12 Recipe-Lite Protein-Packed Breakfasts

>> Tuesday, February 18, 2014

So, we've covered some of the 8 most protein-rich breakfast foods for vegetarians and vegans. But eating them plain would be boring and, well, even unappetizing (yum -- cold, plain tofu!). Thankfully, cooking up these ingredients isn't difficult or even time-consuming.

Here are 12 single-serve breakfast recipes -- all packing 15 g of protein or (many) more. I calculated each by hand in MyFitnessPal, but actual protein content (noted in the parentheses) might vary depending on specific ingredients/amounts used.

V = vegan
VO = vegan-optional

#12: "Baked" Beans Atop Toast (15 g) -- V

I love sprouted Ezekiel bread (you can find it in the freezer section) because it's tasty, textural, and high in protein. Toast up twice slices of it and then top with some quick homemade "baked" beans: 1/2 cup canned beans, drained + rinsed, simmered for 5 minutes over medium heat on the stovetop with 1-2 tablespoons ketchup, 1 teaspoon molasses, a drop of maple syrup, salt, pepper, and onion + garlic powder to taste -- or even some paprika!

#11: Simple Toast (17 g) -- V

Toast two slices of your favorite whole grain bread. Spread each with 1 tablespoon of your favorite nut butter. Top with sliced fruit like banana. Even sprinkle a little granola or spread a bit of jam.

#10: Simple Stir-Fry (17 g tofu // 18 g eggs) -- VO

Another savory dish to start off the day, use 1 cup of frozen veggies (I like the Asian stir-fry varieties) and then combine with 2 eggs -- any style -- or 1/2 a block of firm cubed + fried or "scrambled" tofu (just drain and crumble and combine with your favorite spices and a splash of soy sauce). Serve with a 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa.

#9: Oat Bowl (18 g) -- V

Cook 1/2 cup of rolled oats in 1 cup of soy milk. Then add in a tablespoon of your favorite nut butter. Flavor with cinnamon, nutmeg, or even a scoop of cocoa powder -- whatever you like. Drizzle maple syrup or honey for some extra sweetness to taste. Toss in dry or fresh fruit for good measure.

#8: Ricotta Pancakes (21 g)

Combine 1/3 cup ricotta cheese, 1/3 cup whole wheat flour, 1/3 cup soy milk, 1 egg, and 1/4 teaspoon baking powder. Don't over-mix, add more/less milk to achieve desired texture. You could also toss in tablespoon of sugar to make them sweeter or a dash of vanilla extract or some lemon/orange zest, etc. Cook as you would normal pancakes.

#7: Cottage Cheese + Egg Omelette (23 g)

You'll need 2 large eggs (or 3 egg whites), 1 cup greens (baby spinach, kale, etc.),  sliced onion (optional), 1/4 cup low-fat cottage cheese, and 1/4 cup shredded cheese (mozzarella, cheddar, etc.). Whisk together eggs with a little salt and pepper and set aside. Then cook your greens with some olive oil over medium-high heat for a few minutes until softened, add in your eggs and cook until near-set, put your cottage cheese in the middle and fold.

#6: Quinoa Bowl -- Sweet (23 g) -- V

Cook a half cup of quinoa in 1 cup of soy milk (around 10-15 minutes). Then add in a tablespoon of your favorite nut butter. Flavor with cinnamon, nutmeg, or even a scoop of cocoa powder -- whatever you like. Drizzle maple syrup or honey for some extra sweetness to taste. Toss in dry or fresh fruit for good measure.

#5: Quinoa Bowl -- Savory (23 g)

Cook a half cup of quinoa in 1 cup water. Then let cool and combine it with (or place on top of) 1/2 cup lowfat Greek yogurt. Sauté or steam your favorite veggie -- maybe spinach or broccoli -- and season with salt, pepper, and whatever other spices you enjoy.

#4: Tofu Scramble (25 g) -- V

Take a half block of tofu, press, and crumble it into a scrambled eggs texture. Then sauté some veggies in olive oil -- onion, spinach, garlic, mushrooms, tomato, etc. -- and add in the tofu. Cook for 7-10 minutes and season with some salt, pepper, soy sauce, curry powder, or any other spices you like.

#3: Fruit + Oat Smoothie (up to 27 g) -- VO

Combine 1/2 cup frozen fruit (strawberry, banana, blackberry, blueberry, raspberry, etc. -- or even a mix!) with 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup uncooked rolled oats, and 1/2 to 1 full cup skim or soy milk. Add honey or maple syrup to sweeten, if desired -- spice up with cocoa powder, cinnamon, etc. And even consider tossing in a tablespoon of nut butter for extra protein.

#2: Cottage Cheese (28 g)

Scoop out yourself a full cup of low-fat cottage cheese and serve with fresh fruit (strawberries, melon, etc.) on the side. This is such a simple, easy way to get a huge dose of protein in the morning. If you don't like eating it all at once, consider splitting into 1/2 cup with other breakfast items and another 1/2 cup for a morning snack.

#1: Leftovers + Burrito Bowl (29 g // 22 g w/o cheese) -- VO

You'll need: 1/3 cup cooked brown rice, 1/2 cup roasted veggies (peppers, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, etc.), 2 eggs, scrambled, and 1/2 cup beans (drained + rinsed -- I like black beans for this recipe). Toss prepared ingredients together on the stove-top until warm. Then serve with 1/4 cup shredded cheese and some lettuce/spinach. Add salsa and hot sauce for flavor.

What are your favorite + fast protein-packed breakfasts?

// Looking for more shortcuts to healthful, satisfying meals?

Check out our tips for Automatic Healthy Eating!

And don't miss our 90 healthiest recipes of 2013! Lots of delicious, wholesome foods for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and beyond. Includes both vegan and vegetarian recipes to please the entire family -- even toddlers!

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