Just step away from the pancakes.
Put down that bottle of fake-out syrup (shame on you, Aunt Jemima! I don't know where that stuff comes from, but it's certainly not from a tree.)
And no one. (Not even a single artery!)
Breakfast is supposedly the most important meal of the day.
And while I still maintain that that position has already been filled...I concede that, for most people, eating a good healthy breakfast helps them to stay on track and eat a good healthy lunch, which helps them to not eat five Snickers and a bag of chips out of the vending machine at work, which helps them to feel alert and energized enough to go to the gym after work, which helps them to not binge on bad Chinese take-out for dinner.
It's a Domino effect. Or a spiral to hell, depending on whether you've started off your day with five sausage links and an egg mcmuffin...or this breakfast bowl.
I won't tell you which breakfast leads to which end.
But I think you can guess which one I'd rather eat.
The idea for this recipe came about when I stumbled upon the MarxFoods Beans For Breakfast recipe contest. Outside of the US, many other cultures enjoy really savory breakfast dishes...almost dinner-for-breakfast kind of affairs, and I knew this was a concept I really wanted to embrace in my entry. Then, when I realized that this week's Food Matters Project recipe was hummus...everything just clicked.
What resulted was a Middle Eastern-spiced breakfast bowl filled with all kinds of nutrient-, fiber-, and protein-rich vegetable and legume deliciousness, topped with a hummus "dressing" and a fried egg. Though they certainly have a time and a place, pancakes, muffins and French toast will never seem like the better breakfast alternative ever again.
Breakfast Bowl with Za'atar Roasted Eggplant, Swiss Chard, Butternut Squash and Hummus
Serves 6, an Eats Well With Others Original (inspired by Bittman's The Food Matters Cookbook)
Note - while this recipe seems like a lot of effort for breakfast, the barley/veggie/bean base can be made and dressed the night before so that all you have to do in the morning is spend three minutes frying an egg! And for the original hummus recipe, please check out Erin's blog!
- 1 cup dried Mayacoba beans, soaked overnight (can also use cannellini beans!)
- 1 eggplant, chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
- 20 oz butternut squash, chopped
- 2 tsp za'atar (I made my own!)
- salt, to taste
- 1 1/2 cup black barley
- 1 bunch swiss chard, leaves torn and stemmed
- 14 oz canned chickpeas
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 6 eggs
- Preheat oven to 400.
- In a large pot, cover beans with salted water by 1-inch and then bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 45-60 minutes or until beans are tender. In the last five minutes of cooking, add in the swiss chard leaves. Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, toss the eggplant and butternut squash with za'atar, a teensy bit of olive oil, and a large pinch of salt. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast for 30-40 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Bring 4 1/2 cups salted water to a boil. Add barley to the boiling water. Lower the heat to a simmer and cover, cooking, for 35-40 minutes or until barley is tender but still chewy. Drain out excess water.
- In a large bowl, toss together the beans, swiss chard, eggplant, butternut squash, and barley.
- In a food processor, combine the chickpeas tahini, garlic, olive oil, and 1/4 cup water. Pulse until pureed, adding more water until desired consistency is reached. Add in the lemon juice and paprika. Add salt and black pepper to taste.
- Fry eggs in a non-stick skillet, sunny side up. Distribute the barley mix among 6 bowls. Top each bowl with one egg and a drizzle of hummus.