Fast and Nutritious Breakfast Ideas
Video: Depression Breakfast
The Frugal Egg
I am in need of hearty breakfast ideas on the cheap for my hardworking farmer. He never knows what time his next meal will be and taking a snack break is out of the question. He likes pancakes, quick breads and oatmeal, but claims that they do not stick to his ribs. He does like cold cereal and toast, but the amount he eats to "fill his tank" is too expensive. We have discussed filling the freezer with homemade breakfast sandwiches that he could eat along with oatmeal. Our other problem is that he gets bored easily with the same old thing everyday. Farmers have been eating breakfast since the dawn of time, so there has to be a frugal way to feed him!
Molly in Indiana
We really like to make breakfast burritos and freeze them. You will have to experiment to find out what combos he likes the best, but we scramble a bunch of eggs and mix them with fried potatoes, sausage pieces, onions and peppers. Then we add that mixture to a tortilla with some cheese and salsa. If you do this along with breakfast sandwiches, he will have multiple options for a quick breakfast.
Also, a link for morning glory muffins is at allrecipes.com. These muffins are really great tasting, pretty inexpensive (especially if you get the coconut in bulk from your health foods store), and are definitely "rib sticking."
Finally, have you tried steel cut oats? If you haven't and he likes oatmeal, you should! These oats take longer to cook than regular oatmeal, but they taste wonderful with a bit of brown sugar and cinnamon and are very hearty!
If boredom is an issue, why not really mix it up and serve dinner for breakfast? How about a casserole dish? And why is a snack break out of the question? Maybe coming back to the house is out, but taking a sandwich or two along to eat on the run should be doable. If taking a ten-minute break fuels him up to work a few more hours, it's a good investment in time.
It is my understanding that carbohydrates eaten without an adequate amount of protein will not stay with you long. This is one reason why we have so much obesity today. We are saturated with carbs that actually cause us to produce more insulin that causes us to get hungry quicker so we eat more. If you want your man to be satisfied longer, give him two or three scrambled eggs or an omelet with his oatmeal. Stay away from high sugar, low fiber cereals. Eggs are a powerhouse of nutrition and they are cheap! I guarantee your man will go much longer between meals with that kind of meal for breakfast.
My husband eats the following oatmeal "creation" every morning. It stays with him all morning due to the combination of complex carbohydrates, whole grain and healthy fats. Anyone he has made it for loves it!
He starts with cooking a serving of whole oats or oat groats. He soaks these overnight to soften as they need to cook a long time. You could make a big batch once a week and refrigerate or use the crock pot.
He adds currants or raisins, walnuts and almonds to his bowl of oats. On top of this, he adds one chopped apple. He then pops the bowl in the microwave for one minute to warm the apple. It is delicious! It's hot, sweet, salty, creamy, crunchy and fresh tasting all at the same time. And will definitely stick to your ribs!
You can check cookbooks or online for cooking instructions for whole oats. They can usually be found at health food stores, but if you can't find them, I would recommend steel cut oats, which are the next best thing. Less processed than regular rolled oats, and therefore will stay with you better. Enjoy!
As an oatmeal fan of long-standing, I can suggest several things to give the farmer a good, filling breakfast.
If he's still hungry with a solid bowl of nut and fruit-fortified oatmeal in him, he can carry a snack of roasted soy nuts or peanuts in a sandwich bag, sticking it in a pocket for easy access. Handy, healthy and hardy, either can be mixed with cold cereal, candy and/or dried fruit for a tasty in-between meal snack.
Putting all fad diet "facts" aside, people need a combination of fats, protein, and carbs to fill them up and keep them satisfied for several hours. This is why eating just toast or pancakes won't satisfy someone for the long haul. They are mainly carbs.
However, if you add protein and fat, those basic breakfast foods become stick-to-your-rib meals. Peanut butter on any toast or quick bread is a great, cheap way to add both protein and fat to round out a breakfast. Eggs are literally pennies apiece and can be scrambled and then cooked in the microwave and added to two pieces of toast for a quick breakfast sandwich.
Tuna fish is also inexpensive. Half a can mixed with some mayo and added to bread is an inexpensive breakfast.
Leftover roasts can be turned into beef and gravy toppings for biscuits (like a sausage and gravy type item.) You don't have to eat breakfast food for breakfast if you can get used to the idea.
You might be saving money if you stuck to smaller, simpler meals but not if you get hungry again three hours later. I eat big meals and fewer of them. I never have to snack or take more frequent meal breaks. Plus I don't have to stop what I'm doing to make time to eat.
I use Scotch Eggs to feed my trucker, and they should work for your farmer! You can find lots of recipe versions in an online search. Basically, you start with a hard boiled egg and mold sausage meat around it. Then they are rolled in seasoned oatmeal and baked. They freeze great, can be eaten hot or cold, and are very convenient and filling for a hard working man on the go.
Annette of Chateauguay, Quebec
Here is a recipe I recently found that is great. We often even eat it for a filling dinner in a hurry.
4 pre-made hash brown patties
1/2 pound pork sausage
1 T. cooking oil
Brown sausage in a large skillet, drain and then set aside. Next, brown the hash brown patties. Then join the sausage and hash brown patties together and add eggs and garlic salt. Continue to brown and stir food for another five minutes. Serve on a warm flour tortilla and sprinkle cheese on top! Enjoy!
Our family eats the same items that you described, but we only use the whole grain version. This "sticks to the ribs" much longer, as it provides more fiber. Any grain product that we might buy is first checked for a high fiber content, as that is the key. Pancake, breads and waffle recipes abound on the internet using whole grain flours. Wonderful mixes can be found at the natural food stores and larger grocery stores, but these are more expensive. At first, I mixed the grain half and half with white flour, until my teenagers' tastes adjusted. Now we are whole-grain only.
Carbohydrates do tend to "burn" more quickly; a higher protein breakfast may be needed. Not everyone enjoys meats in the morning and eggs are great, but not every day. I've found several less common grains (amaranth, quinoa, and kamut) that are high in protein and still taste like comfort food. Our food co-op has them in bulk at a very affordable price, but you can also get baking mixes and hot and cold cereals made with them; you'll just pay more for ready made. Soy is also high protein and very affordable. Kashi makes "Go Lean" toaster waffles with high protein flours; when I make a peanut butter sandwich with those, I literally forget to eat until I get home in the afternoon.
You may want to think outside the box a little, too. If it's to his taste, there's nothing wrong with fish or chicken for breakfast. Steam one of those heritage grains with it and he'll definitely be satisfied until lunchtime.
Here's one more suggestion. When I was breastfeeding, I couldn't seem to get enough to eat. I ate constantly (and gained weight) and still felt hungry. Finally, a nurse told me that thirst is often perceived as hunger! I started keeping a water bottle with me, and I found that even though I still needed more calories than normal, I felt more satisfied with a healthier amount of food. Make sure your hard working farmer drinks plenty of water.
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