If you can relate to any of the above, recipe developer and cookbook author Leanne Brown has eight words for you: It's okay to not be a morning person. It's a proclamation she believes so many people need to hear that she devoted an entire chapter to it in her new book, Good Enough. Sometimes you wake up sad or sometimes you're just tired—either way how you feel is 100 percent valid.
It's mornings like these her "good enough" breakfasts are made for. Brown explains that good enough breakfasts are morning meals that are made with ingredients that will nourish the body and provide you with the energy needed to get through the morning but require very minimal effort to make. "It can be a meal made quickly or it can be something that doesn't require constant monitoring, just cooking in the background as you get ready for the day," she says. "It can even feel a little exciting to periodically check back on something and see how it changes over time. Then, in the end, you have a hot meal which is really magnificent." What's most important, Brown says, is to be gentle with yourself.
Wondering what that looks like exactly? Here, Brown shares three easy healthy breakfast protein recipes from her new book. They're sure to make your mornings a bit brighter.
1. Creamy hands-off scrambled eggs
Eggs are a goldmine of protein and healthy fats, two crucial nutrients for providing the body with energy. "These eggs have the creaminess of a French omelet without the stress and perfectionism required," Brown says of this way to serve them up. "They seem almost dangerously rich even when you don’t add cheese. You barely have to do anything and can blearily prepare toast and coffee while your eggs cook slowly. The final result is the fluffiest and smallest-curded mountain of creamy, salty egg deliciousness."
1 Tbsp butter
4 large eggs
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese (optional)
2 scallions, finely chopped (optional)
Up to 1 cup of any leftover vegetables, cooked meat, or a combination (optional)
Freshly-cracked black pepper
Buttered toast, for serving (optional)
1. Melt the butter in a small pan over the lowest heat possible.
2. While the butter melts, crack the eggs into a bowl, add the salt, and whisk with a fork briefly just to break up the yolks—don’t worry about aerating them.
3. Pour the eggs into the pan with the melted butter and let them sit on that super low setting, stirring occasionally to lift up the slowly cooking eggs from the bottom and break up the curds, until they’re all cooked, 20 to 30 minutes.
2. Jalapeño honey bowl
Brown says yogurt is one of her go-tos in the morning and she came up with this combo when she was craving something savory. "Having something a little spicy in the morning is very enlivening," she says. The fact that this breakfast comes together faster than the amount of time it takes to brush your teeth makes it a win, too. Pro tip: Use Greek yogurt for maximum protein.
1 cup yogurt
Few rigs of fresh jalapeño
Drizzle of honey
1. Slice the jalapeño.
2. Add jalapeño to bowl of yogurt. Drizzle honey on top.
3. Apple and orange crisp
If mornings are the time of day when your energy tends to be the lowest, Brown recommends planning ahead, prepping your morning meal in the afternoon or evening. That way, you can just wake up, stick your prepped brekkie in the microwave, and eat. "The inverse of this works too. If you are a morning person but feel drained in the evenings, you can prep your dinner in the morning," Brown says. This apple and orange crisp can be made in advance and will feed a whole fam or you yourself for an entire week. It's also full of fiber (key for energy), thanks to the fruit and rolled oats.
Serves 6 to 8
Butter, for greasing the dish
4 large apples (your favorite variety)
1 large orange
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
1 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
2. Cut the apples in half and remove the stems and cores. Slice the apples into thin pieces.
3. Place the apples in the buttered baking dish. Use a microplane or small grater to zest the orange and sprinkle it on top. Juice the orange directly over the apples (use a sieve if your orange has seeds). Add the flour, brown sugar, salt, and vanilla. Using your hands, toss the apples, coating them evenly.
4. Make the topping: Combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon (if using), and salt in a medium bowl. Stir the topping a few times with a wooden spoon or your fingers, just enough to roughly disperse everything. Cut up the butter into tablespoon-size (or smaller) pieces and add them to the bowl. Use your hands to roughly squish the butter with the dry ingredients until you have a crumbly, relatively even mixture. Sprinkle the oat mixture all over the top of the apples.
5. Bake until the apples are cooked and bubbly and the topping is browned, 35 to 40 minutes. Serve immediately, or cover and store in the fridge for up to a week.
What Brown wants people to know is that breakfast shouldn't make your day more stressful. You can give yourself a break and nourish yourself at the same time. In fact, doing so is a radical form of self-care. And it's one anyone can put into practice.
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