What should I eat for breakfast?
April 7, 2008 6:04 AM   Subscribe

Fill the gap between my toast and my cheese!

I really like canned fish (tuna, salmon, etc.) and cheese on toast for breakfast, but I feel bad about the wasted cans and I've decided to try to move towards a topping I can prepare myself, from scratch.

I figure I'd be happy to spend 30-60 minutes every 3 or 4 days to prepare a bunch of something which I can put in the fridge and ration out in the mornings. Additional notes that might help narrow things down: I don't really like ham or other deli-style cold cuts; I am particularly but not exclusively interested in alternate ways to eat fish; I live in Japan and have access to tasty local vegetables and meats; I will not be giving up the cheese.

Any suggestions?
posted by No-sword to Food & Drink (24 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Baked beans? I am a great fan of toast + baked beans + sauteed mushrooms under melted cheese...
posted by kmennie at 6:10 AM on April 7, 2008

Best answer: i thought this was a relationship question

just buy some fish, a lot actually

then before you pop it in the freezer, cut it into morning meal sized portions in one big baggie

then every night put one serving on a plate in the fridge to thaw, and then in the AM cut it up and do what you will with it for bfast

or set some other schedule, perhaps making it the nite before if that's your thing

IE, just buy a lot, that will reduce the packaging!
posted by Salvatorparadise at 6:23 AM on April 7, 2008

Best answer: I like a tasty roasted red pepper/eggplant/spicy/oil concoction I found one time at Big Lots (a US closeout store). It was Hungarian, I believe. At any rate, combined with cheddar it tastes a lot like spicy pimiento cheese, sans mayo.

I say whomp up some shredded cheese with roasted red peppers (DIY, if need be), roasted eggplant (ditto), a bit of salt, some hot pepper, lemon juice and even a bit of sugar to taste. It will keep at least a week.
posted by Stewriffic at 6:27 AM on April 7, 2008

Best answer: How about a nice piece of katsuo grilled? Or saba? Both are pretty cheap fish and both will flake well as tuna. You can also get large jars of salmon flake which might be tasty and then you can wash and put the jars out for recycling.

If you are near a fish market you can probably picked up some of the tuna offcuts pretty cheaply and just grill/fry those up and use them up over two or 3 days.
posted by gomichild at 6:28 AM on April 7, 2008

Best answer: Toast bread lightly; add a thin schmear of mustard, thin slices of apple, top with cheese, pop back in the toaster until cheese is bubbly.

Since you have access to good fish, can you buy a chunk every couple of days, cook it, flake it, and put that on your toast & cheese? I wouldn't cook up a week's worth ahead of time, since cooked fish can go "off" fairly quickly, but shopping every couple of days for it would solve that.

Grill (or oven roast) some slices of summer squash marinated in olive oil and herbs. Or you could slow-roast (very low oven, should take a couple of hours) halved cherry tomatoes or sliced larger tomatoes in olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper. You can make a huge batch and they keep well refrigerated in the olive oil you've roasted them in.
posted by rtha at 6:28 AM on April 7, 2008

Best answer: Wikipedia entry for breakfast in Northern/Eastern Europe has some good suggestions.

As far as fish goes, have you considered smoked salmon in friendlier packaging? Or making gravlax? Or just getting a salmon fillet, shopping it up into breakfast sized pieces, and freezing them individually? (+ heating quickly on stove/hot plate in the morning) I don't think you should give up on fish in this equation because it adds a particularly healthy edge to this breakfast. (though I disagree with whoever said upthread that eating cheese for breakfast is a bad idea. he just doesn't get it!).

You could also try marmite (it you enjoy the taste), jam/jelly if you have a mild cheese to go with it, sliced up strawberries under goat cheese, figs and almonds with Camembert....in fact, a cool thing to do would be to look up the food pairing to go with whatever type of cheese you eat and have that for breakfast.
posted by mustcatchmooseandsquirrel at 6:36 AM on April 7, 2008

Best answer: 1. Egg salad. Hardboiled eggs, chopped and mixed with mayo and pepper. Pre-made, pull out required portion from fridge.
2. Give it a quick nuke to warm it up.
3. Place generously on slice of bread.
4. Top with a slice of cheese.
5. Pop the bread in the toaster oven and watch the cheese go melty.
6. YUM.
posted by hellopanda at 6:43 AM on April 7, 2008

Best answer: Deseed a tomato and slip a slice underneath melted cheese. Yum!
posted by kitkatcathy at 6:46 AM on April 7, 2008

Best answer: Depending on No-swords exact location he may not have easy access to Western food items which is why he stressed local vegetables and meats. Also it's important to keep in mind that very few Japanese apartments have ovens so any type of roasting is usually out.
posted by gomichild at 6:56 AM on April 7, 2008

Best answer: Find a fish market, buy some whole albacore (shiro maguro) or skipjack/bonito (katsuo) fillets and cut them into inch or inch and a half thick slices. Arrange the slices in a roasting pan so they're all in a single layer with very little space between them then cover with olive oil, some whole peppercorns, salt, and whatever else you feel like using. Put the pan in a 200*F oven (95*C) for 2 hours, remove, and let it cool enough that you can handle the fish. Stick each piece of fish in a ziplock bag or a reusable freezer-safe container, add a little of the cooking oil, and freeze. It'll be similar to canned tuna but more flavorful, and you won't have any cans to throw out.
posted by foodgeek at 7:37 AM on April 7, 2008

