Breakfast Round-up

Whether or not you agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, you can’t deny that it is varied, wondrous, and often slightly bizarre. While I prefer brunch, the potential of the humble brekkie cannot be denied; so here are a few of my favourite breakfasts, varying from 2-minute simplicity to… well, the slightly more exotic.

Quick Compote with Yoghurt and Granola (Vegetarian, Vegan)

This is my go-to breakfast for workday mornings; the warm compote gives the whole thing a very satisfying feel, and the granola adds texture. Easy, quick, and tasty.

Serves 1 (roughly 3sp)
Preparation time: 2 minutes

Equipment: a microwave and suitably microwave-safe bowl

Ingredients

  • Handful fresh raspberries (can also use blackberries, blueberries, etc.)
  • 1 tsp granulated sweetener
  • Squidge honey/agave syrup (yes that’s a technical term)
  • 150g natural/Greek-style yoghurt/Soya yoghurt (0% fat)
  • Handful granola of choice

Method

Give the berries a rinse and pop in your bowl, sprinkled with the sweetener. Blast on high for 20-30 seconds in the microwave, then take it out, mash the berries with a fork, and mix in your honey. Dollop the yoghurt on top and sprinkle over the granola. BOOM – all done.

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Brown Rice Mackerel Kedgeree (Pescatarian, Gluten-free)

Yeah, this is a bit of a sliding scale. This is traditionally a breakfast dish made with smoked haddock, but it can be eaten hot for dinner or lunch, cold for breakfast, re-heated the next day for brunch… It’s versatile, is what I’m saying.

Serves 2 (7sp per portion)
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

Equipment: lined roasting tin; medium saucepan with lid; small bowl for cooling the eggs; plate for flaking the fish.

Ingredients

  • 2 mackerel fillets
  • 120g brown rice (use a mug)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 x as much water as rice (just use twice as much mug space as your rice took up)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 heaped tsp medium curry powder (this shouldn’t be too spicy, but if you want to kick up the heat then go for your life)
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 1 bunch coriander (roughly 10g)
  • Cooking spray/splash of oil
  • Pinch salt & pepper

Optional: couple of handfuls frozen peas

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C, boil the kettle, and get your saucepan on a medium-high heat. Choose your poison – either mist the pan with cooking spray or pour a little oil in there. While that heats up, finely dice your onion and, keeping separate, chop the coriander (just use the leaves, unless you want to very finely dice the stalks). Get your mackerel into the roasting tin with a little salt & pepper and chuck in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until opaque throughout.
  2. Cook the onion in the saucepan for 5 minutes or until starting to soften, then add the curry powder, garam masala and rice, stirring so that everything is nicely coated – cook for a further 2 minutes. Crumble in the stock cube and pour over the water, then nestle the eggs on top of the rice so that they’re completely submerged in the water. Pop on the lid and cook the eggs for 7-9 minutes (depending on how runny or hard you want them). The rice will go for roughly 20 minutes in total.
  3. Take the eggs out of the water (carefully) and pop in a bowl with cold water. Take the fish out of the oven, ensuring it’s cooked through, and carefully remove any skin. Leave on a plate to cool for a moment. Maybe have a glass of wine (unless it’s 10am, then stick to the orange juice). Once the rice is cooked – the water will be completely absorbed and holes will appear in the rice all over the surface – take it off the heat and leave the lid on so it can steam for a further 5-10 minutes. If using peas, stir them through before steaming.
  4. Flake the fish with a fork or your hands, being careful to remove any small bones if present (mackerel is an absolute nightmare for this, but in recent years supermarkets seem to be doing better with their de-boning). Peel the eggs, which I talk about in this post, then cut them into quarters. Stir the fish and coriander carefully through the rice and divide between two bowls, garnished with the eggs. Enjoy!

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Veggie Brunch Hash (Vegetarian, Gluten-free)

Recipe here.

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Banana & Bluberry Pancakes (Vegetarian)

Easy, tasty, and incredibly customise-able. You can make them without the flour, but they tend to fall apart very easily – reduce the flour or use another binding agent if you want to experiment, and let me know how it goes!

Serves 2
(3 pancakes per person, 2sp per pancake)
Preparation time: 5 minutes + resting time
Cooking time: 10 minutes

Equipment: frying pan; mixing bowl or jug; spatula or fish-slice for flippin’.

