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Up with protein!

I am finding the morning time to be a challenge with my new carb-controlled lifestyle. I’ve always been a fan of oats or a homemade muffin + fresh fruit for breakfast. Unfortunately for me, this is carb…carb…carb…and more carb. I leave the house at 6:15am for work and scrambling up some eggs just aint gunna happen before work! Besides, I’m a fan of eating breakfast at my desk as I catch up with emails and charting before my scheduled patients start flowing in for the day. I know, I’m needy and demanding when it comes to breakfast!

Whether or not you personally follow a carb-controlled diet, most people find a breakfast that contains some fat and/or protein is much more filling and keeps them satisfied for longer. Most people go 5-6 hours between breakfast and lunch, and we all know…breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Riiiight? That’s what I thought 😉

So here’s my solution (til I burn out anyways) — something I can zap in the microwave at work and not have to prepare the morning of:

Spinach, Mushroom, Turkey Bacon, Feta Quiche slightly adapted from Erin’s Food Files

1 store-bought frozen pastry shell
5 slices nitrate-free, organic turkey bacon
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cups chopped spinach
1 cup chopped mushrooms
2 eggs
3 egg whites
2/3 cup fat free half & half
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
salt & pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 375° F. Bake pastry shell for 8-10 minutes or until browned. Remove shell from oven, and set aside. Leave oven on.

Chop turkey bacon and saute in a skillet over medium high heat until slightly crispy. Remove from pan and set aside.

Heat oil over medium to medium high heat. Add onion, saute 2-3 minutes until tender. Add mushrooms & spinach. Saute 4-5 minutes until spinach is soft. (Mine got a little watery, so I kept it on heat until most of the moisture had cooked out.) Add turkey bacon back to the pan and stir to combine well.

In a bowl beat eggs, egg whites, and half & half. Season with salt & pepper. Add in veggie/bacon mixture and stir to combine. Add feta, stir to combine, and pour into pie shell.

Bake 20-30 minutes or until completely set, and slightly golden & crispy on top. Serves 4.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 364 calories; 19.3 g. fat; 136 mg. cholesterol; 675 mg. sodium; 26.5 g. carbohydrate; 1 g. fiber; 15.8 g. protein

Result: Delicious! And I love the inclusion of veggies at breakfast! It’s like a head-start in the veggie department!


And a high-protein snack to break-up the monotony of nuts and cheese:

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Cookies slightly adapted from Peas and Thank You

1 cup old fashioned oats
1 1/2 bananas, mashed
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
1 tsp. baking powder
3-4 scoops (each scoop approx. 21 g.) of protein powder (I used chocolate EAS Whey protein powder)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 packets of zero-calorie sweetener (I used Truvia)
1/2 cup vanilla almond milk (you may need less depending on the size of your bananas)


Preheat oven to 350º F.  Place all ingredients in a large bowl and stir until combined.

Scoop batter by heaping tablespoonful onto a cookie sheet, and bake for 9-12 minutes, until cookies are firm. Yield: 16 cookies

Nutrition Information (per cookie): 80 calories; 3 g. fat; 12 mg. cholesterol; 15 mg. sodium; 8.7 g. carbohydrate; 1.8 g. fiber; 6.4 g. protein

Result: These were really yummy! I’m surprised I like them as much as I do! 🙂 Snacking this week will be sweet and high protein.

Question: Do you try and include some protein and/or fat in your breakfasts? Do you eat breakfast at home? In the car? At work? Does your breakfast last you, or do you require a mid-morning snack?

P.S. RD’s — don’t forget to submit your blog to Nutrition Blog Network!

Have a healthy, happy week,

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  1. May 10, 2010 / 6:07 am

    Good call on the quiche! The one thing I learned in my nutrition classes this year (most of the rest was bullshit) was that having fat and protein in the morning is CRUCIAL! I have egg whites with breakfast (along with oatmeal and an English muffin) and they keep me full for a while!

  2. May 10, 2010 / 6:11 am

    Sounds like a good alternative for breakfast. I say sounds like cause I’ve never tried quiche before. Someday!

    I always have protein in my breakfast where as fat depends on my smoothie ingredients ๐Ÿ™‚ I either eat my breakfast just before leaving home or I’ll eat it at the beginning of my deliveries if I’m running late. It will usually last me as I eat every 3-4 hours.

