It's here! The Back to School 5 Day Blog Hop from The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew! I am very excited to be a part of this great blogging adventure, and I hope the posts that I put up this week will be a help as you prepare for getting back into the school routine!
Check back every day for a new easy breakfast idea. If you like what you see and find it helpful, please leave a comment! If you have any questions, feel free to write them in the comment section as well, and I will do my best to find an answer for you.
As I previously stated, I have found breakfast to be one of the most challenging meals at our house. If the children don't eat right to start out their day, the rest of the day just does not go as smoothly as I would like. If I make sure they start out with a good balance of protein and carbs, and fill their tummies, they are able to focus on their schoolwork much better, and can get a few good hours of solid work in before taking a break.
This year I have discovered freezer cooking which has greatly helped our meal planning, cut our grocery bills, and streamlined meal preparation. I have been able to include many breakfast ideas in those pre-made meals, which is a huge time-saver on busy mornings. Not to mention, it really cuts down on the dishes in the sink and kitchen mess!
Many (but not all) of my ideas this week will be based on freezer cooking techniques. It will help you to make a 'bunch' of breakfast food on a day when you have the time to invest, and show you how to package it for quick and easy breakfasts.
Since we have a plethora of food allergies in our family, I am including allergy free ideas as well.
This is how my freezer is set up:
I purchased two plastic baskets that sit on the bottom shelf. After making breakfast items and wrapping them, I place them in the basket in the freezer. The kids (and dad) are able to help themselves to something from their basket any time. Don't laugh - just because the basket on the right says "safe" doesn't mean the basket on the left contains foods that are poison! 'Safe' designates the allergen-free foods.
Phew! After all that introduction, I would like to start out the week with a really quick and easy breakfast sandwich!
Really Quick Breakfast Sandwiches
This first recipe is actually NOT a freezer recipe! It's for the days when we are in a hurry, and I forgot to thaw out something from the freezer the night before, or maybe <gasp> the contents of the freezer baskets have been all eaten up!
These breakfast sandwiches are hearty, filling, tasty.....and can be made in about 3 minutes!!!!
choice of a bagel, gluten-free bagel, or English muffin
butter or dairy-free butter alternative
1 slice of cheese (or substitute dairy-free cheese alternative)
optional: a slice of leftover meat, lunch meat, bacon, or a slice of tomato
First, Spray a small plastic, microwave-safe bowl with Canola spray. (This makes cleanup a breeze! If you forget to spray it, you will have nasty egg residue that won't come out of the bowl easily) Crack your egg into the bowl, whisk it quickly with a fork, then microwave your egg for 1 minute (for a large egg - smaller eggs will be less time)
As your egg is cooking in the microwave, toast your bagel or English muffin, then butter it when it's done. Lay your slice of cheese on one side. Salt and pepper your egg, then pop it out of the bowl onto your sandwich.
If you have any optional ingredients, now is the time to layer them on your sandwich. Often I will leave leftover meat in slices in the fridge just for this purpose!
Here is a finished bagel sandwich with egg and cheese - ready in about 2 1/2 minutes!
Here is a finished English muffin sandwich with egg, cheese, and a slice of leftover ham. This one took about 3 minutes because I threw the ham in the microwave for 30 seconds just to warm it up.
If you wish to plan ahead and use these for freezer breakfasts, you can make a whole batch of them in one day, and wrap them tightly in wax paper before freezing. They do freeze and reheat well. I suggest taking them out the night before to thaw, because it is difficult to reheat them in the microwave from a frozen state. The insides stay cold and the bagels and bread get 'rubbery'. If you are able to just reheat them for about 45 seconds from a thawed state, they are much better. But for as quick as they are to make, I typically just try to keep the ingredients on hand, and don't bother with making them ahead of time. Each of my kids has learned to make these sandwiches for themselves, so they can make it as they are ready to eat. Typically they are getting ready to eat and start school at staggered times in the morning - some are earlier risers than others!
Below I have put up some of my Amazon links for the gluten and dairy free alternatives that we use that we found work best for these recipes. Feel free to experiment with these suggestions or try your own! The basic concept of this sandwich is easily adaptable to your specific tastes! The prices shown are for purchasing by the case (which is what we do - it works out to be much cheaper that way!) You don't have to purchase a case. In fact, I would suggest only buying one package to see if you like the taste before buying a case!
The girls LOVE LOVE LOVE their Udi's bagels!
Here are some links to the soy-based butter we use, as well as the dairy-free cheese. We have eaten a LOT of dairy free and gluten free products over the years, and these come highly recommended as our favorites.
Earth Balance makes a buttery spread that is dairy/casein free. They have a soy based, as well as a non-soy based spread. We used the non-soy one all the time before the girls were able to eat soy. It is extracted from pea protein, and is very good.
Daiya makes an excellent dairy and casein free cheese. Our favorite is the shredded mozzarella, but this link will take you to the cheddar slices, which would work great for the breakfast sandwiches above.
Stop back tomorrow for another easy idea!!! And click the banner below to check out some of the other back to school homeschooling ideas from veteran homeschool moms!!