Recommend some cheap, easy breakfast recipes.
February 15, 2005 6:26 PM   Subscribe

I'm not a morning person, and I usually just grab 'n' go. The problem is most grab 'n' go stuff is loaded with carbs and light on protein. I've noticed if I have some protein with my breakfast, I feel more energized and awake. Can someone recommend some quick, cheap, easy (possibly portable) breakfast recipes for a lazy, poor college student?
posted by keswick to Food & Drink (33 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
If you want protein in the morning, drink a raw egg, eat a handful of nuts (trail mix is portable), or down a bowl of high-fibre, high-protein cereal.
posted by AlexReynolds at 6:30 PM on February 15, 2005

I eat a couple of sticks of turkey pepperoni with whatever else I'm having for breakfast. It loads up the protein, which I appreciate for exactly the same reason as you. It's very portable and easy to eat. I eat the turkey version because it's light on calories, but I suppose the regular versions would be fine, too.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:32 PM on February 15, 2005

Egg burrito? Just scramble an egg or two and put it in a warmed tortilla. Add chopped onion, green pepper, cheese and salsa if you like. You can chop the veggies a few days in advance to save time in the morning. You can also prepare breakfast meats (sausage, bacon) or ham for extra protein.
posted by Juicylicious at 6:33 PM on February 15, 2005

Hard boiled eggs.
posted by lobstah at 6:40 PM on February 15, 2005

Yogurt is pretty high-protein, and definitely easy. Try to get a brand that's minimally sweetened. I like Stonyfield Farms, but even that is maybe a little high-carb for you. If you're worried about carbs, there are low-calorie brands out there. You can throw some nuts or nutty granola in to boost the protein, too.
posted by mr_roboto at 6:45 PM on February 15, 2005

yogurt with walnuts and/or some granola.
english muffin with peanut butter and a glass of milk [or soy milk]
hummus and cut up veggies.
posted by jessamyn at 6:51 PM on February 15, 2005

yeah, stick peanut butter on anything: bagels, bananas, apples, celery, toaster waffle (especially yummy with raisins and sesame seeds on top).

jacquilynne, where do you find turkey pepperoni? sounds yummy, but i've never seen it sold. thanks!
posted by equipoise at 7:00 PM on February 15, 2005

As a fellow lazy, poor college student, I recommend the peanut butter as an option. If you're in a big hurry, just spread it on a slice of (whole wheat or multigrain) bread, and kind roll it up. It's portable!
posted by SoftRain at 7:17 PM on February 15, 2005

Soy milk blended with a frozen banana, other frozen fruits or frozen juice cubes. (This can require some preparation time- cutting, freezing and sealing the fruits in freezer bags.)
posted by sophie at 7:30 PM on February 15, 2005

Hard boiled eggs are very portable, and you can make a batch of 5 of them together, once a week.
posted by xo at 7:40 PM on February 15, 2005

While yummy, fruits, soy milk, english muffins and the like aren't very high in protein and are high in carbs, negating the effect of what protein they do have.

keswick, you might want to consider reviewing some low carb forums as this is a common problem for on-the-go low-carbers. Hard boiled eggs, burritos with egg and your choice of breakfast meats, celery with some cream cheese in the groove and lox and cream cheese rolls are all fairly portable if you don't mind a plastic baggy with some of them. I also got to where I enjoyed some chicken salad for breakfast, to keep it cheap you can bake/broil up some thighs and let them cool, chop up into small chunks and mix together with mayo or salad dressing, add a little poultry seasoning or garlic and you've got yourself a yummy treat.

There are some new Planters CarbWell peanut bars out now that I'm mildly addicted to and I can get them locally for about $1.30. When I'm really running late I grab one and it does a nice job of satisfying me just about until lunch.

Day-to-day if you get in the habit of giving yourself just a few extra minutes in the morning an omelet is actually pretty quick, easy and cheap.

My final suggestion is that on Sunday, cook yourself up a mess of scrambled eggs with some broccoli, green onion, bacon/sausage and garlic. Eat what you want and put the rest in plastic containers to take with you for the first couple of mornings in the week.
posted by FlamingBore at 8:16 PM on February 15, 2005

I should add that you can buy low carb flour tortillas. I prefer Cruz brand. I think that they are the most like in texture and taste to regular tortillas and they only have 5 net carbs.

