Steamfried Egg with Samphire and Smoked Tofu + Your Breakfast Ideas



I hope that title hasn’t freaked you out too much. Please stay! I know what you may be thinking, “I recognise the egg bit but what the devil is the rest doing in a breakfast?”

For the most part we will be quite normal here, thanks to you all: muffins, smoothies, porridge, pikelets, that kind of thing. But just indulge me a little with my  eggy, samphirey, tofu-y fixation. I  might even convince you to venture to your fishmonger, or nearest beach, to get some samphire and try this. Yes, you deduced correctly: Samphire is a marine plant. A  pretty one that tastes like asparagus to boot (or Wellington). And for today only, samphire isn’t just for fish. It’s my brekkie. And hopefully yours – someday…



By know most of you who have read foodtoglow more than once will have cottoned on to the fact that I like things a bit savoury. And I think I have even declared that before too. That’s not to say that I never eat cakes or desserts, more that I do lean more toward the umami side of things. And not just at dinner either. It would be pretty rare to see me with a cereal bowl in my hand, even rarer (how about never) to be nibbling on one of those new-fangled breakfast biscuits I have seen advertised on the telly (click the link for a gloriously sarky review). I know most of us are in a hurry but, c’mon, how is a breakfast biscuit better than a bowl of fruit with some yogurt and a sprinkling of nuts? Well, it’s not. And even if you have to eat on the run, what about a peanut butter (or my favourite, almond butter) and banana sandwich? Much more satisfying than a couple of poxy biscuits pumped with vitamins, minerals and a marketing budget.

Breakfast really shouldn’t be an optional meal, eaten only if we have time for the leisurely chopping of fruit, scrambling of eggs, or flipping of pancakes. I truly cannot imagine our heads of state saying, “I don’t have time for the fripperies of breakfast. I have decisions to make!!” Those decisions would no doubt be poorer on an empty or caffeine-fuelled stomach. Yes, I realise they probably have it made for them, but I know that there are quite a few folk who don’t actually think they need much more than a can of Coke to face the rigours of the day.

Even the most time-poor of folk can get up five minutes earlier to slice bread, toast it and, while it’s toasting, mash an avocado or even some ripe berries, for spreading on the hot, just-crisp bread. And those for whom breakfast time is filled with getting nourishment into others – filling cereal bowls, packing lunches –  think about how you can shoehorn in time for you too. Like any meal, breakfast requires a bit of thought to do it right. Hopefully some of the ideas here can show you how with a little preparation, you can head out the door with a satisfied belly, body buzzing with energy and the right foods to keep you from pilfering the biscuit tin come 11 am.

And if I haven’t convinced you to eat breakfast by a bit of gentle bullying then how about this: people who eat breakfast are more likely to be at their ideal weight, lose more weight if on a calorie-reducing plan, increase their metabolism by 10% (burning more calories during the day). In fact, a good study reports that eating eggs compared with bagels (protein v carbohydrates) gave much longer satiety and resulted in reduced food cravings and reduced calorie intake for up to 36 hours. And a further study, reported in the esteemed journal, Nature, found that “compared to the bagel eaters, overweight women who ate two eggs for breakfast five times a week for eight weeks as part of a low-fat, reduced-calorie diet, lost 65% more weight, reduced waist circumference by 83%, reported higher energy levels, and had no significant difference in their … blood cholesterol or triglyceride levels.” There are also other studies that don’t show a dramatic difference, so I don’t think it’s a cure-all for weight and cravings. But, according to an article on Webmed, breakfast eaters generally also have better nutrition overall, improved concentration, more strength and endurance, and lower cholesterol – even us egg eaters.

poached egg on crispbread with tomatoes & ‘fresh’ basil oil – 5 minute prep

According to experts a ‘good’ breakfast should ideally consist of one serving of protein, one of fat, one or two of fruit or veg and one or two of complex carbohydrates. To be honest, I don’t think about formalised portions, but rather make sure that there is a representative of all three macronutrients on our plates, with the emphasis on protein and carbohydrates. So, not just a piece of fruit, and not just a piece of toast with jam and butter.

And now, rant over, here are your ideas.

EA Stewart, known to all as “The Spicy RD,” recently posted the fragrant-sounding Banana Spice Milkshake. As a dietitian you know EA’s recipe are always going to be healthy, so her simple looking Breakfast Bananas Foster with Cinnamon Streusel Topping looks very tempting for a sweet morning treat. She also mentioned in response to my Orange Julius Fruit Salad post that she makes her own Orange Julius with real oj, egg white powder and ice. Blast from the past!

the spicy rd’s breakfast bananas foster

Another sweet thing is one I found over at one of my favourite blogs, Foodblog and the Dog. Natalie’s Fig, Date and Hazelnut Cardamom Spelt Scones look amazing and are vegan (bonus).

