Whether you hate it because you never have time for it, or like me, because you despise all breakfast foods with a passion, read on; this is for you. “Why do you hate breakfast foods?” I hear you ask. First of all, I can’t start the day on something sweet – I like to start off my with specifically savoury food, which rules out fruit, cereal, porridge, pastries, pancakes with maple syrup – maybe 2/3 of all breakfast foods. The remaining breakfast foods are either too bland, contain meat, are super unhealthy, or all of the above. The best I can do is brunch foods (who can resist a good eggs royale or avocado toast?) The issue here is that these foods are brunch foods for a reason – they take far too long and are far too elaborate for anyone to feasibly prepare for breakfast every morning. Breakfast needs to be quick, and yet ideally savoury, healthy, energising. But how can I achieve such an obviously unachievable goal? Get off the edge of your seat and read on.
If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend checking out my salad post. I love salad. It’s amazing. It’s 100% the best way to start the day. I’d say it takes maybe 5-10 minutes to chop your ingredients in the morning, depending on what you include. Additionally, there’s a lot of versatility in terms of what you choose to make! Some of my favourite morning salads are:
- Tomatoes, balsamic, olive oil, salt.
- Tomatoes, feta, avocado, olive oil.
- Tomatoes, cucumber, green olives.
Can you tell I love tomatoes? Don’t worry, if you hate them you can have a tomato-free salad, THERE ARE NO RULES! (except the multiple rules stated in my salad post)
- Remember to invest in a solid 8/10 olive oil.
- I’d recommend getting pre-chopped olives to save time.
- Never refrigerate your tomatoes.
- Starting your day with a salad will make you feel more productive and on top of your shit than anything else in the world (except maybe starting the day with a run, which let’s face it takes way too much effort).
The most important thing if you want to start your day with a salad is to make sure you’re getting enough calories. According to the internet, one tomato contains around 22 calories, a tablespoon of olive oil contains around 119 calories, and an avocado contains around 322 calories (I’ll let you look up the rest). Just make sure you’re getting close to 400 and you should be fine. Go for high quantities. For example, for the tomato salad I’d recommend dousing 4-5 tomatoes in olive oil for maximum impact.
I tend to buy Sainsbury’s Jubilee Taste The Difference tomatoes for salad purposes. They claim that one tomato counts as one of your 5-a-day, which means if you eat an entire pack for breakfast you’ve already had 5 portions of veg!* Amazing.
(*I know, you’re supposed to mix it up and have 5 different things – but no one’s saying you can’t have more vegetables later, calm your socks.)
2) Cheese Toasties.
NB: this does require investing in a toastie maker.
Like with the salad, the toastie for breakfast is great as it gives you so many options. A personal favourite of mine is cheedar cheese and whole-grain mustard on brown bread potentially with some lettuce or rocket added in at the end. But there are so many more options! See below for ideas. I’d recommend going for a spread, a main, and a topping.
Spread: mustard, mayonnaise, marmite, red/green pesto, harissa, hummus, mushroom pâté
Main: cheedar, gryère, mozzarella, goat’s cheese, roast red pepper, aubergine, mushrooms, asparagus
Topping: olives, artichokes, sundried tomatoes, chilli, jalapeños, fresh lettuce, rocket, spinach
(I’ve included some vegan options in case you’re not a fan of the cheese)
- If you’re ever stuck for ideas, head to the nearest hipster café and copy the options they have.
- For a healthy option, skip the butter – there’s just no need!
- You can meal prep quite a lot the night before if you want some speedy toastie-making in the morning (cut the cheese, fry the vegetables, etc).
- Brown bread is SO much healthier than white bread. It also feels like you’re eating actual food as opposed to cardboard so there’s that. I recommend seeded bread for extra flavour as well.
3) Ravioli (or other stuffed pasta).
I know, I know – this is significantly less healthy than the previous two options. But hear me out. It literally takes 2-3 minutes to cook (just submerge in boiling water), and voila. Perfect if you’re in a hurry.
I know restaurants always serve ravioli with a fancy sauce, but personally I’ve always had them plain at home. The sauce is on the inside! However, if you do fancy a sauce, you could probably add one fairly easily without adding much to the time.
One of the biggest disadvantages to ravioli is that you’re quite limited in terms of choice. There are only certain combinations available, and although there are some great ones out there (portobello mushroom, spinach & ricotta, red onion & goat’s cheese, sage & butternut squash, four cheese, tomato & mozzarella – Waitrose even does a vegan spinach one), this does limit you a bit.
Top tip: boil your water in a kettle rather than on the hob for speed.
4) Toasted Bagels.
Fairly similar to the cheese toastie, but with bagels. The main difference I’d say is the preparation – you might want to use an actual toaster for the bagels as opposed to a toastie maker, and the ingredients tend to be fresh as a result (as opposed to toasted inside the bagel).
For topping examples, I refer you back to 2). However, on top of that (get it?) I’d recommend the following:
- Smoked salmon, cream cheese, lemon, black pepper (+ black olives or chives if you fancy it)
- Smoked salmon, avocado, rocket, mayonnaise
- Cheese, tomato, lettuce, mayonnaise
- Harissa, spinach, chilli, roasted veg
Again, a top tip is to check out your favourite bagel chain for inspiration.
5) Cold Canapés.
Probably the easiest to “make” (as they require no effort whatsoever), simply go to your favourite supermarket the night before and buy some of your favourite deli items. I’d recommend M&S’s feta and herb parcels, tomato and mozzarella parcels, or stuffed vine leaves.
The disadvantage of something like this is, like with the Ravioli, your breakfast will taste less “fresh” than if you’d made it yourself.
The way to fix this is, of course, to make your own canapés! This is something I haven’t ventured to try yet, but I’m sure it’s possible to knock something together with ready-made pastry and your choice of fillings.
Let me know in the comments if you have any more suggestions for “breakfast” foods!!