Breakfast Week: Nik’s Warm Asparagus Salad

This blog post title is something of a misnomer. I started wanting to remake a warm asparagus salad I had at Cheesecake Factory. Oh it was lovely! It was on their Skinnylicious Menu and had fresh asparagus, pine nuts, basil, Parmesan Cheese and a fried egg on top.  It was a bit heavy on the oil though so I knew I could do better.

But as I was writing this post I thought to myself, “Self? Since you’re doing this recipe to highlight the Unbreakfast chapter of The Bariatric Foodie Breakfast Book…technically you’ve thrown eggs on top of a lot of stuff…so really you should also highlight that!

And so I will.

But first the salad recipe!

Nik’s Warm Asparagus Salad (Cheesecake Factory Knock-Off)


  • 5 or 6 stalks of asparagus of medium thickness (not super thick, not pencil thin)
  • 1 small tomato, cored and sliced into wedges
  • 1/2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. Italian seasoning (fresh basil and oregano, finely chopped would be better but I had neither on hand!)
  • 1-2 tbsp. (depending on your caloric limits) shelled sunflower seeds (I’ll explain why the switch in a moment)
  • 1 large egg


Spray a skillet with non-stick cooking spray, set it over medium heat and let it get HOT.

Cut off the woody stems of the asparagus (HINT: Usually grocery stores rubber band them at the cut mark but if not, usually where they are definite green and not any white). Then chop asparagus into bite-sized pieces (whatever that means for you).

Add asparagus to the skillet and stir to cook for about 2 minutes. Add tomato. WARNING: The tomatoes are going to release a good deal of water when they hit the heat. It will evaporate quickly.

Add olive oil and spices and toss it all to coat.  Transfer to a plate and set to the side.

Re-spray your pan and fry an egg the way you like it (as you can see, my preferred way is sunny side up!). As your egg is cooking, sprinkle asparagus and tomato with sunflower seeds. I used sunflower seeds because…um…HELLO? Have you checked out the price of pine nuts lately?!?! I mean I love you guys but $13 for a small bag was a bit steep and these work just fine!

Slide your egg on top of the mixture once it’s done and go. To. TOWN!!!

Adding an egg to something is an easy way to make an Unbreakfast, which I define one of two ways in the book. An Unbreakfast is either:

  1. A food that uses traditional breakfast food but could easily work as lunch or dinner. OR…
  2. A food that doesn’t use traditional breakfast food but has great nutrition to start your day.

So with that, here are a few other things I’ve plopped an egg on in the spirit of good eating!

Nik’s Turkey TVP Chili…with a fried egg
Veggie hash…with a fried egg
Spinach, red peppers and mushrooms…with a fried egg
Matchstick peppers…with a fried egg
So those are just a few ideas to get you started. I love putting a fried egg on things mostly because the luscious yolk adds a richness to things that I love. Yes, it’s added fat but it’s added fat with NUTRIENTS which, much as I love it, butter just can’t claim!


  1. Is matchstick peppers with egg recipe in the cookbook? I ordered it and its delivered at my parents house I need to go there and pick it up real soon.

  2. No it isn't. But that's super simple. Cut up peppers, sautée 1-2 minutes. Dump on plate. That's all there is to it!

  3. Do you think a poached egg would work with this recipe?

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