1-pot 10-minute SOS Veggie Breakfast

Save Our Stomachs! We are living on coffee and catnaps at the moment… it’s been 3 weeks now of the babies sleeping like newborns i.e. NOT A LOT AT NIGHT. When they do sleep, they take it in turns, so there’s pretty much always one baby on the go.

Time and energy for food prep is in short supply, so I’m falling back on some old favourites. This breakfast/lunch/saviour meal takes 10 minutes, all in. It is protein packed, healthy, hearty vegetarian fare. And it tastes so good.

One pot breakfast: maximum flavour, minimal washing up

Ingredients:

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 fresh chilli / generous teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 2 Cauldron sausages
  • 4 eggs
  • 8 Mushrooms
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 tortilla wraps
  • Cream cheese
  • Large handful grated Cheddar cheese – I just buy it pre grated at the moment. If you don’t, you will need to grate it on your own time.
  • Large handful fresh coriander
  • Sriracha sauce / whatever chilli sauce you are partial to

A note on Cauldron sausages: these are the best vege sausages on the U.K. market in my opinion. Whenever I try other brands I am generally a bit disappointed. If you prefer something else, by all means substitute it, but you are going off piste and I can’t promise it will work!

A note on proportions: you know how hungry you are; increase portion sizes accordingly. Twice the sausages is good if you have a large enough pan, or you could make fewer eggs if you’re that way inclined.

Method:

  • 12:00 Get out in ingredients and a big non-stick frying pan
  • 12:01 Slosh of olive oil in the pan, medium heat, add sausages, shake to coat them in oil. Note: these cook in 8 minutes, turning regularly.
  • 12:02 Mince the garlic, slice the chilli, add to the pan. Stir & shake.
  • 12:03 Chop the mushrooms. Chop the coriander.
  • 12:04 Sweep the sausages to one side of the pan. Add mushrooms to other side of pan and stir to coat in oil. Stir half the coriander into the mushrooms.
  • 12:05 Get out 2 plates and put a tortilla on each. Spread with cream cheese.
  • 12:06 Turn sausages, stir mushrooms, make room in the pan. Carefully crack in the eggs.
  • 12:07 Chop the avocado and scoop out half onto each tortilla
  • 12:08 Turn the sausages, gently stir mushrooms if you think they need it. Everything should be almost cooked; if not, consider turning up the heat for a minute
  • 12:09 Divide the contents of the pan between the two tortillas. Put the pan in the sink and make sure the stove is off
  • 12:10 Scatter on the grated cheese, the remaining coriander leaves, and a generous dash sriracha. Eat!

Do you have any trusty SOS meals you fall back on in times of crisis? Let me know in the comments – we can virtual comfort-eat together ๐Ÿ˜‰

Do they sleep?

Why yes: but only on me. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

It wasn’t always like this. They are now 22 weeks old, which puts them right in the middle of the tricky (hellish) period known as the “4-month sleep regression”.

Until I had babies I’d never heard of sleep regressions; until a fortnight ago I wasn’t sure if I believed in them. Now? I’m pretty convinced!

It’s not that they no longer sleep at all, but rather that they like to sleep in our arms. For short periods. And very lightly. From an evolutionary perspective, I get it: they want to be safe from jaguars. Very sensible baby behaviour, frankly!

They’re gaining new skills daily (chief amongst them: flipping over and getting stuck) and I guess their accelerating metabolisms and growing brains have stimulated their appetites again. So we’re back to hourly feeding, which is fine, except for when it’s not, which is whenever I want to do anything else. Like SLEEP.

Anyway. There comes a point in rolling sleep deprivation where you admit defeat and live on coffee… This is my fave at the moment.

Cold milk on ice, a dash of maple syrup, and a double espresso. โ˜•๏ธ #survivalmode

Ingredients

  • Half a glass of milk
  • Large handful ice cubes
  • 25ml maple syrup
  • 50ml espresso

Method

Everything in the glass

Stir

Down in one! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Double-G Granola

There comes a time when a person stops feeling comfortable eating a tray of flapjack every week (or does there?).

And now that time has come for me, this is what I’ve started making instead: similarly tasty, but lower fat and altogether more wholesome, homemade granola.

Ingredients :

    2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
    2 tbsp maple syrup
    1 tbsp raw honey
    1 tbsp cocoa
    300g oats
    100g chopped almonds
    100g chopped dried apricots
    50g sultanas
    50g chopped hazelnuts (optional, but cocoa + toasted hazelnuts = Nutella vibes, so why wouldn’t you?)
    50g pumpkin seeds
    50g golden linseed

Note: if pushed for time, you can substitute all the dry ingredients for 500g your favourite muesli, plus a handful of any extra nuts or dried fruit you fancy.

