From a simple but tasty porridge to an Indian omelette, here are some great reasons to get out of bed in the morning
Treat yourself: its possible to have kippers without the overpowering smell from baking them. Photograph: clubfoto/Getty Images/iStockphoto
Breakfast used to be the easiest meal of the day. Everyone ate whatever they had time for (which, on a regular day, would be toast or nothing). None of us had to think too much, because even if you didnt stay full until lunch time, you would probably be working and have to wait to take your break. Now that there is nothing to stop any of us eating all day long, this needs a little more thought.
The new logistics are baffling. I feel like I am running a haulage company. If everyone in the household eats when they wake up, you will have cleared up the kitchen five times before lunch. This is insane; you might as well mill your own flour. Ideally, you want to wait until the last person is hungry, which is around 11.30am. Perfect: you have rolled breakfast into lunch, and now you only have two avalanches of dishes to worry about. But now the breakfast has to be good: nobody is going to wait until 11.30 for cornflakes.
Other than “good”, my criteria in this top 10 are: interesting; low effort in technical terms (no piping bags), but Im not ruling out a bit of an overnight project; moderately healthy; meat-free. If I let meat into the mix, I would basically eat sausages every morning, and then I would have nothing to eat for dinner.
Beans on toast
Sure, just get beans out of a tin and put them on toast if you like. But you can do your own baked beans as a magnificent gift to the family at the start of the week. And I assume that you are making soda bread around the clock anyway, since you have surely run out of yeast.
These Middle Eastern baked eggs arent fast, but they are only a moderate pain to make and the result is fabulously, alchemically good. The tomatoes become rich and luxurious, and the peppers offer a sweetening contrast to the eggs. You wont find many other sound reasons to get this many vitamins into a breakfast.
The chef Fergus Henderson is pretty adamant that kippers should be baked with butter and washed down with a black velvet (champagne and Guinness). I have nothing against the black velvet, but I do have reservations about how much your oven smells, and by extension, your whole house, and for how long – which is all day. If, instead, you put the kippers in a jug in their bag, pour in boiling water and leave for four minutes, they are just as good and much less assertive, and you can put the butter on afterwards.
This isnt really a recipe: on your table, assemble white pitta bread, very punchy black olives, feta, cucumber and tomatoes, jam and honey. Eat in whatever order or combination you like. Close your eyes. Wham! Youre on holiday.
This is easily the best vegan breakfast I know: jasmine rice cooked super-slowly so that it turns into – look away, novices, Im going to use a technical term – gloop, then loaded with vegetables and chillis, to become an emotionally complex experience of ultimate comfort and pure excitement.