DEAR PEGGY: I need a little help in making heart-healthy recipes. I have switched to wheat bread for me and white wheat for my husband and skim milk for me and 1% for him. I'm reading the back of canned foods a lot now. But the hardest meal is breakfast. We love eggs, bacon, sausage, etc. I've tried turkey bacon and sausage, and my husband did not like them. We are eating cereal and some oatmeal and multigrain breakfast bars. Any direction or guidance you provide will be much appreciated. —D.H., Washington, North Carolina
It sounds like you've taken some great steps in the right direction by boosting fiber, choosing low-fat dairy products and presumably checking out the sodium on canned food labels. Coming up with heart-healthy breakfast foods can be difficult when you're used to traditional bacon and eggs for breakfast. Here are a few suggestions:
Heart-smart breakfast burritos
Scramble a combination of whole eggs and egg whites with veggies. Spoon into a whole wheat tortilla, sprinkle with a modest amount of reduced-fat cheese, some diced tomatoes and a dollop of reduced-fat or fat-free sour cream then roll up. There are many brands of whole-wheat tortillas on the market now, so if you don't like one, try a different brand.
Open-faced egg sandwich
Again, scramble a combination of whole eggs and egg whites with veggies. Spoon over toasted whole wheat English muffin halves, sprinkle with a modest amount of reduced-fat shredded cheese and broil until the cheese is melted.
Variations on oatmeal
Cooked oatmeal can get boring, even with different mix-ins and toppings. To get those cholesterol-lowering oats with more variety, look for a low-fat baked oatmeal recipe or homemade granola. You can add some dried fruit for added sweetness and serve the granola over reduced-fat yogurt or eat like cereal with milk. Try this delicious recipe for Quick Stovetop Granola from Taste of Home.
Cold cereal combo
This is a simple suggestion, but sometimes just combining different types of cold cereal is a nice change of pace. I like to mix a really high-fiber cereal (not so tasty alone) with one that has a touch of sweetness.
Since your husband just can't give up the bacon and he won't eat turkey bacon, try center-cut bacon; it's even leaner than turkey bacon.
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