Sweet Potato Breakfast Platter w/Poached Egg

This plate of delicious Mexican flavours would be perfect for any meal, but I’ve decided to call it a breakfast platter because of the poached egg. The recipe has a few different components, but they’re all easy to prepare, and the dish is assembled simply by stacking all the ingredients. With a combination of complex carbs, protein, and healthy fats, this meal is the perfect way to start a busy day.

Sweet potato platter

sweet potato platter top view

Lately I’ve been a fan of savoury breakfast recipes, particularly eggs. When I start my day off with a combination of protein and fat, it usually keeps me full until lunch. Although I wake up early, my earliest class doesn’t start until 10:30, so I like to take some time to make a delicious, healthy, and filling breakfast. Ensuring that I have breakfast and that my meal is healthy sets the tone for the rest of the day.

Most days, I use sweet potato as the source of carbohydrates in my breakfast, whether it is in wedges with scrambled eggs on the side, with a poached egg on top, or in the form of a breakfast bowl (like this amazing Sweet Potato Breakfast Bowl from Healthy Liv). In addition to their delicious taste, sweet potatoes are a good source of iron, B vitamins, and vitamin C. Avocados are another one of my favourite breakfast foods; they are a great source of healthy fatty acids, as well as potassium.

breakfast platter ingredients

The sweet potato in this recipe takes about 30 minutes to bake, so it’s best to make this recipe when you’re just doing work at your house in the morning, rather than rushing to class or work. This breakfast platter is also great for a weekend brunch. When I make this recipe, I wake up, peel and slice half a sweet potato into thin rounds, and put it in the oven. Then I go about my morning routine of washing my face, drinking lemon water, and making a cup of green tea or coffee. As the sweet potato cooks, I drink my coffee and lemon water, and get started on the first task on my to-do list.

sweet potato on baking sheet

If you haven’t prepared the black beans in advance, you should start preparing them about 15 minutes into the cook time of the sweet potato so that both components are finished at the same time. This recipe uses Mexican Seasoned Black Beans, which can be prepared a day or two beforehand (the beans do not have to be warm for this recipe – the platter tastes great warm or cold!). The black bean recipe makes 1 1/2 cups of beans and this recipe only uses 1/4-1/2 cup, so the black beans can be stored in the fridge to whip up another breakfast platter the next day (or to be used in another recipe).

cooking black beans

spoonful of black beans

Once the sweet potato is cooked, place the sweet potato rounds on a plate, slightly overlapping. Then, stack the other components on top – black beans, then salsa, then sliced avocado. Finally, poach an egg and place it on top of the breakfast platter. I usually season my platter with a little black pepper sprinkled on top, and if I have cilantro around, I’ll chop that up and add it to the top of the dish as well. If you want to pack this dish full of some extra greens, you could also put a layer of baby spinach underneath the sweet potato.

sweet potato platter side view

Print Recipe
Sweet Potato Breakfast Platter w/Poached Egg
Course Breakfast
Servings
Ingredients
Course Breakfast
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Place rounds of sweet potato onto a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt. Cook in oven for 30 minutes, until the sweet potato is soft and the tops are brown.
  3. If you have not prepared the black beans in advance, follow recipe for Mexican Seasoned Black Beans.
  4. Poach an egg (link to poaching instructions provided in Recipe Notes)
  5. To assemble the platter, place sweet potato slices on a plate with their sides overlapping slightly.
  6. Add Mexican Seasoned Black Beans on top, followed by salsa.
  7. Next, add avocado, and top with the poached egg. Season with black pepper as desired.
Recipe Notes

The recipe for Mexican Seasoned Black Beans makes approximately 1 1/2 cups of beans. As this recipe only uses 1/4-1/2 cup of beans (depending on preference), the extra beans can be covered and saved in the fridge to use in another recipe.

For instructions on how to poach an egg, see this post.