Kelli, at Everyday Nourishment, is a girl after my own heart with her love of roasted cauliflower – or any roasted vegetable – first thing. Like any clever cook she mainly does this by heating up leftovers from dinner. That is a top tip: Eat Leftovers For Breakfast. Whether it is pizza, some stew, a chicken leg, whatever: heat it and pair it with something fresh like a handful of cherry tomatoes or a piece of fruit. We like this rocket frittata (or courgette-parmesan frittata) for a leftovers breakfast, with ketchup.

Lovely Lizzy at Bizzy Lizzy’s Good Things prefers to keep it simple over the summer with fresh mangoes and blueberries, but as it is coming up for winter in Australia (and the temps look very cold where she is), I think she will be making more of her gluten-free Buckwheat Pikelets.

Lizzy’s Buckwheat Pikelets

Ellie, who is  Twitter friend (@eatsleeplaugh), finds making up her porridge the night before saves time and ensures a healthy, filling start to the day. She has a few good ideas so please look at her comment on Spicy Kale and Egg Breakfast. Here’s a link to a recommended recipe called Pump It Up Muffin, a quite yummy looking recipe.

ballymaloe granola from emma

Emma of Emma’s Kitchen Diary finds that Irish chef Darina Allen’s Crunchy Granola hits the spot. I am not a traditional cereal fan but I love a good homemade granola, especially because you can adjust the sweetness and fat – and all the other bits – to your heart’s content.

Emilia of Emilia Brasier Photography has two clever ideas, one savoury and one sweet. She loves sauteed spinach paired with a fried egg and salsa rolled into a corn tortilla (mmm), but likes to give her young children protein-boosted porridge by adding in almond meal and chia seeds, along with some dried fruit and a touch of maple syrup. Lucky kids! PS Go and have a look at her head-swirling, colourful photos.

Other quick ideas:

wholemeal muffin or waffle + almond butter or peanut butter + grated red apple or coconut

wholemeal muffin + lowfat (or wholemilk) cottage cheese + chopped tomato + olive oil + fresh basil

wholemeal chapati or tortilla + scrambled or hardboiled egg + cooked spinach + herbs + avocado + jarred salsa (roll up as a burrito)

porridge + spoon of cherry jam + tbsp dried sour cherries (or barberries) + fresh blueberries + vanilla powder  + chopped almonds

breakfast parfait of granola + lowfat yogurt or ricotta cheese + fresh fruit or defrosted frozen fruit

mix a prepared smoothie portion with a scoop of protein powder (whey or soy)

toast or muffin topped + mashed avocado + cherry/grape tomatoes + herbs (a favourite of mine)

add ricotta or smooshed up cottage cheese to your favourite pancake batter; divide the egg you add, whisking the white – super-fluffy blini-like pancakes with extra protein

my favourite breakfast smoothie: 1/2 avocado + 100 ml fresh oj + 100 ml pomegranate juice + 50 g frozen raspberries + 1/8 tsp vanilla powder + 1 scoop protein powder. To share between 2. Rocket fuel for the brain!

all-in-one breakfast – over scottish potato scones


For even more ideas try fuss-free flavours ‘breakfast club’, the good breakfast guide’ from  nhs.uk change for life programme (and look at the links in the sidebar too), and some other foodtoglow breakfast and snack ideas I have tucked away up in the Nutrition and Cancer section, but suitable for everyone. AND read this great article in the Huffington Post from one of my favourite sensible dietitians, Manuel Villacorta. I will soon be reviewing his just-out book, Eating Free, all about healthy weight loss by eating carbs. You’ve got to love that premise!


Steam-fried Egg with Samphire and Smoked Tofu 

Miss R’s Track of the Week: The Beatles’ Good Day Sunshine (with lovely snaps of the Beatles on the beach)

This is a real mix and match breakfast. As is you get bags of healthy and filling protein to start your day, but drop the egg or tofu and it is still a great proteiny way to start your day. The samphire can easily be switched for its taste doppelganger, thinnest (sprue) asparagus, or even shaved fully-fledged asparagus. And get your carb fix with a side of homemade bread or best quality wholegrain sourdough bread. I’m getting hungry just writing this. A top breakfast, for top people. Quick too.

2 fresh organic eggs
rapeseed oil
100g smoked tofu, sliced/cubed (soaked in milk for 20 minutes if it is salty)
good handful of samphire OR 100g youngest asparagus, trimmed
100g chestnut/brown mushrooms, sliced
4 spring onions/scallions, sliced
Fresh lemon juice, for finishing

I do this in two pans but this is easily done in one, stir-frying the veg and tofu first, covering it and then getting on with your egg.