Ingredients

  • 2 large bananas
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 4 heaping tablespoons plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Generous handful of blueberries
  • Cooking spray/splash of oil

Optional: honey, syrup, chocolate sauce, whipped cream…

Method

Get your pan on a medium heat and mist with cooking spray or drop in a little oil. Mash the bananas thoroughly and beat in the eggs, flour, vanilla and baking powder until smooth. Let rest for 5 minutes. When you’re ready to go, drop large spoonfuls of the mixture into your pan (about 1/6th of the mixture each time) then add a few blueberries to the top. Cook for a couple of minutes on the first side, until bubbles are starting to appear in the surface, then carefully flip and cook for a further minute on the second side. You can keep the pancakes warm in a low oven, or cook a few at once if you have a larger pan. Serve with whatever sauces, syrups and accoutrements you fancy.

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Spinach, Cream Cheese & Roasted Tomato Omelettes (Vegetarian, Gluten-free)

I saw something similar to this on Pinterest the other day (land of wonder and picture-perfect smoothie bowls) — I clocked the picture and immediately wanted to do my own take, so scurried off to experiment without even checking their ingredients list.

Serves 2 (3sp per portion)
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

Equipment: Lined roasting tin; medium frying pan; spatula or fish-slice; bowl for coating tomatoes.

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 pint (140ml) skimmed milk
  • 50g light cream cheese
  • 200g cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 80g fresh spinach
  • Cooking spray/splash of oil
  • Salt & pepper

Method

  1. Get your oven on at 180°C. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half, take the leaves off the thyme sprigs and chop roughly, and finely dice the garlic. Pop everything in a bowl, add salt & pepper and mist generously with cooking spray, then toss everything together and place on the lined baking sheet. Cook for 15-20 minutes until most of the tomatoes are starting to colour nicely. Take out to cool slightly (because hot tomatoes will burn the skin off the roof of your mouth).
  2. Put your frying pan on a medium-high heat and mist with cooking spray/add your oil. Whisk your eggs and milk together with a pinch of salt and a generous amount of black pepper and set aside. Once the pan is hot, pour in half of your egg mixture, swirling the eggs round the pan to coat. As it starts to firm up, pull in the edges with your spatula and let the raw egg fill the gaps. You can then either pop the omelette under the grill until just cooked, or you can flip it if you’ve got a taste for danger. Slide the omelette onto a plate and cook the second omelette in the same way.
  3. Spread the cream cheese over each of the omelettes, add the spinach and as many tomatoes as you fancy – then fold over and consume. Use any excess tomatoes another day, if you have any leftovers.

(Just FYI the tomatoes are apparently delicious with leftover slices of baked chimichurri tofu and cucumber in a wholemeal deli bun, but someone left their sandwich at home and their partner got to eat it instead. SIGH.)

Chipotle Beans with Feta (Vegetarian, Gluten-free)

Serves 2 (2sp per portion)
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

Equipment: large frying pan; sieve or strainer.

Ingredients

  • 400g tin cannellini beans
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1 tsp chipotle paste
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 vegetable stock cube in 200ml boiling water
  • 50g light feta cheese
  • Pinch chilli flakes
  • Cooking spray/splash of oil
  • Salt & pepper

Optional: Toasted rye bread, wholegrain/brown bread, crumpet, bagel… Would also be wonderful on a baked potato for dinner.

Method

  1. Get your pan on a medium heat with your cooking spray/oil and boil a kettle. Start off by chopping your onion and garlic, getting as fine a dice as you can on both. Drain your cannellini beans and give them a rinse under cold water. When the pan is hot, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes until starting to soften, then add the garlic and cook for a further minute. Add salt and pepper.
  2. Pour in the tomatoes, and add the stock cube and boiling water. Add the chipotle paste and chilli flakes, stir, then let bubble away for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the cannellini beans and cook for a further 5 minutes. If you’re having toast, pop the bread in the toaster or under the grill now. Put toast on plates, if using (the toast, not the plates – you should definitely be using some kind of crockery), then divide the beans between the two plates and crumble over the feta.

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Let me know what you think of the recipes; what do you cook up when you’ve got a bit more time for breakfast? Any weekend traditions? When I can’t be bothered it’s usually ‘eggy bread’ (otherwise known as french Toast) but that doesn’t really count as a recipe… Delicious though it is. God I could go for some eggy bread right now.

Hattie

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