It is 5:30 a.m. and the alarm has just gone off but you are tempted to push the snooze button and catch a couple more minutes in bed. Just as you reach over to shut off the news the announcer mentions another study about the perils of missing breakfast. People who skip breakfast are likely to be heavier, less alert, and miss out on essential nutrients. Children and teens who skip breakfast do not preform as well in school or on tests and have more hunger induced stomach aches and are more likely to be overweight.*
The standard quick breakfast of cereal isn't as easy when trying to eat locally, so what should we have for breakfast? No matter where you live, you are likely able to get eggs, milk, and cheese locally.
I, personally, have been known to push the snooze button a little more often than not so a breakfast that comes together quickly is important, too. My answer to this workday morning dilemma is a few standard recipes that have a million possibilities depending on what is available at the market and can be made ahead.
I make a variation on this goat cheese tart many weekends and eat the leftovers as I am running out the door on my way to work.
Goat Cheese Tart
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens
- 1 tablespoon butter, softened
- 1 tablespoons fine dry bread crumbs (I make my own by putting stale bread in the food processor and then storing it in the freezer)
- 4 eggs
- 8 ounces fresh goat cheese (chevre)
- 1/2 cup yogurt
- 5 tablespoons mixed fresh herbs ( I used rosemary, and thyme and threw in some micro greens I had from my CSA)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 clove garlic, minced (I am out of last fall's garlic and there hasn't been any at the market for the past few weeks so I minced spring onions)
1. Preheat oven to 300 degree F. Butter a 9-inch quiche dish and sprinkle with the bread crumbs; set aside.
2. Separate eggs. Place whites in a medium mixing bowl; set aside. [As a cook always looking for short cuts, I beat these to stiff peaks first to save the time of washing the beaters] In a large mixing bowl beat the yolks with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 3 minutes or until thick and lemon color. Add goat cheese, beating just until smooth and creamy. Add yogurt, herbs, salt, and garlic and beat until just combined.
3. Wash beaters thoroughly. Beat egg whites with an electric mixer on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold beaten whites into goat cheese mixture. Pour into prepared dish.
4. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until tart is puffed and golden brown and a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Serve warm. Makes 8 servings
I have used many different combinations of herbs depending on what is available and have even used sun-dried tomatoes in this tart.
Here is another make ahead that I prepare often:
Mini Egg Casseroles
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 cup shredded cheese (choose this depending on your veggies)
- 1 1/2 cups nonfat milk
- 8 large eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup or so of vegetables and or meats (do you have chard? cook this down with some spring onions, asparagus? steam it and cut into small pieces, broccoli and mushrooms?)
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat eight 6-ounce or four 10-ounce heatproof ramekins with cooking spray and place on a baking sheet.
2. Equally divide veggies of choice among the ramekins. Top each with cheese. Whisk milk, eggs and salt in a medium bowl until combined. Divide the egg mixture evenly among the ramekins.
3. Bake the mini casseroles until the tops begin to brown and the eggs are set, about 25 minutes for 6-ounce ramekins and about 35 minutes for 10-ounce ramekins
4. These can be easily reheated in the microwave for 2 minutes
Other quick breakfasts depending on where you are living are:
- sliced apples with nut butters (peanut butter here in VA, almond butter should be available in CA)
- scrambled or fried eggs
- fruit and yogurt
- fruit smoothies
So go ahead and push the snooze button and then get up and enjoy a quick nutritious breakfast made from local produce.
* Back to School Nutrition, James E. Meyer
Jasmine lives in Alexandria, VA where she obsessively visits farmers markets, buys too much food, cooks too much food, and is always looking for people to invite for dinner who won't notice that the living room has been taken over by yarn and half finished knitting projects.