Fuel your morning with these 10 recipes packed with protein, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Toby Amidor, MS, RD 1 / 11
It’s important to start your day with high grade fuel. This means getting your AM dose of protein, especially those muscle building branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). But don’t count out whole grains, fruit, vegetables, and dairy.
These 10 recipes provide a variety of foods and flavors that are not only delicious, but also help keep your body lean and strong.
This breakfast bowl has it all: lean protein filled with BCAAs, vegetables, and whole grains. Quinoa is a technically a seed that has the characteristics of a whole grain and also contains lots of protein. It’s important to consume both protein and whole grains, which are needed in order to help build muscles.
For Tzatziki Sauce 1 small Persian cucumber (10 oz) 2 garlic cloves 2 tablespoons chopped dill (must use fresh!) 1½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more if needed 1 tablespoon olive oil ½ teaspoon Himilayan salt, or to taste ¼ teaspoon black pepper 2 cups Plain Greek Yogurt (I used full fat but fat-free but any type will work)
For Breakfast Bowl 4 tablespoons Tzatziki Sauce (2 tablespoons for each bowl) ½ cup quinoa ½ cup almond milk ½ cup water 1 teaspoon coconut oil (1/2 teaspoon for each egg) 2 eggs ½ cup sliced cucumber ½ cup sliced cherry tomatoes
For Tzatziki Sauce 1. Peel cucumber, slice in half lengthwise, remove seeds with a spoon, and dice into small pieces. Place in a colander, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt, toss, and allow to rest 30 minutes to draw all the water out. Rinse the pieces and squeeze out the excess liquid using a paper towel or cheese cloth. 2. Place the cucumber in a food processor along with the rest of the ingredients through black pepper. Process until well blended. Stir the mixture into the yogurt. Add more salt to taste if needed. Place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours for the flavors to develop.
For Breakfast Bowl 3. In a saucepan, combine milk, water, and quinoa and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until most of the liquid has been absorbed, approximately 8 minutes. 4. Divide evenly into 2 bowls and top with cucumber and tomato. 5. Crack an egg into a small bowl. Heat a small nonstick pan over medium heat. Add coconut oil. Once the oil has melted, gently add egg into pan. Cook until white is set and yolk is still runny, about 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Repeat with second egg. 6. Slide egg on top of quinoa. Drizzle tzatziki sauce over. Enjoy!
Recipe: Gluten-Free Banana Honey Baked Oatmeal with Creamy Almond Sauce
Think outside the cereal bowl and enjoy oatmeal in gluten-free baked squares. These squares are made with healthy ingredients like cottage cheese, bananas, almond milk, chia seeds, and almond butter. They contain 10 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber per square.
For the Baked Oatmeal Squares 1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease an 8x8-inch baking dish with butter. 2. In a medium bowl, mix together the mashed banana, almond butter, cottage cheese, egg white, honey, and almond milk. 3. In a larger bowl, mix together the oats, chia seeds, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and transfer to the prepared baking dish. 4. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with tacky sticky bits attached (you don’t want it to be dry, you want it to remain relatively moist). Allow the oatmeal to cool slightly before cutting into squares.
For the Almond Sauce and Topping 5. Puree the banana, almond milk, almond butter and honey in a food processor until very smooth. 6. Transfer to a small saucepot and heat over low until warmed through.
To Assemble 7. Top the squares of oatmeal with almond sauce and crushed freeze-dried banana.
There are healthy ways to cook this favorite breakfast fare. In this recipe a 50:50 combination of whole wheat flour to whole wheat pastry flour is used to increase the whole grains. There’s also flax seed, coconut milk, and mango, which round out the healthy ingredients.
These waffles also freeze well. Make them ahead of time and place them in a freezer bag, separated by pieces of parchment paper until they’re ready to eat!
