How to Sneak Some Veggies into Breakfast

June 13, 2024 at 10:25 a.m. Katy G. Wilkens

One of the best recommendations for healthy eating is adding more vegetables and fruits to your diet. Most people should eat between five to 10 half-cup servings a day.

If adding another fruit or vegetable to your diet sounds difficult, consider slipping in veggies at breakfast. Veggies for breakfast? Yes!

Visualize a poached egg on toast with freshly roasted asparagus drizzled with hollandaise sauce. Or imagine a pile of pan fried hashbrowns with sweet red and green bell peppers and onions. How about breakfast burritos filled with refried beans, roasted peppers and scrambled eggs? And then there are oven-blasted Brussel sprouts, another great veggie to enjoy with hollandaise sauce and eggs the way you like them. Anyone for smoked salmon and fresh spinach quiche?

There are lots of ways to add more veggies to your breakfast. They cook quickly in a hot oven or on the stove top - most in less than 30 minutes. Try some of the low-sodium, high-veggie breakfast and brunch recipes from Northwest Kidney Centers.

Lemon Asparagus

1 pound asparagus spears, trimmed

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon lemon peel, finely grated

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lay asparagus in a single layer on a baking sheet. Shake lemon juice, oil and lemon peel in a jar. Pour over asparagus, turning to coat. Roast asparagus until crisp-tender, turning occasionally, for about 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 4. Keeps well for 3-4 days.

Nutritional information (per serving)

Calories: 59, Carbohydrates: 6 grams, Protein: 2 grams, Sodium: 2 milligrams

The next two recipes include butter. To lower the sodium, use unsalted butter and add fresh herbs like thyme or tarragon.

Quick Skillet Asparagus

1 pound fresh asparagus, cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces

2 tablespoons butter

2-3 tablespoons water

Heat butter and water in a cast iron or heavy skillet. Add asparagus once boiling. Cover and cook over high heat, about 5 minutes, until crisp and bright green. Be careful not to overcook. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional information (per serving)

Calories: 74, Carbohydrates: 4 grams, Protein: 3 grams, Sodium: 48 milligrams

Breakfast Veggie Hollandaise Sauce

2 egg yolks, slightly beaten

3 tablespoons lemon juice

½ cup butter divided in two ¼ cup portions

In 1-quart saucepan, stir egg yolks and lemon juice. Add ¼ cup butter and heat over very low heat, stirring continuity until butter is melted. Then add remaining ¼ cup butter. Keep the heat low so butter melts slowly. This gives the eggs time to cook and thicken without curdling.

Serve over asparagus, poached eggs or roasted Brussel sprouts. Keeps for several days refrigerated. Just before serving, stir in one tablespoon of hot water. Makes 7 1-ounce servings.

Nutritional information (per serving)

Calories: 133, Carbohydrates: 1 gram, Protein: 1 gram, Sodium: 107 milligrams

[Contributor Katy G. Wilkens recently retired as registered dietitian and department head at Northwest Kidney Centers. The National Kidney Foundation Council on Renal Nutrition has honored her with its highest awards for excellence in education and for significant contributions in renal nutrition. She has also been awarded the Medal of Excellence in kidney nutrition from the American Association of Kidney Patients.]

Eating Well, Living Well classes

Studies show that working with a registered dietitian can delay kidney failure and postpone dialysis for longer than two years. FREE nutrition classes taught by Katy’s former team of registered dietitians are available at convenient times and locations around Puget Sound.

Eating Well, Living Well classes teach people how to eat healthier to slow the progress of kidney disease and postpone dialysis. Learn more at

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