Nutrition Sciences Major Offers Tasty Breakfast and Snack Ideas
Beatrice Glaviano ’26 takes pride in her Sicilian-American heritage, as well as her cooking skills. She offers some delicious ideas for hungry Chargers looking for inspiration for breakfast or a scrumptious snack.
September 22, 2023
By Beatrice Glaviano ’26
Howdy hey, everyone. How are we doing? I hope everyone’s week is going well so far, and that things have been as mildly stressful as possible in regards to coursework, social lives, and life in general.
For this week’s conversation, I’ve decided to begin something that I’d like to call: Basics with Beatrice. Essentially, any post including this title will be about the hard adult things that, perhaps, we were never taught – such as cooking, for example – and how to do them. Not even just how to do them, but how to do them well as a young adult who’s trying to function the best they can in college.
On that note, welcome to CH.1 of Basics with Beatrice: Recipes (Part 1)
As a Sicilian-American, I tend to pride myself on the fact that I can cook rather well. Even though I’m a part-time vegan (more on this later), I take what my dad has taught me and apply it to my everyday cooking. I’ve organized this blog post into two sections: breakfast and snacks – entrees will be coming out later on after I’ve managed to snap a couple photos of them. Overall, the goal here isn’t to tell you what to eat, but rather to encourage students to get a better sense of what their body and soul gets the most energy and happiness out of.
So: let’s get started.
Breakfast, as I’ve quickly noticed, can be rather hit-or-miss. Some people love it, and others just prefer to eat something small and drink a coffee instead. Whatever the case, breakfast tends to be a very integral part of our lives that can determine our eating habits for the remainder of our day.
You thought I wouldn’t mention it, didn’t you? Nah, we start with coffee (and water; please don’t be like me and drink water).
Espresso powder or coffee bean of choice
Milk of choice
Stuff you may need
An espresso maker; doesn’t have to be fancy, you just need to be able to create the bean juice
Make coffee however you like it
Heat milk to desired temperature, and froth that baby up to desired frothiness
Pour coffee on the bottom of your favorite mug, and follow suit with your now bubbly milk
Almond, oat, or soy milk (soy milk will have the highest protein, by the way)
Coffee powder - Italian Roast Ground Espresso | Trader Joe's (traderjoes.com) Was recommended to me by a Neopolitan; love it
This is one of the most basic of all basic breakfast foods I could possibly come up with. Not only is oatmeal rich in carbohydrates, but it’s also absorbed into the blood rather slowly, meaning that your insulin levels may not spike as sharply. Additionally, oats are rich in fibers and other vitamins that can give their consumer a long-lasting feeling of satiation and energy. While the recipe I’m posting below is the one that I make for myself, feel free to mess around with it as you so choose.
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats (I use Quaker)
1 cup water Can also do a 1/2 cup water to 1/2 cup milk of choice
Add oats + liquid of choice to a saucepan
Heat to medium-low
Leave for about 10-15 minutes, or until the oatmeal has coagulated and it’s gradually thickened
Once to desired consistency, take off the burner and eat as desired
1 scoop of TB12 Vanilla Plant-Based Protein Powder (24g protein)
Cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin spice
1/2 chopped apple
To preface, these are pancake knock-offs. They’re not 100% the real thing, but they’re pretty darn close. Also, they come in at around 30g of protein, making them perfect for your post-workout meal.
1 scoop protein powder of choice
1/3 cup flour of choice
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup milk of choice
Basically, you want to mix everything up to the milk and water together, going in the order of the bullet points
Add the milk gradually; it will take the mixture a little bit to soak the milk up entirely
Depending on how thick or thin you like your pancakes, add water
Heat a pan to medium-high, and when water evaporates when thrown onto it, you’re ready to go
Place 1/4 cup batter down until bubbles peep through one upward-facing side and flip
Continue flipping until out of batter
Plate and top as preferred :)
Sub oatmeal-based flour for all-purpose
Occasionally will add blueberries or chocolate chips for fun
Slather in sugar-free maple syrup, honey, or maple syrup
Eggs & Toast
Ah yes: nothing like good ol’ eggs with toast for breakfast. Feel free to add your side of breakfast sausage or bacon with this one, or eat it plain.
Toast(s) (Toasts?? Toasti?? Slices of bread??? Raw bread??? Whatever)
Heat up a pan to medium-high; you will know when it’s ready to work with when you throw water onto it and it scatters
For scrambled eggs
Crack your egg(s) into a bowl and whisk until the yolk and membrane are homogeneously incorporated with one another. Basically, it slides through your whisking utensil with ease and doesn’t blob up or anything.
For fried eggs
Not much to explain here, lol. Depending on how you like them cooked, there will be a different method.
When your pan is ready, grease with olive oil or butter and either pour your scrambled egg mixture or crack your to-be fried eggs into your pan
For scrambled eggs
Gently prod at eggs with a spatula until they begin to take shape
If you would like to add any additional items (i.e. cheese, sliced ham, scallions, etc), now would be the time
For fried eggs
If your pan has been heated properly, your eggs should immediately start to whiten up. When the membranes surrounding the yolks have completely denatured (turned white), pour some water into the pan and cover with a lid until a thin film has developed over the yolks to encase them.
Same thing as over-easy, but you just let the yolks cook fully
When your egg(s) of choice have reached your preferred level of done-ness, place onto a plate alongside your favorite addition of bread
Typically two things:
Cheesy fried eggs with buttered whole-wheat toast
Eggs w/ garlicy spinach + mushroom with a sweet-potato hash
Honestly, it really depends on what I’m in the mood for lol
You’ve probably seen the TikTok trend before, but nothing can beat a warm cup of coffee and a slice of crispy, warm, peanut-butter slathered toast topped with freshly sliced banana and your addition of chia seeds, honey, and freshly-dusted cinnamon, nutmeg, or pumpkin spice.
