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
I never met a mushroom I didn’t like, and I’ve had the pleasure of quite a few.
If you ever get the chance, take a mushroom walk with the Boston Mycological Club(or your local club). They are a perfect collection of culinary, botany and sensation-seeking enthusiasts. When I went, we found baskets-full of colorful beauties, then using field guides and spore patterns (the definitive method to differentiate friend or foe from a safe-to-eat perspective), we identified, divided up and took home our bounties for happy times of all sorts.
Gathering mushrooms from the wild is getting evermore popular, but I don’t do it because even though I’ve had some experience with my mycological friends, every year even expert mushroom collectors eat the wrong fungi and that’s it – they can kill you. There are such a phenomenal range of cultivated mushrooms now available, I suggest sticking with and enjoying that.
I love the mushrooms, dill, and sour cream that frames Hungarian mushroom soup. If you can find a good local organic grass-fed sour cream, then by all means, use that (grass-fed dairy has a more favorable lipid profile as well as being easier on the earth relative to its mass-market cousins). If you are dairy-free, you can substitute a bit of soy milk plus an extra squeeze of lemon to approximate the tang you’ll miss from yogurt or sour cream.
Here I’ve aimed to boost the nutrient density by loading up on herbs – both dill and parsley, as well as other vegetables, and lightened it up with yogurt rather than sour cream. I found that when I used this quantity of herbs, I needed to blend the finished product – herbs are so delicate that when they are cooked like this in a soup, they need to be blended or finely finely chopped or their texture just isn’t what you want it to be.
1 – 16 oz package organic mushrooms
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 large carrots
1/2 yellow onion, sliced & cubed
1/2 medium yellow turnip, peeled and sliced
2 cups organic chicken or vegetable stock
about 1 cup fresh dill, chopped
about 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 Tbsp organic grass-fed yogurt or sour cream
In a heavy soup pot over medium heat, sauté onions in olive oil until translucent. Slice carrots and clean and slice mushrooms, and slice turnip, discarding any waxy covering it may have. Add these veggies to the pot and sauté for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Add stock and simmer 45-60 minutes. Meanwhile, chop herbs. Add herbs and yogurt or sour cream. If necessary, cool and run through a blender for a smooth and creamy texture.
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?
Everyone should have a vegetable-based recipe or two that takes (snap!) that long, that serves as a quick meal or snack. This raw Asian slaw recipe has been a mainstay of my 3pm-give-me-carbs attack for years. It works.
The heart of the recipe is savoy cabbage and rice wine vinegar. You can enjoy (and I often do) just these two ingredients. But why not toss in some carrot, cilantro or Thai basil, and sesame oil? Add a handful of cashews, organic tofu or garbanzo beans to make it a meal.
This is a great springtime detox recipe, because it is nutritionally dense, and contains the antioxidants that support your liver in its biotransformation of cellular gunk into removable trash, which can then be flushed out of your body via the usual exit routes. This recipe also has lots of fiber, secret weapon of the weight-conscious.
Asian Slaw Recipe
- ½ cup savoy cabbage sliced thin
- ½ cup red cabbage sliced thin
- a few fresh snow peas, sliced
- ¼ cup diced red pepper
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- 1 Tbsp fresh cilantro if available
- 2 tsp rice wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp Asian salad dressing
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 slice fresh ginger, diced with skin trimmed
- a handful of cashews, or 1/2 cup tofu
Toss everything together and eat.
Just getting started with healthy eating? This article will help.