Healthy Recipe Makeover: “Grand Slam” Breakfast with Eggs, Pancakes, and Breakfast Meat

Every once in a while, you've just got to have one of those big breakfasts. But that seems pretty impossible when you're trying to eat healthy and work on weight loss goals.

So, the question is: must you skip the grand slam breakfast and say goodbye to having delicious things like over-easy eggs and pancakes and bacon in your life?

The answer is that if you're willing to modify your grand slam into a triple play or insert some other baseball term that works with healthy eating, then you definitely can continue enjoying Sunday breakfast types of meals in moderation. Try some good portion control as well as certain food substitutions to make this perennial favorite over into a tasty and healthy meal.

Here's how to do a healthy makeover on your grand slam diner breakfast:

Primarily, limit portions. If you're used to a diner breakfast that fills a dinner plate slice that serving in half. This food is rich, and it will fill you up. You should be able to get your fill of breakfast goodness with much smaller portions.

Choose your carb carefully.

Select a starch to star as the main feature of your special morning meal. We don't think much about this… but when dining out on a big breakfast you're served three different forms of starch. That's triple the amount that you really need.

Think about it, what does your restaurant breakfast typically come with? Pancakes, hash browns and toast. That's three starches and that is crazy. Think of all the running you would have to do to burn that off. No wonder so many people find it so hard to lose weight!

Healthify carbohydrate-laden pancakes by skipping the boxed pancake mix. Instead opt for made-from-scratch pancakes that feature healthier ingredients such as whole grain wheat, rice, spelt or oat flour. Mix safflower oil into your pancake batter instead of corn or vegetable oil.

Replace the generous pat of butter that typically adorns breakfast pancakes with a heart-healthy substitute.

For the topping, try a drizzle of honey straight from the bee, or real maple syrup straight from the tree.

Thinking that bacon, sausage, or ham will make a great side for your pancakes? You do have healthy options. If you choose sausage, make it turkey sausage instead of pork. Turkey is loaded with nutrition and is much lower in fat.

Love bacon?

Instead of the nitrate version you would get from grocery store, choose a brand of natural bacon that has been hardwood smoked and does not contain added nitrates. Fun fact about nitrates: they occur naturally in celery and some green veggies. So, check the label of your meat to see if celery nitrates have made the list of ingredients.

Here's a tip about foods with nitrates. If you do eat food with nitrates, you can help the nitrates to break down in your body by taking them with vitamin C. That's why it might make sense to enjoy a glass of OJ with your modified Sunday breakfast. Just remember though that orange juice, especially the kind that comes in a bottle from concentrate, contains excessive amounts of sugar.

To stop your blood sugar from spiking, you can either drink a small glass of orange juice… or put just four or six ounces in a taller glass and then fill the rest with water. Water with a splash of OJ is a nice thirst quencher that's much lower in sugar than full-strength fruit juice.

Another great option for getting a dose of vitamin C to balance your fatty breakfast meat intake is to serve a side of fresh garden tomatoes with your food or enjoy a glass of chilled tomato juice.

What about pork roll? Pork roll is a highly processed pork product and it's not the best idea if you're looking to make healthy choices and reduce fat intake.

Eggcellent. Wondering what type of healthy changes, you can make to the egg portion of your modified breakfast? First, consider trading whole eggs for egg whites. That is traditionally been a way to reduce cholesterol in the diet. However, eggs are good for you and an important source of protein. So rather than get rid of the nutrient rich yolk, you might consider having one egg instead of two since you'll also be enjoying some breakfast meat which counts as a protein source.

Healthy up your egg for breakfast by cooking it in olive oil instead of butter. Cooking spray works great because you can coat the pan using less oil.

You can also poach your egg. You don't need a special poaching pan. Just add a small amount of water to a frying pan and when the water begins to boil crack the eggs in. Reduce heat to a simmer and keep a close watch on the eggs until done to your liking. Then drain the extra water by placing a cover over the egg pan and lifting the edge slightly to let the water flow out of the side while keeping the egg in the pan.

Choose eggs from free range chickens. Chickens that graze on grass and enjoy fresh bugs as their main source of food will give you eggs that are richer in antioxidants and other nutrition. If you can get local farm eggs from free range chickens by all means indulge.

Looking for an even healthier option for your morning breakfast routine? Try this delicious egg pot recipe. Of course you can cook the eggs all the way. Stay tuned for the next healthy recipe makeover.

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5 from 1 vote


Servings 2 servings
Calories 183kcal
Author Deborah Hanyon, MPH, RDN, ACE-CHC


  • Oven safe dishes Cast Iron or Glass bakeware will work


  • 3 cups 90g baby spinach
  • 3-4 tomatoes* chopped
  • 2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 4 eggs
  • salt & pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 360°F (180°C).
  • Heat a dry non-stick frying pan on the stove over a medium heat and let the spinach shrink, add a splash of water if necessary.
  • Add in the chopped tomatoes, paprika and season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide between two ramekins. Make a well in each dish and break an egg inside it.
  • Place the ramekins onto a baking sheet and bake in the oven for around 17-20 minutes until the egg is cooked to your liking.


*If you don't like or can't eat tomatoes, you can substitute any of your favorite vegetables. For example, crookneck squash (yellow), zucchini (green), asparagus, red bell peppers (or any other color). You can also substitute canned tomatoes (preferably reduced sodium). Pick your favorite vegetables or whatever you have in-house. 


Serving: 1half recipe | Calories: 183kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 327mg | Sodium: 173mg | Potassium: 922mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 8659IU | Vitamin C: 38mg | Calcium: 124mg | Iron: 4mg

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