How to Make a Full Vegetarian Fried Breakfast
So what is a flexitarian diet? That is a question I first asked myself only very recently when I stumbled upon the expression while I was browsing on the Web. Actually, the clue is in the title. The word "flexitarian" is derived from the words "flexible" and "vegetarian." People who follow a flexitarian diet are those who have recognised a need to include more fresh fruit and vegetables in their diet without making what they see as the ultimate sacrifice. It is not about cutting meat or fish from your diet entirely, it is about reducing the frequency with which you eat animal flesh and the overall amount you consume in the medium to long term.
Whatever your diet, breakfast is regularly touted as being the most important meal of the day. It gives you the energy you require to kick start your daily routine and by eating more in the morning and less in the evening, you burn up the calories throughout the day, rather than store them in the form of fat as you sleep. A full fried breakfast, however, is generally perceived as being a big, hearty, man-sized meaty feast, with sausages, bacon and a whole host of other potential meat products, depending upon where you are in the world. So how can you possibly make a full vegetarian breakfast with the regular omnivore/carnivore perception of two lettuce leaves and half a tomato...?
The first thing you do is concentrate upon substance. The most important thing is that you feel satisfied after the breakfast and that you are not tempted to (sneakily perhaps?) then consume your more regular fare. There are a great many ways in which this can be achieved and this recipe looks at two: the obvious that are carbs such as potatoes, bread and beans and the perhaps not so obvious that are big, chunky, meaty mushrooms. Although comprised mainly of water, these mushrooms create the psychological impression at least that you have eaten what you would normally call properly and well.
List of Ingredients
- 2 large, flat cap, breakfast mushrooms, stalks removed
- 1 medium tomato, halved
- ½ small white onion, sliced
- 1 medium baking potato, unpeeled and sliced to ¼” thickness
- 1 8oz can baked beans in tomato sauce
- 1 large egg
- 1 slice of bread (or as required)
- 1 cherry tomato
- Chopped chives to garnish
- Sunflower oil for frying
- White wine vinegar for poaching egg
- 5 or 6 ice cubes
Cooking this Vegetarian Fried BreakfastClick thumbnail to view full-size
- You will need two frying pans for this recipe. Enough sunflower oil to comfortably cover the base should be added to both.
- Bring the oil in the first pan up to a medium heat and add the potato slices, seasoned on both sides with salt and pepper. Fry for seven or eight minutes each side, until softened and golden brown.
- Add the mushrooms, tomato halves and onion to the second pan and season. Cook over a low to medium heat, turning/tossing the onions occasionally with cooking tongs.
- The beans should be added to a small saucepan and gently heated over a low heat for three to four minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.
- Bring a pot of water (2 to 3" deep) to a very gentle simmer. Add about a tablespoon of white wine vinegar. You can use most types of vinegar but I have found that white wine vinegar creates the least unpleasant smell in the kitchen!
- Break the egg in to a small bowl. Stir the water in the pot with a spoon to create a whirlpool and gently deposit the egg in the centre. Poach on the gentlest possible simmer for three to four minutes, depending upon how you like your egg.
- Drain the fried potatoes on kitchen paper on a large dinner plate.
- Put the ice cubes in to a small bowl of cold water. Using a slotted spoon, lift the poached egg from the poaching water and submerge it in the iced water for about ten seconds. This stops it cooking and ensures it is served just the way you like it. Don't worry - it will remain warm. (You can see this egg poaching method demonstrated in the video immediately below)
How to Poach an Egg
Plating Up your Vegetarian Fried BreakfastClick thumbnail to view full-size
- Put your bread on to toast.
- Lay the mushrooms in opposite corners of a square plate and fill with the onions.
- Lay the tomatoes cut sides down on top of the mushrooms.
- Arrange the potato slices in an overlapping circle in a third corner of the plate.
- Spoon the beans in to a small serving dish and lay in the fourth corner of the plate.
- Cut the cherry tomato almost but not quite in to quarters and sit in the centre of the potatoes.
- Sit the poached egg carefully on top of the beans.
- Garnish the poached egg and beans with the chopped chives.
- Butter the toast and serve on a separate side plate.