Breakfast is always my favourite meal of the day, and I very much look forward to eating something that I enjoy in the morning. I know when I first became vegan though, after previously eating eggs on most mornings, I did wonder what I would be eating instead.
Now, I have a range of breakfasts I love to eat - some that take a bit more time and therefore suit the weekend better, and some that are quick and easy, great for a working day. But if you are feeling somewhat challenged when it comes to breakfast ideas (whether you are vegan or not!), then this is the post for you.
Breakfast to me is usually anything I fancy eating, whether that is leftovers from last night's dinner, a piece of cake, or a simple fruit salad - although there are certain foods I like to eat the most in the morning and they are usually quite carby and protein-rich. I tend to always eat some fruit too. But one thing I never bother with is cereal - unless you count home-made porridge or muesli?
Sugary, commercial cereals have not lived in my kitchen cupboards for a long, long time. I prefer something more substantial. Not necessarily more wholesome (because many cereals are just sugary crap, let's face it), but definitely something that will fill me up properly. I always used to get hungry very soon after eating cereal, and then end up snacking. I tend not to do that nowadays.
So, here are twelve wonderful breakfast ideas that should keep you out of a breakfast rut for a few mornings - and since many of these suggestions have countless variations, you won't need to get bored.
1. Cheeze 'n' beans on toast
You will need a decent vegan cheese to make nice cheeze 'n' beans on toast, and if you have found one you like, then brilliant. If not, you can always make your own. There are not many commercial cheeses that I like that much, but I love Vegusto Mild Aromatic, and Tesco 'Free From' Soya Mild I have found works very well. Also, I recently discovered Tofutti 'Mozzarella' style and that is good as well.
Just melt your cheese on one side of the toast (as vegan melty cheese takes longer to melt than dairy cheese, make sure the cheese side is completely untoasted so as to not burn the bread!) and then pour over your heated up baked beans from a can - scrummy!
2. Fruit smoothie
I have really got into the habit of having smoothies now as a nutritious and delicious start to the day (well, at least until my blender broke that was - it needs to be fixed sharpish!). Don't underestimate the smoothie if you are wondering how it can keep you full - it can! I usually use one whole banana as a base, and coconut milk is my favourite for the liquid.
You can try my Blueberry Banana Lime Zinger Smoothie or Pina Colada Breakfast Smoothie - or come up with your own! And there are loads of ideas across the web. To make a smoothie extra filling, throw in a handful of oats. I usually make sure a tablespoon of linseed (flaxseed) is in every smoothie I make, for nutritional value.
3. Tofu Scramble
This is a great vegan take on scrambled eggs, and there are many delicious ways to serve up a tofu scramble it's untrue. It took me a while to master a nice scramble, but my favourite 'go to' recipe is the one on the PPK blog - Tofu Scramble Revisited. I love the spice mix here, and I make up a large batch of it to keep in its own spice jar, so I always have some on hand for when the scramble urge takes me.
I often serve up tofu scramble in a large lettuce wrap with some sweet chilli sauce glooped over it, or simply with some wholemeal toast. I also mix it with various veggies like courgette, red pepper, onion, and mushrooms. I really love it, although had a phase of eating it almost every day which I have now calmed down on.
4. Overnight oatmeal
There are so many variations you can put together for overnight oatmeal that the list is endless really. It's a really simple, easy and wholesome breakfast which is brilliant for people who need to 'eat and run' - or even, 'run and eat' - because you prepare at night and then chill in the fridge to eat in the morning. You can obviously just keep it in a sealable container that can be taken to work with you.
I have a combination that I like, which is my Date & Hazelnut Overnight Oatmeal. I also find that goji berries or barberries work well in this, as they are quite sour but soaked in the nut milk helps make them tastier.
5. Mushroom, spring onion & chilli 'omelette'
Oh my gawd - this is so utterly satisfying and so very 'omelette' like it will have you squealing in delight. I have yet to post the recipe as a separate blog post, which I will do soon and then link here. Therefore, just for you, I will give you a sneaky peak and you can get cooking. Here goes on what you need, for serving two people:
6 spring onions
A couple handfuls of mushrooms
½ green chilli, finely chopped
Olive oil for frying
¾ cup gram (chick pea) flour
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp yellow curry powder
¼ tsp all-purpose seasoning salt
¼ tsp salt
150ml / ⅔ cup unsweetened soya milk
Lightly fry the spring onion and mushroom in a non-stick frying pan for a few minutes before adding the garlic and chilli.
While that is frying on a low heat, in a mixing bowl add the gram flour, seasoning and spices. Then stir in the milk to make a batter like a thick sauce.
Ensure there is enough oil coating the pan (add more if needed) and pour in the batter, tilting the pan to let it spread around. Cook on a medium heat for around 8 minutes, until the edges turn slightly brown.
