This summer I was breakfast salad crazy – in the garden, knee-deep in some wonderful greens, and the vegetable bowl craze just pointed to making more breakfast salads. Yum.
Now that the weather is just beginning to cool, my breakfast salads are warm. The garden is filled with tomatoes, potatoes, onions, and other delectables. Now, my breakfast salads are one-pan wonders morphing into veggie bowls. All good!
To put together a breakfast salad, pull together whatever you have in the fridge, notice the veggies that are in season (even better, at their peak) now, and think about the flavors you’re pulling together. I choose greens, a vegetable or two, flavorful protein-rich compatibles like nut butter, nuts or seeds, whole grains or soft-boiled eggs.
Salad dressings can boost nutrition – making your own from whole ingredients is worth it! Topping your breakfast salad with a bit of mayo, smooshed avocado, or good olive oil and vinegar works great too.
Asparagus, Sweet Potatoes & Soft Boiled Egg Breakfast Salad
Quick, fresh and satisfying.
- 1/2 cup spinach or other greens I used baby organic
- 5 stalks asparagus, sliced Use any vegetable you have on hand.
- 1/2 sweet potato, cooked, sliced I often cook-off 3 or 4 sweet potatoes on a Sunday to use through the week.
- 2 eggs, soft boil To soft boil an egg, place them in a small pan in cold water, then turn to high and bring to boil. Turn heat off - when the water is cool enough to peel the eggs (about 15 minutes) the eggs will be soft-boiled.
- 1 Tbsp mayonnaise, good quality organic or it's actually easy to make your own
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbsp Fresh dill, diced
Toss sweet potatoes, greens, and asparagus in a medium breakfast bowl. Top with 2 soft-boiled eggs, sliced in half. Top with mayo and mustard.
Toss all together, top with dill and enjoy.
There are so many combinations of breakfast salads.
Here are a few combos to try:
Spinach - walnut - egg - turkey bacon - poppyseed dressing
Cabbage - cashews - carrots - egg - Asian peanut dressing
Red or green lettuce - grilled BBQ chicken leftovers - red peppers - balsamic vinaigrette
Tomatoes - basil - pine nuts - olives - tofu - olive oil
A chef from Kripalu taught me the eggs over veggies trick. It’s quick, easy and satisfying. You can substitute any vegetable for the mushrooms and sweet potatoes in this easy breakfast recipe- try spinach, onions, tomatoes or your favorite blend of vegetables.
Let’s talk about wild mushrooms!
This year, our local farmer’s market has had a bumper crop of really beautiful mushrooms for a really reasonable price. Look at these beauties – oyster mushrooms.
Do you know that mushrooms have characteristics of both plants and animals? They are strange and wonderful little beings, and nutritionally rich in vitamins and minerals (not, however, protein as is often suggested). You can substitute any mushroom for those I use in this recipe.
This dish, while simple, is wonderfully balanced from a protein-carbohydrate-fat perspective, as there are healthful versions of each. Egg protein will keep you satisfied, as will the bit of anti-inflammatory monounsaturated olive oil. Sweet potatoes are a complex fiber-filled carbohydrate and they and the mushrooms are nutrient-dense, filled with vitamins and nutrients.
Here’s a quick weekday breakfast.
1 tsp olive oil
2/3 cup wild mushrooms, chopped
1/3 cup sweet potato, cooked (leftover from the weekend!) and cubed
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme (or the fresh or dried herb of your choice)
Warm olive oil in a small pan and sauté mushrooms and sweet potatoes for 3 or 4 minutes over medium-high heat.
Crack an egg into the pan, sprinkle with herbs, cover and turn down heat to low-medium. Let the egg “poach” in the steam of the vegetables for 3 or 4 minutes.
Slide onto a plate and enjoy.
Check out my collection of easy healthy tasty recipes.
So easy. So tasty. So healthy. Make this lovely spring breakfast or not-too-sweet dessert right now.
If you have violets in your yard, here’s a whole new way to enjoy them. Violets are filled with antioxidants, so are health promoting in all the ways so many herbs and botanicals are. The lemon and violets both lend a light fragrance to this no-cook pudding.
I think of the ratio for chia a lot like the ratio for grains – that is, one part seeds to two parts liquid (for a pudding like this). I don’t count the yogurt in liquid – to me, that’s to make a creamy texture.
Make this the night before your breakfast, or a few hours before dinner for dessert. I used yogurt for a big of creaminess – for a vegan version, use a coconut yogurt or just skip the yogurt, perhaps boosting the chia for thickness.
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
juice and zest of 1/2 fresh lemon
2 tsp honey
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup chia seed
1/4 cup plain yogurt (good quality any level of fat)
1/2 cup violets – use heads (if you are up for chewing) or just the petals
In a medium bowl, mix almond milk, lemon juice, zest, honey, and vanilla. Stir in yogurt and chia. Add most of violets, saving a couple to decorate your creation.
