One Upping the Ubiquitous Breakfast Burrito
Breakfast burritos are everywhere. While they are a lot healthier than donuts to be sure, it’s always wise to step back from a craze and evaluate the common wisdom, especially for foods that “everybody” assumes to be healthy. Taking an objective view of the standard breakfast burrito, what I see is:
- a tortilla that is white, rather than whole grain, and
- makes up the largest part of a take-out burrito,
- leaving very little space for good protein, like eggs and beans
- but incorporating a significant amount of high-fat cheese
- yet lacking completely in vegetables
- or including them in negligible amounts;
- in other words, a breakfast option that is a step in the right direction, but leaves plenty of room for improvement.
Microwave quiches are a quick option that takes no longer than stopping to buy a ready-made burrito. If you have time, be sure to use some of the beautiful spinach coming into season now. Otherwise, packaged or frozen work as well. Because red peppers are nowhere near in season, I use strips that I froze last autumn, also a timesaver, as is ready made pesto. For a GF option, use Food for Life’s brown rice tortillas (they work surprisingly well.)
Step 1: Saute Vegetables In 1-2 tsp. butter or olive oil, saute 1/2 to 3/4 cup red peppers diced to 1/2.” Once they are lightly browned, add a couple good sized handfuls of fresh chopped spinach and cook just until it begins to wilt, stirring frequently. (Timesaver: use about 1 cup frozen chopped spinach and cook until completely thawed.) For flavor stir in 1-2 Tbsp. of your favorite pesto or 2 tsp. dried leaf basil, 1 tsp. Italian Herbs and a pinch of chili flakes.
Step 2: Prepare “Crust” Lightly butter a small casserole dish. Tear a whole grain tortilla into 5-6 pieces and lay enough pieces over bottom of dish to cover. Top with cooked vegetables and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Step 3: Add Cheese If desired, sprinkle vegetables with a high-impact (i.e., a-little-goes-a-long-way) cheese like Parmesan or a goat chevre.
Step 4: Make Egg Mixture In a small mixing bowl, beat together 2 eggs and 3/4 cup milk or soy milk. Pour gently over the vegetables.
Step 5: Microwave Cover and cook in 2-minute intervals at 50% power, stirring gently between intervals to bring uncooked interior parts to outside of dish. Cook until entire quiche is done to taste.
Step 6: Top with Tomatoes Also optional, top with high quality chopped canned tomatoes for color and flavor, especially if not using cheese. Microwave 30 more seconds to warm tomatoes.
Enjoy a 100% healthful breakfast.