A while back, I was talking with my parents and family about what our grandparents and great-grandparents ate, specifically for breakfast.
Years ago, people ate completely differently. They ate heartier meals, heavy foods that stuck with you while you’re plowing the fields or doing other hard work on the farm. My mother recalls her mother rising early to feed her large family and workers a big breakfast consisting of breads, gravies, potatoes, eggs and breakfast meats to fuel them up for the long, hard day ahead.
Nowadays, I look forward to a large breakfast maybe once a week. Granted, I’m not plowing fields, but today’s trends lean toward lighter fare. Starting each day with a healthy breakfast can boost your ability to concentrate and prevent food cravings and overeating later. Breakfast should include numerous food groups, including protein.
WebMD lists 104 diets, some of them I have heard of — Atkins, South Beach, paleo — and some I’m curious about. There’s the carb lover’s diet, 02 diet, morning banana diet and French-women-don’t-get-fat diet.
I don’t recommend any of these diets; some don’t sound remotely healthy, and others just seem strange. I can recommend some good ratios for protein for a balanced breakfast. Between 10 percent and 35 percent of your daily calories come from protein. That leaves some room in your breakfast for good, wholesome protein.
I manufacture sausage and bacon in large quantities in many forms. They include link sausage, bulk sausage, and regular and extra lean bacon including our extra-lean turkey bacon. All of those are great traditional breakfast meats and use natural ingredients. My recipe this week has a combination of breakfast favorites rolled into one simple meal.
This recipe is an easy way to feed a lot of people with minimal work. It can be made the night before; just cover with cellophane and refrigerate.
It’s a great Easter brunch idea. Enjoy!
SAUSAGE BREAKFAST BAKE
1 pound of sausage
8 slices bacon (optional)
2 cups milk
6 slices bread
2 cups cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Brown sausage and crumble
Beat eggs adding the mustard, salt and pepper, and milk
Cube bread in half-inch pieces
Fry bacon gently, not crispy as you would normally
Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish generously; lay the bread crumbs evenly on the bottom; pour the egg mixture over top of the bread; then sprinkle the cheese and sausage over the top equally. Lay bacon over the top of the mixture.
Bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
To spice the breakfast bake up a little, try our Jalapeno breakfast link. Instead of bread on the bottom, try a 2-pound bag of frozen hash brown potatoes (thawed). Reduce the milk to 1 cup and increase the bake time to 45 minutes at 350 degrees.
David Theiss owns Butler Gourmet Meats and is a longtime Carson City resident.