Tag Archives: Breakfast

Roast Vegetables for a filling and healthy breakfast. © Sue Todd Photography 2016

Roast Vegetables

I’ve been enjoying smoothies for breakfast regularly over the summer but now the shorter days are back I’m looking for something warmer that feels more substantial, and that’s where roast vegetables come in.

Really quick and easy to do and you can make as little or as much as you like so there’s some for another day or to use up for lunch.

(Added 16/11/2016) – Of course as the lovely Eileen points out on our Facebook page (do come and join us there!) you can use any vegetables you happen to have for this, carrots, swede, parsnip, beetroot, celery, celeriac.  It’s nice to ring the changes and some times you just have to go with what the fridge and the larder can offer up.  Experiment and enjoy!

Roast Veggies ready for the oven © Sue Todd Photography

Roast Veggies ready for the oven.


A mix of vegetables, I used celery, peppers, squash, red onion, tomato, aubergine and courgette.

Olive Oil and seasoning to taste.


Chop your vegetables into chunks.  Line a shallow tray with greaseproof paper and put the chopped vegetables on top.  I like to use greaseproof as it stops the oil burning onto the tray.

Drizzle with olive oil and season to taste.  You can add bacon or sausages to the same tray to cook – you may not need so much oil then.

Pop in the oven until cooked – about 15 to 20 mins.

Roast Vegetables with sausages for a filling and healthy breakfast. © Sue Todd Photography 2016

Roast Vegetables with sausages for a filling and healthy breakfast. © Sue Todd Photography 2016

To Serve:

Serve with bacon or sausages and add some eggs if you want a bit more.


Blueberry and Banana Smoothie home made with fresh ingredients, perfect for breakfast. © Sue Todd Photography 2016

Blueberry and banana smoothie

Despite the weather not being what you might term spring like here in Northumberland, we’re trying to move towards smoothies for breakfast at least a few times a week.  This blueberry and banana smoothie is one of our favourites.  I’d just like a big dose of warm sunshine to go with it so that we could enjoy it in the garden.

Smoothies are really fast, and if you whizz some warm water and dish washing liquid up in the blender/processor after use then cleaning up is minimal.

Blueberry and banana smoothie ingredients © Sue Todd Photography 2016

Close up of Blueberry and Banana Smoothie ingredients, perfect for breakfast. © Sue Todd Photography 2016


  • 2 bananas
  • 160g blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons of plain yoghurt
  • coconut water to adjust thickness to suit


Add all the ingredients except the coconut water to a blender or food processor until mixed thoroughly and no lumps of fruit remain.  Then slowly add coconut water and blend again (without forgetting to shut the lid first – unless you are partial to cleaning in a big way!) until it’s a consistency you like.  We like ours fairly thick but still drinkable, although I’m playing with the idea of a much thicker smoothie to go with home-made granola.

Blueberry and Banana Smoothie ingredients. © Sue Todd Photography 2016

Blueberry and Banana Smoothie ingredients. © Sue Todd Photography 2016

Optional Extras:

If you have a sweet tooth (like Gary!) then you can add a dash of maple syrup to sweeten things up a little or honey if you prefer.

Oooh!  And before I forget if you any leftovers, freeze it as ice pops (remember them??) for the summer which we’re hoping will arrive at some point.  They make lovely treats on hot days.


Granola, fresh fruit and yoghurt © Sue Todd Photography 2016

Basic easy Granola

If you’ve fallen off the healthy wagon after a good start in January, over indulged after a good dry January or eaten too many pancakes for Shrove Tuesday, then this Granola recipe may be just the thing to set you back on the right path.

I’ve meant to make granola now for well over a year.  I’ve researched recipes, collected ingredients (used them for other things), planned, planned some more but not quite got round to doing it.  But really, granola …. buy it at the supermarket, save the time, eat it once or twice and throw out what’s left. Isn’t that how it works?  Okay maybe you are more disciplined than me.  But its rare for me to find shop bought granola I actually really want to eat more than once or twice.

Granola and fresh fruit © Sue Todd Photography 2016

Granola and fresh fruit © Sue Todd Photography 2016

Making it, for some reason also seemed a tedious chore, I guess if I thought it’d be the same as what was already in the cupboard, so what was the point?  The stuff that was in the cupboard is now in a separate tub for Ted, our cocker spaniel, who thinks it’s an awesome treat – so there’s an extra win!

