Low Carb Breakfast Options
Don’t Badmouth Eggs: They’re More Versatile Than You Think
Eggs are a staple for Low Carb Breakfast. They’re quickly prepared, inexpensive, and versatile. While eggs do contain 0.6 grams of carbohydrates per egg, the carbohydrate count is low enough that they are easily incorporated not only into low carbohydrate breakfasts, but lunches, dinners, and snacks as well.
Tony Blakemore, the Aussie LC Gourmet, wrote a wonderful article for CarbSmart about eggs, and included a number of terrific recipes. (The Incredible Egg) I recommend reading his article and trying out his wonderful recipes when you get tired of scrambled, fried, and hard-boiled eggs!
Tony has offered a number of omelet recipes, and I’ve included a recipe for a wonderful Greek Omelet, which our very own Andrew DiMino developed. Who says men can’t cook? But don’t stop with their suggestions. You can add variety to your breakfasts by incorporating virtually anything you like into an omelet. One of my current favorites is to “frizzle” smoked deli turkey in the skillet just before I cook the omelet and then add the turkey, some shredded smoked Gouda cheese, and about 2 tablespoons of finely diced tomatoes to fill the omelet. Not only is this good “as is,” but it’s absolutely heaven sandwiched in a Romaine lettuce leaf that’s been coated with mayonnaise! Sometimes I add some cooked, crumbled bacon for a “Turkey Club Un-Wich.”
My low carbing 15-year-old (A Day In The Life Of A Teenage Low Carber) likes Pizza Omelets. He’s a typical male, though, and doesn’t like bothering with fussy, “fancy” stuff like filling the omelet and then flipping in over. He just scrambles the eggs until they’re nearly done, slides them into a plate, and then tops them with some Ragu Pizza Quick, shredded mozzarella, pepperoni, and whatever other toppings we have already cut up like green peppers, olives, onions, etc. After that he pops the plate in the microwave to melt the cheese and then chows down as only a 15-year-old boy can.
Deviled eggs are a great quick Low Carb Breakfast when you don’t have time to cook, and can also be popped in a small container and taken with you to work. I always have a few already made in the refrigerator. While I prefer plain old run-of-the-mill deviled eggs, you can dress up the filling by adding just about anything low carb that you want to: cooked, crumbled bacon, finely diced ham, green onions or chives, hot sauce, salsa, shrimp or crab, shredded cheese, finely diced green bell peppers, and chopped olives are just a few of the things that come to mind.
Beyond Eggs: Traditional Options
Many people who are now low carbers miss cold cereal. Now that low carbing is becoming more accepted, food manufacturers are producing low carbohydrate cereals. A lower carb cereal that many people love is Hi-Lo Low Carb Cereal by Organic Milling. Another low carbohydrate cereal is Dixie Carb Counters Nutlettes, which are very similar to Grape Nuts.
It is possible to have pancakes and waffles while following a low carbohydrate regime, and you have to option of using the New Hope Mills Low Carb Pancake Mix or following a recipe from scratch. You get to have real butter on them, and can use one of the sugar free pancake syrups from either DaVinci or Walden Farms to sweeten them.
Low carbohydrate muffins are nice to have on hand, and are also good for carrying to work if you’re particularly rushed. I always have a batch of muffins on hand. I make them ahead of time and them freeze them in Zip Lock bags. There are a lot of good low carb muffin recipes available. I’ve included my own recipe for Lemon Blueberry Surprise Muffins below. You can also use one of the Dixie Carb Counters Low Carb Muffin mixes or Carb-O-Licious Gluten Free, Low Carb Muffin for convenience.
Low carb breakfast casseroles are always an option, and are popular because they are satisfying and can be made ahead of time. They freeze well, and are especially convenient if you freeze them in individual serving sizes. If you are going to eat the casserole within a week, though, it is not necessary to freeze it. Just make certain that it is tightly covered so that it does not pick up flavors or odors from the other things in the refrigerator.
Beyond Eggs: Nontraditional Breakfasts
There’s no need to limit yourself to traditional breakfast foods when following a low carbohydrate diet. One of my very favorite breakfasts is Spinach Quiche. (I’ve included the recipe below.) Not only is this delicious, but it has the added advantage of being made ahead of time. When I make it, I cut the cooled quiche into individual servings and freeze each in a Ziplock bag. If I want one for breakfast, all I have to do is grab a slice out of the freezer and heat it in the microwave for a couple of minutes. Quiche travels well, too, and would be great to take to work.
My kids, ever the pizza lovers, like Pizza Burgers for breakfast. This is a quick, simple breakfast for me to slap on the table, since I cook the burgers ahead of time. All I have to do in the morning is warm the burgers briefly in the microwave, smear on a tablespoon or so of Ragu Pizza Quick, some diced pepperoni, and some shredded mozzarella, and then slide them under the broiler briefly to melt the cheese. Any burger of your choice can make a quick, easy breakfast. If you like sausage pizza, just make the Pizza Burgers with sausage patties instead of ground beef.
We also like GG Scandinavian Bran Crispbreads High Fiber Crackers topped with cheese and/or other toppings and briefly broiled to heat them up and melt the cheese. The kids like the pizza toppings, of course; I’m content with just plain shredded cheddar. (Mom is such an old poop!)
