Five breakfasts in a zap

by Melanie Lieberman / Beacon Staff • September 20, 2012

No matter how early I set my alarm, I’m always running behind. With an Emerson workload, it sometimes seems skipping breakfast is the only way I’ll ever catch an elevator in Walker and make it to class. Because nothing gets me in gear like a filling, nutritious breakfast, cutting down on cooking time is my latest obsession. Even in a stove-less Little Building double, you too can reclaim breakfast in your morning routine, in half the time it takes to order at the Emerson Café.

 All you need to do is get familiar with your under-appreciated microwave.

Mexican breakfast wrap: Breakfast wraps are one of my favorite creations, and the key is a microwave-scrambled egg.  Beat the yolk and the white until combined. For a fluffier egg, add a tablespoon of egg whites or milk. Mix in pepper and salt to taste.  Microwave for 25 seconds before stirring and repeat until the egg is cooked through. Depending on your microwave, this will take one to two minutes. Spice up your sunrise with a Mexican breakfast wrap, filling a wheat tortilla with two tablespoons of your favorite salsa, 1/4 cup of lettuce, and two tablespoons of shredded cheddar.  Try a more traditional approach by topping your eggs with bacon bits and American cheese.

 Italian-style frittata: Similar to an omelet, this meal is created by repeating the preparation for the scrambled eggs, adding three tablespoons of egg whites. Combine 1/4 cup of fresh spinach, two tablespoons of diced tomato, and two tablespoons of crumbled feta cheese with the mixture. If you don’t have time to eat before class, spray your favorite microwaveable mug with cooking spray and cook the frittata ingredients for 30 seconds. Stir, then cook for an additional 30-60 seconds, or until set. Grab your breakfast by the handle and eat on the run.

Hot oat muesli: Overhaul your oatmeal by mixing ½ cup of old-fashioned oats in equal parts with skim milk or water. Microwave on high for three to five minutes, stirring once. A tablespoon of plain Greek yogurt and a teaspoon of honey will thicken and sweeten the mixture. I always take this porridge to new fiber heights by adding a handful of chopped, unsalted pistachios and cranberries, although there are dozens of delicious combinations to try.

 Morning jacket: Beat the midweek slump with a Morning Jacket–my spin on the British favorite, stuffed inside a “baked” potato. After a summer abroad, I’ve acquired a taste for the traditional English breakfast. Recreate this by pricking one medium russet potato, rinsed, with a fork three times. Nuke for approximately 15 minutes, or until you can easily cut the potato. This breakfast may take longer to cook, but it beats squandering your time waiting in line for dining hall home-fries. Remove half of the potato and fill with two tablespoons of baked beans, a tablespoon of diced tomato, and cheddar cheese. Reheat until the cheese has melted.

French sandwich: End the week on a sweet note with an Elvis-inspired French Sandwich. Bananas and peanut butter are a classic duo perfectly paired with minute-french toast. Use the egg mixture we started the week with, only substitute the salt and pepper with a pinch of cinnamon. Soak two slices of bread, 30 seconds on each side, and microwave on high for one minute.  When the egg is cooked through, spread on one tablespoon of peanut butter and half a banana, sliced.

 Transform your mornings by using your microwave to replace that unsatisfying granola bar or bland, unhealthy bagel. All of these recipes are full of protein, fiber, and various nutrients that will help you make the most of your morning.