Freakshow Breakfast Salad

August 30, 2011

I have no idea what’s going on with me. I mean, on a regular day I’m a breakfast oddity–I don’t like breakfast food. I just don’t. My breakfast is usually leftover hot and sour soup, or cold pizza, or half a turkey sandwich with mustard, tomato and pickles.  This practice makes my husband gag.

This summer, I’m eating weirder things than ever.  It’s a puzzlement.

I could blame it on my lack of a sweet tooth, but then again, people eat perfectly normal savory breakfast items (eg: eggs, sausage) all the time. I can’t stomach eggs or sausage in the morning. Lunch or dinner? Great. But not for the morning nosh. I can eat bacon in the a.m., but let’s face it, I could eat bacon any time, any day.


Whatever the reason, my breakfast of champions right now is…salad.  That is a nutjob thing to crave in the morning, is it not? But here I am, munching on a bowl of garden goodies right along with Peanut Butter and friends in the back yard.  It’s pretty refreshing and quite satisfying, actually. And I have to admit, my skin looks a lot better after a few weeks of breakfast salads.  My husband’s gagging louder than ever in the morning, but he and his cereal can stuff it. Breakfast salad is what I want to eat, and I’m eatin’ it.

The only downside to breakfast salad is that it takes organization. At least for me it does, because I don’t really feel like chopping and dicing a bunch of different things when the sun is rising.  If you’re perky enough in the morning to do that, hat’s off to you. Go for it. I, however, am moving a leeetle slow in the morning, so if I want breakfast salad, preparation is key.

My refrigerator contains a truckload of Tupperware containers, each with a different treat inside: sliced cucumbers, washed lettuce, fresh corn kernels, shredded carrot, chopped snap pea, slivered bell pepper. Those containers await me in the morning, and it makes me happy to just open a few lids, pluck out what I need, and call it done.

The two exceptions here are the tomato and the avocado. I don’t really like leftover tomatoes, and I think we all know what happens to pre-diced avocado. Brown Town. Ewww.

Sometimes I’ll add bacon bits (another Tupperware affair) or sliced rotisserie chicken, if I’m really hungry.  If homemade croutons are around, I may sneak a few of those in.  Sunflower seeds? Yes, please. They add a lovely little crunch (I’ve used chopped pistachios in there, too, and I recommend it).

Besides the fact that I’m eating a freaking salad for breakfast, I bring more of the strange with my choice of salad dressing. I don’t use any.  Instead, I top my bowl of garden yummies with a hearty scoopful of cottage cheese.

I know.

But it’s good! Cottage cheese has protein and calcium and honestly, cottage cheese is a little pissed off about having to hang out with fruit all the time. Diversify, readers!

Top the whole affair with cracked black pepper and some nice sea salt,  and it’s heaven.  At least for me. Salad: It’s not just for lunch anymore.

If you’re brave and decide to try it, let me know how it goes, and who you repulse by doing so.  And if you have a trademark weirdo breakfast, make me feel better by sharing it, would you?  I hate to think I’m the only goofball out there.

TKW’s Breakfast Salad*

serves 1 morning weirdo

Lettuce, washed and torn

Cucumber, seeded and diced

Fresh corn, husked and sliced off the cob

Snap peas, sliced

Red or orange bell pepper, sliced

Tomato, diced

Avocado (I use 1/4 to 1/2 per salad, depending on how hungry I am), diced

Optional: bacon bits, sliced rotisserie chicken, sliced hard-cooked egg, sunflower seeds, chopped nuts

1/2 cup cottage cheese (I use 2%)

cracked black pepper and sea salt (kosher salt is good, too)

Toss vegetables in a large bowl or layer on a plate.  Top with nuts, if using, the cottage cheese, the pepper and the salt.  Devour.

*Obviously, this is a seasonal and imprecise recipe. You can use any veggies you like, really. This is just my “code salad.”

