In-season veggies at breakfast are routinely on the menu at Torch Lake B&B, but nothing’s routine about the way they’re incorporated into your meal. “I do not use recipes,’ says innkeeper Deb Cannon, “and most of my dishes you will experience only once.”
Check out the photo above of an egg bake with ribbons of zucchini, mushrooms, and delicious cheeses on top. Scratch-made? Perhaps served only once?
Let that sink in for a moment.
When was the last time breakfast both surprised and delighted you and gave you at least one serving of those veggies you’re supposed to eat every day?
Of course, Michigan bed and breakfast innkeepers also excel at sweeter breakfast fare, but for this article we single out nine Michigan inns that do veggies at breakfast proud.
Click the B&Bs’ names for more information about them. Presented in alphabetical order.
Authentic tastes of the Middle East at breakfast in the UP
Innkeeper Renee Richer’s work as a scientist and academic led her to live in the Middle East, where she learned to appreciate the great taste and health benefits of tabbouleh and hummus.
When the ingredients are abundant in her gardens, guests will often see tabbouleh as a side dish at breakfast. Hummus, too.
Everything featured on the breakfast menu at this two-room Upper Peninsula B&B near Escanaba is grown or produced locally, and often right there on the farm.
Tabbouleh is a simple, healthy salad made of very finely chopped vegetables, lots of minced parsley, a little mint and bulgur wheat, all tossed with lemon or lime juice and olive oil. Made like Renee does, it’s packed with superfoods.
Hummus is a creamy combination of chickpeas, garlic, olive oil, tahini and/or lemon juice. It’s a high-fiber source of plant-based protein, offering many nutrients, including anti-inflammatory benefits.
As an add-on to the experience of staying at The Farmhouse, Renee offers a workshop in which you’ll learn to make authentic hummus and tabbouleh. Inquire when you book your stay.
“Then I top it with a fig balsamic vinaigrette…”
At this six-room B&B located in Oceana County, renowned for its asparagus crop, you’ll get a tasty breakfast that will make you question allegiance to that same-old-same-old served elsewhere.
Innkeeper Patrice Martin says, “My philosophy on veggies for breakfast is that guests love them! They especially love when we incorporate and/or feature produce that is in season and grown locally.
“I’ve recently taken to including a small breakfast salad on the entrée plate: mixed local greens, avocado, Cara Cara oranges, blueberries, tomatoes – whatever strikes my fancy! Then I top it with a fig balsamic vinaigrette or house-made berry coulis and some goat cheese crumbles. Voila’! Tasty and nutritious!”
Fresh and local sourcing starts right outside her door
With the bounty of Friske Farm Market down the road and with some ingenuity in persuading top Michigan suppliers to deliver to her small-town B&B 11.4 miles from Charlevoix, innkeeper Marci Palajac has lots of fresh produce to choose from for the artful and healthy breakfasts she serves to guests on the big front porch overlooking a lake.
And then there are the lettuces and herbs Marci grows right on the property in an array of attractive pots. People who like to know where their food is coming from can see some of it growing right along a walkway.
For the brief time they’re in season, grilled garlic scapes sometimes put in a showy appearance on breakfast plates at House on the Hill B&B. “Many guests have never eaten them and are surprised by how good they are,” Marci says.
Scapes are bright-green fusilli-like shoots that emerge from the ground from hard-neck garlic varieties. They get snipped so the plant’s energy is directed to the garlic.
A potato side dish you don’t get at a chain breakfast joint
Instead of hash browns, innkeeper Betsy DeWaard often serves creamy potatoes with bacon as a side dish with egg entrees. “Guests get a kick out of it,” she says.
She starts with “good old Michigan russet potatoes,” adds cream cheese, cheddar cheese, sour cream, butter, and let’s not forget the thick-cut bacon. Email her to get the recipe.
Better yet, book a stay at this welcoming B&B, located in a quiet neighborhood and right on one of Holland’s bike trails. You’ll love the patio, gazebo and large, beautiful garden.
Chemist makes breakfast magic from corn cob “milk”
Innkeeper Diana Phillips teaches college-level chemistry, so she knows a thing or to about combining ingredients to make something interesting. Take her bread pudding featuring bourbon-roasted corn. To top it, she makes a creme anglaise by scraping the “milk” from the corn cobs and cooking it in whole milk before adding other ingredients, including lime zest.
Diana says, “Not all of our breakfasts have a vegetable component, but many do. We offer many vegetarian and vegan options. Carnivores often will get a side dish of sliced fresh tomatoes and/or root vegetables.
“We prepare all of our meals fresh from the freshest ingredients we can find and often shop at the farmers market and road-side stands.”
