It can be tough to pull together a proper dinner at the end of a long day. We all have things we fall back on – mac & cheese, tuna melts, even cereal. But breakfast for dinner is a thing – and even the pickiest eaters get into it. Breakfast foods are typically comforting and familiar, often soft and sweet, and almost always quick to pull together, being foods people are expected to prepare first thing in the morning.
Here are a few ways you can make breakfast in the evening, become the superhero of the dinner table, and feel OK about not pouring bowls of cereal.
Waffles are easy – whether you make them from scratch or a mix, they provide a blank canvas for ingredients you can rummage out of your fridge. Stir grated cheese, crumbled bacon or cornmeal into the batter – or even cooked red lentils or pureed white beans for a boost of protein and fibre. Or sprinkle additions onto the batter before you close the lid. Cornmeal waffles (add a handful of yellow cornmeal to your favourite waffle batter or mix) also makes a great base for leftovers – chicken and waffles are all the rage on restaurant menus, but pulled pork on waffles, butter chicken on waffles, even taco fillings on corn waffles will be such a hit, they may become something you plan for rather than a last minute means of resurrecting your leftovers.
Pancakes are even easier – particularly if you happen to not have a waffle iron – you can do the same thing, slicing some banana into the batter or using it as a base for other ingredients – try wrapping one around a cooked sausage, or spreading it with peanut butter and wrapping it around a banana when you need a quick dinner to go.
It’s quick, inexpensive, and better for you than the drive-thru – if you streamline the process with pancake mix, add a handful of ground flax or oat bran to the batter to boost fibre.
Muffins can be part of a quick dinner, too – I like to make a batch early in the week for breakfast and lunchbags, and to tuck into the freezer to grab and warm in the microwave when there’s a gap to fill. Add some protein – a glass of milk and chunk of cheese – and boost protein and fibre in the muffins themselves by stirring in a handful of simmered split red lentils. They cook in about 10 minutes, and can be refrigerated or frozen – in baked goods like muffins, they mimic oats – no one will know they’re there! This trick works in all kinds of muffins, sweet and savoury.
Of course, eggs for dinner is always a fast solution – scrambled eggs with leftover pancakes or waffles from the freezer, baked eggs, scrambled eggs, poached eggs on toast, soft boiled eggs and soldiers – any way you cook an egg, it’s always a quick, inexpensive source of protein. And of course any leftovers can be transformed if you put an egg on it.
And here’s an idea – poached eggs on waffles with a quick hollandaise sauce. A little more involved, but an amazing dinner, breakfast or brunch!
Here are more great ideas if you want to turn breakfast for dinner into a weekly thing.
Thanks to Krusteaz for sending breakfast mixes for us to play with to help create this post!