1. Preheat the waffle iron. 2. In a mixing bowl combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon, and flax seed. 3. In a separate mixing bowl whisk together the eggs, milks, butter, vanilla and brown sugar. 4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Note that the batter will be slightly lumpy. Gently stir in the coconut. 5. Cook waffles following waffle iron manufacturer's instructions. 6. Serve garnished with freshly chopped mango and toasted coconut.
Yes, you can have steak for breakfast! This pizza is made with 3 ounces of sirloin tip, a lean cut of beef. Thanks to increased trimming practices, the external fat in retail cuts of beef have decreased by 80% in the past 20 years. You can now find over 66% of beef cuts that meet the guidelines for “lean.” According to the USDA and FDA, the term “lean” is defined as having less than 10% fat by weight, or less than 10g of fat per 100 g.
For the Sirloin Tip Marinade 2 oz maple whiskey 1 tablespoon molasses 2 tablespoons sugar ¼ cup water 6 oz lean sirloin tip
For the pizza 1 (8-inch) pita ¼ cup chopped tomatoes 2 tablespoons fat free cream cheese 2 teaspoons chipotle hot sauce ¼ cup pepper jack shredded cheese, reduced fat 3 oz sirloin tip, chopped 1 large egg, scrambled
1. In an airtight container, combine the marinade ingredients and place beef in container. If possible, let marinate up to 48 hours. 2. When ready to assemble, set oven to broil. 3. Place cast iron skillet in the oven to heat. 4. Remove after 5 minutes and place 2 tablespoons vegan butter in skillet. 5. Place one sirloin tip in skillet. Return to oven and broil 3-4 minutes per side. Remove sirloin tip from skillet and let rest on cutting board. Repeat process with second sirloin tip. 6. To assemble pizza, change oven setting to 425 degrees. 7. Place one pita on center of aerated pizza pan. 8. Combine 1 teaspoon of chipotle hot sauce with cream cheese. Spread evenly on pita. Top with 3 oz chopped lean sirloin, pepper jack cheese, tomatoes and egg. 9. Heat for 5 minutes in oven. Remove and slice into 4. Enjoy with a little hot sauce on top!
Skill level: Beginner Serves: 4 Start to Finish: 15 minutes, plus overnight soaking Prep: 15 minutes Cook: 0 minutes
¾ cup rolled oats 1 cup low fat or fat free milk or original soymilk ½ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt 1 orange, peeled, sectioned and diced ½ cup strawberries, cleaned and sliced in half 1 banana, diced 1 small apple, cored and diced into bite-size pieces ½ cup walnut pieces (optional)
1. In a large bowl, prepare the muesli: mix oats, milk, and yogurt; cover and refrigerate overnight. 2. The next morning in a medium bowl, combine orange, strawberries, banana, and apple. Sprinkle with lemon juice. 3. Top muesli with fruit mixture, sprinkle with optional walnuts and serve.
Nutrition Information (per serving, with low fat milk and walnuts) Calories: 244; Total Fat: 11 grams; Protein: 10 grams: Carbohydrates: 29.6 grams; Fiber: 5.4 grams; Sodium: 52 milligrams
Recipe adapted from award-winning book Beyond The Mediterranean Diet: European Secrets Of The Super-Healthy by Layne Lieberman, MS, RD, CDN, Culinary Nutritionist.
This power toast is ready in 7 minutes and provides 21 grams of protein. The only cooking involved is toasting bread!
Avocado contains 20 vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, while the cottage cheese provides a nice combination of protein and carbohydrates. Combining these two foods really helps create a nutrient-packed, muscle-building breakfast.
