Start the Day with Veggies
Does breakfast have to be cereal, milk and juice? Or eggs and toast? Many of us are used to a breakfast that contains grains, dairy, fruit, and eggs or meats. But that only takes care of four of the five food groups on MyPlate. What about vegetables?
Don’t wait until dinner to try and meet your vegetable needs for the day. It’s easier if you start at breakfast. But other than leftover pizza or a southwestern omelet, how can you include vegetables in your breakfast? Here are some possibilities …
10 Veggie-Packed Breakfast Ideas
- Veggie Juice. Tomato juice is one easy option. If you have a juicer, you can also start your day with beets, spinach or kale.
- Veggie Muffins. Add grated zucchini or carrots to homemade breads, muffins, pancakes or a kugel.
- Pumpkin Butter. Smear pumpkin butter on whole-grain toast and top with a slice of lean turkey. Or add pumpkin purée to pancake batter.
- Potatoes. Reheat leftover (or make extra) mashed potatoes or a baked potato. Top with sautéed red pepper, onion, broccoli and mushrooms and sprinkle with grated cheese.
- Sweet Potatoes. Reheat leftover sweet potatoes. Drizzle with maple syrup, sprinkle with cinnamon and top with nuts.
- Burritos or Quiche. Burritos, a frittata, strata or quiche will accept a variety of veggies, including broccoli and asparagus. Make ahead and reheat in the morning.
- Veggie Omelet. Roast extra carrots, green beans, onions and bell peppers the night before to add to your morning omelet.
- Salad. Eggs don’t have to be scrambled or made into an omelet. Make hard-boiled eggs and serve over a salad of chopped tomatoes, cucumbers and bell peppers sprinkled with herbs and ground black pepper.
- Rice & Beans. For a break from eggs, try rice and beans with tomatoes.
- Veggies & Hummus. Vegetables at breakfast, especially during the summer, are a crispy, refreshing start to the day. Enjoy cherry tomatoes and cucumber slices with hummus.
Remember, there are no rules requiring certain foods to be eaten at breakfast. So be adventurous! Try this colorful recipe that includes vegetables. Complete the meal with a serving of fruit and a slice of toasted whole-grain bread.
Eggs in Red Pepper Cups
Makes 4, 4 ounce servings
Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes
- 2 large red bell peppers
- 1 cup diced reduced-sodium ham
- ½ teaspoon crushed garlic
- ½ cup sliced scallions
- 1 cup egg product (or 4 eggs)
- ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400°F. Slice each red bell pepper in half lengthwise, remove top and seeds. Place the peppers, cut edges down, on a cookie sheet lightly coated with cooking spray. Roast for 10 minutes or just until tender, remove from oven and turn peppers cut side up. Meanwhile, lightly coat a non-stick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add ham and garlic and sauté until lightly browned. Add scallions and egg product and cook, stirring, until eggs are set. Spoon egg mixture into red pepper cups. Sprinkle with cheese and black pepper. Return to oven and heat just until cheese is melted. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.
Nutrition information per serving: 130 calories, 5g fat, 3g saturated fat, 30mg cholesterol, 470mg sodium, 7g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 15g protein