Grab-and-go breakfast
January 8, 2014 8:36 AM   Subscribe

Wanted: breakfast ideas that can be entirely prepped the night before, and eaten in the car on the way to work. Go!

I'm trying to break my habit of stopping at a fast food drive thru on the way to work. Healthfulness is less important than convenience, but my ideal breakfast would have both protein and carbs. No muffins only. I keep cereal bars at work in case of emergency, but I want some other options.
posted by donajo to Food & Drink (33 answers total) 83 users marked this as a favorite
High-protein granola in a cup?
posted by UncleBoomee at 8:39 AM on January 8, 2014

Refrigerator Oatmeal
posted by raisingsand at 8:39 AM on January 8, 2014 [9 favorites]

Hard boiled eggs, apples, string cheese
posted by cecic at 8:39 AM on January 8, 2014 [9 favorites]

Hard boiled eggs or egg salad on a toasted bagel
posted by JohnnyGunn at 8:39 AM on January 8, 2014

Hard-boiled eggs.
posted by enn at 8:39 AM on January 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Flour tortillas can hold a whole bunch of things. You can wrap some veggies and cheese in them, or bacon in them. You could even do a bacon egg and cheese wrap and just zap it in the microwave just before you're leaving.
posted by xingcat at 8:39 AM on January 8, 2014 [3 favorites]

PB&J. Health it up with bread that has more than a gram of fiber per slice and a lower-sugar jam or jelly. Substitute banana if it's convenient or if you like it.

Boiled eggs and crackers are good if you have a reliable container that won't slip around in the car.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:41 AM on January 8, 2014 [3 favorites]

Sausage egg muffins like these can be prepped in huge batches and just microwaved for a couple seconds before you leave (or would probably taste OK cold, actually).

Might be just me, but I'm also a fan of lunch-y stuff for breakfast: chicken salad or cooked chicken breast strips with lettuce and tomato in a pita wrap, mmm.
posted by Bardolph at 8:44 AM on January 8, 2014 [3 favorites]

Your classic egg-ham-cheese muffin can be premade (i.e. make the eggs at the start of the week; they'll keep in the fridge just fine. Toast the english muffin (or bagel, or regular toast, whateveR) and reheat the rest in the microwave in the morning. Wrap in foil to contain heat.

(dangit, Bardolph, you beat me)
posted by Sunburnt at 8:45 AM on January 8, 2014

This is more "make a batch over the weekend" than "make the night before," but two really great options are savory hand pies and scotch eggs. The first is just pie crust plus any filling at all; the second is ground sausage wrapped around a hard-boiled egg and breaded.

They can both be eaten hot or cold, can be held in one hand, keep for a week in the fridge, are filling, and are delicious!
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:45 AM on January 8, 2014 [2 favorites]

I like a scrambled egg sandwich. You can do it in a glass pyrex container. Scramble egg, throw in some chopped ham and shredded cheese. Nuke, put on bread. Eat.

Another thing that may interest you are quiches you can make on the weekend and warm up before you get in the car.

Or you can line large sized muffin tins with bread, just smush it in there. Then pour your favorite quiche mix in and bake. Pop out, wrap individually, and heat and go in the morning.

Egg salad sandwiches can be good. So can BLT wraps. Chop the lettuce, bacon and tomatoes and wrap. Assemble and go. Nom, nom, nom.

Breakfast burritos will work well too. Make ahead on the weekend, nuke in the am. Eat.

Oh man, now I'm hungry again!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:48 AM on January 8, 2014

Last night I put a bunch of frozen blueberries in a magic bullet cup with a scoop of protein powder and then shoved it in the freezer. In the morning I pulled it out, added some milk and gave it a 15 second blitz. Delicious, extremely fast, really healthy, easy to drink in a car (the magic bullet cup is, well, a cup!) and lots of room for variation (different fruits, different liquids, etc). Add a banana or greek yoghurt or cottage cheese or peanut butter.... Some people add oatmeal, other add chia and flax. Even spinach! You have a zillion options and they are all fast. Make smoothies. Get all the fruity stuff all ready to go the night before so that in the morning all you have to do is dump in some liquid and then push down on your magic bullet for a couple seconds. You can even have a variety of fruit combos ready to go in the freezer! Just pick which one you want in the morning, dump in some liquid, blitz, and you're golden!
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 9:05 AM on January 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Spanish tortilla; basically a potato omelet. Slice it like pizza and eat it cold/room temperature. And you can toss in other vegetables if you wish.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 9:06 AM on January 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Tofu Scramble Wrap. Make tofu scramble the night before. Nuke, wrap, go.

