Hold up. Did I just say salad for breakfast? I sure did!
I love salad so much that I sometimes eat it for breakfast. I know, you’re thinking I’ve really lost my mind this time, but I assure you it’s not really that weird. I mean, it could be weirder, right?
And guess what? I think you should do it, too. Especially given that I suspect you’ll soon be bombarded with opportunities to indulge in sweets and treats galore, decadent dinner parties, and special occasion foods. Actually, that probably already happened on Saturday night with Halloween, eh?
That’s what I thought.
Basically you need a breakfast like this one in your repertoire. Because as much as I love the holidays and holiday food (L-O-V-E it), they can be a difficult time to navigate for even the most disciplined folks when it comes to sticking to health and wellness goals.
So what to do?
MEET YOUR SECRET WEAPON
The holidays may be fast approaching, but don’t worry. I got your back.
This Easy Breakfast Salad with Poached Eggs and Wilted Kale is exactly the kind of meal you need to combat the platters of cookies, cakes, candies, chocolates, salty snack mixes and finger foods that will try to tempt you time and time again between now and January 1, 2016.
This epic breakfast salad will be your new secret weapon to staying on track and fitting into your skinny jeans through the end of the year. When you start your morning with a hearty, nutritious meal that fills you up, you kickstart your metabolism and boost your brainpower.
ALL THE COOL KIDS ARE DOING IT
OK so I actually don’t know that many people who eat salad for breakfast BUT that doesn’t mean it’s not happening behind closed doors. Eating a salad for breakfast works wonders for your waistline because it delivers a huge dose of nutrients for a small amount of calories.
In the simplest of terms, these nutrients nourish your cells and when your cells get what they need, they’re happy. And happy cells tell your brain it’s OK to stop eating, meaning you’re less likely to mindlessly overeat. Also, the healthy balance of macronutrients—protein, fat, carbs—gives you a boost of energy that will stay with you throughout your morning.
The biggest benefit to breakfast salad is that when you start your day with a meal as healthy and nourishing as this one, you’re priming your mind to continue making healthful choices throughout the day. Think about it…Have you ever been in a hurry and reached for an energy bar on your way out the door only to find yourself saying yes to the coffeecake/bagel/donut or whatever’s on the break table an hour later?
My hand is in the air.
FROM POP TARTS TO POACHED EGGS
Honestly, my morning routine used to be the following: I’d eat a pop tart (hey, it was organic!) as soon as I woke up and then I’d shower and hustle out the door. Once at work, I’d check out the office kitchen scene, where I’d usually find a chocolate glazed Busken donut someone had inevitably left for the taking. (If you don’t know what Busken is, well, it’s probably better that way because !!!.) Or I’d walk down the street with a coworker for a bagel. Essentially by 10:00 AM, I’d eaten nearly 800 calories of mostly nutrient poor carbs and sugar.
You can’t see me right now, but pretend I’m doing a little curtsy (of shame).
I know your initial thoughts may be that a salad feels too cold and crisp for breakfast, but fear not! That’s exactly why this one uses kale that’s been oh-so-slightly wilted and warmed. The softened greens, hearty sweet potatoes, sweet red onion and bell pepper all come together in this beautiful salad that will make your heart sing.
And then there’s the poached eggs.
Everyone has a different feelings about so-called “yolk porn,” but I’ll just go on record and say I’m into it. I grew up eating flip eggs (a.k.a eggs over easy) and I lived for that drippy egg goodness that I could mop up with a piece of toast.
A few years ago, I had my first poached egg over greens a few years ago and it was GAME OVER.
Because drippy eggs and wilted greens? ALL the heart eyes, y’all.
POACH LIKE A PRO
I’ll admit that when I made this recipe it was my first attempt at poaching eggs on my own. Usually, I eat this salad with eggs over easy, but I thought I’d try to be fancy for you guys and poach them.
What did I learn from this experience? Poaching eggs is a lot harder than Alton Brown makes it look.
Eight eggs later, I finally nailed it. I’d like to point out that I don’t really have a reliable non-stick pan (problem number uno). I also don’t think my eggs were super fresh, which is supposedly a must for the best poached egg. That said, don’t let it deter you from trying. Get in that kitchen and make some magic. Beautiful messy, poached egg magic!
If any of you lovelies have any tips for poaching, send ’em my way. Because I think poached eggs are the prettiest.
// RECIPE //
EASY BREAKFAST SALAD WITH POACHED EGGS & WILTED KALE
Serves: 2 | Prep time: 5 minutes | Cook time: 10 minutes
Gluten free, Dairy free, Vegetarian, Paleo
For the salad:
1 bunch curly kale, removed from stems and broken into pieces
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced into cubes and pre-cooked
1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup red onion, diced
4 eggs, poached (2 eggs per serving)*
For the dressing:
1 garlic clove
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tbs white wine vinegar
3 tbs olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
- Prepare the dressing by mixing all ingredients in a small bowl until well combined.
- Poach the eggs and set aside in an ice bath or in a food storage container with water in the fridge until ready to use. To poach the eggs, refer to this video featuring the kitchen wizard Alton Brown.*
- In a small nonstick pan, saute the onion, bell pepper, and diced sweet potatoes with 1 tsp olive oil until softened. Remove vegetables from pan and set aside. **
- Add kale directly to the pan and heat until slightly wilted. You want it to still be bright green and hold its shape, rather than steaming it.
- Place wilted kale in a salad bowl and top with half of the vegetable mixture.Lightly drizzle the dressing over the greens.
- Reheat the poached eggs and gently place on top of salad. Garnish with salt and pepper.
- Oogle the drippy egg yolk for at least a solid 10 seconds before diving in. Because egg porn.
*Alternatively, you can use eggs that are hard boiled or cooked over easy.
**I like to pre-cook the sweet potatoes and keep them on hand to make it even easier. Simply roast diced sweet potatoes at 400-degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes until they are cooked but not too soft since you’ll be reheating them for this quick breakfast. Store in a food-safe container until ready for use. If you want to cook everything at once, it will add about 15-20 minutes to the prep to allow the sweet potatoes time to cook in the pan.
So make this salad for breakfast and set yourself up for a successful holiday season.
I’ll be sharing more healthy tips and recipes all month long to keep you on track! Of course, I’ll also share a few healthified treats because I can’t not give into the whole gingerbread, sugar cookie, hot chocolate madness. In fact, I have an extra fun collaboration with one of my favorite brands featuring holiday treats coming later this month.
Stay tuned! And as always, tag your recipes with #honestlynourished and don’t forget to join the behind-the-scenes fun over on Snapchat (@honstlynourishd).
How do you all stay healthy during the holidays? What are your thoughts on salad for breakfast?