Americans are famous the world over for being hearty breakfast eaters. We’ve built an industry around our love of elaborate breakfast foods, and entire weekend plans tend to revolve around it. Yet very few people are consistently good at breakfast. According to a recent survey by Kellogg’s, only 34 percent of American adults eat breakfast every day. And I’m sure that many within this small group are getting by with unsatisfying cold cereal or lining up like zombies to buy some breakfasty version of junk food on the way to work. The health benefits for regular breakfast eaters are immense. This habit has been connected to maintaining healthy weight, mental sharpness, and better heart health. It’s also the most delicious good habit you can foster.
While I’ve always been a breakfast lover, I have only recently become a breakfast master—and I’m here to share my wisdom with you. Four years ago when pregnant with my first child, I suffered from terrible morning sickness, and the only thing that kept it at bay was a protein-heavy breakfast first thing in the morning. Purely for survival, I started making a week’s worth of breakfast every Sunday. It was satisfying and made for such smooth mornings that I never let the habit fade. In fact, it’s become even more crucial to a great start after I became a mom.
You, too, can become a breakfast master without a lot of time, money, or even kitchen skills. I invest about 30 minutes a week, usually Sunday afternoon, and it makes every subsequent morning that much better. When I first started my new breakfast routine, my go-to recipe was quiche. I made a new quiche with various veggies and fillings every week. That got boring pretty quickly, and, let’s be honest, it is probably not healthy to eat quiche every day.
I’ve since built a pretty great repertoire of breakfast recipes that keeps things interesting and delicious. This week I’m eating migas—yes, San Antonio’s most famous egg dish. Here’s my technique: I sauté onion, jalapeño, and tomato then add some chopped up corn tortilla to the pan. In two minutes it’s crispy. I add some whisked eggs (six for a week’s worth) with a touch of milk, some grated cheese, salt, and pepper. Once the eggs are barely set I scoop it into my silicone muffin pan and bake them for ten minutes. Done and done. Every morning this week I had a delicious, hot—and slightly indulgent—breakfast that powered my morning.
Want to give it a shot? I recommend starting with the humble frittata, which is the base for all my favorite breakfasts. Bake it in a muffin pan for perfect, individual portions that should be warmed in a toaster oven. One week I’ll take inspiration from my favorite greek omelette (feta, spinach, tomato), which is healthy and satisfying. At other times I’ll use leftover roasted potatoes (french fries also work!) and lots of sauteed onion and paprika for an amazing Spanish tortilla. If you get tired of eggs, add overnight oats to the schedule but make enough for the week rather than the usual single-serving recipe. It keeps really well. My favorite oats are inspired by pumpkin pie. Just take the basic one-to-one oat and liquid recipe (I like yogurt and almond milk), then mix in a can of pumpkin, some honey, pumpkin pie spice, and some nuts or dried cranberries. You’ll thank me. Something better suited for spring? Use greek yogurt, chopped apple, and berries instead.
I’ve also been known to whip up a week’s worth of egg “McMuffins” (way better than the McDonald’s version), breakfast tacos, or pancakes. I take this healthy pancake recipe and add blueberries to make it a great breakfast. Make a big batch and lightly toast a serving each morning. My toddler loves this option.
Why slog through your mornings hungry and/or rushed? This little bit of weekly planning will turn you into a morning warrior. And trust me, it’s amazing to have one less thing to worry about on your way out the door.