakfast" meats, consider smoked salmon.