This is my all-time favorite tofu scramble recipe (well, it's more of a guideline).
posted by slogger at 9:06 AM on January 8, 2014 [2 favorites]

Adding my support for hard-boiled eggs, egg salad sandwiches, peanut butter and banana sandwiches, and flour tortillas which can be filled with whatever you can imagine.

Egg concoctions (salads, omelette, fritattas) keep for a few days and are great ways to use up leftovers from other meals you've made. Meats? Veggies? Toss them into the pan with eggs! Voila!
posted by LouMac at 9:07 AM on January 8, 2014

Nthing every kind of muffin imaginable. You can make them ahead of time, keep them in the freezer forever, take a couple out in the morning and nuke them and voila, breakfast!

Also, breakfast burritos and smoothies are great for the night before make-ahead.

And lastly, most breakfast casseroles will keep for a week. You can make a pan on Sunday, stick it in the fridge, and every morning cut a slice and nuke.
posted by whimsicalnymph at 9:14 AM on January 8, 2014

I'd definitely go with sandwiches. They can be as healthy as you like. I'd pick wholegrain bread, some nice varieties of cheese, and add some raw veggies for that extra crunch.
posted by Too-Ticky at 9:33 AM on January 8, 2014

Does it have to be breakfast food? I am a big fan of making a sandwich to take with me when I have to be up and going early. I suppose you could make it breakfast themed with eggs and stuff. But I eat pretty much anything I could have for lunch, make it the night before stick it in the fridge in a zip lock bag and off I go in the morning.
posted by wwax at 9:35 AM on January 8, 2014

(I'm in the Netherlands, where bread *is* a breakfast food. Also a lunch food.)
posted by Too-Ticky at 9:36 AM on January 8, 2014

I make homemade Lara bars, basically, that might work for you? It's sort of a loose recipe, because it depends on how sweet you like things, how moist your dates are, etc, but my favorite is (roughly) one part dates, one part rolled oats, one part cherries, and one part pecans, plus some cinnamon. You toss this stuff in a food processor and run it until it's basically a really sticky paste, then press it into a cling-film-lined pan. (Size of pan determined by how much one part was and how thick you like your bars.) Let it set up for an hour or so, until it's not super sticky, then remove from pan and cut into bars. Dust them with a mix of icing sugar and cornstarch, then wrap them individually in cling film (or, if you're lazy, toss them all into a ziplock). They'll last a good couple weeks on the counter, though they do get sticky again after about five days.

The variations on this are endless, obviously. Cranberry-walnut was successful here, as was a mixed berry with almonds. If the fruit is super dry, you can soak it in hot water for a few minutes to make processing easier. If things aren't sweet enough for you, you can use more dates, or add a little sugar to the mix, or make your icing sugar/cornstarch mixture more icing sugar, etc. Super easy, has whole grains, protein, and simple carbs, and is really easy to eat.

We also like a sweet potato and black bean quesadilla, which sounds like a weird breakfast but is basically delicious all the time. Just spread a tortilla with mashed sweet potato, then a bit of shredded cheese, then some black beans, then a little more cheese, and cook it in a skillet with a bit of oil until it's crisped up a bit. Let it cool, then wrap in a paper towel and foil or cling film. They're surprisingly good reheated, and very filling.
posted by MeghanC at 9:50 AM on January 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

breakfast slab pie Lasts a good long while and is good cold too. Add chicken, bacon, etc

Also a big fan of yogurt w fruit and granola. Dish several servings into containers on the weekend, grab one each morning. Less car eatable. Any chance you could eat at your office instead?
posted by fontophilic at 9:56 AM on January 8, 2014

I eat hard boiled eggs and slices of bacon while I'm driving to work. You can wrap it in something carby if you really need it.
posted by joan_holloway at 10:22 AM on January 8, 2014

I usually have cold brewed iced coffee+milk in a mason jar in the fridge ready to go in the morning. I sometimes microwave it if I want hot coffee. You could add a scoop or two of protein powder if liquid meals work for you (they just aren't satisfying to me).
posted by fermezporte at 10:30 AM on January 8, 2014

