Well, more accurately, convenience foods have given themselves the crappy reputation. So often the stuff you buy from the store is packed with nasty chemicals and little-to-no nutritional value. That all aside, convenience foods are actually an awesome idea. I think one of the best ways we can keep on a healthy eating regimen is to prepare ourselves for the days when you don’t have an hour to cook breakfast. Or the days when you just haven’t had the time to go to the grocery store. Anyone can eating healthfully with a full day to cook. The real test comes when you have to work a full day, then go to the dentist, then run the kids to soccer, then do the laundry, the clean the kitchen. And the best way to set yourself up for success? Convenience foods.
But I propose, instead of buying convenience foods, devote a couple of hours when you do have time and make your own.
I’ve found myself struggling with the busy schedule these past couple of weeks. More than once I’ve ended up in the drive-thru at Starbucks for breakfast. Thankfully, Starbucks has some decent options for a healthful breakfast, but a girl can only order a Perfect Oatmeal so many times. And beyond the fact that it gets mega repetitive, it also gets mega expensive. This past weekend, I finally threw up my hands and decided this trend could not continue, and the quiche breakfast sandwich was born.
I paired a 100% whole wheat English muffin (how Mickey D’s of me) with an egg, onion, spinach, and mushroom patty. On top of that, I put a piece of bacon and a slice of cheddar cheese. Into the freezer they went and now are ready to be called upon whenever my morning gets a little too hectic. Pair one of these with a serving of yogurt or a piece of fruit and that’s one heck of a nutritionally awesome breakfast. And it comes together in less than a minute. Now that is convenience food I can get behind.
If you aren’t a fan of the mushroom and spinach combo, feel free to sub in whatever you tend to like in a quiche. Smoked salmon and dill would be amazing! I also think a version with feta cheese and tomatoes would be delicious. Be creative! Just whatever you choose, make sure the water is cooked out before adding the eggs. Watery eggs do not make for a happy reheated sandwich.
You can also feel free to sub in your favorite breakfast meat for the bacon. Breakfast sausage patties, ham or nothing at all would all be equally delicious.
Heat and Eat Quiche Breakfast Sandwiches
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Makes: 12 sandwiches
Make sure to cook as much moisture as possible out of the onions, mushrooms and spinach. Don’t worry if they appear dry. The freezing and reheating process will add moisture to the egg patty.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced thin
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1-10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
- 10 eggs
- 1-1/2 cup milk
- 12 whole wheat English muffins, split
- 12 slices bacon, cooked and cut in half
- 12 slices sharp cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add in onions and cook for 2-3 minutes or until onions are just tender.
- Add in mushrooms, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 8-9 minutes or until mushrooms have released all of their liquid and pan begins to feel dry.
- Stir in the spinach and cook and additional 2-3 minutes, cooking out any remaining liquid from the spinach.
- Spoon mushroom mixture in one even layer into a cooking spray coated 9″x13″ baking sheet. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine eggs and milk and whisk until frothy.
- Carefully pour the eggs evenly over the mushroom mixture.
- Bake in 350° oven for 15-20 minutes, or until eggs are completely set and begin to look a bit dry. Remove from oven and cool completely.
- When ready to assemble sandwiches, cut the egg and veggie “cake” into 12 even squares (you could also use a biscuit cutter or glass if you want round patties).
- To assemble sandwiches: place one patty on the bottom of one English muffin half. Top with two half-slices of bacon and one slice of cheese. Top with remaining half of muffin.
- To freeze: wrap each sandwich tightly in plastic wrap and then store in a gallon freezer bag.
- To reheat: unwrap sandwich from plastic wrap. Wrap loosely in a paper towel and then heat at 70% in a microwave for three minutes until warmed through and cheese is melted. Remember, microwaves vary dramatically, so your times may differ.
NOTE: Babyface said that by the time his egg patty was warm, the cheese and bacon were overcooked. This didn’t happen for me at my work microwave, but if you have this issue, before zapping, separate the bottom half of the muffin and egg patty from the bacon, cheese and top half of the muffin. Wrap the muffin/egg half in a paper towel and nuke at 70% for 2 minutes. Then add the cheese, bacon and muffin and re-wrap in a paper towel. Microwave for the remaining 1 minute at 70% and that should work.
What’s your favorite convenience food?
I love organic soup-in-a-box. I can almost always find them on clearance at my grocery store, so my pantry always has a few boxes. I pair some soup with a grilled cheese and I can go from zero to dinner in about five minutes.