Today is Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Sunnier Side of Breakfast

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Editor's Note: See this article with photos on click Nutrition/Recipes.  (The Sunnier Side of Breakfast)

Simple substitutions make a healthier morning meal

It’s been said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. In addition to providing the necessary energy to get-up-and-go, studies have shown that those who eat a healthy breakfast have better overall diets, improved concentration and performance during the day, and more strength and endurance for physical activity.

Unfortunately, the traditional hot breakfast — eggs, meat and potatoes — can add fat and calories to your plate. But, there’s good news for breakfast lovers who’ve resolved to eat better this year: with a few simple substitutions, you can still enjoy a hearty, satisfying morning meal without some of the guilt. To start, substitute a slice of whole grain toast for traditional white bread. If your morning beverage of choice is coffee with cream and sugar, try adding skim milk and a sugar substitute instead. A side of fresh fruit can be an easy way to increase your daily intake of fruits and vegetables while adding a smidgen of something sweet to your plate.

For the main dish, toss a few vegetables into your eggs for added fiber and flavor. This Italian Frittata recipe is a hearty blend of broccoli, bell peppers, mushrooms, spices, cheese and veggie sausage links — all in one dish! By swapping out sausage for a veggie alternative, you’re skipping some of the unnecessary calories and saturated fat.

Speaking of substituting meat, the new Morningstar Farms Maple Flavored Veggie Sausage Patties are a sweet-and-savory alternative to traditional pre-cooked pork sausage, with 76 percent less fat. You can enjoy them alongside a serving of eggs or crumbled into any recipe that calls for maple-flavored sausage. In fact, they’re the main ingredient in this Easy Brunch Focaccia recipe — a delicious “breakfast pizza” that will have everyone around the table saying, “That’s amore!”

For more recipes and fun food ideas, visit

Easy Brunch Focaccia Prep Time: 20 minutesTime to Table: 35 minutes

4  Morningstar Farms Maple Flavored Veggie Sausage Patties, thawed 1  tube (13.8 ounces) refrigerated pizza 3/4  c. finely chopped onion 2 tsp. vegetable oil 1 tsp. dried sage leaves 1/4 tsp. pepper 1 c. finely chopped fresh pineapple or 1 can (8 ounces) pineapple tidbits  (juice pack), drained 1 c. (4 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese or cheddar cheese

Cut the maple-flavored veggie sausage patties into bite-size pieces. Set aside. Unroll dough onto baking sheet coated with nonstick cooking spray. Press dough into 14 x 10-inch rectangle.

In small nonstick skillet cook onion in oil over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes or until tender and beginning to brown, stirring occasionally. Stir in sage and pepper. Spread over dough. Arrange veggie sausage patty pieces and pineapple on top of onion mixture. Bake at 425°F for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are brown.

Sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 425°F for 5 to 6 minutes more or until cheese melts and crust is golden brown. Cut into rectangles to serve. Serve warm. Yield: 6 servings

Italian Frittata Prep Time: 20 minutesTime to Table: 30 minutes

1 cup refrigerated egg substitute1 tablespoon fat-free milk 1/2 tsp. dried oregano leaves1/8 tsp. garlic powder1/8 tsp. salt1/8 tsp. black pepper1/4 c. chopped red bell pepper1/4 c. chopped broccoli florets4 oz. Morningstar Farms Veggie Breakfast Sausage Links, thawed1/4 c. canned sliced mushrooms, drained1/2 c. shredded fat-free cheddar cheese or reduced-fat cheddar cheese (2 ounces)

In medium bowl, whisk together egg substitute, milk, oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

In small nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, cook bell pepper, broccoli and veggie breakfast sausage links over medium heat until vegetables are tender. Remove from skillet. Set aside.

In same skillet, cook egg mixture over medium-low heat until set. Top with vegetable mixture and mushrooms. Sprinkle with cheese. Tightly cover. Let stand for 3 to 5 minutes or until cheese melts.Yield: 2 servings

Pancake WrapPrep Time: 15 minutesTime to Table: 15 minutes

6 frozen Kellogg’s Eggo Nutri-Grain Pancakes or Kellogg’s Eggo Buttermilk Pancakes 3 Morningstar Farms Maple Flavored Veggie Sausage Patties 1 tbsp. apple, cherry or strawberry preserves

Prepare pancakes according to package directions.Cook maple-flavored veggie sausage patties according to package directions. Cut each patty in half.

Spread preserves on warm pancakes. Top each with veggie sausage patty half. Fold pancakes around veggie sausage patties. Serve immediately. Yield: 6 sandwiches; 3 servings

Feature 09501 :All materials courtesy of: Morningstar Farms (Family Features)

Mature Lifestyles is Middle Tennessee's Newest Monthly Publication dedicated to living fully after 50! The publication serves Rutherford, Sumner, Wilson, Williamson and Dekalb Counties. Mature Lifestyles features articles on Senior Healthcare, Area Senior Events, Mature Real Estate News, Travel, Gardening, Food and entertainment with many of your favorite columns such as Boomer Beat, Veteran's Corner and our newest column - Assisted Loving. With Mature Lifestyles there is no time to rest! With a large distribution in five counties in Middle Tennessee and an active website we are dedicated to ensuring an active and exciting lifestyle after 50!

Norma Bixler is Mature Lifestyles Editor in Chief and Maturle Lifestyles is published by Main Street Medial, LLC. 

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