Cooking for One: Breakfast Edition

(photo #1)

I recently posted a few food pictures on my Instagram story and took a poll. The question was, “Do you want to hear more about healthy, frugal, and simple cooking for one person?”

Apparently a lot of ya’ll are interested in that, so here I am with the first post. I am going to be sharing a few things today:

-What I am Eating for Breakfast these Days

-How to Plan Balanced Breakfasts

-How to Stock Your Pantry + Fridge for a Variety of Simple, Frugal, Healthy, and Yummy Breakfasts

-My Morning Eating Schedule

Now, let me clarify something: If you’re living with your family, and not typically cooking for just one or two people, you may still want to keep reading. I have alot of girls ask me about health and fitness, and if you are trying to lose weight, deal with allergies/food sensitivities, or maintain and not gain weight, you may need to eat differently than your family sometimes.

You may be a single person living alone, a newly married wife or husband, or one of many in a large household.

No matter which camp you find yourself in, if you are interested in cooking frugally, eating healthier, and not spending hours prepping food every day, this post is for you!

(#2)

Ok, first off:

What I am Eating for Breakfast These Days:

Just by scrolling through this post, you can see what I’ve been eating! Each picture represents an actual breakfast I made for myself, and several are these are favorites that I have multiple times per week. For clarity I have labeled each photo and am going to talk a little bit about them.

#1. Veggie Omelet, Stewed Apples

This is SO delicious! One evening I sauteed a bunch of veggies (zucchini, peppers, onion) to use in my supper, and I simply refrigerated the rest to use in my omelet the next morning. This cuts down on prep time. The next morning, all I had to do was whip up some eggs and make the omelet using the prepared veggies and some shredded cheese from my fridge.

#2. Black Beans, Sauteed Spinach, Fried Eggs

Oh man…..I love me some beans! I know some of you probably thing it’s gross to eat beans for breakfast, but you might be surprised how good it actually it! And this particular breakfast is probably one of the very cheapest you can make. Especially if you cook the beans yourself, and find a good price on eggs and spinach (Aldi is my favorite place for inexpensive vegetables), this meal costs very little while being extremely nutritious and filling.

#3. Egg/Kale/Sausage/Parmesan Frittata

This Frittata is my current very FAVORITE breakfast! In fact, I am eating it as I type at this very moment.:)  This morning I grabbed half an onion that was in the fridge and started sauteeing that in lard, added the kale once the onion was soft, and finished it off by pouring on some eggs beaten w/ a little coconut milk. Once this was almost set, I sprinkled it with parmesan cheese and folded it in half.

#4. Cottage Cheese w/ Strawberries, Energy Balls

I think this picture might have actually been from a snack, because for breakfast I would have a larger portion. I eat this alot for snacks, but it’s also great for an occasional morning where I need something fast + easy and maybe I’m not quite feeling like eating eggs.:)

#5. Cottage Cheese, Pumpkin Baked Oats, Banana

What a delicious breakfast filled with good carbs! You could definitely substitute the cottage cheese with yogurt or milk, but I think I wanted some extra protein and didn’t have yogurt on hand that morning. I am going to post my pumpkin baked oatmeal recipe soon (once I can make it again and write down exact measurements!). It’s sooo good. I don’t eat very many baked things for breakfast, but this one is a favorite.

If you are cooking just for you or you + your spouse, a whole pan of this should last for awhile, which is just fantastic for a fast breakfast.

#6. Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Shake

The other morning I was having one of those mornings where eggs just didn’t sound good. Knowing I needed something still filling + nutritious, I opted for a protein shake. I don’t have an exact recipe, but here’s what I put in:

-yogurt

-coconut milk

-raw egg (only use raw eggs if you have a source for high quality, fresh eggs)

-cocoa

-square of dark chocolate

-big spoon of peanut butter

-banana

-ice cubes

I blended that all together, then poured it in my coffee mug and topped it with homemade whipped cream. I wouldn’t do this very often, but for something completely different and luscious, it’s perfect.

#7. Hard Boiled Eggs, Cheese, Energy Balls, Blueberries

Basic, ya’ll. Hard boiled eggs aren’t my very favorite breakfast in the world, but I will sometimes pair them with baked oatmeal, a fruit/yogurt bowl, etc to provide the protein for a super-little-prep-time breakfast.

Also, I should mention that with some of these breakfasts, I had kombucha, a smoothie, or an apple on the side and just didn’t take a picture of it. I don’t eat fruit every single morning, though. I absolutely love fruit, but sometimes I include it in a snack later in the day (like an apple with peanut butter), plus lately I have been trying to really focus on eating more vegetables. 

(#3)

How to Plan Balanced Breakfasts

I realize that everyone is different, with unique taste buds and nutritional needs. Based upon what I like to eat and what my body does best with, I usually use the following thought processes for planning my breakfasts:

-Center it on PROTEIN! I probably use eggs in my breakfasts 9 out of 10 mornings, and another protein source such as cottage cheese or whey protein the rest. I do include meat in my breakfast sometimes (sausage or bacon) but not very often. It gets expensive, plus I just prefer not to do it regularly for breakfast since I usually have it 1-2 more times later in the day (lunch/dinner).

-Include veggies if possible. I don’t always do this, but recently it’s been probably about half the time. When I do have veggies with my breakfast, I often make it a main part and skip fruit or something higher in carbs.

-Don’t eat something baked/sweet every morning. This is something I have have had to learn, because naturally, who doesn’t love muffins, pumpkin pancakes, biscuits, and waffles? I’m not saying it’s wrong to eat these things every morning, but for my personal health + nutritional needs, it’s just not the best option on a regular basis. I feel much better eating mostly eggs, fruit, yogurt, veggies, etc for breakfast. Also, for you gals (or guys) who are trying to lose weight or tend to gain weight easily, this is a simple trick that might help more than you’d think!