However ….. I finally got motivated and made some and WOW!  I just love it, and there’s going to be more and more, and once the summer comes and it feels like granola weather there’ll be no stopping me.

Obviously being me I scoured the internet over a period of months (okay years, you know me too well already!) looking for ideas and then because none of them matched what I had in my head, I looked at quantities and then just did what I thought.  So there is no scientific reasoning to what follows, it was purely a case of looking at other recipes and the amounts of ingredients and then coming up with my own initial list of ingredients.  I say initial because I’ve already got ideas for the next batch!  I’m hooked and … its SO EASY!!  But you know it came out right, at least we think so and I’m happy enough to share, so that says something I hope.

All the recipes I found dealt in cups, which don’t come easy to me, but luckily I’ve a set of cup measures in the cupboard so out they came.  At some point I will endeavour to convert the cups to a metric/imperial measure – but please don’t hold your breath.  I’m not renowned for hasty stuff on that score.


  • 2 cups of oats,
  • 1/2 cup of nuts – use whatever you have or whatever you like most – I used a mix of almonds, walnuts and macadamia nuts because that was what was in the larder. Pecans would be lovely and were intended but someone must have eaten them!
  • 1/4 cup of raw seeds – pumpkin, sesame, sunflower … again I had a mixed pot of seeds so just used some of these
  • 3 tbsp of maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp of coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch fine sea salt
Granola fresh from the oven © Sue Todd Photography 2016

Granola fresh from the oven © Sue Todd Photography 2016


Weigh out the dry ingredients and add to a large bowl. Give them a big mix up.  If you are using a conventional oven you’ll need to preheat it to 300F/150C/GasMark 2.  If you are using an AGA like me, it goes in the baking oven.

Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.  I used my hands but I’m sure a big wooden spoon would do the job just as well and be a lot less sticky.

The coconut oil may be solid – mine certainly was as it came directly from the fridge.  But it will melt if not in the mixing then certainly in the oven.

Once mixed you can simply turn it out onto a baking tray.  I lined my baking tray with baking parchment, simply because it’s easier then to lift off and turn into a jar using the baking parchment to guide the granola than it is to try and tip a tray of the stuff into a jar later!

Stick it in the oven for 10 minutes to cook. It needs to be very lightly toasted.

Once cooled, put in an airtight container until ready to serve.

Healthy Granola Breakfast © Sue Todd Photography 2016

Healthy Granola Breakfast © Sue Todd Photography 2016

To Serve:

Put in a bowl, food flask or glass, add yoghurt and fresh or dried fruit and munch.  It’s totally portable in a container if you need to take it to work – though I’d keep the yoghurt separate during transit so the granola doesn’t get soggy.  The maple syrup and vanilla flavours are lovely.


You could add cinnamon for more flavour but I’m allergic to it, so it won’t feature here much.   You could also use dried fruit as part of the mix.  Lots of people add it before toasting but I really didn’t fancy my dried fruit even drier or toasted and on this occasion I just missed it out.

However I’m also thinking that soaking dried fruit in orange juice overnight and then adding it to your bowl might be rather yummy.  Fruit compotes would also work really well with this.

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Gluten-free, Grain-free Banana Pancakes

Banana Pancakes, grain free, gluten free from English Country Cooking. © Sue Todd 2015.

Banana Pancakes, grain free, gluten free from English Country Cooking. © Sue Todd 2015.

These banana pancakes might be more aptly described as banana omelettes, but the idea of having a banana omelette really doesn’t appeal to me, so it took a while for me to come  round to this idea and try it out.  How ever I’m a true convert now.  Nutritious, scrumptious, so, so easy to do and fast.  What more can you ask?

Banana pancakes (or omelettes) are in vogue at the moment and there is stuff everywhere about them, with a number of variations, using cocoa,  vanilla extract and more.  With the view of more being less, I wanted to keep this quick and simple.  After all, there’s only one of us able-bodied at the moment, so fast and simple is good.

Literally just eggs and banana, you can’t go wrong I thought.  Well actually you can.  Do be careful when making these to keep them really small, not like normal pancakes and if you can’t flip normal pancakes (like me!!) then be prepared for these to look less than perfect.