Paleo Nacho Casserole

This nacho casserole is packed with delicious Mexican flavours and a ton of vegetables. It’s perfect if you’re looking for a healthier way to satisfy your craving for nachos, and you can load it up with plenty of toppings, including salsa, avocado, and green onion. I considered calling this recipe “Not-yo’ Typical Casserole” but decided that was a bit much…

I made this casserole on one of the last days of the Whole30. Although I don’t plan on sticking to a completely Paleo diet now that the Whole30 is over, I was inspired by a recipe for Paleo Spaghetti Squash Casserole, created by Alysia at Slim Sanity, and wanted to create a similar version with a Mexican twist! This recipe is a great meal prep option if you make it at the start of the week. I had three exams this past week, so I made the casserole on the weekend and ate it over the course of several busy days of studying. It’s easy to get into a pattern of unhealthy eating when you’re stressed during exams. Having a pre-made dinner in my fridge is helpful because it makes it less likely that I’ll go grab some take-out when I want to get back to studying quickly.

Spaghetti squash provides the bulk of the casserole. This squash is great because you can eat a large serving without adding a ton of extra calories. It also has a nice neutral flavour so you can enjoy it with different sauces or spice mixtures. For this recipe, the squash is mixed with taco-seasoned ground chicken, red pepper, onion, spinach, cherry tomatoes, olives, and a little salsa. I’d recommend choosing a squash that is on the smaller side – around 1-1.2 kg – so each bite has a balance of different flavours rather than being overpowered by squash.

If you want to keep this recipe paleo, you’ll have to find a sugar-free salsa. The salsa I’ve been using lately is this one by Herdez – I was surprised when I found it at the grocery store because it’s not full of additives like a lot of other salsas and it still tastes amazing! The only ingredients are tomatoes, onions, serrano peppers, salt, and cilantro.

When you’re making this recipe, there are a few different components to prepare before everything gets mixed together and spread into a casserole dish. The spaghetti squash has to bake, the veggies need to be sauteed, and the ground chicken needs to be cooked. I recommend using three pieces of cookware to prepare everything: a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish, one large pot, and a large frying pan.

Begin by preparing the spaghetti squash and putting it in the oven at 375°. Although a spaghetti squash can be baked whole, it saves cooking time if you cut it in half first. But I’m not going to lie, this can be a bit of a struggle. Usually I get my knife stuck in the squash and then I’m left trying to yank it out sword-in-the-stone style. Not ideal. I told my housemate the other day that if I ever get a cooking-related injury it’s probably going to be when I’m trying to cut a squash in half. So, that being said, be careful! Use a sharp knife and go slowly. I’ve had a bit more success starting at one of the ends and cutting it open from there. Also, if anyone has any hacks for easily splitting a squash in two, please share!

Once you’ve got the squash open, scoop out the seeds, drizzle it with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake the squash in the oven in the casserole dish with the fleshy side down (in the picture below I’ve just flipped it over after removing it from the oven.

While the squash is baking, you can prepare and cook the other ingredients – stir fry the veggies and spices in the large pot, and stir fry the chicken in the frying pan until brown.

After 40-45 minutes, the spaghetti squash will be cooked and you can remove it from the oven. At this point, add the chicken and squash to the big pot with the vegetables, plus an egg and some salsa, and mix everything to combine. I actually don’t have a giant pot in my student house because there aren’t too many occasions where my housemates or I need to make a large recipe. So instead of mixing all the ingredients together in a pot, I used a large bowl to combine everything before baking. Then, pour the mixture into a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish (the one that was already used to cook the squash), and bake at 400° for 15 minutes.

When the casserole came out of the oven I topped it with green onion and added some avocado and salsa to each serving.

