Let’s talk about one of the primary deterrents to healthy eating. Time. One of the most popular grievances I’ve come across while working with clients is that healthy food takes too much time to prepare and can be stressful. I must admit, it is much easier to stop at a deli or fast food joint than to put time and effort into preparing healthy food.
Friends, family, and clients are frequently contacting me asking for advice on how they can transition to a healthier diet while maintaining their sanity. And with the school year right around the corner and life about to get a whole lot busier, I’ve decided to do a three part series (which may turn into four) on easy, healthy, quick meals. Most of these “recipes” are so simple that they can hardly even be called recipes. They are more like grabbing ingredients and throwing them together to make a perfect, “goal oriented” meal.
The first post will be about our first (and my favorite) meal of the day, breakfast. A healthy breakfast sets the tone for the rest of the day. It is also probably one of the most skipped meals due to time constraints and/or just not knowing what to eat. Personally, I am so lazy when it comes to food prep and cooking in general. We are all way too busy to be making elaborate, crazy meals or to have the foresight to plan ahead. Plus, who wants to do all those dishes? Not me. Uh uh. I’ve compiled a list of quick, easy, breakfast options for busy people just like you and me. There are two separate lists for convenience. The first list requires minimal planning and preparation. I’ve also put together a separate list of breakfasts for those who are like me and don’t like to plan or prepare. Each item in this second list can be made in 10 minutes or less. Here are 17 healthy stress-free breakfast options.
Meal Prep & Make Ahead Breakfasts
Crustless Quiche & Frittata cups
Dairy free, grain free, gluten free, vegetarian
- 12 scrambled eggs
- 2 cups chopped spinach
- 1 cup broccoli or other veggie of choice
- 1 onion- chopped
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ cup shredded cheese (optional)
- Salt and pepper
Directions: Grease 9x13 glass dish with butter, coconut or olive oil. Line with ¼” slices of sweet or white potato. Fill with onions, chopped spinach, broccoli, other veggies of choice, and cheese if desired. Scramble 12 eggs separately and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder (if you want some spice add a ½ tsp of chili powder or a splash or two of red hot); Pour egg over chopped vegetables. Place in preheated oven (350 degrees) for 20 minutes or until egg is cooked through (test with toothpick or knife. Should come out clean)
Variation: Frittata Cups Follow the directions for the crustless quiche except use a muffin tin instead of a pyrex dish. Make sure to grease muffin tin before lining with potato. Cheese optional.
Vegetarian, gluten free
- ½ Cup Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
- ¾ Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
- 1 TBSP Natural Peanut Butter
- 2 TBSP Powdered Peanut Butter
- 1 TBSP Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips (optional)
Directions: Place oats in the bottom of a jar or glass container. Cover with milk or milk alternative. Place greek yogurt on top of oats. Top with fruit, nut butter/pb fit, chocolate chips, Ground flax, nuts or seeds (hemp seeds are my fave). Store in refrigerator overnight. You can make up to a week’s worth ahead of time.
Directions: Add all ingredients together. Let set in refrigerator for 2-3 hours or overnight.
Grain free, gluten free, dairy free option, vegetarian
- 1 banana
- 3 egg whites (or one whole egg + 2 egg whites)
- ¼ cup oats
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp Vanilla or almond extract
- Cinnamon to taste
- ¾ Cup Vanilla Greek Yogurt
- ¼ Cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
Directions: Blend all ingredients (aside from Greek Yogurt and blueberries) until smooth in a blender or blender cup. Use a small frying pan over medium heat. You want to make sure your frying pan is about the size you want your pancakes to be because the batter is pretty loose and will spread. Use non-stick spray (I use coconut oil spray) or a small amount of other cooking oil. For best results make sure your pan is hot before pouring in the batter. Cook about ½ cup batter at a time for about one minute on each side. You may need to use the cooking spray in between pancake batches depending on your frying pan.
Top with Greek Yogurt and blueberries. Pro tip: To create a syrup-like experience while avoiding the associated extra calories and sugar, heat frozen blueberries or other berries of choice (either on the stove or in the microwave for a minute) and then pour overtop pancakes and greek yogurt.
