Savory mushroom breakfast bowl

New York City chef Andrew Carmellini's take on a hearty yet healthy morning meal.

We get it: Avocado toast still reigns supreme as your breakfast of choice. But the mornings are getting darker and a.m. workouts are chillier, and it might be time to tuck into something a little more satisfying. There’s always oatmeal, with its big time fiber content, which research published in the Annals of Nutrition & Metabolismmight help significantly curb the size of your lunch.

But if you like your breakfast a little bedecked—for athletes and foodies alike—Chef Andrew Carmelliniof New York favorites Locanda Verde and Lafayette has a perfect post-exercise grain bowl. It’s a balance of carbohydrates, lean protein and healthy fats, plus it contains a secret nutritional heavyweight: mushrooms. One cup of the veg runs you only 19 calories, yet contains a big dose of selenium—which may help lower your risk of certain cancers—as well as B2, a vitamin important for healthy skin, eyes and hair. Research from The State University of New York-University at Buffalo finds mushrooms can help regulate glucose levels, which can help people trying to lose weight or wanting to work out longer, and women saw the most benefit.

This DIY version of Carmellini's sumptuous breakfast at Little Park calls for hen-of-the-woods mushrooms, also called maitake, but oyster will work well, too.

Poached Eggs, Hen-of-the-Wood, and Heirloom Grain Porridge

4 cups barley grits (such as Bob's Red Mill)
1 lb maitake mushrooms, trimmed and broken into medium-sized pieces
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1 garlic clove
1 sprig thyme
1 sprig rosemary
1 cup pine nuts
8 organic eggs
1/2 cup white distilled vinnegar
1/4 cup table salt
1 bunch fresh basil, torn (optional)

Prepare grits according to package directions. In a large pan over high heat, cook mushrooms in oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Reduce heat to medium-high and continue to cook, turning often, until mushrooms are browned but not burned. Stir in butter, garlic, thyme and rosemary and stir; drain mushrooms and set aside. In same pan over medium-high heat, toast pine nuts, stirring frequently, until brown, 3 minutes. In a large pot over high heat, boil together 8 cups water, vinegar and salt. Using a whisk, create a whirlpool in the pot and, one by one, crack eggs in a small bowl and transfer into water. Reduce heat to medium and poach, 3 minutes; remove egg with slotted spoon and repeat for all eggs. Divide porridge, eggs, mushrooms and pine nuts among four bowls. Garnish with basil, if using.