Pin for later:

Paleo Nacho Casserole

Print Recipe
Paleo Nacho Casserole
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Toppings:
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Toppings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Cut open the spaghetti squash lengthwise, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the squash face-down in a 9x13 inch casserole dish.
  2. Bake the squash in the oven for 40-45 minutes, until a fork goes through it easily. While the squash is baking, prepare the other ingredients.
  3. Heat a small amount of cooking oil in a frying pan. Add the ground chicken, and stir fry on medium heat until brown - about 15 minutes. When the meat is cooked, add taco seasoning and stir to coat.
  4. Heat cooking oil in a large pot. Add garlic and onion, and stir fry over medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add red pepper and all spices and continue stir frying for a few more minutes, until the pepper begins to soften.
  6. Add black olives, cherry tomatoes, and spinach. Stir until the spinach begins to wilt. Remove from heat.
  7. When spaghetti squash is cooked, remove from the oven, and turn the oven temperature up to 400° F. Using a fork, scrape the flesh of the squash into a bowl.
  8. Put the spaghetti squash, chicken, salsa, and egg into the large pot with the cooked vegetables. Mix well until all ingredients are combined.
  9. Pour the mixture into the 9x11 inch casserole dish used to cook the squash. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. When the casserole comes out of the oven, top with green onion, and serve with avocado and salsa.

How to Poach an Egg

Growing up, poached eggs were (and still are), my dad’s specialty. He’d put them on everything, from traditional toast or English muffin, to pancakes and oatmeal (eeek!) Although I never took him up on his offers to make the latter two options, I have gotten a little more creative with my uses for poached eggs – I’ll often put them on top of roasted veggies (typically sweet potato or cauliflower), or I’ll top my salad off with an egg for some extra protein.

Being able to poach an egg is a good skill to have as a university student – eggs cooked this way are versatile, quick to make, and delicious! Poaching your eggs is also a healthy way to consume eggs, as poaching does not require the addition of fats or oils. Recipes featuring poached eggs will definitely appear on my blog in the future, so I figured it was best to start off with a little lesson on how to successfully prepare your eggs this way. Below I have included a recipe for a salad I eat frequently for lunch. This salad allows me to get some green veggies into my diet, while the sweet potato provides a source of carbohydrates, healthy fat comes from the avocado, and a poached egg on top provides protein. The recipe below includes step-by-step poaching instructions. I have also included instructions to make a simple dressing with balsamic vinegar; however, I often just have this salad dressed with apple cider vinegar.

One thing to note: some instructions for poached eggs suggest adding a splash of vinegar to the water you cook the eggs in, the reason being that the vinegar causes the egg whites to firm up faster, preventing them from spreading around in the water. Because I didn’t have any vinegar in my house when I first started poaching eggs, I’ve just been using boiling water, and my eggs generally turn out very well.

Print Recipe
Sweet Potato and Green Salad w/Poached Egg
This is the perfect salad to have as a balanced lunch, allowing you to get some extra servings of veggies into your diet!
Course Lunch
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
person
Ingredients
Salad
Dressing
Course Lunch
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
person
Ingredients
Salad
Dressing
Instructions
  1. Peel a sweet potato and chop into small cubes. Toss in cooking oil and sprinkle with salt (or garlic salt if you have it). Using a toaster oven or conventional oven, bake sweet potato at 400ºF for 25 minutes.
  2. While sweet potato is cooking, tear lettuce and place in a medium-sized bowl.
  3. Dice cucumber and slice celery stalks. Add on top of the lettuce.
  4. Carve avocado into small pieces and add to the top of the salad.
  5. Mix dressing: add ingredients for dressing to a small bowl and mix thoroughly with a fork.
  6. When the sweet potato is cooked, remove from oven and add to top of salad. I usually flatten out the layer of sweet potato to create a bed to set the poached egg on. Add dressing to salad, and then cook egg using the method described below.
How to Poach an Egg
  1. Bring a small pot of water to a boil, then reduce to medium-low, so the water is simmering.
  2. Crack an egg into a small bowl, being careful to keep the yolk intact (if the yolk breaks you can save it in the fridge and use it in an omelette or scrambled egg another day).
  3. When your water is simmering, use a spoon and stir the water quickly to create a “whirlpool” in the centre of the pot.
  4. Then, putting the bowl close to the water, pour the egg into the centre of the whirlpool. The egg will spin a bit before settling on the bottom of the pot.
  5. Set a timer for 3.5 minutes if you want your yolk to be runny, and increase the time if you want a firmer yolk.
  6. After 3.5 minutes have elapsed, use a slotted spoon to remove the poached egg from the pot and place the egg on the salad, on top of the sweet potato.