Soup has always been a breakfast favorite in our house, even before two of us became low carbers. Since it is another food that is made ahead of time, preparation in the morning consists of merely heating it up.
I may be odd (OK, I am odd), but I like No-Roni, my low carb version of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese for breakfast. It really hits the spot, particularly when it’s cold outside. I’ve included the recipe below.
Don’t overlook protein shakes for a quick, satisfying breakfast. Check out my article Protein Shakes Beyond Chocolate Vanilla, and Strawberry for some ideas for unique, tasty shakes.
Any leftovers from dinner the night before that appeal to me are fair game for breakfast. This morning I had leftover Crab-Stuffed Zucchini, a CarbSmart exclusive recipe that my daughter Judy helped to develop.
Super-Quick Breakfast Ideas
Sometimes we don’t have time to fix anything for breakfast, and it’s smart to always have something on hand that we can snatch out of the refrigerator or freeze on our way out the door. Here’s a few suggestions:
- Cottage cheese
- Leftover strips of any steak or roast. (I always make extras and freeze them in individual portions.)
- Broiled, marinated chicken breasts. (I marinate and broil a whole 3 to 4 pound package at a time and them freeze the cooked chicken breasts individually for lunches, salads, and snacks.)
- Meat and cheese roll-ups
- Slices or stick or cheese
- Protein bars or Atkins Breakfast Bars
- Deviled eggs of any kind
- Jerky of any kind
Lemon Blueberry Surprise Muffins
From: Celebrate Low Carb Click here: eGroups : CelebrateLowCarb
- 3 eggs
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/4 cups vanilla whey protein powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/3 cup Splenda
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
- 1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 3 ounces cream cheese, cut into 9 cubes
- nonstick spray or paper muffin liners
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 9 muffin tins with paper liners or spray with nonstick spray.
Combine the eggs, oil, and cream; stir to blend. Add the whey powder, baking powder, Splenda, cinnamon, lemon rind, and orange rind. Stir until just combines. Do not over-stir or the muffins will be tough. Fold in the blueberries gently.
Spoon 1/2 of the batter into the prepared muffin tins. Place a cube of cream cheese in the center of each. Fill the tins with the remaining batter, making certain that the batter goes completely over and around the cubes of cream cheese.
Bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the muffins spring back when touched and no longer look moist on the top. Serve warm.
Makes 8 muffins @ 117 calories, 11 grams fat, 3 grams protein, and 3 grams carbohydrates.
Low Carb Spinach Quiche
From: Celebrate Low Carb Click here: eGroups : CelebrateLowCarb
- 2 tablespoons onion, chopped
- 3 tablespoons butter, divided
- 2 packages frozen, chopped spinach, thawed 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 cup shredded Swiss or mozzarella cheese
- nonstick spray
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9-inch pie pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the onions and saute for a few minutes until they begin to get limp. Squeeze as much water as possible out of the thawed spinach and add the spinach to the onions in the skillet. Continue cooking until the spinach is heated through and any extra water has evaporated.
In the meantime, beat the eggs lightly. Add the cream, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Whisk to mix. Add the spinach/onion mixture to the egg mixture and stir to combine. Pour into the pie pan. Top with the shredded cheese and dot with the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until set and golden brown. Cool 5 minutes before serving.
Reheats well. Recipe can be doubled and baked in a large rectangular casserole, but baking time may be extended somewhat.
Created by Di Bauer
- 1 head cauliflower
- 1 jar Ragu Double Cheddar Sauce
Cut the cauliflower into small bite-sized chunks and place the chucks in a colander. Rinse thoroughly to clean; drain. Place the cauliflower chunks in a microwave-save dish with a lid; to do add any extra water. Cook them in the microwave on high until the chunks are barely tender. This takes around 8 minutes, depending upon the power of your microwave.
Drain the cooked cauliflower thoroughly. Pour the Ragu Double Cheddar Sauce over the cauliflower and toss so that the cauliflower is evenly coated with the sauce.
Turn the mixture into an oven-save casserole and bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes, or until everything is hot and bubbly and the top is lightly browned.
This reheats beautifully, so make so you can make it ahead of time.
A CarbSmart Exclusive Recipe
- 2 large zucchini or crookneck squash
- 2 6 1/2-ounce cans crabmeat, drained
- 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1/2 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- dash Liquid Smoke (optional)
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
Trim the ends of the squash and discard. Half the squash lengthwise. Microwave the squash halves on high for 3 to 5 minutes.
With a spoon, scoop the center of the squash halves out, leaving the ends intact. Chop the removed squash pulp up.
Combine the chopped squash, crabmeat, cream cheese, green onions, tomato, lemon juice, mayonnaise, Liquid Smoke (if desired), and 1 cup of the shredded mozzarella in a bowl. Stir to thoroughly combine the ingredients.
Place the halved squash cut side up in a large baking dish. Fill the centers of the squash halves with the crabmeat mixture.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the crabmeat mixture is hot and bubbly and is beginning to brown on top. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the remaining shredded mozzarella on top of each squash half and return them to the oven until the cheese is melted and just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.
Serve immediately or cool, wrap and plastic wrap, and refrigerate for later use.
Serves 4 @ 333 calories, 23 grams fat, 27 grams protein, and 6 grams of carbohydrates w. 2 grams fiber.