Note on ingredients: oats, almonds, apricots and golden linseed have a reputation for stimulating milk supply, however there is no convincing scientific evidence for this. But the tasty, slow-release energy they provide does not go amiss when one is up all hours of the day and night sustaining two small humans!

One of my small humans. Obviously use whatever cocoa you like, but I’m partial to this one. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Method

In a big bowl or pan, mix the oats, oil, syrup, honey and cocoa until all the oats are coated. Then stir in everything else. This should smell really good.

Scoop loosely onto 2 lined baking trays; donโ€™t press down, as you want to toast all the individual pieces evenly.

Bake for 10 mins at 150โ€™C. By now it should smell insanely good!

Allow to cool, then stir to break up any large clumps.

Somehow get it into a mason jar (other jars are available). I do this by using the baking parchment as a funnel and pouring it into the jar, which is quick but some inevitably spills…

Consume by the bowlful with milk of your choice, with yoghurt & fruit, scattered over ice cream, or – my fave – dry, by the desert spoonful, whilst waiting for the kettle to boil.

Snacktastic: avocado toast

One of the joyous things about breastfeeding is the ravenous hunger that must be sated with tasty things, which taste all the better because your body is crying out for sugars and fats like it’s running a marathon (which, metabolically, it is!).

The only hunger I’ve felt like it before is post-scuba-dive hunger, where you’ve spent an hour underwater metabolising like crazy to keep warm but too distracted by all the fish and coral and beautiful dangerous things (hello shark! Hello anemones!) to notice, and then you heave yourself and your tank back onto the boat or beach, and peel off the heavy wetsuit, and dry off in the sun, and suddenly: starving. And everything tastes so good!

Anyway, multiply that by 50 and it’s comparable with breastfeeding hunger, in my experience.

And while often I just want to eat, like, several handfuls of chocolate biscuits, or half a tub of ice cream, or cereal bars spread thickly with Nutella–sometimes I have the wherewithal to make a healthy plate like this, which is so good in a different way, and actually sates the cravings for longer.

Note: this is only good if you can get ripe avocados.

Avocado, basil & chilli sourdough

This is the simplest thing in the world to assemble, but as I’m just getting started with recipe blogging I’m going to write the whole thing out. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Ingredients:

  • 1 avocado per person (half if barely hungry)
  • 2 slices of sourdough per avocado
  • 1 large handful cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Few fresh basil leaves (coriander if preferred), rolled then thinly sliced, to form ribbons
  • 1 dried chilli, finely chopped
  • Wedge of fresh lime
  • The nicest olive oil in your kitchen

Method

  • Toast the toast
  • Halve the avocados ๐Ÿฅ‘, slice within their halves then scoop out with a spoon. Use any remaining avocado as a spread first, then fan the slices on top.
  • Arrange tomatoes as desired
  • Scatter with chilli and basil
  • Drizzle with oil and lime juice
  • Season with flaky sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste

Double-F Flapjack

In the early weeks of learning to feed my twins, I was breastfeeding them both every 2 hours, including overnight, as well as giving top-up bottles, and expressing, every 3-4 hours.

Each night felt like a surreal marathon running parallel with the time when I should have been being rejuvenated. By 6am each day I would already be a wreck. These flapjacks helped. A lot.

Ingredients:

  • 450g oats
  • 300g margarine (or butter if richer & greasier is appealing)
  • 80g demarera sugar
  • 120g golden syrup
  • 60g treacle
  • 100g chopped almonds
  • 100g sultanas
  • 50g golden linseed (“flaxseed”)

A note on ingredients: oats, almonds and linseed are all supposedly good for stimulating milk supply. Anecdotally I would agree but there is no published evidence for their efficacy. However they were definitely good for sustaining my blood sugar and sanity during otherwise dark and hangry times.

If you know someone who is in the early stages of learning to cope with a new baby, these would make an EXCELLENT gift.

Method:

  • Melt the margarine, sugar & syrups in a big pan.
  • Turn off the heat.
  • Stir in the nuts, raisins & seeds.
  • Stir in the oats (slowly but surely the mixture will come together)

Get a standard-sized baking tray. Line it with baking paper. Scoop the mixture into the tray and press down.

Bake at 180โ€™C for 20 minutes; longer if you want it crispier, however the longer you cook it the more the sultanas will be scorched.

The kitchen should smell great by the time itโ€™s cooked.

I scour it into columns and rows with a knife whilst itโ€™s still hot and soft, then leave in the tin for at least half an hour (realistically: until I next get 2 minutes off from baby-wrangling).

Once cool, I lift out the whole slab on its baking paper and break it into squares. Bits that fall off get eaten first. The rest goes in a tin that goes on the kitchen counter by the kettle… or on the bedside table.