When it comes to breakfast, a plate of greens usually doesn’t cut it. Let’s put it this way: most people usually don’t wake up craving broccoli and kale.
Nonetheless, starting out your day with a salad isn’t a bad idea. Most salads provide a hearty helping of antioxidants, fiber, and iron, all of which provide tremendous energy and give your brain a boost.
You can totally enjoy a breakfast salad that doesn’t feel like a sad desk salad, without skimping on the nutrients. Here are five delicious breakfast salad recipes that’ll actually make you super psyched to get out of bed in the morning.
SWEET POTATO SALAD BOWL
“Creating a savory breakfast salad bowl is the best way to eat your greens first this in the morning,” says Elizabeth Shaw, MS, RDN, CLT, CPT.
Start with a spinach, roasted sweet potato, and zucchini base, which gives you “a great combination of iron, vitamin A and fiber,” Shaw says.
Add a fried egg and a handful of chopped pistachios to fill you up fast. “The egg provides that delicious, velvety yolk that’s chock full of choline [which improves cognitive function]and biotin [which strengthens your hair and nails], while pistachios provide not only fiber and plant protein, but also important polyphenols and heart healthy fats,” Shaw says. You’ll be full well into your lunch hour.
Turn a bagel and lox into a salad for a dose of hearty greens. “A fun twist on a panzanella salad, slice your favorite whole-grain bagel into small circles (like bagel chips) and bake in the oven until lightly crispy,” says Shaw.
“Remove and place on the bottom of your salad bowl, tossing with cucumbers, red onion and sliced lox. Garnish with a whipped chive cream cheese and a poached egg,” she says. Thanks to the omega 3s from the smoked salmon, your brain will be mighty sharp for the rest of the day.
VEGAN BREAKFAST SALAD
If you need a breakfast salad that’s on the sweet side, bring in some citrus and fresh fruit. “The bright and tangy, yet creamy and rich avocado-lime dressing contrasts with aromatically sweet mango, buttery avocado, raw almonds, and perfect blueberries in this sunshine-inspired breakfast salad,” says Maggie Moon, MS, RDN, and author of The MIND Diet. Use baby butter red lettuce as a base.
The mangos and blueberries are chock-full of polyphenols, a type of antioxidant. What’s more, says Moon, “leafy greens, nuts, berries, and olive oil all help to protect the brain against cognitive decline—and they’re all right here in this morning delight.”
SWEET POTATO HASH SALAD
This sweet potato salad is “one part left-overs, one part citrusy-goodness, and one part flawless sunny side-up egg,” says Moon.
FRUIT AND YOGURT SALAD
Swap a yogurt parfait for a yogurt and fresh fruit salad. Sure, there are no greens in this one, but it’s packed with protein, which will get your day rolling.
“A sweet twist on breakfast salad always begins with a delicious whole-grain base (like quinoa) and festive fruit topping. My favorite is adding a fruit salsa naturally sweetened with 100% grape juice made with Concord grapes,” Shaw says.
The fiber from the quinoa and fruit will leave you full, while “a dollop of Greek yogurt over the top will create the perfect creamy, cool texture to complete the meal,” says Shaw.
By Isadora Baum