Sometimes I forget that the ways I combine food and how I cook are new concepts to some people because I have been using my methods for so long… And it is only because of moving and travelling that I am reminded of my reasons and purpose for sharing my story and knowledge. Several years ago in a hostel I was making breakfast (early in the morning to beat the rush, and I’m an early bird) and an old man came up to me, congratulating me on my habits and said “You are right, the rest of us are wrong.” Another time a colleague I was working with saw me putting sugar snap peas into an omelette and declared they never had thought of using them like that. So it’s the little things that are the reminders! This is the same recipe I was making on both occasions, so I thought it appropriate to share.
You will need:
- Bacon/Sausage (if desired)
- Olive oil or oil of choice
- Cheese (if desired) *Less can be more! Don’t drown your vegetables out with cheese and ruin the sweet flavors of the veg.
- Salt & Pepper to taste
You will want to consider:
- Celery (1 Stick)
- Courgettes/Zucchini (1/2 cup or more)
- (Yellow or Red) Bell Peppers (1/4 -1/2 of the pepper)
- Onions (1/2 medium onion)
- Mushrooms (4 small mushrooms)
- Peas (1/4 – 1/2 cup)
- Spinach 1/2 – 1 cup)
- Chilli Peppers (To Taste)
- Garlic (4-5 cloves crushed with your palm and set in olive oil for 5-10 minutes before cooking (Not a necessity, but this helps keep the antioxidants intact during the cooking process))
- Herb of choice or availability (Fresh or dried! Parsley, Sage, Oregano, or Basil are my favorites, but I have also experimented with using lavender which is very sage like in flavor. Curry powders or turmeric and ginger make for a fun twist on ‘breakfast’ in the evenings!)
Choose 4-5 vegetables to combine.
My all time go-to’s are bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, and then I choose a green vegetable. This helps me keep color diversity, and from that antioxidant diversity and my immune system strong. It’s also a flavor combination that doesn’t over power one another and cooks really well.
Saute’, on medium high heat, your chopped vegetables (exclude leafy greens like spinach and fresh herbs from this sector) in a drizzle of olive oil ** until they are just getting tender on the outside. Cooking time will vary on the size of your cuts obviously, I prefer mine largely chopped and gauge the “Done-ness” (is that even a word?) by the color of my onions; outside getting soft, inner part still white looking and crunchy. If you want them finely diced they will take only a few minutes to cook on a hot skillet.
**If you choose to have bacon, I sometimes will cook it first, then use some of the bacon fat to cook the vegetables in. Flavor dynamics!
If you are scrambling your egg: Put your leafy greens in at this stage and cover your pan to steam them for a couple minutes. (You may need to turn your heat down just a bit.) Then you can mix in your egg, cook it till your eggs are almost done then top with cheese.
If you are frying an egg: Put your greens in the pan on top of your other vegetables at the same time you put the egg in. After your leaves have wilted you can put some grated cheese on top and cover it for a few minutes before turning your egg, or leave it covered with the heat low to steam the top.
At most this whole process should only take you 15 minutes.
It’s a great way to add fiber and nutrients into your diet without compromising on that “Hearty Breakfast” connotation. Experiment with different styles of eggs like poached or soft boiled, or with toast and avocado on the side.
What’s your favorite vegetable pairing? Let us know in the comments!