I have always loved sweet food at breakfast time – cereal, smoothies, pancakes, muffins, fruit with yogurt. I never really understood savory foods at breakfast time. Occasionally I could do bread or toast but that was about as far as I would delve into savory breakfast items.
When my mother and I first went to South East Asia, we were staying at a hotel in Bangkok and they had the most amazing breakfast buffet – breads, cheeses, deli meats, fruit, yogurt, cereal, pastries and an egg station that served up eggs every which way you wanted. And then there was a whole other section of local foods – savoury porridge (!!), assorted stir fried vegetable, rice and noodle dishes and unidentified meat objects. I quickly walked past this table and loaded up a bowl with homemade muesli, yoghurt and an amazing assortment of fresh tropical fruit.
My mother is far more adventurous than I am when it comes to food, so when I got back to our table it didn’t surprise me at all that her plate was loaded up with all of the local food, topped with the unidentified meat objects. We ate our breakfast in mostly silence, aside from a few “Mmm!”‘s from my mum and a few glares from me (her food was doused in fish sauce which was contrasting horribly with the fresh, fruity aromas coming from my bowl).
Slowly, however, I am becoming somewhat more adventurous with my breakfasts. I’ve started eating eggs in the morning. I love a good rosti or some fritters first up. My go-to breakfast meal is still a smoothie – largely due to the convenience and ease (unfortunately there is no way I can find the time to cook up a hot savoury breakfast for my week day breakfasts). However I am eating less and less sweet things and my smoothies these days usually have at least two different types of vegetables in them, if not more. Then of course there was the raw fish at 6am incident.
This dish is based on a delicious breakfast I had on a recent trip to Sydney. A big serve of steamed greens mixed with herbs, perfectly poached eggs, soft, creamy avocado and finished off with a generous squeeze of lemon. The original dish came with a scoop of quinoa which I didn’t have on hand, instead I’ve added some dukkah for extra flavour, protein and healthy fats. This dish not only tastes light and fresh, but is incredibly satisfying and will keep you feeling full – but not heavy – for hours afterward.
Greens + eggs breakfast bowl with dukkah
1/2 Tbsp coconut oil
2 scallions (green onions), sliced
1 tsp grated ginger
2 large handfuls each baby spinach and roughly chopped kale
2 Tbsp roughly chopped fresh herbs (I used 1 part mint, 1 part parsley, 2 parts coriander)
1/4 cup each almonds and hazelnuts
1/4 cup sesame seeds
2 Tbsp each cumin and coriander seeds
1 tsp peppercorns
1 tsp Himalayan rock salt
1 avocado, sliced
Lemon wedges, to serve
To make the dukkah, toast the nuts in a dry skillet a few minutes or until they start to brown. Remove from heat and allow to cool.Repeat the process with the nuts and seeds. Once cool, grind in a food processor or mortar and pestle with 1 tsp salt.
Heat the coconut oil in a pan over medium heat, add the shallots and ginger and fry a minute or two, then add the kale. Cook, stirring another minute or two until the kale starts to wilt and then add spinach, stir through and then add fresh herbs. Stir until the spinach has wilted, around a further minute.
To cook the eggs, bring a pot of water to a slow boil and add a dash of white vinegar. Add the eggs slowly and reduce to a simmer. Add a pinch of salt. Cook for 3 minutes for a soft centre, or an extra minute or two for a set centre.
Divide the greens across two bowls, add two eggs to each bowl, half a sliced avocado and dust with the dukkah.