As a nutritionist, some of the most common questions I get are about what to eat for snacks and the best way to get in a healthy breakfast. Here in North America, breakfast is generally synonymous with what I like to call “beige food.” We’re talking breads, cakes in many forms, sweetened yogurts and sugary cereals – just processed carbs upon carbs, with an extra side of unhealthy carbs. And listen, I’m not knocking carbohydrates, we need them to function. But we need the right kinds and amounts, like complex carbohydrates and also not in abundance. We really need to round out the nutrients within our meals, especially if it’s our first one of the day.
If you do choose to eat breakfast, getting in an adequate amount of protein and healthy fats in the morning will help to balance your blood sugar throughout the day. This will help to curb that 3pm crash and keep you fuller for longer. But it’s not just protein and fats that you should consider. Adequate fibre intake is also key when it comes to setting up your day right. One of my favourite sources of fibre is in fresh fruits and vegetables!
Now I’m a huge fan of minimizing food waste and using as much of the food that you already have on hand, so using leftovers is a great way to do that. Adding them into a high protein, healthy fats-packed, high fibre breakfast is a pretty darn wonderful way to use them. So that’s why I want to show you how to make an easy and delicious breakfast frittata that will leave you feeling satisfied while allowing you to set up your day properly. It’s also great to make ahead to heat up in the next morning, or to take with you on the go, and it even freezes well.
Leftovers Breakfast Frittata
1 cup leftover cooked or fresh veggies (or whatever you have in the fridge, really!)
1 tbsp butter
1/2 small onion, chopped
4-5 strips bacon or 1 cup chopped leftover meat (omit if you’re looking for a veggie option)
1/3 cup water
1 cup organic local cheese (optional)
Sea salt & pepper to taste
Pinch of paprika
Parsley flakes (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 C. In a large bowl, add the eggs and whisk together until mixed. Add in the veggies and mix again. Set aside. In a pan on medium heat, add the butter and heat until melted. Add in the onion and cook until translucent. If your meat is already cooked, add it into the pan with the onions and cook for a couple more minutes for added flavour.
Add into the bowl with the eggs and stir to mix. Add in water and mix again. The water will help it to rise in the oven, creating some steam, making it fluffy. If using it, add in half of the cheese and stir to mix. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
In a baking pan, around 9 x 13 or so (greased or lined), pour in the mixture. Loosely sprinkle the top with paprika. Top with the remainder of the cheese and bake for 30-35 minutes, until eggs are cooked all the way through in the middle and the top is a golden brown. Before serving, sprinkle with parsley flakes.
Makes approximately 6 servings.
Photos and recipe by Catherine Sugrue