New Year’s Freakshow Trend: Breakfast Salad

January 7, 2016



When it comes to trends in food and cooking, I’m an odd bird. I’m always interested in what’s “new” or “hot” in the food world, and I enjoy reading about those trends, but I’m rarely tempted to jump on the bandwagon myself. I think the trends get old pretty fast, and people go way overboard and trend the Hell out of something until I can’t even stand the mention of it anymore.

Case in point: last year’s biggest trenders–kale, quinoa and avocado toast. I couldn’t open a magazine or crack a cookbook without a bowlful of kale smacking me in the face, or being assaulted by another quinoa salad. And why does every Food Network star have a recipe for avocado freaking toast? I mean, it’s avocado and toast! Who needs a recipe? Apparently, anyone who watches the Food Network, because last week, Bobby Flay made three different kinds of avocado toast for brunch. Yeesh.

As for 2016, the year is just in its wee beginning, but I’m seeing some trends already. Pomegranates and sweet potatoes are huge, and the green juice obsession is still running strong (alas). But if I had to make my guess, I’d say that 2016 is going to be the Year of the Power Bowl.

What’s a power bowl, you ask? Good question.

While there are about a million variations and recipes out there, the components of a power bowl are pretty basic: whole grain, protein, vegetable, herb, and healthy fat. Layer all of those components in a bowl and viola! You have a vitamin packed, healthy meal.

Pick a cooked whole grain: quinoa, barley, bulgur, brown or black rice, farro, whole grain orzo or other pasta

Pick a serving of protein: beans, lentils, chickpeas, tofu, lean meat, seafood, hard-cooked egg

Load up on veggies: any, really and preferably a couple of serving’s worth

Sprinkle on an herb: basil, parsley, cilantro, dill, tarragon

Add a tiny smidge of a healthy fat: olive oil, soft cheese like feta/goat, a scoop of Greek yogurt or hummus, toasted nuts or seeds, chunks of avocado

Boom! Power bowl.

I’m seeing them everywhere, and if I admit it, I think it’s a pretty easy way to plan a meal. Just rotate those basic components in some form and you’re good to go.

This month’s issue of Cooking Light took the concept of a power bowl and turned it into something I hadn’t seen before (but I’m sure I’ll see more of before the year is through)–the power bowl, breakfast edition. When I think “power bowl,” I usually think of a lunch you pack from home or a quick dinner. I hadn’t considered it for breakfast, really. Most people are too rushed in the morning to consider something this complicated for breakfast, I think, but I guess if you’ve got the time, why not?

I was skimming the article when all of the sudden, a little box in the corner caught my eye. It read: Make a Breakfast Salad.


Folks, I am a vanguard and a genius!!! Because didn’t I, on this very blog, share a recipe for this Freakshow Breakfast Salad five years ago? Yes, I did. And while I shared the recipe mainly as an illustration of how completely weirdo I am about breakfast, maybe I’m not such a freakazoid after all! In fact, I’m a trendsetter, y’all. Haha!

But enough bragging.

One of the salad breakfasts featured in the Cooking Light caught my eye because a) it sounded weird and b) it had things in it I truly love–avocado, salty pig product (proscuitto) and grapefruit. I do love those things but let me tell you, I’d never considered combining them together. Since it’s no secret that I love trying the weird, I added the recipe to my meal plan for the week and headed out to the grocery store.

I cheated a little. I had this salad for lunch first. I wasn’t quite sure it was going to fly for breakfast, frankly, so I thought I’d road test it at lunch. My husband walked by as I was assembling this salad and said, “Hey, that looks like a yummy, healthy salad. Is that for me?”

“No,” I said, eyeing my salad jealously.

“Oh. Umm. Can you make one for me?”

“Okay,” I sighed. Dang, I hate sharing my salty pig product. But I love the man, so what could I do?

“You hate grapefruit, though,” I said.

“Oh yeah. There’s that. Leave out the grapefruit part, please.”

I did leave the grapefruit out of his, and I made a few little modifications to the original recipe–I thought more salty pork product was necessary and I also thought the original recipe needed a little something extra to give it oomph, like creamy/salty cheese or toasted nuts. Or both.

