Breakfasts & Brunches

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Kedgeree

One of the best things to come out of Scotland in my opinion (after my husband, naturally), is smoked haddock, so I was super excited to find it in Marks & Spencer here and be able to make one of my favourite dishes and the ultimate comfort food, kedgeree. Having previously failed on some attempts, including one occasion where I was little too liberal with the cayenne and produced a "haddock madras", this week's was a personal best so I thought I would share the recipe...
Kale & Goat's Cheese Frittata

 

Having kidded myself for a week now that Stollen is a perfectly respectable breakfast dish during the festive period, I decided it was time change tack this morning (luckily coinciding with the last slice of stollen being consumed late last night, with a Baileys on ice.. mmmmm...). And nothing says January more than kale & eggs for breakfast although it did give my body a bit of shock I have to say. I have always been lousy at constructing an omelette, with most turning out like scrambled eggs.  Frittata however is far easier to create in a presentable manner, and this one is super quick and easy. Read the recipe here...

 
Shakshuka
 
Shakshuka is my go-to weekend brunch dish for fighting cancer. Full of allium family veggie (onions, garlic) and their beneficial sulfur compounds, anti-inflammatory spices incl. turmeric, and omega 3 from the eggs. Garnish with parsley, one of the top anti-cancer herbs given its apigenin content, as well as coriander to help chelate heavy metals from your system. I would LOVE to mop it up with crusty bread, but in the interest of remaining gluten-free, grain-free and keto, I have 2 eggs to fill up and wash it down with a bulletproof coffee, full of even more good fats. Find the Shakshuka recipe here....
Resetting the AC button on a Monday morning
 
Monday mornings are like resetting the AC button on my body's calculator as I attempt to purge the weekend's excesses. Although these may be (sadly) booze-free right now, you know that when churros start to taste healthy that you must have been eating a lot of shite that day, and that was how we ended a day at Disney. Less of day out and more of an endurance test I always think. I am not sure they have got their sales strategy right either. The fact that you can upgrade your regular ticket to a yearly pass for just double the cost at any point over the day, should only really be possibly on entry, as rest assured that after a day in that park you will have no inclination to return for at least 12 months.
 
On the right was today's breakfast therefore, including life's only non-guilty pleasure in my opinion, the mango coconut based yoghurt from Green Vitamin with one of the few sugar-free cereals from Dorset Cereals and a side of immune-boosting turmeric and lemon water kefir, also from Green Vitamin. Surely this will counteract all those churros?! ‪
Variations on Eggs Hollandaise
 
This is a very popular breakfast dish in our house on Saturdays so I thought I would share my experiences and tips! Read more here....
 
DIY Breakfast Wraps

 

There are plenty of ways to liven up breakfast time with these coconut based wraps from Green Vitamin. These are raw, paleo, gluten-free, soy-free, low calorie, vegan and low-carb! Now breathe...  Above you can see the cacao coconut wraps with sunflower seed butter, yoghurt, granola, pitted black cherries, dates, cacao nibs and almonds. For more instructions & ideas, read full post here.

Baked Rhubarb/Rhubarb Compote

 

Baked/stewed rhubarb is possibly something I miss from the UK most. It grows wild in my mum's garden yet costs extortionate amounts for a wizened old stalk here. Luckily my brother-in-law brought me this batch when he visited HK for the 7s.  Unless you are a masochist, don't even think about omitting some form of sugar in this recipe...

 

What you need:

 

500g rhubarb ($16.80/100g for Dutch rhubarb in Great Food Hall)

75ml water

1/2 cup coconut sugar

 

Method:

 

Preheat the oven to 190c.

 

Wash your rhubarb and trim the ends. 

 

Place in a shallow baking tray and pour the water and sugar on top. Mix around a bit. 

 

Cover with foil and bake for around 40 minutes until the stalks are tender.

 

Serves 2-3 adults with yoghurt for breakfast.

Cherry Chia Conserve

 

This is a basic method of making a refined-sugar-free black cherry jam.

 

What you need:

 

1 cup pitted fresh cherries

1/2 cup water

2 tbls chia seeds

1 teaspoon coconut sugar (optional)

 

Method:

 

Put cherries (pitted and halved) and water in a pan then simmer them for 7 mins. If you are really lazy, you can buy a cherry pitter from City 'Super!

 

Take the pan off the heat then stir in 2 tbls chia seeds and allow to cool.

 

Refrigerate overnight and wake up to homemade jam! 

