Luxury Toast – Peanut Butter Crunch

There’s no reason for toast to be boring these days, use some imagination and it can turn into your favourite go-to brekkie. Here’s my favourite luxury toast creation. Crunchy rye toast, loaded with peanut butter.

 

My Luxury Toast – Peanut Butter Crunch

Peanut Butter Crunchy Rye

I get looks from my friends as though I’ve gone mad, as this genuinely is my top breakfast. Forget a full english or a trip to the cafe. It’s gotta be properly dense rye bread, toasted on the highest setting, so it goes all crispy and a bit burnt around the edges. Then it’s ready to be slathered with peanut butter, chopped banana, a drizzle of honey & seasame seeds. Heaven. Just divine.

My love of peanut butter was only discovered a few years ago. I did a stint at being a vegan, bought a jar for protein purposes and literally had to hold back from devouring the whole thing. Needless to say my vegan month was heavily supplimented by peanutty goodness.

So just in case you want to copy this heavenly slice, all you need is:

Crunchy Peanut Butter Rye

A truly tasty combination for a super tasty breakfast.

Course Breakfast
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings 1

Ingredients

  • 1 Slice Rye Bread
  • 1 Banana
  • Sprinkle Seasame Seeds
  • Honey

Instructions

  1. Cut your rye bread in half and put it in the toaster for the highest setting (make sure it's proper dense rye, as this is the one that can take longer to toast).

  2. Chop a banana into slices

  3. Once the toast has popped slather on a healthy amount of peanut butter, top with the sliced bananas, drizzle on the honey and add a sprinkle of seasame seeds on top. Voila!

Jazz Up Your Toast

I find it quite easy in the morning to get breakfast down. I’m a foodie, I’m always thinking about food and little all else. But if you are part of that weird camp that can’t eat too early, maybe take a more creative approach to your breakfast and jazz it up with some of your favourite things. Avocado, ricotta, fruit compote..the list goes on.

I’d definitely recommend starting out with rye bread as your base, for many reasons as I mention in my post about the best breads for weight loss

That’s all for now, I’ve just heard the toaster pop..

Peanut Butter Crunch Toast

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Eggs, Avo & Sourdough

It’s a dreary morning in the British Isles and I am ravenous after a run, so what better than eggs and avo on toast?

My fridge is usually half empty by the time the weekend is finished but thankfully have got my staples. Eggs. Avo. Bread. (Okay, so I am a sourdough lover but today no such luck, I have bakery wholemeal, good enough).

There’s no messing around with this brekkie, you can stick with the basics or jazz it up as you like. My boyf likes to mash the eggs up with pepper and mustard so it’s more like a spread. I am not so inventive mind you. I cover the toast with thinly sliced avo, chunks of eggy goodness on top and then I get chopping with whatever I have left in the fridge. Today we have baby tomatoes, cucumber and gherkins. Yum.

This is super filling and will definitely keep you going until lunch. I had this over the weekend too which was a lifesaver when I was off out to a lunchtime wine tasting afterwards (crikey, day time drinking anyone? It’s a killer!).

Full of good fats and the creamy avocado negates any need for buttering your bread (I mean, you can if you like though..). Such a wholesome breakfast and so easy to whip up. It’s one of those recipes that is almost not even a recipe. But I’ve attached it below just in case you need some steps.

 

 

Eggs & Avo on Sourdough

A simple combo packed with protein and fats. Healthy, tasty and good for kitchen-phobics.

Course Breakfast
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 2

Ingredients

  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 Avocado
  • 4 Slices Sourdough or wholemeal bread
  • Optional Extras Herbs, Salad, Tomatoes, Olives, Gherkins, Pine Nuts etc

Instructions

  1. Put your eggs on to boil as to your preference (I like mine hard boiled! 7-8mins)

  2. Slice the avocado into thins, wash and prep your extra bits (in my case, the tomatoes, gherkins and cucumber)

  3. Once your eggs are done, tip out the boiling water from the pan and replace with cold water. Once cooled start to peel the eggs, put your bread in the toaster as you do this.

