Nutrition and Fitness with Randa

Breakfast Doesn’t Have to be Pancakes

Arabic Breakfast

Growing up and traveling in the Middle East, I have learned that breakfast does not have to consist of pancakes, eggs and cereal. Some of my favorite Arabic breakfast choices are fresh cucumbers andย  tomatoes, paired with olives and haloumi cheese or labneh, and warm arabic bread.

I love this tantalizing description of classic favorites for breakfast in the Arab world:

"Fragrant stacks of freshly baked flat bread assail the nostrils when the napkin is lifted. Surrounding the loaves are small bowls of salty, white goat cheese, glistening black and green olives, and labnah, a thick cream cheese made by draining yogurt through cheesecloth, and then drizzled with olive oil.

A breakfast in Lebanon is likely to consist of arous labnah, rolled sandwiches of flat Arab bread filled with labnah, along with whatever the eater chooses of olives, tomato and mint. Or pieces can be torn off the bread and dipped in za'tar, a mixture of thyme, salt, sumac and sesame seeds. If there is a bakery nearby, manoushah can be delivered, hot and oily, with za'tar, already baked on top of the bread. At the same time, from the baker y, it is a temptation to buy laham bi 'ajin, a sort of pizza made with minced meat, tomatoes, and onions sprinkled with spices, parsley, and pine nuts."

We had guests for dinner last night, and when I opened the fridge this morning, the leftover grilled chicken and red quinoa salad sounded much more inviting than a bowl of oatmeal! Who says you can't eat chicken for breakfast? (Check out my blog post titled: Chicken for Breakfast?) Think outside the box when it comes to breakfast - if steak sounds good to you, eat a steak!

Black Bean, Roasted Corn & Avocado Salad with Quinoa (recipe from Trader Joes)

Red Quinoa salad for breakfast

  • 1 Cup Quinoa (or red Quinoa) , cooked with broth
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1-15. oz. can black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 avocados, cutinto 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup red onion, finely diced
  • 3/4 cup Cilantro Salad Dressing (or use a Balsamic Vinaigrette)
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • sea salt and pepper

Cook quinoa according to package directions. While quinoa is cooking, combine beans, corn, avocado, tomatoes and onion. Top with salad dressing and toss gently. Add salt, pepper and lime zest to taste. Add 1/2 of cilantro and toss gently.

When quinoa is cooked, toss with olive oil. Set aside to cool. When ready to serve, combine quinoa with corn and bean mixture and garnish with remaining cilantro.

If you don't eat chicken, top with sauteed tofu (watch my video post on how to make tasty tofu), or top a bed of greens with this wonderfully health quinoa salad.

Do you have a "breakfast outside the box" idea? Leave a comment!

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  1. when I was growing up steak tartare was a treat for breakfast in my home, and while there are many recipes for this my parents had a basic recipe….it consisted simply of ground filet steak or any top quality meat, about a 1/2lb, (you cannot use ground chuck) the meat is also finely ground.. mix this with one egg, salt/pepper, and finely chopped onions… a portion on any good bakery roll or some great bakery bread, top with capers and enjoy!!! if you have a favorite bread of your own that’s also fine. I wouldn’t recommend white bread.. you want the bread to enhance the flavor of this delicacy…..

  2. Oooh, sounds fancy, Rita! What part of the world does this come from? Thanks for sharing.

  3. Has to be of European influence…..

  4. Yuummm….I looove middle eastern food!! And the TJ’s quinoa recipe looks wonderful as well ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m making quinoa and white bean patties for dinner. Trying to find ways to incorporate it in different ways because my family doesn’t always like the texture. If they turn out okay I’ll pass on my concoction in the quinoa post ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Look forward to it – thanks!

  6. I used to have people laugh at me for eating various Korean soups and rice for breakfast. These people would say, “Who eats rice for breakfast?” I’d say, “Only 1/2 the world!” I can post some recipes, but I don’t know if you’d be able to purchase everything without an Asian/Korean store…

  7. : ) That’s great. Yes! Post some recipes – I know we have some asian stores here, so I would love to try them. Thanks, Mary!

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