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.
Tomato and Avocado Stack Breakfast SaladThis is a fantastic summer breakfast—when heirloom tomatoes are at their juiciest, sweetest-tangiest peak. It’s full of satiating healthy fat and fiber, thanks mostly to the avocado. If you don't have olive tapenade on hand, no problem; just chop up 4 or 5 olives and sprinkle between the layers.
1 heirloom beefsteak tomato, trimmed and cut into 3 thick slices1/2 ripe avocado, sliced2 teaspoons olive tapenade1 cherry tomato, quartered (optional)1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar1 large egg, poached (see easy how-to video here)Dash of saltDash of freshly ground black pepper
1. Arrange the stack on a small plate. Layer 1 tomato slice, half of avocado, and half of tapenade on plate; repeat layers once. Top with remaining tomato slice. Arrange cherry tomato (if using) on plate. Drizzle stack with vinegar. Top stack with egg; sprinkle with salt and pepper.
SERVES 1CALORIES 282; FAT 20.5g (sat 3.8g, mono 11.7g, poly 2.9g); PROTEIN 10g; CARB 19g; FIBER 9g; CHOL 186mg; IRON 2mg; SODIUM 356mg; CALC 63mg
More Breakfast Salads: