It’s that time of year again! As the sun is coming out to play earlier and earlier, getting up in the mornings is becoming easier and easier. (And if you live in a sauna like me, a necessity if you don’t want to dehydrate before you’re even up!) That can only mean one thing… early, leisurely breakfasts accompanied by a mug of mint green tea.
Yep, early rising means longer breakfasts for me. Why rush around when you have an extra half hour because you didn’t choose to snooze your alarm several million times this month? Enjoy yourself. Or, even better, nourish yourself with something other than a sugary bowl of cereal or slap-dash toast and jam while you fly out the door.
“Breakfast for a King, Lunch for a Lord, Supper for a Pauper”
Growing up, my mum used to love using this rhyme to teach me about how we should eat throughout the day… and then would apologise that she never stuck to that on a daily basis. Having grown up, I now completely understand why we often have our poorest/smallest meal for breakfast and then a huge dinner in the afternoon. It is a simple question of time! Between the 40 minute commute forcing us to leave the house at 8am and struggling to get out of bed before 7am, breakfast can often be squeezed to the point that it is just a slice of two of toast and butter. Sometimes it might just be a coffee in a thermos to drink in the car. Dinner, on the other hand, has become a way of relaxing after work. Wine glass in hand, enjoying a hearty pasta dish with your loved ones after a day at work.
The problem is that eating only a little in the morning and a huge meal in the evening leads straight to weight gain. We’re more likely to graze during the day and go to sleep with food only half digested sitting in our stomach. Neither of which are to be recommended if you’re trying to stay a happy, healthy size and shape.
The health-focused blogging community has jumped at the chance to find solutions for the time-squeezed breakfast. It doesn’t take much to find recommendations and recipes for overnight oats, chia puddings, homemade granola bars, breakfast cookies and even no-carb egg muffins on any platform of your choice. My personal favourite is a green smoothie whizzed up in the morning, either boosted with some fats and protein or paired with toast and hummus/cashew butter.
However, all these recipes are designed to be grabbed in 10 minutes or less as you’re flying out the door to work. Now the sun is getting you out of bed half an hour earlier, you’ve got 40 minutes until you have to fly out the door so why not enjoy a longer breakfast.
The Leisurely Approach
Everybody has their favourite leisurely breakfast. It might be a bowl filled with granola and fresh fruit with yogurt or a stack of waffles with maple syrup and bacon. For me, it is all about eggs. From using up leftovers in a Spanish omelette through to fried eggs with mushrooms and spinach, I absolutely love eggs! Not only are they versatile – so many leisurely breakfast to be had from an egg – but they are also full of macro and micronutrients for our bodies.
I’m a big believer in packing as many nutrients into my meals as possible. We don’t do calorie counting in the CounterCultural Kitchen but we do love vitamins and minerals. Though eggs contain a lot of nutrients, they don’t contain all of them. This means that the best way to get a nutrient-packed and leisurely breakfast is to pack more nutrient-filled foods on to your plate. Fortunately, eggs are pretty versatile and will go with practically everything.
My latest favourite way to serve nutrient-packed eggs is as part of a shashouka. This a Middle-Eastern dish where the eggs are poached in a spicy tomato sauce. I serve it on a bed of spinach and rocket with parsley and almonds sprinkled over the top – little bit of added crunch and greens. It was honestly on of the yummiest breakfasts I’ve had in a long time and knowing I was doing my body good made it go down even more easily.
If you’re looking for a new breakfast for your leisurely mornings, I can’t recommend shashouka enough. I switched up to hot chilli powder and it certainly woke me up for the rest of the day. If you want to have a go at making it, I’ve included the recipe I adapted from the 5:2 plan below.
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 onion diced
- Frozen garlic, roughly 1/2 tsp
- 1/2 bell pepper, preferably red, chopped
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp chilli powder (hot or mild)
- 1/2 tbsp tomato puree
- 1/2 - 1 can of chopped tomatoes
- 1 egg
- Flaked almonds
- Heat olive oil in the pan.
- Soften the onions for 5-7 minutes in the pan.
- Add garlic and pepper. Soften for 5-7 minutes.
- Stir spices and puree into the frying vegetables.
- Pour the tomatoes into the pan and stir to combine.
- Cover and leave for 10 minutes.
- Break an egg into the sauce. Cook until the white is set and the yolk runny.
- Serve on a bed of spinach and rocket.
- Sprinkle parsley and flaked almonds over the top.