Now you need to do a pancake flip! Use a spatula to push around all of the edges of the omelette to stop it sticking, and wobble the pan a bit to loosen from the bottom. Very quickly toss the omelette so it flips fully over, and then cook again for a while longer (around 5-8 minutes).
Check the underside for it to be nicely browned before serving one half per person.
6. Banana & coconut milk porridge
Oh I really love this so much. Just a very simple, warming breakfast for chilly mornings to stop your bones creaking and get you moving. I always make mine in the microwave because it is easier, and I mix a handful or so of porridge oats with a chopped banana and some coconut milk to cover. I usually add chopped dates, a pinch or two of cinnamon, and a tiny pinch of salt too.
Then I 'ping' it on full power in the microwave for about 2 minutes, taking out half way to give it a stir. Sometimes I add a little more milk or water to thin it out if it's too stodgy. I like to put a little bit of cold coconut milk on to serve, and I usually top with some fresh blueberries or another berry fruit. Mmmm!
7. Vegan pate on toast with avocado
In my little photograph here, I have used a vegan 'tuna style' pate and then sliced half of a ripe avocado and piled on the top. This was delicious, and avocado is one of the most nutritionally dense plant foods that exists - it is super good for you and super tasty.
But vegan pate? Well, there are so many types out there - walnut and mushroom, sun-dried tomato, chickpea spreads or hummous, etc etc - so just use your shop-bought favourite or make up your own and enjoy!
There are some great recipes out there for muffins that make good breakfasts. We don't really 'do' muffins for breakfast in the UK, I know, but since I went vegan and got into baking more, I've had so many muffins stacked up from recipe testing that I've got into the habit now.
I am not really into sugary things too much for breakfast, even with peanut butter, I prefer the kinds that are not overly sweetened. So good breakfast muffins to me are those which are not overloaded with sweetness, and ones which include vegetables like carrots and courgettes I find scrummy. There are some fab muffin recipes in Kris Holechek's book, The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes, and she has a wonderful savoury muffin recipe on her blog, too.
9. Vegan club sandwich or BLT
After making my Vegan 'Bacon & Cheese' Club Tower Sandwich the other week, I have become somewhat addicted. The great thing is - unlike its non-vegan counterpart - it is really quite nutritious and healthy. Not full of saturated fat, no cholesterol, and packed with veggies.
I don't usually eat three pieces of toast for breakfast, and a club sandwich means using three slices so you can layer the other components between (although you could cut in half and share!), but for my version, I actually use the Hovis Wheatgerm loaf which has tiny slices. Also - if you have this for brunch, rather than eat and breakfast and a lunch - then you'll be full for a long while!
Of course - you can try many variations. A more fruity one could work, using vegan cream cheese, grapes, and rocket leaves maybe? Or try a Vegan BLT (vegan bacon, lettuce and tomato) on a seeded burger bun, instead of doing a club sandwich - with vegan mayo slathered on. Yum.
10. Peanut butter on toast with sliced banana
I don't need to tell you how to make this, do I? Hehe. One piece of toast with one banana and some crunchy peanut butter is one of most frequent 'week-day' breakfasts. I know it's very 'easy' but I thought I would include it in my list as it is a vegan breakfast regular for me! And this post is about ideas, not just recipes.
I never include any margarine when I make this - the fat in the peanut butter is enough. And usually one piece of toast is all I need.
11. The Great Vegan Fry Up
Sundays are just not Sunday without a fry-up, and a vegan one ticks all the boxes, while being cruelty-free. Grill some tomatoes and vegan sausages, fry up some mushrooms, get the hash browns browning, heat up some beans, pop a couple of slices of toast in the toaster - and there you have it. A very satisfying fry up. No harm done, except maybe to your waistline.
Don't forget the ketchup of course. Or for a slightly lighter Sunday brunch munch, grill vegan sausages and fry some onions, served on a muffin (no, not the Amercian version of a muffin, as above, an English muffin - a bread roll, bread bap, oven-bottom muffin, or whatever you want to call it!).
12. Fruit salad with vanilla soya yogurt
The day after a fry-up, you may prefer a nice, light and nutritious breakfast to get your vitamin and nutrients quota back up. Fruit salads are easy to take to work and to me, always seem that bit more of a breakfast than just eating a couple of pieces of fruit, unprepared.
When I was ditching diets and applying some of the principles of intuitive eating very mindfully, I put everything on a plate then - and got into the habit of chopping fruit and making a 'meal' rather than a snack out of it (it's psychologically better to receive the message of having had a meal).
So - tops for me in a breakfast fruit salad include apple, banana, melon, pineapple and kiwi fruit. Really whatever is seasonal and cheap though. I tend to buy according to season, offers and deals to keep my food budget down.
So with these twelve ideas, hopefully your belly will be rumbling for your next breakfast or brunch, and you'll not be stuck again on what to eat in the morning for a while!
If you have any great vegan breakfast ideas of your own, please do share them below in the comments!