5 Hearty Winter Breakfasts to Fill Your Belly

     

“Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.” ~ Adelle Davis

Breakfast has always been the man’s meal. It’s usually men who are in charge of whipping up glorious fire cooked breakfasts on camping trips, and dad who’s flipping pancakes on Saturday morning. I’m not sure why this is. Maybe the hard working cowboys and frontiersmen of yesteryear understood the value of a hearty breakfast in the morning and always gave that meal extra attention. Perhaps back in the day when women were expected to make dinner, cooking breakfast on the weekend was a way for the man to take a turn in the kitchen. Maybe it’s because men have always had an affinity for greasy spoon establishments and have a deep appreciation for the diner breakfast.

Or maybe it’s just because we love sausage and bacon.

Most likely it has to do with the nature of breakfast food. It’s simple and straightforward-never fancy or fussy. There are no five star gourmet breakfast restaurants, no wine pairings with your pancakes, and no foie gras omelettes. Breakfast is food without affectation.

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At any rate, men love breakfast. We love to make it and we love to eat it.

And there’s no better time for a good breakfast than the winter months. It’s cold, dark, and dreary, and you want something in the morning that will stick to your ribs and fuel your day. Food so hearty and tasty that the anticipation of it actually gets you out of bed in the morning.

Punxsutawney Phil has predicted 6 more weeks of winter. So here are 5 hearty breakfasts to power you through to spring.

Cajun Breakfast Casserole

Breakfast casseroles are awesome. Their possibilities are limited only by your imagination. They can accommodate any combination of eggs, vegetables, meat, and bread; you can thus concoct one from anything you have hanging out in the fridge. But if you want a specific recipe, here’s a good one.

Prep: 20 minutes, Bake: 40 minutes

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 12 to 16 ounces smoked andouille sausage, thinly sliced
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  • 1/2 cup chopped red pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 finely diced jalapeno pepper
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • dash of hot sauce
  • 4 slices bread torn in 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper

Preparation:

Heat oven to 400°. Butter a 2-quart baking dish.

1. In a large skillet, cook sliced sausage with the onion and bell peppers until vegetables are translucent. As they near completion, throw in the tomatoes and let them cook a minute or two.

2. Whisk eggs with milk in a bowl with the Cajun seasoning, pepper, and any other spices you want to use. Add a few dashes of hot sauce to taste.

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3. Arrange the torn bread over the bottom of the buttered baking dish. Sprinkle with the sausage and vegetables. Top with cheddar cheese and then pour the egg mixture evenly over the top.

4. Bake for 40 minutes, or until puffy and lightly browned.

Apple-Pecan Baked Oatmeal

If you love oatmeal, but have never tried it baked, then you’re really missing out on a whole lot of deliciousness. This recipe is like a hearty, good for you version of apple cobbler. It makes a ton too, so if you’re a single guy or childless couple, you’ll have tasty leftovers for several mornings after you make it.

Prep: 20 min, Bake: 45 minutes

Serves 8-10

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 5 Granny Smith apples
  • 1 (18-oz.) container regular oats
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
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  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup melted butter

Preparation

1. Toast the pecans in a pan over medium heat until they are fragrant.

2. Peel and chop apples into 1 inch chunks. Spread the apples on the bottom of a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish (make sure the pan is pretty deep-the oats need a lot of room). Sprinkle toasted pecans over apples.

3. Combine oats and next 10 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring until well blended. Pour oat mixture evenly over apples and pecans.

4. Bake covered at 400° for 30 minutes; uncover and bake 15 more minutes or until golden brown and set.

If you’re feeling a bit wild in the morning, it’s extra good when topped with whipped cream.

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January 10, 2011