Ethnic flavors make meatless breakfast dishes pop

K-12 vegetarian breakfast idea

From Bush's Best®.

As lunch and dinner traffic continues to be a pain point for the foodservice industry, a number of operators are betting on breakfast—and not just in the morning. Many foodservice directors are finding that breakfast flavors work across all menu parts; even McDonald’s is currently testing all-day breakfast. In the K-12 segment, school districts are focusing on breakfast to build participation and boost child nutrition.

All operators with a stake in breakfast have the same challenge—creating menu items that are tasty, easy to execute and unique from what the other guys sell. Lending K-12 foodservice directors a big hand with this is a familiar friend: beans. Packed with nutrients and flavor, these little legumes have a long, broad reach into global cuisines, healthful diets and breakfast as well as lunch.

Breakfasting on beans may seem odd to Americans, but it’s a global practice ripe for adoption here. In fact, ethnic-inspired breakfast items—fertile ground for bean cuisine—is a top-20 food trend, according to the National Restaurant Association’s 2015 What’s Hot Culinary Forecast.

For our cousins across the pond, a full English breakfast, or fry-up, may include baked beans along with eggs, blood pudding, bacon, sausage, fried tomato and fried bread. A simpler, quicker option is beans on toast.

Beans are breakfast staples in Hispanic cultures as well. El Salvador has its own version of beans on toast that includes cheese and an egg. In Cuba, moros y cristianos, a dish of black beans and rice, is often topped with eggs in the morning. And Costa Ricans breakfast on gallo pinto, a dish of red or black beans, white rice, onions and peppers that’s also commonly enjoyed with eggs.

Further inspiration awaits those who spin the globe. Asia offers breakfast pastries filled with sweet beans or sweet rice. The Middle East greets the dawn with ful medames—stewed fava beans garnished with eggs and vegetables.

As global flavors such as these trickle down to schools, two products from Bush’s Best® are well suited for K-12 breakfast menus. Bush’s Best® Bean Pot Maple Baked Beans are simmered with real maple syrup, brown sugar and a blend of spices. Kids will enjoy the restrained sweetness and inviting maple flavor that they recognize from pancake syrup and maple-flavored breakfast meats. Try them as a breakfast side dish or pureed as a dip for French toast sticks or sausage links.

Bush’s Best® Taco Fiesta Black Beans are dark, rich beans in a not-too-spicy sauce enhanced with a zesty mix of authentic Mexican seasonings. They pair brilliantly with breakfast meats and eggs and shine in breakfast burritos, tacos and quesadillas. Serve them in breakfast bowls with scrambled eggs, and hash browns, or tuck them into whole-wheat tortillas with fresh veggies, melted cheese and salsa for a kid-pleasing morning wrap.

In addition, Bush’s Best® Bean Pot Maple Baked Beans and Taco Fiesta Black Beans help out K-12 operators in another important way: They count as a vegetable in a breakfast-for-lunch or brunch-for-lunch meal, which is essential for qualifying as a reimbursable meal.

For recipes and tips for using Bush’s Best® Beans at breakfast, visit

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