Salad For Breakfast

Salad-for-Breakfast

Maybe you have noticed that the more you eat sugar and simple carbohydrates in the morning, the more you crave them the rest of the day?  It’s not your imagination.  An easy way to make sure that you stay on track with a reasonable diet is to plan ahead for a breakfast full of vegetables.  That’s right, think of all your favorite GREEN foods for breakfast!  The benefits will include getting more vitamins and minerals into your diet, along with beneficial fiber that keeps you feeling full.  If you’re currently into a habit of croissants and coffee cake in the morning, you may be thinking I’m off my rocker.  But I promise, if you take the time to tweak your breakfast routine, you should find yourself staying more satisfied until lunch, which will make it easier to make good lunchtime choices, and will also give you something good to be proud about all day.

Here’s another reminder… pretty soon, we’ll be starting another group cleanse!  This has become a very fun and meaningful tradition in our office, and this year we have a new choice for you!  In addition to the 10-day Blood Sugar and 21-day Purification cleanses you have come to know and love, we also have a 28-day cleanse, using the Chai-flavored Detox Balance shake.  The cool thing about the 28-day cleanse is that it only involves the shakes and homemade food – there are no additional pills!  That’s right, all the SP Cleanse, SP Greens and fiber are already pre-mixed in the shake.  So if pill-swallowing is not your forte, you may like to give this program a shot!  This cleanse involves gradually working yourself up to 3 shakes a day, then slowly tapering back down to 1/day.  I would say that having a Magic Bullet or a shaker bottle at work will be essential to make it convenient!

Just a refresher, for all of the cleanses, there will be certain foods that are no-no’s (wheat, dairy, corn, soy, beans, nuts, and high-glycemic granola, cereal and oatmeal) and except for the Blood Sugar cleanse, the first 10 days will have no meat, either.  That means we are emphasizing VEGETABLES!  If you are more of a meat and potatoes guy, or tend to call yourself a carboholic, jumping into one of these cleanses may be a bit challenging.  I would highly recommend trying out some vegetarian recipes now, so you feel prepared and happy when the time comes.

I have compiled a few recipes here to get you going.  I would say definitely that smoothies are the simplest way to sneak more veggies into your breakfast.  But if you have some extra time, or prep the night before, there are lots of hot breakfasts that will easily keep you satisfied all morning long…

Thoughts & Recipes:

Green Smoothies:  Of course you can do this a million ways, but lately my favorite is this… Start with a little water in the bottom of your smoothie cup (so the protein powder doesn’t stick).  Pour in one scoop of either SP Veg-E vanilla or Biotics Vanilla Pea protein powder.  Add 1 scoop of Biotics Nitrogreens.  Then fill with a variety of green things from your fridge, like: a handful of organic mixed power greens (Swiss chard, spinach, beet leaves and/or kale), 1 peeled kiwi fruit, 2 tbsp avocado, 1/2 cm chunk of fresh ginger, and either a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or 1 drop lemon essential oil.  Fill with either water, coconut water or unsweetened coconut milk, and blend.  (If you’re out of avocado, then use 1/3 frozen banana, but don’t use both or it will be too thick to blend).

Fruit Salad with Citrus-Honey Dressing:  It’s hard to get good fruit in the winter, but if you are lucky:  Put a variety of chopped strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and/or pineapple in a large bowl.  Then combine 1-1/2 tsp fresh lime juice, 2 tbsp honey, 1 tsp orange zest (always zest organic fruit), 1 tsp lime zest, and 2 tbsp fresh-squeezed orange juice.  Mix well and pour over the fruit.  Garnish with mint leaves.  Serve in individual bowls.  Can add fresh whipped cream, too, using recipe below.

Coconut Whipped Cream:  Put 1 can of full fat coconut CREAM in a mixing bowl with 1 tbsp vanilla extract and 1 to 3 tsp real maple syrup (no Mrs. Butterworth’s!).  Use either a hand mixer or stand mixer to whip it well.  Can use immediately or store in the refrigerator.

