I said this before but breakfast is my favourite time of the day. Even if I wake up at 10 am (which has not happened in a while!!) or it takes me a while to have a meal in the morning I will not skip this! It’s just too enjoyable.
The way I make this enjoyable and exciting is by having variety! Breakfast can be boring if you eat porridge every day…so here are some breakfast ideas to have every morning which you can easily fit with your work schedule.
Dairy free and gluten free Berry Boost Smoothie Bowl – I promise you it takes 2 min to do so you shouldn’t pull the excuse of no time :). More recipes to come with different flavours. So what is a smoothie bowl? It’s basically a thick smoothie (doh! I know) which is a lot more filling than a normal drink. Also because everything is blitzed together it means it’s pretty easy to digest and perfect for on the go as well when there is little time and sometimes we forget to put attention and focus on what and how we eat. This berry boost smoothie bowl has a beautiful dark purple colour which you will fall in love with.The colour comes from maqui berries, usually found in Chile and they look pretty similar to elderberries. You can buy this powder in health food shops and must warn you it does come at a hefty price, as most branded “healthy” foods. The dark purple colour is a sign of flavonoids content in maqui berries with some articles saying it has one of the highest contents of these beneficial antioxidants (Fredes et all, 2014) but the actual impact of these on human health has been less researched. I do prefer however to add flavonoids into my diet as much as I can versus eating a piece of cake:). Tuesday
Porridge and to make it interesting slice some banana, add some seeds (whatever you have in the cupboard or whatever you find in the work café if you are lucky enough to have one and sprinkle some cinnamon. I tend to take a banana with me and cinnamon I can find in the work restaurant or borrow from the coffee counter ;). Wednesday
Sourdough with sliced avocado and chilli for a extra kick of capsaicin to get your metabolism going. The way to make this work when you need to rush out of the door? Prepare the ingredients a night before: slice of sourdough, half of avocado, sliced chilli (should take you 3 min) and when at work pop the slice of sourdough in the work’s toaster (hopefully most of work places should have one), use a spoon to take the flesh of avocado out, season with salt, and pop the chilli slices on top. DONE! Thursday
Bircher musli with seeds and fruits (5 min prep). Best to do the night before (just before you brush your teeth or while you cook dinner even better). In a jar or whatever smaller container you have (jar just looks prettier and remember you do eat with you eyes just as much you eat with your mouth) take 4 tbps of oats, add 2tbps of seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, chia, sesame, whatever you have is fine), dried fruits (raisins, currants, untreated cranberries or cherries, again whatever you have in the cupboard) and/or frozen fruits (berries work the best) add juice from half of orange, 1 tbps of yogurt and add pure almond milk so you cover all ingredients. Mix well and leave overnight in the fridge. Don’t forget to take it with you in the morning. Enjoy on the train, at your desk or if you like to eat before you leave for work in the comfort of your own house. Friday
It’s Friday!! If you have the benefit of working from home go freestyle with scrambled eggs on rye toast topped with coriander or parsley or any other herb you like if you fall in the proportion of people that hate coriander (WHY?? It tastes delicious!) for a flavour boost and some added vitamins and beneficial oils. If you do have to go to work (I already feel sorry for you) and at least you are lucky to have a café at work then you can always take a slice of rye toast with you and some herbs and just opt for the work scrambled eggs.
Smoked salmon with avocado on sourdough with a side of watercress or spinach. Sunday
It’s pancake day!! Try these delicious recipes. Or grate an apple or a pair in the normal pancake batter for another twist in the classic. Top with maple syrup and cinnamon.
With these options you do:
Get variety in your diet and therefore different nutrients;
It helps lower your intake of dairy;
You get a good source of protein;
It helps you get different types of carbohydrates into your diet;
Dairy free and gluten free berry boost smoothie bowl
1 ripe banana or if you don’t like banana change for 1 avocado (this is mainly for consistency rather than flavour)
1 large handful of walnuts (you can choose whatever nuts you have in your cupboard but walnuts have a nice flavour)
Small handful pumpkin seeds
Handful frozen berries
Squeeze of lemon juice
A few mint leaves and extra to decorate
1 tbps maqui powder
Half a cup of pure almond milk (I used Rude Health)
Place all ingredients in a blender (I use Nutribullet because it blends everything really smoothly and doesn’t take too much space in my small kitchen but any blender you have should be fine). Blitz for 1 min or so or until everything is smooth.