Place in refrigerator overnight, or at least for 4 hours before serving.
Makes two – 2/3 cup servings.
For breakfast, if you top with 1/2 cup of blueberries, you’ll have a fiber, protein and nutrient rich start to your day.
Spicy shots! I love ’em.
A couple years ago Free Fire Cider, based on a folk recipe, popularized by herbalist Rosemary Gladstar, and trademarked, with great controversy in the herbal world, but a group in WMA, had it’s moment in the sun. Here’s my fire cider recipe.
Since then, I’ve been enamored with making spicy shots – delicious concoctions designed to warm and give a nutritional zing-ha to your morning. It’s a practice I especially get into in these (still!) cooler months.
Here’s one I whipped up this weekend, with tart cherry juice and apple cider vinegar. Cherry, ginger and turmeric are all anti-inflammatories and packed with antioxidants. Apple cider vinegar is a natural probiotic. If you, like me are in the second half of life, this drink is vata-pacifying – grounding and warming.
Quick, easy, and makes you say “haaaaaa”. I aimed for warmth rather than heat in the spice. Raw garlic makes me burp, though my husband is focused on eating more, so I suggest he use this to wash down a nice raw clove for himself. Pow.
1/2 cup unsweetened cherry juice
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
Thumb-sized piece of ginger, sliced
3 Tsp turmeric, dried spice
1/2 tsp cayenne, or to taste
Place everything in a blender and blend away. Pour into a small mason jar with a lid. The ginger and spice tend to separate, so give it shake before your morning shot. I take about an ounce after my morning coffee and morning practices, a few minutes before breakfast.
I have a spicy-shot-for-every-season vision!
Have a favorite spicy shot you make?
Here is a simple recipe for a healthy summer breakfast. A quick and balanced breakfast for one.
My excellently smart and organized VA Kate Tilton likes simple recipes. She’d prefer three ingredients, but Kate, this one’s for you and I hope you like it. Four ingredients, ten minutes (with plenty of cut-up cantaloupe to spare), a lovely balance of protein, healthful fat and fruit fiber, and the acid from the lime enhances the absorption of the antioxidants (like vitamin C) to boot.
When choosing a ripe cantaloupe (aka musk) melon at the grocery, find one that smells fresh and oh so slightly gives to the firm touch – you can smell and touch at the stem-end. If the stem area is mushy it may be over-ripe. The outside should be a rosy dusky tan, and a bit of green may mean best if you let it ripen on the counter a couple days before using (which is how I use musk and honeydew melons – let them rest for a bit). If the skin has indentations in it, you are fine until you see dark moldy spots which eventually reach into the meat, then you’ve let it hang around too long or chosen an older specimen than you intended. Fresh cantaloupe will keep in the fridge for 3 or 4 days once you slice it. Cantaloupe is a great source of vitamins A and C. More on recent studies and details of cantaloupe nutrition.
Cantaloupe Walnut and Cilantro with Lime Recipe
- 1 cup ripe cantaloupe, sliced and cut into pieces
- 1/2 cup raw walnuts
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
- Juice of 1/2 lime
Place the cut cantaloupe in a serving bowl, add the nuts and cilantro and give a toss with your clean hands or a spoon. Squeeze fresh lime juice over, toss and eat.
The flower topping this breakfast is actually a cilantro flower from my garden. Just the gifts of the garden available at the moment!
Enjoy the day, enjoy the season.
My go-to breakfast is a pastured egg over greens with a slice of sprouted grain toast.
But the winter chill came to call in the Shire this week, which got me hankering for a warm bowl of what my husband loving refers to as gruel. What’s a low-grain gal to do? Quinoa to the rescue – it’s actually a seed, has a great nutrition profile and cooks up quickly compared to most grains. I tried an experiment with some lacinato kale that was waiting so patiently for me to eat it this week, turning yellow stalk by stalk. At first I wondered if I’d made a green mess of a mistake, but you can see it’s lovely. It was delicious in this naturally sweet (from apples and spices) breakfast of Apple walnut quinoa with kale.
2/3 cup water
1/3 cup quinoa, rinsed in cold water
1 small apple, cubed
2 leaves lacinato (dinosaur) kale, sliced
1/4 cup walnuts
2 pods cardamom seeds, peeled (eat the spice, not the husk!)
dash of cinnamon, nutmeg and black pepper
Bring water to a boil in small saucepan. Add rinsed quinoa, lower to medium heat and cook for 10 minutes or until seeds get larger and soft. Add remaining ingredients and cook about 5 minutes more, until quinoa seeds pop open and you can see the little light curl emerge from them. If you so choose, top with grass-fed yogurt.
Here are a couple other cold weather recipes…
Garlicky leek soup
Spicy corn & black bean soup