Dining With Miss Lil: Breaking The Fast

May 3, 2009

By Lil Nickelson

Central/West Harlem Food & Cultural Tour drinks

Breakfast is the most important meal of your day, yet most Americans don’t eat breakfast at home; we just don’t make the time. Breakfast, helps you break your fast after sleeping five to eight hours each night. If you skip breakfast, you are certainly going to need to eat something before lunchtime. How many hours are you up and working? How many hours are your kids in school? Without fuel to nourish the body, we cannot perform at our best.

We may pick up something on our way to work or school at McDonald’s, the corner deli or the wagon on the street. How expensive is it eating breakfast and lunch out five days a week?

On the M102 bus the other morning a Latina sister handed each of her four children a bag of Dipsy Doodles, and then a young Black girl sitting next to me pulled a Snapple drink out of her book bag. I kept silent, but I was screaming on the inside. Children learn what they are taught. Our kids are developing bad eating habits. We have to do better if our children are going to have healthier tomorrows.

Fixing breakfast at home takes a little advance prep work, but you can make sure that you and your family members start your day right. I make mini turkey Italian sausage patties or bake tilapia the night before so I only have to re heat it in the oven while I shower in the morning. If you wake up with an appetite then fix, a Miraval Resort Spa inspired egg white omelet (see recipe below) to go along with the mini sausage patties or tilapia.

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Miraval Omelet


Shiitake mushroom (1), diced

Cherry Tomatoes (5), diced

Green scallion (1), chopped

Fresh spinach leaves (5), rough chopped

Lawry’s seasoning salt

Fresh cracked black pepper

Philadelphia cream cheese, fat free

Egg whites from 3 eggs (save the egg yolks)

Extra virgin olive oil (“evooJ”)

How to make

In a medium size frying pan on a medium heat pour enough olive oil to coat the pan.

Add the mushroom, tomatoes, scallion pieces to the pan and sauté for 3 minutes. Sprinkle a dash of seasoning salt and pepper.

Add the spinach and a dash more seasonings.

Pour the egg whites around the pan moving the mix around until the whites are completely white.

Use a butter knife to glide across the cream cheese, and place it down the center of the omelet.

Fold the two side over the cream cheese. Wait one minute and remove from pan and place on plate and serve.

(Save the egg yolks to make crème brulee for dessert. )

For those people who simply must have some meat with your breakfast try one of these three recommendations:

Johnsonville breakfast sausage links (3 = 150 calories)

small (or half of a large) piece of tilapia fish

small Italian (hot or sweet) turkey sausage patty

How to make

Sauté (or oven bake) in a little seasonings & evoo in a small frying pan.

This omelet is so tasty and filling you won’t miss the yolk. A bowl of oatmeal or grits can also hit the right spot on cold mornings.

Pressed for time, then make a protein shake or a smoothie made with frozen fruit (see recipe below) and sip it on the go.

Fruit Smoothie


Fresh bananas

Carton of fresh strawberries

Carton of fresh berries (blueberry, raspberry or blackberry) **

Can of pineapple chunks or slices **

One can of coconut milk poured into ice cube tray

Fresh mango, peaches, or nectarines **

Orange or apple juice or water


Stoneyfield Farm fat free vanilla yogurt (optional)

** Use fresh fruit items when they are “in season”

How to make

Flash freeze the fruit on a cookie sheet (that has been lined with a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil) in the freezer.

When fruit is frozen you should transfer each fruit individually to a freezer bag that you store in the freezer.

Prepare these fruit items as instructed for flash freezing:

Bananas – peel each banana and leave whole & put on cookie sheet

Strawberries – remove top center, cut in half & put on cookie sheet

All Other Berries – Arrange them on cookie sheet.

Pineapple – cut bottom off to steady then cut off sides and then top. Cut into slices and then chunks & put on cookie sheet.

Mangoes, Peaches, Nectarines – cut the flesh of fruit off the seed and then cut into slices & put on cookie sheet.

Assemble the smoothie in the blender, add ¼ cup of liquid first, and then the cube of coconut milk and your choices of fruit (and yogurt if you want) as desired. Blend and taste. Add a little honey and more liquid until all the frozen fruit is blended. Serve in serving glasses immediately.

Smoothies made with frozen fruit instead of ice are thicker and will stay colder longer because they take time to melt. Stick an energy bar into your bag or your kid’s backpack if they have to leave before eating breakfast at home. An energy bar may even suit you; a good friend of mine swears by Kashi’s energy bars (or you can make your own).

I fix the yogurt parfait as a mid morning snack (see recipe below). I keep fresh fruit and nuts like pistachios, cashews or the mixed nuts at my desk for snacks to stay away from the vending machine.

Yogurt Parfait


Stoneyfield Farm fat free vanilla yogurt

Banana, sliced in medium size pieces

Strawberries, top center removed, and cut into slices

Dole or Del Monte’s diced peaches or pears, drain the liquid off

1 cup of granola (recipe follows)

How to make

Assemble the parfait in serving glasses, layer granola, yogurt, and fruit as desired. Serve immediately, or cover, and chill for up to 2 hours.

I love cooking, and I buy cookbooks to challenge and expand on my cooking skills concerning specific cuisines. However, the internet is filled with recipes and I’ve attached a sheet with my top 15 web sites where you can get recipes. Develop your own recipe library on your computer: copy and paste each recipe into a blank Microsoft word document and save them on your hard drive.

Bon appetit.

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