As I was saying yesterday, breakfast is a struggle for me. The meatless part? Not so bad. But I’m not a big morning person, and now that I don’t have to arrive at an office dressed a certain way, at a certain time, presumably mentally prepared for the first meeting or task of the day, it takes a lot out of me to organize my thoughts and prioritize what I want to get done first. On any given day, I could settle into a morning yoga practice, finalize a blog post, work on an eCookbook, test a recipe, or work on my photography. No morning is the same, so the last thing I need is to spend 20 minutes making a decision about breakfast. Even though I usually feed Steve the same green smoothie (or a tea, on the days he’s not hungry), I’m not routine in my own selection.
Hopefully this handful of make ahead breakfasts can help keep us all organized during mornings in the coming busy weeks. Whether you’re trying to eat fewer animal products or you have my issue with making a quick decision, you can pick one thing off this list, make it in advance, and eat it for breakfast until you have hard boiled eggs coming out your ears and don’t want to see another one for a year. And, whether your preference is salty or sweet, I find it’s easy to do meatless for breakfast and set the tone for prioritizing your health the rest of the day.
Please bear with some of my old iPhone photos. In my opinion, it’s better to have some kind of photo example than none, and I plan to shoot all of these recipes soon with the big girl camera so they’re much more Pinterest worthy.
Greens, beans, and cheese wrap
I’ll be putting this one to the test this week. I have a big container of cooked white beans and chickpeas, lots of spinach and some leftover collard greens, and a bunch of miscellaneous half-eaten blocks of cheese in the fridge, plus gluten-free brown rice tortillas in the freezer. Wrap up greens, beans of your choice, a sprinkling of grated cheese, and a little salt and pepper in a tortilla, then wrap in plastic wrap or foil and place in an airtight container. You could eat this cold, but I think it would be nice briefly microwaved, or wrapped in foil and warmed in the oven while you get ready, if time permits. Plastic wrap can be microwaved, but I try to do so at less than 100% power for as little time as possible, so it doesn’t melt into the food. Brown rice tortillas tend to perish quickly, so make no more than three days at a time in advance.
Pumpkin oats, made with steel cut oats
Rolled oats can be made a night ahead, but they’re very mushy the next day. Instead, prepare steel cut oats in a large batch, and add the same mix-ins that I use in my pumpkin oats. Steel cut oats stand up much better in the refrigerator all week long—similar to rice or wheat berries (both good options for make ahead breakfasts). Adding the bananas in advance would be fine, but the result will be even better if you have a couple minutes in the morning to slice it up and add it fresh.
Sweet potato and kale veggie cakes
Over the weekend, I learned that these freeze and reheat beautifully. I was skeptical that they’d be a pile of mush after pan frying them, refrigerating, then freezing tightly wrapped in plastic with layers of wax paper separating the cakes. Granted, they’re not quite as crisp on the outside as they are freshly fried when reheated in the microwave. If you have time, though, they do taste freshly made when left alone in a 300 degree oven for 15 minutes, and you’ll devour them in 5 minutes flat. I love them with salsa or the avocado dip I made with my meatless steakhouse quesadillas.
Hard boiled egg and fruit
Super simple and satisfying, this breakfast requires no recipe. Just hard boil a bunch of eggs at the beginning of the week, then slice and salt one or two for breakfast. Serve with a big bowl of berries, an apple, or, my seasonal favorite, pomegranate seeds emptied from the fruit ahead of time (more on that later this week). To keep your egg consumption to one but still fill up, serve your apple with peanut butter, or have a container of whole nuts on hand for snacking, keeping more of your protein intake plant based. For an extra yummy holiday snacking treat, this recipe for rosemary roasted cashews will last you all week…if you have strong willpower.
Veggie burger with avocado and salsa
Any veggie burger recipe you like will work for this, but some of my favorites are my double chipotle bean burger and this basic patty from Oh She Glows (many more on my “to make” list on my meatless mains Pinterest board). Not only can you prep and form the patties ahead, storing them in the freezer almost indefinitely, but you can also pan fry or bake them all at once for the week, then just microwave when you’re ready to eat them at work.
I’ve eaten them plain or over a bed of made ahead baked sweet potatoes, or even serve on your favorite gluten free roll or tortilla. Keep a container of salsa and a sliced avocado on hand for the week. Tossing avocado slices with lime juice will boost flavor and keep them green longer. If you’re really on a salty breakfast kick, this is the perfect option (just keep some mints handy!).
In our house, the best gluten free muffins are better known as love muffins. Don’t ask me how that happened, except that I think it was Steve’s doing. It’s to be determined if it refers to his love for the muffins or his love for me for making them. A batch of these makes a dozen, they’re so hearty you’d never guess they’re gluten free, you can fill them with mix-ins of your choice, from super healthy fruit and nuts to more indulgent chocolate chips, and they keep well individually wrapped in the freezer. Once you slather the first muffin in butter or vegan buttery spread fresh out of the oven, the effort to pick up a couple gluten free baking ingredients at the grocery store will suddenly seem trivial. If you’re worried you’ll never use xantham gum again—trust me, you’ll use it as you make these muffins over and over. For a wintry combo, fill them with dried (preferably unsweetened) cranberries, toasted chopped walnuts, and even a few white chocolate chips.
Eating a healthy breakfast (and staying hydrated), miraculously, helps me not to need coffee the moment I put my feet on the floor in the morning. Since I had a three week long cold in October, I’ve even begun to enjoy a decaf tea in the morning, something I just couldn’t get down with until now. However, I usually take in a coffee sometime before lunch, and I’ve been exploring some different varieties. If you’re an enthusiast, head over to my new coffee list, and please make suggestions! Who will ship me the most freshly roasted, tasty coffee beans?