Individual Breakfast Casseroles. For the good of America.

I read an article today that was about the new dietary guidelines issues by the government.  Apparently, this happens every five years.  Who knew.  For the first time ever, we as Americans are being urged to eat less and to eat better stuff.

Brilliant, no?

But as is the norm for me, I am already two weeks ahead of the curve.

For a lot or reasons (ok, the main reason is my big fat a$$) the J family has embarked on a healthier lifestyle, which includes regular exercise for all of us, and GASP! a healthier diet.

Not DIETING, mind you.  I'm not really interested in in doing anything drastic like that.  I mean, I like lettuce topped with a little more lettuce and an almond just as much as the next girl, but I'm not really interested in eating like that every meal, every day, until I reach some magical number on the scale and then begin to immediately gorge myself on Ho-Hos and french fries again.  Rinse and repeat.  Not really my thing.  See, I like to eat, and I don't like to be hungry, so that doesn't really work for me so much.

What I'm doing instead is trying to make better food choices for me, and therefore for my whole family. And since I do most of the grocery shopping and all of the cooking, I guess this is one responsibility that falls squarely on my big fat a$$.

Good news - I love to cook, and I'm always up for a challenge, so now I'm working on creating recipes that are a)filling b)good and c)healthier than, say, a Twinkie.

Here's one I came up with this morning, after a three mile run and 45 minutes of strength training, when my body was screaming "FEED ME SOMETHING NOW WOMAN!  COLD CEREAL AND A BANANA AIN'T GONNA CUT IT TODAY!"

a muffin pan
Pam cooking spray - I used butter flavor
3 cups Simply Potatoes Hashbrowns.  Or grate up a potato or two yourself - I was HONGRY and lacked patience.  But stay away from the frozen kind.  They have all kinds of not good for you stuff in 'em.
1 1/2 cups diced veggies of your choice.  I used a frozen onion and pepper blend and some mushrooms.  Broccoli, asparagus, carrots and celery would all be great, too.
2 eggs
1 cup egg whites.  I started buying this in a carton in the dairy department of the grocery store.  It's a little on the pricey side, but it lasts forever.
3 slices low fat/low calorie cheese.  Swiss was what I had, so Swiss was what I used.
a generous splash - maybe 1/4 of a cup - of skim milk
parsley, salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Spray Pam into all the muffin pan, then put 1/4 cup potatoes in the bottom of each spot.  Bake for 10 minutes then remove from the oven and top each one with some of the vegetable mixture, distributing it equally over the 12 muffin tins.  In a small bowl, mix the eggs, egg whites, salt, pepper, parsley and milk until blended, then pour about 2-3 tablespoons of the mixture on the top of each casserole.  You don't need a lot - think of it as the glue.

Bake it for approximately 20 minutes, until the eggs are set.  then cut the three pieces of cheese into 4 equal pieces each, and top each casserole with 1/4 of a slice.  Pop it back into the oven for a couple minutes until the cheese is melted.

I plugged all the ingredients into an app on my iPhone, told it how many servings it made (12) and it spit the calories back out at me - 82 calories per individual casserole.  Add a toasted English Muffin or a piece of fruit, and you can have a yummy breakfast for under 200 calories.  It's hard to beat that.  Also, you can make these ahead and store them in the fridge.  When you're ready to eat,  just microwave them for a minute.

Join me next time when I cure cancer and find a workable solution for world peace.

Or maybe I'll just write another post about my feet.

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