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.
Simple Salad with Honey-Lemon RicottaLightly sweetened, citrusy-floral-flavored ricotta makes this breakfast salad feel quite indulgent. You don’t have to stick to strawberries; use any in-season fruit you have on hand. You also don’t have to go with a sweet flavor profile; use chopped veggies in place of berries, and flavor the ricotta with herbs.
1/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese1 teaspoon honey1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind2 cups mâche or baby spinach1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice1/8 teaspoon kosher salt3 strawberries, quartered2 tablespoons coarsely chopped, lightly salted almonds1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Combine first 3 ingredients in a small bowl; stir well to combine.
2. Combine mâche, oil, juice, and salt; toss gently to coat. Arrange on a plate. Top with ricotta mixture, berries, and almonds. Sprinkle with pepper.
SERVES 1CALORIES 223; FAT 13.2g (sat 3.9g, mono 4.7g, poly 0.6g); PROTEIN 10g; CARB 16g; FIBER 3g; CHOL 19mg; IRON 2mg; SODIUM 405mg; CALC 227mg
More Delicious Breakfast Salads: