Saturday, March 16, 2013

Get a Bagel Fix Without Blowing Your Diet

When my husband travels for business, and it's just me and the cats at home, my cooking gets a bit bi-polar. Either I don't feel like cooking at all (in which case, a frozen meal is on the menu), or I have a fit of creativity and come up with something new. It's safer for me to get creative when I'm cooking for just myself, because if it's a total screw-up, the only person I'm disappointing is myself. If I'm successful, then I make it for my husband when he returns.

Today is one of those rare, Perfect-Spring-Day-on-a-Saturday days in North Texas. Expected high is around 80, and not a cloud in the sky. So the primary thing on my agenda for the day was to get out and putter around the yard--trim some branches here and there, check the state of my seedlings and generally soak up some Vitamin D. With that in mind, I decided to make myself a hearty brunch before I went out.

First order of business was to utilize a bagel. Bagels are a comfort food for me--a favorite from my childhood. Top one with cream cheese and lox, and all is right with the world. Of course, bagels and cream cheese aren't really conducive to keeping one's diet in check, so I now limit myself to whole wheat mini bagels. They are about half the size of regular bagels, and around 100 calories. They are great any time of day when I need a bagel fix.

So I pulled out the bag of mini bagels and then took stock of what's in my fridge. I grabbed Egg Beaters, some low-fat cheese and ham, and voila! Breakfast is served.

This recipe would be good for a breakfast for two, if you serve a little fruit on the side. It was a very filling breakfast for one, and the only reason why I allowed myself to eat it all is that it was brunch (2-meals-in-1) and I knew I'd be burning calories in my garden later. Given how this breakfast is served, I think this would also be good for a buffet brunch, if you need to serve a crowd. Just adjust the measurements in the recipe accordingly.

Tip: The secret to preparing Egg Beaters as scrambled eggs is to add flavor before its cooked. Hence, this recipe calls for a lot of "flavor components".

April's Breakfast on a Mini Bagel

3/4 cup Egg Beaters
1 ounce diced ham
Salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder to taste
28 grams Sargento Shredded Reduced Fat Cheddar Cheese
2 Thomas' 100% Whole Wheat Mini Bagels, split in half
Margarine (I like Smart Balance Omega 3 Buttery Spread)
4 dashes of jalapeno sauce (Tabasco or other pepper sauce will work)
2 cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
Chives to garnish (optional)

Put a small, non-stick frying pan on the stove over medium-low heat, and pour in the Egg Beaters. Sprinkle salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder on the Egg Beaters. Add diced ham and cook until the Egg Beaters are firm, stirring frequently. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese evenly over top of the eggs, and leave on heat until the cheese has just melted.

While the eggs are cooking, lightly toast your bagel halves in your kitchen toaster. Take them out of the toaster and spread a small amount of margarine onto the cut side of each half, and lay them out on a plate (cut side up).

Spoon the egg mixture on top of each bagel, then top each with a dash of jalapeno sauce and 2 quarters of the cherry tomatoes. Sprinkle a pinch of chives on top and serve.

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