I'm partial to almond and other nut butters. I eat them on high protein bread (I buy it frozen at my regular supermarket, but it's organic). Sometimes I add jam. Very filling and easy to eat with one hand while the other is busy steering the car. Cut up fruit is good with it too.
posted by mareli at 10:39 AM on January 8, 2014

I just cart my normal breakfast (tofu scramble, oatmeal with milk, whatever) from the microwave to the passenger seat in its normal breakfast bowl with my normal stainless steel utensil, and chow down at traffic lights if I drive in to work. If I don't drive to work, often I eat it at the park and ride just before I hop on my bus. When I get home I wash out the bowl and utensil.

The time consuming part isn't eating the food, it is getting it prepped in advance. Do that and you can eat whatever you want in the car, and save the time you'd spend in line at the fast food place to boot.
posted by bearwife at 10:50 AM on January 8, 2014

Carefully pull down one panel of a banana peel, slice the flesh in "half" and put in your favorite nut butter, then re-close the banana peel. Wrap in plastic or foil if you're worried about that sort of thing. Then, for breakfast, eat like it's a banana.
posted by Karmakaze at 10:50 AM on January 8, 2014

Re: xingcat's suggestion above, you can wrap anything in a flour tortilla, not just traditional breakfast staples. I used to wrap lasagna in mine and heat it up in a pan while I did the rest of my routine when I had zero time in the mornings.
Leftover roast and mashed potatoes? Check. Leftover Caesar salad, leftover noodle stirfry, leftover curries? Check, check, check.
posted by Kreiger at 11:20 AM on January 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

I made a crustless quiche on the weekend (throwing in whatever veggies I have on hand, and usually a bit of bacon) and then cut off part of it each morning. Nuke or throw in oven - eat in car.
posted by leitmotif at 11:34 AM on January 8, 2014

Kinda better if you make it in the AM (bread be gettin all stale overnight, you dig?), but I love PB&J's with chia seed. Sugar, protein, fiber, and omega-3's!
posted by Dr. Zachary Smith at 2:19 PM on January 8, 2014

posted by empath at 8:45 PM on January 8, 2014

On Sundays I make a week's worth of breakfast burritos for my boyfriend and I. (Trying to get it up to two weeks or even a month's worth)

- Flour tortillas (normal sized ones for tacos or giant ones to make a hefty sized burrito, up to you
- Eggs (plain scramble or spice them up; I like black pepper, salt, and some cumin; don't add water or milk, burrito will get soggy)
- Sausages (plain or spiced; this week I added some chipotle seasoning)
- Cheese (they were optional this week but I usually add them, up to you)
- Wax paper and ziplocs/container
- Hot sauce (optional)

Cook the eggs and sausages, set aside to let cool. Spoon out the fillings and fold your burritos. I wrap each one individually in wax paper and I put them all in a freezeable ziploc or glass container. The night before I move 2 from the freezer and let them thaw in the refrigerator. Microwave in the morning in the wax paper wrapping (loosely or whatever, it might stick it might not) for 1 minute. Eat there or take to go, toss wax paper.
posted by driedmango at 9:43 AM on January 9, 2014

I don't know if you have access to a Costco, but they have the best pre-cooked bacon I have ever had. It's honestly as good as bacon you fry yourself.

For grab & go, you could make a bacon sandwich the night before (I use thin Pita rounds), and stick it in the fridge. In the morning, give it a few seconds in the microwave and head out the door.
posted by dinger at 10:01 AM on January 9, 2014

A bit like refrigerator oatmeal, but Bircher muesli? It's great heated too... My no-fail recipe for a week of zero effort breakfast is:
Tupperware big enough to fit all ingredients
1 box fave muesli
1 grated apple
More nuts!
More sultanas!
Throw it all in the Tupperware
Fill with cloudy/unsweetened apple juice
Good shake of cinnamon and ginger powders
Leave overnight
Enjoy every morning for a week - just shove into a travel mug, heat if you want, and spoon up the deliciousness at the lights.
After the first night of soaking you can pre-portion too - divide equally into jars or travel mugs or whatever works for you and grab your ready portion each morning. Nom!
posted by t0astie at 12:34 AM on January 11, 2014

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