Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash & Everything You Need to Know About Protein

A tasty sweet potato breakfast hash recipe that you will love and EVERYTHING you need to know about protein! | read more at happilythehicks.com

A lot of the breakfast recipes I’ve shared on Happily the Hicks are sweet (blame it on my sweet tooth), so today I decided it was time to share something different! This is my last recipe post for February, and I have to admit… it’s a good one. I usually crave sweet things in the morning, or eat some avocado toast, but every once in a while I love me a good and hearty breakfast. Especially while training for a half marathon, a breakfast like this is a great recovery meal after a long run, and won’t leave me starving just a few hours later! 

But before we get to the recipe, I thought I would spend a little time talking about protein. I’ve briefly mentioned some of my favorite forms of protein before (which you can read about here), and today I’m sharing my go-to vegetarian forms of protein that are perfect for breakfast. 

A tasty sweet potato breakfast hash recipe that you will love and EVERYTHING you need to know about protein! | read more at happilythehicks.com

Everything You Need to Know About Protein

Before we kick things off, though, I do want to make it clear that I am not a vegetarian, nor do I want to be one. I love meat. However, most mornings I either don’t have the time to cook some or I don’t feel like eating meat, so I opt for other ways of getting in the protein that my body needs. It’s also fun to mix things up, which is another reason vegetarian forms of protein are so popular in my kitchen. 

Benefits of Protein

Protein is a critical component of every cell in your body, and your body uses it to repair muscle and build tissue. It also plays a part in making enzymes, hormones and is a building block for bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood. Our body needs a LOT of protein (hence why it’s called a macronutrient), and since your body does not store protein like it does fat and carbohydrates, you need to eat it daily. 

Although protein is a macronutrient, we really don’t need to eat as much of it as we think we do. According to the US Department of Health, active men and teenaged boys need about seven ounces of protein a day, children, most women and older people need five ounces and active women, teenage girls and most men need six ounces. Eating a high-protein diet has many drawbacks (which you can read about here), but there is a lot of evidence showing that eating a high-protein diet can decrease your feelings of hunger and help you feel satisfied for longer than high-fat or high-carb diets. So as long as you are staying within the recommended amount of protein that you need, then you will be golden! Also, try to stick to leaner proteins like fish, poultry, beans, nuts and soy that will keep your body healthy and happy. 

A tasty sweet potato breakfast hash recipe that you will love and EVERYTHING you need to know about protein! | read more at happilythehicks.com

Complete Proteins

Proteins are built of amino acids. There are twenty different kinds of amino acids that can form a protein, and nine of them the body cannot produce on its own (also known as essential amino acids). In order for the protein we consume to be considered a “complete protein”, it needs to have equal amounts of each of those essential amino acids. Meats and eggs are complete proteins, but beans and nuts aren’t. So when it comes to finding alternate forms of protein, you need to try and make sure you are consuming all the amino acids your body needs. Here are some of my favorite vegetarian forms of protein:

  • Quinoa
  • Ezekiel Bread
  • Chia seeds
  • Eggs
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Legumes and Seeds
  • Grains and Nuts/Seeds 
  • Legumes and Grains
  • Legumes and Nuts/Seeds

For more information about legumes, you should read this three part series that was written by one of my friends, Dixya on her blog, Food, Pleasure and Health. There’s a LOT of great information in there, and I definitely look at legumes differently now. 

So regardless of whether you eat vegetarian forms of protein, or stick to more meats, I hope this helps you understand a little bit better just how great protein is for you! 

A tasty sweet potato breakfast hash recipe that you will love and EVERYTHING you need to know about protein! | read more at happilythehicks.com

Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash

Today’s recipe is a delicious mixture between savory breakfast foods and all things healthy. I decided to go a more savory route than some of the other breakfast recipes I’ve been sharing this month. It’s jam packed with veggies, sweet potato and lots of protein!
(It also goes great with a side of toast or a waffle.)

I decided on sweet potatoes over regular russet potatoes, because they are high in vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, fiber and many other nutrients your body loves. It gives the dish some healthy carbs to keep you full and ready to tackle the day. I also included some butternut squash (because it’s just so delicious!), zucchini and onions. It was the perfect mix between sweet and savory. I included eggs and some white beans for some texture and to add some protein to the dish. So so good, y’all! 

Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash

Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 1 zucchini
  • 2 cups butternut squash
  • 1 can Great Northern Beans (or any other white bean)
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 8 eggs
  • Avocado (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large cast iron skillet. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Chop the sweet potato into 1/4 inch cubes. Add to the skillet and begin cooking.
  3. Chop the onion, zucchini and butternut squash into 1/4 inch cubes. Add to the skillet and cook on medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until softened.
  4. Add the beans (and their liquid) to the skillet. Stir and simmer for 5 minutes or until sauce has thickened.
  5. Make eight wells in the veggies and crack an egg into each well.
  6. Bake in the oven for 5-10 minutes or until the egg whites are cooked.
  7. Top with some avocado and dig in!
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Now it’s your turn to talk! Answer one of the following questions in the comments below:
What is your favorite vegetarian form of protein?
Do you have a savory breakfast dish you LOVE?

A tasty sweet potato breakfast hash recipe that you will love and EVERYTHING you need to know about protein! | read more at happilythehicks.com

References:
http://www.webmd.com/men/features/benefits-protein#1
http://greatist.com/health/complete-vegetarian-proteins

Complete Vs. Incomplete Protein Sources

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What do you think

  1. Jill Hamilton McMeans

    February 22nd, 2017 at 7:20 am

    Ohhhh myyyy goodness!!!!!!! How delicious does this look. Thank you for sharing. I’m always trying to incorporate proteins with my breakfast. I’ll try this out- I loooveeee a good morning casserole too. Have great day!! :)

  2. Happily the Hicks

    February 22nd, 2017 at 7:41 am

    Thanks so much, Jill!! :) I’m glad you like the recipe- it was SO good. I ate it for dinner (because breakfast for dinner is my favee), and it’s also
    PERFECT for brunch. I hope you have a great day too!

  3. Rebecca @ Happily the Hicks

    March 8th, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    Me too!! Breakfast casseroles are sooo good! Glad you liked the recipe!

  4. Elizabeth

    February 22nd, 2017 at 7:27 am

    That is one gorgeous looking recipe! What are great northern beans, though, and can we get them in the UK?

  5. Happily the Hicks

    February 22nd, 2017 at 7:40 am

    Thank you so much Elizabeth! They are just a type of white bean, so any other similar type of bean will work perfectly. :)

  6. Rebecca @ Happily the Hicks

    March 8th, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    Thanks Elizabeth! They are honestly just a type of white bean. You can use any white bean, or something like a pinto, kidney or even garbanzo bean!

  7. Teri- My40somethinglife.com

    February 22nd, 2017 at 8:01 am

    Looks great! Wish I had seen this post yesterday! I could have prepped and enjoyed it this morning! Thanks! I’m pinning!

  8. Rebecca @ Happily the Hicks

    March 8th, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    Better late than never, right?? Were you able to give it a try after all?

  9. Sophisticated Rust

    February 22nd, 2017 at 8:15 am

    This looks super yummy! I definitely want to try this ASAP!

  10. Rebecca @ Happily the Hicks

    March 8th, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    You should! It’s seriously SO SO good.

  11. KenyaRae

    February 22nd, 2017 at 8:24 am

    I absolutely love sweet potato hash. it is one of my favorite things that the hubby makes!

  12. Rebecca @ Happily the Hicks

    March 8th, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    Yum! What does he put in his hash? I’m always looking for more recipe ideas!

  13. KenyaRae

    March 8th, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    He does the sweet potatoes, peppers, onions, scrambled egg, turkey sausage. And it’s sooo darn good!

  14. Stephanie

    February 22nd, 2017 at 8:27 am

    This looks amazing! I love sweet potatoes but have never had it as a hash!

  15. Rebecca @ Happily the Hicks

    March 8th, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    It’s definitely one of my new favorite ways to prep sweet potatoes! I love having all the flavors play off each other, and it makes prepping a meal SO easy.

  16. Sarah Jean

    February 22nd, 2017 at 8:38 am

    Pinned! No joke, I am getting these ingredients saturday and making for Sunday breakfast before church :)

  17. Rebecca @ Happily the Hicks

    March 8th, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    Yay!! How did you like it? :) I love hearing you talk about trying out the recipes. It makes my heart smile :)

  18. Kara

    February 22nd, 2017 at 9:32 am

    This looks so yummy! I have been looking for a new way to prep my sweet potatoes :)

  19. Rebecca @ Happily the Hicks

    March 8th, 2017 at 11:59 am

    I’m glad you liked the recipe! It is such a fun way to prep sweet potatoes, isn’t it??

