B&Bs where veggies at breakfast star

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  Michigan inns that do veggies at breakfast proud.

Click the B&Bs’ names for more information about them. Presented in alphabetical order.

Four beautifully arranged plates of ham and asparagus quiche with an arugula and spinach salad.
Ready to serve at House on the Hill B&B: Ham and asparagus quiche with an arugula and spinach salad.

Fresh and local sourcing starts right outside her door

House on the Hill B&B, Ellsworth

Garlic scapes, Green Onions and Parsley Fresh from the Garden on a plate at House on the Hill B&B
Garlic scapes, green onions, and parsley fresh from the garden on a plate at House on the Hill B&B.

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

Inn at Old Orchard Road, Holland

Creamy, cheesy potato side dish served at the Inn at Old Orchard Road.
Creamy, cheesy potato side dish served at the Inn at Old Orchard Road.

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”

Knob Hill B&B, Flint

Knob Hill Sweet Potato Crusted Quiche
Knob Hill B&B quiche with a sweet potato crust.

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

Maple Cove B&B, Leonard

Innkeeper Jan Smith snips parsley from a raised planting bed for use in a breakfast dish.
Innkeeper Jan Smith harvests parsley for the breakfast table.

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.

How Dad taught her to be a creative, innovative chef

Torch Lake B&B, Central Lake

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.”

Three slices of Torch Lake B&B’s rolled omelet uses fresh, organic vegetables from Providence Organic Farm in Central Lake..
Torch Lake B&B’s rolled omelet uses fresh, organic vegetables from Providence Organic Farm in Central Lake. This omelet features three cheeses, onions, peppers, and chives grown in the B&B’s garden.

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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