Southwest Breakfast Skillet
One skillet is all you need to create this satisfying, veggie-loaded breakfast (or dinner) dish. This skillet is packed with mushrooms, bell pepper and chard to help up your veggie count for the day and is topped with bacon, eggs, cheese, pico de gallo and fresh cilantro.
Here's how we made over this recipe to be healthy and diabetes-friendly:
1. All of the vegetables in this dish—the mushrooms, bell peppers, chard and potatoes—deliver a variety of nutrition, like fiber plus vitamin K from the chard. Because fiber can't be digested by your body, it won't affect blood sugar, but will still help fill you up. And research has shown possible benefits of adequate vitamin K intake on insulin sensitivity, which can improve glucose metabolism.
2. To help keep the saturated fat in check, we use just one slice of bacon per serving and drain off most of the excess fat from the skillet. It's a good idea to limit saturated fat, as it can increase blood cholesterol and, in turn, increase the risk of developing heart disease, a condition for which people with diabetes are already at a higher risk. Plan on chopping the bacon into small pieces, so that each bite will contain a little bit of its lovely smoky flavor.
3. Plenty of fresh cilantro and salsa add lots of flavor to this meal without adding much salt (another nutrient that people with diabetes need to limit).
4. Because protein is digested slowly, the 17 grams in this dish will help to keep your blood sugars stable and your energy levels steady for longer.
Tips from the EatingWell Test Kitchen
There are a lot of veggies in this recipe; can I prep them ahead of time?
That's a fantastic idea, yes! The peppers, onions and chard can all be cut and stored airtight in the refrigerator. Potatoes should be submerged in cold water before refrigerating to prevent oxidation (aka browning). Drain and rinse them before using. As for the mushrooms, cut those just before cooking—cutting them in advance causes them to lose moisture and leads to oxidation.
I love eggs—are they OK to eat when you have diabetes?
Great news! You can absolutely enjoy eggs when you have diabetes. Eggs are a nutritious food, packed with protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, making them a great addition to a healthy eating pattern. They do contain saturated fat—a nutrient people with diabetes need to be aware of—but as with all foods, enjoy them in moderation.
Can I make scrambled or poached eggs instead?
If you're not into cooking your eggs on top of the veggies in this dish, then go ahead and cook them however you prefer. If you choose to scramble them, you can use the same skillet. Just transfer the vegetables to a serving plate, wipe out the skillet and set it back over the heat. Add a little olive oil, then proceed with scrambling the eggs. Poached eggs are delicious, too. To poach eggs, Place 1/2 cup water and 1/2 tsp. vinegar in a microwave-safe small bowl. Carefully crack 1 egg into the water so it is completely submerged. Cover with a microwave-safe plate and microwave on High until the egg white is firm and the yolk is still somewhat runny, about 1 minute. (If necessary, continue to microwave, checking every 10 seconds.) Remove the egg with a slotted spoon and pat dry before serving. Repeat the process with any remaining eggs.
Having diabetes doesn't mean you have to give up all of your favorite foods. You just need the know-how (and easy cooking tips) to make better choices. In Make Over My Recipe, a fun cooking show geared toward beginner cooks, Mila Clarke takes classics like mac and cheese, meatloaf, brownies and more comfort foods and uses simple tricks to make them healthier—but just as delicious as ever.
Cracking each egg into a small bowl before adding to the skillet makes it easier to remove any unwanted shell.