Joni Woolf: Eating like a king (at breakfast)

Published 3:00 pm Wednesday, July 6, 2016

One of my relatives had gained a substantial amount of weight, a little at a time, hardly noticing — a pound here, two pounds there: then one day, he realized he was 100 pounds overweight, and endangering his health. He went to see a bariatric physician who told him that if he wanted to live, and wanted to avoid serious surgery, he would need to adopt a very simple plan of eating (some of you have probably heard this): Eat like a king at breakfast, a prince at lunch, and a pauper at dinner.  He took this advice, has lost over 100 pounds and tells very funny stories about eating lasagna for breakfast (whatever his wife has for dinner the night before, he has for breakfast the next day).
I suspect that most of us do not warm up to the idea of lasagna for breakfast, especially since there are so many good things that “sound” like breakfast, like the foods we visualize when the word “breakfast” comes to mind. Breakfast can be a feast of such variety that it truly can become the main meal of the day. All it takes is a little imagination and preparation, and your day is off to a good start. Here are a few breakfast recipes that are not only delicious — they are reasonably low in fat, and are easy to prepare. So eat like a king — or queen, and keep the pounds off this summer.

GRANOLA (from my friend Janice Brice)
4 cups old fashioned oats (not the quick kind)
1 1/2 cups nuts (pecans and almonds, mixed)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup raisins and dried cranberries, mixed
Heat oven to 300 degrees F. Mix oats, nuts, sugar, salt and cinnamon in large bowl. In small saucepan mix oil and honey and heat until warm. Whisk in vanilla. Pour honey mixture over oat mixture and mix gently, but well. Spread out on large baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes, stirring half-way through. Cool and then add dried fruit. Makes about 9 cups. (Sprinkle some over a cup of yogurt, add a serving of fruit, and you have a complete breakfast.)

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large, very ripe bananas
2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9 x 5 loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, soda and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, mash the bananas until smooth. Add the egg whites, sugar, buttermilk and vanilla and stir to mix well. Pour the banana mixture into the well in the dry ingredients and fold together until blended. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake 55-60 minutes — until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let rest in pan 10 to 15 minutes. Turn out, then turn over and allow to cool before slicing.

SWEET CORN FRITTATA (now is perfect time for this; corn is abundant)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 onion, sliced
1 large green pepper, sliced into thin strips
1/2 cup chopped pimentos
1 1/2 cups corn kernels
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 eggs
4 egg whites
1/2 cup lowfat milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1 tablespoon grated Romano cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large, oven-proof frying pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the pimentos, corn and oregano and cook about 5 minutes. Transfer the vegetables into a medium bowl. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, egg whites, milk, salt, pepper and mustard and whisk until blended. Add the egg mixture to the vegetable mixture. In the same frying pan over low heat, pour in the egg-vegetable mixture. Cook, stirring frequently, until the eggs are firm on the bottom and almost set on the top, 8 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle the cheese on top and bake in the oven until the eggs are set, 5 to 8 minutes. To serve, cut into wedges. (A side of sliced tomatoes and a couple of strips of crisp bacon make this a complete meal.)

When you are eating like a pauper at dinner, remember that a great breakfast will have you on the way to a new, leaner you. Think I’ll try it.

Joni Woolf, a writer and editor, now lives in Schley County, having moved from her home in Macon several years ago. Contact her at