 

Add coconut sugar to taste if you so desire. I used 1 teaspoon. Pile onto hot buttered toast. 

 

This was homemade (ish) bread using a 10 grain mix from Bob's Red Mill. 

 

Makes one small pot.

French Toast with Strawberries & Mulberries

 

If your kids aren't keen on eggs, this is the easiest way to get this high protein item into them! And the mulberries are my latest purchase and love from iherb! These Turkish superfoods taste a little like dried figs and are high in both iron and vitamin C. We used coconut nectar rather than regular syrup givens as it has a lower GI plus retains some of the nutrients of the coconut. 

 

What you need:

 

 2 pieces of bread

2 eggs

1/2 cup of milk

Drop of vanilla extract

Pinch of cinnamon

50g butter

Handful of strawberries

Handful of mulberries

25 ml c0conut nectar


Method
 

Whisk the eggs together with a fork then pour and mix in the milk, cinnamon and vanilla extract.

 

Melt your butter in a frying pan.

 

Slice pieces of bread into half (don't remove the crusts) and dip into the milk & egg mixture for a few seconds so that they absorb the liquid, but don't fall apart. 
 

Fry eggy bread pieces until golden then place on a plate with cut strawberries, mulberries then drizzle coconut nectar on top.


Serves 2 adults or 4 young children

Pumpkin Spiced Chia Pudding with Papaya

 

Prepare your chia pudding the night before then add freshly diced papaya when you want to eat it. Chia seeds absorb 10 times their body weight in water so keep you feeling fuller longer! 


What you need:

 

100g pumpkin

1 dessertspoon maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon of mixed spice.

1 cup of milk of your choice (cow's, soy, almond, rice etc.)

3 tablespoons of chia seeds

2 tablespoons of freshly chopped papaya


Method
 

Make your chia pudding the night before you want to eat it for breakfast.

 

Combine your milk and chia seeds in a bowl with sweetener (maple syrup/agave/coconut sugar/stevia) as required and stir well.

 

Make a pumpkin purée by boiling then mashing 100g of pumpkin with 1 dessertspoon of maple syrup and 1/2 teaspoon of mixed spice.

 

Cover and refrigerate until the morning. If you remember, before you go to bed, give the mixture another good stir to stop it clumping.

 

Don't worry if it seems clumpy in the morning. A good stir will sort it out. Add freshly chopped papaya. 

 

Serves 1 adult

Bilberry Overnight Oats

 

The reason we see blueberries in most stores is that, on the whole, they are industrially produced with the use of many chemicals. Unlike the wild, humble, bilberry however which grows wild in Scandinavian forests and is is often higher in nutrients than the store bought berries. High in trace elements, vitamins A and E, flavonoinds, carotenoids and dietary fiber, this is why it is commonly referred to as the Finnish superberry.

 

What you need:

 

1 cup of oats

1 cup of milk of choice (cow's, soy, almond, rice, oat)

Drop of vanilla extract

2 tablespoons of dried bilberries (on sale online at Berrytime.com)

Sweeten if required with coconut sugar or maple syrup

 

Method:  

 

Mix your oats, milk, bilberries and sweetener in a bowl.

 

Cover, refrigerate overnight and eat for breakfast the next morning.

 

Serves 1 adult 

 

 

 

Quinoa Banana Pancakes - Gluten-Free 

 

Get your kids eating quinoa for breakfast by putting it in their pancakes. What they don't know can only help them! These pancakes are also gluten free, containing pre-cooked quinoa, banana, egg, baking powder, milk and a drop of vanilla extract. It might sound like a bit of shag to be cooking quinoa before you even start your pancakes, so instead just reserve some quinoa next time you make a salad, then you can make these for breakfast the next day. My first batch were a little shapeless so I used a metal ring to cook these in, in case you were wondering how they were so perfectly round!

 

What you need:

 

1 banana

3/4 cup of cooked quinoa

3 eggs

1/2 cup of milk (I used almond milk but cow's is fine)

1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder

Drop of vanilla extract

Oil to fry

Fruit and syrup to garnish

 

Method:  

 

Blend the cooked quinoa, milk, baking powder, vanilla extract and banana in the food processor to form a smooth batter. Stir in the eggs.

 

Heat up a pan with a drop of oil. Once hot, but not smoking, add 2 tablespoons of the batter. Keep it on a medium heat. If the batter bubbles, it is too hot! Once you can easily put your spatula or fish slice underneath and turn it, it is cooked on one side. If you think it will break when you flip it, then it isn't ready.

