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A Healthy Start to the Day (and the Week)

09 Jul

Michelle and I both decided that this week we are going to try to eat healthier. No more snacks, cutting back on carbs, more fruits and vegetables all the fun stuff nobody ever really wants to do. What better way to get things started than to have a good breakfast every day. I am really bad about eating in the morning. Normally I only have a cup of coffee and that’s it, but I know that is not the way to go. I decided to try to kill two birds with one stone by having breakfast and having something that will also be good for me and my cholesterol. I had made steel-cut oats before, but I saw a recipe on Saturday by Jamie Deen (Paula’s son) who has his own show on the Food Network now. The recipe looked simple, tasty and would make enough for Michelle and I to both have portions for the entire week.

Steel-Cut Oats with Bananas and Strawberries

1 tablespoon butter

1 cup steel-cut oats

1 cup milk

3 tablespoons light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 ripe banana, sliced

2 cups strawberries, stemmed and sliced

Melt the butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the oats and toast, while stirring, until they smell nutty, about 3 minutes. Add 3 cups of water, the milk, brown sugar, and salt. Turn up the heat, bring to a simmer and cover. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep the oats from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Remove the lid and stir in the banana. Cover again and cook for 10 more minutes, stirring on occasion, until the oats are soft and creamy. Stir in the berries right before serving.

Just a couple of quick notes about this recipe. First, I actually cooked the oats for a little longer since both Michelle and I like oatmeal with less liquid. I added about another 5 to 10 minutes to the cooking time. Secondly, you can easily substitute other fruit into this if you don’t want to use bananas or strawberries. Blueberries would be a great alternative or even some diced apple.

Another great breakfast alternative is another recipe from the same episode from Jamie Deen. He made a very good-looking tropical fruit salad. I decided to alter it slightly since neither of us are fans of coconut, so I eliminated that part of the recipe. Of course, if you like coconut, go for it!

Tropical Fruit Salad with Honey and Lime

3/4 cup sweetened coconut flakes

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons chiffonade of fresh mint

Zest and juice of 1 lime

2 kiwis, peeled and sliced

1 banana, peeled and sliced on the bias

1 small bunch red grapes

1 mango, peeled, pit removed and chopped

1/2 large pineapple, peeled, cored and chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the coconut out on a baking sheet. Toast until golden, about 5 minutes. Remove from the baking sheet to a small bowl to cool.

Whisk together the honey, mint, lime zest and lime juice. Add the kiwis, banana, grapes, mango and pineapple and toss, making sure all the fruit is coated with the dressing. Sprinkle with coconut before serving.

Fruit salad is so flexible that you can really do just about anything with it. Any kind of melon at all could be added, you could add some orange slices (I personally prefer mandarin oranges) or apple, or really any seasonal fruit at all will work. Make a cup to have for breakfast and you are all set.

Tomorrow night is going to be some tilapia since I got some fresh to make from the market. I’ll scout around for a good, healthy recipe and see what I can come up with. Check back tomorrow and see what I decide to make. Enjoy the rest of your evening and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on July 9, 2012 in Breakfast, Produce

 

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