Yes, that’s right—breakfast salads! They’re a thing, and they’re fantastic. If this concept is new to you, just hear me out, please. A salad in the morning is a great way to work in a serving or two of veggies (or whole grains, or fruit—more to come in this series!) right off the bat. They’re light, fresh, and balanced, preventing that all-too-familiar carb/sugar overload that’ll have you crashing an hour or two later.
For me, the breakfast salad is ideal because I’ve never been too fond of traditional breakfast foods. I just have a few guidelines for how to build a great one:
→ In general, avoid really strong flavors. A mouthful of raw garlic isn’t exactly what most folks take to first thing in the morning.
→ Be sure to include protein and fat for satiety. That protein can come in the form of an egg, a little cheese, some leftover bacon, a sprinkle of nuts, a pile of canned beans, or a bed of whole grains. Unsaturated fats (think olive and nut oils, avocado, or nuts) are ideal and go a long way to keeping you satisfied longer.
→ Keep it fast and simple. This is breakfast, after all, and on weekdays you don’t have time to fuss with a lot of prep. I’ve strived to keep things nice and easy.
→ Pay attention to texture. Ideally your salad will include something crispy-crunchy, creamy-silky, juicy-fresh, and/or meaty-chewy.
→ Vary the base. Sometimes, go with greens. Other days, opt for beans, whole grains, or shredded or chopped fresh veggies.
Quinoa-Blueberry Breakfast BowlHere's a great way to use up leftover cooked quinoa! A little bit of fragrant lemon rind adds just a whisper of sweetness to complement the tart-sweet berries. If you'd like a little more overt sweetness, you can add 1 teaspoon honey to the dressing (it'll add about 20 calories).
1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice1/8 teaspoon kosher salt1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper1 cup lightly packed baby arugula1/2 cup cooked quinoa1/2 cup fresh blueberries1 ounce goat cheese, crumbled
1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Place arugula in a separate bowl; drizzle with 1 teaspoon dressing, and toss to coat.2. Add quinoa and berries to bowl with dressing; toss gently to combine. Arrange arugula and quinoa mixture in a shallow bowl; top with cheese.
SERVES 1CALORIES 296; FAT 14.9g (sat 5.1g, mono 6.3g, poly 1g); PROTEIN 11g; CARB 32g; FIBER 5g; CHOL 13mg; IRON 2mg; SODIUM 357mg; CALC 95mg
More Breakfast Salads: