Monday, February 28, 2011

Veggies for breakfast

We're into the second week of our 10-week fitness challenge at The Pilates Place. Results to date...I'm in the bathroom a lot more! Why? Extra water and extra veggies! Because I'm larger than life, I get to drink more water and eat more veggies. I'm having to get creative to get in enough vegetables in a day.

I discovered yesterday that if I don't get in at least three servings of veggies in the morning, I'm way behind by nightfall, and not really hungry at that time. As a result, I only got in six servings of veggies. Today is a new day, so I thought I'd list a few ways one could add veggies into breakfast.

Savory vegetable, not adding pureed veggies to pancake batter, although one could substitute eggs with pureed sweet potato, winter squash or apple. I'm talking shredded veggies mixed with beaten egg and cooked in small patties, like egg foo young, You could also add bits of chopped chicken, turkey bacon, Canadian bacon. Veggies to shred - zucchini or any summer squash. Finely chop some spring onions to toss in the mix. You could even add some mung bean sprouts.

Along the same lines as the veggie pancakes, how about some veggie hashbrowns...shredded jicama, carrots and beets, sauteed in a little oil and butter. They're colorful, crispy and delicious!

I often like to lay a melange of stir-fried veggies as a bed for my poached eggs, instead of using an English muffin. Any chopped veggies will do...summer squashes, tomato, onions, broccoli, asparagus,etc. Greens are great with eggs too! Spinach, kale, fact, braised southern greens (collard, mustard and turnip) cooked with a spicy chopped chicken andouille sausage and some garlic is pretty fabulous.

When I lived in Indonesia, my cook would make us nasi soto ayam for breakfast or a mid-morning snack. It's a layered soup with a base of rice porridge, then shredded chicken, then topped with mung beans, shallots, cilantro, chili sauce, and finally, a ladle of hot chicken broth over the top and a squeeze of lime juice. I've been making my own versions. I use either toasted Scottish oats or brown rice as my base. I'll add shredded chicken or turkey, then julienne asparagus, zucchini, cabbage, broccoli, spinach or other sauteed greens. I still pour a ladle of broth over everything, and squeeze some lemon juice on top. And sometimes, if I'm feeling like having a little extra, I'll float a poached egg on top of all that. Yum!

If you want to really slam those servings of veggies down, then the best way to go is to get that Champion Juicer they carry at Sheri's Sonshine Nutrition and juice those massive quantities of veggies into a glass. Good breakfast juice combinations: celery, fennel and cucumber is nice and light, plus easier to tolerate for a novice juicer. After that, green leafy vegetable combinations, like spinach, endive, romaine and red leaf or kale, collard, dandelion and mustard greens for a more vigorous veggie breakfast. Adding carrots or beets or even apple helps sweeten the juices. Don't forget to stir the pulp back into your juices. It's necessary fiber that you'd be missing if you tossed it all out.

Okay, that's enough about breakfast veggies. I need to get dressed to go to Pilates!

11:05 a.m.  Just back from Pilates. I feel fabulous now! Thank you, Lori!

Lori talked about her famous egg white and veggie omelets this morning. Any vegetables can go in there...mushrooms, zucchini, broccoli, asparagus, artichoke hearts, spinach and any greens, peppers, fresh herbs, the leaves from young fava bean plants. Oh yeah, you can eat those, and they're delicious in salads too!  Al those veggies are great in fritatta as well, which is a crustless quiche baked in the oven.

And don't forget to use veggies as sauces and condiments too. Salsa on your eggs and toast. Red pepper puree cooked down and poach an egg in that too. Broccoli puree Hollandaise, with lemon juice. And on cold mornings, any veggie soup warms you up and starts your day right. The point is to experiment and expand your repertoire of recipes. Get in that kitchen and play!

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