Baked Oatmeal Squares & Baked Oatmeal Cups
Gluten free, dairy free
Tip: Make in muffin tins for individual servings (½ cup per muffin cup. I use an ice-cream scoop)
- 4 Cups oats
- 3 Chopped apples (or ½ cup other fruit. Berries work well)
- 2 Cups almond milk
- 2 Mashed bananas for sweetness
- 3 Eggs
- 1 Tsp baking soda
- ½ Salt
- ½ Tsp cinnamon
Directions: Combine all ingredients and place in either pyrex dish or muffin tin that has been coated with cooking spray (coconut oil, olive oil). Pyrex dish bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes until done. Muffin tin bake for 15-20 minutes until done (test with toothpick or knife. Should come out clean). Let cool before removing from muffin tin. Yields 24 cups. Serve with nut butter or yogurt.
Variety: Instead of mashed banana use ½ can pumpkin puree, 4 TBSP honey, and add pumpkin spice to make an awesome fall flavored breakfast.
High Protein Granola
Gluten free, vegetarian, vegan, dairy free, grain free option
There is nothing better than homemade granola! This recipe makes a week’s worth (serving size ⅓ cup). My favorite way to eat this granola is over plain yogurt for an extra protein and probiotic kick (you know how I love my gut health ;) )
Homemade PB Cookie Granola Recipe:
- 1/4 cup pecans
- 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup pb fit (or other powdered PB)
- 1/2 cup ground almond
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut (optional)
- 1 cup oats (omit for paleo)
- 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
- 2-3 TBSP honey heated in the coconut oil (microwave together for 30 seconds) Directions: preheat oven to 300*. Mix all dry ingredients together. Pour melted coconut oil and honey over dry ingredients and mix together. Spread evenly over parchment paper lined cookie tray. Bake for 15 minutes. Stir granola occasionally during baking time to avoid the edges burning.
Roasted Sweet potato with Hard Boiled Egg
Vegetarian, dairy free, grain free, gluten free
Directions: Sweet potatoes: Dice 3-4 large sweet potatoes and spread over foil lined cookie sheet. Drizzle olive oil or coconut oil over potatoes. Season with salt, pepper, garlic and rosemary (For an extra kick I also like to add chili powder). Bake in preheated oven at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until potatoes are crispy.
Hard boiled eggs: place eggs in the bottom of a pot of water. Bring water to boil over medium heat. Once boiling shut off the burner and set a timer for 12 minutes. Once the 12 minutes are over remove eggs from hot water and place in ice water to stop the cooking process. Tip: It is easier to peel eggs while running until cold water. Once you make the initial crack you can also use a spoon to get under the membrane and pop that shell right off!
Grab-and-Go & Low Prep
Microwave Veggie Omelet
Dairy free, vegetarian, gluten free, grain free
Prep Time: 3-4 minutes
Desperate times call for desperate measures. If all else fails grab two eggs and a mason jar on your way out the door and microwave at school or work! (just be careful you don’t crack the eggs in transit). Or if you have three and a half minutes before you have to go, follow the directions below :)
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup spinach or cooked broccoli (thawed frozen)
- Salt & Pepper to taste
Optional ingredients for variety: ¼ cup shredded cheese, 1-2 TBSP salsa, hot sauce chopped chives, red onion, tomato, leftover diced roasted sweet potato or white potato Directions: Coat jar with cooking spray (I use coconut or olive oil). Scramble eggs in jar. Place remaining ingredients in small mason jar or glass container. Microwave 1 minute, stir, cook for 30 seconds, stir again and cook for another 30 seconds (this part is important to avoid raw egg from exploding all over your microwave!).
