Monday, October 12, 2009

Setting the Tone (aka Breakfast)

I wake up in the morning looking forward to breakfast. This wasn't always the case; in college I ate so late (and it was generally pizza or Subway) that I often wasn't hungry until later in the day. Still, I never really fell prey to the belief that eating less in the morning was some kind of tolerance for low calorie eating. I fully realize it's quite the opposite, and skimping on breakfast means an extra slice of something at night. Now that I'm a responsible adult (or something) I definitely wake up earlier, and eat dinner earlier. But I've also learned that even if you're not hungry, you're doing yourself a favor by eating within one hour of getting up. I'll typically have a couple of crackers or a piece of whole grain bread before hopping in the shower on those days.

Of course the next question is what makes a good breakfast. Last week I was in Madrid, and breakfast was analogous to sugary croissants and rolls. I'm talking full on dessert style, pretty in presentation, and the kind of thing to burn through you and put you on a sugar high only to crash in an hour. With some espresso to boot. One morning we had a breakfast meeting, and given the decidedly non-Swiss approach to timing we were finally seated at 10:30am. Then came the shiny croissants and what could have only been some sort of cannoli au chocolate. To be fair, by lunch I was ravenous and there is nothing quite like Spanish tapas (mm, boqueroñes y queso manchego).

To the original question, a good breakfast should always have one thing: protein! Eggs, cottage cheese, plain yogurt, meat, fish or veggie proteins. It's not just to jump start your metabolism; protein is brain food and keeps you sharper mentally. Another great element to add to your breakfast is a complex carb with fiber, which will keep you full and your energy stable. Oatmeal (with gluten-free oats) is amazing, as are quinoa flakes or buckwheat groats which pack in the protein as well. Of course I'm no nutritionist, but for a more comprehensive take on what to eat I share the wise words of my chiropractor, Dr. Rob D'Aquila.

This week I've gotten creative with my brekkie. Saturday before a four hour trip up to a party in Frankfurt, I made a potato salad using sweet potato, quark (similar to ricotta cheese), mustard and garlic powder, apple cider vinegar, dried herbs - heck I even threw in boiled egg. I've also been using veggies to make one classic and extremely versatile dish...

Eggs Cocotte (note: photo is pre-baked)

1 t olive oil
1/2 clove garlic
1/4 cup leeks
1/2 zucchini, shredded*
1/2 cup thinly sliced spinach
1 egg
1-2 t cream
garlic salt

  • Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the garlic, leeks, zucchini and spinach. Sautée for a couple of minutes until the greens are just slightly wilted.

  • Butter a ramekin and add sautéed vegetables.

  • Crack an egg over the vegetables.

  • Spoon cream over the egg, as well as pepper and a little salt.

  • Put the ramekin in an oven safe dish and fill it halfway with water. Bake at 200 C for approx. 15 minutes until the egg is set.

  • Allow to cool and serve immediately with a slice of whole grain toast or cornbread :)

*I typically shred the zucchini and salt it with the garlic salt for a little while and then press it to drain the excess water. Clear out that last bit of fennel in your fridge to add different vegetables, and try additional herbs. I guarantee this breakfast will become a staple.

1 comment:

  1. Ooh, that seems like a nice nutritious breakfast! I gotta get myself a ramekin...!