Breakfast is often described as the most important meal of the day. It dictates the rest of our day and gives us the necessary sustenance and energy to get up and go. For more than 20 years, I skipped this meal. I feel so sorry for my Mum because she begged me to eat before school and I just didn’t want to do it. We argued, we cried, we laughed, but nothing changed. I just couldn’t have any food in the morning.
She was reading articles, giving me as much information as she could about the health benefits of breakfast – but still, no change. I thought that everyone who ate breakfast was simply crazy. How is it possible to want to eat something before 8 am in the morning?! Well, my attitude started to transform when I became more active. I began working out 3-4 times a week in the gym, running, wakeboarding – just about any exercise that I could muster! It was this, more than any informational article or morning argument, that finally made me pick up a frying pan and ponder the necessities of a morning meal. I found myself constantly hungry. Not just hungry, I was starving! I was reaching for a bar of chocolate all day long and in the evenings… I had a feast for one. Something had to change.
I remember that one morning, hours before I had to get up for work, I woke because my stomach was making noise. It gurgled, burbled and rumbled and called out for food. That’s when I realised – I was just so hungry! I immediately got up and fried an egg. This was so new to me! Before this, the only thing I could eat in the morning was Sunday pancakes which my Dad used to make us as a weekend treat at 10 am. I am very happy to say that now, I am no longer skipping this meal. These days, I actively look forward to it and the weekend breakfast is my little celebration.
After I moved to London, English breakfast was my guilty pleasure. For those unacquainted with this uniquely British breakfast, it most usually incorporates several rashers of blackened bacon, sizzling sausages, mountains of mushrooms and tomatoes, all accompanied with a sea of beans and if you are particularly lucky – fried, crispy hash browns and some toast dripping with butter on the side. It certainly is not a breakfast for the faint-hearted. This meal is heavy, and you need to plan your day very well because after it, you want to be active but on a gentle level. Because of this, I was looking for a way to have all the components (eggs, sausages, tomatoes, beans and hash browns) on my plate but still feel good after eating it.
I’ve made a couple of twists. Instead of deep-frying hash browns, bake them in the oven with a little bit of olive oil. Same with the eggs – bake them in the oven together with the grated potatoes. Sausages can sometimes make you feel bloated and heavy, so swap them with just a couple slices of chorizo. Finally, tin baked beans contain a lot of sugar, so change them for a homemade side. Tomato paste will give you sweetness and red wine will elevate the taste.
6 slices of chorizo
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of chives
100g cherry tomatoes
1 tin of Cannellini beans
50ml red wine
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Drizzle some olive oil on a baking tray.
- Grate the potatoes and squeeze all the liquid from them.
- Add garlic powder, dry (or fresh) chives, salt and pepper, into your potatoes and combine everything together.
- Place the potatoes onto your baking tray in a single, even layer.
- Bake them for 15-20 minutes or until they are golden.
- Make 4 wells in the baked potatoes and gently crack the eggs into them. Place the tray into the oven and bake for another 5-10 minutes.
- Roast the tomatoes – put them in a different tray and season well with salt and pepper. Drizzle some olive oil. Bake for 10 minutes.
- Prepare the beans: heat a knob of butter, add tomato paste and wine. Let it simmer for a couple of minutes. Add the beans, salt and pepper. Let it cook for 5-10 minutes. Sprinkle some fresh parsley.
- Lightly fry the chorizo in the pan without oil.
- Take your trays straight out of the oven and onto your table and serve everything together. Sprinkle some parsley and freshly ground pepper over the entire meal. Enjoy.