Yes, that’s right—breakfast salads! They’re a thing, and they’re fantastic. If this concept is new to you, just hear me out, please. A salad in the morning is a great way to work in a serving or two of veggies (or whole grains, or fruit—more to come in this series!) right off the bat. They’re light, fresh, and balanced, preventing that all-too-familiar carb/sugar overload that’ll have you crashing an hour or two later.
For me, the breakfast salad is ideal because I’ve never been too fond of traditional breakfast foods. I just have a few guidelines for how to build a great one:
- In general, avoid really strong flavors. A mouthful of raw garlic isn’t exactly what most folks take to first thing in the morning.
- Be sure to include protein and fat for satiety. That protein can come in the form of an egg, a little cheese, some leftover chicken, a sprinkle of nuts, a pile of canned beans, or a bed of whole grains. Unsaturated fats (think olive and nut oils, avocado, or nuts) are ideal and go a long way to keeping you satisfied longer.
- Keep it fast and simple. This is breakfast, after all, and on weekdays you don’t have time to fuss with a lot of prep. I’ve strived to keep things nice and easy.
- Pay attention to texture. Ideally your salad will include something crispy-crunchy, creamy-silky, juicy-fresh, and/or meaty-chewy.
- Vary the base. Sometimes, go with greens. Other days, opt for beans, whole grains, or shredded or chopped fresh veggies.
Fried Egg and Rye Breakfast Salad
I love, love, love rye bread here; it’s so flavorful on its own and really adds a special lift to this salad. Don’t have rye bread on hand? No problem—just use what you do have. Whatever you choose, you can make the toasted breadcrumbs up to two days ahead; just store in an airtight container or bag until you're ready for them.
Tear bread into very small pieces, or process in a mini chopper to make coarse crumbs. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add breadcrumbs to pan; cook 3 minutes or until toasted, stirring occasionally. Remove from pan.
Reduce heat to medium. Add 1/2 teaspoon oil to pan. Crack egg into pan; cover and cook 11/2 to 2 minutes or until desired degree of doneness.
Combine remaining 11/2 teaspoons oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Add greens and radishes; toss to coat. Top with egg and breadcrumbs.
This story originally appeared on CookingLight.com.