A Non-Traditional Approach to Breakfast
Traditional American breakfasts are very heavy in carbohydrates: cereal with milk, oatmeal with brown sugar, toast with peanut butter and jelly, pancakes or waffles with syrup and of course hash browns.
When you are being more mindful of carbohydrate intake the alternative options always seems to be eggs, and not everyone likes them.
Have no fear: give these non-traditional, egg-free, options a try.
Turkey Sausage Skillet
Start by browning your favorite turkey sausage in a little olive oil over medium high heat. Add vegetables of your choice, such as peppers, onions or even a half-cup of cubed potatoes, since that will only add 15 grams of carbohydrate. Finish it off with some salt, pepper or a seasoning blend of your choice.
With only 5 grams of total carbohydrate per ½ cup along with a whopping 12 grams of protein, cottage cheese can be a filling, well-balanced way to start the day.
Grilled Shrimp and Fruit
For a fun tropical start to your weekend, try throwing some citrus-marinated shrimp, a few slices of pineapple and a couple of halved peaches on the grill. There are 15 grams of total carbohydrate in one medium peach or in ¾ cup fresh pineapple.
One important thing to remember is you don’t have to eat “breakfast food” at breakfast, so why not? A combination of spinach, fresh strawberries (15 grams total carbohydrate in 1¼ cups of whole berries), feta cheese and walnuts, topped with some lemon-infused olive oil and white balsamic vinegar is a satisfying, fresh way to get going in the morning.
Wrapped, Stuffed Figs
If you can find fresh figs, buy them and then stuff them with your favorite spreadable cheese, such as cream cheese, ricotta, Brie or even smoked Gouda. Wrap them in bacon or prosciutto and bake for a yummy treat that doesn’t add too many carbs. Whole, medium figs each have about 15 grams of total carbohydrate.
Black Bean Tacos
With 30 grams of total carbohydrate per taco, this approach has the highest amount of carbs on this list, but when made ahead of time, they can be a fun, fast breakfast to keep you energized until lunch.
To make your filling, which can be made ahead and stored in the fridge, just sauté garlic and mushrooms in olive oil over medium-high heat. Add one can of black beans, undrained, reduce heat and simmer 5-10 minutes. Put a quarter-cup of the bean mixture on a corn tortilla with fresh avocado (or pre-made guacamole), cherry tomatoes and cilantro.
For a little extra creaminess, you can add lime juice to plain yogurt to use as a spread. If you need the protein, consider crumbled sausage or scrambled egg on your taco.
Lauren Cornay, RD, LN, is a registered dietitian at Avera Heart Hospital. Get more insight on nutrition and health.