 

Cook for a couple of minutes each side, then garnish with syrup and fruit.

 

Wipe the pan with a piece of kitchen roll in between cooking pancakes  and reapply the oil, otherwise they will burn.

 

Enough for a family of 4

 

 

 

Matcha Pancakes

 

It's Buddha's birthday today and I am sure this is how he would want to kick off his special day. I made regular pancakes for the kids then added a teaspoon of matcha to the batter for myself to produce these green tinged articles. Mixed it in and cooked as usual, topping them with frozen wild blueberries, raspberries and maple syrup. Matcha contains caffeine but it is supposed to release its energy in a sustained manner over several hours rather than the quick hit you get from regular coffee, while keeping you relaxed. This explains why Buddhist monks have been drinking matcha for centuries. Now I feel ready to tackle the world despite being husbandless and helperless on a bank holiday with 2 small children.

 

What you need:

 

225g plain flour

1 teaspoon of matcha - available at Teapigs 

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 pinch of salt

1 tablespoon caster sugar

2 large eggs

30g butter  room at temperature

300ml cow's milk or almond milk

Oil or butter to fry

Berries and syrup to garnish

 

Method:  

 

Sift your flour, baking powder and matcha into a bowl. Add the eggs, sugar, butter and milk and use an electric whisk to form a smooth batter. If you don't want to use matcha you could substitute with raw cacao or cocoa to make chocolate pancakes.

 

Heat up 1 tablespoon of oil or a knob of butter in a frying pan, then spoon 3 tablespoons of the mixture into the pan for each pancake.

 

Fry on a medium heat for a few minutes each side. If it seems like it is going to break when you flip it, then it isn't quite ready. 

 

Ensure you wipe the pan each time between cooking pancakes and re apply the oil, otherwise they will burn.

 

Garnish with berries and syrup.

 

Serves a family of 4.

 

 

 

Raspberry & Banana Layered Chia Pudding

 

This might look a bit O.T.T for one mummy's breakfast but life is too short for toast & butter every day, plus the kids went crazy for the raspberry layer, so everyone is happy! Chia seeds are full of omega-3 (more than salmon in fact) and are supposedly helpful in weight loss in that they absorb ten times their weight in water and make you feel fuller for longer. Fingers crossed!

 

What you need:

 

To make a simple chia pudding: 

1 cup of milk (cow's, soya, almond, rice - whatever)

3 tablespoons of chia seeds 

1 teaspoon/tablespoon of your sweetener of choice

 

You can then add mashed fruit to the pudding, or chopped fruit in layers as well as granola, nuts, seeds, cacao nibs - the world is your oyster!

 

Method:  

 

Mix 3 tablespoons of chia seeds with 1 cup of milk, cover and allow to soak overnight. Then mix it well in the morning to get rid of any lumps. I then divided the mixture and mixed half with a tablespoon of raspberries and the other half with a mashed banana. My first layer was the raspberry mix, then granola, then the banana mix, before finally sprinkling cacao nibs on top.

 

Serves 1 adult or 2 kids

 

 

 

Mushrooms, Thyme & Parmesan on Toast

 

Organic Thai mushrooms sauteed in butter, organic Greek thyme and garlic on toast with shavings of Parmesan. A simple breakfast using the most exquisite ingredients! The mushrooms are from Green Little Frog, an organic farm situated in Thailand who deliver to Hong Kong every Wednesday. The thyme was collected by hand from the Pindos Mountains in North Western Greece and dried in the sun. Buy it from the Olive Tree HK

 

What you need:

 

Knob of butter

1 garlic clove

200g mushrooms - buy organic Thai mushrooms at Green Little Frog

Big pinch of thyme, fresh or dried. 

50g Parmesan shavings

Pinch of salt

Black pepper to grind

2 slices of wholemeal bread

 

Method:

 

Melt your butter in a saucepan and add the mushrooms, quartered, with the clove of garlic, finely chopped. Cook on a low heat for 7-10 minutes so all the juices ooze. If you cook it on too high a heat, the shrooms will crisp and dry out. While cooking, add the thyme. Toast your bread, pour the mushrooms along with all the juices on top, give a generous grind of salt and pepper and few shavings of parmesan.

 

Serves 2 hungover adults

 

 

 

 

Coconut, Cacao Nibs & Granola (dairy free, gluten free)

 

The fresh coconut flesh is so moist and slippery that you don't need yoghurt, and the bitterness of the nibs brilliantly balances the sweetness from the coconut and granola.