  4. Once all the eggs are peeled and your toast has popped it's time to assemble, put the sliced avocado on the toast, chop the eggs and chuck ontop. Garnish with your extras, I served mine with cherry tomatoes, sliced gherkins and cucumber. Give a generous shake of salt and pepper then get stuck in.

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Sweet Banana Porridge Oats

I’ve gone a bit oat-mad this week. Maybe it’s because I haven’t been shopping so it leaves little else as a breakfast option, but also I just love making hot and creamy porridge oats to have on the coldest of mornings. If you have to go out and scrape all that ice off your car you might as well do it with a belly full of goodness. Trust me, it does warm you up too!

When I was working an early shift I had to get up and go so quickly that it required microwaved porridge, which I think is never quite as nice. But if you must, you can make this recipe and save time by microwaving. I always recommend microwaving it for no longer than 2:00-2:30 mins and then leaving it to stand for a while before eating. It makes it the perfect temperature to eat but also allows the oats to soak, when you mix them, they should become a nice thick but not gloopy consistency. I had been nuking my breakfast in the microwave and creating gelatinous blobs for ages before I thought to reduce the cooking time.

So anyway, this recipe is doing it the traditional way in a pan on the stove. I always like to have banana with my porridge, I chuck it in with the oats whilst they are cooking as they soften and the sweet flavour mixes into the whole dish. The browner the banana the better. It’s also another great way of sneaking fruit into your kids diets if they are stubborn. Once cooked, I dress the bowl up with a squeeze of honey and some dried fruit & seed mix, but you can use whatever you like. My friends like to have theirs with a blob of peanut butter in the middle.

The thing I love about porridge is that you know exactly what you are putting into it. I see on the shelves so many prepared versions of porridge oats, where they profess to have fruit and all sorts of enticing things mixed in already, for your convenience, but the fact of the matter is that most of them also have a considerable amount of sugar added also. Plus, no freeze dried fruit is ever going to be as good really!

Sweet Banana Porridge Oats

A healthy, warming bowl of porridge oats to start off your day. The fresh banana chunks cooked in make this a super sweet and satisfying breakfast classic.

Course Breakfast
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 2 People
Author Chrissy Fortune

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Oats
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 2 Cups Milk
  • 1 Banana Chopped
  • Optional Honey, Fruit, Seeds, Nuts

Instructions

  1. Chop up the banana and measure out the ingredients.

  2. In a pot combine together the oats, milk, water & banana chunks.

  3. Turn heat up to medium and give a quick stir.

  4. Let the oats cook for 5-10 minutes, stir only occasionally otherwise the oats will become gloopy.

  5. When the mixture has absorbed most of the liquid and is steaming, take off the heat and serve into two bowls.

  6. Add your favourite toppings and enjoy!

 

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Apple & Blueberry Walnut Crunch Overnight Oats

It took me a while to jump onto the overnight oats bandwagon. I had seen loads of posts of people making these scrumptious looking breakfasts in fancy jars, but whenever I made it mine just seemed too runny – but don’t worry! I made the rookie error of using too much milk, in reality overnight oats require far less liquid than regular oats. If possible I always add in some chia seeds as they soak up the

milk, or if not a dollop of greek yoghurt makes a good addition and thickens it up too.

This recipe is one of my favourite weekday breakfasts, as the name suggests, you do have to make the effort to prep it the night before. But it’s so worth it when you, sleepy-eyed in the morning, make your way over to the fridge and remember breakfast is sat there waiting for you! You can heat it up if you like but I tend to just take it out the fridge and leave it on the side to get to room temp for a little while before tucking in.

This flavour combination is one I made up when I had a glut of apples and they were starting to go a bit soft and wrinkly, still good and flavoursome but not the sort you can crunch into as a snack. I peel and shred them into the mix, so if you have kids that are shy of eating their 5-a-day you can try this method to sneak in some fruit without them even noticing. My boyfriend is guilty of avoiding fruit but he always counts himself in when I offer to make overnight oats.

