Baked eggs

These baked eggs make a lovely weekend breakfast, and they are really versatile. I made these with some chopped leeks, but you can leave them out, or use some chopped chives or spring onions instead. The cooking time will vary depending on the size and shape of your ramekins, so keep an eye on the eggs after 10 minutes in the oven.

Makes one ramekin

Ingredients:
2 eggs
1 tbsp chopped sauteed leeks
1 tbsp creme fraiche
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp extra thick double cream
25 g cheese (any type), grated/cubed/crumbled
Salt & pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 170°C (fan).

Sautee the chopped leeks (if using) in some butter until soft. Build up the ramekins in layers – first the butter, then the creme fraiche, then the leeks, some seasoning, then the eggs, and top with the cream and cheese.

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Bake in the oven for 10 – 15 minutes, or until the egg yolks are cooked to your desired consistency (note, the whites will remain fairly runny). The yolks do tend to turn pretty quickly so check them frequently.

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Easy-peasy hol-lard-aise sauce

Ok so this isn’t actually made with lard, but it is easy-peasy so the title is at least half right.

Serves 2

Ingredients:
100 g butter
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 egg yolk
Pinch of salt and pepper

Place the vinegar in a small pan over a high heat and reduce by half. Add the butter, salt and pepper, and continue to heat until the butter has melted.

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Meanwhile, place the egg yolk in a bowl and whisk until foamy. Slowly add the butter mixture to the egg, whisking constantly so that the egg doesn’t scramble.

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At this point it is ready to serve, but if you prefer a mayonnaise-like consistency, return the mixture to the pan over a very low heat (I use a heat diffuser) and stir until the desired consistency is reached. Serve with a some asparagus, bacon and a poached egg.

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**For bearnaise sauce, just fry a small, finely chopped, shallot before adding the vinegar, and finish with a tbsp of chopped tarragon. Really good with steak!

6 months of LCHF and a week of LCHF breakfasts

Today marks the beginning of my 7th month on LCHF, and I must say I’m feeling pretty great. What started off as a gesture of support for my husband’s latest obsession has turned into a new way of eating for the foreseeable future. I was never that bothered about losing weight, but I now weigh the same as I did when I was 18 (I’ve just worked out how long ago that was and I think I’ll keep it to myself), and having to buy new clothes is never a bad thing. Ignoring the weight-loss, there are a number of other benefits to LCHF that I’ve discovered:

1. The food is awesome. Fat = tasty.
2. No more headaches. I’ve had chronic headaches since I was small, and having a pain in my head was pretty much the norm. Now I can’t remember the last time I had a headache.
3. You know when you’re feeling hungry and it just won’t go away until you’ve had that packet of crisps or a chocolate bar (usually around 11 am, or 3 pm)? I haven’t felt like that since December 2013.
4. My skin has improved. Break-outs are few and far between, and my skin is definitely not as dry anymore.
5. No more crippling stomach cramps at that time of the month.
6. The afternoon slump is no more! (Although that may be a double-edged sword as now I can do more work in the afternoon).
7. I’ve never eaten so many eggs in my life but I’m still not tired of them. It turns out that eggs are very good for you – forget about that cholesterol bollocks.
8. I don’t have to feel guilty about cooking with butter or cream.
9. Everything tastes sweeter – even broccoli. No longer do I need to add a bit of sugar to my tomato sauce. The tomatoes are sweet enough.
10. I never used to eat breakfast, but now it’s my favourite meal of the day.

…which leads me nicely onto the food part of this post: what I eat for breakfast! Here I have compiled a selection of my typical breakfasts for a week:

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Day 1: Almond pancake with bacon and goat’s cheese

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Day 2: 2-egg omelette filled with bacon and cheese

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Day 3: Creamy scrambled eggs with bacon and tomatoes

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Day 4: Burger topped with a fried egg and cheese

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Day 5: Cream & yoghurt with blueberries and some crushed, cinnamon-roasted nuts

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Day 6: Egg & gherkin mayo with cheese and salami

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Day 7: The fry-up! Bacon,egg, tomatoes and sour cream (all fried in butter & bacon fat, of course!).

I know what you’re thinking…how can that much saturated fat be in any way healthy?? Well, I can’t think of a better advertisement for LCHF than my husband James. He eats a hell of a lot more than me, and even goes so far as to have butter in his morning coffee. Yet, even with all that fat and so few carbs he managed to run 115 miles in under 24 hours at endure24 at the weekend, coming in 2nd place. He is so brilliantly fat-adapted that instead of fuelling this crazy challenge with umpteen energy gels and bars, and a massive bowl of pasta the night before, he managed it with a few mini-babybels, a mouthful of biltong, a couple of rashers of bacon, 1.75 bananas and a mouthful of buttery mashed potato (which sent him on a bit of a sugar-rush). Afterwards, he worked out that he consumed a measly 750 kcal, of which 265 kcal were from carbs, for the entire race! Amazing!

