The weekday breakfast is like your taxes – required, but a big pain to get over the finish line. Despite what we’re told about its nutritional and social importance, it’s often a fleeting and unsatisfying moment in which food is unceremonious forced onto the plates (or into the hands) of young people as their parents suck down coffee and shoo everyone out the door. And now, here across south Louisiana, the daily sprint is further compounded by a post-flood reality with epic traffic, upended schedules and temporary housing. There’s a lot of stress out there.
So this week, I’m offering four easy breakfast dishes that are intended to provide some inspired calm. Yummy and healthy, they intentionally use minimal ingredients, and part or all of them can be put together the night before.
Fruit and yogurt popsicles
Yes, kids, popsicles for breakfast! Combine 1 ½ cups Greek yogurt, 1 ½ cups frozen fruit, 2 cups orange juice and 1 tablespoon honey in a blender and process until smooth. Consistency should be slightly thinner than a homemade smoothie. Fill popsicle molds and freeze 5 hours or overnight. Makes 12.
Cheese and apple melt
Lightly toast two halves of a whole grain English muffin. On each, layer thin slices of a crisp, tart apple. Drizzle honey on top, then add slices of your favorite cheese. Broil until cheese melts.
This is a nod to those overpriced boxes of deconstructed ingredients on airlines that my kids love. Assemble a combination of protein-rich nibbles like a spoonful of peanut butter with whole grain bread, nuts, cheese and bits of Canadian bacon or turkey. Add fresh or dried fruit for something sweet.
Small servings of shoestring hash browns take no time to heat in a skillet. They can also can be prepared the night before and warmed in the microwave. Top each potato “nest” with a sunny-side-up egg. Add fresh orange slices for a bright and cheery plate ready in about five minutes.