  20. Jen Enoch

    February 22nd, 2017 at 9:45 am

    This is perfect timing! I’m doing the Whole30 next month, so I’m taking the rest of this month to gather recipes for quick reference. This is everything I need, and thank you so much for going into detail about the protein. Exactly what I’ve been looking for!

  21. Rebecca @ Happily the Hicks

    March 8th, 2017 at 11:59 am

    Awesome! Good luck on the Whole30- how’s it going so far? And I’m glad this post was able to help you a bit in preparing for it. :)

  22. Jackie

    February 22nd, 2017 at 9:55 am

    Saw this on your insta this morning! I think I’m going to try this when I meal prep this weekend!

  23. Rebecca @ Happily the Hicks

    March 8th, 2017 at 11:58 am

    Awesome!! I hope you enjoyed it :)

  24. Bonnie Marrow

    February 22nd, 2017 at 10:11 am

    I preach about protein at breakfast! So important for a good start to the day!

  25. Rebecca @ Happily the Hicks

    March 8th, 2017 at 11:58 am

    I agree! I feel like my breakfast isn’t complete unless it has some form of protein with it. I just know from experience that I need it if I’m going to get through the day!

  26. Jessica Jade

    February 22nd, 2017 at 10:27 am

    This looks absolutely delicious. It seriously made me hungry. I need this in my life this weekend. Bookmarking.

  27. Rebecca @ Happily the Hicks

    March 8th, 2017 at 11:49 am

    I’m right there with you! All I can think about right now is delicious sweet potato and eggs. Yum!! Were you able to give the recipe a try?

  28. Neely

    February 22nd, 2017 at 10:33 am

    We do breakfast potatoes with sweet potatoes all the time. Def trying this!

  29. Rebecca @ Happily the Hicks

    March 8th, 2017 at 11:49 am

    Yuum that sounds so good! Hope you give this recipe a try!

  30. Jessica Bradshaw

    February 22nd, 2017 at 10:42 am

    YUMMM!!! This looks so yummy! I love the avocado on top. I am just now getting in to using a cast iron skillet and love seeing yummy recipes like this!

  31. Rebecca @ Happily the Hicks

    March 8th, 2017 at 11:48 am

    Ahh cast iron skillets are my favorite cooking utensil! You just can’t beat a one pan (or in the case, skillet) dinner.

  32. Charlotte

    February 22nd, 2017 at 11:06 am

    Wow this looks so good. I am a fan of all the ingredients in this and have been craving hash browns since I ate them every morning at my all-inclusive but bonus since these are healthy! Thank you for sharing!!

  33. Rebecca @ Happily the Hicks

    March 8th, 2017 at 11:48 am

    Mmmm I remember reading about your trip! I’m sure it’s hard to go back to reality after a trip like that haha. This is a great variation on the traditional hash, and I hope you give it a try!

  34. Divya @ Eat. Teach. Blog.

    February 22nd, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    I’m not a vegetarian either, but I despise cooking meat! I will gladly eat it if someone else makes it or it’s already prepared, but I can’t make it on my own. So I tend to rely on the vegetarian proteins a lot! This hash looks like it’s the perfect brunch food! I love sweet potatoes in the AM!

  35. Rebecca @ Happily the Hicks

    March 8th, 2017 at 11:47 am

    I honestly hated cooking meat up till I got married and kinda had to if we were going to eat that night haha! I’m still terrified of getting sick from chicken, but that’s about it.
    And thanks so much! It was definitely a delicious way to enjoy breakfast.

  36. Krissie Aguilar

    February 22nd, 2017 at 4:08 pm

    YUM! This sounds delicious. I love the blend of sweet potato, squash, and beans. Such a hearty breakfast :)

  37. Rebecca @ Happily the Hicks

    March 8th, 2017 at 11:46 am

    Oh it is SO hearty and so good! Kept me happy and full for hours. :)

  38. Ohbeehave

    February 22nd, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    That looks really tasty! We have been trying to cut down on our red meats lately, so I love to find alternative options like this :)

  39. Rebecca @ Happily the Hicks

    March 8th, 2017 at 11:45 am

    I getchu girl! My hubby’s family owns like 30 cows, so we have red meat occasionally, but I try to stick to the more lean protein choices, and keep my red meat to about once a week or so!

  40. Jewels Rhode

    February 22nd, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    This was super informative! I’ve been looking for different healthy and tasty breakfast options and this one looks amazing! I definitely want to make this!

