Long-hailed the “most important meal of the day,” breakfast has been a topic of recent research and debate, with some studies challenging the purported health benefits of eating breakfast and others ardently supporting them.
Either way, a nutritious, balanced diet is both energizing and satisfying, and these global morning meal favorites make delicious dishes anytime, day or night.
Shake things up at the breakfast, lunch or dinner table with these recipes from around the world.
Developed by Brandi Thompson, RDN, LDN
Flavors of the Middle Eastern falafel turn whole-wheat Belgian waffles into a suppertime spread that can be served sweet or savory. Drizzle with pomegranate sauce, or top with tahini and chopped vegetables such as cucumber, onion, carrot and cabbage.
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup fat-free Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups fat-free milk
2 cups whole-wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons pomegranate juice
½ cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons corn starch
- Heat waffle iron to medium-high heat.
- Combine chickpeas, yogurt, cumin, lemon juice, cinnamon, sea salt and milk in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
- In a medium-size bowl, combine flour and baking powder and blend until mixed. Pour chickpea mixture into flour mixture and stir until combined.
- Spray heated waffle iron with spray oil and add batter.
- Cook waffle until brown. Serve with honey and a side salad of grapefruit wedges mixed with pomegranate seeds, bananas and grapes — or serve with pomegranate syrup.
- To make syrup, bring ½ cup pomegranate juice and maple syrup to a slow boil. In a small cup, blend 2 tablespoons pomegranate juice with corn starch. Add to boiling mixture and stir together well. Let boil for 1 minute or until thickened.
Serving Size: One 5½-ounce waffle (without syrup)
Calories: 255, Total fat: 3g; Saturated fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 4mg; Sodium 805mg; Carbohydrates: 45g; Fiber 8g; Sugars 6g; Protein: 16g; Potassium: 452mg; Phosphorus: 370mg
Serving size: 2 tablespoons syrup
Calories: 65, Total fat: 0g; Saturated fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 4mg; Carbohydrates: 17g; Fiber: 0g; Sugars: 16g; Protein: 0g; Potassium: 84mg; Phosphorus: 3mg
Based in Boca Raton, Fla., Brandi Thompson, RDN, LDN, is a Stone Soup blogger and author of AmericasDietitian.com.
Bircher Müesli Parfait
Developed by Jessie Erwin, RD, LDN
Hailing from Switzerland’s whole foods advocate Maximilian Bircher-Benner, this popular dish embodies the region’s appreciation of health and delicious food. While the original recipe called for evaporated milk and lemon juice, this version includes reduced-fat Greek yogurt and plenty of fruit and oats.
½ cup reduced-fat Greek yogurt
½ cup fat-free milk
¼ cup rolled oats
- In a small bowl, combine yogurt, milk and oats. Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge to allow oats to soak overnight.
- In the morning, remove from fridge and add fruit or nuts. Serve immediately.
- Parfait variation: In a tall glass, layer soaked Bircher müesli with nuts and colorful fruit such as chopped apple, sliced banana or chopped pineapple.
Serving Size: 1 cup
Calories 270, Total fat: 5g; Saturated fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 10mg; Sodium: 103mg; Carbohydrates: 36g; Fiber: 4g; Sugars: 10g; Protein: 20g; Potassium: N/A*; Phosphorus: N/A*
* Reliable values for reduced-fat Greek yogurt were not found.
Jessie Erwin, RD, LDN, is a nutrition consultant in Salem, Ore. She is a Stone Soup blogger and author of thehappinessinhealth.com
Baked Salmon Cakes and Grits
Developed by Marisa Moore, MBA, RDN, LD
A play on the traditional Southern fish and grits breakfast, this dish is packed with aromatic vegetables, baked instead of fried, and takes flavor to the next level with smoked Gouda cheese.
2 6-ounce cans skinless and boneless salmon, drained (or 1½ cup cooked salmon)
½ cup onion, finely diced
½ cup red bell pepper, finely diced
½ cup celery, finely diced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ cup panko bread crumbs
2 eggs (or egg whites), lightly beaten
Olive oil spray
Smoked Gouda Grits
2 cups water
1 cup low-fat milk
1 cup quick-cooking grits (not instant)
¼ teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup smoked Gouda cheese, shredded (loosely packed, about 4 ounces)
½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and mist a baking sheet with spray oil.
- In a medium bowl, flake the salmon. Add all remaining ingredients. Mix well. Divide the mixture into 8 equal parts (about ¾ cup each) and shape into eight 3-inch cakes.
- Place cakes on the baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes on each side, until golden brown.
- To prepare the grits, boil the water, milk and salt in a medium pot. Whisk in the grits, eliminating any lumps.
- Allow to return to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until grits are creamy and tender (about 20 minutes).
- Remove the pot from the heat. Whisk in the cheese and garlic powder.
