Fuel up post-workout with this breakfast grain bowl. It's filled with whole grains, protein, healthy fats and antioxidant-packed tart cherries. Thank you to the Cherry Marketing Institute for helping me share this recipe with you.
It’s no secret that there are a couple of runners in this house that threaten to eat us out of house and home. Yes, I’m a runner too (though have been riding my bike lately while nursing a foot injury) – and yet, I can’t seem to be able to consume the amount of food that my husband and eldest son put away daily. As the cook in the house and the main grocery shopper, I try to stock the fridge and pantry with ingredients that are good for refueling after a run, bike ride or soccer practice.
When coming up with refueling meals, I typically include a mixture of healthy carbs and protein. Whole grains, lean protein, vegetables, fruit – you get the idea. Since most of our workouts happen in the early morning, I lean towards eggs with veggies, whole grain pancakes or whole grain muffins for refueling. However, I recently started to branch out to breakfast grain bowls to shake things up a little.
The first one I made was this Quinoa Avocado Breakfast Bowl and, quite honestly, that’s where I stopped for about a month because – well – I was hooked. But then I started to experiment by using different grains, such as farro and barley, and adding in a variety of lean proteins and vegetables.
The wheels really started turning when my friends at the Cherry Marketing Institute sent me Matthew Kadey’s book, Rocket Fuel. Matthew Kadey is a James Beard Award-winning food journalist, registered dietitian and avid cyclist. The man knows his stuff and his book is filled with tons of helpful information, and recipes to eat before, during and after your workouts.
I noticed several of the recipes in the book included Montmorency tart cherries. I’ve talked about the benefits of tart cherry juice before (see my Tart Cherry Smoothie) and the anthocyanins in tart cherries that help with reducing inflammation. My husband’s morning bowl of cereal always – always – includes a handful of dried Montmorency tart cherries, and we keep them on hand for snacking, baking and cooking. Now it was time for them to make a breakfast grain bowl debut.
You could use almost anything for the “grain” part of the bowl. I turned to farro because I am a fan of its chewy texture. From there, I browned some turkey breakfast sausage, sliced up some avocado, then sautéed some chopped kale with Montmorency tart cherries. The cherries plumped up while cooking, which gave them a fantastic pop-in-your-mouth texture. I topped it all off with a drizzle of hot sauce dressing.
We’ve already enjoyed these bowls for breakfast, but they could easily stand in as a light lunch or dinner.
Breakfast Grain Bowl Recipe with Tart Cherries, Sausage & Kale
- Combine the farro and water in a medium saucepan set over high heat. Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium low and simmer until the farro is al dente, about 30 minutes. Drain off any extra liquid.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and lightly coat with cooking spray. Cook the sausage until browned and cooked through, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a plate.
- Reduce the heat to medium and heat the olive oil in the large skillet. Add the garlic into the small pool of oil and cook for 1 minute.
- Stir in the kale, tart cherries and ¼ cup chicken broth. Cover the skillet and let the kale wilt, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Divide the farro, sausage, kale mixture and avocado between two bowls. Drizzle the dressing over top. Serve.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, hot sauce, honey (or agave) and salt.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by the Cherry Marketing Institute. All opinions are my own. This post contains links to my Amazon affiliate page. Any revenue made from sales through these links helps to support this blog. Thank you!