Mexican Breakfasts Adding a Dash of Spice to Your Morning

Getting out of bed is one of the toughest parts of the day. And it’s no wonder people are so cranky in the morning when as many as 15% of Americans skip breakfast, according to data reported by Time. But getting out from underneath those covers is a little easier if you’ve got something delicious to eat.

The usual bowl of cereal is a fine way to start off the morning, but The Huffington Post reports most of those packaged goods are loaded with sugar and not much else. For a morning meal that’s way more exciting and a lot more substantial, try something that has a touch of south-of-the-border flair. These Mexican recipes are so packed with flavor, you’ll practically skip to work.

1. Chipotle Chilaquiles

Chipotle Chilaquiles

Chipotle chilaquiles | iStock.com

When you’re in the mood for something truly authentic, these chipotle chilaquiles from Food & Wine are the perfect morning meal. Start by cooking some onion and garlic, add puréed tomatoes and chipotle chiles, then pour in a little bit of chicken stock to make it nice and saucy. Mix in some tortilla chips, shredded chicken, and then top off the whole thing with some sour cream and cilantro. Both savory and spicy, it’s sure to get you going.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained and ½ cup liquid reserved
  • 2 chipotles in adobo
  • 1½ tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large white onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
  • 1½ cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • Salt
  • 8 ounces tortilla chips
  • 1½ cups shredded chicken
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese or queso añejo
  • ⅓ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro

Directions: In a blender, combine the tomatoes with their reserved ½ cup of liquid and the chipotles; blend until almost smooth.

In a very large, deep skillet, heat the oil. Add two-thirds of the onion and cook over moderately high heat until browned around the edges, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the tomato puree and simmer, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the stock and boil the sauce over moderately high heat until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and remove from the heat.

Gently stir the tortilla chips into the sauce, making sure they are well-coated. Top with the remaining onion, the shredded chicken, and the Parmesan cheese. Dollop the sour cream over the chilaquiles, sprinkle with the cilantro, and serve immediately.

2. Breakfast Quesadillas with Scrambled Eggs, Spinach, and Black Beans

Breakfast Quesadillas with Scrambled Eggs, Spinach, and Black Beans

Breakfast quesadillas with scrambled eggs, spinach, and black beans | iStock.com

Burritos and tacos aren’t the only filled tortillas that can grace the breakfast landscape. Cookie and Kate’s recipe for breakfast quesadillas with scrambled eggs, spinach, and black beans turns this bar food into a hearty meal that’s perfect for the early hours. It’s loaded with protein, fiber, and vitamins, so it’ll also keep you energized all day.

Start by making an easy scramble with beans and spinach. Layer the eggs and cheese in a tortilla and cook in a skillet. For a little extra crispness and flavor, give a tiny sprinkle of cheese to the outside of the quesadilla and let it cook in the pan. Guacamole is optional, but you’ve already come this far.

Ingredients:

 Quesadillas

  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup spinach, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup cooked black beans
  • 1 medium whole-grain tortilla
  • ½ cup melty shredded cheese (like cheddar or Monterey Jack), divided
  • Hot sauce, like Cholula
  • Sea salt

Guacamole

  • 1 large avocado, diced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (about 1 small lime)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped white onion or radish
  • 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro (about 1 small handful)
  • 1 small garlic clove, pressed or minced
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ⅛ teaspoon sea salt

Directions: Combine the guacamole ingredients in a small bowl. Mash with a fork until the mixture is mostly smooth.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat until shot. Add the chopped spinach and cook, stirring often, until wilted, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the black beans to the skillet. Pour in the scrambled eggs, season with salt, and cook, stirring often, until the eggs are just set. Remove to a bowl.

Add a tortilla to a large skillet set over medium heat, then sprinkle half with ¼ cup of cheese. Top the cheese with scrambled eggs, then top the scrambled eggs with almost ¼ cup of cheese, reserving about 1 tablespoon. Fold over to close. Continue to cook until golden on first side. Flip, sprinkle remaining cheese over top, then continue to cook until second side crisps. Flip once more and let cook until cheese crisps. Remove to a cutting board. Cut and serve with guacamole.

3. Breakfast Torta with Bacon, Eggs, and Chipotle Guacamole

chipotle en adobo

Chipotle en adobo | iStock.com

It seems silly to shell out money for a fast food breakfast sandwich when making something way more flavorful at home is so easy. Try whipping up this breakfast torta with bacon, eggs and chipotle guacamole from Serious Eats. It has the same basic components, plus a spicy kick that will definitely wake you up.

Fill up Mexican rolls with beans, scrambled eggs, and a few slices of bacon. A smear of guacamole with a hint of chipotle makes a perfect creamy spread that has some serious kick. The good news about this recipe is that it’s infinitely adaptable. No refried beans? Mash some canned black beans with a fork. You can also leave out the bacon and add some salsa to make it vegetarian.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Mexican rolls (telera or bolillo)
  • 1 (16-ounce) can refried pinto beans
  • ½ pound thick-cut bacon
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 avocados
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice from about 1 lime
  • Handful of fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • ½ white onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 chipotle en adobo
  • 2 ounces queso fresco, crumbled

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Wrap rolls in aluminum foil and place in the oven to warm. Heat refried beans in a small saucepan over medium-low, stirring occasionally to keep from sticking on the bottom. Alternatively, heat in the microwave on medium heat, stirring every 30 seconds until hot. Taste and season with a pinch of salt, if necessary.

Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, flipping occasionally, until crisp. Remove slices with tongs and drain on paper towels. Add ½ tablespoon bacon fat to refried beans and stir well. Drain remaining fat into a bowl and set aside.

Crack 4 eggs into large bowl, season with a pinch of salt, and whisk until combined. Heat 1 tablespoon of reserved bacon fat in the now empty skillet over medium heat until shimmering, then add the whisked eggs. Tilt the pan so eggs evenly coat the bottom and cook until set and just starting to brown on the bottom, about 1 minutes. Use a spatula to fold the eggs like an omelet and continue cooking until lightly browned. Flip and brown on the other side. Transfer the cooked eggs to a plate. Repeat process with more bacon fat and remaining eggs. Cut both sheets of egg in half, to make 4 sheets.

Cut avocados in half, remove the pits, and scoop the flesh into a bowl. Mash with the back of a fork. Stir in lime juice, cilantro, onion, garlic, and chipotle. Season to taste with salt.

When warm, remove rolls from the oven and discard aluminum foil. Cut each in half horizontally and use your fingers to remove some of the excess interior of the rolls. For the bottom halves, smear the cut side with a few tablespoons of refried beans and add a sheet of egg and 2 slices of bacon. For the top halves, smear the cut side with a few tablespoons of the guacamole and sprinkle with queso fresco. Place the top halves on the bottom halves. Slice vertically and serve immediately.

4. Kale, Tomato, and Tofu Breakfast Burritos

kale

Kale | Thinkstock

Mexican food has a nasty reputation for being loaded with cheese and grease, but these kale, tomato, and tofu breakfast burritos from Veggie and The Beast prove that doesn’t have to be the case. Full of fiber, vitamins, and protein, this vegan meal packs serious flavor without all the bad stuff.

Make an easy scramble by sauteing some veggies, then add crumbled tofu and some spices. Roll it up into a tortilla with mashed avocado and a little bit of hot sauce. If you’re in a hurry, just wrap it in some aluminum foil and it’s good to go.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (14-ounce) package organic firm tofu, drained
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 5 large lacinato kale leaves, large center stems removed, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper fakes (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ripe avocado, mashed
  • Hot sauce, to taste
  • 4 whole wheat tortillas, warmed

Directions: Cut the tofu block in half, wrap in paper towels, then set another cutting board on top. Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stir in the onion and half of the salt. Cook, stirring, until softened. Add the red pepper and tomato and cook for another 2 minutes. Add kale and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes.

Crumble tofu over top, then add spices and remaining salt. Continue to cook over medium heat until tofu has absorbed liquid and is heated through, 7 to 10 minutes.

Spread one-quarter of avocado over each tortilla, then top with tofu scramble. Add hot sauce, roll, and serve.

5. Easy Vegan Breakfast Tacos

Use pomegranates to make Mexican breakfasts

Pomegranate | iStock.com

You might think you’ve had every incarnation of filled tortillas, but these easy vegan breakfast tacos from Minimalist Baker offer a completely different take on a morning favorite. Fill warmed tortillas with seasoned, scrambled tofu and some black beans. Toppings like cilantro, avocado, and pomegranate seeds make these breakfast treats as beautiful as they are delicious.

For the easiest way to seed a pomegranate, hold a halved fruit in your hand, cut side down. Use a wooden spoon to smack the outside of the pomegranate to release the seeds. Just be sure to have a bowl and plenty of dishrags ready; it’s a messy project.

Ingredients:

Tacos

  • 8 ounces firm tofu
  • 1 cup cooked black beans
  • ¼ red onion, diced
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced
  • ½ cup salsa for serving
  • 1 lime, sliced, for serving
  • ¼ cup pomegranate arils
  • Corn tortillas (2 per person), warmed

Tofu seasoning

  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder, plus more
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder, plus more
  • 1 teaspoon cumin, plus more
  • ⅛ teaspoon sea salt, plus more
  • 1 tablespoon salsa
  • 1 tablespoon water

Directions: Wrap tofu in a clean towel and weigh down with a heavy object to help release moisture. Meanwhile, cook beans in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Season with salt, cumin, chili powder, and garlic powder if your beans are unseasoned. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients for tofu seasoning and mix well.

Heat 1 to 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat and crumble in tofu. Cook, stirring, for 4 to 5 minutes. Add seasoning and toss to coat. Continue cooking until browned and fragrant, about 5 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Set aside.

Top tortillas with tofu scramble, black beans, onion, avocado, cilantro, salsa, fresh lime juice, and pomegranate arils. Serve at once

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