{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }

Lyndsey ~The Tiny Skillet~ August 30, 2011 at 2:01 pm

This looks perfect! I’m not big on breakfast foods either. I am not a big sweets fan either. That’s why I jumped to read this because I love getting different ideas what to eat for breakfast. I like the ideas of the different tupperware with everything already washed and cut up. Sorta like making a breakfast bento. :) I love seeing what they eat for breakfast in other countries too…so many different, but good things (except in England…I’ll pass) and I’ll take bacon any time any day! We really need to get together for breakfast sometime! :D


kristin @ going country August 30, 2011 at 2:09 pm

I’ve eaten a lot of things for breakfast that aren’t actually breakfast foods (including leftover ravioli from restaurants–nothing like five cloves of garlic to really wake you up!), but never salad. Only because it would definitely not be enough to keep me from getting hungry an hour later. That’s also the reason I don’t eat oatmeal. Eggs, though I get sick of them, are kind of my fallback, because they’re quick and keep me full.


TKW August 30, 2011 at 5:56 pm

Oatmeal is nasty shit. I can totally get behind leftover ravioli, though!


Maria August 30, 2011 at 2:31 pm

Breakfast food sucks, mostly because it’s just too much to get ready in the morning. That salad looks divine, and I’ll bet you are feeling just as good as Peanut Butter when you are munching.

Cottage cheese, not so much. I will reserve my opinion on what it reminds me of. But kudos to you for eating it.

Hoping your days are a little brighter lately. Sending you healing light and love, friend..


Phoo-d August 30, 2011 at 3:02 pm

Surprisingly this looks good to me! I’m starting to wane on my 4 month granola kick.


BigLittleWolf August 30, 2011 at 3:48 pm

I love your weirdo salad concoctions. (And I adore light cottage cheese – eat it with many things. Can you put bacon on cottage cheese??? ;) )

My first meal today was a salad of fresh tomatoes, fresh parsley, and red onion – drizzled in homemade dijon vinaigrette. I ate a bowl full of the stuff! (Too bad I had no cottage cheese.)


TKW August 30, 2011 at 11:35 pm


I *so* can put bacon on cottage cheese! That’s just the way I roll!


Erica@PLRH August 30, 2011 at 4:25 pm

I try to avoid veggies on most days so I can’t imagine facing them first thing in the morning. I do love cottage cheese and bacon! Does that count?

Sending you lots of warm thoughts. <3


Amy @ Never-True Tales August 30, 2011 at 4:27 pm

That looks downright delicious…for DINNER. :) I’ll blame my sweet tooth, but I need me some sugar and carbs with my morning coffee.

I need to be better about keeping sliced and diced veggies on-hand; I eat a lot more salads when I do.


Sherri August 30, 2011 at 4:42 pm

Two things – I, too, am a freakshow…. Just in general, really. AND… I also do not “do breakfast food” – also totally dig the cold pizza, leftovers, etc. in the am. Salad? Hmm……. May just give this a try. Oh wait – will have to do coffee first – then do this mid-morning maybe. Hope all is well. Always sad to hear that you’re at the hospital so frequently, the food is gettin’ to ya. Still thinking of you and your family lately….


TKW August 30, 2011 at 7:10 pm


Daddy-o has started bringing lunch in, which is sweet, but it’s burgers and fries (admittedly delicious) but I feel like the Hindenburg after I eat it.

About coffee…another weirdo thing. I can’t drink it in the summer. Gah, what is wrong with me?


Dawn August 30, 2011 at 5:29 pm

A little protein…a little veggie…who’s to say you’re not a trend setter? I think even WW would approve! Salad…it’s not just for dinner anymore.


TKW August 30, 2011 at 7:13 pm


I am still hoping that my efforts give me half the hair that your little sweetie has.


TKW August 30, 2011 at 11:38 pm

ps: and yes, I did just wish I had hair like a collie. You have to admit, that coat of fur is lush.


Contemporary Troubadour August 30, 2011 at 6:21 pm

You should see the freakshow we’ve been putting on over here on different “food challenge” days (the elimination diet continues until the third week of September). We’ve had to get creative to make some of the test foods work as a breakfast item. Eggplant with your morning coffee? Oh right. We’re not allowed coffee.

