“Throw an egg on it and call it breakfast.” This has become a mantra of sorts in our house. It’s the way we make delicious breakfasts that are quick enough for early work day mornings and delicious enough for a weekend brunch.
So what does this mean exactly? It’s just how it sounds. We get up, select some leftovers from inside the fridge, and then throw an egg on it and call it breakfast. It’s why we always make more meat than we need for dinner, and why I like to roast extra veggies at the start of the week.
Chopped leftover steak and roasted vegetables topped with a couple of eggs is an insanely delicious and incredibly filling breakfast that I can put together in (literally) two minutes before I head to work in the morning, heat up at the office and eat at my desk.
So why am I sharing this mantra on the blog? Because I think breakfast is often the most challenging meal for people transitioning from a standard American diet to a paleo diet, and I want to show just how simple breakfast can be! It doesn’t have to be time-consuming or complicated to make a delicious, nutritious breakfast every day of the week!
Before I began my paleo lifestyle, breakfast was always one of a few staples: egg sandwich with sliced American cheese on an English muffin; cereal with milk; bagel and cream cheese; or an English muffin with peanut butter. Notice the trend? Yup, pretty much everything I used to eat for breakfast is not even close to paleo-friendly, filled with refined grains, processed dairy and other stuff I try to keep off my plate nowadays.
Naturally, when I decided to try paleo, I was at a loss when it came to breakfast. The things I had been eating were easy to make, quick to eat, and perfect for downing in my car on the way to work. I viewed paleo breakfast options as complicated, and felt completely overwhelmed.
I imagine lots of people beginning a paleo lifestyle feel the same way. But I’ve got good news for all you soon-to-be-paleo peeps: it doesn’t have to be that complicated! In fact, I find breakfast quicker to make these days than even when I was simply toasting a bagel or English muffin.
Here are my top tips for making paleo-friendly breakfasts simple:
- Throw an egg on it and call it breakfast: As I said earlier, this is kind of our household mantra when it comes to making breakfast. But in order for this to be possible, you’ve got to do some prep work. The easiest way to do this is to simply make more meat and more veggies than you need a few nights a week. If you’re making burgers, baking chicken thighs or braising pulled pork or beef, make some extra to keep in your fridge. When you’re roasting potatoes, Brussels sprouts or other veggies, roast a ton and hang on to the leftovers. In the morning, simply add some chopped meat and veggies to a pan with some grass-fed butter, heat them up, and top with a couple fried eggs.
- Make egg muffins: Egg muffins are simple to make, can be stored in the fridge for a week, and are the perfect on-the-go breakfast. Basically just mini frittatas, egg muffins pack in tons of protein, healthy fats and veggies, and can be made with all kinds of fillings. To make a dozen, simply whisk 10 eggs with a bit of coconut milk and then add cooked meat and veggies of your choosing. I like to do some chopped ham, peppers and broccoli. Add cheese if you can tolerate it and mix to combine. Line a muffin tin with foil liners (or use ham slices to line the tin for an extra protein punch), pour in the egg mixture and bake at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes. These egg muffins let you cook once and eat all week! Bring an egg muffin or two in the car for an easy and healthy on-the-go breakfast!
- Pack your freezer with heat-and-serve meals: While a standard egg sandwich is off the menu for paleo-friendly breakfast, it doesn’t mean you can’t bring your eggs to go! Make a batch or two of simple paleo biscuits or tortillas on the weekend, cook up some eggs, sausage, bacon and other fillings, and then assemble a bunch of egg sandwiches and/or burritos! Wrap these in plastic wrap and tinfoil and pop them in the freezer. Take one out to thaw by morning before you go to sleep at night, or simply take them from the freezer to the microwave for a quick, delicious breakfast that takes minutes to prepare in the morning.
- Make a better smoothie: Smoothies are a delicious and incredibly easy way to get in some calories in the morning. But they can often also be a sneaky sugar bomb. Add the wrong protein powder or too much fruit, and you’ve got a meal that may leave you heading for a sugar crash after just a couple of hours. So how do you make a better smoothie? Don’t be afraid to add veggies, use healthy fats and choose better protein. Try blending ice, coconut milk, a banana, avocado, kale or other greens with some grass-fed whey protein or egg white protein (click here for a look at some paleo-friendly protein options). You could also add some gelatin for a joint- and gut-health boost or some nut butter for added protein, fat and flavor.
- Don’t be afraid to eat outside the box: Breakfast doesn’t have to actually consist of traditional breakfast foods. If you’re happy eating some dinner leftovers, making some soup with bone broth, meat and veggies, or even just rolling up some good deli meat with lettuce and avocado, then do it! The breakfast police aren’t waiting around the corner to slap that soup spoon out of your hand.
Breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day. I find that when I eat a healthy, filling breakfast I make much better food choices throughout the rest of the day, and am able to better concentrate on work and other items on my to-do list.
What are your favorite simple, paleo breakfasts? Share your best tips in the comment section!