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.
Yogurt completely transforms the texture of these chicken thighs, making them tender and flavourful with bright notes of lemon and cilantro. Ideal for a day trip, these can be marinated in the morning and cooked in the evening, but they also work well when cooked in advance and packed for a picnic to be eaten cold. Marinade mentions Marinate chicken thighs for anywhere between 4 and 24 hours. Discard excess marinade that has been in contact with raw chicken. It should not be consumed uncooked.
Citrusy and slightly sour sumac and a touch of maple syrup enliven pickled onions in a perfect complement to this salad. Kale and Napa cabbage stand up for hours to the sweet and puckery dressing, and hearty farro will keep you going while on the road. This salad is sure to be a favourite for picnics, backyard potlucks, or road trip lunch stops. Dressing for dinner This salad stands up well, even while dressed, for up to 4 hours. (Truth be told, I’ve often happily eaten it the next day.) In fact, time helps kale to soften up and become even more delicious. If you’re travelling for a longer period, make the pickled onion dressing as described above: let it stand for about 20 minutes, and then add all the oil and pack it into a separate container so you can finish the salad when you arrive at your destination. The pickled onions are also great with steaks or chicken.
These wraps are perfect for an overnight journey when you want to have something quick and satisfying the next day. Sweet smoked paprika adds just a hint of smoky flavour to sweet potatoes, which join with spinach and red pepper to dress up eggs in a pleasing way. Make these wraps anytime and stick them in the freezer for your next excursion. Pack them frozen and they’ll have time to thaw on the journey, or put them in the fridge the night before you travel so you have something convenient and tasty to eat before you set off. Leave the ketchup bottle behind, and serve them with your own smoky red pepper sauce. Freeze with ease While foil is convenient for freezing and reheating these wraps, to cut down on waste, freeze wraps in a single freezer-proof container. Insert a small piece of parchment between each wrap so they don’t stick together. This will allow you to remove individual wraps easily when you need them.
Are you wondering what it means to buy “sustainable” seafood? The type of seafood, where it’s from, and how it’s caught or harvested all play into what makes seafood sustainable. Simply put, it means that the harvest of a particular seafood is done in a way that allows for continued harvesting into the future. But it’s not simply a question of controlling overfishing. Impacts on the environment are also key. Wild fish have the reputation of being more sustainable, but that’s only if they’re fished through managed seafood programs and don’t have other impacts such as pollution or depletion of other species. Seafood from aquaculture can also be sustainable, provided it is done in a way that avoids any detrimental effects to the larger ocean environment or other species. Stay informed, though, since species considered sustainable one day may be under threat the next. This might mean being willing to try something new or forgoing a favourite for something that is more sustainable. While that may sound like a sacrifice, it’s also an opportunity to discover a new favourite. If you live in an area where seafood is harvested, making a decision to support local fishers and harvesters may also influence your decision about which sustainable seafood choices to make. Navigating the specifics can be tricky, but your local fish counter is a great place to start your quest for sustainable fish. Your fishmonger is a valuable source of information about where the product is sourced. You can also look for certifications from organizations such as Ocean Wise and Marine Stewardship Council. Once you get it home, sustainable seafood’s variety and versatility presents us with an ocean of delicious opportunities in the kitchen. Try these recipes for simple, flavourful, and diverse preparations. Your choices can help Ocean Wise Seafood is a seafood certification program that helps consumers and businesses choose sustainable seafood options. The program works with scientists to assess the state of aquatic ecosystems and the species they support, making recommendations on sustainable choices. They employ a simple rating of either Ocean Wise Recommended or Not Recommended. Look for the Ocean Wise symbol when you buy seafood or check out their website ( seafood.ocean.org ) to search for sustainable seafood options. They have information about various species, where and how they’re fished or harvested, and whether your choice is sustainable. It’s simple, easy, and reassuring. Face your fish-prep fears Many of us shy away from cooking seafood because we think we don’t know how, or because we may be worried about spoiling a piece of beautiful fish. Here are some quick tips to relieve your fish-prep fears. Start with the best In addition to asking at your fish counter about sustainability, don’t be afraid to ask how the seafood you’re buying has been transported and stored. Frozen fish, which is flash frozen, may be a better choice than a piece of “fresh” fish that has been around for a while. Store it properly Shellfish Store shellfish in the fridge, in a shallow pan without water, and cover with a damp kitchen towel. Frozen fish Remove frozen fish from its packaging, and thaw, loosely covered, in the fridge overnight. Drain any water that collects as it thaws. Cook fresh fish within two days. Celebrate simplicity Quality seafood is its own celebration and lends itself to simple preparations: a quick grill, a dash of lemon. Keep it simple and let the flavour of the fish shine through! Let your fish warm up It may sound strange, but letting your fish come up to room temperature over about 30 minutes will help you get an even temperature when it’s time to cook. Explore different cooking methods Poached, grilled, steamed, baked—seafood does it all. If you always grill fish, explore a gentle poach or raw preparation. Know your temperature Use higher heat for grilling, and make sure the pan or grill is hot when the fish hits it. Use low heat and a gentle simmer when poaching. Skin side down Cooking fish with the skin on helps keep it together. When grilling, cook the skin side first to protect the fish as it cooks. Know when it’s done Fish is done when it flakes easily with a fork and is barely opaque in the centre. Dive in Don’t let your fear stop you. Just get started!