Rise 'n Shine

You've heard the old saying "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day." But in this day and age, is it really possible to get a healthy start without missing the bus, being late for work, or facing the day loaded with sugar from that donut? Yes!

This month's morning menu consists of a simple twist on hot breakfast cereal. Breakfast Couscous is a great way to get the carbohydrates, fiber, and protein that will help get you through your day. It's also a quick meal to prepare that helps to fuel you on those sometimes chilly winter mornings. Coffee and orange juice will round out this simple meal. If you are looking for a classy weekend brunch, add your favorite bagel and country-fried potatoes.

I've included two versions of this recipe. The one printed below is the faster of the two options because, instead of requiring you to start with fresh cranberries, it lets you cheat a little by using canned cranberry sauce. Make sure you buy the kind with the bits of cranberry chunks in it. The jelly-type sauce doesn't work well with this recipe. The fresh cranberry recipe is on the second page.

And now, without further ado, here's breakfast!

Breakfast Couscous

  • 1 c. skim milk
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 c. couscous
  • 3 T. raisins
  • 1/3 c. orange juice
  • 1 15 oz. can cranberry sauce (not the jelly variety!)
  • 2 T. honey
  • 1 11 oz. can mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 T. toasted almonds (optional)

In a medium saucepan, bring the skim milk and cinnamon to boiling over medium heat. Add the couscous and raisins and immediately cover the saucepan and remove it from the stove. Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes and stir in the orange juice. Fluff it with a fork.

Meanwhile, combine the cranberry sauce and honey in a small saucepan over low heat. Heat until the mixture begins to bubble slightly. Remove the saucepan from the stove and gently stir in the orange sections and almonds, if desired.

While everything's still warm, spoon the couscous into individual serving bowls and top with the fruit and nut mixture. Serve immediately.

  • Serves: 4
  • Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Here's the recipe for Breakfast Couscous that calls for fresh cranberries. It's perfect when you find yourself with a few more minutes to make breakfast and you have fresh cranberries on hand. It takes a little longer, but is well worth the wait.

Breakfast Couscous with Fresh Cranberries

  • 1 c. skim milk
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 c. couscous
  • 3 T. raisins
  • 1/3 c. orange juice
  • 3/4 c. fresh cranberries
  • 2 T. water
  • 2 T. honey
  • 1 11 oz. can mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 T. toasted almonds (optional)

In a medium saucepan, bring the skim milk and cinnamon to boiling over medium heat. Add the couscous and raisins and immediately cover the saucepan and remove it from the stove. Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes and stir in the orange juice. Fluff it with a fork.

Meanwhile, combine the cranberries, water, and honey in a small saucepan over low heat. Heat until the cranberries begin to pop--usually about 5 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the stove and gently stir in the orange sections and almonds, if desired.

While everything's still warm, spoon the couscous into individual serving bowls and top with the fruit and nut mixture. Serve immediately.

  • Serves: 4
  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes

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