Breakfast, for me, is essential. It gives me a much-needed energy boost for the rest of the day. (A few cups of coffee don't hurt either!) But this time of year-having overindulged in too many rich foods over the holidays-I'm looking to cut excess calories from my day wherever I can. I head off winter weight gain with low-calorie meals, starting most importantly at breakfast.

Here are three of my favorite low-calorie breakfast recipes:

Cranberry Pancakes-packed with fresh cranberries' sour spike and ready in 20 minutes-always start my day off right! I can whip them up on Saturday morning before I head out to run errands.

Baked Apple-Cinnamon French Toast is my go-to breakfast item when guests are visiting. It's quick to assemble and can be made the night before and finished in the oven the next morning. The best part is it's low-calorie, leaving me room to indulge later in the day.

A Mini Mushroom-&-Sausage Quiche, paired with a Savory Breakfast Muffin, is a great way to break away from the weekday calorie-conscious monotony of toast and yogurt or a bowl of cereal. What I like about both of these recipes is that I can make them on Sunday night and portion them out throughout the week. There's enough to feed my fiancé and me all week.