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 Scotch eggs

Well, it has been a while since my last post (sorry!). I still haven’t got much time to write, but here’s a little recipe to tide you over. Egg wrapped in pig, wrapped in pig.

Makes 5

Ingredients:
10 gluten free chipolatas (or about 400g sausage meat)
5 semi-soft boiled eggs – about 4 minutes
80g pork scratchings/pork rind
40g ground almonds
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.

Grind the pork scratchings to a breadcrumb-like texture using a food processor (or a bag, a rolling pin and some pent-up aggression), and mix with the ground almonds and black pepper (the scratchings were already salted so I didn’t need to add any salt).

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Wrap each egg with two chipolatas (or 1/5 of the sausage meat). I used a bit of cling film to help this process along without getting too messy.

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Roll the egg in the crumb mixture, making sure it is well coated. You could use a bit of egg-wash to help the crumbs stick, but I found that the sausage meat was sticky enough.

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Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the eggs are golden.

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Baked sausage and egg

Despite having eaten eggs nearly every day for the past 25 days (I do like egg), today was the day for baked eggs. And sausages. Oh, and bacon. You just can’t lose.

Serves 3 (generously).

Ingredients
12 chipolata sausages
6 rashers streaky bacon, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes (optional, or you could put more in!)
1/2 tsp dried sage
2 roasted red peppers from a jar, sliced
1 tin cherry tomatoes (or you can use regular chopped tomatoes)
6 large eggs
25g butter
Black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 170°C.

In a shallow, oven-proof pan, melt the butter and fry the bacon, garlic and chilli flakes for a couple of minutes. Then, add the sausages and fry for about 5 minutes until browned.

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Add the peppers, tomatoes, sage and black pepper and simmer for a few minutes. Crack the eggs straight into the pan…

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…put the whole thing into the oven for 10 minutes…

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…and serve, with a simple mixed leaf and parmesan salad.

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