My husband travels a lot with his job. Whilst it takes him to all sorts of interesting places, some locations can be a bit challenging when it comes to finding healthy plant-based food options. Each country has its local breakfast options – this week he’s off to Bangalore and so he’s looking forward to getting a delicious masala dosa in the morning.
Often the larger international hotels serve a selection of multi-national breakfast options. Recently he’s been enjoying the Spanish breakfast Pan con Tomate – tomatoes on toast! So much so he’s taken to eating it at home too. It’s super easy to prepare, contains some amazing anti-oxidants and phytonutrients, healthy anti-inflammatory omega 3 fatty acids and, most importantly, is delicious!
Super sweet and tasty tomatoes are in season, so It’s the perfect time of year to treat yourself to this luscious flavour combination. Use the largest vine-ripened or beef tomato you can find so that you get enough pulp. Beef tomatoes are particularly good to use as they have a tougher skin, making it easier for you to grate the tomato rather than your hand.
The other key ingredients are garlic, salt, pepper and a dash of quality extra virgin olive oil. That’s it. Unless like me you want to add a little spinach for an additional dimension (but then I seem to add spinach to most things!). Making this at home means that you can use your toast option of choice – quality whole-wheat bread, sourdough, spelt bread, gluten-free or even grain-free depending on your food intolerances and diet choices. When we’re away, I’ve even ended up adding it to rice cakes (as I never travel without them) – it still works but you have to eat them pretty quickly or it turns into a soggy mess.
If you follow a programme like Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis that includes consuming flaxseed oil every day, use that instead of the extra virgin olive oil – it’s the perfect opportunity to glug part or all of your daily dose (I have to add my flaxseed to food, not sure how people drink it neat!).
Garlic at breakfast-time might not be for everyone, even the smear with this recipe. If you’re sensitive to it or have IBS, or your taste-buds protest then just omit it. It still tastes great without. And of course this can be eaten at any time of the day (although please forgive me if you’re Spanish and consider it odd to be eating breakfast for dinner!).
So why not add this to your breakfast repertoire and have a healthy, nutrient-packed start to the day?
Pan con tomate
- 1 large beef tomato or 2 largish vine-ripened tomatoes
- 1 clove garlic peeled
- salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or cold-pressed flaxseed oil
- 2 slices bread of choice
- Cut the tomato in half. Hold one half in your hand with the cut side facing out and box grater in the other. Grate the tomato using the tomato skin as your skin protector. Repeat with the other half.
- Transfer the grated tomato to a bowl and discard the skin.
- Toast your bread of choice, then whilst still warm, rub the clove of garlic over the toast so the flavour gets infused onto the toast (if you don't want much, just gently rub it, it you love garlic add more pressure)
- Spoon the grated tomato over the top to cover, season with salt and pepper then drizzle the olive oil or flaxseed oil over the top. Eat straight away. Keep any leftover tomato in a container in the fridge for another day.