For those of us who see breakfast as a non-negotiable meal even on a fast day don’t fear! Laura Herring, author of The Fast Days Cookbook has some fantastic breakfast ideas that won’t break the calorie bank. And of course for those of us who like breakfast foods at any time of the day, these recipes can also be eaten as lunch, dinner and snacks as well!
Makes 6 ‘muffins’
You can play around endlessly with the fillings here and use pretty much any chopped veg you like – mushrooms, peppers (bell peppers), courgette (zucchini), broccoli or asparagus. You can leave out the bacon, and maybe swap in some feta, up the spice with a bit of harissa or go crazy with the herbs. The only real rule is to make sure you have a good egg-to-extras ratio so they puff up properly and hold together. And don’t overfill the muffin tray – you need to leave about 1 cm (½ in) or so space at the top of each well so they don’t overflow as they cook. These are perfect little bites to stash in the freezer too. Leave them to cool, then wrap them up individually in baking paper and freeze in an airtight container. Take them out the night before eating and let them defrost in the fridge before warming through in the oven.
- 1 slice of unsmoked bacon, chopped
- 3 small eggs
- handful of chopped thyme
- ½ teaspoon chopped green chilli
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 100 g (3. oz) spinach, shredded
- 4 cherry tomatoes, quartered
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas mark 4).
Dry-fry the bacon in a frying pan over a low heat, letting the low, slow heat render any fat from the bacon. Cook it through for about 5 minutes, until it’s slightly browned and a little bit crispy.
Meanwhile, whisk the eggs with lots of freshly chopped thyme, chilli, salt and black pepper. Stir through the shredded spinach.
Divide the eggy mixture between 6 holes in a non-stick muffin tray and divide the tomato and bacon pieces among them. (On non-fast days you can also shower them with a delicious snowstorm of grated Parmesan cheese or feta.)
Bake in the oven for 15–20 minutes, until they have puffed up and are golden on top. Let them cool a little bit in their trays before eating.
Eat a comforting bowl of porridge (oatmeal) in the morning, especially one as pretty as this, and you can tackle pretty much anything that comes your way! Quinoa is a good source of protein and fibre to fill you up. Top the porridge with all kinds of goodies – chopped nuts, fresh fruit, honey, maple syrup, coconut flakes – just keep an eye on the calories, of course. For a lighter version, try cooking the quinoa in coconut water. Double up the batch if you’re cooking for more people or make the porridge the night before and reheat it.
- 30 g (1 oz/¼ cup) white or red quinoa (or a mixture)
- 155 ml (5 z/ ½ cup) almond milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon pistachios, chopped
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 50 g (2 oz/¹⁄³ cup) strawberries, chopped
Put the quinoa, milk and vanilla in a small saucepan and cook over a gentle heat for about 20 minutes, stirring often, until the quinoa is cooked through and creamy. If it looks like it’s drying out, add a little water. Don’t let the nut milk boil; just let it simmer quietly.
When the quinoa is the consistency you like, remove from the heat and stir through the chopped pistachios, honey and strawberries.
Find more great low-calorie recipes in The Fast Days Cookbook,
available from 29th December 2016 where all good books are sold.