Back to Basics Egg N' Muffin

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Breakfast sandwiches are great until you factor in all the steps: toasting, egg poaching/frying, breakfast meat prep, etc. No wonder there's such a line at the drive-thru in the morning. It's easy to pick up a greasy McMuffin -- but most people don't want to take the time to prepare a more healthful sandwich before they leave home. Plus, factor in the "extras" of a value meal -- hash browns, sugary soda or coffee, etc., and you're not left with much nutritional value.

Enter the appliance that my friends and I affectionately call "The Toacher." Part toaster, part egg poacher, part breakfast meat prep, this miracle machine makes preparing a healthy, satisfying breakfast on the go easy and fast. While the bread of your choice toasts to golden perfection in the conventional toaster, a cute little sidecar poaches an egg and warms breakfast meat simultaneously. Or you can use the compartment to hard-boil up to four eggs at a time. It takes less than five minutes, and cleanup is a breeze -- the egg tray, poaching tray, meat tray and cover all clean up beautifully on the top shelf of the dishwasher.

Compare the calories you'd save if you chose your breakfast breads and meats and prepared them without using extra fat: McDonald's Sausage, Egg and Cheese McMuffin: 450 calories, 27 grams of fat (more than half the daily allowance of saturated fat). "Toacher" sandwich with veggie sausage, cheddar, egg and whole-wheat English muffin: 330 calories, 15 grams of fat (less than 1/4 the daily allowance of saturated fat).

And with this great machine, you can decide which varieties of foods you'd like to use. Punch up your fiber intake by using whole-grain bread products. Try egg varieties that provide more Omega 3 fatty acids than regular eggs. Use veggie meats and cheeses.

A breakfast sandwich can be a healthful and satisfying way to start the day when you use the Back to Basics Egg N' Muffin. Get it at Target.com for $34.99. My only regret is that I didn't spring for the 4-slice, two-egg-poaching model!