Skipping breakfast, we all know, is bad news. On the flip, an overly-sweet breakfast is damaging to your metabolism in a different way. Then there’s the savory taste profile, by definition meaning “food that is flavorful in ways that don’t involve sugar”. A savory breakfast provides an opportunity to weave in a serving of vegetables which, in my home, guides us to revamp the name of this most important meal of the day. Going from the standard carb-heavy, overly-sweetened delicacies of cereal, bagel and cream cheese, or breads (biscuits, croissants, or cinnamon rolls), adding vegetables to savory breakfast dishes (“veggie-fast” if you will) will help you meet daily recommendations of 2 to 3 cups of vegetables per day. This is not to imply that only veggies at breakfast is the goal. We also consider balance in creating a good hearty breakfast by making sure your meal has a minimum of three food groups. Striving for a veggie-fast will likely mean that your meal includes protein, carbohydrates, and vegetables.
The savory satisfaction you’ll experience after adding veggies to your start-the-day meal will send you out the door with energy to last your morning through, and keep your blood sugar in check, while boosting your self-esteem in the self-care category!
A whole week of “veggie-fast” options just waiting to be explored in your kitchen!
Veggie omelet – spinach, sauteed mushrooms and onion, with whole wheat toast.
Breakfast burrito – scrambled egg with black beans, sauteed red/green pepper strips with onion and crushed red pepper or tobasco, wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla.
Quiche – turkey or chicken sausage, mushrooms, onions and feta, in a crusted or crustless pie pan.
Smoothie – overripe banana, kale or spinach, and pineapple in greek yogurt.
Oatmeal – smashed sweet potatoes (or pumpkin) with cinnamon, diced apple, and walnuts or pecans. Add some ground flax or chic seeds for an omega-3 punch.
Sandwich– whole grain bread + smashed avocado topped with lightly “fried” egg. Note: I dislike the “fried” egg and when I make egg sandwiches, I avoid frying the egg by hard boiling eggs and laying out sliced hard boiled egg on top of the avocado spread. Extra veggie points if your avocado spread has chopped tomato and red onion!
Dinner round 2 – If last night’s dinner featured a vegetable, go ahead and have it again! This means wanting a bowl of chili in the morning is fine! How about stir fry? Sure! Even spaghetti with a veggie-heavy sauce and sprinkle of fresh parmesan will work just fine at 8am! The sky’s the limit as long as the vegetables are more prominent than the grain… and you didn’t eat ALL the protein (meat/chicken/tofu) when you were enjoying it last night!
Note: In general, look to keep the grain portion of “dinner round 2” between ⅓ and ½ cup, with the veggie portion equal or greater.
Terri Chapman MS, RDN, LDN