Gluten-Free Breakfast Ideas

Some of the best naturally gluten-free foods out there are cheese, eggs, and corn.  When it comes to eggs, I love a good frittata.  The best part is you can have it for breakfast or Sunday brunch or make it into a speedy dinner.  It also can look fancy, depending on the ingredients you use.  I made a few easy frittatas below, and to mix it up, the last meal I made is corn grits with fried eggs.  I deeply love grits (ground corn) which is funny because it is a Southern dish, and I’m originally from New Jersey!  But, corn is gluten-free and grits are about as simple as you can get (at least when you use a slow-cooker like I did).

First, the fritatta situation.  Frittata #1 was pretty simple and used ingredients I already had on hand. The star of the dish was a small box of grape tomatoes I had.  One pet peeve I have about cherry and grape tomatoes is that I don’t like it when the inside seeds are green and gummy with chlorophyll. So my habit is to cut them in half and gently squeeze out all of the gunk as I go.  Here are my “dry” tomatoes, which made me much happier:

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Next, I sautéed three chopped green onions in a large oven-proof skillet with a few teaspoons of olive oil. I also preheated my broiler on low for the final stage of cooking (which is why you need to make sure your skillet is oven-proof).

I whisked together 4 whole eggs and 4 eggs whites in a bowl.  Side note: my method of separating eggs when a recipe calls for egg whites is cracking the egg in half over the bowl and shuffling the egg yolk back and forth between the shell halves while the whites fall into the bowl (the yolk stays in the egg shell). I can’t do the messier method I’ve seen on TV, where they crack an egg into their hand and let the whites drip down through their fingers while they hold the yolk.  Yuck!

To the eggs in the bowl, I added a pinch of salt, a lot of cracked pepper, and two teaspoons of dried oregano.  After adding the grape tomato halves, everything went into my skillet over top the green onions, set on medium heat.  I let the eggs hang out in the skillet for a few minutes to set.

Once the eggs were set, except for the very top which was still wet, I sprinkled feta over the top and then put my oven-safe pan into the oven. The broiler setting is perfect for this dish because only the top needed to cook and brown.  It only takes a few minutes to set, so keep an eye on it!  Instead of feta, goat cheese or even shredded cheddar would have worked out well, too.  Perfection:

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The second frittata I made was a little more filling.  This time I began with some diced bacon (canadian bacon or ham would be even better) and a small chopped onion.  When the bacon and onion was nice and brown in my oven-proof skillet, I added a few generous handfuls of spinach and 2 diced Roma tomatoes.

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While everything cooked in the skillet, I made almost the same egg mixture as the last frittata – 4 whole eggs with 4 egg whites again, lots of cracked pepper, a few teaspoons of dried oregano and one teaspoon of dried rosemary.  I added the rest of the feta cheese I had, as well, since I had it left over from my last frittata.  I simply poured the egg mixture over top the veggies in my skillet, and let it cook on medium until all but the top was set.  Then, I popped the oven proof skillet into the oven with the broiler on low to cook the top for just a handful of minutes.  Ta-da!

As for the last breakfast of deliciousness:  slow-cooker grits with fried eggs and sauteed spinach.  I poured into my slow cooker: 6 cups of water and 1 1/2 cups of plain corn grits (not the quick-cooking kind), plus a half teaspoon of salt.  I stirred the water and grits together until they were smooth, and the salt.  You want to make sure there aren’t any lumps; if you have had lumpy grits before, there is nothing worse than eating a lump with dried grits in the middle!  You can just follow the directions on the side of the grits container if you want to make less:

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I popped the cover on my slow cooker and set it on low for 8 hours.  Near the end of the 8 hours, I added 6 ounces of shredded cheddar cheese, just a dash more of salt (because it was bland when I tasted it), and a few teaspoons of low calorie “butter” (Brummel and Brown Yogurt based spread, since it was in my fridge) and stirred until everything was melted.

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To add to my cheesy grits and make this an actual meal, I prepared a side dish of sautéed spinach.  I diced one small shallot and 3 pieces of turkey bacon and sautéed  it with a few teaspoons of olive oil.  I placed it all on a plate after it was golden brown. Next, I roughly chopped baby spinach (1 bag as it shrinks down to nothing when cooked) and added it to the same pan.  After just a few minutes, the spinach was ready, so I added the bacon and onions back into the pan.  I did not add any salt or pepper as the turkey bacon had already added enough flavor.

A few fried eggs later, and I was in heaven.  This plate screams breakfast to me – or breakfast-for-dinner!

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