Fruit & 100 calorie pack of almonds
Vegetarian, vegan, dairy free, gluten free, grain free
Prep Time: None! Just grab and go :)
Greek Yogurt Cup & Hemp Seeds
Gluten free, Grain Free, Vegetarian
Prep Time: None! Just grab and go :)
Health Tip: look for the yogurt with the least ingredients and without cornstarch (usually this means less protein and just the mouthfeel of Greek yogurt without the benefits!). Full fat yogurt is okie dokey by me :)
Microwave Oatmeal Muffin
Dairy free, gluten free, vegetarian Prep time: ~3 minutes
- 1 egg
- ⅓ cup almond milk
- ½ cup oats
- ¼ cup blueberries
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 TBSP honey (optional)
Directions: scramble egg in mug, stir in the remaining ingredients. Microwave for about 2 minutes. The last minute may need some “babysitting” because the egg will try to expand right out of your mug! Every 20 seconds or so stir and repeat until the minute is over. Top with nut butter, hemp seeds or yogurt.
Avocado Toast w/ Fried Egg
Dairy Free, Vegetarian, Gluten & Grain free options Prep Time: 5 minutes Tip: This can be made gluten free with either gluten free toast or sweet potato toast (directions below).
- 1-2 Slices Toasted Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Bread (For gluten free give sweet potato toast a try! Directions below.)
- 2 Fried Eggs
- 1-2 slices of tomato
- ½ Avocado
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- Salt, Pepper, Garlic powder to taste (Recommended: ~¼ tsp each)
Directions: Mash ½ Avocado with vinegar, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Spread mashed avocado on sprouted grain toast. Top with sliced tomato and fried eggs.
Sweet potato Toast with Toppings of Choice
Grain free, dairy free, vegetarian, Vegan
Prep Time: ~10 minutes
Directions: Take one large sweet potato and slice lengthwise about ¼ of an inch thick (or desired thickness). One Sweet potato should make 4-5 pieces. The trick to slicing the perfect sweet potato toast pieces without slicing your fingers is to throw the whole potato in the microwave for a few seconds. Place sweet potato slices in toaster oven on high for about 8 minutes (flip halfway through).
Toppings/Combinations as shown in picture:
- Plain Greek yogurt, mango, chopped pecans
- Almond butter, cherries, shredded coconut (this one was my fave!)
- Plain yogurt, cherries, mango, hemp seeds
Get creative!! Just make sure that protein and fat make an appearance on this complex carb in one way or another. Easily make this into a sweet potato toast sandwich for easier portability!
Spinach or Kale w/ Fried Egg or Sausage
Dairy free, gluten free, grain free, vegetarian option Prep time: ~7 minutes. (This can be made even faster if you make the veggies the night before!)
Directions: Heat oil (coconut, olive or avocado) or butter in medium size frying pan. Throw in spinach or kale (2-3 cups). I also like to add some cherry tomatoes for a pop of color and some vitamin C! Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Stir greens occasionally until completely cooked through (~3-4 minutes depending on how many greens there are). Remove greens from pan and place in bowl. In the same pan crack 1-3 eggs. Season with salt and pepper. Decrease heat to low and cover with lid until eggs are cooked through. Remove and place on greens.
Gluten free, grain free, vegetarian
Prep Time: under 5 minutes
- 1/2 mango or ½ cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1/2 frozen banana
- ½- ¾ cup plain Greek yogurt (I use full fat)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (use more or less until desired thickness) Directions: Blend until smooth. Optional: top with hemp seeds, chia seeds, or granola.
Packet of Plain Oatmeal, Single Serve PB & Single Serve Greek Yogurt
Gluten free, vegetarian
Prep time: None! Just Grab and go :)
Directions: Either mix uncooked oats and pb right into your yogurt when you get to work or microwave oatmeal with a little bit of water once you get there.
Extra breakfast meal-prep tips:
- Hard boil 12 eggs at the beginning of the week for a quick breakfast or snack.
- To save money buy in food in bulk and separate out into ziploc bags or containers as soon as you get home. It’s a little more work but will save money in the long run to make your own “single-serve”.
- Keep chopped up veggies in your fridge (onions, peppers etc) to be able to easily throw into some scrambled eggs or an omelet in the morning.