3 Energizing Breakfast Recipes Inspired by the Mediterranean Diet
Start your day like a Greek islander.
Stuck in a breakfast rut? Nutritionist Stella Metsovas has the perfect way out: Go Greek!
Her new cookbook, Wild Mediterranean ($27, amazon.com), is brimming with recipes inspired by the food traditions in one of the world’s healthiest regions. And her morning meals are sure to help start your day off right: Think sprouted cinnamon-maple French toast; a nut butter with the flavors of Baklava; and a twist on Greek salad, topped with a savory egg. Scroll down to check out these three nutrient-rich recipes that require just a few steps each.
Sprouted Cinnamon-Maple French Toast
Who doesn’t love French toast? You’ll particularly like this adaptation, which has the same classic flavors while getting in some fiber with the sprouted wheat and protein from the egg.
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp. ground cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 slices sprouted cinnamon raisin Ezekiel bread
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
Maple syrup, for serving
- In a shallow bowl, use a whisk or fork to whip together the eggs, almond milk, cinnamon, and vanilla. Soak the bread slices in the egg mixture for 2 minutes.
- In a skillet, heat the butter over medium-high heat. Add the bread and cook until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes on each side.
- Serve the toast with maple syrup and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Bonus: You have a microbiome in your mouth—it’s part of the digestive system, after all!—and studies have shown that cinnamon helps support it, and prevent dental cavities.
RELATED: 22 Mediterranean Diet Recipes
Yes, you read that right: The nutty, honey-sweetened decadence of Greece’s most famous dessert—without all the layers of buttered phyllo dough and heavy syrup. By folding all the ingredients into softened “butter,” you get a spreadable guilty pleasure to enjoy on sprouted-grain toast, stirred into yogurt, or stuffed into dates. After all, it’s okay to treat yourself once in a while. It’s all about balance! This makes quite a bit and should be used within 10 days, so consider sharing some as a gift!
Makes: 1½ cups (about 12 servings)
1¼ cups walnuts
½ cup roasted almonds
⅓ cups pistachios
½ cup almond meal
¼ cup organic honey
1 Tbsp. coconut sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch of sea salt
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
- In a food processor, combine the walnuts, almonds, and pistachios. Pulse until coarsely ground or finely chopped—be careful not to overprocess. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and stir in the almond meal.
- In a small pot, combine the honey, sugar, cinnamon, and salt with 2 tablespoons of water. Bring to a gentle simmer over low heat, then remove from the heat and add directly to the bowl with the nut mixture. Add the olive oil and vanilla extract and mix well.
- Transfer the butter to clean glass jar, refrigerate, and use within a week.
Bonus: Healthy fats plus nut-derived fiber are essential building blocks for balanced gut health.
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Not-Your-Typical Greek Salad
I thought long and hard about how to put my own spin on this one. The classic version is absolutely perfect—especially when tomatoes are in season. But I wanted to do something with a little bit of a twist, creating a sort of salad parfait by layering rice with traditional Greek salad ingredients and topping them with a savory egg. This is hearty enough to be a main dish.
2 cups cooked Arborio or long-grain rice
½ cup walnuts, crushed
Celtic sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
10 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 medium cucumber, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
3 Tbsp. crumbled feta cheese
2 eggs, fried
Cracked black pepper
1 tsp. dried oregano
- In a medium bowl, combine the rice and walnuts. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and the feta and lightly toss the mixture together.
- To serve, layer the bottom of each of two dinner plates with half of the rice mixture, using a spatula to pat it down. Scoop half of the salad ingredients onto each mound of rice and top each with one a fried egg. Season with the oregano and salt, cracked pepper, and a final drizzle of olive oil to taste.
Bonus: Increasing your fruit and vegetable intake is the best way to load up on antioxidants, which help your body detoxify.
Reprinted from WILD MEDITERRANEAN by arrangement with Pam Krauss Books/Avery, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © 2017, Stella Metsovas
All images by Hugh Forte