And what FlamingBore said about the fruit, yogurt, breads = high carbs.
posted by Juicylicious at 8:18 PM on February 15, 2005

I've been addicted to yogurt + dried fruit + nuts + 1/4c lowfat granola these past six months or so. It takes about thirty seconds to slap it together. If I'm lucky, the yogurt is running low that day and I can chuck stuff straight into the container.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:23 PM on February 15, 2005

Er... it wouldn't be low-carb/high-protein. Sorry.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:25 PM on February 15, 2005

equipoise, everywhere, these days. At least in Toronto. There are a few brands out there making it. Pillars is my favourite since it's not too spicy and a bit dried like pepperoni should be. Schneiders makes some that I find too greasy and fresh. Costco carries some from Lilydale, I think, that I find too spicy, though it's not particularly hot, so most people probably wouldn't mind it.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:41 PM on February 15, 2005

Eggs are a great answer, but I highly recommend a couple of things:

1. Try using three eggs, but only one yolk (one whole egg, and two additional egg whites). All the protein, one-third the fat and cholesterol! To separate the eggs, crack the egg in the middle (on the edge of a bowl), and alternate the yolk from one half of the broken shell to the other until all of the egg white is in the bowl. Throw the remaining yolk and the shell halves away. Repeat. WASH HANDS.

2. Chopped chives make all the difference in omelettes. I use dried chives. They're easy! I'm lazy!

3. I have perfected the art of making an omelette "round" for a bagel or english muffin. Hell, I've managed to make it rectangular-ish for toast. Just shape it once it's mostly cooked through. Oversimplification, let me know if you want details. Point is, if I can do it, anyone can. Scientific fact.

4. Try it with a little Vegemite on whatever bread form you choose to tote your omelette on/in, but only if you can stand the stuff. It adds flavor (and salt) but no fat and only 10 calories (if you care), and the B vitamins in it (especially riboflavin) will help your body to better metabolize the protein. I've just discovered this combination of breakfast foods. I'm considering a patent, but I'm feeling generous tonight. (And I'm a liar, because I had it for dinner.)
posted by mireille at 8:55 PM on February 15, 2005

I don't see anyone mentioning protein powders, like whey. Mostly used by bodybuilders but just as good here. Try about a cup of soy milk, a banana, some strawberries or other fruit, and a scoop of whey protein - toss all into a blender for a bit. This was my regular daily breakfast when I was seriously trying to build muscle. (I know that's not the stated goal here, but this would serve the same purpose.)
posted by dnash at 9:07 PM on February 15, 2005

I occassionally eat Balance energy bars for breakfast. I have no idea if it has low enough carbs for you. But it has a lot of protein. It's quick and portable. You can buy them by the box. And it doesn't taste too bad.
posted by maschnitz at 9:42 PM on February 15, 2005

Gee, what about cheese? A nice hunk of Ementaler ("Swiss" cheese, to Americans) is great. Its lower fat than most cheese.

A slice of low-fat lunch meat is also good. In Germany I got used to eating "lunch food" (American view) for breakfast.

In the UK, beans (in tomato) are a common item for breakfast. A slice of toast and a dish of beans work well and keep you satisfied all morning.
posted by Goofyy at 12:08 AM on February 16, 2005

I actually like Breakstone Cottage Doubles. Where I am, they are about 99 cents or so each, and they're pretty tasty. On days I dont really like the cottage cheese too well, I sprinkle about 1/2 a packet of splenda on it. I think it qualifies.
posted by Medieval Maven at 6:09 AM on February 16, 2005

Tofu? In summer I sometimes throw some tofu, a raw egg, peanut butter, a banana, milk and ice in the blender. That'll keep me till late afternoon. If you loathe tofu, fear not--you can't taste it behind the peanut butter and banana.
posted by scratch at 6:56 AM on February 16, 2005

Thanks, jacquilynne--I'll look around for it.

My favorite breakfast is a tofu scramble. Obviously, it depends how strict you are about the carbs and how fast is "fast," but if you have ten minutes, heat some olive oil, garlic, and ginger in a pan. After a couple of minutes, add a big handful of extra-firm tofu in small cubes. Toss in some frozen peas, corn, sliced kalamata olives, spinach leaves...whatever suits your fancy. I suppose you could add some cubed meats instead if you really want to avoid all vegetables. Stir-fry it until it's all hot and enjoy! I like sprinkling it with seasoned rice vinegar and sesame seeds afterwards, but YMMV.

