Here are two sure signs that you are nutritionally mature. First, you admit to feeling and working better after you have eaten a good breakfast. Second, eating leftover Chinese food or cold pizza for breakfast is no longer an appetizing option.
A container of leftover shrimp lo mein or chicken with broccoli and black bean sauce might work for the young, but the strong garlic taste of such Chinese dishes at breakfast doesn’t agree with most folks once they enter mature adulthood. Leftover pizza falls into the same thumbs-down category. These leftovers, however, were convenient for the typically rushed morning meal.
Which brings us to the point that a good breakfast, besides providing proper nutrition, also needs to fit your morning schedule. A growing number of us don’t take the time to sit, or stand, and eat a bowl of cereal, much less cooked eggs. Instead, we are turning increasingly to portable breakfast choices. Regrettably, many of the convenient commercial ones, ready to pop in the microwave or simply grab from the fridge, are excessively high in fat, sugar, salt or all three. The grains they may contain are merely nutritional window-dressing compared to a bowl of oatmeal or slices of whole-grain toast, which provide the fiber and health-protective substances we need.
On the other hand, these spinach-and-rice squares are a portable breakfast that resembles a crustless quiche. They can be made ahead, refrigerated or frozen until breakfast time, and eaten at room temperature or reheated in the microwave. Better yet, the benefits you receive from the balanced nutrition they contain mean you can eat your breakfast guilt-free, as well as on the run.
Breakfast “Square-Meal” Squares – Makes 4 servings
Canola oil spray
1 Tbsp. canola oil, divided
1 small carrot, shredded
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 whole scallion, chopped
1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
4 oz. firm tofu, cut in 4 pieces
1 large egg white
1 tsp. reduced sodium soy sauce (optional)
1/2 tsp. salt
5 ounces (1/2 package) frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
1 cup cooked brown rice
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Coat a loaf-shaped baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the carrot, onion, scallion and turmeric until the carrot is soft, about 5 minutes. Turn the mixture into a mixing bowl.
Squeeze each piece of tofu to eliminate excess water. When it resembles cottage cheese, place it in a food processor or blender. Add the egg white, remaining oil, soy sauce (if using) and salt. Purée until smooth. Transfer to the bowl with the cooked vegetables. Stir in the spinach and rice. With a rubber spatula, mix until well combined. Spread the mixture in an even layer in the prepared baking pan.
Bake 30 to 45 minutes or until firm to the touch in the center. Cool completely in the pan. Turn out onto a cutting board and cut into 6 squares. Wrap pieces individually, then place in a zip-lock plastic bag and store in the refrigerator up to 3 days or in the freezer for two weeks. Eat at room temperature or after being gently warmed in a microwave.
Per serving: 153 calories, 7 g. total fat (less than 1 g. saturated fat), 17 g. carbohydrate, 8 g. protein, 3 g. dietary fiber, 355 mg. sodium.
“Something Different” is written for the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) by Dana Jacobi, author of The Joy of Soy and recipe creator for AICR’s Stopping Cancer Before It Starts.
AICR offers a Nutrition Hotline (1-800-843-8114) 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday-Friday. This free service allows you to ask a registered dietitian questions about diet, nutrition and cancer. AICR is the only major cancer charity focused exclusively on the link between diet, nutrition and cancer. It provides a range of education programs that help Americans learn to make changes for lower cancer risk. AICR also supports innovative research in cancer prevention and treatment at universities, hospitals and research centers across the U.S. It has provided more than $73 million for research in diet, nutrition and cancer. AICR’s Web address is www.aicr.org. AICR is a member of the World Cancer Research Fund International.
Article Source: Aicr.org