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Breakfasts Inspired from Other Cultures

Are you someone who struggles with making decisions around breakfast, or don’t really like “breakfast food”? If you answered yes, I see you and can see that having that first meal of the day can be that much more challenging, especially if you are in eating disorder recovery and having to introduce more consistent and adequate nutrition. Something that can be helpful for clients to challenge when struggling with breakfast is to come away from only considering the more traditional fare of the American breakfast. You can certainly have leftovers for breakfast if you prefer this. Another helpful idea when brainstorming viable and tasty options is to look at what other cultures incorporate into their first meal of the day!


Changua - This is a soup made with water, milk, potatoes and is typically served with a fresh egg cracked over it without breaking the yolk. This method allows the egg to cook in the hot broth. It is typically served with scallions or cilantro, bread softened in the soup, and some pieces of cheese melted.

Costa Rica:

Gallo Pinto - This dish is a combination of rice and beans (first cooked separately), and then fried together, seasoned with cilantro and most often served with plantains and fried eggs.


Breakfast in Germany is often much more savory compared to other European countries and includes many components that can be combined and consumed in a “mix and match”-like fashion. Typical fare includes bread, cured meats, cheeses, eggs, raw vegetables, and jams or honey to add to the bread.


Shakshuka - This one may be more well-known than others on the list, as it’s been spotted on brunch menus and as a frozen entree available at Trader Joe’s! Shakshuka combines eggs poached in a heavily spiced tomato sauce.


This is definitely a nod away from traditional breakfast food (which is totally ok!), as a common Japanese breakfast often contains items such as miso soup, white rice, grilled fish, edible seaweed (nori), fermented soybeans (natto), and salad or pickled veggies.


Chilaquiles - Similar to Shakshuka, perhaps you have spotted this one on a restaurant menu, but haven’t considered making it at home. Chilaquiles include corn tortillas which are cut into smaller pieces and lightly fried, next they are simmered in salsa or mole sauce until softened. Toppings then include an array of different items such as crema, queso fresco, pulled chicken, raw onion, avocado, fried egg and is frequently served with rice and beans.

Middle East:

Haleem - This is a thick stew that usually cooks for up to eight hours made from wheat, barley, minced beef or mutton, lentils, many spices and sometimes rice. Toppings include fried onion and more spices.


Tapsilog - The name of this dish is a combination of the three components that make it up: tapa (thin slices of beef), sinangag (garlic fried rice), and itlog (eggs). It is typically served alongside fresh tomatoes, cucumber slices, and a spicy vinegar dipping sauce.

Some other unique items often incorporated into different cultures breakfast meals to consider trying as part of your breakfast meal include: pastries such as Croissants and churros, Vegemite, crepes, porridge, rice pudding, oatmeal, plantains, smoked salmon, muesli, baked beans, Naan bread, and kielbasa.



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