Stir-fry the mushrooms for a couple of minutes then add the tofu, spring onions and samphire, cooking and stirring for a further minute until all is hot but the onion and samphire are still crunchy. Set aside, covered.

Now, the egg. For a fantastic just-runny yolk and a perfectly cooked white all you do is add a little rapeseed oil or butter (about 1 tsp) to a non-stick sauté pan (that has a lid) and heat to medium. Swirl your pan and crack in spanking fresh eggs; this is important to ensure a firm, stable yolk and the least spreading white while cooking. And for superior flavour, too. Cook until the whites are no longer translucent and the edges bubble a little – between 1 and ½ and 2 minutes. Now – the steaming bit: add 1 tablespoon of warm water to the pan, listen for a slight ‘sss’ and pop on the lid. Check in one minute and you should have perfect white and an enticingly pokeable yolk. 

Now of course you divide the veg and tofu onto two plates and top each with a delectable, perfectly cooked egg. Tuck in immediately.

NOTE:those on active cancer treatment, or who have a compromised immune system, should avoid under-cooked eggs. For this recipe steam-fry the egg until the yolk is just firm; this will be fine with fresh eggs, and not rubbery like firm-fried eggs can be. 

cook egg a little before adding lid


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30 thoughts on “Steamfried Egg with Samphire and Smoked Tofu + Your Breakfast Ideas

  1. My Goodness – what a great post. I couldn’t read all of it in one go. Like a big breakfast that has to have some put away for Ron. Later Ron. I love these recipes and I LOVE breakfast. Especially after a workout, a walk out, or some good old fashioned Yoga. I must bookmark this page!

  2. All these lovely breakfast ideas! I agree, breakfast is the most important meal to me. My mum made sure I got that drilled into my head from young. I love eggs for breakfast, though all the the options up there contributed by others have also got me salivating. Most days though, when I need to leave the house to get to school early, I just cook porridge in the slow-cooker overnight (: easy, just scoop the next day.

    The title steamfried egg caught my attention! And I thought I’ve seen every possible way of eating an egg, including slow-baking it for 10 hours, and deepfrying an egg! Then I realise it’s really just a more fool-proof way of frying an egg, and is in fact the method I use, minus any oil or water. I know it sounds incredulous, but really if you get the pan hot first, just crack the egg directly, wait 2 seconds for it to set, then cover with a lid. It will cook and NOT stick at all!

    • Great comment. I sometimes do the no oil thing but I do love a bit of extra fat with it! Gets the edges all lacy and yummy. But sans fat is good as the yolk has plenty of the ol lipids for most of us. And I have never heard of 10 hour eggs. 1000 year old eggs, yes (hubby had one. not a pleasant experience for him) but not 10 hour. I have heard a lot about slow-cooker porridge so I must give that a go with some dried fruit. Maybe with coconut milk instead of dairy. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. what an amazing post filled with sooooo so many great links. I also bookmarked it and will be using it for future breakfast inspiration. I truly agree with all the points in your post. breakfast is important and its a mere silly excuse to say that there is no time for it. Frying an egg or topped yoghurt with berries and nuts takes 2 minutes and the eating part no more than another 10. of course you have to put some thought into it AND THATS THE MAIN PROBLEM. people are often lazy and want comfort. they dont realize how great it can be to start the day with something tasty and nourishing that will satisfy your taste buds for the rest of day (or at least until the next big meal:). at the moment I am stuck to green smoothies and avocado toasts. I occasionally make an omelette with loads of herbs and a toasted buttery fresh bread. comfort at its best!

    • Love your comment Alexia! You have summarised my view in a few short sentences (I am terrible at summarising, if you hadn’t noticed!). Green smoothies and avocado toast is right up my street too, but for filling me up until the next meal nothing beats one of lovely hens’ eggs (or two). I would have them every day if it was sensible to do so (which it isn’t).

      • well if you had your own chickens it would! I grew up on a chicken farm and have about 60 eggs at home on a constant base. Evertime I visit home I take a few packets with me so I never run out. its great to eat eggs when you know where they come from and also when you know what the chickens are fed etc.

      • Lucky you with the huge supply. We are good with just having 3-4 hens at any one time as there are only 3 of us, although I bake with them for work too. It is fantastic to know that we have given hens that would’ve otherwise got the chop at 2 years old, a new lease of life with a garden to roam and bugs to eat (along with all the produce scraps and herbs). Gorgeous eggs and deep yellow yolks.

