Exhilarate your morning: Delightful Breakfast Salad

Breakfast salads are all the rage at the moment. I first stumbled across one at One Arab Vegan, who was inspired by a recipe at Choosing Raw. A quick Google search showed that it’s not just us veggie nuts who are onto it, multitudes of omnivores have jumped on the bandwagon, with salads including more traditional ‘breakfast’ ingredients like bacon and eggs.

So why the craze? Because it’s awesome.

Seriously, think about your typical breakfast options. Day-to-day you might have something like porridge or Weetbix, which is fine and all, but often falls into the fairly carb-heavy category of cereals – generally very sweet, served with some type of milk and a minimal amount of fruit. I like it on a cold winter’s morning, but it can be a bit heavy. Or you might have something fried – ‘big brekkie’, scrambled tofu/egg, pancakes, waffles, bubble’n’squeak – etc. Fried food in the morning? It can be delicious, I’m quite partial to sauteed mushrooms or a tofu scramble, but it leaves me feeling sluggish. And we won’t even venture into the territory of cafe-style cream cheese bagels, muffins and banana breads; most cases they’re simply junk food. Suffice to say, traditional breakfast options can be enjoyable to eat, but often leave me feeling weighed down and more tired than I was before I ate it.

Why should the most important meal of the day be left with such dismal nutritional options? Don’t you want to start your day feeling exhilarated? Yes? So what food choices make you feel that way? For me, salad is the obvious choice.

Now I’ll admit I do often eat leftover salads or simple steamed veggies for breakfast, because it gives me the best fuel for my morning. As far as recipes worth sharing with you, none yet have made the cut. I eat them and I enjoy them, but the flavours aren’t really what I imagine most people would like for breakfast, I’m just a bit unconventional. This breakfast salad on the other hand is as breakfast-ey as anyone could hope for, totally delicious and very substantial. I ate my entire serve, felt satisfied and energized and not even slightly sluggish. Ash loved it and said that if/when I open a cafe, this should become the signature breakfast item.

I thought about how I would list it on the menu: Delightful Breakfast Salad: baby salad leaves with strawberries, avocado, broad beans, banana and tropical tahini dressing. Optional add-ons: toasted or raw almonds, ground flaxseed.

It’s so healthy too – tons of fibre, a day’s serving of Omega-3, calcium, potassium, Vitamin C, protein… um… the list goes on.

Sound good? Try it!

Delightful Breakfast Salad (serves 2 big breakfast eaters)

This is really just a template to get you started. You can substitute most ingredients listed. E.g. any salad leaves would be fine. Any seasonal fruit would work well. Chickpeas or other mild-tasting legumes would be a great replacement for fresh broad beans, and in the dressing just about any fruit juice or crushed fruit would work. I’d love to go a bit wild with the toppings here, thinking granola, a wider range of nuts and seeds, or dried fruits. With the veggies, you can certainly mix it up a bit, my only suggestion would be to keep the flavours mild – raw mushrooms or cucumber would be great, capsicum or broccoli perhaps should be saved for later.

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 cups mixed baby salad leaves
  • 1 large banana, chopped
  • 1 punnet strawberries, chopped
  • 1/2 large avocado, chopped
  • 2 handfuls fresh broad beans (see here for preparation tips)
  • A handful or two of almonds (optional)
  • 1/2 cup crushed pineapple (I had some leftover from a can)
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp pre-ground flaxseed (or 1 tbsp whole flaxseeds, ground up to give you about 2 tbsp)

Method:

  1. Arrange the salad leaves on two plates.
  2. Scatter the banana, strawberries, avocado, broad beans and almonds across the leaves.
  3. Blend together the tahini with the crushed pineapple and a little water to thin it (I think I used 2 tbsp – 1/4 cup).
  4. Drizzle the dressing over the salads – there will be lots, but this is ok because the dressing is delicious.
  5. Sprinkle with ground flaxseeds and serve.

p.s. Look at how Ash served me my post-salad peppermint tea – now do you see why I keep him?

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