The best way to start your day? A flavor-packed breakfast salad with garlicky yogurt dressing

The beauty of a breakfast salad is that it's pretty adaptable based on whatever you have in your pantry

By Ashlie D. Stevens

Food Editor

Published August 15, 2022 12:29PM (EDT)

Healthy Vegan bowl (Getty Images/haoliang)
Healthy Vegan bowl (Getty Images/haoliang)

Weekday Plants is a weekly recipe column from Salon Food that centers on easy-to-make and adaptable vegan meals.

Can I admit something? When I worked in a physical newsroom as a beat reporter for a few years, my breakfast (and sometimes lunch, as well) was typically iced coffee. Occasionally, I'd smear a bagel with cream cheese or pop some bread in the toaster, but in the toss-up between more sleep and a better breakfast, sleep tended to win out.

Don't get me wrong: I love breakfast foods. Chilaquiles made with lightly toasted corn tortillas and salsa verde; Denver omelets studded with peppers and cubed ham; oatmeal topped with a pat of butter, macerated fruit and too much cinnamon. While those were all things I craved, my brain compartmentalized them as weekend foods. Too many steps, too much much prep for a Monday morning.

Though working from home brings its own annoyances, one of the tremendous luxuries it has afforded me is the time to actually make breakfast, as well as the flexibility to start my days off with whatever sounds good — whether it's traditional American "breakfast food" or not.

Wake up craving blueberry muffins? I have time to break out some good butter and the muffin tin. Maybe it's a carbonara morning. In that case, I'm reaching for this Maggie Hennessy recipe.

Recently, I've been trying to start my day with more vegetables, so breakfast salads have been in heavy rotation, including this kale and roasted sweet potato number with pickled vegetables, avocado, salty pepitas and a garlicky yogurt dressing. It has a few different components, but it can be made in under an hour. Feel free to quintuple this recipe to have enough for a work week — just keep the various elements separate and assemble each morning.

Roasted Vegetable Breakfast Salad with Garlicky Yogurt Dressing
1 servings
Prep Time
30 minutes
Cook Time
30  minutes


  • 1 cup kale, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 large sweet potato
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 carrot
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons salted pepitas or pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened non-dairy yogurt, such as cashew
  • 1/2 to 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced chives
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Red pepper flakes


  1. First up, we're going to massage the kale. (This helps make it a little more tender and less bitter.) Drop the kale in a large bowl, drizzle it with olive oil and add a pinch of salt. Next, gently rub the pieces of kale between your hands. As you do, they'll darken and soften. Once the leaves look uniform, dress them with the lemon juice and set aside in the refrigerator.

  2. This is a recipe where a mandolin really comes in handy — but a good sharp knife will do the trick, too. Either way, watch your fingers. Use the mandolin to cut the sweet potato into thin discs. Next, use it on the shallot and carrot. 

  3. Place the sweet potato discs on an oiled sheet pan. Drizzle them with a little more olive oil and salt. Roast at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, flipping halfway.

  4. Meanwhile, let's make some quick pickles. Add the sliced shallot and carrot to a small bowl, followed by the apple cider vinegar. Add the sugar, as well as a splash of water if the vegetables aren't fully submerged in the vinegar. Allow them to rest while the sweet potatoes are roasting. 

  5. Next, let's make a really easy "dressing." Whip the yogurt, minced garlic and chives in a small bowl. Add salt and a drizzle of olive oil to taste. (I tend to find that non-dairy yogurt is acidic enough, but if you have leftover lemon juice and feel compelled, squeeze some on the dressing.)

  6. Finally, let's assemble the salad. Grab the kale from the refrigerator and give it a good toss. Top with the roasted sweet potatoes, pickled shallot and carrot, avocado, salted pepitas and garlicky yogurt dressing. Add a nice sprinkle of salt and red pepper flakes, then dig in.

Cook's Notes

This version of the recipe is vegan, but a poached egg or a sprinkle of goat cheese would be delicious if you're a vegetarian. 

The beauty of a breakfast salad is that it's pretty adaptable based on whatever you have in your refrigerator and pantry. This one would be great with some leftover grains — like brown rice or farro — as a base.

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By Ashlie D. Stevens

Ashlie D. Stevens is Salon's food editor. She is also an award-winning radio producer, editor and features writer — with a special emphasis on food, culture and subculture. Her writing has appeared in and on The Atlantic, National Geographic’s “The Plate,” Eater, VICE, Slate, Salon, The Bitter Southerner and Chicago Magazine, while her audio work has appeared on NPR’s All Things Considered and Here & Now, as well as APM’s Marketplace. She is based in Chicago.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Breakfast Food Garlic Recipe Salads Vegan Vegetarian Weekday Plants