Scoop out the content into a bowl. It should be pretty thick (the consistency of thick yogurt) holding on the spoon. Level out with the spoon or just give your bowl a few shakes. As we usually eat with the eyes and not just with the mouth decorate as you wish. Here I have used a few drops of coconut yogurt loosened with a few tbsp of almond milk (if you are not dairy intolerant than using normal yogurt works just as fine). Take a cake tester or a toothpick and run swirls through the thick smoothie making sure you run through the middle of your yogurt blobs. Add small leaves of mint and a few leftover frozen berries and it’s done.
It’s pancake day!! That time of the year when Nutella sales are going through the rough. Last year I posted one of my favourite pancake recipes with wonderful ricotta cheese. This time I decided to go the opposite way and share with you guys savoury pancakes. It uses a British favourite veggie, squash with it’s beautiful nutty and sweet flesh. To give this a kick I am using beautiful turmeric root.
About half of squash’s carbohydrates are complex in nature as well as high in fibre. Turmeric is known for it’s content in curcumin which has anti-inflammatory properties and therefore beneficial for arthritis, cardiovascular health and diabetes. Curcumin is better absorbed in the presence of oil and heating it slightly aids absorption.
Grate the squash in a food processor as this will take seconds. Now fit the food processor with an S blade and add all ingredients. Blitz for 3 min until all ingredients combined and you get a bit of air in the batter.
Heat 1 tsp of olive oil in a pan. Take 2 tbps of the mixture and carefully move them around in a 10 cm wide circle. After 1 min move onto the other side and cook for a further min.
If the mushrooms are small quarter them or slice them. In the same pan you cooked the pancakes, add a tsp of olive oil, the mushrooms, the sliced garlic and quartered tomatoes. Constantly move the ingredients in the pan. You want these gently cooked not fried.
Stack 3 pancakes on top of each other on a plate. Put the mushrooms and tomatoes around the pancakes. In the same pan crack an egg. Season with salt and pepper. Put the lid on and cook on low heat for about 1 min or until egg white has set but the yolk is still moving. Pop the egg on top.
Ok…if you are familiar with shakshuka, I know the first thing on your mind will be – why? Why change a recipe by giving a North African dish a Mediterranean twist? Well…I would say because I think it’s worth it! Just give it a try and you will feel transported back to sunny shores and the smell of vineyards in Tuscany on a cold wintery day.
Shaskuka is a dish with eggs poached in a tomato and chilli sauce spiced with cumin, for those that did not have the pleasure to try it before.
This is the perfect dish for breakfast, lunch or brunch served along side a slice of sourdough to dunk in the rich tomato sauce. A perfect addition is a salad of whatever leaves you have in the fridge to add a few extra vitamins and minerals.
WHY SHAKSHUKA IS GOOD FOR YOU?
Shakshuka has also beneficial nutrients. Tomatoes are an amazing source of lycopene when cooked (actually it increases 5 or 6 times vs eating them raw, however you lose the betacarotene and vitamin C which are unstable with heat). It is not just easier but also better to use canned tomatoes in this dish. Let’s face it…the best tomatoes are in Italy (I don’t care if you disagree with me!) and they also are in season in summer. I’ve talked about eggs before so to reiterate, eggs are a complete protein. A bit of a quiz question for you: how many essential amino acids do eggs contain? ANSWER: 8. There are 25 types of animo-acids (molecules which form proteins) which combined make different kinds of protein and there are 8 essential amino-acids and the rest are semi-essential. 30g of egg protein provide 28g of usable protein so you can see how important it is to make eggs part if your diet.
Heat a small oven proof pan with 1 tbps of olive oil. If you have a cast iron pan use that as the taste of the overall dish is much better (cast iron disperses the heat more evenly than other materials so the flavour tends to intensify quicker – there you go, some science for you). Slice the onion and garlic and to the pan, stirring until it softens. Add the sliced chilli (leave the seeds for a gentle kick), sliced pepper and chopped rosemary and stir until the peppers start to soften (around 3 min). This base creates the flavours.
