Breakfast Grain Bowl

Breakfast is by far the best meal of the day! Whether I’m having cereal before leaving for work, making pancakes with my daughter, or putting together egg burritos, breakfast can come in many shapes and sizes in a matter of minutes. Breakfast however, has this sibling, cousin, or maybe it’s more like an in-law…brunch. At the very mention of a brunch the quaint niceties of the breakfast spread are thrown out the window. Before you know it you find yourself wading waist deep in homemade compote when you know full well syrup would have done nicely on those waffles you just folded egg whites beaten to stiff peaks into the batter for. Do you know what I’m saying? I mean, brunch is the meal version of going to an event venue and dropping the W word…suddenly everything is so much more expensive! (If you know, you know).

So back to the recipe at hand. A breakfast grain bowl with arugula, savory granola, and runny eggs. Sounds kinda brunchy if you catch my drift. So here’s the thing, before you roll your eyes at me and accuse me of being hypocritical, hear me out. This bowl can all come together in about 35 minutes, tops. In 35 minutes you’ll be able to make a grain bowl packed with complex carbohydrates, healthy fats and protein that will give you sustenance well into the day and some fun garnishes and accompaniments that will have your taste buds singing. Feel free to customize flavors, textures and tailor the dish to your own unique taste. Use the grain bowl to flirt on the line of breakfast and brunch. However you choose to make it, this meal is a great start to a great day!

Ingredients for the bowl
1 cup of dry long grain rice, rinsed plus water/broth as per cooking instructions
4-8 eggs, served with a runny yolk
1 ½ – 2 cups of fresh baby arugula
Ingredients for garnish 
Savory Granola 
1 c. old fashioned rolled oats
1 c. almonds, chopped lengthwise
¾ c. pumpkin seeds
¾ c. pecans, roughly chopped
¼ c. olive oil
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
½ – 1 tsp. salt – depending on if the nuts are salted or not
¼ tsp. chili powder
⅛ tsp. paprika
⅛ tsp. Italian seasoning
⅛ tsp. fennel seeds
1 egg white, whisked
Cucumber Garnish and Drizzling Vinaigrette  
2 mini cucumbers – thinly sliced
¼ c. apple cider or rice vinegar
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame seeds
1 tsp. honey or maple syrup
Additional Garnish Options 
Avocado – diced
Scallions – thinly sliced (consider adding to drizzling vinaigrette if using)
Sesame seeds
Graded sharp cheddar cheese or Parmesan
Preheat your oven to 350F.
In a small saucepan with a tight fitting lid, prepare rinsed rice as per instructions. I suggest swapping the water out with broth.
While the rice is cooking, prepare the savory granola. Combine all ingredients listed together in a bowl. Lay out on a nonstick baking sheet about a ½ inch thickness. The layer should not be too thick, but you should not be able to see the baking pan through the granola. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through.
Slice the cucumbers and place in a small bowl. Pour the vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and sweetener of choice into a small bowl and whisk together. This will make a nice garnish out of the cucumbers and a great vinaigrette to add a splash of brightness to the bowls.
When the rice and granola are finished, prepare the bowls. Fill four shallow bowls with equal amounts of the rice. Top with a bed of arugula. I find it is worth taking the time to remove the stems. Drizzle the rice and arugula with olive oil.
Prepare the eggs. I prefer cooking them on low heat so they do not get fried hard and are fluffy. The runny yolk is essential for making almost a gravy for the bowl. I suggest one or two eggs per bowl.
When the eggs are ready, top the arugula bed with one or two eggs. Garnish with a nice handful or two of the granola, a few of the marinated cucumbers, a splash of the vinaigrette, and salt and pepper as you desire. Serve warm.