Sunday, January 29, 2012

Healthy(er) Homemade Breakfast Sandwiches

I've been finding that I get to be darned near starving by mid-morning these days.  Probably related to the fact that I somehow struggle most mornings to get Logan to daycare by their 9 am cut-off (often, dragging him in at 9:15 with apologies instead).  And this, even if we have been up since 4 am.  Not sure what gives.  In fact, I think that the earlier that he gets up, the harder that it is for me to actually get out the door. 

So never mind finding time to eat an adequate breakfast.  I always eat breakfast.  But these days it has turned into the quickest thing I can find (often a bowl of cereal), which often doesn't have enough protein in it to hold me over until lunch.  I always have the intention to complete the meal with a piece of fruit or whatever when I get back home, but it somehow slips my mind until late morning, when I am starving.  And often, out of the house, with no food.

Plus, I guess the fact that I sometimes eat breakfast at 5 or 6 am contributes to my hunger come 10 or 11.  And yes, I could just have a snack.  But I find that I don't even notice how hungry I am until it's lunchtime and I'm just starving.  I guess that's the nature of the beast of being busy with kids.

So my goal of late has been to have a complete breakfast so that I'm not quite so starving come lunch.  But I needed something quick so that I'd be sure to actually eat it.  And I wanted something with a good amount of protein so that it could get me through much of the morning.

And here came my idea of making these little breakfast sandwiches.  They're nothing gourmet, and again, as with my taco salad, nothing that you need a recipe for.  And the idea is definitely stolen from a variety of fast food chains.  But these are tasty (I'd wager probably tastier than their fast-food counterparts - and definitely healthier!).  And they've been keeping me nice and full all morning (particularly when I also have a chance to grab a glass of milk with it).

And they're super simple to make. 

I just cut a whole-wheat English muffin in two.  Despite what Logan's act at daycare, where he refuses to eat anything but white bread, would let on, I always buy whole-wheat everything.  Last weekend I somehow managed to accidentally buy a pack of whole-wheat and a pack of white English muffins while at the grocery store.  But when my brain is functioning properly (which, admittedly, only seems to be about 50% of the time these days...), they would have all been whole-wheat.  So it just so happens that the ones in the picture were the last two of the white ones.  But I swear they're normally whole-wheat ;)

I then folded a slice of the delicious Chef Georges ham that we get at Costco (tastes just like the delicious ham in France). 

And topped that with a slice of low-fat cheese.

I then poured a bit (maybe 1/4 C?) of simply egg whites into a microwaveable container (with no BPA), that I had lightly sprayed with olive oil using my misto sprayer.  Seasoned lightly with salt and pepper.  And then microwaved them for 1 1/2 minutes, cooking two containers at a time (just play with the time if only doing one - you can always stick it in for a few more seconds if it's not quite cooked).

I popped this on top of the ham and cheese and voilà... breakfast is almost ready.

I then threw it onto our Cuisinart Griddler to heat.  

And then enjoyed.

These can be made in advance and stored in the fridge and then just headed in the griddler right before eating.  If you don't have a griddler, they can also be heated in a toaster oven, the oven, or in the microwave, though the English muffin will be soft if heated in the microwave.

For a dairy-free version, omit the cheese.
For a vegetarian version, omit the ham.

Difficulty level: easy


Madeleine said...

I can so relate to this breakfast problem ... easiest thing is to get a doughnut on the way to work, which is a) nutritional nothing, and b) protein-less, so I'm starving almost immediately. Whole grains help, but I need that serious protein from eggs, etc!

Camille said...