1-2 slices of bread of choice
Peanut butter or nut butter of choice
Toast thy toast to preferred toastiness
While toasting, cut about 6-12 banana slices (typically 6 slices fits onto one toast) (is that grammatically correct?)
Spread your desired amount of PB or nut butter of choice
Top with banana slices, and any other add-ons you’d like
Definitely add the chia seeds, honey, and seasonal spices
Dunk into your coffee for a dramatic, hopeless romantic effect as you gaze out the window like you’re in Pride & Prejudice
Beatrice’s French Toast
There’s so much toast going on, dear god. Love me some carbohydrates at 8 a.m.
Challah bread (highly recommend) or available bread of choice
1 tsp sugar or honey (or more to taste)
Spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin spice, cloves, allspice- whatever you want)
Milk (1/4 - 1/2 cup) of choice
~1-2 tsp Butter (for pan)
Ascertain the amount of slices you’d like to yourself (this is a judgment free zone)
Place pan onto a burner and heat to medium-high
While the pan is heating, whisk together sugar (or honey), spices, milk, and egg until homogeneous
Start with the lower amount of milk as you cannot take away from that at the end
Batter should be thick-ish
When your batter is complete, dunk your bread in and make sure it soaks it up for maximum tasty
If your pan is ready, add butter and spread it around so that the entire pan is coated to ensure your newborn french toast won’t stick
Place your raw toast in and wait for the underside to turn a crispy, golden-brown
When both sides are fully cooked and there is no liquid when you press down on your toast, your classic breakfast is ready to go
My mom’s french toast, 1,000,000%
Top with whatever you want, dude; maple syrup, whipped cream (I suggest making that yourself, which is just whipping heavy cream and sugar together with a hand-held mixer), fruit of choice, chocolate chips – the world’s your oyster, man
Classic Yogurt & Granola Bowl
Yogurt: a goldmine of protein, gut-approved bacteria, healthy fats, and a variety of tastes. Personally, from a nutritional standpoint, I’d recommend the use of a low-fat greek yogurt as they typically round up to about 20g of protein per serving with a low-calorie content (which shouldn’t be used to determine the quality of food, by the way). In this recipe, I’ll be walking you through how I make my own granola bowls, but feel free to stylize to your preference!
1/3 cup granola of choice
Lots of love
Yogurt is the base, so start with that and top with whatever you’d like
Apples - Granny Smith
Yogurt - Trader Joe’s Low-Fat Greek Yogurt
Elizabeth’s: Purely Elizabeth | Live Purely with Organic Granola & Non-GMO Cereal
Forji: Granola Breakfast | Benefits in Every Bite | Forij
These brands tend to have a pretty good hold on their added sugars, additional protein, and overall superfood value. Though, I’d recommend Forji and Elizabeth’s over Trader Joe’s (sorry TJ)
Spices - literally anything autumnal lol
Whether you're a classical granola, trail mix, or carrots with hummus fan, snacks tend to be something that almost everyone delights in. Additionally, as a quick note, I’ve organized these into different combinations of food groups, as I like to structure my snacks by using two of three of the main macronutrient groups, but that’s just me! You do you, dude.
Favorite Snack/Protein Bars & Why
Good source of protein (despite being processed)
Sugar alcohols instead of sugar itself
Decently healthy, and while processed, it’s made from raw ingredients with a fair amount of protein
Honestly not a bad bar, especially if you’re vegan
Yogurt Cup + Granola
While yogurt is made from dairy, henceforth classifying it more closely to fats/dairy, it can still pack quite a punch of protein
Highly recommend plain greek yogurt, but you do you man
Egg on Toast w/ everything bagel seasoning and spinach
Apple w/ choice of nut butter
Cheese & crackers (a friend of mine LOVES this; they always put a fig or pear spread on the crackers, too)
Leftover pizza, lol
Carrots or celery w/ hummus or favorite dressing (i.e. ranch)
Toast with a favorite spread (I love peanut butter and honey!)
Banana and PB
While I understand that maybe breakfast foods and snacks aren’t exactly prime examples of cooking, I think they’re a good place to start. Personally, I started off with eggs and toast, which so happens to be the beginning recipe that I use when teaching others. Hopefully, when it comes to entrees for lunch and dinner, there may be some more excitement involved.
Something that I’ve definitely learned from growing up in a Sicilian-American household is that food usually tastes a lot better when it’s made with the people or person that you love, regardless of the dish. So long as effort, care, and a couple laughs were put in, nine times out of ten it will be a great meal. A lot of nutrition actually isn’t always the macro or micronutrient stuff, but the traditions that are found behind how different cultures approach meals.
While people typically get a plate to themselves in America, in many Asian countries, dishes are typically passed and shared among one another to enjoy. Personally, I believe that this is due to American individuality versus the community-based values of Eastern countries, but that may just be me. Coming from a Sicilian background, I think we have a fair mix of sharing dishes or having our own, but a very big staple of my culture is always using what you have available. This, undoubtedly, has led me to get rather creative with my recipes (i.e. savory oatmeal risotto) while saving some money in the process.
There have been a few disasters, admittedly, (a sweet potato-peanut butter sandwich sounded like a good idea, okay?), but food is honestly fun to mess around with sometimes. Regardless, I hope this entry has provided you all with some ideas if you find yourself lost in the realm of cooking. Feel free to email me at email@example.com with any comments, questions, or potential blog post ideas!
With peace, love, and honestly so much peanut butter,