We both munched our salads contentedly and felt quite healthy and virtuous. I have yet to try it for breakfast–school just started again for the Minxes and mornings are just too frantic for breakfast salad, but I’ll keep you posted. This weirdo salad lover is definitely trying it for breakfast.




Grapefruit, Avocado and Prosciutto Breakfast Salad

serves 1

slightly adapted from Cooking Light magazine


1 small ruby red grapefruit, preferably from Texas

3/4 teaspoon dark sesame oil

dash of salt and pepper

1 cup baby arugula or microgreens

1/3 ripe peeled avocado, thinly sliced

2 thin slices prosciutto

1 tablespoon toasted nuts (I like walnuts, especially)

optional: 1 tablespoon goat, feta or bleu cheese


Peel grapefruit and cut along the membranes into thin slices (do this over a bowl so you catch all of the juices). Squeeze the membranes to extract extra juice. Set sections aside.

Add oil, salt and pepper to juice in the bowl and whisk.

Add greens to the dressing and toss. Top salad with grapefruit, avocado slices, prosciutto and nuts/cheese.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Arnebya January 7, 2016 at 10:41 am

I’m never one for full-on trend following, BUT I love to find new recipes and adapt them. I LOOOOOOOOOOOVE pink grapefruit, man. Here’s a quirk: I don’t like chickpeas but I like hummus. WHAT? I adore quinoa and there’s a Betty Crocker one with almonds and cranberries and this easy to make little dressing that’s sort of sweet and ranchy and omg it’s one of those things that we try to give the kids only a bit of it because we want it so much for ourselves. Avocado toast doesn’t appeal to me, but I will eat the hell out of a plain old avocado by itself, or with tomatoes. You’re getting me hungry, as usual.

How in the hell do you cook bulgur? Also, there’s spelt (I think? I can’t remember) in my cupboard but it’s been sitting because no clue and no interest in looking it up.


Dana Talusani January 10, 2016 at 11:40 am

Arnebya, I don’t like chickpeas and I love hummus, also? Isn’t that weird? Bulgur is super easy. Pour boiling water over it, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, set aside for about 40 minutes and viola! It depends on how coarsely ground it is re: time and ratio of bulgur to water, but that’s a rough guide.


Lisa @ The Meaning of Me January 7, 2016 at 6:22 pm

That looks so good. Now I want one.


Annie January 7, 2016 at 9:38 pm

More salty pig product is always necessary.

This is definitely a salad I could do for breakfast. Avocado toast is one of my favorite “too strung out to make breakfast” breakfasts. However I’m with you- does the world really need a recipe beyond the admonition to use good salt and fresh pepper? They’ve jumped the shark on that one.


elizabeth January 8, 2016 at 5:27 am

Ha! Look at you, you pioneer! What’s funny is that bowls have apparently been big in the restaurant world last year (especially in New York) because my favorite curmudgeonly critic has declared that he’s over the bowl craze:

I bet if you took out the grapefruit and added a poached egg this would also be delicious–I’m filing this one away for when it’s late winter and I want to pretend spring is really almost here and I want a light dinner that reflects my delusions.

Also, color me completely unsurprised that avocado toasts are all over the Food Network, because Alton Brown came out with his years ago (and it’s pretty good as it includes sardines and a nice dressing so there’s something to it) and of course the rest of the network *would* take five or six years to finally catch up to any trend.


Bianca January 8, 2016 at 7:59 am

Thank you! I feel vindicated. I’ve been having salad for breakfast for years, and getting really strange looks and comments about it. I put together a large, variety salad and spend hours just nibbling away on it. No lunch hour sugar drop for me! And it gives me a little leeway for possible dietary splurging later in the day if I want. AND it tastes great!


Biz January 8, 2016 at 1:46 pm

You had me at salty pig product!! This is right up my alley – I love grapefruit and the fact that I can make a dressing out of the juice?! Genius.

But then again, you were the FIRST genius :D

Happy Friday my friend!


Kim K January 8, 2016 at 9:11 pm

This looks amazing! Grapefruit and avocado is one of my favorite combinations. I hadn’t heard of the salad for breakfast trend, but I’m going to give it a whirl!


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