If you don't have an oven, the same thing works stove top, just keep the temperature low enough that you get a slow simmer.
posted by foodgeek at 7:38 AM on April 7, 2008

Best answer: Thinly sliced pickled gherkin is delicious hidden under the melting cheese. In fact, I'm on my way to the kitchen to make one right now!
posted by ceri richard at 7:45 AM on April 7, 2008

Best answer: Since Kamakura has a recycling program that takes steel cans, which are almost 100% recyclable, you needn't feel bad about the wasted fish cans, as long as you put them out on the right day.
posted by breezeway at 7:47 AM on April 7, 2008

Best answer: It's basic with practically zero preparation time:
Sliced tomatoes and a little bit of oregano on top of the cheese. Toast/nuke it and enjoy. It's the oregano that just does it for me.
posted by slimepuppy at 8:07 AM on April 7, 2008

Best answer: Take one pita bread - slit - add butter, cheese, tomato sauce or sala, chopped green onion, mushrooms, sprinkle with oregano - process for grill cheese ON ONE SIDE. While that's happening prepare Israeli salad - chopped fine cucumbers ,tomatoes, onions, avocado, radishes, lettuce, cabbage, sprinkle salt, pepper, garlic pepper (best to use a food processor on slaw setting), drench very lightly with lime juice- - take out pita toasted pita bread - fill up untoasted side with the salad leaving enough room to roll comfortably - and do that : roll. You are now holding a salad stuffed grilled cheese wrap. Wear napkins tucked in and over all vulnerable and wearable places. Enjoy.
posted by watercarrier at 8:28 AM on April 7, 2008

Best answer: I thought you were just gonna be looking for a little flavor, and miso paste is what springs to mind for me. But if you want something more substantive, you've got your various proteins (meats, fish, soy, beans, eggs, depending on your preference), or your veggies/fruits (mushrooms, tomatoes, pickles, apples, pears). And then there are just the spreads, like fig paste, honey, mustard, olive paste, marmite, or, as I said, miso paste. And of course you can combine, i.e., cheese, smoked tofu, miso & tomato, or whatever. I think the spreads make a real difference if there are flavors you really like, though.
posted by mdn at 8:28 AM on April 7, 2008

Best answer: - chickpeas, mashed with some garlic and lemon juice
- apples or other crunchy fruit and mustard
- thin sliced vegetables of your choice
posted by gingerbeer at 8:47 AM on April 7, 2008

Best answer: Peanut butter. For real.
posted by PercussivePaul at 8:51 AM on April 7, 2008

Best answer: drizzle olive oil on bread
layer lettuce, tomato, onion ring, pitted olives
spread pesto made from sun-dried tomatoes, basil and shitaki mushrooms, seasoned with fresh black pepper, sea salt and garlic for taste
on top of this please place your cheese of choice

put under grill for 3 minutes = breakfast
posted by watercarrier at 9:22 AM on April 7, 2008

Best answer: If you are in Japan, why not go native and try a traditional breakfast with grilled or otherwise cooked fish, raw egg, natto, pickles, miso soup, and rice?

(OK it is work, but tasty!)

You could cook the fish the night before, or in batches. The rice can be cooked in a cooker with a timer, or get one of those microwave-ready packs. Miso soup, raid your local kombini for instant packs. The rest is just assembly.

Otherwise, a couple of fried eggs goes well with anything.
posted by thread_makimaki at 9:33 AM on April 7, 2008

Best answer: some veggies would be good. Try some tomatoes they are really good.
posted by marielos88 at 12:32 PM on April 7, 2008

Best answer: Oooh. My favourite grilled fish n cheese n toast concoction involves the mighty Kipper or smoked herring.

You can find my recipe here (Warning: self-link to deliciousness). The topping mixture can be kept for a good few days in the fridge.

I have no idea as to the globality of the kipper but you can substitute most smoked fish. The next best would be smoked mackerel which is easily sourced in UK supermarkets in chilled vacuum packs for much cheapness.
posted by brautigan at 12:35 PM on April 7, 2008

Best answer: If you mean you don't want to send cans to the landfill, is tuna in a pouch a less objectionable alternative? Many products are now available that way, but mostly tuna and chicken.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 4:23 PM on April 7, 2008

Response by poster: Oh wow, so many comments. Thanks, folks. I feel like I should reply to a few points, but please keep the ideas coming.

- Cans: I do recycle them, obviously, but I just feel ridiculous routing this steady trickle of metal through my house (via the supermarket), you know? Plus, there's always that X% waste factor, and the giant sea-plundering megacorp vs local farmer factor, etc. It can't hurt to explore alternatives before I get so old that my eating habits fossilize. (That said, I will look into those pouches.)
- Flavor versus substance: Ideally both, but substance is more important because cheese can take up the slack. All these pile-of-plant-matter-topped-with-cheese recipes are sounding really good, for example.
- Traditional Japanese breakfast: Indeed this is an excellent way to begin the day's eating! We often do it on weekends when we have time to enjoy it. For weekdays right now, it's got to be quicker and easier and not create too much washing-up Also, cheese.
- Access to Western food items: Gomichild makes a good point. In general my access to things is quite good. Really I wanted to broaden the possibilities rather than narrow them: Not only do I have the regular stuff, I have miso! I have various kinds of fish! etc.
posted by No-sword at 6:28 PM on April 7, 2008

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