This recipe is full of fruit and goodness, plus the sprinkling of walnuts adds in some all important protein which will keep you going until your lunch.

 

Apple & Blueberry Walnut Crunch Overnight Oats

Fruity oats with a crunchy walnut topping, make ahead and enjoy for a tasty, hassle-free, breakfast.

Course Breakfast
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings 2 People
Author Chrissy Fortune

Ingredients

  • 1 Apple Any sweet variety
  • 1 Cup Oats
  • 1 tsp Chia Seeds
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 2/3 Cup Blueberries Fresh or frozen
  • 8 Walnuts chopped
  • Honey or Maple Syrup To dress

Instructions

  1. 1) Wash, peel and shred the apple, place the shredded apple into a bowl (you can make the mixture up in one large bowl and divide it into two at the end, or split all it into two bowls to start with).

  2. 2) Add in the oats to the bowl, then the chia seeds and the milk. Give the ingredients a good stir and make sure they are all combined. Split into two serving bowls.

  3. 3) Gently mix in the blueberries, I use frozen blueberries but use fresh if you prefer.

  4. 4) Chop the walnuts and sprinkle over the top.

  5. 5) Cover the bowls and leave in the fridge overnight. Leave the bowls out of the fridge for 30 mins before serving, or warm through in the microwave. Add more milk in if the oats have absorbed everything up and sweeten with honey or maple syrup.

 

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Shakshuka for two

 

Let me just start by saying breakfast is not only the most important meal of the day, it also happens to be my favourite meal of the day. Nothing quite beats the sip of your first cup of coffee followed by a nice fruit filled breakfast. I am actually a sweet tooth breakfast person, so this ‘Shakshuka’ thing, I’ll be honest, despite the fact it sounds great and I’ve seen it many a time on café menus, it’s not what I would usually go for at breakfast time. But my boyfriend is the opposite, he loves all things savoury, plus we had some eggs in the fridge that just had to be used so I though, hey why not give it a go.

Shakshuka is something that we can thank the Arabs for introducing, it’s essentially eggs cooked over a rich and spicy tomato sauce. Which, let’s face it, is far more exciting then a greasy fried egg! Plus you get an injection of vitamin goodness from the veg based sauce. I’ve included my recipe below but you can add your own variations, some people prefer to use fresh tomatoes, and can be a great dish to cobble together with any leftover veg, it doesn’t necessarily have to use bell peppers. I think next time around I am going to add a spoon of harissa spices in to add that Tunusian zing I love!

It’s good to take your time over the base of the dish, I like to add my spices in to cook off and release the flavour before I put any of the tomatoes in, but you might have your own methods. It’s a great dish to improvise with as you just need a few spice cabinet staples, a tin of tomatoes and some veg to go with your eggs.

Shakshuka for two

Ingredients:
3-4 Eggs
1 tsbp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped finely
2 garlic cloves, crushed
½ red bell pepper, chopped into cubes
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp of tomato puree
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp smoked paprika
sprinkle of cayenne
few dashes of tabasco sauce (to taste)
salt and pepper
fresh cut parsley and spring onion to season

 

Method:

  • Prepare all the ingredients. Peed and dice the onion, de-seed the pepper and chop into small cubes, peel and crush the garlic.
  • Heat up 1 tsbp of olive oil in a medium sized pan and when hot add the onion, let it cook through for a few minutes until starting to lightly brown
  • Add in the garlic and the diced pepper, let cook for 3-4 minutes or until the pepper begins to soften
  • Stir in the cumin, paprika, smoked paprika and cayenne spices and leave to cook for a minute or so.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and puree and let the sauce simmer for 5 minutes
  • Season with salt and pepper, this is the time to add your tabasco if you’d like a bit more of a kick
  • Once the sauce is tasting how you like it and has reduced down a bit it is time to add your eggs, crack each egg into a cup and then make a little well in the sauce to plop it into (I forgot to make a well and my eggs were all over the place). Cover the whole pan over (if you don’t have a lid like me I used a chopping board!)
  • Leave this to simmer now for 10-15 minutes, dependent on whether you want your eggs runny or cooked through.
  • Lift the lid and now it is time to dish up! Separate in half and serve on two plates, garnish with the fresh parsley and spring onion. I like to serve with a clob of bread to mop up the delicious tomatoey sauce at the bottom!

