My Favorite Breakfast Bowls

Poached eggs on spinach, spiral cut rutabaga and sweet potato
Breakfast Bowl. Jen Hoy

Breakfast, as most of us know, is a foundational meal and can make or break the rest of your day. Some people do really well with a bowl of porridge in the morning, especially if it's enhanced with nuts, seeds, and a nice nut milk. But for some of us, a high carb, or sugary breakfast can lead to sugar cravings all day long, or, depending on our constitution, can make us sleepy. My husband does great with a nourishing bowl of porridge or homemade crunchy granola in the morning; that same breakfast sometimes makes me tired.

I'm better off with a savory breakfast involving a little protein and lots of veggies. Many other cultures begin the day with a savory meal; soup, pho noodle bowls, stew, bean dishes, various incarnations of rice and other grains, along with eggs, fish, olives, cheeses and meat are common foods.  I work out in the mid-morning, so I usually have a small glass of protein smoothie an hour before class; then I come home to make a nice savory brunch for myself. The components vary day by day, but here are some of my favorites:

I grab a bowl, my favorite vessel for eating. I have a collection of them: deep and shallow, colorful and quiet, factory and hand made, something for every mood and season. The bottom layer can be a leftover grain dish, like one of the wonderful recipes in A World Of Ways To Cook With Quinoa but in my case (I rarely eat grain) is more likely to be one of the following:

Shredded Skillet Sweet Potato Homefries (I often add other veggies like shredded rutabaga or squash or celery root to these.


Spiced Oven Sweet Potato “Fries”​

Cauliflower Rice

Next come the greens:

These can be as simple as baby spinach that is wilted by the heat of the food sitting under and over these tender greens. 

Savory Sauteed Kale is a great and can be made with just about any green you have on hand.

Same goes for Greens with Shallots, Garlic and Broth Reduction.


I love sliced avocado or a dollop of Zesty Guacamole with my breakfast, a California tradition that has lately taken over the nation. And let's not forget the avocado toast (any of the toppings suggested here would be great with or without toast, so they're great for your breakfast bowl).

Finally, some happy free range chicken eggs, easy scrambled, fried, hard boiled or my personal favorite How To Poach a Perfect Egg. Other options are the make-ahead

Frittata with Pesto and Asparagus​

Mediterranean Fusion Frittata​

or the protein packed Fines Herbes Frittata With Smoked Salmon.

if you're vegan, a scattering of legumes, sliced organic tofu or tempeh will round out your bowl beautifully. 

Working people for whom time is a premium can make this breakfast the night before: roasted veggies or leftover grains,  hard boiled eggs (or vegan protein) and steamed or raw greens can be packed ahead of time for a nourishing breakfast.