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.

Grapefruit, Avo, and Prosciutto Breakfast SaladThis is one of my go-to, all-time favorite breakfast salads because the flavors are just delicious, and the meal is full of satiating heart-healthy fats that keep me full for a long time. I’d never before thought of pairing bright, refreshing grapefruit with nutty-earthy toasted sesame oil—but wow is it a delicious match! I used microgreens here, but you can use any lettuce you like. Check out our tips on sectioning citrus.

1 ruby red grapefruit3/4 teaspoon dark sesame oil1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepperDash of kosher salt1 cup microgreens, baby arugula, or torn lettuce1/2 ripe peeled avocado, thinly sliced1 very thin slice prosciutto

1. Peel grapefruit; cut sections from grapefruit over a medium bowl. Squeeze membranes to extract about 1 tablespoon juice. Set sections aside. Add oil, pepper, and salt to juice, stirring with a whisk. Add greens; toss to coat. Arrange greens on a plate; top with grapefruit sections, avocado, and prosciutto.

SERVES 1CALORIES 299; FAT 20.1g (sat 3.2g, mono 11.4g, poly 3.4g); PROTEIN 8g; CARB 28g; FIBER 10g; CHOL 11mg; IRON 2mg; SODIUM 505mg; CALC 58mg

More Breakfast Salads: