Deep down, everybody loves breakfast—but few among us are lucid enough at daybreak to do anything more creative in the kitchen than float cereal in milk or slap a fried egg on toast.
The solution to getting more out of your cherished breakfast and brunch staples? Wake up your dinner routine by being slightly rebellious and transforming your typical morning foods into a perfectly executed meal tonight.
Yes, everything from pancakes to oats can take their turn on the dinner table. Far from a cop-out, serving breakfast stalwarts such as custardy scrambled eggs and berries for dinner can be your solution to quick, family-friendly meals while also keeping you on track for your healthy eating goals. Truth be told, many breakfast staples can supply the nutrients needed to power up immunity.
Here are five ways to break the rules and serve breakfast for dinner—and feel great about it.
Bake up omelettes inside bell peppers for a healthy, tasty, and quick end-of-day meal. If you’re cooking for a smaller crowd, this recipe is easily halved. Finish everything off with a scattering of chives and/or hot sauce. If steering clear of dairy, you can stir in nondairy milk and shredded vegan cheese.
We took classic cheesy nachos and gave them a breakfast vibe with scrambled eggs and then took them to the next level with satisfying add-ins including beans and creamy avocado. This is a perfect dinner to share around the table where a bit of mess is to be celebrated. You can also serve it with your favourite salsa.
Here, the breakfast favourite, granola, serves as a crunchy topping for this salad featuring seasonal delights, including sweet butternut and apple. The maple-date dressing is sure to be kid-approved. You can add cooked lentils to move it from side dish to complete plant-based meal. If desired, swap out butternut for pumpkin or sweet potato and add a creamy touch with feta or soft goat cheese.
If breakfast oatmeal is your jam, you’ll happily spoon up this oat-infused hearty chili. It comes together quickly enough to add to your weeknight dinner routine, but soaking the steel-cut oats ahead of time is key to having them cook more efficiently. Toppings run the gamut of avocado, sour cream, broken tortilla chips, cilantro, or grated cheddar.
These sweet-savoury pancakes are sure to bring smiles to anyone at the dinner table who longs for flapjack Sunday. If desired, you can add herby flavour to the pancakes with sage or rosemary instead of thyme and swap out parsnip for grated carrot. Serve with a side salad or a plate of roasted veggies.
All sorts of breakfast favourites can also star at dinnertime. Here’s how to stretch your morning glories.
Scatter these crunchy oats on any salad or even over puréed soups.
Stuff into tacos, grain bowls, enchiladas, and quesadillas.
Use to bulk up chilies and soups; use as a whole-grain base for power bowls; or, instead of sweet stuff, stir savoury ingredients into a simmer pot with sliced sun-dried tomatoes, chopped greens, and herbs, and serve risotto-style.
Pancakes and waffles
Use as a whole-grain base for cooked proteins such as fish or grilled tempeh.
Whisk with oil, vinegar, and seasonings for a rich-tasting salad dressing, sauce for stir-fries, or an exciting topping for grilled meats.
Use thick styles as a creamy base for roasted vegetables, or whisk with curry, pesto, or harissa for use on tacos, lentils, or grain bowls.
A slice or two can serve as a foundation for everything from saucy beans to grilled chicken or a pile of chili.
Pears and chocolate make for a very natural friendship and play together beautifully in this plant-based, dairy-free cake. This cake is dense and rich, with a medley of spices, and enhanced by just a hint of espresso powder, which allows that chocolate flavour to shine through. In addition to slices of pears being laid on top, this cake employs some pear purée to add moisture and sweetness to the slightly nutty texture provided by the whole wheat flour. Pear primer A firm pear such as Bosc, recognizable by its distinctive dusty brown skin, is perfect for this dish. When eaten raw, Bosc pears are crisp and not too sweet. When baked, this variety softens up and its flavours are enhanced, but it maintains its characteristic long-necked, graceful shape. Unlike a Bartlett pear, which turns from green to bright yellow when ripe, Bosc pears don’t change much in colour when ripe. Give it a little nudge with your thumb near the neck of the pear and it will give slightly—that’s how you know you’ve got a ripe one. Compared to other pears, Bosc will still be quite firm.
Many flavours that complement pears—sage, ginger, maple syrup—also go well with butternut squash, so it makes sense to bring the two together. For this autumn salad, mixed greens are tossed with marinated squash ribbons that serve to dress the salad with spicy, gingery brightness. A juicy yet firm medium-sweet pear, such as red Anjou, works well here, and its vibrant red skin makes a pretty plate alongside butternut squash. The finishing touch is a sprinkling of crispy sage and maple syrup-toasted hazelnuts. Refrigerator tip Treat butternut squash ribbons as you would a dressing, keeping them in the refrigerator until ready to use. They will last a few days in the refrigerator, and you can have them on hand to dress small amounts of lettuce. If, rather than making one large salad, you want to serve individual amounts of this salad, just dress a few leaves with some ribbons; cut up pear and fry sage leaves as you serve.
Luscious figs loaded onto hearty flatbread make a satisfying breakfast or brunch. They’re sweet and delicious when paired with savoury cinnamon-flavoured crunchy pumpkin seeds and tart goat cheese. And, with a dough enriched with whole wheat flour, hempseeds, and nigella, these flatbreads are sure to be satisfying. They’re also chock full of fibre and protein, and with 6 mg of iron, you’ll be on your way to 31 percent of the recommended daily value. A freezer favourite By making dough in advance and freezing, you can make these individual flatbreads part of your routine for days when you don’t have much time. Simply portion dough individually right after mixing, allow it to rise in the fridge for 8 to 10 hours, and then freeze in individual containers. To thaw an individual ball of dough, 24 hours before you wish to use it, remove the container from the freezer and allow it to thaw in the refrigerator. At least an hour before baking, allow dough to come up to room temperature outside of the fridge.