Archives for posts with tag: breakfast

Omelette muffins

I found this recipe here and immediately thought that these low-carb muffins would make a good brunch for a fasting day, or even as breakfast-on-the-hoof if you made a batch at the weekend and ate them over the course of a week, either cold or reheated in a microwave. You can use whatever you have to hand as a filling, just like regular omelettes.

I had some sausages to use up, which raises the calorie content quite a bit, but if you replaced the sausages with the same weight of mushrooms (and a bit of butter to cook them in), these would be very respectable 210 calories for three vegetarian muffins, or 70 each.

Recipe for Omelette muffins (serves 4)

Ingredient Calories per serving
200g sausages, cut into 1cm pieces 106
50g sugar snap peas, chopped into small pieces 10
25g kale, sliced 3
8 eggs 126
¼ cup milk 8
½ tsp baking powder 1
salt and pepper, to taste 0
1 tsp oil 10
25g Parmesan, grated 22

Total calories per serving (3 muffins): 285 (95 per muffin)

Method: Pre-heat the oven to 375°F/190°C/Gas mark 5. Cook the sausage pieces over a medium heat for 5 minutes, or until cooked (do the same with 200g chopped mushrooms, in a tablespoon of butter, if doing the vegetarian version). Stir in the peas and kale (or whichever other vegetables you have to hand) and cook for another minute or two, until the kale is soft.

Grease a 12-muffin tin with the oil and distribute the sausage pieces and vegetables among them. Beat the eggs, milk, seasoning and baking powder together and pour into the muffin tin. Sprinkle the grated Parmesan over the top and bake for 15 minutes.


Black (bean) pudding (with scrambled egg and mushrooms)

This is a vegan version of the traditional British breakfast component, black pudding, which is made from pig’s blood. I had some leftover cooked black beans and had promised to make a full cooked breakfast as a Sunday treat for the children. We can’t get black pudding here very easily, but it occurred to me that I could probably make something vaguely resembling it with the leftover beans, some ground oats, onion and spices. You don’t have to serve this at breakfast – it makes a perfectly respectable black bean burger, too! Vary the spices according to your own tastes.

Recipe for Black (bean) pudding (serves 3)

Ingredient Calories per serving
220g/1¼ cups cooked black beans 97
1 onion, grated 15
50g/½ cup oats, ground to a powder in a blender 63
salt and lots of freshly ground pepper 0
1 tsp smoked paprika 2
1 clove garlic, crushed 1

Total calories per serving: 180

Method: Put all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smoothish. Form the mixture into three patties. At this stage the mixture looks fairly pale:

Black bean patties before cooking
Refrigerate the patties until needed, then fry in oil for about five minutes on each side, until warmed through. Now they should be properly black.

If you add two eggs and three mushrooms fried in a teaspoon of fat per person, you will have made yourself a respectable brunch for 350 calories.

Summer Fruit SmoothieRecipe for Summer fruit smoothie (serves 2)

Ingredient Calories per serving
400ml/1⅔ cups 2% milk 103
1 banana 53
100g/4oz mixed summer fruit (fresh or frozen) 16
2 tsp sugar/honey/maple syrup 16
60g/2 tbsps plain yoghurt 11

Total calories per serving: 200

Method: Combine all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.

Another very simple dish with a good slug of protein in it, which makes it an excellent way to break a fast if you’re delaying your first meal of the day for as long as possible. I ate this at 11am, which was 16 hours after my last meal. More of an early lunch, really…

I’ve never eaten an egg with a crumpet before, but it was a fantastic combination – definitely one I’ll be having again. I can’t get nice crumpets here, so I have to make my own, but you could replace the crumpet with an English muffin for roughly the same number of calories. I used lean peameal bacon here, but a thin slice of good ham would work well, too. If you can get hold of back bacon, just use the lean part for this recipe. If you’re vegetarian, you could replace the meat with 50g sliced mushrooms, cooked in a teaspoon of butter, for the same amount of calories.

Breakfast stack

Recipe for Breakfast Stack (serves 1)

Ingredient Calories per serving
1 crumpet or English muffin 120
1 slice ham or lean bacon (50g) 50
1 egg 65

Total calories per serving: 235

Method: Toast crumpet and dry-fry bacon (if using) and egg. Assemble in a stack and enjoy!

Processed breakfast cereals are something I just refuse to eat these days. I either have porridge/oatmeal or toast for breakfast, skip the meal entirely (on fasting days, for example), or tuck into this, my home-produced granola. If I’d known how easy it was to make, I’d have started doing it years ago. The quantity in this recipe makes enough for twelve 60-gram portions of granola, each providing a nutrient-rich, high-fibre and filling start to the day. It keeps very well in an airtight container. The ingredients below are very flexible: you can use maple syrup, honey, or sugar, while the nuts or seeds can be replaced with whatever you have to hand. Unsalted and unroasted nuts are best.

Nutty Granola
Recipe for Nutty granola (serves 12)

Ingredient Calories per serving
¼ cup of oil 40
¼ cup of water 0
¼ cup of maple syrup/honey/brown sugar 17
3 cups rolled oats 78
½ cup macadamia nuts 40
½ cup slivered almonds 23
¼ cup cashew nuts 16
3 tbsps flax seeds 8
3 tbsps sesame seeds 13
pinch of salt (optional) 0

Total calories per serving: 240

Method: Preheat your oven to 325°F/160°C. If you’re using thick honey or sugar, heat the oil, water and honey/sugar in a small saucepan until the sugar is melted. This step isn’t necessary if you’re using runny honey or maple syrup – just mix all the wet ingredients together. Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir in the oil mixture until everything is lightly coated. Tip the mix onto a large baking sheet (preferably one with a lip around the edge) and spread it out evenly. Put the granola mix in the oven and leave it for 20 minutes. After that time, give the mixture a stir – it should be lightly steaming. Put it back in the oven for another ten minutes, then stir again. Check the granola every five minutes after this and when the oats and nuts are an even golden brown, remove the sheet from the oven and allow the granola to cool down. When it’s cold, transfer it to an airtight container, where it will happily sit for up to a month (mine never lasts that long, though…).

I like to have this with banana and yoghurt or with some dried fruit, but it’s also good just on its own (in smaller quantities!) as a fasting-day snack.

Eggs are great for fasting days: they are more filling and satisfy you for longer than you might expect and they pack a hefty nutritional punch. Particularly if you can get eggs from hens that can roam outside on grass.

Mushroom and Ham omelette

Recipe for Mushroom and ham omelette (serves 2)

Ingredient Calories per serving
1 tsp butter 17
50g mushrooms, sliced 5
50g ham or lean bacon, sliced (optional) 40
4 free-range eggs, beaten 126
salt and pepper 0

Total calories per serving: 190 (150 without meat)

Method: Heat a frying pan on medium and melt the butter. Stir in the mushrooms and cook for a minute or two (if you’re using lean bacon, cook that at the same time). Add the ham (if using) and eggs to the pan and grind salt and pepper over them. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the eggs are almost completely set. Fold one half of the omelette over the other, then cut the omelette in half and serve.

Flavours are really important on fasting days and so is the feeling that you aren’t really depriving yourself. This breakfast or lunch (or indeed brunch) dish feels luxurious and yet only contains 250 calories.

Poached Egg on toast with Smoked Salmon

Recipe for Poached egg on toast with smoked salmon (serves 1)

1 very fresh free range egg
1 slice wholemeal bread (around 75g/3 ounces)
30g smoked salmon slices

Total calories per serving: 250

Method: Bring a small pan of water to a gentle simmer and break the egg into it. If you’ve got a properly fresh egg, that’s all you need to do – you can forget all that stuff about vinegar and stirring the water before you break the egg. Poaching an egg really is that simple, but it’s got to be fresh, otherwise the white won’t hold its shape. This one was laid yesterday! The egg will take about two minutes to cook, so time your toast to be ready when the egg is. When the toast is cooked, arrange the slices of salmon over it and then carefully scoop the egg from its bath with a slotted spoon, allowing the water to drip off it for a few seconds so that it is dry when you put it on top of the salmon. Smoked salmon is high in sodium, so don’t add any salt to this dish. Pepper, however, is allowed! 😉

I’ve decided that part of the trick to avoiding hunger on fast days is to find the most filling low-calorie meals possible. I’ve always found that porridge oats make a meal that sticks to my stomach more than any other breakfast. Oats have been proven to help lower cholesterol levels, so they’re a good thing to include in your diet generally. On a fast day, you can’t eat a lot of them though, as they’re relatively high in calories.

For breakfast today I cooked one ounce/25g of oats in water with a sliced up peach. Total calories: 133. Then I added a quarter of a cup of 0% yoghurt, bringing the total count to 163. This is a little high, compared to some breakfasts I’ve had on fast days, but I’m planning a lower-calorie-than-normal supper meal tonight, so it should even out. This made quite a tart-tasting breakfast – you could replace the peach with a banana for a sweeter meal of 200 calories (without the yoghurt) or half a banana which would be 150.

Peachy porridge

This kept me going until 1.30pm, so it certainly did the trick as far as keeping me full went. Lunch was the leftover soup from Day 3, this time with the addition of a couple of teaspoonsful of curry powder, which made it much more palatable!