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! 

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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


Ingredients

Scale
  • 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!

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 says:

    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. Elizabeth says:

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

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

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

  5. KenyaRae says:

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

  6. Stephanie says:

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

  7. Sarah Jean says:

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

  8. Kara says:

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

  9. Jen Enoch says:

    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!

  10. Jackie says:

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

  11. Bonnie Marrow says:

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

  12. Jessica Jade says:

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

  13. Neely says:

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

  14. Jessica Bradshaw says:

    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!

  15. Charlotte says:

    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!!

  16. Divya @ Eat. Teach. Blog. says:

    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!

    • 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.

  17. Krissie Aguilar says:

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

  18. Ohbeehave says:

    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 :)

  19. Jewels Rhode says:

    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!

  20. Leah says:

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

  21. 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!

  22. Jill Campbell says:

    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 :)

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

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

  25. Amaris says:

    This looks so so good! Pinning for later!

  26. Tara says:

    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.

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

    • 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 :)

  28. Jess Beer says:

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

  29. MK says:

    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.

  30. Sheila says:

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

I'm becca, and I'm so glad you're here.

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.

meet becca

healthy living blogger

EULESS TEXAS

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