What makes a good breakfast?  You need energy to get you started for the day, protein to build and maintain muscle and you need to get started on your 5 (or 7?)-a-day.  Wholegrains are a great addition to a breakfast but just toast or cereal in morning is not going to get you the balance of nutrients you need for the day.  We take a look at great ways to get a great breakfast into your morning routine.

Eggs are the go-to protein for many of us at breakfast but don’t be afraid to expand your horizons and look beyond the obvious.  Greek yoghurt, nuts and seeds are all good sources of protein and you don’t have to go back too many years to when fish was an essential part of breakfast as kippers or smoked mackerel.  Check out some new and some more familiar breakfast ideas below.

5 Breakfasts to get you on the right track for the day!

Mackerel and Poached Egg Breakfast

2 Tsp. vinegar

2 large eggs

2 Slices wholemeal brown bread, toasted

1 large ripe tomato, sliced

1 can of John West Irish Mackerel

Chives, snipped

Black Pepper

Bring a pan of water to the boil.  Add the vinegar and reduce to a simmer.  Poach the eggs for three minutes or until cooked to your liking.  Place the brown toast on two plates, top with the tomato slices and the mackerel.  Top each portion with the poached egg.  Sprinkle with black pepper and some snipped chives.


Quinoa and Blueberry Parfait

60g of cooked quinoa (about 1/3 of a measuring cup)

4 dessertspoons Greek yoghurt

A few drops of pure vanilla extract

Pinch of ground cinnamon

½ punnet of blueberries (about 60g) or other berries

Handful of chopped walnuts or hazelnuts (or both)

Put a layer of the quinoa and Greek yoghurt mixture in the bottom of a glass.  Add some blueberries then a layer of nuts.  Add a second layer of quinoa-and-yoghurt and continue with the layers of berries and nuts.  Enjoy!



Breakfast Black Beans

Beans are a great source of protein and this is a very quick breakfast to make on a busy morning.  You can pair these beans with avocado, a poached egg, fresh tomatoes or just enjoy them as they are.

400g tin of black beans, drained

1 teaspoon of chilli powder (or to taste)

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon chipotle sauce

1 tablespoon chopped, fresh coriander

Wholemeal tortilla to serve

Put the tin of beans in a sauce pan along with the smoked paprika, chilli and chipotle sauce and warm them through over a medium heat.  Check if they need any extra salt or pepper for seasoning.  Serve in a bowl with the chopped coriander along with a warmed tortilla and some sliced avocado or fresh tomatoes.



Kedgeree was a traditional Victorian breakfast and remains a wonderfully flavoured, protein-rich dish.  It makes a great brunch on the weekend but it also keeps well so you can make it up in advance and have it for breakfast on weekdays too.  Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients, this is actually a very simple dish to make.

1 can of John West Mackerel Fillets, in brine or oil

175g Basmati rice

1 small onion, chopped

2 tomatoes, deseeded and chopped

2 spring onions, finely sliced

30g frozen peas

1 tablespoon olive oil

25g butter

Zest of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon of curry powder

1 clove of garlic

250ml vegetable stock

2 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped

4 hardboiled eggs, to serve.

In a large saucepan melt the butter with the olive oil and gently fry the chopped onion for 2 to 3 minutes, until soft (but not browned).  Add the garlic and curry powder and continue to cook for a further minute.

Meanwhile, place the rice into a sieve and rinse under cold water until the water runs clear and leave to drain.  Add the uncooked rice to the saucepan and fry for one minute until all the grains are coated in the spice.

Add the vegetable stock, peas and lemon zest to the pan and cover with the lid (or cover lightly with tin foil).  Continue to cook for two minutes then remove the pan from the heat and leave for 10 minutes leaving the lid in place. After 10 minutes, add the mackerel, tomatoes and spring onions to the pan, gently folding the ingredients together.

Place on a warmed serving plate and garnish with sliced hard-boiled eggs and chopped fresh coriander, and serve


Cheesy Avocado Toast

1 avocado

2 slices wholegrain bread

30g mature cheddar cheese, grated

Salt & Pepper


Toast the bread.  Scoop out the avocado and mash with some salt and pepper.  When the bread is toasted, top it with the mashed avocado then sprinkle with the cheese.  Pop the toast slices under a hot grill for 1-2 minutes to melt the cheese and enjoy.




Sarah Keogh in association with John West

Consultant Nutritionist - MSc., BSc., MINDI

Sarah has a degree in Human Nutrition and Dietetics from Trinity College and a Masters in European Food Regulation. 

She runs a food and nutrition consultancy giving one-to-one advice on nutrition and diet as well as working with some of Ireland's leading food companies.