I don't know what it is this year, but I seem permanently cold. I'm writing this wearing cashmere leggings, an oversized jumper and bedsocks, and I'm still feeling the chill. I know the most practical way to tackle this is with lots of snuggly layers and lots of mugs of hot tea, but another is making sure I get a proper breakfast. I'm notoriously bad at eating properly on weekday mornings before I rush off to work, and I know not eating enough can make you feel colder. I somehow don't think my daily glass of vegetable juice and an avocado dressed with lemon juice and sea salt won't cut it much longer, so, inspired by lots of the breakfast grain bowls I've seen on Pinterest, I thought I'd come up with a protein heavy, make ahead bowl for busy mornings.
You have lots of different grain options. I've used farro here because it cooks really quickly, but I also love pearl barley, brown rice in the mornings. Cook up a big batch, and you can make a different bowl each day of the week (try cold leftover squash, roasted tomatoes or pomegranate seeds), or you've got some to make up some sort of salad at lunchtime. You can boil a couple of eggs at a time and keep them in the fridge (in their shells). These are the only two even slightly time consuming elements, as everything else is just assembly.
Of course, while I put this together with breakfast in mind, it would also make the perfect healthy brunch option, as it really does straddle the line between breakfast and lunch. The celebrate their stunning new 'Chef' range of kitchen equipment, the guys at Marks and Spencer challenged me to come up with a could of easy brunch dishes with some of the new items. I must say that while they sent me some items to play around with, I was more than slightly in love when I first browsed the collection online. Everything is both very, very pretty (silver with gold details), and very practical for actual cooks, with all the pan sizes you actually need day to say, and a good choice of everyday, cast iron, copper and non-stick, and with the utensils you actually want.
I was even more impressed when my pans came. They're all of exceptional quality, with heavy bottoms, liquid measurements up the inside side of my saucepan, and a beautiful base for quick cooking to my lovely new sauté pan. And my mini cast iron roasting dishes? Okay, so they're so heavy they could double as a murder weapon, but they're also super cute, and I can't wait to show them to you in my next recipe.
The measurements below are enough to make just one bowlful, but I fully intend for you to scale things up so suit whatever you're up to on any given week by way of how many breakfasts, brunches or lunches you need to cater for. Honestly, the below recipe is just a blueprint, go wild! (Or, this is also a fantastic excuse to clear out your fridge!) I eat one avocado in one sitting, but you can easily divide one between two bowls.
- 50g (1.5 oz) Farro
- 1 Large Egg
- 1 tbsp Natural Yogurt
- 1/2 tbsp Brown Rice Miso Paste
- 1/2 tbsp Rice Vinegar
- Juice of 1/4 Lime
- Large Handful Baby Spinach
- 1 Small, Ripe Avocado
- 1 tsp Black Sesame Seeds
Cook the farro in a pan of boiling water as per the packets instructions. Drain, and set it aside to cool. Then, boil the egg for 6 minutes in the same pan, and then plunge it straight into cold water to stop it from cooking. To make the dressing, whisk together the yogurt, miso paste, rice vinegar and lime juice until smooth. Assemble your breakfast bowl, drizzle over the dressing, and sprinkle over the sesame seeds.
Be sure to check out the new M&S Chef range (there are some great Christmas gift ideas in there for some of the more kitchen inclined in your life), and if you're after some more filling, cold weather breakfast and brunch ideas, why not try my Smoked Salmon Latkes with Lemon & Caper Soured Cream, my Americana Bacon, Maple and Blueberry Breakfast Oatmeal, or my Slow Roasted Cherry Tomatoes on Avocado Toast.