Despite being the most important meal of the day, breakfast is often the most challenging. Let’s face it, this is one meal that can get boring real fast, especially when you’re looking to cut out refined sugars and don’t have time for morning baking. These are just a few of the reasons the Green Apron Kitchen chefs have been serving up salads before the sun rises. You read that right - salads for breakfast are our new obsession.
When you break it down, salads have all the things we need (and love) in the morning. Crisp greens, sweet/creamy fruit and veggies and protein done in the form of eggs, meats and even beans. It’s really just a matter of construction, or rather deconstruction. Rethinking some of your favorite morning meals makes choosing your breakfast salad a cinch.
Breakfast Sandwich Salad
Bacon, egg and cheese is a staple for morning commuters, but the scale tips in favor of carb and fat in this breakfast which could lead to a mid morning slump and sugar craving. In this salad, you still get the crispy, salty savoriness of bacon along with the silky serving of egg yolk, it just tops a crisp green salad dotted with chunks of crispy bread.
2oz. thick-cut bacon (about 2 slices)
small bunch chives
2 cups frisée
Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup red wine vinegar, plus more
1 Tbsp. honey
1 large egg
Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Meanwhile, tear ¼ baguette into 1" irregular craggy pieces (these will be your "roll' for your BEC). Cut 6 oz. thick-cut bacon crosswise into ¾" strips. Peel 1 large shallot, then thinly slice crosswise. Slice ½ small bunch of chives into ¾" batons.
Thoroughly wash and dry frisée. Transfer to a large bowl.
Heat 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil in a medium skillet over medium until shimmering. Add torn bread and stir well to evenly coat in oil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crisp in some areas, 4–5 minutes. You aren’t looking for croutons that are crisp all the way through—just some good browning on the outside. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and transfer to a plate. Let cool; reserve skillet.
Return skillet to medium heat. Cook bacon, stirring frequently, until just shy of crisp, 4–5 minutes. Add shallots and ½ tsp. pepper and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots are just softened, about 2 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and stir in ¼ cup red wine vinegar, scraping bottom of skillet to collect all those yummy bits.
Add 1 Tbsp. honey, stirring to combine. Taste the dressing—if it feels like it needs a little bit more acidity, add a splash of vinegar. Every type of bacon will render out a different amount of fat, and it’s that fat that will balance out the acidic vinegar, so you have to use your judgement.
Time to poach your egg! Crack egg into a small bowl. Working over another bowl or the sink, carefully tilt bowl into a fine-mesh sieve, allowing excess white to slip through. This leaves behind a smaller orb of egg white that surrounds the yolk and ensures that your poached eggs won't have those scraggly, tail bits. Transfer egg to a medium shallow bowl.
Carefully lower rim of medium bowl into saucepan of boiling water. Tilt bowl so the egg gently drops into the water. This is a technique our young chefs have mastered in class. So get them to help! Turn off heat and set a timer for 3 minutes. Poaching the eggs in hot, unmoving water, allows them to cook gently for a perfect soft center.
While egg cooks, toss lettuce, bacon vinaigrette, croutons, and chives to combine; season with salt. Divide salad between bowls.
Back to those eggs. Using a slotted spoon, scoop up the egg and lightly blot on a clean kitchen towel or paper towels to remove any water clinging on.
Transfer egg to top of salad; season eggs with salt and pepper.
Quinoa and Berry Bowl
Oatmeal hits the sideline for quinoa in this breakfast bowl of champions. Quinoa is hearty yet light, perfect for the tart and sweet berries that load this salad up with flavor - and antioxidants. Choose seasonal berries to keep this in rotation year round. For added crunch and protein, add raw chopped nuts.
2 cups cooked red quinoa
1 1/2 cups strawberries cut in half
1 cup pomegranate seeds
1 cup blueberries
1 tablespoon finely chopped mint
1 tablespoon finely chopped basil
Toppings: 1 cup roughly chopped raw nuts
1 teaspoon orange zest
4 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon honey
First, make the dressing. In a small bowl or jar, whisk together the orange zest, juices and honey. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine cooked quinoa, berries, and herbs. Gently stir. Drizzle citrus honey dressing over the salad and gently stir again.
Persimmon Pomegranate and Apple Salad
Consider this a kind of elevated fruit bowl. Bright apples and pomegranate complement the plump persimmon so that you have taste and texture in every bite. A dreamy yogurt based dollop of dressing packs the probiotic punch you need to help get your gut good.
1 fuyu persimmon peeled, sliced
1 of your favorite apples, sliced
1/4 grapefruit, sliced into thin rounds
2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
4 cups mixed salad greens
1/4 sliced red onion
Handful of nuts, optional for topping
2 oz goat cheese, optional for topping
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
¼ cup greek yogurt
Salt & pepper to taste
First, make the dressing. In a small bowl or jar, whisk together the honey, vinegar, mustard. Fold in the yogurt. Add salad and pepper to taste. Set aside.
In another bowl, layer salad greens persimmon, apple, onion, grapefruit and nuts and cheese if using. Gently toss and drizzle with dressing.