Make enough so that you have leftovers, and stick them in the microwave the next morning for an even faster meal.
posted by equipoise at 7:10 AM on February 16, 2005

1) Soy patty on wheat bread.
2) High protein cereal like Optimum Slim. In a baggie if portability is an issue.
3) Bread & Cheese.
4) Protein bar.
posted by callmejay at 7:29 AM on February 16, 2005

You can buy bags of pre-cooked egg patties at WalMart. Just pop 'em in the microwave for <2 mins and you have a cheap and fast breakfast to go. They also have turkey sausage patties. I usually eat the egg and sausage on a plate, sometimes with a piece of cheese melted over, but you could also throw it all in a biscuit.
posted by wallaby at 7:55 AM on February 16, 2005

My usual breakfast is a shake of soy protein powder, a splash of juice, a banana or some frozen berries, and a big dollop of non-fat yogurt. The carbs may be higher than you like, but it is non-fat, high in protein, and gets two of your daily fruits down the hatch.
posted by LarryC at 8:44 AM on February 16, 2005

Egg burrito?

Here is my recipe for 4 breakfast burritos. I wrap each individually in saran wrap for my husband so he can grab a snack before bike riding or going to work.

Breakfast burrito:

4 tortillas
1 lb sausage
3 eggs
2 TB cream or milk
1/2 C grated cheddar cheese
chopped bell pepper and/or onion and/or green chilies

Prep medium frying pan (10") with non-stick cooking spray, saute both sides of each tortilla lightly. Set each tortilla on a square of plastic wrap. Next, brown the sausage. While meat is cooking, whisk together the eggs, cream, cheese, and choice of vegetables (if any). When meat is done, pour into strainer along with most of the cooked fat, leaving a thin film. Reduce heat and cook egg mixture, adding strained sausage just at the end. Fill and wrap each burrito.

I don't salt the eggs as the seasoned sausage and cheese add enough flavoring. If you like it really spicy, add some red pepper flakes and a splash of tabasco.

With 15 minutes of cooking time, you have 4 breakfasts on the go. You could easily stretch it to 5 with the addition of an egg.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:51 AM on February 16, 2005 [1 favorite]

Geez I'm hungry now. I have a standing order at a deli I go by every day: a single fried egg, yolk broken and fried hard. When I get to my office I toss a slice or two of turkey or low-fat ham cold cuts onto a low-carb tortilla, add a slice of (no-fat, usually) cheese and microwave on a paper plate for 30 seconds. Toss the egg on the now-melted cheese, fold in half, and enjoy with my coffee. I prefer a fried egg to scrambled so I don't end up wearing it. On weekends for myself, I often use eggbeaters instead of whole eggs to keep the cholesterol down.
posted by cairnish at 9:27 AM on February 16, 2005

My husband cooks up a bunch of sausages, fries some bacon and hard boils eggs all on Sunday. He grabs what he need throughout the week. He also slices up cheese every evening to add to his daily intake.

I'm drooling over the breakfast burritos, Secret Life of Gravy. You're evil! Evil, I say!
posted by deborah at 9:45 AM on February 16, 2005

The best breakfast burrito = migas in a tortilla.
posted by fourstar at 10:31 AM on February 16, 2005

I'm going to throw in my two cents, as I'm not a morning person either. I've taken to having a Balance CarbWell bar (the chocolate peanut butter one is drool-worthy) or alternately, an Atkins Cinnamon Bun flavoured breakfast bar with my morning coffee. If I'm running super-late, I'll take one with me to eat on the way to the train. Right now, at the Whole Foods in Chicago, the Balance bars are 99 cents and a 5 pack of the Atkins bars are less than a fiver at Walgreen's.

If I've got more time, it's omelettes all the way. Sometimes I make a REALLY lazy omelette by just cracking the eggs, breaking the tops of the yokes a little, throw in some spinach, mushrooms, etc..., flip it over, add some cheese and voila!
posted by zombiebunny at 11:31 AM on February 16, 2005

Crack an egg and put it in a little 5inch round tupperware container. Then put in the microwave for a minute and a half. You can throw some pre-bought shredded cheese or ham or something. The microwave cooks the egg just fine and you have a disc shaped omelete. And if you want to go further, you could toss it on a pre-cut bagel. Like an Egg McBagel. Whole thing takes like 3 minutes to do.
posted by dios at 11:42 AM on February 16, 2005

I recommend nuts and raisins. Easier than easy.
posted by arielmeadow at 2:26 PM on February 16, 2005

A big-ole block of cheese.
posted by delmoi at 7:58 AM on February 17, 2005

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