  41. Rebecca @ Happily the Hicks

    March 8th, 2017 at 11:45 am

    Awesome! I’m glad you liked the recipe- Let me know if you give it a try! You’ll love it!

  42. Leah

    February 22nd, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    wow. so much information and a yummy recipe. Pinned it.

  43. Rebecca @ Happily the Hicks

    March 8th, 2017 at 11:44 am

    Thanks for sharing, Leah!

  44. Cara Owens-Kindly Unspoken

    February 22nd, 2017 at 8:44 pm

    I’ve never thought to cook sweet potatoes for breakfast but this looks delicious. I really want to add more protein to my diet, so thanks for all of the helpful tips!

  45. Rebecca @ Happily the Hicks

    March 8th, 2017 at 11:44 am

    You should! It’s SO good, and I love that it’s a healthier carb that my body loves. Glad you enjoyed the tips, too!

  46. Jill Campbell

    February 22nd, 2017 at 9:35 pm

    Oh wow, this looks amazing! And the avocado is the perfect garnish! I never thought of using sweet potatoes in a breakfast dish – defo bookmarking this for later :)

  47. Rebecca @ Happily the Hicks

    March 8th, 2017 at 11:44 am

    Thanks Jill! The avocado was sooo good with the sweet potato. And you should give it a try! It’s a great sweet/savory meal that works for breakfast and brinner :)

  48. lovelyluckylife

    February 22nd, 2017 at 10:34 pm

    this looks ahhhmazing! love that you used sweet potatoes instead of white

  49. Rebecca @ Happily the Hicks

    March 8th, 2017 at 11:43 am

    I honestly can’t remember the last time I bought regular white potatoes. I am a huge sweet potato fan, and love that they work in sweet and savory dishes!

  50. Danielle Siero

    February 23rd, 2017 at 6:15 am

    This looks so tasty!!! I would have never thought to use sweet potatoes in a breakfast hash!

  51. Rebecca @ Happily the Hicks

    March 8th, 2017 at 11:43 am

    Girl, it was SO good. The perfect mix between sweet and savory! :)

  52. Amaris

    February 23rd, 2017 at 11:13 am

    This looks so so good! Pinning for later!

  53. Rebecca @ Happily the Hicks

    March 8th, 2017 at 11:42 am

    Thanks for pinning, Amaris!

  54. Tara

    February 23rd, 2017 at 11:30 am

    This dish looks really colorful and flavorful. My husband loves sweet potato. I don’t like it that much, but would make it for sure.

  55. Rebecca @ Happily the Hicks

    March 8th, 2017 at 11:42 am

    Thanks Tara! One of my friends (who doesn’t like sweet potato) has told me that she loves white sweet potatoes. They have the same properties as the regular ones, but the flavor is different! Worth a try :)

  56. Dixya Bhattarai RD

    February 23rd, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    i love savory breakfast such as this one..or anything with egg + avocado combo! thank you for including my link :)

  57. Rebecca @ Happily the Hicks

    March 8th, 2017 at 11:41 am

    Me too! I go through phases where all I want is something sweet in the morning, and others when I crave all things savory. This is definitely a winner for those mornings!
    And it was my pleasure, Dixya! I love your blog :)

  58. Jess Beer

    February 23rd, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    I always make sure to have a lot of protein the morning – it makes such a difference in my energy levels!

  59. Rebecca @ Happily the Hicks

    March 8th, 2017 at 11:40 am

    I agree completely! I can definitely tell a difference in my day when I have a good, protein rich breakfast compared to the days when I don’t.

  60. MK

    February 23rd, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    I love the rundown of proteins you included in the post. I recently discovered celeriac (check it out on my blog) and would include that with the potatoes. You can prepare it the same way as the sweet potatoes in your recipe. This would go along with your desire to use ingredients with more vitamin A and C.

  61. Rebecca @ Happily the Hicks

    March 8th, 2017 at 11:40 am

    Wow I’ll have to check it out! Sounds right up my alley :)

  62. Sheila

    February 23rd, 2017 at 10:52 pm

    Protein is so important to keep yourself fueled up! It keeps my energy going!

  63. Rebecca @ Happily the Hicks

    March 8th, 2017 at 11:39 am

    I completely agree! It’s amazing how much I need it!

I'm a sinner saved by grace who loves staying active and eating healthy. I am married to my high school sweetheart, Isaac, and I'm mama to James and an adorable puppy named Lillie.

MORe

I'M BECCA, AND I'M SO GLAD YOU'RE HERE.

healthy living blogger

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