They’ll still be edible and delightful to boot, they just won’t look quite so good – the proof of this is in the pictures where I’ve tried to dress them up prettily with fruit, but they had fallen apart substantially as I manhandled them over, in, and then out of the pan.  However it didn’t spoil the eating and they were so good I had them two days running for breakfast and they will feature very often for my breakfast now.

Banana Pancakes, healthy breakfast, grain and gluten free.  © Sue Todd 2015.

Banana Pancakes, healthy breakfast, grain and gluten free. © Sue Todd 2015.

Ingredients: (per person)

  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 egg
  • knob of butter or coconut oil
  • fruit and maple syrup to serve (raspberries, pear, blackberries and blueberries are all good)


Mash the banana well, you could blitz it with a hand held blender but it adds to the washing up, thought it will be faster and more effective.

Crack the egg open and beat it well before combining with the banana and mix up well.

Heat some coconut oil or butter in a skillet on a hot hob and add just a little bit of the mixture – about 1 tbsp of the mixture at a time for teeny tiny more manageable pancakes.  Let the pancake cook nicely on one side before flipping.  Once cooked lift out on to a warm plate and continue until the mixture is all used up.  You may find you can do a couple at a time this way.

Banana Pancakes and fresh fruit with maple syrup. © Sue Todd 2015.

Banana Pancakes and fresh fruit with maple syrup. © Sue Todd 2015.

Serve  with fresh fruit and maple syrup.  I used pear and some blackberries we had in the freezer, they were lovely.  I just defrosted the blackberries in a bowl on the AGA while they were being made.

Eggs Benedict – the best breakfast?

Eggs Benedict - the best breakfast ever? © Sue Todd 2014

Eggs Benedict – the best breakfast ever? © Sue Todd 2014

I think this actually is the world’s best breakfast.  Definitely one for a relaxed start to the day on holiday or over a weekend.  Left over sauce is great used with poached fish the next day or served with steak, just prolonging the pleasure a bit further.


  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar,
  • 6 black pepper corns,
  • 1 bay leaf,
  • 8oz butter,
  • 3 egg yolks,
  • 2 slices ham,
  • 2 muffins or slices of toast
  • 2 eggs


Simmer the white wine vinegar in a small pan along with 1 tbsp of water, 6 black peppercorns and the bay leaf until it has reduced to about 1 tbps.

Blend 2oz of the butter with the egg yolks in a bowl.  Remove the peppercorns and bay leaf from the vinegar mixture before adding the vinegar mixture to the egg yolks and butter.  Whisk.

Place the bowl in a bain-marie, or put in a bowl over a pan of boiling water, and add a further 6oz of  butter cut into small pieces one or two at a time until they have all melted into the sauce.  Keep whisking until your sauce is smooth and glossy.  Season to taste.

While you are cooking the sauce put a couple of muffins or slices of bread to toast.

Poach your eggs.

To assemble, put the muffins or toast on the plate and add a slice of ham before topping with a poached egg. Spoon the hollandaise sauce over the eggs.

Eggs Benedict and Samphire - the ultimate English Breakfast? © Sue Todd 2014

Eggs Benedict and Samphire – the ultimate English Breakfast? © Sue Todd 2014

To Serve:

Delicious served with samphire, asparagus or chopped chives.  You can use gluten free bread for a gluten free option.  Rounds of toast or muffins work well.  I did try some gluten-free, wheat free English Muffins, but they were far too sweet to eat with Eggs Benedict.  I will keep trying to find a bread recipe I like that is gluten and wheat free.

Breakfast to go – Sausage sandwich with home-made ketchup and coffee

Breakfast to go - Sausage Sandwich, home-made ketchup and coffee © Sue Todd 2014

Breakfast to go – Sausage Sandwich, home-made ketchup and coffee © Sue Todd 2014

Well that’s the last bank holiday of the year over and done with and that autumn feel is still decidedly present.  We started the working week with sandwiches for breakfast.

I love sausages but they have to come from the butcher’s shop these days, I’ve been totally spoilt and the nicely wrapped ones at the supermarket just don’t cut it with me any longer.  Even the expensive ones.  Ideally they’d be home-made sausages too, but there haven’t been enough hours in the day just lately for that one.  Hopefully sometime soon though.  After all we always make burgers, so why not sausages too??

Sadly there wasn’t enough of my bread left from the weekend so our sausage sandwiches used some left over french bread together with some of the Tomato and Pepper Ketchup I made the other day.  Quick and easy, warm and filling, perfect start to the week.