  4. I would love to eat every single one of those ideas for breakfast – they really tick all my taste bud boxes. Talking of boxes, love the photo of your hens peering into the wooden wine crate, it would make a great kitchen poster. I’m glad you wrote this post because I love avocados and normally have at least one rolling around my fruit bowl, but I’ve never eaten one for breakfast for some reason but I am loving that idea. Good one, thanks!

    • I know, my girls have a very posh nest box – courtesy of a friendly wine merchant, not us splashing out on fine wine! You must try the avocado on toast thing – so filling and utterly yummo with some tomatoes and herbs. The avo I used in the photo wasn’t the ripest one ever but usually it spreads like butter – very healthy monounsaturated butter. a sprinkling of za’atar or dukkah doesn’t go amiss either. PS Miss R just made some stupendous tuna salad with gherkins, capers, Delouis mayo and other goodies. I should be pampering her, shouldn’t I?!

  5. What a fabulous breakfast roundup Kellie, and thanks so much for sharing my breakfast bananas foster and banana spice milkshake :-) Your egg dish and all the other yummy links look amazing. I’m so curious now to see if I can find any samphire here {living close to the beach and all}. If not, looks like asparagus will do the trick, and I agree with Niki-I just love, love, love your photo of the hen and eggs. Gorgeous!

    • It was a pleasure to include you in this round-up. Miss R spied the bananas foster image that I nicked from your site and said ‘I want that”. So guess wht she is having before a big exam tomorrow??? I will tell my henny pennies you were admiring them :D

  6. Natalie’s Fig, Date and Hazelnut Cardamom Spelt Scones look amazing and are vegan (bonus)…………….THANKS for whetting my appetite with this one! Still working on making the cauliflower pie…….

  7. Breakfast is the most amazing and important meal. I tell my students all the time that eating breakfast is never a waste of time. Love your post. I think I’ll add a little paneer and tofu together and try a variation on your theme. I have fresh ramps growing (I think you all call them green garlic) and they would be great also. Nom, nom, nom!

  8. Breakfast is my fave meal of the day, I have a “thickie” (smoothie) with banana, strawberries, raspberries, oats, flaxmeal, flax seeds, flax oil and oat milk. At this time of year I freeze the fresh strawbs & rasps so they don’t go off in this heat, so it is like ice cream when I blend it, yay!! Thanks for bigging up my scones, I did have eat some of them for breakfast!!

    • Oh yeah, even here in Scotland where nothing much goes off in the heat for obvious reasons, I like frozen berries as it gets the smoothie – or thickie – all cold and frothy delish. I occasionally add oats and flaxseeds but I guess i like it a little thinner so protein it up a bit with protein powder if I’m not having something else as well. And I really want to try the scones very soon. They really look and sound great.

  9. Hi Kellie,
    I hope my Versatile blogger award nomination will make you smile and feel good :)

    “Versatile Blogger Award
    Here are the rules:
    Thank the person that nominated you with a link back. (Personnaly I do not insist :)
    Share seven things about yourself.
    Pass this onto 10 newly discovered blogs and let them know they received the award.”

    For more info please check my blog http://www.loulune.wordpress.com

    • Thank you so, so much! I recently was awarded this (& kreativ blogger one too) award so I might have to pass on the telling folk stuff about me or I will exasperate my very tolerant readers. I am happy to link back in upcoming post however as it is so nice to be noticed this way. It really is. I hope your travels in Japan were fantastic!

      • Congratulations to the awards!
        Yes, Japan was fantastic, if you are interested I have posted some pictures and articles on my blog about it, and I certainly will post some more in the upcoming days.
        Looking forward to your next post!

  10. These are all such great ideas! I can’t wait to add to our breakfast routine. I love breakfast it is one of my favorite meals, in fact we even have breakfast for dinner in our house at times :) Love the avocado in smoothie, glad I am not the only one who does that!

    • I’m not sure how available it is in the US, although it is certainly in your colder waters. Young, sprue asparagus is a good sub, but if you can get the samphire it is truly magic. Lovely crunch, subtle taste (And no funny smell afterwards ;).

  11. What a gorgeous round-up of healthy breakfast ideas. I love a nice savory breakfast too and although my family thinks I’m strange for it, it’s actually not uncommon for me to have leftovers from the previous night’s dinner. I would be all over this beautiful samphire and smoked tofu treat!

    • Oh, we are big leftover folk, if it isn’t destined for Mr A’s lunch bag. I find that if I wake up super hungry then I’ll even eat cold leftover fish! Your family *would* think that is strange. Thanks so much for commenting, Faith. Off to read your last two posts with a nice cup of tea.

If you have time, I would love to hear from you. Thanks so much!

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