How about a well-balanced, nutritionally sound meal. Now that seems about as dynamic to the taste buds as eating bark off a tree, doesn’t it? For many of us, being reminded to eat healthy is like hearing a mother nagging her kids, as they zoom to school, to eat a nutritious breakfast. You know, in that voice, with that tone. Healthy meals are more often thought of as blahsville and boring than delicious and satisfying.

Not so! We tapped the kitchen prowess of dietician Monica Reinagel, LD/N, who shared two good-for-you breakfast recipes (using cholesterol-lowering oats, nuts, and beans) from her latest cookbook Nutrition Diva’s Secrets for a Healthy Diet (St. Martin’s Press). It’s crucial to break the overnight fast by eating breakfast. Doing so propels energy levels and calorie-burning (or metabolic) rates, thereby boosting weight control. Whip up these crowd pleasers and invite your family to dig inthey don’t need to know it’s nutritious (wink, wink).

Breakfast Burrito

Ingredients per serving:

  • 1 8-inch whole-wheat flour tortilla
  • 1 egg (or 1/4 cup Egg-Beaters)
  • 1/4 cup refried beans (look for vegetarian and fat-free brands)
  • 1/4 cup grated, reduced-fat cheddar or Colby cheese
  • Salsa
  • Reduced-fat sour cream
  • Cilantro (optional)

3 Simple Steps

1. Preheat broiler or toaster oven. Spread refried beans in center of each tortilla. Top with half the cheese.

2. Spray skillet with non-stick spray and heat over medium heat. Fry egg, breaking yolk, if desired. Use a spatula to transfer fried egg to tortilla and roll into loose cigar.

3. Place rolled tortillas seam side down on foil-lined broiler tray and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Broil until cheese is bubbly and tortillas are crisp at edges. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro, if desired, and serve with salsa and reduced-fat sour cream.

Apple Pie Oatmeal

Ingredients per serving:

  • 1/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats or rolled whole grains
  • 3/4 cup water (Tip: For richer taste, and added protein, try up to 1/2 cup of skim or low-fat, unsweetened soymilk plus 1/4 cup water)
  • 1/2 small apple, diced
  • 1/4 tsp apple (or pumpkin) pie seasoning or cinnamon
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • Honey, maple syrup, or other sweetener, to taste

2 Simple Steps:

1. Combine water, cereal, apple, salt, and spices in saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until creamy, about 6-8 minutes.

2. Spoon into individual bowls, sprinkle with walnuts, and top (sparingly) with honey or another sweetener.

Tip: Drizzle or sprinkle the sweetener on top instead of stirring it in and you’ll need less.

Tell us what other low-cholesterol breakfasts You enjoy!