Here’s a wild idea: Why not eat a salad for breakfast? We know, it’s a little crazy. But hear us out.
While breakfast in America tends to feature foods like eggs, oatmeal, and cereals, there is no one right way to eat the first meal of the day—in fact, people around the world eat a wide variety of breakfast foods, from rice to Vegemite.
Combine this with the fact that we could all stand to eat more vegetables every day, and you’ve got a convincing argument for tossing out outdated concepts about what breakfast “has” to be and swapping in some greens for your morning meal. The latest nutrition guidelines call for five to 13 servings of fruits and vegetables per day (depending on age and activity level), and the more the better: Higher levels of fruit and veggie intake have been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke Increased consumption of fruit and vegetables is related to a reduced risk of coronary heart disease: meta-analysis of cohort studies. He, FJ, Nowson, CA, Lucas, M., et al. Journal of Human Hypertension, 2007 Sep;21(9):717-28 Fruit and vegetable consumption and stroke: meta-analysis of cohort studies. He, FJ, Nowson, CA, MacGregor, GA. Lancet, 2006 Jan 28;367(9507):320-6 . Add some protein, such as an egg, tofu scramble, or quinoa to your morning produce, and you’ll be doing your body good and keeping it fueled the whole way to lunch.
Ready to become a lean, green, salad-for-breakfast eating machine? Check out the breakfast-ready salad recipes below!
Photo: Phyllis / Food 52
Romaine Salad with Bacon, 5-Minute Eggs, and Pesto Dressing
Bacon and eggs have been classic breakfast foods for over 200 years, so combining them with greens is the perfect way to ease into eating salad for breakfast. Plus, the saturated fat in these staples can have some legitimate health benefits (no, we’re not pulling your leg). This simple salad combines these two delicious breakfast foods with superfood spinach for an easy, filling power-breakfast.
Photo: Sonia / The Healthy Foodie
Spinach and Strawberry Salad
If eggs and bacon aren’t your thing, this sweet-and-savory recipe featuring strawberries and pecans also makes for a great gateway breakfast salad. Make the honey-balsamic vinaigrette dressing in advance and store it in your fridge so that it’s ready to go in the morning—that way, you can get out the door faster (and will have fewer excuses to not eat your veggies!).
Photo: Jeanine / Love & Lemons
Brussels Sprout and Avocado Salad
Skeptical about breakfast salads because you feel like you’ll die by noon if you don’t have some morning carbs? Then give this recipe—which features whole-grain black rice—a try. It’s also packed with heaps of vegetables: greens, Brussels sprouts, avocados, and broccolini (or broccoli as a substitute).
Photo: Deb Perelman / Smitten Kitchen
Arugula, Potato, and Green Bean Salad
What’s one thing most Americans love with their breakfast? Potatoes! But don’t worry, you won’t eat too many in this salad—there are just enough to compliment the sharp arugula, fresh green beans, and tasty walnuts in this delicious breakfast.
Photo: Sommer / A Spicy Perspective
Breakfast Salad with Cinnamon Toast Croutons and Maple Vinaigrette
This recipe pulls out all the stops—let’s just leave it at “maple syrup vinaigrette” and “cinnamon toast croutons”. If possible, use Ceylon or “true” cinnamon, which has a number of health benefits, such as helping to fight the flu and potentially stabilizing blood sugar.
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