Experts say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and yet the most common breakfast foods tend to be sugary cereals or simple carbs in the form of pancakes, bagels and muffins.
Few people think of vegetables as an integral part of the breakfast experience. To help address the problem, we've found some delicious recipes that will help you get your green fix early in the day.
Breakfast Burrito Bowl
Yields: 1 bowl
- 1 teaspoon organic coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 8 oz extra firm tofu, cubed
- 1/2 cup zucchini or yellow squash, chopped
- 1/2 bell pepper, cut in strips
- 1/4 cup chickpeas (optional for extra protein)
- Handful of baby heirloom tomatoes, sliced
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (optional)
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional, but gives it a “cheesy” flavor)
- 1 1/2 tablespoon zaatar
- 1/5 teaspoon cayenne pepper or paprika (optional)
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Fresh lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 ripe avocado
- On medium flame, heat 1 tsp coconut oil. Once oil is hot, add in cumin seeds until they crackle. Add turmeric, and cubed tofu. Toss to coat tofu, and let cook until tofu is lightly browned.
- Add zucchini/yellow squash and cook for a few more minutes until tender. Then mix in bell pepper strips, chickpeas and baby tomatoes. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Generously add in cilantro, nutritional yeast, zaatar, cayenne pepper or paprika, salt and fresh lemon juice. Toss the pan to coat all ingredients evenly. Let cook on medium heat for 5 more minutes.
- Serve hot in a bowl with sliced avocado, or mix in cubed avocado pieces–whatever you prefer! Top with freshly ground black pepper and your filling, nutritious bowl is ready to eat!
Savory Mushroom with Goat Cheese Crepe
Photo Credit: Lauren Ulm/VeganYumYum
Crepes are basically a miracle food. They get to be made sweet or savory. Yummly has dozens of vegetarians recipes for you to choose from, including Savory Mushroom with Goat Cheese. There's spinach-filled and cheese-filled, and all sorts of sweet options for the next time you want dessert.
Sage Maple Chickpeas with Creamy Pumpkin Quinoa and Millet
Yields: 4 servings
- 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 16 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, finely chopped (or 1 teaspoon. dried)
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped (or 1 teaspoon. dried)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/2 cup dry millet
- 15 oz. of canned pumpkin
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 cup dry quinoa, rinsed
- 2 tablespoons full-fat coconut milk (or soymilk)
- 1 teaspoon light salt (or additional salt), to taste
- Handful of pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds), for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a medium bowl, mix the chickpeas, oil, herbs, salt and 1 Tbsp. of the maple syrup.
- When the oven reaches temperature, scatter chickpea mixture across a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes stirring after 10 minutes. Remove when 20 minutes is up and set aside.
- While the mixture bakes, bring the millet and 1/2 cup water to boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes. Add in the pumpkin and continue to cook on low for about 10 minutes, then remove from heat. The millet will still be slightly crunchy.
- While the millet cooks, in another small saucepan bring the quinoa and 1 cup of water to boil over high heat. Once boiling, cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes. When the time is up, the water should all be gone. Fluff with a fork at set aside. The quinoa should be soft and fluffy.
- Add the cooked quinoa, remaining maple syrup, coconut milk and additional salt to the millet and pumpkin mixture and stir well to combine.
- Serve warm with the roasted chickpeas (make sure to get all the crispy sage leaves, too!) over the millet, quinoa and pumpkin mixture. Garnish with additional fresh herbs and pepitas.
Jason Mraz's Avocado Smoothie
The first time someone offered me an avocado smoothie, I said no. I thought, avocado is a miracle food and can do a lot of things, but wouldn't I just be drinking guacamole? How wrong I was. It turns out, avocado makes the perfect base for green smoothies. It's creamy and light on flavor so it provides more texture than taste. This recipe from Jason Mraz, who happens to own an avocado farm, is packed with kale, ginger, celery and avocado, and is lightly sweetened with banana and apple, making it a perfect morning smoothie.
Photo: Marie C Fields/Shutterstock
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Ingredients for the marinated mushrooms
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 4 to 6 Portobello mushrooms, de-stemmed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 cup silken tofu
- 1-1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup vegan margarine, melted
- 4 to 6 English muffins, sliced in half and toasted
- 2 tomatoes, sliced 1/2-inch thick
- 6 to 8 cups spinach, tightly packed, steamed
- Paprika, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. For the mushrooms, in a large mixing bowl, combine wine, garlic, mustard, oil, salt and pepper. Coat each mushroom with marinade and place on sheet tray.