- Cooking grits on high heat for too little time or without enough liquid yields coarse grits. Think low and slow to achieve creamy, delicious grits every time.
Serving Size: Two salmon cakes and ¾ cup grits
Calories: 552; Total fat: 18g; Saturated fat: 8g; Cholesterol: 185mg; Sodium: 1539mg*; Carbohydrates: 56g; Fiber: 4g; Sugars: 6g; Protein: 42g; Potassium: 629mg; Phosphorus: 558mg
* Analysis used generic canned salmon. Sodium content may vary by brand.
Marisa Moore, MBA, RDN, LD, is a nutrition consultant based in Atlanta and adjunct faculty at Georgia State University.
Developed by Lisa Samuel, MBA, RDN, and McKenzie Hall, RDN
Arabic for “a mixture,” shakshuka is a popular dish in northern Africa and Israel — consisting of eggs poached in tomato and eggplant sauce and typically served in a tagine or cast-iron pan with bread to soak up the sauce.
1 eggplant, cut in large cubes (about 1 inch)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
1 large onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, cut in large dice
1 freshly-diced spicy pepper, or pinch of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon coriander seed, toasted and ground
1 teaspoon cumin seed, toasted and ground
1⁄4 teaspoon cardamom, toasted and ground
1 28-ounce can whole San Marzano tomatoes
1 cup water
6 ounces goat cheese, cut into 6 discs
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
- Heat large heavy-bottom skillet (not cast iron) over medium-high heat. Place eggplant in a large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and toss. Add second tablespoon of olive oil and toss again. Add ½ teaspoon of salt and toss. Cook eggplant 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender and very browned. Remove eggplant and return to bowl.
- Reduce heat to medium-low. Add another 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet. Add onion, garlic and other ½ teaspoon of salt, cooking until onions are translucent.
- Add red bell pepper and spicy pepper, cooking another 3-4 minutes or until peppers begin to soften.
- Crush the whole canned tomatoes with your hands, breaking them into large pieces. Add tomatoes with the juice, all the spices, reserved eggplant and water. Taste for seasoning and add additional salt if necessary.
- Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Cook at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until shakshuka is thick and flavorful (it should be the consistency of a thin pasta sauce).
- Break each egg into a small bowl or ramekin and then slide into the sauce. Add goat cheese.
- Cover shakshuka and simmer about 10 minutes or until whites of eggs are set and egg yolk is almost cooked through. Sprinkle with parsley.
- Serve with whole-wheat pita or bread for soaking up the sauce.
Serving Size: 1 cup sauce, 1 egg and 1 ounce goat cheese
Calories: 297; Total fat: 21g; Saturated fat: 8g; Cholesterol: 208mg; Sodium: 751mg; Carbohydrates: 15g; Fiber: 5g; Sugars: 8g; Protein: 15g; Potassium: 644mg; Phosphorus: 267mg
Lisa Samuel, MBA, RDN, and McKenzie Hall, RDN, are Stone Soup bloggers and authors of nourishrds.blogspot.com.
Developed by Amari Thomsen
With a name meaning “what you like,” these Japanese savory pancakes can be prepared in a number of ways. This vegetarian version uses gluten-free oat flour mixed with vegetables and fried in small batches to form tasty, nutrient-dense fritters.
3 cups green cabbage, shredded
1 cup zucchini, shredded
1 cup carrots, shredded
2 green onions, sliced
1 cup oat flour
3⁄4 cup water
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon peanut oil, divided
¼ cup ketchup
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1½ teaspoons coconut aminos (or reduced-sodium soy sauce)
½ teaspoon ground ginger
3 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 green onions, sliced
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- In a large bowl, combine cabbage, zucchini, carrots and green onions.
- In a medium bowl, whisk egg, water, salt, pepper flakes and oat flour.
- Pour batter over shredded vegetables and toss to combine.
- In a large skillet heat 1 teaspoon peanut oil over medium-high heat, working in batches.
- Spoon pancake batter into pan (a heaping 1⁄3 cup), flattening with a spatula to create 3-inch round pancakes. Cook for 3-5 minutes on each side until golden brown.
- To make sauce, whisk ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, rice vinegar, honey, coconut aminos (or soy sauce) and ginger in a small saucepan.
- Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 3-5 minutes until smooth and thick.
- To assemble, drizzle pancake with mayonnaise and okonomiyaki sauce. Sprinkle with green onions and sesame seeds.
Serving Size: Two 2-ounce pancakes, 2¼ teaspoons mayonnaise and 1½ teaspoons sauce
Calories: 262, Total fat: 12g; Saturated fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 50mg; Sodium: 587mg; Carbohydrates: 33g; Fiber: 5g; Sugars: 13g; Protein: 7g; Potassium: 629mg; Phosphorus: 189mg
Amari Thomsen, MS, RD, is a Stone Soup blogger and founder of Eat Chic Chicago.