Around the World in 7 Easy Breakfasts
For Week 4 of our “healthy eating at home” series of lockdown recipes and ideas, we’re travelling the world with our breakfast. (Well, the Western world anyway—from North Africa to Europe to America.) Buckle up!
In Tunisian Arabic shakshuka means “a mixture,” in this case of eggs and tomatoes. This traditional dish has been enjoyed throughout Eastern Mediterranean and North African countries for centuries. And more recently it has become big in the West.
The recipe is simple enough. First, gently soften some chopped onion and red pepper in olive oil. Then add chopped garlic, paprika, cumin, and chili powder before pouring in a tin of tomatoes. This is the mixture in which to poach the eggs: Make little dips in the sauce and break an egg into each, cooking for 5-8 minutes before serving.
Tuesday: Continental Europe
The continental breakfast has always been about convenience and ease—as well as variety and choice. Pastries, breads, and cereals are the perfect, shelf-stable base for using up the less shelf-stable items in your fridge.
So start the day right with a selection of jams, yogurts, eggs, milk, and fruit juices.
Wednesday’s breakfast is “the world’s best sandwich,” France’s croque monsieur. It’s another easy meal. In fact, it was invented for the bars and cafés of Paris as a quick and easy snack. Basically, it’s a toasted cheese and ham sandwich using slices of bread dipped in egg.
Want a vegan alternative? Substitute mushrooms for the ham and make a plant-based bechamel sauce.
Another breakfast icon is our own land’s full English or “fry-up”: Egg, bacon, sausage, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, and toast with a fresh pot of English Breakfast tea.
Uniquely, it retains its essential character even without the eggs and meat. So you just have to leave these out to make it vegan. But you might also like to add peanut butter hash browns, plant-based sausages, and scrambled tofu.
Back down to North Africa now before we cross the Atlantic for the weekend. A traditional Moroccan breakfast consists of a choice of breads, as well as pancakes with goats cheese and olives.
American breakfasts are as varied as the nation; there’s a lot more than just pancakes and OJ. The hash brown casserole, for instance, is an all-day breakfast favourite.
But if you do fancy pancakes, try this banana-based twist: Mashed banana, eggs, and vanilla. Not only is this recipe gluten-free, it’s also healthier than the standard pancake batter—and on trend with the banana bread we’re all making in lockdown.
Breakfast tacos, anyone? Whether soft or crispy, tortilla shells can be filled with anything you like: Black beans and chorizo; avocado and pico de gallo; refried pinto beans and sour cream or cheese… Or you might just want eggs and bacon.
Of course, this breakfast wouldn’t be truly Mexican without plenty of tropical fruit or a traditional agua fresca.
Are there any national breakfasts you enjoy that we haven’t included here? Let us know!