Wake Up To Beautiful Breakfasts with Benefits!


For those of us who grew up in Southeast Asia, big, savory breakfasts were the norm. A popular breakfast staple was smoked fish with scrambled eggs and tomato salad. Fried rice, fried eggs, sausages called longaniza (a bit like Spanish chorizo), and rice porridge with fish or meatballs were also regularly on the menu in most homes, but not in mine. My father, who was a physician and very health-conscious, always ate plain oatmeal, and he insisted we eat it, too, without berries, bananas or raisins. We reluctantly complied, but today I am grateful for all of my father’s health advice. His guidance and my own determination to create flavorful dishes with nutritious, age-defying benefits are what inspired me to create FoodTrients.

Today, breakfast has come a long way from my childhood days of that plain oatmeal. I now have a long list of much more exciting recipes that I love to eat in the morning. Many of them are featured in my cookbooks. My recipe for Melon Balls with Mint & Prosciutto (from The AGE BEAUTIFULLY Cookbook) is a refreshing way to start the day. It’s included in the cookbook as an appetizer, but you can leave out the mint syrup and turn it into a great summer breakfast with tons of benefits, including:

  • A great beauty boost — Melons are low in calories, high in fiber and contain SOD (superoxide dismutase), a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that helps keep skin young-looking.
  • A better complexion — Melons also contain carotenoids which are good for the complexion and vitamin C, which boosts collagen production.
  • Bone-building calcium — Ricotta salata is ricotta cheese that has been salted and dried until crumbly, which adds calcium.
  • Building and repairing muscle — Prosciutto is a delicious lean protein.

Melon Balls with Mint & Prosciutto

melon balls bServes 4

1 ½ cup cantaloupe melon balls or cubes
1 ½ cup honeydew melon balls or cubes
¼ lb. thinly sliced prosciutto
2 Tbsp. crumbled ricotta salata or Manchego cheese

Mint syrup

10-12 whole mint leaves
¼ cup raw sugar
¼ cup water

  1. Make the mint syrup – In a small saucepan, combine 5 or 6 mint leaves, the sugar and the water. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the leaves and discard. Simmer the mixture another 5 minutes until thick. Set aside until cool.
  2. Place the melon balls on a platter. If using the mint syrup, dress the melon. Arrange the prosciutto, sprinkle on the cheese and garnish with the rest of the mint leaves.


Ai – Anti-inflammatory – Reduces the inflammation process in cells, tissues, and blood vessel, helping to slow aging

Ao – Antioxidant – Prevents and repairs oxidative damage to cells caused by free radicals

beauty– Beauty – Promotes vibrant skin and hair and helps keep eyes healthy

Another one of my favorite morning meals is my Quinoa Porridge (also from The AGE BEAUTIFULLY Cookbook). This delectable vegetarian breakfast is modeled after one I had at a four-star resort while traveling abroad. Like oatmeal, it can be enhanced by an endless variety of dried fruits and nuts. You can use plain or vanilla-flavored almond milk. For a more colorful presentation, I use red quinoa. You can also add fresh berries for even more FoodTrients benefits. What can quinoa do for you?

  • Quinoa is loaded with fiber, which helps you feel full and helps escort cholesterol out of the body.
  • It contains the brain-friendly nutrient choline, which many of us don’t get enough of.
  • Quinoa and walnuts have anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fatty acids which regulated heart rhythm aid circulation and lower risk of stroke and dementia.
  • It contains immune-boosting selenium.
  • Quinoa is high in protein and one of the few plant foods that contain all nine essential amino acids.

Quinoa Porridge

red quinoa porridge  Yields 4 half-cup servings

1 cup red quinoa
2 cups water
¼ tsp. salt or salt substitute
2 cups almond milk
¼ tsp. cinnamon
1 sliced banana
¼ cup chopped walnuts
¼ cup raisins
4 Tbsp. maple syrup

  1. In a covered saucepan, simmer quinoa in the salted water for 15 minutes.
  2. Add the almond milk and continue cooking for another 10-15 minutes or until quinoa is very soft and most of the almond milk is absorbed.
  3. Stir in the cinnamon and cool for 5 minutes.
  4. Serve with the banana, walnuts, raisins and maple syrup on the side.
  5. Serve with more almond milk, if desired.



