Some people get sick of eating eggs for breakfast, particularly people who are eating low-carb or paleo. So what's your option? You can eat non-breakfast food upon waking, or make grain-free versions of breakfast favorites like pancakes or French toast, or maybe drink a fruit smoothie. But say that you want to maintain an animal-protein-with-lots-of-veggies meal template (PDF) and don't want to add lots of sweeteners or fruits or make a healthified facsimile of something else. Then this breakfast is a great option.
I recently found blueberry breakfast sausage and thought that the flavor combination would be a nice alternative to the ubiquitous sausage with apples. The blueberries add a hint of natural sweetness, plus they are relatively low in sugar and packed with antioxidants. I kept the sausages unsweetened, but if you don't mind some extra sugar they would be delicious with a drizzle of maple syrup. I just mixed in some whole unthawed frozen blueberries because I liked the textural contrast. However, if you just want the blueberry flavor without whole pieces of fruit you can chop them or mash them up.
I wanted a veggie side that could be made ahead and naturally satisfies a craving for a sweeter breakfast without using tons of sugar or fruit. I pureed cooked carrots with coconut butter, vanilla bean, and spices to create a fluffy dish that is almost reminiscent of carrot cake. I sprinkled the top with shredded coconut which got nice and toasted in the oven. Chopped pecans would work great as well.
BLUEBERRY BREAKFAST SAUSAGE
- 1 lb ground meat of choice (pork, chicken, or turkey)
- 1/2 cup frozen (no need to thaw) or fresh blueberries, whole or chopped
- 1 tsp rubbed sage
- 1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper (or 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper + 1/4 tsp paprika)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- Thoroughly combine all ingredients with your hands.
- Shape the meat into a log and place it on a large piece of plastic wrap. Roll it up in the plastic wrap, tightly twisting both ends.
- When ready to serve, slice it into patties. You should get about eight sausage patties. Cook them in a lightly oiled skillet on medium heat, turning once, until both sides are browned. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until the meat is completely cooked throughout. Serve.
COCONUT CARROT SOUFFLE
- 1 lb frozen sliced carrots
- 1/4 cup coconut butter (I used two Artisana packets because I didn't want to buy a whole jar)
- 2 tsp apple pie spice*
- 2 eggs
- Seeds from a 2" piece vanilla bean (can substitute 1.5 tsp vanilla extract)
- Pinch salt
- 4 tsp shredded coconut for topping
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Cook the carrots for a bit longer than the package directions specify. They should be quite soft but not mushy. Mine said to microwave for 5 minutes, stir, then nuke for 5-6 minutes longer. I did that, stirred again, then microwaved for another 3 minutes on high.
- Combine all ingredients except for the shredded coconut in a food processor. Blend thoroughly until completely smooth.
- Pour the mixture into a greased souffle dish or 4 greased ramekins. Top with the shredded coconut. Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown on top.
Make-ahead directions: Pour the carrot mixture into greased ramekins and top each one with 1 tsp shredded coconut. If you don't want to keep your ramekins in the freezer, line them with plastic wrap, freeze, and then use the plastic wrap to lift out the frozen rounds of carrot souffle.You will put them in a greased ramekin when ready to bake. Thaw overnight or in the microwave on the "defrost" setting. Bake as specified; I used my toaster oven. You can also microwave it (I did it for 4 minutes on high, rotating halfway through) but the texture won't be as nice. It will still be fluffy but it will be kind of gummy, whereas if you bake it, it will have a golden crispy outside with a tender inside.