Add spinach or Swiss chard to an egg frittata or scrambled eggs.

Breakfast taco cups:  Put a small gluten-free tortilla in a muffin cup or ramekin, folding to fit and trim the excess. Fill with chopped vegetables.  Layer in kale, an egg, sea salt, chopped bell pepper, avocado, beans, onion, cheese (optional), tomatoes, bacon and/or cilantro.  Bake at 375 for 25 minutes or until egg is set.  Add a spoonful of salsa and/or a dollop of plain yogurt to the top.

Sweet potato & Brussels sprout hash: In a medium pot, bring eight cups water to a boil. Add sweet potatoes and cook until soft, about 8 minutes. Drain and set aside.  Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add onion and garlic, and sauté about 2 minutes until soft. Stir in any mixture of finely chopped vegetables, 1-2 tbsp paprika, and 1/8 tsp cayenne, and cook another 3 minutes. Add trimmed and halved Brussels sprouts and cook another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in red pepper and chopped sweet potato, and continue cooking 3 to 5 minutes until cooked through but still firm. Stir in 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1/4 cup chopped parsley, and salt and pepper to taste.

Japanese vegetable hash browns with cabbage, kale and carrots:  Toss 5-6 cups thinly sliced cabbage, 4 carrots peeled into ribbons, 5 chopped Lacinato kale leaves, and 4 chopped scallions together in a large bowl. Add 1/2 cup gluten-free flour and toss until vegetables are coated. Stir in 6 eggs, lightly beaten.  Heat a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2-3 tbsp butter and/or coconut oil, enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Add 1/4 vegetable mixture to skillet at a time, gently pressing it out flat. Cook 3 to 4 minutes until edges begin to brown. Flip and cook another 3 to 4 minutes until beginning to brown on bottom. Serve topped with Japanese sauce.

For the sauce:  Combine 1/4 cup organic ketchup or tomato paste, 1-1/2 tbsp Worcestershire, 1/4 tsp Dijon mustard, 1 tbsp rice wine, 1 tsp gluten-free Tamari or low-sodium soy sauce, 1 tbsp honey, and 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and let cook 3 to 5 minutes until smooth and thick.

Avocado-White Bean-Veggie Salad:  Place one 16-oz can of white beans (drained) with 1 diced avocado in a large mixing bowl and mash well with a fork until thick and creamy with a few chunks. Fold in 1/3 cup diced sweet onion, 1 chopped carrot, and 1/2 cup thinly sliced spinach.  Whisk together 2 tsp white miso paste, 1 tsp apple cider vinegar, juice from 1 lemon and 1 orange, and zest in a separate bowl. Fold into bean mixture with 2 tbsp nutritional yeast, and 1 tbsp hemp or sunflower seeds, until well combined and creamy. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Spread on gluten-free toast or crackers. 

Savory Breakfast Quinoa:  Place 3/4 cup quinoa and 1 cup plus 2 tbsp water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook 9 more minutes. Add 4-5 chopped mushrooms and cook an additional 3 minutes until water is absorbed. Add 1 cup chopped spinach and allow to wilt. Stir in 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with 1-2 tsp olive oil, if desired, and toss. Divide among bowls.

Roasted Chickpea and Broccoli Bowls (or Burritos):   Heat oven to 425 degrees. Place two 15-oz cans of chickpeas, with 1 chopped yellow onion, 1 chopped bell pepper, and 1 crown of chopped broccoli in a large bowl. Pour in 3 tbsp grapeseed or olive oil with 1-2 tsp Tamari or low-sodium soy sauce, and stir. Add 2 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp ground coriander, and a dash of either black or cayenne pepper to taste. Mix until the chickpeas and broccoli are coated.  Spread veggie mixture on a large rimmed baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Add 4 cloves of crushed garlic (optional) and bake for another 15 minutes. (Broccoli will look a little burnt on the edges at this point, but that is the plan.)  Squeeze the juice of 1 lime over the veggie mixture and stir. Serve in bowls with chopped avocado, or cut open pita breads and fill.

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