Tag Archives: breakfast

Build A Better Breakfast with Spinach Three Ways and British Tomatoes


Spinach Three Ways and British Steamed Tomatoes

Ah, morning. Even if I’ll be doing the same things I did yesterday, it is a chance to start them over, do better, and feel like this library/essay/walk to town just might be more exciting than it has been the last 150 days. So how can I begin this day of infinite possibilities with a bowl of cereal?

“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”

“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh.  “What do you say, Piglet?”

    “I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.

    Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing,” he said.  – A. MILNE, Winnie-the-Pooh

Yes, Winnie-the-Pooh understands that what we eat, especially in the morning, is intertwined with what kind of life we build for ourselves.

My first breakfast in England featured the two side dishes I will be bringing back with me: steamed spinach and steamed breakfast tomatoes. Below are three ways to make the spinach (which really can and should be eaten with any meal), and one way to make the simple, healthy, but incredibly delicious breakfast tomatoes.

British Breakfast Tomatoes


Any number of tomatoes you desire (probably 2 per person)


Step 1. Fill a pot ¼ way up with hot water. Allow to boil. Prepare a small steaming colander


Step 2. Add the tomatoes whole to the colander in the pot, (you should just remove the small circle where the stem attached at the top of the tomato). Put a lid on top and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the tomatoes are soft, slightly wrinkled, and the skin begins to come away from the flesh

Step 3. Peel away the skin, if it doesn’t want to come off, they weren’t cooked long enough

Serve whole with a sprinkle of salt

Spinach Three Ways (for any time a day)


Between 2 and 3 cups of spinach (it will shrink as it cooks)

2 tsp. olive oil

The foundational step will always be to steam the spinach. I put it into a small steaming colander, and then put the colander into a pot filled ¼ way up with water, then put on a lid and steam for only 1 or 2 minutes. Goal is to have it half cooked, because you’ll giving it a quick fry in the pan later.



And now? Infinite possibilities

Simple Chili Spinach


2-4 green finger chilies

(After steaming the spinach)

Step 1. Heat a pan on medium, add 1 or 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil to a pan and add between 2 and 4 chopped green finger chilies (I typically would add 3 – just depends on how spicy you like your food) Allow the chilies to cook for a minute

Step 2. Add steamed spinach and salt, stir and cook together for 30 more seconds, and serve


Simple Garlic Steamed Spinach


1 small clove garlic

optional tsp. lemon juice

Step 1. Add the 1 or 2 tsp. of extra virgin olive oil to a pre-heated pan. Add the chopped garlic clove and cook on medium for 1 to 2 minutes (depending on heat of the pan), or until any of the pieces begins to turn gold

Step 2. Add the spinach and salt, stir and cook together for 30 more seconds, and serve

Spiced Onion Spinach


½ onion

1 green finger chili

½ tsp. cumin seeds (or ¼ tsp. cumin powder)

¼ tsp. red chili powder

¼ tsp. turmeric



(After steaming your spinach)

Step 1. Chop the onion and put it into a pre-heated pan or pot with about 2 tsp. water. Allow to cook for 1-2 minutes on medium.

Step 2. Add the 2 tsp. of extra virgin olive oil and the cumin seeds (if using cumin powder, don’t add it yet. Just add the oil) Allow to cook 1 minute more, then add chopped green chili. Cook 1 more minute


Step 3. Add all the spices, and stir with salt to taste.

Step 4. Add steamed spinach, stir and cook together for 30 more seconds, and serve


Bonus recipe, a quick way to make scrambled eggs more interesting!


½ tsp cumin seeds

Just add the cumin seeds to 1 or 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil once the oil is hot enough to make the seeds ‘pop’.

Then scramble your eggs into the cumin seeds like you normally do.


Voila! Excitement for breakfast!




