Newspaper reporter by trade, though in my spare time I'm interested in pets, health, books, cooking, the outdoors, and family.
Diet-Friendly Breakfast on the Go
If you are following a low-carb or Atkins diet, breakfast can be a difficult meal when you are on the go. Yogurt, oatmeal, bran muffins, smoothies—all these easy on-the-go foods are forbidden if you are on the Atkins diet or Phase One of the South Beach Diet. You know breakfast is an important meal and that you must not skip it, but without time to cook eggs, how do you stick to the diet?
One easy secret for portable, make-ahead diet-friendly breakfasts is the mini frittata or mini quiche. I make these in bulk in a muffin pan, and they couldn't be easier or faster to make. Once they are done, I refrigerate some for the next few days' breakfasts, and often I freeze some of these mini frittatas so that I can have a week's worth of healthy breakfasts ready to go.
This helps me save time and calories at breakfast. It's healthy, homemade fast food for breakfast that is also diet-friendly.
Sample Ingredients for Mini Frittatas
- 1 container egg whites. What size you buy depends on how many egg frittata muffins you plan to make.
- 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
- 1/2 cup chopped spinach (fresh or frozen. If frozen, thaw it first)
- 1/4 chopped tomatoes
- 1/4 chopped ham (i prefer to use ham steaks, but lunch meat works, too) or turkey bacon
- 1/4 chopped broccoli
- 1/4 chopped onion
- Parmesan or low-fat swiss cheese
These are just some of the ingredients you can use. Feel free to mix and match according to your own tastes. Other ingredients you might want to try are artichoke hearts, asparagus, zucchini. Use your imagination!
How to Make Mini Frittatas
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray a cupcake pan with Pam or another non-stick cooking spray.
- In the bottom of each cupcake cup, sprinkle an assortment of chopped veggies. Fill the cup about one-third to half-way with the veggies.
- Pour egg whites from the carton into each cupcake cup until it is almost full. Do not go all the way to the brim as these inflate like a soufflée when you cook them (you can separate your own egg whites if you have the time or inclination).
- Sprinkle the top of the "cupcakes" with cheese and salt and pepper, if desired. You also can put cheese inside the muffin cup.
- Place in the center of a preheated oven and bake 20 minutes or so, or until fully cooked. Egg whites are waterier than full eggs, so there may be some "water" on the top of the frittata. Don't worry. You can test for doneness by inserting a fork into the frittata and seeing if it is firm/cooked through.
- Remove the cooked frittatas from the over and allow it to cool. Once they have cooled, gently remove them from the pan. Place the cooked frittatas in Tupperware or plastic sandwich baggies in your refrigerator. If you are going to freeze some, do so in individual servings, but only after the frittatas have cooled completely.
- In the morning, remove the frittatas from the fridge and pop in the microwave for 30 seconds or until heated through. Voila! An instant breakfast of low-carb, low-cal eggs.
- Serving size: 2 or 3 mini frittatas.
© 2011 s.carver