2 slices 100% whole wheat bread 1 avocado ½ cup low fat cottage cheese 1 tablespoon lemon juice 6 red pepper strips (approximately 1/4 of a red pepper) 4 sprigs cilantro Salt and pepper
1. In a food processor, combine avocado, lemon juice, and cottage cheese. Mix until smooth. 2. Toast bread. Top with a few heaping spoonfuls of avocado mixture. 3. Align red peppers on top of toast. 4. Sprinkle with cilantro, salt, and pepper. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information (per serving) Calories: 381; Total Fat: 18 grams; Protein: 21 grams: Carbohydrates: 39 grams; Sodium: 659 milligrams
These pancakes are full of protein (18 grams per serving!) and great flavors. The oatmeal combined with cottage cheese creates a great texture. If you opt for maple syrup, keep portions to 2 tablespoons each of maple syrup and pepitas (AKA pumpkin seeds).
⅓ cup old fashioned oatmeal ¼ cup egg whites ¼ cup cottage cheese 2 tablespoons canned pumpkin ½ teaspoon baking powder ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice ⅓ cup chopped apples, reserving about 1 tablespoon for topping Maple syrup and pepitas for topping
1. Place all ingredients in a deep bowl or cup. Give the ingredients a good stir to combine everything then blend with an immersion blender (or a food processor) until the batter is well combined and a smooth, thick consistency. 2. Heat pan or griddle to low-medium heat and spray with non-stick spray. 3. Scoop out about a quarter cup of batter at a time and pour onto pan. You should be able to make about 4 small pancakes. 4. Cook until little bubbles form and the edges of the pancakes are solid enough to put a spatula underneath. Flip the pancakes and cook for one to two additional minutes. 4. Place on a plate, sprinkle chopped apple and pepitas over the pancakes, drizzle with maple syrup and serve.
Nutrition Information (per serving, not including optional maple syrup and pepitas) Calories: 236; Total Fat: 5 grams; Saturated Fat: 2 grams; Protein: 18 grams: Carbohydrates: 32 grams; Sugar: 9 grams; Fiber: 6 grams; Cholesterol: 13 milligrams; Sodium: 579 milligrams
Recipe: Egg and Bacon Rollups with Baby Spinach and Cheese
If you’re a bacon lover, you can enjoy eggs and eat bacon too. Eggs are the perfect protein providing 98% of your essential amino acids (that includes eating the yolk too).
And what about the bacon? Yes, you can enjoy it. This recipe shows how you how to include an all-time favorite food in small portions. Each serving contains only 1 slice, which goes to show you that every food has a place in a well-balanced diet.
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 12-inch non-stick skillet with cooking spray. 2. Whip eggs with sour cream and mustard. 3. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet, then top with spinach, onion, bacon, and cheese. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. 4. Bake for 10 - 15 minutes until egg is set. 5. Gently fold up one corner and roll into a log. Slice in half and serve.
Recipe: High Protein Peanut Butter Crepe with Chocolate Filing
Here is another place where cottage cheese is sneaking in some extra protein. The crepe batter contains peanut butter powder, which helps boost the protein to 13 grams per serving.
The chocolate filling is made with very low calorie unsweetened cocoa powder, which contains a handful of antioxidants. Combined with Greek yogurt and a touch of agave, it’s a powerful way to start your day.
For the crepes ½ cup low fat cottage cheese (I like Daisy) 2 eggs ½ cup quick cooking oats ¼ cup peanut butter powder (I like PB2) 1/8 teaspoon baking soda 3 tablespoons water ½ teaspoon cinnamon
For the chocolate filling ½ cup low fat plain Greek yogurt 2 tablespoons 100% cocoa powder 1 teaspoon agave
1. In a food processor or blender, mix together cottage cheese, oats, eggs, peanut butter powder, baking soda, water, and cinnamon. 2. Bring a skillet over medium heat. 3. Pour batter onto skillet and flip when surface is covered in small bubbles. Cook evenly on both sides. 4. Mix together cocoa powder, agave, and Greek yogurt to form a mousse. When crepe has completed cooking, spread mousse over crepe, fold, and serve warm.
Nutrition Information (per serving) Calories: 117; Total Fat: 3 grams; Protein: 13 grams: Carbohydrates: 8 grams;