We’ve all heard the age-old adage, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Though the phrase has become a bit cliché, science backs that eating breakfast boosts energy, alertness and overall health. As we kick off a new school year, starting each day with a good breakfast can make all the difference, keeping us strong and healthy for classes.
In this article, I will share some quick and easy breakfast options you can make before heading out the door. Best of all, every ingredient can be purchased in a single trip to your local Trader Joe’s—about a ten-minute drive from campus, on Roosevelt Rd. I’m a big fan of Trader Joe’s. The bright atmosphere, friendly workers and whimsical display signs create a cheery mood for shopping. Moreover, the store offers products that are unique, relatively healthy (no GMO’s, preservatives, etc.) and cost-effective. Below are three of my favorite Trader Joe’s-inspired breakfast options.
My first quick and easy breakfast recommendation is eggs, served two different ways. If you’re looking for a hearty breakfast option, this is the dish for you! This breakfast may seem elaborate, but it requires only 20 minutes of prep time and a mere five ingredients:
As with any good breakfast, start by cooking up some bacon. TJ’s Dry Rubbed Bacon is flavorful, smoky and nitrate-free. A pro tip I learned from my mom: the best way to make bacon is in the oven because there’s no fear of splatter. Simply line the bottom of a broiler pan with foil — for easy clean up later — and layer the bacon strips on the rack portion of the broiler pan. Preheat the oven to 400˚F and cook the bacon for about 20 minutes, or until it reaches your desired crispiness.
While it may be tempting to gobble down the entire package of bacon-y goodness, I don’t recommend using it all for one breakfast. Saving leftovers will allow you to get creative with your meals throughout the week. Some options include using your bacon on a BLT for lunch, crumbling it over a cup of soup or salad for dinner or even making a toasted peanut butter and bacon sandwich.
While the bacon cooks, the next step is to warm your potatoes on the stove. TJ’s Roasted Potatoes — located in the freezer aisle — are my absolute favorite! The seasoning, onions and peppers add great flavor to the mix. Because everything is already coated in delicious sunflower oil and olive oil, you can just dump the whole bag in your non-stick fry pan — no additional butter or oil required.
Like the bacon, I recommend cooking the whole bag of potatoes so you can have leftovers during the week. These potatoes are super versatile: you can serve them next to eggs, cook them into your eggs or even serve them as a side dish with any meat or fish you make for dinner.
By the time your bacon and potatoes are sizzling, your kitchen will start smelling heavenly. Now all that’s left is the eggs. Set your potatoes aside and use your frying pan to scramble up some eggs. You can serve your eggs two ways: separately with a side of potatoes and bacon or as a breakfast burrito. For the burrito option, sprinkle some TJ’s shredded cheese on a tortilla and microwave for about 25 seconds. Add your potatoes, eggs — and bacon, too, if you want! — and roll into a yummy burrito. Serve with sliced avocado. Quick, easy and delicious!
My second breakfast recommendation is classic oatmeal, a nourishing breakfast that requires less than five minutes of prep time. This wholesome meal can be made with just three ingredients:
I recommend using almond milk for your oatmeal, but you can also make it with water. As you warm up your oatmeal in the microwave, the warm, comforting aroma of cinnamon will fill your kitchen. I also like to add a few drizzles of honey in my oatmeal. Even without any added sugar, this oatmeal is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth with the sweetness of the blueberries and honey.
Finally, if you’re looking for good breakfast options that require zero minutes of prep time, here are a few of my favorite Trader Joe’s “grab ‘n go’s.” To start, there are TJ’s Organic Chocolate Chip Chewy Granola Bars, TJ’s Organic Chocolate Chip Granola Bites and TJ’s Fig Bars. Along with having cute packaging, these treats are light, sweet, satisfying, and easy to eat on the run. If you want a little more protein to help you power through a morning workout or early exam, I recommend Enjoy Life Sunseed Butter Chocolate Protein Bites, Lenny & Larry’s The Complete Cookie and RX Bars (chocolate sea salt and peanut butter chocolate are my favorites). TJ’s Organic Frosted Cherry Pomegranate Toaster Pastries are another really yummy breakfast option! These pastries are a bit sugary though, so I save them as an occasional treat.
I hope this article gave you some helpful ideas to start your mornings off well this year! Be sure to come back next week for some quick & easy TJ’s dinner ideas.
Wheaton College, IL