The Breakfast Game

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Play your breakfast cards right, and every day will turn up a trump.

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Description

How to Play

sweet swap

Object

To think outside the cereal box. Build a balanced, wholesome morning meal by combining standard and unexpected breakfast items.

Rules

Your breakfast must include at least one ingredient from each category (see descriptions below). Each playing card shows a versatile and healthy breakfast ingredient.

Collecting Points

The more adventurous your ingredient selection, the higher the point value. For example, whole-grain bread earns 1 point; quinoa or millet each earn 3. Earn additional points for time-saving strategies, such as cooking grains overnight in a slow cooker.

To Win

Create a recipe that’s not only delicious but quick and easy enough to make on busy weekday mornings. The victor is the person who prepares and eats a balanced breakfast in place of his or her usual sugary cereal. The only sure way to lose is to skip breakfast altogether.

Food Groups

Whole Grainsrule of thumb
Unlike refined and processed grains that only provide simple carbs, whole grains deliver complex, slow-release carbohydrates, which mean you avoid sugar spikes and have consistent energy until lunch.

Protein
The amino acids that make up protein are the building blocks of cells. Protein-rich foods energize your cells and keep your body functioning all morning. They also help you feel full longer. If you’re vegan or egg-averse, no worries. The options abound.

Fruits & Veggies
Low in fat, fruits and vegetables add color and texture to your breakfast. More important, they provide loads of water-soluble vitamins (the kind your body can’t store). To get enough of these vitamins throughout the day, you need to eat fruits and vegetables at every meal. Plus, their high fiber content keeps your digestive system running efficiently and helps you feel full until lunch.

Dairy
We need plenty of calcium and vitamin D to make strong bones, support nerve and muscle function and help our blood clot. If we don’t get these nutrients from food—such as low-fat dairy—our bodies leech it from our bones and teeth.

WINNING COMBOS

CASSEROLE

Ingredients
4 eggs
4 egg whites
6 slices whole-grain bread, cubed
Grilled salmon/Smoked salmon
Kale or spinach
Tomato or mushrooms

Instructions
1. Toss the bread cubes, protein and vegetables in the egg mixture to coat.
2. Pour into a 12-muffin pan or a single casserole dish.
3. Uncover, sprinkle with cheese, and bake another 20 minutes.

TIP: Make this on a Sunday afternoon, refrigerate or freeze the individual casseroles, and zap one in the microwave each morning for a quick, on-the-go weekday breakfast.

BOWL/OVERNIGHT PORRIDGE

Ingredients
1 cup quinoa, oats or wheat berries
Brown sugar
Dried fruit
1 cup kefir
3 1/2 cups water
Milk
Seeds (sunflower, chia, pumpkin, sesame, poppy)

Instructions
1. Combine the first five ingredients and cook in crockpot on low 7-8 hours.
2. Spoon cooked porridge into bowls and top with milk, seeds, fruit.

Tip: Experiment by cooking grains with water, milk, kefir, or a combination or even a low-sodium broth for a savory flavor.

Up a notch: Add sweet or savory seasoning such as brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and even garlic to taste. Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt mixed with a few tablespoons of honey or maple syrup.

FRITTATA

Ingredients
Kale
Mushrooms
Black beans or Extra-lean ham
Cooked millet (or brown rice)
4 eggs
4 egg whites
Low-fat shredded cheese

Instructions
1. Lightly sauté the vegetables in a heavy, oven-proof pan.
2. Add the protein and cooked grains, and top with the combined eggs and cheese.
3. Bake at 450°F for 15–20 minutes or until eggs are set.

BURRITO/TACOS

 

Ingredients
4 eggs
2 egg whites
Salt & pepper
Avocado
Spinach
Cooked tempeh or cooked low-sodium turkey or chicken sausage
Low-fat shredded cheese
1 10-inch whole-wheat or 4 corn tortillas

Instructions
1. Scramble eggs with salt and pepper.
2. Add vegetables, protein and cheese.
3. Layer eggs, protein, cheese on tortilla and wrap it up.

Up a notch: After wrapping your burrito tightly, toss it in a panini press for about 8 minutes or until the tortilla is golden brown and crispy.

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