One guest favorite is a cauliflower-crusted quiche. In another quiche, shown in photo, the crust is made with thinly sliced sweet potatoes. A variety of vegetables are in the filling. This one has spinach, onions, red, orange and yellow peppers and mushrooms.
Backyard-to-table breakfasts at a B&B near Rochester
Innkeepers Jan and Mark Smith are helping their 1880s Greek Revival farmhouse and 14-acre property get in touch with its roots as a working farm in Northern Oakland County. They’ve got chickens situated in a new henhouse, and small crops growing in raised beds.
In season, early-rising guests might see Jan outdoors picking and snipping veggies or herbs for their breakfast. They grow tomatoes, beans, peppers, Brussels sprouts, horseradish, zucchini and pumpkins.
Mark grew up about a mile away on a farm with 6,000 chickens, so for him this is small-scale but manageable and perfect for their needs.
As breakfast is being served to guests staying in their three king suites, he and Jan love to list all the ingredients that came from the property or from one of numerous nearby farm markets and orchards.
If you are addicted to cooking shows and Pinterest recipe pages, you’ll love the yummy, photo-worthy dishes Jan prepares. “When I find a new recipe incorporating fresh veggies at breakfast, there’s a good chance my family members will be my first tasters and critics,” Jan says.
Inn takes home-grown veggies and herbs to new heights
In raised beds and pots, many in screened enclosures to keep out critters, the innkeepers at this SW Michigan B&B and event center grow an impressive list of veggies and herbs.
Start with the ABCs: arugula, beets, carrots, green beans, peppers, kale, lettuce, fennel, leeks, green onions, tomatoes and lavender, plus chives, cilantro, basil, oregano, rosemary, regular mint and chocolate mint.
This beautiful 500-acre property, owned by Amber and Braden Janowski, has a chapel, reception space, woods, trails, a covered bridge and more. The St. Joseph River runs alongside. Six B&B rooms are located in The River House.
Amber Janowski says, “We use the herbs in omelets, quiche, on roasted potatoes, and as garnish. We serve the mint with fresh berries or hot tea. Cilantro is great for fresh guacamole served with breakfast burritos.
“We also make breakfast smoothies frequently, and there are lots of smoothie recipes out there that incorporate veggies such as kale.
“Fresh side salads go great with quiche or breakfast casseroles. The green onions go in so many items, including egg muffins, quiche, omelets, scrambled eggs with roasted veggies, etc. We often make our breakfast egg muffins or quiche with spinach, mushrooms and/or asparagus for our vegetarian clients.”
Asparagus shines on the plate here, especially in spring
West Michigan is a top U.S. grower of asparagus in the nation, and in season, says innkeeper Carin Orth, “We get it right from the field to our table. A farmer friend, Pete Conrad, supplies us with a lug at a time.”
A lug is 24-plus pounds of fresh-picked asparagus. Carin and husband Luke keep it fresh in the refrigerator by standing the fresh-cut stalks in a container with an inch of water.
She says, “This tender, green vegetable shines on the plate at breakfast time all year long, but especially during those six or seven weeks of the local farm harvest, when the flavor is incredible.”
A favorite entree at Shining Light Inn is a crustless asparagus quiche with feta and Havarti cheeses, and a few other secret ingredients, served with a side of Ebel’s Canadian bacon.
“Another hit on our springtime menu is two oven-‘poached‘ eggs nestled on top of a toasted multi-grain flatbread with melted Havarti cheese, oven-crisped bacon, asparagus spears, topped off with a béchamel sauce, and a few scallions for garnish. Nothing left but empty plates!” Try not to be hungry when you take another look at the photo.
How Dad taught her to be a creative, innovative chef
Now back to innkeeper Deb Cannon, who doesn’t use recipes. Although not formally trained in the culinary arts, she learned her way around a kitchen from her grandmothers, one Hungarian, the other Italian.
But it was her father who inspired Deb’s creative streak. “He would open the fridge and say, ‘Tonight we are having Must Go.’ Everything in the fridge must go. We would just laugh, but every dinner was different and delicious.”
When you stay at her four-room B&B, you’ll sit down at a breakfast table overlooking the azure-blue waters of Torch Lake. If you can tear your eyes away from the view, turn to watch Deb in her spacious kitchen.
She has some good advice of incorporating veggies in breakfast dishes. “I do not like to put meat in my baked egg dishes or omelets or frittatas. Meat is always served on the side as not to overpower the delicate taste of perfect vegetables. There is nothing like the taste of fresh vegetables stewed together and delicious cheeses.”
Finally, let’s send some love to what Deb considers the most under-appreciated, under-utilized vegetable in breakfast menus: the zucchini.
That’s why we let her zucchini egg bake top this page.
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