- Cook mushrooms gill-side up for about 20 to 25 minutes. Rotate tray and cook for another 10 minutes, or until mushrooms are tender. Slice mushrooms thinly and set aside.
- For the Hollandaise sauce, using a high-speed blender or food processor, purée oil, tofu, lemon juice, turmeric, salt, pepper and cayenne. While processing, add melted margarine and continue blending until mixture is smooth.
- On a plate, place toasted English muffins. Top with 1 slice of tomato, a handful of spinach, several sliced Portobello mushrooms, Hollandaise sauce and paprika. Serve warm.
Crispy Quinoa Cakes
Photo: Angela Liddon/OhSheGlows.com
As Angela from OhSheGlows knows, these crispy quinoa cakes can be eaten for any meal, including breakfast. Loaded with kale, sweet potato, sun-dried tomatoes, quinoa and sunflower seeds, these delicious little cakes offer the perfect combo of veggies and protein. For those who want only healthful options in the morning, these little guys are baked, not fried. Also, if you have guests, you can serve them without worrying much about allergies. They are vegan, nut-free, and gluten-free.
Southwest Style Breakfast Hot Pocket
Photo: Jaymi Heimbuch
Yields: 6 Pockets
Ingredients for Dough
- 2 cups gluten-free flour (I use Authentic Foods Multi-Blend Flour)
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/3 cup vegan margarine
- 1/2-1 cup ice cold water (added in tablespoon increments)
- 1 package extra firm tofu, diced
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
- 3 cups spinach, chopped
- Taco seasoning (see recipe below)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
I adore this recipe for homemade taco seasoning from The Girl Who Ate Everything. I make it in bulk and keep it in a mason jar in the cupboard. I find it impossible to use too much, so plan on using this whole batch in your breakfast scramble. Just pour and stir the ingredients in a mixing container and set aside:
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, pepper and baking powder.
- Cut in the vegan margarine until the mixture is crumbly.
- Add the ice water in a tablespoon at a time, until you have a sticky but still workable ball of dough.
- Roll into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Place it into the fridge to chill while making the scramble.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and bell pepper and saute until just softened.
- Add the tofu and taco seasoning and stir a couple times until everything is coated.
- Add the spinach and stir until just barely wilted.
- Remove from heat and set aside.
- Remove the dough ball from the fridge. On a floured surface, roll out the dough until about 1/8 inch thick. Using a small or medium bowl, cut out rounds of dough. You may need to collect the trimmings and roll the dough out again to get all six (or more!) of your rounds.
- Now it's time to fill the pockets. I like the advice given by Kathy on her hot pocket recipe on LunchBox.com for getting the most filling in a pocket: "The goal is to stuff as much filling into the pocket as possible. Otherwise you are really just left with a lot of crust and a few bites of filling. Not good. So here is how I achieved this... Cut out a large circle of dough - about 5" across. Then take that circle and roll out (again) as evenly and thinly as possible. Now you have a perfectly thin piece of circle dough to work with! From here you can stuff and fold into a half circle pocket - or roll out a second slightly larger circle for the top layer. Seal edges with a fork, poke a hole in the top." I followed her advice and probably could have crammed even more stuffing in there had I followed the two-circle option rather than the fold-over option. Either way works, but the two-circle option probably leads to the fullest pockets.
- What is important to note is that gluten-free flour creates a dough that isn't as elastic as regular dough, so you need to be careful and patient with it. I used a spatula to help me fold the dough over the stuffing without cracking it. If it does tear, don't sweat it — just pinch it back together to seal and keep moving along.
- Place the pockets on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes or until the dough is crispy and turning golden at the edges.
- Plate, serve and enjoy! You can store leftover baked pockets in the fridge for a few days, reheating them in the oven. You can also wrap raw pockets in foil or parchment paper and store them in the fridge for 3-4 days, baking them as needed.
Now, with this proof that vegetables can make a delicious breakfast, go trade in those breads and cereals for some serious nutrients. Your body will thank you.