Jan 102011
I think I’ve touched on my indecisiveness before. Well, in case you forgot, I can’t make decisions, no matter how simple they might be. That’s why I love things that allow me to avoid the burden of decision making entirely. Can’t decide between jeans and leggings? Put on some jeggings! Not sure if that meal needs a spoon or a fork? Use a spork! And my favorite of all–Can’t decide if you’re craving breakfast or lunch? Brunch it is.

That was a really cheesy opening paragraph, and I apologize for that, but in all seriousness, one decision I can make is that brunch is my favorite meal. I look back lovingly on my days, or should I say meals, at Duke, and used to love this egg white/portabella breakfast burrito at Mad Hatters. This week I tried to recreate it along with some snazzy sweet potato chips with avocado-grapefruit salsa.

The chips were surprisingly easy, although a mandolin would have simplified the process a bit.  All I did was slice the potatoes as thinly as possible, toss with a little bit of olive oil, chili powder, cayene, cumin, salt, and pepper, and spread in one layer on a pizza stone to crisp up in the oven. To go with the chips, I made what seemed to me like a brunchy dip–a salsa of avocado, grapefruit, cilantro, and red onion.

Then for the burrito.  You can make almost any variation you like, but I melted some cheese on a wrap and topped with black beans, egg whites, roasted portabellas, and fresh tomato salsa.  Other variations could include turkey or turkey sausage, avocado, any type of salsa, peppers and onions…get creative with your breakfast wrap!  I put mine on a high fiber, low carb, whole wheat wrap.
A picture pre-wrapping because I was afraid as soon as I wrapped it it would fall apart

But it didn’t fall apart (although was a little messy to pick up and eat)! It looked great and tasted even better.  The sweet potato chips and dip were a great brunch side because chips kind of fit in with the lunch side but the grapefruit salsa kept it in the breakfast world at the same time.  When I make brunches like this, sometimes I wonder why I pay 16 dollars for an egg white omelette…

Nutritional Highlights:  I love going out for brunch, but the danger is that even if you make the seemingly healthy choice, you might still get egg whites drowning in butter and covered in high fat cheese with a side of soggy, fatty potatos which  you obviously eat because they’re there and they’re delicious.  There goes your attempts at being good.  Like most other meals, brunch is best, and healthiest, when you do it yourself because you can control what’s going in. This burrito has protein from the eggs, beans, and cheese, plenty of vegetables, some vitamin packed grapefruit, and good fat from the avocado.  The baked sweet potato chips have very little added oil and still satisfy your craving for crispy potatoey goodness at brunch. 

Spicy Baked Sweet Potato Chips:
  • 1 Sweet potato (try to pick a thin one for nice sized chips)
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil or olive oil spray
  • Spices: I used a mixture of mostly chili powder, and a little cumin, cayene pepper, sea salt, and black pepper
Instructions:  Preheat oven to 400 with pizza stone inside (if you don’t have a pizza stone you’ll just use a baking sheet).  Slice potato as thinly as possible.  Toss with olive oil and spices.  Sorry, I didn’t measure but just season them to taste!  Once preheated, pull the pizza stone out of the oven and spread your chips out in one layer.  Put back in the oven.  Let cook for about 7-10 minutes until starting to brown and fold, flip the chips and cook for another 7-10 minutes, watching closely). 

Avocado-Grapefruit Salsa

Dice one avocado into small cubes.  Cut segments out of one large grapefruit and cut segments into pieces about the same size as the avocado chunks.  Mix together and squeeze in some of the grapefruit juice from the grapefruit discards.  Mix in about 1 tablespoon of finely chopped red onion and about 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro.

Breakfast Burrito (for one)
  • 3 Eggwhites, scrambled
  • 1 whole wheat wrap (I like La Tortilla Factory)
  • Black beans
  • Canned or fresh salsa
  • Roasted or sauteed Vegetables: any that you like/have–portabello mushrooms, peppers and onions, zucchini…
  • Cheese: Monterery Jack, Cheddar, or anything else you have.
To assemble the burrito, sprinkle some of the cheese all over the wrap, put a few tablespoons of black beans in the center and pop in the microwave for 30 seconds until the cheese melts (this will help stick your burrito shut).  Top with the cooked eggwhites, vegetables, and salsa–do not overstuff.  Wrap the wrap–here is my attempt to describe how.  If the wrap is sitting in front of you, fold the right and left sides toward the center.  Then start from the bottom and roll upward, atempting to keep all the ingredients in side.  It’s really an art that takes practice.  You can also just fork and knife it to avoid the rolling process all together.  Enjoy your healthy brunch!!

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