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Friday, July 6, 2012

Start the Day with Veggies!



Have you looked at a calorie chart for the typical coffee shop muffin or bagel and toppings?

It doesn't take long for just one of these to top 500, even 600 calories.  Add the calories in that mocha or whatever other special drink you ordered with it, and your "light" breakfast has eaten up a huge part of the day's calories, without much real nutritional benefit.

(And if you really want to go "whole hog," eat a classic Cinnabon roll, just one, and you've consumed 730 calories.)

If you'd like to make a weekend breakfast (or brunch) that will give you a much healthier start, no more calories, lower cost, and not a lot of prep time, here's a suggested alternative...veggies for breakfast!

Okay, I know that vegetables may still be the "good" food group hardest to get enough of. Now that there are lots of bright vegetables at the farmers' market and in the grocery store, it's time to try some new flavors and combinations.

Today's recipe (with toppings shown in the photo) will add up to well less than 400 calories, high in protein, and even gluten-free if that is important to you. With carrots and onions mixed in with the colorful chard, this might be something even the most resistant greens eaters will try. You can reduce calories further if you use yogurt as a topping instead of the tablespoon of 2% cheese shown here--or just skip entirely.


Morning Vegetables with Eggs

canola or olive oil
4 c rainbow chard (about 4 to 6 oz)
1/3 c chopped onion
3/4 c sliced carrots (1 medium)
1 seeded jalapeno, chopped (optional)
1 to 2 cloves garlic (optional)
1/4 to 1/2 t Italian seasoning OR dried basil

3 eggs

Optional toppings:
salsa
shredded 2% cheddar or mozzarella cheese
plain, fat free yogurt
roasted, salted sunflower seeds

1.  Separate the chard stems from the leaves. Coarsely cut the leaves and set aside. Chop the stems in 1/2-1 inch lengths.
2.  Put just enough oil in a non-stick pan to lightly coat it. Stir in the onions, carrots, and chopped chard stems. Saute over medium heat until the onions are translucent and the carrots are barely tender.
3.  Stir in the jalapeno, chard leaves and seasonings. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook just until the chard is limp and tender.
4.  Meanwhile, stir the eggs together with a fork just enough to blend the yolks and whites into a uniform color. Heat to medium to medium high a small amount of oil in a small skillet and stir the eggs into the pan.
5.  Stir the eggs occasionally as they cook, breaking them up as needed to obtain the scrambled egg texture you prefer.
6. Serve the eggs and vegetables with any of the optional toppings--or anything else you like to add! Fresh herbs, hot sauce, even soy sauce might be choices your family prefers.

Serves two but easily doubled or more.



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