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Mighty Bowls: Healthy Breakfast for $2 or Less

By Elizabeth Leader Smith, January 3, 2012  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Elizabeth Leader Smith

In my household, breakfast is a prerequisite for a good start to the day.

In order to streamline the process of getting breakfast on the table, we adopted a weekly breakfast schedule.

Oatmeal. Eggs and toast. Bagels. Yogurt and toast. Cereal. Repeat.

It's not that these dishes are particularly exciting – they're not, are they? But they're fast recipes, and the ingredients are handy and inexpensive. Admittedly, it's time to jazz up our breakfast routine.

We want tasty recipes that are easy on the wallet and the waistline. So when I recently stumbled across these hearty healthy recipes that match my family's needs and my pantry's contents, I was thrilled.

Mighty Bowls of Goodness, tasty recipe suggestions from our Health Starts Here program, are filled with nutritious foods and cost less than $2 a bowl for breakfast.

The recipe is easy: grain (such as quinoa, brown rice, rolled oats or millet) + cooking liquid (move beyond water with almond milk, soy milk, hemp milk or coconut milk) + fresh or dried fruit (like apples, cranberries, bananas) + topping (try spices, seeds and nuts).

From apple spice oats to mango quinoa, there are weeks full of healthy breakfast options to fill you up without emptying your wallet. If you're looking to add nutrition, flavor and convenience to your morning routine without added costs, try these Mighty Bowls of Goodness breakfast combinations:

Almond Rice

1 cup brown rice cooked in 2 cups almond milk. Top with a sliced banana, an ounce of chopped raw almonds and a chopped date or two to sweeten.

Strawberry Sesame Millet

1 cup millet cooked in 2 cups soy milk. Add some honey and frozen sliced strawberries at the end of cooking. Top with toasted sesame seeds and a dash of cinnamon.

Spiced Apple Oats

1 cup rolled oats cooked in 2 cups almond milk. Mix in a shredded apple and nutmeg. Top with slivered almonds.

Mango Quinoa

1 cup quinoa cooked in 1 cup water, 1 cup coconut milk. Stir in ¼ bag frozen mango at the end of cooking. Toss in diced dried apricots, a sprinkle of dried coconut and a dash of vanilla extract.

Banana Cinnamon Quinoa

1 cup quinoa cooked in two parts hemp milk. Top with banana, raisins, cinnamon and pumpkin seeds.

Warming Wheat Berries:

1 cup wheat berries cooked in 2 cups water. Stir in some allspice and dried cranberries. Top with toasted pumpkin seeds.

The breakfast possibilities for Mighty Bowls of Goodness don't stop there, of course. What's already in your pantry, fridge and freezer? Oh, I spy pecans and frozen blueberries. I guarantee my family's breakfast routine is about to get much tastier!

Have you cooked up your own Mighty Bowl of Goodness recipe for breakfast yet? If so, we'd love to hear how you are warming up your morning without burning a hole in your wallet.




