Hash browns are fried mounds of shredded or diced potato and a staple dish at breakfast establishments. As versatile as any potato recipe, warm hash browns can serve as a filler, base or side ingredient for several breakfast dishes. Although it's common to cook the potatoes in heavy oil, keep each meal healthy by using nonstick cooking spray instead.
Use frozen, fresh or homemade hash browns to create a healthy and convenient breakfast burrito that kids can eat on the go. Crumble the warm hash browns down the middle of a tortilla, add shredded cheese and drizzle with salsa or creamy dressing. Wrap the tortilla into a burrito and wrap the burrito in a napkin for an easy and portable breakfast. Even better, ask kids to fold their own burritos so you can start cleaning up. Add scrambled eggs or crumbled turkey sausage to the burritos for extra protein. Use mashed pinto or black beans to keep the dish meat-free. Flavor the protein source with some ranch seasoning mix for wist on the traditional breakfast burrito.
You can mix just about anything -- including leftovers -- into hash browns to create a tasty breakfast. Chop up lunch meat and cheese, toss it into the potatoes and call it an easy breakfast. Mix scrambled eggs, salsa and sour cream or creamy chipotle dressing into the hash browns for a Southwest flavor. Or crumble last night's meatloaf and some ketchup into the pan to keep the meal low-cost. Add sweet corn, bell peppers, celery and onion to keep the dish low-calorie. Include drained tuna, cheddar, celery and ranch dressing in the hash browns for a heavier brunch-style breakfast.
Often labeled country-style omelets in restaurants, hash brown-filled omelets are a hearty breakfast wrapped neatly in an egg pocket, which is especially appealing to kids. Beat a pinch of pancake mix into the eggs if your omelets tend to be flat or you need to stretch your eggs. Add cooked hash browns and shredded cheddar cheese to the omelet for a simple dish. Let your kids dress up their omelets with ketchup, salsa or creamy dressing. Or add hash browns, bacon, Swiss cheese and a little honey mustard for a tangy meal.
Hash and Gravy
You don't need biscuits or bread to appreciate good sausage gravy for breakfast, the topping tastes just as good over hash browns. While you can find many canned and dry gravy mixes, most tend to be heavy in calories and fat. Try a healthier version of the classic white gravy using turkey sausage and reduced-fat milk, instead of pork sausage and whole milk. Make thin pancakes with the hash browns, also known as latkes, and cover with the gravy for a classic breakfast dish.
A writer since 2000, Aya Pauli has covered a variety of topics including food, fashion, beauty, health, parenting, education, decor and crafts. Her award-winning recipes have been published in food magazines such as "Taste of Home," and she is also the author of a salad cookbook. Pauli's craft projects appear in major manufacturer websites, including Dow Styrofoam. She also holds a CDA in early childhood education and works as a preschool teacher in Wyoming.