Ever wondered how to get more greens into your diet but couldn't figure out how to make breakfast veg-friendly?
Usually when you mention breakfast the traditional suggestions of bacon and eggs, milk and cereal, omelettes and pancakes come up. But if you have more than one allergy or/and you're focusing on plant-based eating you find the choices quickly dwindling. While there are countless recipes on the web for vegan or gluten-free or grain-free breakfast treats like muffins (such as our Blueberry Muffins!) and pancakes, and there are brands that exist for cold and hot allergy-friendly cereals, there are surprisingly few options for vegetable-only meals.
Where are all the greens for breakfast? If vegetables are so good for you, where's their place in the first meal of the day? We challenged ourselves to come up with seven different veg-filled breakfasts (without the expected eggs, dairy, soy, nuts or meat) from brunch-type to on-the-go, using seven different green vegetables.
Here's a video of some of our experiments:
Green Veggies We Used:
Bonus green veggie - mesclun!
Recipes We Tried:
Obviously you can have any vegetable dish you might make for lunch or dinner for breakfast but here are some breakfast-y type recipes we tried and would eat again (and have since!).
Collard Wraps - we used blanched collard leaves (easily prepped ahead of time to last the whole week if you wanted) and pre-cut or cooked fillings. Wrapping a collard wrap takes less than 5 minutes if you have all of the ingredients ready ahead of time and we found while you can fill your breakfast collard wrap with pretty much anything, such as leftovers (spaghetti, pesto, roasted veggies, sauteed cabbage, chickpea salad) our favorite fillings were just some fresh sliced veggies (alfalfa sprouts, carrots, baby spinach, cucumbers, bell peppers) with a hefty helping of hummus.
Ethiopian Tomato Salad - called 'Timatim' in Amharic, Ethiopian salad is really just cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, jalapenos, salt, pepper and either lemon juice or/and balsamic or red wine vinegar. We added some arugula and mesclun to our salad for extra leafy goodness but you could use romaine lettuce too - something found almost as often as the other ingredients when ordering from an authentic Ethiopian place. Salad for breakfast might seem a bit too savory and leafy for the average person but this salad has just the right amount of salty-sweetness to satisfy your tastebuds for the first meal of the day.
Ethiopian Sauteed Cabbage - called 'Tikil Gomen' in Amharic, this Ethiopian cabbage, carrots and potatoes dish is usually eaten with injera, or teff flour bread (always gluten-free!) but can definitely be eaten on it's own, or with other gluten-free bread or wrapped in a blanched collard leaf as a collard wrap, or as a sandwich filling. Joy made this dish together with the Ethiopian tomato salad recipe for an over-filling breakfast - really you only need one or the other. This takes about 30-40 minutes to make but you can make the dish with a whole cabbage the night before for dinner and have the leftovers for breakfast.
Japanese Rice Balls - called 'Onigari' in Japanese, this is a traditional lunch food item which, considering many Japanese have rice and seaweed for breakfast regularly, can totally be eaten for breakfast. It works best with sushi rice, which is sticky enough to form into balls, and if you're not making them to eat right away, we suggest storing them in an airtight container on the countertop, rather than in the refrigerator (since the rice will get hard if refrigerated). Our favorite onigari is stuffed with Sesame Spinach Salad or umeboshi (pickled plum) and wrapped in Japanese fried seaweed (called 'nori'; Japanese seaweed is thicker than Korean seaweed and so lasts longer for meals made ahead).
Green Smoothie - we blanched kale and froze in quart-sized food bags to blend with our favorite fruit combos in the morning. If you're not a fan of bananas but like the smoother consistency that banana brings, we suggest trying avocado or mango. Mango has a sweet taste that we like in our smoothies anyway, but avocado isn't discernible at all when mixed with other fruit. Our favorite green smoothie is kale, mango, strawberry, peach and oat or hemp milk. Kale provides the nutrients without the taste or tough consistency - win-win for breakfast!
Chickpea Flour Spanish Omelette - a regular Spanish omelette is obviously made with eggs but also potatoes and tomatoes. We just basically changed the eggs to chickpea flour, making it a little breadier than an omelette might be but still very tasty. We love this dish with a side plate of roasted veggies - like carrots and peas, or broccoli - and salsa and Wayfare sour cream. This is the kind of recipe that's made for brunch.
Breakfast Sandwich - toast your favorite gluten-free bread, saute some mushrooms and spinach, and build your sandwich with hummus and Dijon mustard, alfalfa, avocado and tomato and you've got yourself a delicious way to start the day. You can also fill your sandwich and toast it in your toaster oven or convection oven while you get ready for the day - we suggest not putting tomatoes in that version. Arugula and mesclun would also work well as leaves in this sandwich and adding Follow Your Heart cheese takes it to another level. You can even make the sandwich the night before and wrap in parchment or wax paper to bring with you in the morning (although we think the sandwich works the best when it's warm).
Interested in having the recipes for our experiments? Keep a look-out for future posts with all the recipe deets and tips.
Wish we'd try another challenge like this Greens for Breakfast challenge? Let us know what kind in the comments below!