  3. May 10, 2010 / 7:31 am

    I’m horrible at getting some protein with my breakfasts. I’m like you: I make and eat my breakfast at work so it can’t involve anything but microwaving. That’s why I always eat oatmeal. I’ve seen some co-workers make eggs in the microwave and they seem to come out OK. (I have a ton of hangups about eggs, so the idea of microwaved eggs makes me a little nauseous.) Still, it might work for you if you’re not as psycho about eggs as I am!

  4. lessonstolearn
    May 10, 2010 / 7:53 am

    I’ve already copied that cookie recipe! Yum!

    I sometimes add egg whites or cottage cheese to my oatmeal when I cook it to up the protein.

  5. May 10, 2010 / 7:55 am

    I always eat my breakfast at my desk – I don’t always feel like eating right when I get up!

    And I usually go the savory route – eggs/bagels/meat ๐Ÿ˜€

    I’ll have to give your protein cookies a try – they look good!

    Happy Monday!

  6. May 10, 2010 / 8:21 am

    Looks great! I rarely eat breakfast during the week, but I enjoy breakfast foods at any time of the day :).

  7. May 10, 2010 / 8:28 am

    I eat my breakfast at home, although at some point I’d like to try eating it at work. I think it would hold me over better until lunch!

  8. May 10, 2010 / 8:57 am

    Glad you enjoyed the quiche, and those protein cookies look great!

  9. May 10, 2010 / 9:54 am

    I eat at my desk, too! It limits my breakfast choices, but I always go with oatmeal (and almond butter and a banana) or yogurt (with almond butter and Kashi cereal). I also find it helps me look forward to going to work if I eat there, which is a miracle in itself. ๐Ÿ™‚ Sometimes I need a mid-morning snack, sometimes I don’t. My appetite is wonky sometimes.

    Copying that quiche recipe….it looks delicious!

  10. May 10, 2010 / 10:42 am

    I typically eat oats and egg white omelet in the morning. It usually hold me until lunch but I am lucky because I get to eat at home every morning. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. May 10, 2010 / 11:09 am

    I am a big protein eater. I eat it at every meal. I get about ~120g per day. Just what works best for me!

  12. May 10, 2010 / 11:10 am

    I’m one of those people who puts nut butter in their oats everyday… so I get a little fat and protein every morning. I really swear by it, too- I usually never have a problem with waiting until lunch to eat again!

  13. May 10, 2010 / 11:16 am

    I could never go 2-3 hours without eating. I wouldt want to. 5-7 small meals is what works for me and my body. And any meal is not complete without protein and fats, otherwise I’m ravenous. I like my breakfast to have green yogurt and peanut butter

  14. May 10, 2010 / 11:28 am

    I usually eat breakfast at home, but sometimes I wrap it up and take it with me because I’m just not hungry enough yet. By the time I get to work, I’m more than ready to eat ๐Ÿ™‚

    You can make eggs in the microwave if you’re ever in a pinch!

  15. May 10, 2010 / 11:50 am

    Those cookies sound fabulous. I always try to get a little of everything in my breakfast, carbs, fats, and protein. This works best to hold me over till lunch, so yes, I usually stock up on breakfast and skip the mid-morning snack. I find nuts are the perfect compliment to almost anything I eat for breakfast, and add the perfect touch of satisfying fat and protein. I’m sure you’re well aware of this, but you could also try doing protein shakes…perfect to sip while you’re at work!

  16. May 10, 2010 / 11:54 am

    I like to eat breakfast at home at 7:00, and eggs are my favourite breakfast.

    I usually eat an apple around 10:00, but I think that’s mostly out of boredom.

  17. May 10, 2010 / 11:54 am

    I’m definitely a carb-a-holic with breakfast, although I do try to incorporate some protein or healthy fat (usually in the form of nut butter). But I almost always find I need a mid-morning snack, so I could definitely stand to switch up my breakfasts a bit!

  18. May 10, 2010 / 12:30 pm

    That quiche looks amazing! I am always looking for new breakfast options. I usually eat my breakfast at my desk as well. I have a few minutes before my first patient.
    I have been packing cereals with fruit and nuts lately but my go to breakfast is normally greek yogurt fruit and granola.
    Have a great Monday Nicole!

