By Sue Knorr
Breakfast bowls are popping up on menus everywhere these days. You can put one together in your own kitchen in no time with a minimal amount of cooking involved. They’re almost as much fun to make as they are to eat. Pick and chose ingredients with Zone balance in mind, using plenty of colorful vegetables loaded with polyphenols to turn your breakfast bowl into a powerful anti-inflammatory meal. Don’t let the name get in the way. If your mornings are hectic, a breakfast bowl also makes a great one-bowl lunch or dinner.
Some tips: Campari tomatoes work very well in one-bowl meals. Their slightly smaller size and bright red, shiny appearance give lots of eye appeal without taking up much space. These tomatoes are very juicy, have a sweeter and less acidic flavor and are less mealy than larger varieties. Two Campari tomatoes equal 1 Zone block. Twister peppers are a long narrow variety of sweet pepper.
Brightly Colored Breakfast Bowl Makes one 3-block meal
Take care not to overcook the eggs or the vegetables. The vegetables should retain their bright colors, and the peppers will still have a bit of crunch to them.
5 egg whites, lightly beaten with a fork
2 tablespoons shredded reduced-fat cheese
1-2 tablespoons water (optional, if needed)
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 sweet twister peppers, one orange and one red, cut into bite-sized chunks (If unavailable, substitute 1/2 cup red and orange sweet bell peppers.)
2 handfuls baby spinach leaves
2 small tomatoes, sliced
2 tablespoons chickpeas
Ground black pepper
Fresh parsley, snipped
Fresh chives, snipped
In a small bowl stir the cheese into the egg whites and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
Add the peppers and saute for 2-3 minutes.
Add the baby spinach and continue to saute for another minute or two, just until the leaves begin to wilt. Remove the vegetables from the heat and set them aside in a small bowl.
Add the egg whites and cheese to the same skillet and add a tablespoon or so of water if needed to prevent sticking. Cook over low to medium heat just until the egg whites are set and fully cooked.
Assemble the meal in haphazard layers by placing the cooked egg white and cheese in the bottom of a pasta bowl or large soup bowl. Top with the pepper and spinach mixture, then the sliced tomatoes and lastly the chickpeas. Very lightly toss the ingredients in the bowl from the bottom up with one or two turns of a large spoon. The dish should have a slightly tumbled-together appearance. Season with the salt and pepper. Garnish with the parsley and chives.
Serve with a bowl of berries or 1/2 cup of applesauce on the side to balance the meal.
For a 4-block meal use 6 egg whites, 1/4 cup shredded cheese, 3 Campari tomatoes and 1/4 cup chickpeas, and keep all other ingredients at the same amounts.
For a Mexican flair replace the chickpeas with black beans or red kidney beans, replace one of the tomatoes with 1/4 cup salsa and garnish with jalapeno slices.
For a Mediterranean flavor replace one of the tomatoes with 1/2 cup baby artichoke hearts and garnish with small amounts of sliced olives and capers.