James Wong’s ultimate bank holiday brunches

Posted by James Wong April 17, 2019

Bank holidays and brunch. The two go together like Cleanse and Polish. But what if this long weekend you’re the one tasked with whipping up a feast for the entire family? Fear not, we have the ultimate bank holiday brunch inspiration for you, courtesy of our ethnobotanist James Wong. They may be mainly fruit and veg, but there’s nothing in the slightest bit spartan about these delicious, plant-based recipes from his brand new book, 10-a-day the easy way.

A better banana batter

Light, fluffy, delicious banana and peanut pancakes made with over 50% fruit.

BLEND the following in a food processor to form a batter:

  • 4 bananas
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 100g plain wholemeal flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Large pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Butter, for frying

HEAT butter in a frying pan and pour in 2 tbsp of batter per pancake, well spaced apart, and swirl the pan until each spreads to the size of a CD.

COOK for 1 minute on each side, remove from pan and keep warm while you make the rest. Top with your favourite fruits and yoghurt.

Colour pop porridge

Your humble bowl of oats gets a technicolour makeover in this mango and ginger porridge

PLACE 160g jumbo rolled oats, 400g canned mango puree, 200ml milk, 1 tsp ground ginger and 100g goji berries into a medium saucepan and stir well.

BRING to the boil over a medium heat, then turn down and simmer gently for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened.

SERVE with freshly chopped pineapple.

Eggs benedict goes green

Green eggs and ham – a veg-packed reinvention of a brunch time classic.

BRING a saucepan of water to simmer, then stir with a spoon to create a swirl. Carefully break an egg into the water and poach for 3-4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep warm while you repeat with 3 more eggs.

MEANWHILE melt 1 tsp butter in a frying pan over a high heat, add 150g asparagus spears, 100g frozen peas, 100g sugar snap peas and cook until tender. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and add 150g watercress and one large avocado cubed, stir until the watercress starts to wilt.

To make a mighty mole dressing, smash 2 large ripe avocados and mix with ½ finely chopped white onion, 4 green bird’s eye chillies, finely chopped, 2 heaped tbsp chopped dill, 2 tbsp chopped parsley, 1 tsp ground black pepper and 2 tsp cider vinegar or lemon juice.

TOP toasted muffins with ham (optional) and poached eggs, then add the hot vegetables. Drizzle with the mighty mole.

The full Mexican

After this fruit and veg-packed version, you’ll never go full English again.

BRING a saucepan of water to a simmer, stir with a spoon to create a swirl and carefully break an egg into the water. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then repeat (according to how many eggs you desire), keeping the cooked eggs warm in a low oven.

MEANWHILE heat 2 tsp olive oil in a large frying pan, add 300g diced onions, then 2 minced garlic cloves, 400g drained cooked black beans and 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add a 400g tin of chopped tomatoes, 1 tbsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp chipotle chilli flakes and a pinch of salt and gently simmer for 5 minutes.

PLACE 2-3 slices of buttered cornbread (see James’ own recipe on pg 69 of 10-a-day the easy way) on each plate and top with the poached eggs. Then divide the beans, 2 sliced avocados and 14 halved baby plum tomatoes evenly between 4 plates to serve.

10-a-Day the Easy Way by James Wong is published by Mitchell Beazley, www.octopusbooks.co.uk, £20. Photography by Jason Ingram