 

What you need:

 

Whole flesh of a fresh coconut

Handful of cacao nibs

Handful of granola

 

Method:  

 

Simply place strips of the coconut in a bowl and scatter with granola and cacao nibs. I served it with coconut water kefir (just to be even more smug....) from Green Vitamin.

 

Serves 1 adult

 

 

 

Dairy-free Bircher Muesli

 

Here is a vegan, refined sugar-free bircher muesli made from soaking oats in a sprouted almond mylk rather than cow's milk or apple juice. We used Pure Swell's "Nut Mylk" drink which combines sprouted almonds with vanilla bean and cinnamon sweetened only with dates. 

 

What you need:

100 ml almond mylk sweetened with dates, vanilla bean and cinnamon OR
buy "Nut Mylk" online  from EAT Fresh.

Large handful of oats

Small handful of raisins

Half an apple grated


Method:

 

Place your oats, apple and raisens in a bowl and cover with the nut mylk. Add your cinnamon and vanilla if required. Cover and leave in the fridge until the morning (if you can resist temptation...) Add a little more mylk if required and serve.

Matcha Latte


Matcha is the superhero green teas with far higher antioxidants than in normal green tea. While it contains caffeine, it is supposed to release it in a sustained manner over several hours, rather than quick dirty hit you get from a normal cup of of coffee. 

 

What you need:

150 ml mill (cows', soy, almond milk)

1/2 teaspoon of matcha

1 teaspoon of agave/maple syrup

 

Method:

 

Combine ingredients and froth with a handheld frother.

 

Serves 1

Matcha Latte using Teapigs tea and almond mylk
Breakfast Fruit Compotes - refined sugar free
 
Refined sugar is my enemy. I learnt this after eating three consecutive packets of Scottish tablet (like fudge but higher glucose content if that is possible) and experiencing a sugar low only comparable to the depression that sets in after a weekend in Ibiza. I therefore try and eliminate it from my diet as well as the kids'. I've given up on the Glaswegian husband whose definition of a raw food diet means not deep-frying your mars bar. Fruit and unsweetened yoghurt for breakfast sounds very virtuous but can get frigging dull. Baking the fruit however brings out caramel undertones without any refined sweetener, so here are 3 easy fruit compotes you can chuck in the oven on a Sunday night and dip into over the next few days. Plum & ginger works well; apple/pear, raisins & cinnamon always a hit and apricots combine well with their own kernel as well as almonds. Combine with yoghurt & granola and the kids should enjoy them too.
 
What you need
 
Plum & Ginger
6 plums
1 inch cube of ginger, peeled and grated
 
Apricot, Almond & Apricot Kernels
6 apricots
Handful of almonds and/or apricot kernels
 
Apple/Pear, Raisins & Cinnamon
4 apples/pears
Tablespoon of raisins
Half a lemon zested
 
Method:
 
Plum & Ginger
 
Remove the plum stones, chop into quarters, leaving the skins on. Peel and grate the ginger. Place the plums & ginger in a shallow baking dish and add 50ml of water. Bake for40-50 mins at 190C until tender. If the fruit looks like it is drying out at all during the baking, add a splash of water.
 
Apricot & Almond & Apricot Kernel
 
Remove the apricot stones, chop into quarters, leaving the skins on. Place the fruit in a shallow baking dish and add 50ml of water. Bake for40-50 mins at 190C until tender. If the fruit looks like it is drying out at all during the baking, add a splash of water. Add the almonds and apricot kernels at the end; do not cook them.
 
Apple/Pear, Cinnamon & Raisin
 
Put a small pan of water on to boil. Peel and core your fruits then cut them into eighths. Add them to the water with the lemon zest, raisins and squeeze of lemon juice. Poach for around 5 minutes until just tender.

Add to yoghurt and granola. These compotes will keep in the fridge for a few days.
Pineapple & Mint salad
 
This is quite simply a fresh mint & pineapple salad, but do not underestimate how well these two flavours marry especially after they have been cohabiting in the fridge for a few hours. Refreshing at breakfast time after a big night or ideal after a heavy meal to cleanse the palate.
 
What you need
 
1 fresh pineapple
Handful of mint leaves
Sugar (optional)
 
Method:
 
Peel and chop a pineapple into chunks and add chopped mint, garnishing with whole leaves on top. If you want to sweeten things up further, you can be flash and make a mint infused sugar. Take some fresh mint leaves and sugar, and pummel them in a pestle & mortar until the sugar turns green, then invite your guests to sprinkle on top.