Anyway. Salad at 6 a.m. — I ain’t judgin’ :). And cottage cheese on top sounds perfectly fine to me. Not all that different from chunky blue cheese dressing in texture, no?


TKW August 30, 2011 at 7:14 pm


I am counting down to when the elimination diet is over. Gimme results. A big fat goodie basket is coming your way. I love you.


SuziCate August 30, 2011 at 7:16 pm

I eat weird food for breakfast, too. Never have been a typical breakfast eater, more of a leftover eater, and that includes salad from the night before!


pamela August 30, 2011 at 7:38 pm

Yum. I make smoothies now for breakfast with carob powder and spinach. That’s probably weird too, huh.


Kate August 30, 2011 at 8:44 pm

Cottage cheese is awesome. But I haven’t tried it on salad. Actually, I don’t like any dairy on my salad. But my grandma would cover her salad (even at a restaurant!) with plain homemade yogurt.

I’m lame at breakfast. Though I eat my cereal with yogurt instead of milk. that gets gags sometimes. Right now I’m making eggs and sausage to fill a little belly going to school, but I cannot stomach them first thing. Even bacon. (Forgive me!)


TKW August 30, 2011 at 11:40 pm


Whaa? No bacon? That is salty, tasty piglet! But yes, I forgive you. Oh, wait. You said you don’t like dairy on your salad? Does that mean you aren’t on Team Feta? We must talk, girlfriend.


Shelley August 31, 2011 at 2:56 am

Not having a sweet tooth means I never want donuts or pastries for breakfast. They do my tummy in. Cottage cheese of course goes with salad not with fruit. I kind of think cottage cheese and fruit sounds pretty gross, actually. I love cottage cheese with salt and pepper (only eat pepper on this and on fried eggs, nothing else) and lemon juice – a great snack! Eating breakfast is a healthy habit. Eating salad is also healthy, why not a breakfast salad?


TKW August 31, 2011 at 9:11 am


I knew I liked you. Cottage cheese with fruit completely gives me the willies.


Tiffany August 31, 2011 at 6:01 am

I use cottage cheese as my “dressing” all the time—it’s delicious especially like you said with the pepper and salt. And I usually eat lunch around 10 since I’m up so freaking early so I guess that could count as breakfast, right?


TKW August 31, 2011 at 9:14 am

Tiff and Amber,

I’m in the early morning club, too. Sigh.


Amber August 31, 2011 at 6:21 am

Roles are reversed in our house–Ben loves to eat irregular things for breakfast. I’m the one gagging.

But I will admit to one thing–after 10 am I usually crave salty things: sandwich, salad, and soup. So I suppose I could be in your camp if eating after 10 am counts.

Cottage cheese has always been a salty affair for me. I grew up eating it with tomatoes so when I saw other people putting fruit in it, ewwwww! That’s not how it’s supposed to be eaten!!!

(I just read Elastamom’s comment and am laughing because the similarities. )


Kelly August 31, 2011 at 6:25 am

You had me until cottage cheese. My throat closed up as a read that. However, I’m going to try salad for breakfast. I struggle with breakfast because — like you — I don’t want traditional breakfast foods and I’m limiting carbs so breads or cereals are out. I’m going to do salad (my favorite meal) and see if that’s the magic solution! (I’ll take a squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of olive oil, thanks.)


TKW August 31, 2011 at 9:13 am


A lot of people have that closed throat reaction to cottage cheese. I’ve always loved it. Loved! Weird, I know.


Tinne from T and T August 31, 2011 at 7:03 am

You are not weird! You are exotic! In Turkey, Hungary and such countries people eat salad for breakfast all the time. You haven’t lived until you had a piece of fresh feta with olives and cucumber for breakfast!
The one thing I could eat every single day is frangipane croissant. Those are little pieces of heaven for my tastebuds but unfortunately they are little devils for my ass-size, so I limit the consumption.

