By: Courtney Dabney
The pace of life slows down a bit, you can stop to smell the bluebonnets and indulge a little more in the simple pleasures of life.
For me, the simple pleasures in life usually involve food, especially breakfast, since that is my favorite meal of the day.
However, I find that most people have a love/hate relationship with breakfast. It’s one of those meals you know you should eat, but you end up skipping or eating out because you just don’t have time in the morning.
In fact, that is what a lot of my personal chef clients say – they just don’t have the time to wake up and make a healthy, hardy breakfast because it takes too long.
However, studies have shown that eating breakfast within the first 45 minutes of waking up will burn 65 percent more calories throughout the day. Who doesn’t want to burn more calories?
Well, that’s one reason why I love summer. You no longer have to rush kids off to school in the morning; you can take a little extra time to whip up something special.
Want to know a secret though? Most of these summer breakfast recipes I’ll be sharing don’t require too much effort, so even if you are rushing to get to work or dropping your kids off at swim practice, you can still enjoy a delicious morning meal.
As with all of my recipes, I have included ways to make these allergy-friendly for those of you who might have special dietary needs.
As you welcome the simple pleasures of summer, try one of these healthy breakfast recipes to start your day off right.
Sweet Potato Breakfast Quiche
2 medium sweet potatoes
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 (5-ounce) bag baby spinach
1/2 cup whole milk (you can use almond or coconut milk as a dairy-free substitute)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 large eggs
2 large egg whites
1 sliced Roma tomato, for topping (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F, then peel and slice sweet potatoes. You can use a mandoline to speed up the process and allow you to make even slices; otherwise, a knife will work fine to cut into round slices.
2. Coat a pie dish with cooking spray, then fill the bottom of the dish with a layer of sweet potato slices. Cut the sweet potato rounds in half and fill around the edges of the pie dish, round side facing up. Once the entire dish is filled, coat one more time with cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes. Then turn the heat up to 375 F.
3. For the filling, heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add spinach; sauté 3 minutes. Remove from heat; cool.
4. Combine milk and next 5 ingredients in a bowl; stir with a whisk. Arrange spinach mixture in crust; pour egg mixture over spinach. Bake at 375 F for 35 minutes. Add sliced tomatoes on the top for about the last 15 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes; cut into 4 wedges.
Green Chia Seed Breakfast Smoothie
2 cups of kale and spinach (two cups total, mix the greens)
1 cup coconut milk
2 1/2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey, more to taste
1. In your blender, combine the kale and spinach, coconut milk, chia seeds, vanilla, lemon juice, honey, and banana and blend until smooth.
2. Place the smoothie in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes for best results, giving the chia seeds time to thicken. Serve within an hour for freshest flavor!
If you’d like to turn this into a smoothie bowl, simply top with fresh fruit or shredded coconut, slivered almonds or more chia seeds.
Coconut Flour Breakfast Sandwiches
Coconut Flour Biscuits:
1/3 cup coconut flour
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of sea salt
1 teaspoon raw honey
Protein of your choice (ham, sausage, eggs, etc.)
Slow Roasted Tomatoes: *
2 cups cherry tomatoes
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and fresh cracked pepper
2 garlic cloves
* You can also use sundried tomatoes or roasted tomatoes at the grocery to save time.
1. First, make the slow-roasted tomatoes. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half, lengthwise.
2. Place tomatoes in a large bowl and drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil, enough to coat all of them. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and lightly toss together.
3. Arrange tomatoes in a single layer, skins down on a cookie sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. Mince garlic and sprinkle over tomatoes. Give it one more generous drizzle of olive oil.
4. Cook in the oven for 2-3 hours depending on the size of the tomatoes. You know they’re done when they look kind of dried up and are blackened around the edges but still soft.
5. Next, make the coconut flour biscuits. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Combine the flour, butter, eggs, baking soda, sea salt and honey in a bowl. Stir until blended.
6. Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes so the dough can expand and become cohesive.
7. After letting sit, form the dough into patties and press onto a baking sheet with parchment paper. Bake for 15 minutes or until done.
8. Once the biscuits are made, add your choice of protein, some roasted tomatoes, arugula and some pieces of goat cheese to complete your breakfast.
Baked Eggs in Zucchini Nests
4 cups zucchini spirals (you can find these at Central Market or make your own with a spiralizer)
1/2 cup Asiago cheese or cheese of your choice
Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a heavy sauté pan (I recommend cast iron), add the spiralized zucchini and create four depressions for the eggs. In other words, make a little “nest.”
2. Sprinkle with Asiago cheese, or omit if you want to make this dairy-free.
3. Next, break one egg into each of the zucchini nests/depressions. Then cover and cook them until the eggs are cooked to your liking and the bottom is crispy. I like to top with pico de gallo and avocado.
Chef Deb is the executive chef and owner of Savor Culinary Services in downtown Fort Worth. She is also a culinary business coach and a No. 1 Amazon Bestselling Author who helps chefs grow their culinary business. For information, visit savorculinaryservices.com.
Photos by Real Life Food Photography
By: Courtney Dabney