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High-Protein Black Bean Breakfast Bowl (No Eggs!)

While eggs offer plenty of protein, you can make a satisfying, high-protein breakfast without them. This breakfast bowl includes black beans, yogurt and Monterey Jack cheese, providing 15 grams of protein to keep you feeling full and energized throughout the morning.

By Kaly JohnesPublished 2 months ago 4 min read
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As a dietitian with more than 10 years of experience, one challenge I consistently see my clients facing is making time for breakfast. And I get it. When we’re juggling work, family and life, mornings can feel like a blur. And while it’s tempting to hit the snooze button and just grab a coffee instead of eating a balanced breakfast, those few extra minutes of sleep might not be worth the blood-sugar roller coaster and energy slump later on.

Breakfast can help set the tone for what we eat for the rest of the day and is especially important for people with diabetes. Skipping breakfast can lead to blood sugar fluctuations and noticeable changes in mood and energy. And for people using diabetes medications like insulin or glipizide, eating a balanced breakfast can also help stabilize blood sugar levels and decrease episodes of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). While people may skip breakfast in an attempt to lose weight or lower A1C (average blood sugar), restrictive diets are oftentimes unsustainable beyond a few weeks or months, and can result in feelings of guilt and shame around food.

There is no one right approach for diabetes management. I’ve found that personalization—based on life circumstances, culture, medical history and preferences—provides the most effective way for my clients to develop healthy habits that last. As a dietitian who’s all about making nutrition accessible and practical, let’s get into creating morning meals that won’t stress you out. The last thing I want is for anyone to feel deterred from prioritizing breakfast because they have a lot going on!

A balanced breakfast should include a combination of carbs, protein and fat. I suggest starting with carbohydrates as a foundation. Whether it’s whole-grain toast, oats or tortillas, incorporating complex carbohydrates into your breakfast sets the stage for a steady release of energy throughout the morning. And carbs that are higher in fiber can also help you feel satisfied while supporting digestive health.

Next up is protein. Including a source of protein will help stabilize blood sugars. Strained yogurt (such as Greek-style), nut butters and eggs add protein without requiring long cooking sessions. For my plant-based people, tofu and legumes like black beans and garbanzo beans (chickpeas) can also do the trick. Finally, fat is the unsung hero that ties everything together. Adding a source of healthy fat—think avocados, nuts, seeds—not only increases satisfaction but can also support nutrient absorption. Some nutrients, including vitamins A, D, E and K and lycopene, are fat soluble, which means that they require fat for absorption and transportation within the body. Plus fat may also play a role in blood sugar regulation by helping to slow down the absorption of glucose from carbohydrates, which in turn can help prevent rapid spikes in blood sugar levels.

Now let’s put it into practice with this High-Protein Black Bean Breakfast Bowl. A combination of black beans, strained yogurt and cheese provide 15 grams of protein (30% of the Daily Value). Slices of avocado offer healthy monounsaturated fat that not only can help improve heart health and lower cholesterol, but also helps the body absorb the lycopene in the pico de gallo and vitamins A and E in the bell peppers. And scooping it up with a corn tortilla provides a serving of whole grains, and combines with the black beans, avocado and veggies in this recipe to provide an impressive 13 grams of fiber per serving (nearly half the DV). Fiber has a ton of potential health benefits, including improved heart health, and it can play a role in stabilizing blood sugar levels by slowing down the absorption of carbohydrates, helping to prevent blood sugar spikes and crashes. By combining whole grains, protein and healthy fats, you're not just fueling your body—you’re setting the tone for a day of sustained energy, blood sugar stability and overall well-being.

Ingredients

1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 small bell pepper, thinly sliced

1/4 medium onion, thinly sliced

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 15-ounce can no-salt-added black beans, rinsed

1 medium avocado, sliced

6 tablespoons pico de gallo

6 tablespoons reduced-fat strained (Greek-style) yogurt

6 tablespoons shredded Monterey Jack cheese

3 tablespoons sliced pickled jalapeños

3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1 tablespoon lime juice

3 corn tortillas, warmed

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Directions

Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add bell pepper, onion, cumin, oregano, paprika and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are golden and fragrant, 4 to 5 minutes. Add beans; cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are hot, 2 to 3 minutes.

Divide the bean mixture among 3 bowls. Top each bowl with some pico de gallo, yogurt, cheese, jalapeños, cilantro and lime juice. Serve with tortillas.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size: 1 cup & 1 tortilla each

Calories 396, Fat 19g, Saturated Fat 5g, Cholesterol 14mg, Carbohydrates 46g, Total sugars 5g, Added sugars 0g, Protein 15g, Fiber 13g, Sodium 554mg, Potassium 733mg

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About the Creator

Kaly Johnes

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