Time for Breakfast


Some people don’t have much of an appetite in the morning. I am not one of those people. I wake up with a rumbling stomach, and before I’m even out of bed I begin mentally sorting through my cabinets and fridge thinking about what I can concoct.

As much protein as an egg, as much sugar as a donut.

Breakfast used to mean cereal, which I ate religiously and somewhat mindlessly. As a nation, we seem to be on an endless (and unsuccessful) quest to get fiber into our diets. We need around 30 grams per day, but most of us only get about half that.

Like most Americans I had been conditioned to eat fiber in the form of cereal for breakfast. Unfortunately this often came with an unhealthy dose of sugar. Case in point: Kashi Go Lean Crunch, a past favorite of mine. It has 13 grams of sugar (translation: about 3 teaspoons), which is the same as a chocolate frosted donut.

Then, like the morning sun it dawned on me: I can eat whatever the hell I want for breakfast! Fiber does not only exist in in a rectangular cardboard box screaming Protein! Omega-3! Fruit and Yogurt!(??) I don’t have to suffer through bowls of particleboard and twigs that, despite the claims, somehow leave me bloated and hungry by 10 am. I know I’m not alone here.

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This confuses me.

Enter the savory, hearty, and yes, full of fiber breakfast.

The following recipe is a loose interpretation of the Mexican dish known as chilaquiles, which is a mixture of tortillas, beans and salsa, topped with eggs. It’s guaranteed to not leave you hungry by 10 am (unless you eat it at 5 am). There are endless variations, so you can experiment with ingredients and flavors that you like best. It’s a great use for broken tortillas. And, if you’re not into this for breakfast, it is versatile enough to be eaten for any other meal.

Chilaquiles for One

Just try not to burn them like I did.
A second life for broken tortillas.

2 corn tortillas, cut into strips and toasted until brown
¼ cup refried beans
¼ cup roasted tomatillo salsa (see recipe) or other salsa of your choice
One small to medium-sized tomato, chopped (optional if you’re using a tomato-based salsa)
Two eggs, fried (sunny side up, over easy, or however you prefer, though I don’t think scrambled would work well here)
Crumbly cheese of your choice (I used feta, but a Mexican cheese like queso fresco or cotija also works)
Cilantro, chopped (optional)
Sliced onions and radishes (optional)

Warm the beans in a small pot over medium-low heat. Meanwhile, heat a separate pan over medium heat with a little butter (my preference) or oil for your eggs, and once hot, add eggs (I do sunny side up for this recipe).

Add the toasted tortillas to the beans and mix well. Stir in the chopped tomato. You’ll notice the tortillas begin to soften, which is what you want.

Keep an eye on your eggs. Ideally, the yolks should be runny (unless you’re just not into runny yolks).

Once your tortilla-bean-tomato mixture is heated through, mound it onto a plate. Slide the eggs on top and garnish with the salsa and crumbly cheese. Sliced radishes, onions and cilantro and are also welcome additions to this dish.

¡Buen provecho!

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