Breakfast can be a polarizing meal. You’ve got your bacon-egg-and-cheese on a roll people, your avocado toast millennials, your cereal regulars, and your smoothie bowl types. Some folks need only a couple of hard-boiled eggs to start their days, and some can’t live without a donut. Many of us, in fact, get stuck in a routine.
My breakfast of choice is a yogurt-fruit smoothie, but I wanted to mix it up with some protein-forward breakfasts that don’t require turning on a stove (i.e.: no eggs). Upon learning that Pinterest was brimming with such ideas, I spent some time seeking inspiration, testing some of the most promising-looking recipes, and coming up with a few new morning go-tos—both for fast weekday mornings and leisurely weekend brunches.
White Bean Spread Avocado Toast
I’ve recently been doing The Avocado Toast thing, but have almost always been adding mozzarella, Parmesan, a fried egg (on weekends) or any other sort of handy protein. Those are all tasty options, but I don’t think any of them were as good as this lemony, garlicky white bean spread sporting a few slices of avocado on top, from Love & Lemons. White beans, lemon, garlic and olive oil are a classic combo, and this spread requires zero cooking—just five minutes with the food processor. If you can handle the idea of a bit of garlic and olive oil first thing in the morning, as I can, this is a fabulous dip to have in the fridge to spread quickly on toasted bread. (Note: Always rinse canned beans of the sludge they’re packed with before eating them.)
Egg-Free Breakfast Sandwich
A good breakfast sandwich is a feat of architecture as much as it is taste. You’ve got to have fresh elements, a sauciness, some smokiness, and properly toasted bread, all in the right order. How good does this vegan one by Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes look? I have my eye on it for an eggless weekend morning. I don’t think I’d miss the eggs, which would be, on its own, a breakfast miracle.
Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas with Avocado
You know what comes really close to omelets, chilaquiles, and breakfast burritos in terms of killer flavors? These black bean and corn quesadillas from Tastes Better From Scratch. Why not have a quesadilla for breakfast? Make it the night before, heat it on a skillet or in a toaster oven, and love your life. Black beans and cheese are packed with protein. Done and done.
Healthier Chocolate-Glazed Donuts
The recipe for these baked whole wheat donuts, from Running With Spoons, uses vanilla protein powder in place of powdered sugar in the glaze. It also calls for Greek yogurt. Who knew donuts could be protein-forward snacks?
Maple-Pecan Almond Flour Pancakes
I’ve been hearing raves aboutalmond flour. Along with buckwheat flour, it has a reputation for being delicious in baked goods, and I love that two tablespoons contain four grams of protein. I used Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free almond flour, which is made of just one ingredient: blanched almonds. I quite liked the look of these pancakes (because who wouldn’t?) and made the recipe—which was originally published in the New York Times—without walnuts and cranberries, as I don’t like either. I didn’t have high hopes for the wheat flour because it doesn’t work well in my go-to no-knead bread loaf. But I was relieved, and wrong-headed, because these pancakes—a 2:1 mix of whole wheat flour and almond flour—are fantastic. The combination of buttermilk, maple syrup and the almond flour lightened whole wheat’s heavy footstep. They cooked up super-light, puffy, and very lightly sweet. Be sure not to overmix the batter, which will keep them from puffing, and enjoy the fact there’s no processed sugar in this recipe.
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Alex Van Buren is a Brooklyn-based writer, editor and content strategist whose work has appeared in The Washington Post, Bon Appétit, Travel + Leisure, New York Magazine, Condé Nast Traveler, and Epicurious. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @alexvanburen.