Ingredients to make 2 sandwiches:

A batch of chimichurri (see yesterday’s post)

½ onion

½ red pepper

5 eggs

4 slices good fresh sourdough or baguette bread

1 avocado

a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

salt (to taste)


To begin, take a deep breath and explain to yourself that yes, actually cutting two vegetables for morning eggs is worth the time. Breakfast should be a meal to savor, because as you take a bite of the fluffiest scrambled eggs you’ll ever get, with slices of creamy avocado, hugged lovingly by two slices of fresh bread, you’ll know that it’s going to be a good day.

Step 1. Chop the onion and pepper. Put the diced onion in a pan with about 1 tablespoon of water (you could immediately add a teaspoon or 2 of olive oil, but I think beginning the onions in water is healthier). Cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally.


Step 2. After five minutes, add 2 teaspoons of olive oil and the red pepper. Cook until onions are beginning to turn gold (between 2 to 5 more minutes)


Step 3. Add your eggs and scramble with salt to taste

Step 4. Toast your bread and slather the two sandwiches with chimichurri, pile them with mountains of scrambled eggs, add avocado slices and give yourself a much deserved round of applause for putting so much time into breakfast

There you have it. A heavenly sandwich and the secret to better, healthier, almost-reached-your-5-vegetables-a-day-goal-and-it’s-only-morning breakfast

Note: The Sock ‘em Scramble can go without the red pepper, but if you’re going to eat eggs, just take an extra 7 minutes to go to scramble heaven and add the onion into your morning routine.

Now go enjoy you’re day on a satisfied stomach


Lazy Morning Cooking: My New Take on Tapas

What I really do at Oxford… yes essay writing happens, but cooking and sharing food is the center of life here.

Today’s Project: My Take on Tapas, the Spanish Omelette


2 large potatoes

1 medium onion (yellow)

2 tomatoes

1 sweet red bell pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil

6 eggs

1 tsp salt

1 tsp paprika

Begin by thinly slicing the potatoes. They should be almost transparent pieces. (See picture of the colander for example)

While cutting, take the pan that you will use for your omelette (preferably a large one) and fill halfway with water. When the water boils, you will put in the slices of potato and cook for no more than 2 minutes. If you overcook them, they will become starchy mush, but giving them a quick boil makes sure they aren’t hard!

Add about a tablespoon of good extra virgin olive oil. Dice your onion into little pieces (and try not to cry). Throw the onion in the pan and let it sizzle. Mmmm…

Add the potatoes to the onions with another tablespoon of oil, stir, and let cook for about 15 minutes. You’ll want to stir every few minutes to make sure there’s an even cook.

My twist on the traditional recipe begins here with the addition of tomatoes, peppers, and paprika to the potato, onion, and egg foundation. Dice your tomatoes and add them at the 15 minute mark. I love tomatoes, and I think they add flavor and more liquid to the potatoes and onions.

Crack and whip up the six eggs with a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of paprika. Be aware you may need more salt depending on how salty you like your food.

Dice the red pepper and add it to the pan. Take off the pan at 20 minutes and begin to add spoonfuls of the potato and onion mixture into the big bowl of whipped eggs. Do it slowly so the heat doesn’t immediately make the eggs cook.

When all the mixture has been stirred into the eggs, pour a little more oil into the pan and pour the eggs and potatoes in!

At this point, you will allow it to cook for yes another 20 minutes. It will be difficult, because at this point you will be oh so hungry and wondering why you didn’t just make scrambled eggs. Trust me, you will be glad you branched out.

The only things left to do? Dishes, pushing the edges of the omelette in a little as it cooks, and when the top is almost set, putting a plate over the pan to flip the omelette on. Then put the side that was facing up onto the heat to give it a 2 minute cook.

When this is done, all you need is a few friends over to help you eat it all, and I promise you, all of it will be eaten. Enjoy!ImageImageImage

Note: trying to flip a spanish omelette onto the plate and then back into the pan for the final two minutes of cooking can be hard. You could just cut the delicious thing in half, then cut those two halves in half. Flip one quarter at a time. Still pretty.