The commenter formerly know as From Belgium


TKW August 31, 2011 at 9:15 am


When I vacationed in Greece, I ate that exact same breakfast! It was heaven.


Stephane August 31, 2011 at 9:33 am

No dressing for your salad reminds me of my no-condiments-please friend. She avoids ALL condiments without discrimination and loves to order herself a Caesar salad–croutons only, no dressing. Yup, that’s right: romaine lettuce and croutons. I don’t think she even adds salt or pepper. And she won’t do any kind of sauce (they’re condiments), either, so I’m thinking she wouldn’t go the cottage cheese route as it’s too creamy. I started eating salads regularly–almost exclusively–a year ago when this peri-menopause sh!t kicked into high gear; salads and big bowls of steamed vegetables. It never occurred to me to consider salad for breakfast, though. . . Good idea!

Um. . . what’s the deal with *your* hair?


Gale @ Ten Dollar Thoughts August 31, 2011 at 9:55 am

Anything that is a vehicle for avocado and cottage cheese is a winner in my book!


Katybeth August 31, 2011 at 10:05 am

When I was on the dog show circuit–the handler I travelled with would insist on stopping at Denny’s every day for morning salad. She said it made her feel great. I had pancakes. This morning ,I had a bowl of the worlds best pop-corn for breakfast. People keep talking about Greek Yogurt being the new “oatmeal” for breakfast–not for me though. Not crazy about yogurt and loathe oatmeal. Although the yogurt parfait from McDonalds is very good.
I would love to have my fridge organized like your fridge. It would make fixing thing so much easier.


Privilege of Parenting August 31, 2011 at 10:51 am

Salad for Breaky sounds nice to me, but I must admit I do love breakfast for dinner, especially if french-fries (which are a breakfast, lunch and dinner possibility, but not for clear-skin smiles, I suppose) and a little whiskey are added (but not, for breakfast, there I do draw the line).

Anyway, wishing you some salad days and healing wishes all around


Liz @ PeaceLoveGuac August 31, 2011 at 11:57 am

This cottage-cheese-as-dressing bit is kinda rocking my world right now. I have never ever heard of this, but am trying it SOON!

Whenever I do the wacky meals for breakfast, they must be cold. No exceptions…Cold pizza, cold chicken. The other day I had COLD beef fajitas for breakfast. What the hell?


Meister @ The Nervous Cook August 31, 2011 at 12:09 pm

Ain’t nothing in the world wrong with breakfast salad! Or breakfast dinner-leftovers, for that matter: I’m so into leftovers that I’ll eat them whenever possible (which is usually for lunch and almost always cold).

I say good on you for starting your day however the heck you want.


unicorn August 31, 2011 at 12:19 pm

BACON BITS OPTIONAL? Excuse Yourself! That’s blasphemy right there missy. Right. There.

Pshaw. Food Group!

The tupperware with the bacon goes on top in the fridge. Got it? Start there. Everytime.


C @ Kid Things August 31, 2011 at 6:18 pm

I pretty much never eat breakfast. I’m much more of a lunch kind of girl. As for the salad, the cottage cheese makes it sound… interesting. I like cottage cheese, but… hmm.


Salad in a Jar August 31, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Why do I love yogurt and not cottage cheese? Now we know how you stay so slender.


Myca September 1, 2011 at 5:32 am

A very healthy salad! love to try it on..


Anna Johnston September 1, 2011 at 6:45 am

Well that just looks so darn good, although, not sure I could do it for breakfast. I’m intrigued though. It sounds delicious. I know I should eat this kind of food, but I am obsessed with eggs, perhaps a poached egg on top of your weirdo salad?


TKW September 2, 2011 at 5:04 am


Poached eggs on salad is a very French thing to do! Delicious, too! Thanks for stopping by!


PIper@ GotItCookIt September 1, 2011 at 11:38 am

I love reading this… laughing because I just ate a crazy salad at 11am. Hey, I had my yoghurt with Chipotle Nectarine Jam hours ago… I need yummy savory salad for my ‘elevensies”. My salad used leftover Summer Puttanesca Sauce (think chimichurri) on spinach, croutons and tomatoes. I will try yours tomorrow!!!