The shakshuka went down a treat with the other half and I’m definitely a convert, although I think I’d be more inclined to have it for lunch.

PS: I know it’s supposed to be served straight up from the pan! But hey, it was just us two at the table so I went all portion-up with it, sorry purists!

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Leftover Christmas Chocolate Brownies

When Christmas is finally over, all the presents have been given out, the cheese selection in the fridge devoured and the fizzy wine popped, what is always left? Chocolate.

Let’s face it, it’s the perfect gift to give to anyone and everyone. Colleagues at work you don’t really like that much? Chocolate. The cleaner? Chocolate. That distant auntie you only ever see at Christmas? Chocolate. Everyone likes chocolate, and it’s inexpensive, which is a great help!

So in my lounge is a huge bowl choc full (excuse the pun!) of Cadburys roses, Reeces peanut butter cups, Lindt truffles..and no matter how many after dinner cups of tea and an ‘oh go on then only one’ moments I have..the supply doesn’t seem to reduce!

But you can’t just throw away good chocolate..so I’ve cobbled together this lovely recipe that will end that stash and produce something even tastier. Which is also freezable, so you can chuck it at the bottom of the chest freezer and dig it out as an when, normally once the post Christmas buldge has had a chance to reduce. Chocolate brownies. Oh yes!

These brownies are really sweet and fudgey, perfect with a hot drink as a treat once in a while. Usually I use rich dark chocolate in brownies but with this recipe it didn’t really allow (depends on what chocolate you have left over!) but it was still lovely. The more refined milk chocolate type leftovers you have, the less sugar you should need to add, so just chop and change as necessary – you can’t really go wrong.

Christmas Chocolate Leftover Brownies:

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup leftover chocolates
  • 2-3 cubes of 70-80% dark chocolate
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder (or regular cocoa)
  • 1 and a bit cups full fat greek yoghurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

    Optional Extras:
    Chopped nuts
    Toffee chunks
    Chocolate chips

 

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees f.
  2. Whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl
  3. Melt the chocolates in a bain-marie, over a low heat to prevent them burning
  4. In a seperate bowl, combine together the melted chocolate with the yoghurt, cacao, sugar and vanilla
  5. Mix all the ingredients together until fully combined.
  6. Add any optional extras – I particularly like brazil nuts or chopped pieces of toffee (if using toffee make sure to combine in the batter as if you place them on the top of the mix they sink down when baking!)
  7. Pour mixture into a prepared brownie pan (or if you are ill-prepared like me, use an oven dish that’s too big and use parchment paper to try and fashion a smaller vessel!) A pan of around 8×8 inches should be perfect, any bigger and the brownies will be a little thin.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for around 30-35 minutes, test the centre with a toothpick to ensure there is no wet batter left before removing from the oven.
  9. Cool and enjoy!

A really nice treat to have a hot brownie, knowing that it’s used all the leftover milk tray that I would have no doubt grazed on for weeks. Perfect to share with friends or if you’re really feeling sick of all the festive indulgence, put these heavenly slices in the freezer individually wrapped in cling film and bring out whenever you are most in need.

Fingers crossed you’ll have most of the ingredients you need without having to pop to the shops – I know I had most of the list in my kitchen cupboards, a bonus is not needing any eggs or butter with this one, just an inexpensive tub of greek yoghurt works wonders.

x

 

 

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