Chicken for breakfast.
Most of us are card carrying members of the “eat as you go” breakfast club. It’s routine to grab an energy bar, hurry through a bowl of cereal while getting dressed or maybe steal an extra precious few minutes to blend a fruit smoothie.
But note the common denominator: bursts of short acting sweetness and simple carbs. No wonder everyone’s starving by 10 a.m. and snacking well before lunchtime. And despite no longer being part of a farm-based society that relied on those pre-dawn feasts to fuel long hours of morning work, our bodies still need a real energy boost soon after rising.
So what’s a body to do? American breakfast traditions include all sorts of savories, from the obvious smoky bacon and fried eggs to corned beef hash with red-eye gravy (more on that theme later.) It’s easy to widen your morning boundaries and embrace daybreak traditions that are all about nourishing dishes that not only feed your metabolism and meet far-ranging nutrient needs, but satisfy hunger all morning long. A protein-rich breakfast sets the course for a fully charged day, with fewer chances for energy crashes.
In Asia, a steaming bowl of deeply flavored broth with noodles or dumplings filled with spicy vegetables and meats define breakfast. In northern Europe, thinly sliced dried sausages, bits of smoked fish and local cheeses are the stuff of an early recharge. A running theme of these simple meals is leftovers. Why not look differently at leftover chicken, spoonfuls of roasted vegetables, or a bag of herbal salad greens as options for the morning pantry?
Relish international flavors, creating a flavor-packed way to greet the new day. Tacos can become portably delicious, with warmly toasted whole-grain tortillas, naan or tender flatbreads wrapped around fillings of chopped chicken partnered with fiber-rich beans, heart-healthy avocado, crisp veggie slaws and a generous dollop of chile salsa, mango chutney or a squeeze of fresh lime. Prep your fillings the night before, so building your tacos take minutes in the morning. Wrap in parchment and away you go.
Hash, a name derived from the French verb “to chop,” is nothing more than highly seasoned leftovers for a diner style breakfast. A one-dish wonder, lean chopped chicken hash filled with aromatic leeks, tender baby potatoes, sweet butternut squash and umami-rich mushrooms becomes an extraordinary bed to steam-cook a few eggs, finished with a sprinkle of torn fresh herb leaves.
The beauty of hash is it can be what you make of it. Rummage in the fridge for whatever you really like, chopping everything about the same size. Sauté it all in a generous splash of olive oil until golden and crisp. Eggs are optional but are highly encouraged!
The more you try protein-rich breakfasts, the more you’ll enjoy high energy mornings and fully charged days. Bypass the sweet tooth tomorrow with a creative new take on breakfast.
No one’s hitting the snooze button when you’re cooking chicken breakfast tacos or a breakfast skillet hash. Get the recipes, and greet the day with smiles all around.