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 chicken, 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.

Bacon, Egg, and Kale Breakfast SaladBased loosely on the flavors of a BLT, this salad is hearty and light at the same time. Don't worry if it feels like you don't have a lot of dressing; the luscious golden yolk makes a creamy sauce in the bowl.

1 large egg2 cups chopped Lacinato kale1/2 cup halved grape tomatoes1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil11/2 teaspoons cider vinegar1/8 teaspoon kosher salt1 bacon slice, cooked and crumbled1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Add refrigerator-cold egg; reduce heat until water is simmering, and cook 6 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Peel egg; set aside.2. Combine kale and tomatoes in a bowl. Drizzle with oil and vinegar, and sprinkle with salt; toss to coat. Top with bacon. Carefully cut egg in half. Top salad with egg; sprinkle with pepper

SERVES 1CALORIES 258; FAT 15.8g (sat 3.7g, mono 8.3g, poly 2.5g); PROTEIN 14g; CARB 14g; FIBER 3g; CHOL 195mg; IRON 3mg; SODIUM 554mg; CALC 210mg

Eat More Breakfast Salads: