English food is hearty, simple and filling. According to Jamie Oliver the British have “never been the ones that had overdone anything or worked or shaped (…).” British food is about plain cooking. It’s about family.
I love traditional dishes, but honestly it seemed impossible for me to have a cooked meal for breakfast. Beans? Bacon? Mushrooms? At 8 am? No chance.
But living here for a year, I also wanted to do all the things a real Londoner has to do. So I had to overcome myself and to stand behind the stove in the morning.
The only compromise: I’m vegetarian and therefore there was no space for bacon and sausages on my hob. Anyway, there are plenty of variations to fill a stomach with the green and healthy option. And if you really want the full British Breakfast experience as a vegetarian, just add some soy sausages for a complete meal.
The result: I loved it!
The food is not as heavy as i thought it would be. Especially the beans in tomato sauce combined with the poached egg are absolutely delicious. And did you know the veggie version is basically healthier than having a croissant with butter and marmalade?
Beans are actually the perfect meal as they are full of proteins and carbohydrates to fuel the brain for the day. Eggs contain iron, calcium and only very little saturated fat. They are full of a wide range of vitamins and combined with cooked tomatoes (rich in cancer-protective lycopene) you’ll have a really balanced breakfast. Just make sure it’s a “grill up”, not a “fry up” – fried food holds the fat.
Here is my vegetarian recipe for a full English breakfast on a Sunday morning.
- 1 free range egg
- 1/2 can of baked beans in tomato sauce (Heinz Healthy Balance)
- 1 tomato
- 2 mushrooms
- 1 soy sausage
- 1 slice of wholegrain bread
- First brush the pan sparingly with olive oil and heat the plate over a low heat.
- Brush the mushrooms and wash the tomatoes. Then cut the tomatoes in half and remove the green “eye” with a sharp knife.
- Season the mushrooms and tomato with salt and pepper and dizzle over a little olive oil. Place them cut-side down to the plate. Avoid moving the mushrooms too much while cooking, as this releases their natural juice and makes them soggy. Cook the tomatoes for 4-5 minutes until tender but still keeping their shape.
- Add the soy sausage to the plate and roast it 2-4 minutes each side.
- Then add 1/2 can of the baked beans and warm them up. Break the free range egg straight into the pan and cook to your preferred stage.
- Once all ingredients are cooked, serve them on a warm plate and enjoy straight away with some wholegrain bread and fresh orange juice.