  19. May 10, 2010 / 12:31 pm

    I always try to include protein and fat in my breakfast. If I don’t them i’m hungry like an hour later. I have oats most morning so I get protein from my egg whites and fat from my nut butters, mmmm yum ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. May 10, 2010 / 12:37 pm

    I love my oats in the am, and that is something I just can’t give up UNLESS I am doing a protein day and then I have some greek yogurt or Cottage Cheese…have you tried sweet eggs in a low carb wrap?

    now I want to go home and make a frittata lol…thanks! lol

  21. May 10, 2010 / 2:01 pm

    Those cookies sound like the perfect protein-filled snack! Yum!

  22. May 10, 2010 / 2:44 pm

    I love the idea of the quiche. The last one we made was so good heated up for left overs sot his will make it easier for you time wise in the morning.

  23. May 10, 2010 / 3:05 pm

    My breakfasts lean strongly to protein, even when I do oatmeal I mix in an equal part of Greek Yogurt. Quiche and Fritattas are so great when you need it to go!

  24. May 10, 2010 / 3:34 pm

    Those are some dang good compromises on protein and eating at your desk! nice job.

    I usually try to include protein, fat, and carbs all at breakfast–definitely helps keep me full!

  25. May 10, 2010 / 3:52 pm

    Those cookies look awesome! I always eat breakfast at my house before I head out. I tried to eat breakfast elsewhere and for some reason I just can’t do it. My breakfast has never last me till lunch, so I usually have a snack between so I am not starving when I get to lunch.

  26. May 10, 2010 / 4:35 pm

    This looks like a great collection of breakfast munchies. Wonder how you would do with my sprouted grain stuffed french toast. It has lots of protein and healthy fats from PB….. hmmmm

  27. May 10, 2010 / 5:34 pm

    I always bring my breakfast to work or sometimes if I’m ravenous end up eating it in the car. I like eating egg and cheese sandwiches – nice balance of protein and carbs to keep me going! ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. May 10, 2010 / 5:59 pm

    That quiche sounds sooo good!! Im in love with quiche so I think it sounds like the perfect breakfast!

  29. May 10, 2010 / 6:04 pm

    I made those cookies last week and really liked them. I only used one package of Truvia and they were still pretty sweet. (That was all I had in the house.)

  30. May 10, 2010 / 6:28 pm

    I’m like you, I like to eat breakfast at my desk once I get to work…but I would love to be able to still eat eggs at my desk! This is a brilliant solution, Nicole. Next weekend I’m going to try to make a quiche and portion it out. ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. May 10, 2010 / 8:00 pm

    I eat embellished oatmeal at home. Drink a couple of glasses of water. Have some Greek yogurt. More water. If I’m still hungry, I dip into the fruit that I’ve packed too.

    The protein cookies look good although I haven’t tried protein powder yet…

  32. May 10, 2010 / 8:07 pm

    Quiche is the perfect protein to bring for breakfast! Sometimes I make crustless quiche in a muffin tin (recipe on my blog)…so easy and portable, perfect portion sizes, and sooo tasty! I’m glad it seems that your upped protein diet is going well ๐Ÿ™‚

  33. May 10, 2010 / 8:22 pm

    I am not a fan of breakfast foods! It’s just been in the past few years that I’ve found a fondness for oatmeal! So I generally have that, or a slice of whole wheat toast.

  34. May 10, 2010 / 10:59 pm

    Wow, what a nice quiche, tasty and rich! Indeed a nice breakfast. I usually have my breakfast at home…and most of the time do not include protein…better change this pattern ๐Ÿ™‚

  35. May 11, 2010 / 1:03 am

    Beautiful and delicious quiche..and protien cookies too looks lovely….

  36. May 11, 2010 / 10:56 am

    I love quiche – definitely a weekend meal though because it takes a long time to cook!

    My mom always made our quiche with bacon and mushrooms – I now add spinach and tomato to up the veggie number!

    You can also try hardboiled eggs- those are a great, easily transportable meal (with a fruit and some cheese…)

  37. Jenny
    May 11, 2010 / 9:28 pm

    THANK YOU for that cookie recipe! Having something sweet to nibble on & not worrying about the ensuing sugar crash is a beautiful thing. I bet those would take care of my 3pm snoozies!

  38. May 12, 2010 / 9:01 am

    Quiche has to be one of my favorite dishes–so many possibilites to change it up, and it usually always turns out delish!

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