Veggie breakfast of champions

Veggie breakfast of champions

Vegetarian recipes: Breakfast – is it rushed and munched on the hoof? Suffer no more – vegans, veggies and carnivores alike will find recipes and ideas here to restore breakfast to its romantic, rightful, whimsical status!

For those lovely vegans out there, you’ll have to get yourselves vegan equivalents for some of the recipes – there are some great websites out there, which many practising vegans will no doubt be well acquainted with – but for starters, have a look at Soya or rice milk and soya yoghurt are good alternatives to dairy products, as is vegan bread, chocolate and even butter alternatives, such as vegetable oil based spreads. Of course, all vegan options are also suitable for vegetarian girlies, but you didn’t need me to tell you that!

So, for starters – if timing is a serious issue for you on some mornings, why not try a smoothie? Not only delicious, they’ll also provide you with a quick start to the day and are packed with nutrients. And really, really yummy, did I mention that? Use fresh or frozen berries – don’t be puritan about your vitamins – frozen fruit is just as nutritious as that sitting in your fruit bowl, and it keeps for longer.

Breakfast smoothie recipe

  • A handful of berries, fresh or frozen
  • 250ml of Soya milk or yoghurt, or fruit juice
  • A banana
  • Peanut butter if you wish
  • Tbsp of espresso powder (totally optional!)
  • Honey (for sweetening purposes)

By all means, add vegetables if you wish, or a combination of fruit and veg. The most brilliant thing about a smoothie has got to be its flexibility in accommodating everyone’s tastes!

Blend the whole lot until smooth, use a food processor or a hand-held blender, then pour into a flask and seal the lid tight – you do not want to have your gorgeous outfit for the day covered in smoothie. Go forth and conquer, ladies, the world is yours in a blender! A granola bar would set this off nicely as well; you’ll want a slow release energy food in your system to keep you going up until lunch.

For those slightly lazier mornings, when you have time to dally in the kitchen, the only limit to a lovely romantic breakfast is your imagination.

Warming porridge with romantic oats

Did you know that some people claim oats to be an aphrodisiac? Personally, I find porridge to be a very nice way of waking up to the day, and being a bland sort of food, you can add whatever toppings or ingredients tickle your taste buds. I love mine with Golden Syrup and cinnamon, but I am no stranger to blueberries and chopped bananas, crushed nuts and shards of chocolate… even chillis could go in there. I recall once eating a huge mound of dark chocolate and chilli porridge – a fantastic way to start a cold Edinburgh morning if ever there was one.

You can make your porridge with either milk (soya or dairy) or water. If you’re a newbie to porridge, make some in a pan first and measure by eye so you can tell when it starts to thicken. One thing I do recommend though, is that you soak your pan and bowl immediately after you’ve consumed your porridge – there’s nothing worse than scrubbing at caked on porridge when you come to do the washing up later on!

For a breakfast that merely requires assembly, why not do a broken down version of a smoothie? Layer granola or muesli in a bowl, add some chopped fruits steeped in fruit juice and then a generous helping of yoghurt (soya yoghurt for our gorgeous vegans). Again, here, you are only limited by your imagination but cubed melon, chopped strawberries, sliced bananas all make rather nice steeped fruits to cover your vegan granola or muesli with.

But… say you fancy something slightly more stodgy? Well, a great vegetarian option is to make yourself some French toast – Jamie Oliver has a superb recipe for eggy bread, as I know it, and I present it to you here as a Sunday morning sort of option.

French toast recipe (posh eggy bread)

  • Two nice thick slices of bread – brown or white
  • Some butter for frying
  • Two large ORGANIC FREE RANGE/FARM EGGS (not only is the flavour far superior, you’re eating and therefore supporting a better kind of egg farming. Poor wee battery hens just ain’t cool.)
  • Splash of milk
  • Sprinkling of any sort of sugar
  • Fillings for your toast! Blueberries and bananas, raspberries, dark chocolate – whatever you fancy.

Beat your eggs together with the milk and the sugar and meanwhile heat a knob of butter in a frying pan. Toss your fruits in a little bit of honey and add the banana (mashed) to help it all stick. Dip both sides of both slices of bread in the eggy mixture and then smear the fruit on one side of the bread. Squish the slices together and then throw the sandwich into the hot pan. Let the toast crisp up and go golden on one side before you flip it over and let the other side cook. Once beautifully crisped and golden, slide it onto a plate and serve with crème fraîche, some more berries and then present at the table, glowing with satisfaction! It couldn’t be easier.

But what if you fancy something savoury? Eek! What to do?

Well, as memory would have it, I remember eating a vegan sort of cooked breakfast in a brilliant cafe in Brighton. They served me two slices of wholemeal toast, one smothered with humous, the other with guacamole, with grilled tomatoes and wild mushrooms on top.

Vegan breakfast recipe

  • Two slices of toast
  • Humous
  • Two tomatoes, halved
  • Two large mushrooms, halved

and for your vegan guacamole:

  • Juice of one lime
  • Two ripe, medium sized avocados
  • Handful of fresh coriander
  • Green chili, deseeded and finely chopped
  • Salt and cracked black pepper to taste

Slice your tomatoes and brush with a little olive oil, as with the mushrooms, and then sit them cut side down on a moderately high grill for five minutes. Toast your bread and whilst you’re waiting for everything to cook, mash your guacamole ingredients with a pestle and mortar – as easy as that. Once your toast is ready, smear one slice with humous, the other with guacamole, then slide your grilled shrooms and tomatoes on top! Mouth-watering and nutritious, and an excellent way to start off your day.

Now, I have to include a meat option, and this is my version of the well-loved bacon sandwich. It is gorgeous in its simplicity, and very, very satisfying.

Bacon crumpets recipe

  • Three rashers of a bacon of your choice (I rather like unsmoked)
  • Three crumpets
  • Butter

Dry-fry your bacon in a hot, heavy bottomed frying pan whilst you toast your crumpets. The crumpets are likely to be ready before the bacon, so spread them with a little butter and once your bacon has crisped up, slide each rasher onto each crumpet, and then consume! This makes a particularly comforting breakfast on a cold rainy day.

All of the above should be served with a steaming cup of tea or coffee, and fresh fruit juice always makes a nice drink to wash your yummy breakfast down with. Enjoy these recipes with a loved one or a friend, have a breakfast party, surprise your boyfriend, or just wake up slowly with an alternative take on the box of cereal and boring toast, sat in the sunshine.

I could go on, and on – but I hope the above recipes have inspired you to come up with your own vegan and vegetarian breakfast options – happy cooking, and more importantly, happy eating!

Crumpets and bacon. Oh goodness. Oh, and a little bit of maple syrup, which makes everything taste better, even salads.

French toast (posh eggy bread). Taken to a new level as fruity french toast kebabs!

Posh porridge