sunshine breakfast bowls

by Stacy

Breakfast: the most important meal of the day. Right? Right.

Do you eat breakfast? I’ve always been a breakfast person. My morning routine was the same for years growing up: studiously avoid being spoken to by my obnoxiously-cheery morning bird mother, stare glassy-eyed at the comics page and aim cold cereal at the general vicinity of my mouth. The problem with this practice was that I would be ravenously hungry a few hours later, far before lunch.

Many years later, I have revised this into a much better system, namely one that includes fiber, protein, and fat. And coffee — but that’s another topic. Personally I also prefer having warm food in the morning which feels heartier to me. For a long time it was simply two poached eggs with a slice of whole wheat toast. Then I started adding avocado for some creaminess and fat.

Lately I’ve been loving these sunshine breakfast bowls that nourish me first thing in the morning. The bright colors help make up for the lack of sun this month while I eat them. Instead of quick-burning, sugar-crash-inducing carbs, I start with vegetables. You’ve probably eaten something similar with potatoes, but I like the texture of using quick-cooking veggies with the added bonus that I stay full longer (very important since we don’t have our lunch break until 1:30pm).

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This is also a great way to use up zucchini or summer squash! I’ve made a few variations, but the basic premise is the same. This is thinly-sliced cabbage and grated crookneck squash. Grating the squash makes it cook quickly and it’s faster than trying to cut it into small pieces first thing in the morning.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love starchy breakfasts. And if you think that I don’t eat leftover cake or pie for breakfast as often as possible, you would be so wrong. However, I have come to appreciate a savory start to the day that is good for me and tastes amazing.

The fiber keeps me full, the vegetables are full of vitamins and minerals, and it’s a fairly mellow flavor combination. For protein and some healthy fat, I add an egg and some avocado. I’m really loving dishes right now that combine a lot of contrasting textures and complementary flavors. Crunchy cabbage, soft squash, acidic bright tomatoes, warm eggs and creamy avocado make for a diverse and lovely bowl.

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We were out of tomatoes so I spooned a little leftover salsa in the middle for added color and oomph. I’ve made a few variations, including this bright version using red cabbage. Red cabbage can sometimes take on an unappetizing blue tint when cooked, but I just wilt it a bit to keep a little tooth and lots of color. I also sliced the squash thinly for this one but preferred it grated.

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What do you eat for breakfast? Just coffee? Fruit? A smoothie?

Sunshine Breakfast Bowl

Makes 1

All measurements are totally approximate. Like stir-fry, this is a great way to use up parts of veggies all at once. This morning I added a diced pepper. I’m also loving a technique that starts the garlic in cold oil to prevent it from burning.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2/3 cup shredded cabbage
  • 2/3 cup grated summer squash (I used crookneck)
  • 2-3 tablespoons prepared salsa or one small tomato, diced
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 avocado, sliced
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Add oil and garlic to a cold skillet and heat over medium-low. Stir occasionally until garlic is fragrant (a few minutes), then add cabbage. Stir to coat with oil and cook a minute or two. Add squash and stir. Cook until squash has softened and is golden on the edges. Scoop into a low bowl. Top with salsa or tomato.
  2. Fry, scramble, or poach the egg as you please. Serve on top of cooked vegetables with avocado slices. Sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper.

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