TKW September 2, 2011 at 5:05 am


Chipotle Nectarine jam?? I must know details!


blueviolet September 1, 2011 at 3:41 pm

That is SO my kind of salad, and I actually hate salad dressing so I use cottage cheese in place of it a lot!~


bryan September 1, 2011 at 4:55 pm

I like your freakshow breakfast! I can have any number of freakshow meals for my morning break, Jalapeno chips are the same as hashbrowns right? and any number of leftovers can land on my plate.


tara September 1, 2011 at 8:13 pm

i love salad for breakfast! add me to your freak show. i had quinoa with grilled beets, kidney beans, kalamata olives, fresh basil, artichoke hearts over green leaf just this am, well, and yesterday am too, and well i ate the same for lunch yesterday too. i put a little extra virgin olive oil and sea salt on. i don’t eat dairy, haven’t for 20 years, makes me sick, sick, sick. but you go with your cottage cheese, it’s so sculptural.


TKW September 2, 2011 at 5:07 am


What an interesting salad! I can’t do quinoa, though. Even when I rinse it, it tastes soapy to me. I want to like it, though. It’s so good for you…

Thanks for stopping by!


Cathy September 2, 2011 at 4:40 pm

I love real food for breakfast – leftover beef stroganoff or leftover spaghetti are two favorites. I think your spot on with the hospital food creating desire for fresh. It reminds me of when I go to Vegas every year and live on greasy diner or fast food with the occasional splurge of a good steak thrown in there. But I come home and just crave salad for days…

I can’t do cottage cheese though – texture thing – gag!


Dana September 2, 2011 at 8:10 pm

I tend to play on the non-breakfast goods for breakfast side of the fence too. I’m going to have to try out the cottage cheese on salad, it sounds like a good idea!


Mary Lee September 3, 2011 at 7:18 am

A slice of toast is as much effort as I want to expend on breakfast, but I would SOOOO love this if I had someone else to open all those containers and then put them away again for me. Can’t believe your hubby isn’t all over that!


TKW September 3, 2011 at 11:00 am

Mary Lee,

I will happily make you freakshow breakfast salad. Any day, any time. Make sure you bring DB along, too, although he may prefer a different repast. He’s so charming that we’ll forgive him.


Lanita September 3, 2011 at 4:46 pm

I just found out today is National Bacon Day. Who knew it had it’s own day?


camilla September 4, 2011 at 1:36 am

I am loving you choice of salad, especially with the cottage cheese but I’m not sure I would eat it for breakfast. I’m more of a chilli with poached eggs gal…Ooooh I love chilli and eggs in the morning on buttery toast.


faemom September 4, 2011 at 11:34 pm

It’s odd. I’ll give you that. But at least it’s healthy. It makes me want to havew my strawberry apple salsa for breakfast. But too much chopping for a morning affair.

I’m rarely in the mood for meat in the morning. If we’re out, I’ll crave ham because I used to live with a man who believed pigs were filthy. (Weird, right?) Or I’ll do sausage dipped in syrup. (Weird, right?) Now the boys are into dipping sausage into syrup. (The best things about kids is you get to teach them to hate the things you hate.-Homer)


elizabeth September 5, 2011 at 9:40 am

Honestly, the only freaky thing in there is the cottage cheese, because I loathe cottage cheese. I’d top all of that with ricotta (aka cheese of the gods).


Heather September 5, 2011 at 7:44 pm

Ok… I know I’m a little late to this party. I’m all on board for the leftover pizza for breakfast. It has my name written all over it. Salad for breakfast??? Not so much. My honey makes omelets that have pretty much everything but the kitchen sink in it. I eat my Kix or egg/sausage/english muffin at the opposite end of the table in quiet. Dude, she works up an amazing Chai Latte and I wouldn’t want to piss her off and risk losing that!!! I know which side my bread is buttered on ;)


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