I go back and forth on the idea of breakfast. I mean, for years we’ve been told it’s the most important meal of the day, but I don’t really agree with that. In fact, I think it’s the most oversold meal of the day. If we look at breakfast from an evolutionary perspective, it’s a relatively new concept. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors didn’t eat three square meals a day, they feasted when they had a windfall and fasted when times were lean.
In the modern world we live in, where sugars and simple carbs make up a huge part of our diet, it can be very hard to go long periods of time without eating. Our blood sugar dips, our energy levels drop, and we reach for food. When I’m traveling, I’m always more mindful of my breakfast choices. In fact, I had an early flight yesterday morning and I was at the airport, weighing my food options. If I wanted something that was low in refined carbs and wasn’t a pastry, baked goods thingy. I was totally out of luck. There were zero options that didn’t have lots of bread or sugar. I think this is largely because when you get on the sugar rollercoaster, as most of us are, you gotta keep stoking the fire with more junk or the body just doesn’t want to function as it’s supposed to. So, when I’m at the airport early in the morning, I tend to just skip it.
I am, however, a huge fan of eggs. And I’m a fan of making breakfast nutrient dense and nourishing, just like any other meal. After all, since it’s the first meal of the day, you might as well set yourself up for success! I love the idea of getting creative with savory breakfasts, making things that are a little outside of the breakfast comfort zone, but still tick all the right boxes.
One of my new obsessions (actually it’s a throwback to an old obsession) is yucca. Yucca is a starchy tuber native to the Americas and it has a number of surprising health benefits. I like to think of it as a potato, only way better. Chief among its benefits are two things: 1) it’s a resistant starch, so it doesn’t hit your blood stream quickly and won’t cause an insulin spike, and 2) it’s delicious. There are a ton of other great things about it, but I just like that it’s cool. And tasty. And inexpensive!
Make the batter ahead in batches and just use what you need to make a delicious and fancy schmancy savory crepe that will blow the doors off your breakfast game. This yucca recipe is perfect for days when you have more time to spend in the kitchen. Want to try something a little easier? The Vitamix buckwheat crepe recipe is a great alternative. Whatever you choose, adding in healthy fats and proteins in the salsa verde and with the eggs makes this a powerhouse!
In a hurry? No worries—the eggs and salsa verde are just as tasty with a piece of whole wheat toast. Here’s a pro tip: freeze your leftover salsa verde in ice cube trays, then thaw the cubes when you want to add a little something extra to your rushed weekday breakfasts. Easy!
One of my other recent breakfast favorites is the Israeli dish, shakshuka, or eggs baked in tomato sauce. To be completely honest, I always love the idea of shakshuka and then if I order it in a restaurant, 99% of the time I’m totally disappointed. The tomato sauce is thin on flavor and leaves me feeling less than amazing. HOWEVER conceptually I love shakshuka. So this is a more vegetably-focused riff on the dish, incorporating some of my favorite flavors, including the anti-inflammatory power house, turmeric. The kale is a great addition that brings some more nutrients to the party, but feel free to add whatever veggies strike your fancy. Oh, and if you don’t like feta cheese, try using goat cheese, or no cheese! Whatever you do, don’t skip on the fresh herbs, they bring a lot of freshness to the party. And every party can benefit from some freshness!
Try these yucca crepes with eggs and cilantro-lime almond salsa for an impressive (and tasty) breakfast.
- ½ pound yucca, peeled, boiled, deveined
- 3 Tablespoons cassava flour (or alternative gluten-free flour)
- 1 small shallot, peeled, halved
- 1 garlic clove
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 cup water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ cup avocado oil
Add yucca, cassava flour, shallot, garlic, cilantro, salt, and pepper to the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure the lid. Select Variable 1. Start the machine and increase to Variable 8. Remove the lid plug and slowly pour the water through the lid opening until you have a loose batter. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add oil and allow to come to temperature. Using a 2-ounce scoop, pour batter into the pan and allow to cook until golden brown. Flip crepe and continue cooking until golden brown. Repeat with the rest of the batter.
- 2 pastured organic eggs
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted grassfed butter
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
Meanwhile heat up 1 Tablespoon of unsalted grassfed butter with 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil over medium low heat and add the eggs once the butter begins to foam. Cook until the eggs are just cooked through, about 7 minutes.
Cilantro-lime, almond salsa verde
Get a fresh start on your day by pairing this delicious salsa with crepes, toast, or your favorite breakfast item.
- 2 cups fresh cilantro leaves
- ¼ cup roasted almonds
- 1 small jalapeño, seeded
- ½ cup fresh lime juice (about 4 limes)
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
Add all ingredients to the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure the lid. Select Variable 1, start the machine, and increase to Variable 5. Blend for 20 seconds or until desired texture.
Serve with yucca crepe. For a smoother texture, blend on higher speed.
Baked eggs, carrot and harissa shakshuka, kale and feta
- 3 pastured organic eggs
- ½ cup shakshuka sauce
- 1 cup chopped Tuscan kale
- 2 Tablespoons crumbled feta
- cilantro and mint to garnish
Pre-heat oven to 375 F. In a 7” oven proof dish or a skillet, mix the shakshuka sauce with the kale, add two eggs and bake in the oven until the eggs are just cooked through, about 7 minutes. Garnish with crumbled feta and fresh mint and cilantro.
Carrot and harissa shakshuka sauce
Spice up your breakfast by pairing this flavorful sauce with eggs and kale.
- 1 pound carrots, peeled, boiled
- 1 medium shallot, peeled, halved
- 2 small garlic cloves, peeled
- ¼ cup harissa paste
- 2 teaspoon black cumin seeds
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup water
Add all ingredients to the Vitamix container and secure the lid. Select Variable 1 or the Dips & Spreads program. Start the machine, slowly increase to its highest speed and blend for 1 minute or until desired consistency; or start the machine and allow the Dips & Spreads program to complete.
To serve, mix 1 cup of carrot mixture with 1 cup (15g) kale in an oven proof dish, top with two eggs. Place the mixture in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 7 minutes or until the eggs are cooked to your liking.