Monday, March 11, 2013

Playing With My Food - Breakfast Edition

When it comes to what I eat, I'm an unusual breed of "picky eater." I'll eat almost anything, but my regular eating habits have to fit into my weird schedule, have variety and meet at least some basic healthy guidelines. As I've made Weight Watchers (WW) part of my lifestyle the healthy guidelines have become more and more important.

Breakfast in particular has proven to be a challenge for me because it has to meet all of those expectations AND it has to be fast. Whether it's kicking off a vacation or just getting to work on an average day, I need breakfast. I'm not starting any journey on an empty stomach.

Luckily, over the last couple of years, I've come up with a number of breakfasts based on how much time I have to prepare it.

10 Minutes or Less

Winter Oatmeal
Put frozen fruit (about 1/2C of blackberries seen in photo) in a microwave safe bowl and heat in the microwave a bit to defrost. For Add some quick oats (1/3C seen in photo = 3 PP). Mix, add a bit of water if necessary and heat it up for a bit more time in the microwave.
Photo Credit: Betty Kane
TIP: Buying a large container of Quick Oats and measuring out what you need as you need it
or measuring out a portion and putting it in a Ziploc bag in advance is cheaper than buying prepackaged oatmeal. 

Quinoa Banana Mash

I found this one via Pinterest. You can follow the link to the original site and make it as directed or make my lower calorie version. I altered the recipe to make it more WW friendly. Instead of two eggs, I substituted 1/2 cup egg whites to reduce the WW Points Plus (PP) value. I like to top it with honey or pancake syrup as well. The resulting product is somewhere between oatmeal and a pancake.

5 Minutes or Less

Egg Muffins
Advanced Preparations:
Preheat oven to 375- 400
Spray a muffin tin with oil. Add one piece of bacon or one piece of breakfast sausage and 1/4 cup egg white, egg beaters or one egg. Top with some veggies (I like the frozen pepper and onion mix since it's already diced).
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until egg looks cooked.
Let cool and store in refrigerator.

Ready to go:
Heat one or two muffins in microwave for 1-2 minutes. I like to top it with a little hot sauce. Eat and enjoy. You can easily make these for as little as 2-3 PP each, depending on your options.

Photo Credit: Betty Kane
Each of these Egg Muffins has one slice of bacon, 1/4c egg whites, diced peppers and onions.
Eating two totals 4PP on Weight Watchers.

Breakfast Quesadilla
Place one tortilla on a plate. Top with cheese, veggies, diced up pre-cooked breakfast sausage. Get creative, add some seasoning and/or hot sauce. Cover with second tortilla. Microwave till cheese melts. Let cool a bit eat. Make the meal a little more filling by grabbing a piece of fruit or a yogurt too! The PP values can vary on this one, but if you're making smart choices you can make it for as low as 3 PP.

2 Minute Meals

Summer Oatmeal
Advanced Preparations:
Put one serving of oatmeal into a small bowl or container. I actually use small Ball jars meant for making jelly. Add milk and flavorings. Put in the refrigerator overnight.
     Flavoring combos that I've tried:
     1. Pumpkin Puree, Cinnamon and Agave Syrup
     2. Raisins, Walnuts, Cinnamon and Brown Sugar
     3. Canned Peaches

Ready to go:
The milk and flavorings will have been absorbed by time you are ready to eat this. You can even grab a spoon and eat it on the go.

Desperately Hungry:
Wrap a cheese stick and/or deli turkey in a piece of bread. Pop it into a Ziploc bag. Peel a banana fully. Eat the banana first as you're walking out the door and the mini sandwich at your next possible opportunity.
Weight Watchers 2 - 3 PP on average

Girl Scout Trick:
Advanced Preparations:
Buy or make some applesauce (I prefer unsweetened). Add raisins and walnuts, mix and store in refrigerator.
Ready to go:
Scoop out a serving, top with whip cream if you have it. Eat and go.
Weight Watchers 2 PP on average - depending on serving, quantity of mix-ins and topping.

Products I recommend for the above recipes:
Pre-cooked bacon, pre-cook your own turkey or regular bacon, Banquet turkey sausages from the frozen aisle.
Laughing Cow Wedges in the light varieties, Sargento reduced fat provolone, Weight Watchers string cheese, Weight Watchers shredded cheese or Kraft Fat Free shredded cheese.
Fresh pre-washed spinach, Stop & Shop brand frozen diced peppers and onions.


  1. can i use the applesauce in the advance oatmeal? also- how long do you microwave the frozen fruit?

    1. For the Summer Oatmeal I think applesauce would work great. I'd probably toss in some cinnamon and maybe walnuts or raisins too.

      For the Winter Oatmeal, I start by microwaving the fruit for about 2 minutes for a half cup of the berries. Then I add the oatmeal, a little water and microwave for another 1 - 2 minutes. My microwave is low powered (even on "high"), so you may want to reduce the times if you have a snazzy microwave. :)