janejohnson says ...
@Bob This post does not suggest that eggs are unhealthy, but simply does not include them in this particular piece. Thank you for reaching out.
01/23/2012 12:32:51 PM CST
Rachel says ...
Great recipes, Ive just started using quiona, love the recipes 4 breakfast! Great combinations, can't wait to make for breakfast! Eggs are high in protein and are good for you, not eaten daily but included in your weekly breakfast. Thanks again.
01/10/2012 4:19:33 PM CST
Elizabeth says ...
Can you cook the rice in coconut water instead of coconut milk?
01/04/2012 10:09:03 AM CST
Noopur says ...
Really liked the idea of using non traditional whole grains such as quinoa and millet for breakfast...I am going to try these..thanks for posting this!
01/04/2012 10:21:06 AM CST
Kristin Poppe says ...
What exactly about eating eggs isn't healthy? We buy the 365 omega 3 cage-free eggs from WFM all the time at home and seem to be doing fine... They're delicious, too. I love this article. Lots of good ideas for breakfast that I can't wait to try out!
01/04/2012 11:00:13 AM CST
Judy says ...
I soak steel cut oats overnight in milk; cook in the morning & add natural PB
01/04/2012 4:15:50 PM CST
Rachel @ The Health Revival says ...
The Mango Quinoa sounds really yummy. Lately, I've been drawn to oatmeal...in fact, I just made a crockpot batch overnight and it was really good! Added apples, raisins, cranberries, and almonds...YUM. Will have to try some of these other alternatives!
01/10/2012 10:25:31 PM CST
Bob says ...
I understand that Whole Foods is trying to be helpful when suggesting soy milk for breakfast, and I appreciate the attempt to make people eat healthier, but I'm afraid soy milk is not a healthy choice for breakfast or any meal, for that matter. Soy milk has been marketed as a health food in the past few years due to an excess of soy in US agriculture, much like corn subsidies have caused corn to be in everything from high fructose corn syrup to a cow's meal (as opposed to grass). The argument that Asian countries enjoy good health due to consumption of soy is false, as they only consume small amounts (no larger than two teaspoons) of FERMENTED soy products (miso, natto, tempeh) added as condiments to their foods. Excess of soy by way of soy milk, soy isoflavones, and soy "meats" leads to decreased thyroid function, slowed metabolism, and many other adverse health effects due to the trypsin inhibitors, large amounts of phytic acid, and phytoestrogens in soy. The following articles have more information on the matter: http://www.whale.to/a/soy2.html http://www.westonaprice.org/soy-alert Also, why in the world would eating eggs be unhealthy? Eggs are one of nature's most perfect and balanced foods. If your worried about fat and cholesterol, you may be surprised to find that we need both substances in our bodies unlike we've been brainwashed to think in the past few decades due to the lipid hypothesis, which has been debunked. http://www.westonaprice.org/know-your-fats/cholesterol-friend-or-foe If your argument is that animal foods are unhealthy, then please go and look up some information about cave paintings and see what the hunter-gatherers were hunting. Then research some more to find out about their incredible states of health and how degenerative diseases ware unknown. Heart disease, obesity, and cancer has only gone up in the past few decades when consumption of so called "heart-healthy" vegetable oils (that are really full of rancid trans fats) has increased, as well as processed, packaged, and denatured foods marketed as healthy and "low-fat" have increased. Prior to the 1920s, and most definitely before the Industrial Revolution, Americans ate whole, raw dairy, eggs, fatty meat, and many other whole, natural animal foods we've been brainwashed into thinking are unhealthy with great health nonetheless. http://www.thenourishinggourmet.com/2008/04/sometimes-in-midst-of-protein-shakes.html
01/05/2012 7:37:30 PM CST
kathy says ...
can you use almond milk instead of hemp milk for the banana cinnamon quinoa recipe?
01/04/2012 8:42:53 PM CST
Bob Bara says ...
Eating eggs is NOT healthy. I wonder if WF could be held liable for such mis statements?
01/04/2012 9:56:21 AM CST
pat says ...
The quinoa dishes looking yummy. I will be making these. Thanks for sharing.
01/04/2012 10:02:37 AM CST
janejohnson says ...
@Elizabeth The flavor and nutritional content will be significantly different but so long as you use the same amount of liquid, the rice should still be soft.
01/04/2012 1:25:32 PM CST
Mar G says ...
WF said nothing about eating eggs...they were talking about whole grain breakfast bowls as alternatives to eggs & other more traditional breakfast foods. And, btw, eggs (especially egg whites) are considered by many to be a good source of protein & not unhealthy.
01/04/2012 10:42:52 AM CST
Neil says ...
Any suggestions for diabetics?
01/04/2012 4:15:05 PM CST
Susan says ...
It would be helpful if you would post calorie counts and nutrition breakdown for these recipes. (Also would like to see that done in the deli). It would be most appreciated!!
01/04/2012 9:24:17 AM CST
janejohnson says ...
@Kathy Yes you sure can! Just remember that it's going to change the nutritional content and the flavor.
01/05/2012 12:33:43 PM CST
ASB says ...
I love oatmeal for breakfast. It's easy and economical, and I like a hot breakfast. My recipe is 1/2 c rolled oats, 1 c water, some sugar, and a splash of milk after microwaving. I like to add in dried fruit, diced apple, peanut butter & banana, berries...whatever I have on hand that seems appealing.
01/05/2012 6:47:11 PM CST
Brie says ...
This sounds great for mixing things up! My son has allergies to dairy, eggs and nuts. Any suggestions for substitutes for theses item? It seems most recipes include one or the other:)
01/05/2012 3:40:39 PM CST
Karina chapman says ...
Interesting! When we stay at any Hyatt Regency, and go down for one of their buffet breakfasts, every Hyatt we've been to from California to Boston has a Mighty Bowl option...they don't call it that, of course. But they always have oatmeal or cream of wheat, and they always have multiple choices of toppings. I've seen almonds, walnuts, pecans, almond slivers, pumpkin seeds, golden raisins, raisins, currants, dried cranberries, dried pineapple, dried papaya, flax seeds, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries... I always, always have a mighty bowl there. Last Dec 30 we stayed at the Hyatt Regency Cambridge, Mass, and my mighty bowl was filled with all those berries, cranberries, golden raisins, pecans, and dried pineapple. Yum! Afterward, I told my hubby that I really need to start doing this at home. :)
01/05/2012 12:43:49 PM CST
Leen says ...
Organic egg consumption is indeed healthy in moderation. The recipes here certainly look great. Can't wait to try a few to mix up the morning routine.
01/04/2012 10:28:41 AM CST
Shari says ...
My healthy oatmeal......1/4 whole oats cooked with 3/4 cup water...Add 2 TBS milled flax seed... 1TBS raw honey to sweeten....1/4 tsp cinnamon and a few walnuts
01/04/2012 9:49:20 AM CST
janejohnson says ...
@Neil We have a whole section in our recipes catalog for the sugar conscious. I've copied the link below. http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes/search-results.php?specialDietTypeId=12
01/05/2012 12:30:48 PM CST
nik says ...
Banana Cinnamon Quinoa! Where have you been hiding all my life! Okay, not a raisin fan so I'm subbing dried blueberries but holygranola this is yummy...thank you!
01/05/2012 10:22:23 AM CST
Melissa says ...
Thanks for the great suggestions. We love oatmeal in our home and eat it daily therefore love all new recipe ideas! Here's one of our favorites: Oats, blueberries and light Coconut Milk topped with a mixture of Cinnamon and Truvia. Also can add some shaving of coconut on top for an extra treat! Enjoy!
01/09/2012 12:42:23 PM CST
janejohnson says ...
@Brie We have a dairy free recipe index for such an occasion! http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes/search-results.php?specialDietTypeId=2
01/23/2012 12:09:57 PM CST