Ai – Anti-inflammatory – Reduces the inflammation process in cells, tissues, and blood vessel, helping to slow aging

MB – Mind – Improves mood, memory and focus

weight-loss– Weight loss – encourages improved metabolism and digestion

In my first cookbook, The Age GRACEfully Cookbook, I have a recipe for Carrot Quiche that is a perfect dish for brunch, lunch, and even breakfast. One of the many things I love about quiche is that it’s delicious hot or cold, and good to eat any time. I usually serve this dish for brunch then have the leftovers for breakfast the next day.

  • Carrots are well-known for their beta-carotene content, which our bodies convert into vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant that is needed for healthy immune function.
  • Carrots have hundreds of other cartenoids that help inhibit cancer growth.
  • They also contain lutein, which is beneficial to eye health.

Our bodies process the nutrients in carrots more efficiently when they are cooked. In this quiche, the carrots stay bright orange and firm, a nice contrast to the silky custard base.

Carrot Quiche

Carrot Quiche0303croppedSERVES 6-8

1 9-in. whole-wheat pie crust
2 tsp. canola oil
4 slices turkey bacon, chopped
2 tsp. chopped garlic
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup diced fresh mushroom
1 cup egg substitute
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 cup fat-free evaporated milk
3 Tbs. tapioca flour
Sea salt and ground pepper to taste
2 cups shredded carrots

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Prick the pie crust with a fork and bake until just beginning to brown, about 7 minutes.
    2. Heat the canola oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Cook the bacon until it is golden brown.
    3. Add the garlic, onion, and mushrooms and sauté until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes.
    4. Combine the egg substitute, half and half, evaporated milk, tapioca flour, salt, and pepper in a bowl and mix well.
    5. Pour half of the egg mixture into the pie crust. Add the bacon mixture and the carrots. Pour in the remaining egg mixture.
    6. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake quiche until custard is set and crust is golden brown, about 30-45 minutes.


Ai– Anti-inflammatory – Reduces the inflammation process in cells, tissues, and blood vessel, helping to slow aging

Ao– Antioxidant – Prevents and repairs oxidative damage to cells caused by free radicals

IB– Immunity Booster – Supports the body’s resistance to infection and strengthens immune vigilance and response

MBbeauty– Mind and Beauty – Encourages vibrant skin and hair and improves mood and mental agility

So you see, whether you crave a sweet, salty, light or hearty breakfast, my cookbooks can help you with recipes that deliver a delicious and nutritious start to your day.

About Grace O

Grace O has been cooking and baking professionally and recreationally all of her adult life. As a child in Southeast Asia, she learned the culinary arts by her mother’s side in her family’s cooking school. She became so well versed in hospitality and the culinary arts, she eventually took over the cooking school and opened three restaurants. She is widely credited with popularizing shrimp on sugar-cane skewers and being one of the first culinarians to make tapas a global trend. She has cooked for ruling families and royalty. Grace O’s move to America precipitated a career in healthcare, inspired by her father, who was a physician. Twenty years and much hard work later, she operates skilled nursing facilities in California. Grace O strives to create flavorful food using the finest ingredients that ultimately lead to good health. Her recipes, although low in saturated fat, salt, and sugar, are high in flavor. Grace employs spices from all over the world to enliven her dishes, creating food that is different and delicious. She believes that food can be just as effective at fighting aging as the most expensive skin creams. And since she’s over 50 herself, she’s living proof of that. foodtrients.com
What Do FoodTrients Do?
Ai Anti- inflammatories

Reduce inflammatory process in cells, tissues, and blood vessels, helping to slow aging and reduce risk of long-term disease.

Ao Anti- oxidant

Prevents and repairs oxidative damage to cells caused by free radicals.

IB Immunity Boosters

Support the body’s resistance to infection and strengthen immune vigilance and response.

MB Mind

Improves mood, memory, and focus.

F Disease Prevention

Reduces risk factors for common degenerative and age-related diseases.