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(#5)

How to Stock Your Pantry + Fridge for a Variety of Simple, Frugal, Healthy, and Yummy Breakfasts

Here is my list of things I try to keep on hand:

-Eggs (MOST IMPORTANT!!!!)

-Bacon or Sausage

-Kale or spinach

-Other veggies such as onions + tomatoes

-Black beans

-Cottage Cheese + Yogurt

-1-2 fruits: my favorites are apples, strawberries, and bananas

-lard or butter (for sauteing veggies + frying eggs)

Those are my staples, but are below are a few more “great, but not necessary” items:

-Cheese

-Something Baked (usually gluten free/naturally sweetened baked oats, waffles, muffins, etc.) I probably only have something like this on hand less than 25% of the time, which is actually a good thing because then I eat more of the basics, like eggs, veggies, and fruit!

-Whipped cream (for topping smoothies, or fruit salad w/ yogurt)

-Additional fruit + veggie options

-Coconut milk

-Protein bars or balls (usually homemade)

-Protein powder (mostly for protein smoothies after a workout)

(#6)

My Morning Eating Schedule

I think I’m weird this way, but 99% of the time I wake up hungry! Are any of you like that?

On most mornings, I make a cup of coffee first thing, and eat a small handful of nuts or a protein ball (or 2 or 3:) while my coffee is steeping.

Usually I consume my “morning snack” and coffee before 6am.

I don’t really want to eat eggs first thing when I get up, and I’m not ready for a full breakfast- thus, the “morning snack”.

My breakfast schedule varies, but I’d say on average I eat breakfast somewhere from 7:30-8:30. I usually drink water or kombucha with my breakfast, since I prefer my coffee first thing with my morning snack, and I try to keep it to one cup per day on a regular basis.

(#7)

Thanks for reading along, friends! I am hoping to share a few of my recipes soon!. Particularly Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal and Mint Chocolate Protein Balls are two of my very favorites. I don’t really know of any similar recipes, so I really want to share those with ya’ll so you can enjoy them too!What resonated with you the most in this post? 
-Allison

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The Gathering Place

Today for some reason I am thinking of the beauty and blessing of the Dinner Table.  Maybe it’s because several days lately I ate a cold salad by myself in my vehicle in between running errands and arriving at work.  Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind eating alone.  In fact, being alone, and even eating alone, is something I enjoy.  But the older I get, the more I value coming together with family, community, friends, at the table.

The Table is a gathering place.  A place to connect, feel accepted, be nourished.

The nourishing of a good table goes beyond delicious food, and extends to the nourishments of soul and spirit along with food.  And it is priceless.

So what can we do to create a good Gathering Place…..a place where family and friends feel loved, accepted, nourished?  There seem to be a variety of factors that contribute to a truly nourishing gathering around the dinner table, a place where hearts are blessed, bodies refreshed, and spirits rested.  A few things I’ve observed as I’ve been blessed to be part of hundreds of excellent, joyous meal times all around the US, Canada, and Mexico:

  • The atmosphere is warm.  There is acceptance + love.  It is a place to relax, to be yourself, to feel “at home”.

  • The food can be simple or lavish, served on paper or china, but it is thoughtful, and served with love.

  • Enriching words, healing laughter, and (sometimes heated:) discussion flows.  It’s not always all peace and calm, at least not at my family’s table. But it is sharing.  It is community.

And now I would love to hear from you!  What special touches do you enjoy adding to the Table?  In your mind, what makes a mealtime special and refreshing?

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Golden Wheat Bread Recipe

As requested on our family instagram, here is the recipe for Golden Whole Wheat Bread I made the other day:

2 cups very warm water (warm enough so that you can just hold you finger under the water as it runs- if it was any hotter it would be too hot)

3 TBS yeast

3 tsp. sugar

3 cups scalded milk

1/2 cup honey or sugar

1/3 cup molasses

1/2 cup oil (I use olive oil)

2 TBS salt

6 cups whole wheat flour

6-7 cups white flour

Stir together the water, 3 tsp. sugar, and yeast.  Let set ten minutes.  In a large bowl (or mixer), combine the oil, scalded milk, honey, molasses, and salt.  Add the yeast/water/sugar mixture and wheat flour.  Mix some more.  Now comes the fun part!  Add several cups of white flour and continue mixing and adding flour.  I use my (clean!) hands to knead the dough.  When it becomes less sticky and starts balling together instead of adhering to your hands and the bowl, you’ve probably added enough flour.  I never measure exactly, but add until the consistency is right.  Knead a few minutes more.

Make sure your bowl is big enough, cause now you need to put a towel on top, set it in a large place, and let the dough rise until doubled in size, about 1 hr.

Divide the dough into loves and put into greased pans.  I like to make three generous loaves in bread pans, and one small round free-standing loaf.  Turn the oven on to 350 and let the loaves rise until much larger, about half an hour.

Bake for approximately 40 minutes, or until done.  When done, the loaves should be golden, and sound hollow when tapped.

Immediately remove from the pans and allow to cool a few minutes.  Our favorite way to eat the bread is fresh, with butter and honey!  It also makes delicious toast, sandwiches, and croutons.  Enjoy!

Have a wonderful week, friends!  Be watching for my first post on fitness, coming later this week.  I am excited to delve into a topic that I am very passionate about.  If you have any specific fitness-related questions or things you would like me to write about, feel free to drop me a line through my “Contact” page.

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