THE BLOG

Challenge #1 : Busy Weekday Breakfast (Chef's Meal)

09/17/2013 07:24 EDT | Updated 12/18/2013 06:10 EST

In the month of September, I try to keep my mind free of distraction and instead ponder how much I love to cook at this time of year, and what a staggering variety of produce we have to choose from.

You'll see in my selection of ingredients from this phase's challenge, I have featured autumn's array of orange produce, like sweet potatoes and squash, in addition to the obligatory apples (because they are gorgeous and so nutritious).

Our challenge this week is to make a quick breakfast before everyone rushes off to work or school, using as many of the ingredients from the list as possible. Remember we don't have to use them all, and we can use other healthy staples like olive oil, eggs, etc. The breakfast does not have to be cooked, but we cannot have any uncooked meat in the meal.

Scrambled Eggs with Turkey Sausage

It's a rule that bears repeating: breakfast is not the meal to skip! Regardless of how frenzied mornings can be, it's crucial to eat a nutritious meal in the morning. Scrambled eggs are the quickest way to get the protein boost from an egg (outside of boiling them). The turkey here -- in the form of sausage -- is a leaner option than most other sausages and a great way to kick up the protein essential for our morning meal. I threw in a banana at the end as a source of potassium that you can either eat on the go or take with you for a late morning snack. It's also perfectly portable for kids; just watch out for squishing! Speaking of the kids, you may want to omit the chives if your kids hate any little green bits.

Busy Weekday Breakfast (Chef's Meal)

Main Ingredients Used:

• Turkey

• Whole grain pita

• Banana (optional)

Ingredients:

• 10 mL (2 tsp.) olive oil, divided

• 240 g (8 oz.) low sodium turkey sausage

• 8 eggs, whisked in a medium bowl

• 125 mL (½ cup) chives, chopped or 1 green onion

• 8 cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters

• 125 mL (1/2 cup) baby spinach leaves, washed (optional)

• 1 whole grain pita, cut into quarters

• 1 banana (optional, on the side)

Makes 4 servings

Preparation: In a medium-sized skillet heat half the olive oil over medium setting. Add the sausages and cook for 4 minutes, until all sides are lightly browned. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into 3 cm long pieces. Discard fat.

In another large non-stick skillet, heat remaining teaspoon of olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add the browned sausage pieces and continue to cook for 1 more minute. Add the whisked eggs and stir with wooden spoon for 1-2 minutes, until eggs are cooked to your liking. Season the egg mixture with freshly cracked black pepper and sprinkle with chives. Sprinkle with a handful of spinach, if desired, and cover for 30 seconds, just to wilt. Serve with cherry tomatoes and a quarter of a pita.

The Verdict: Our morning ritual starts with my husband making me a special cappuccino, if I'm not shooting early and if he's not working early. Eggs are a norm for us (and I prepare them a gazillion different ways), but when he saw me with the camera out first thing in the morning, he knew his very vital opinion would soon be requested. He devoured the eggs and when I asked "How was it?" he replied "Great!" One-word answers are always my preference, because that means he really loved it. He only elaborates when he has not enjoyed something or he never wishes to eat it that way again.

We're off to a great start with the Main Ingredients Challenge!