Chef Ken Arneson’s tips for better breakfast and a recipe
Breakfast. The most important meal of the day, yet many of us put so little effort into making it healthy and nutritious… and some even skip the meal it all together (I’ll admit I’m guilty!). September is National Better Breakfast Month, inspiring fresh ideas for making breakfast a meal you’ll never want to pass up on.
BreakfastFirst.org notes that one out of every five kids does not eat breakfast and 37% of food insufficiencies in students come from not enjoying a meal in the morning. Not only does a healthy breakfast provide necessary nutrients and lends an early energy boost, but it also prevents overeating at other meal times and can help lower bad cholesterol. Fun fact: children who eat breakfast are less likely to be overweight!
Chef Ken Arneson (one of my local favorites) of Rico’s American Grill at Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort shares 5 Tips to Making Better Breakfast:
- “Dietary Fiber” such as nuts and whole grains is a great way to stockpile the energy-producing carbs you will need to kick start most of your morning. Something as simple as a slice of nine-grain toast with peanut butter will keep you feeling full and energized for hours.
- Eggs are a quick and easy boost of protein, but don’t overdo it. Cholesterol is always an issue due to the yolks, but done in moderation, it is a great way to start a busy day, especially if you are prone to a lot of physical activity in your work day. If frying, try to keep to no more than a teaspoon of oil per egg. My suggestion would be to hard boil them — you can cook them the night before and eat them on the go. If you have a bit more time, try one of my egg white paninis.
- Nothing will make you feel better about yourself than a fruit parfait. They look good, taste better and are very fancy. Between that or a smoothie, there is no cooler way to start your day.
- If you are going to go for the gusto for breakfast, might I suggest trying a small portion of bacon or sausage? Although not the best thing for you, believe it or not, a small portion of fats and proteins are a great start to your day. Try not to mix it with too many carbs though or you will find yourself looking for the pillow again and the overload of fats and carbs will cause your body to go into processing overload, thus giving you that feeling of fatigue because your body is working twice as hard trying to digest and process all the heavy food.
- Ninety percent of people today skip breakfast due to hectic lifestyles. Doing so will only slow you down. Your brain and body need to get fueled just like your car does. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day if you remember to fuel up in the morning. You will be able to think faster, speak clearer, and have better use of your motor skills. Always remember there is a reason they call it “Breakfast of Champions,” because “Dinner of Champions” doesn’t make any sense.
Chef Ken serves up tasty breakfast items in the restaurant and sources fresh ingredients from local farms and his own organic garden at Rico’s. If you want to skip the monotonous bowl of boring cereal or breakfast bar, try out one of his favorites – the Egg White Flatbread Panini. We got his recipe!
Egg White Flatbread Panini
Recipe courtesy of Chef Ken Arneson, Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort
Yields 1 serving
- 4 ounces (by volume) liquid egg whites
- 2 ounces roasted tomatoes
- 2 ounces goat cheese
- 1 tomato
- 4 asparagus
- Toast flatbread on flattop.
- Melt goat cheese.
- Scramble egg whites and fold inside flat bread with tomatoes.
- Serve with tomato and asparagus.
Written by Amy Martin, PhoenixBites Editor in Chief