Pre-heat the oven at 200° Celsius.
Now, add the can of chopped tomatoes, the bay leaf and the tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and the pitted olives. Don’t worry if what you have are not pitted olives, just gently slice the flesh from around the stone. I know you might turn an eyebrow when I say adding balsamic vinegar but believe me, this intensifies the tomato flavour, making it even more tomatoey. Season with salt and pepper and let the tomatoes simmer for 5 min to allow all of these flavours to merge together. You don’t want this to just taste of acidic tomatoes. So a of patience will go a long way fir the perfect breakfast/brunch/lunch.
After 5 min, add the chopped basil to the tomatoes and make 2 small wells in the tomato sauce with a spoon. Crack open 2 eggs in the wells. Add a few shavings of parmesan and pop the pan in the oven for 3 min or until the eggs have just set when you give the pan a gentle shake. Don’t worry if you think the whites are not cooked…the residual heat from the pan will continue to cook the eggs but you will thank me for soft yolks. YUM YUM! Just decorate with chopped spring onion for an extra layer of texture and flavour.
There is something exciting about eating different fruits and vegetables every season. As a child I knew that with the start of summer we would start getting cherries (in Romania cherries were the first ones to ripe),followed by strawberries and just a bit later raspberries and blueberries. Nowadays in supermarkets you can get almost anything at any time. While that might be great from a flexibility perspective, there might be many more benefits to eating in season beyond just giving variation to your menu.
Granola is possibly one of my favourite breakfasts ever! I love the toasty flavour and the crunchy texture. This recipe is a twist on your traditional granola adding buckwheat for an extra crunch so read on to see how to make a healthy oat buckwheat granola. It’s been a few weeks since I have posted a recipe but have been more active on Instagram, as it’s much quicker to to take photos of what I cook vs writing a blog post about it:). So if you want to see more of me do follow me on Instagram (on the right side of the page there should be a link to my Instagram page).
But, I am back writing and this week is dedicated to possibly my favourite meal of the day..breakfast. I am sure you’ve heard all this before, but skipping breakfast is really not doing us a favour. It delivers vital nutrients that our body needs to be able to last and function through the day…I am sure you’ve got to that stage when coming lunch after a few hours of not eating you feel you could eat furniture if you had to:). I actually I find it difficult to eat the moment I eat so I tend to eat my breakfast as I get to the office. It’s just finding out what works best for you.
So, going back to the recipe for this week…granola..such a wonderful thing and grateful, grateful to the person that has invented (apparently it dates from late 19th century and traces its origins in New York). The mass produced product mainly found on our supermarkets shelves contains fairly hight amounts of sugar and has little nutritional value. So this recipe is a healthier alternative using considerably less sugars (opted for natural sugars) and I have added buckwheat which is a great source of minerals (potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese) as well as vitamins (B3, pantothenic acid, B2,B1, B9). Plus is gluten free is well so all good for our coeliac friends. Just need to ensure that the oats are also gluten free! You should definitely try this healthy oat buckwheat granola! Continue Reading…
Porridge is almost a British institution…you associate it with British culture (especially if you live on the island like me:) ), but in actual fact it is present in other menus (US, Thailand with the savoury porridge called jok).
It’s an incredibly nutritious breakfast. Usually made out of oats (however you can make it out of other grains like quinoa, millet, amaranth, etc) which contain multiple nutrients (like potassium which regulates blood pressure, hormone and water balance or magnesium which helps with the DNA repair) as well as a water soluble fibre that plays a role in reducing “unhealthy” cholesterol and prevents spikes in blood sugar levels making it a perfect meal for people suffering from diabetes. Oats are easy to digest and useful to relieve upset stomach. Continue Reading…
Who doesn’t like pancakes I don’t believe him. I think they can be the most amazing breakfast and so indulging as well…especially if you “soak” them in chocolate spread as we usually do. But thankfully, I have this amazing recipe which uses ricotta cheese which contains higher amounts of protein than fat (as it’s mainly made of whey cheese which is a by product of cheese making – so an amazing sustainability story:) ). I love using sprouted buckwheat flour for this as it’s gluten free and the fact that has been sprouted means the anti-nutrients have been mainly neutralized. Continue Reading…