Winter Breakfast Salad

Breakfast salad. You may think I'm crazy, but I promise it will change your perspective on breakfast forever.

I love starting my day off with a big burst of fresh flavors and nutrients; it makes me feel like I've gotten a running start and am already on top of things before I even leave the house. I have greens for breakfast every single day. I do a green smoothie four or five days a week, and a breakfast salad the other days.

In my mind, there are two tricks to making salad feel appropriate for breakfast. First, use fruit; many of us associate fruit with breakfast, so greens with fresh fruit seems a bit more approachable than just veggies. Second, drizzle it with a yogurt dressing. Again, many of us associate yogurt with breakfast, and the maple-cinnamon-yogurt dressing shown here makes the greens feel right at home on the breakfast table.

This breakfast salad is bright, flavorful, and reminiscent of cranberry sauce. There are fresh juicy oranges, sweet figs, tart fresh cranberries, and crunchy nuts. It's all drizzled with a lightly sweetened yogurt dressing that will have your brain thinking "fruit salad" even though there's a load of nutrient-rich greens.

This salad would also make a great brunch item. I always include some sort of fresh salad when I do a brunch spread; it provides a nice refreshing, raw counterpoint to all the heavier cooked dishes that are traditional for brunch.

You can change up the ingredients in this salad however you wish. Use another seasonal citrus. Use apple slices in the fall. Load it up with more nuts if you like a more protein-rich breakfast. Put a big dollop of yogurt in the middle. Put your greens on a bed of quinoa or leftover roasted squash for more substance. Make it in a way you love so that you want to eat it morning after morning!

Try it! Then go do lots of awesome things fueled by those dark, leafy greens. 

Please share your creation so I can see how you've interpreted the concept! Tag "The Rogue Brussel Sprout" on Facebook or hashtag #theroguebrusselsprout on Instagram.

Want another wintry salad idea? Check out this Winter Squash and Beluga Lentil Salad.

Thoughts About Ingredients
(These are all just suggestions, since rogue is more fun than recipe)

For the salad:
  • A ton of greens. I like spinach and/or kale, but use whatever you have on-hand. I generally prefer greens with a more subtle flavor since I find something assertive like arugula a little too much first thing in the morning. If you're new to breakfast salads, start with spinach.
  • Citrus. Winter is citrus season; celebrate it! Navel oranges, blood oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, etc, can all work.
  • Dried fruit. I like to use a small amount of dried fruit. It provides a nice chewy texture and makes for a great contrast with the fresh, juicy citrus. Dried figs, cranberries, and raisins work well.
  • Fresh cranberries. Optional, but awesome. They provide a great pop of tartness. A little bit goes a long way, so just garnish with a small handful. You can buy them in the late fall when they're in season and freeze a bunch of them, or you can buy frozen.
  • Some crunchy, protein-rich things. Nuts! Seeds! For a wintry vibe, I often use roasted salted pecans and/or walnuts and/or pepitas (pumpkin seeds). In the spring, I transition to pistachios or almonds.
For the dressing:
  • A few tbsp of yogurt. Use dairy or non-dairy, whatever makes you happy. I prefer unsweetened and unflavored.
  • A few tsp of maple syrup. Just a bit is all you need, since you have nice sweetness from the fruit. Start small, taste, and adjust upward as you need.
  • 0.25-0.5 tsp warm winter spices. I love cinnamon and use a ton; use less if you're not cinnamon obsessed. Powdered (or fresh) ginger is great here. So are nutmeg and cardamon, but just use a dash.
  • Water or other liquid. Just enough to make the dressing thin enough to drizzle, probably 1 tbsp or less, but it will depend on the thickness of your yogurt. I often just use water. Apple cider is awesome if you have it on-hand. Orange juice can work too.
Thoughts About Method
(These are all just suggestions, be creative and make it yours) 

  1. Mix up your dressing. Give it a vigorous stir to help the yogurt thin out. Taste and adjust the flavor and thickness as necessary. Remember that you'll be adding it on top of sweet fruit, so make the dressing a tad less sweet than you think you might need.
  2. Assemble your salad ingredients. You can toss it all together, or lay it out on a plate. I like laying mine out nicely. It makes me happy to have a pretty breakfast!
  3. Drizzle on the dressing. Because the dressing is thick, I prefer to drizzle it over the salad at the end rather than tossing it in because it prevents the greens (especially if you've used spinach) from clumping.


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