LCHF Avocado pancakes

Avocados. Love them. They do not, however, love me! I’m the back-of-the-throat-itchy-burny kind of allergic, rather than the anaphylactic shock kind, but it is irritating enough for me to forego avocados *sad face*. Avocados are, of course, great for the LCHF way of eating; plenty of fat, and the carbs are mainly in the form of fibre, which is all good. Having resigned myself to never again being able to eat a lovely avocado I would look on wistfully as my husband chomped his way through ANOTHER avocado.

This is not the end of my avocado story. The good thing about having a nerdy husband is that he reads EVERYTHING that’s vaguely related to what he is interested in. He came across a post on Lance Armstrong’s website, which suggested that the thing in avocados that gives people an allergic reaction is broken down when the avocado is cooked. I tested this theory by frying some chopped avocado and eating a tiny amount. No itching. A bit more. Still no itching. A massive bit. Only a tiny bit of itching but this was probably because it wasn’t cooked enough. Yay, avocados are back on the menu!

**DISCLAIMER** Whilst this worked for me, it may not work for you, so be f***ing careful!!

This has opened up a new world of experimentation, so here’s my first try – avocado pancakes (don’t knock them until you’ve tried them).

Makes 2 generous pancakes.

Ingredients:
1/2 large avocado (or a whole small one)
2 eggs
Salt & pepper
Butter for frying (or whatever fat you like)

Chop the avocado and mash with a fork. Add the eggs, salt and pepper, and mix well. The mixture should be moderately runny, like a normal pancake batter. You may need to add an extra egg if the batter looks very thick, like guacamole.

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Heat the butter in a frying pan and dollop half of the avocado mixture into it. You could make several smaller pancakes, if you prefer. Fry the pancake over a medium-low heat for a few minutes until the sides of the pancake start to brown. Turn the pancake carefully (it will be fragile) and cook on the other side until the pancake is springy to the touch.

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Serve with whatever you fancy, really. I went for bacon and tomatoes. Yum.

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LCHF Breakfast for one

There are times when I want pancakes for breakfast, but I don’t want the hassle of making a whole batch. Sometimes one is all you need. I developed this recipe for those times. It’s quite an eggy pancake, but that’s no bad thing! Perfect with bacon and blueberries for a nice filling LCHF breakfast.

Ingredients:
1 egg
3 tbsp ground almonds
Butter for frying

Mix together the egg and ground almonds.

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Fry in plenty of butter over a medium heat, for about a minute on each side.

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Fry some bacon, and a handful of blueberries with a knob of butter and serve.

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The meat box: a thing of beauty

I’m no animal welfare activist, but I do like the idea of eating meat that comes from animals who have been reared in a more natural environment, eating the things they were supposed to eat. I believe it tastes better, and apparently grass-fed beef does have a healthier omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of fats, compared to those raised on a diet based on corn products. So we decided to forego our usual supermarket meat order in favour of a “meat hamper” from an organic farm (www.sheepdrove.com). And, to be honest, having a box full of meat arriving in the post is pretty awesome!

It turned up this morning:

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The delivery guy said, “It’s a bit heavy”, as he handed the box to me. He wasn’t joking, it weighed in at 14kg! In it, was a lot of lovely meat:

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I wonder how long it will last us…

Before I start posting recipes based around our delicious meat box, here’s one for some (meat optional) breakfast pancakes.

LCHF almond pancakes

  • Servings: 6 pancakes
  • Print

Ingredients:
2 eggs
70 g ground almonds
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
Butter for frying

For the blueberry butter sauce:
50 g blueberries
50 g butter

Whisk the eggs for a good few minutes until they are thick and foamy (your arm will ache a bit, but it will all be worth it in the end).

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In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients and then gently fold them into the eggs.

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Melt some butter in a frying pan over a medium heat and dollop spoonfuls of the pancake mixture into the pan. Cook for a couple of minutes on each side, until the pancakes are golden brown, nicely risen, and spongey to the touch.

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For the sauce, melt the butter in a pan and add the blueberries. Fry the blueberries until they start to release some of their blueberry goopiness, and serve over the pancakes (with some bacon).

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Strawberries & cream; another LCHF breakfast smoothie

I thought I would share another breakfast smoothie, given my last one‘s popularity with the Googlers out there!

Makes 2 servings (or 1 if you’re really hungry)

Ingredients:
60 g strawberries (mine were frozen so I defrosted them first)
80 g full fat yoghurt (or creme fraiche would be even better)
60 g extra thick double cream
160 ml can coconut cream
Pinch of vanilla powder / 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Put all of the ingredients into a jug and blend together with a stick blender (or put everything in a food processor/blender). I like to blend it a lot so it’s all thick and aerated like a mousse!

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Enjoy!

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