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Breakfast Time!

Written by: Ephraim Monaghan |

Start your day with a healthy protein-packed breakfast skillet recipe!

Gordon Ramsay was once asked on Reddit, “What are 5 dishes that everyone should learn how to cook?” He answered with 5 different types of dishes that could cater to any event life may throw at you. The following article is the second in a series that will take you into the art of cooking, specifically what makes a perfect breakfast.

There are two things that a breakfast is not complete without: a couple eggs and more than a couple pieces of crispy bacon. As the great saying goes, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  So, I agree that everyone should not only know how to cook it, but also know how to cook a healthy version.

There are some musts for an ideal breakfast. It has to be fast, easy, and healthy! The last thing I want to do in the morning is clean three pans and two mixing bowls. That is why I came up with a delicious, easy, protein-packed breakfast, and the best part is, it only uses one pan!

 

The Ingredients

  • 4 slices of bacon
  • ½ a bell pepper
  • ½ an onion
  • ½ a jalapeño (if you enjoy some spice)
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes
  • Spinach
  • Fresh basil
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ tablespoon of butter
  • 1 oz. feta cheese
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • Pinch of ground black pepper

The best part about this recipe is that it is so flexible. You can swap out almost any of these ingredients as long as they complement the rest. For instance, you could sub asparagus, broccoli, arugula, zucchini, cilantro, and even habanero if you can handle the heat!

Why Choose Healthy?

The most important aspect of a healthy breakfast is the quality of the ingredients.

  • Buy high quality meat. It is worth the extra $1 not only for the taste, but also for your health factor, especially for something as fatty as pork bacon.
  • Look for local eggs. Pasture-raised eggs can sometimes be as high as $8 a dozen at the store, but some local egg farmers sell a dozen for $4 or less with even better quality. (Try the local farmer's market.)  Eggs come in all colors, so don’t be scared if you get a green or yellow egg. You can detect if an egg is high-quality or not. Just look as the yolk. If it is a dark yellow, and that yolk stands high you know it is packed with nutrients. If the yolk is a pale yellow and is flatter, it is from an unhealthy chicken and isn’t packed with nutrients and flavor.
  • Some vegetables are worth buying organic, while others are not. Organic vegetables can sometimes be outrageous in price, so you'll want to determine which are worth the cost. Click here for a list of organic options that will make the most of your money.
  • Get good butter. It really isn’t much more to get higher quality butter, but good butter tastes like liquid gold! Stay away from that margarine and vegetable oil. You might as well just throw flavor out the window if you do that.

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Preparation

In order to have your veggies cooked to perfection, you'll want to follow a specific order when cooking them.  That way you don’t get soggy bacon or mushy spinach. The easiest way to do this is to make sure to have all ingredients chopped and prepared before you start cooking.

  • Start by cutting the bacon by stacking the strips on top of each other and making thin slices.
  • Next cut up your bell pepper. Gordon Ramsay has a short tutorial for an easy way to cut peppers.  Click here to watch. You can cut your jalapeño the same way.
  • Cutting the onion. Start by cutting off the small end. Keep the root end on, this will hold the onion together while cutting it. It will also save you some tears, since cutting off the root causes the onion to bleed. Peel the skin and wash the onion.  Using a sharp knife, cut the onion in half between the root, place flat on the cutting board and start cutting thin slices from the end opposite of the root.
  • Halve the cherry tomatoes. This can be done in one easy motion with a little trick I learned. Find a long waved or serrated knife. Take your handful of cherry tomatoes and place them on a flat surface and group them together. Make your hand completely flat and place it on top of all the cherry tomatoes holding them in place. Then take your serrated knife and cut through all the tomatoes. The key to cutting the tomatoes evenly is to keep your knife straight.
  • Chop the basil. Now basil is a very delicate herb. When tearing the basil by hand or whacking it with a meat cleaver, a lot of the flavor is lost. The easiest way to chop the basil is to place the leaves on top of each other and then roll the basil gently but tightly. Then chop with a sharp knife. Basil cut like this is beautiful and super flavorful to garnish your dishes and take them to the next level.

 

Putting It All Together

Once you’ve got all your prep done, it's time to cook it up!

  • Heat a non-stick pan to medium-high heat.
  • Once the pan is hot, add the chopped bacon to the pan. (If using turkey bacon, add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan before adding bacon.)
  • Let the bacon cook until it begins to crisp, around 30 seconds, then add the bell peppers, jalapeños, and onions.
  • Let the ingredients cook for one minute, stirring occasionally. Then add in tomato, spinach, and basil as desired.
  • Give a light stir, cooking for no more than 15 seconds, then add three eggs and the feta cheese. Add a pinch of salt to the yolks of the eggs,  then stir.
  • Eggs do not need to cook for long.  So as soon as you see the eggs start to solidify, turn off the heat.
  • Plate your scramble and top off with more fresh basil or sliced avocado.

Eating a nutritious breakfast like this in the mornings always make me so much more energized throughout the day. It also regulates your meal schedule, and can completely eliminate the urge snack throughout the day. Breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day.

 

Topics: Health, Personal, Food

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