Category Archives: Breakfast

Feta, spinach and red pepper frittata recipe

I love a good frittata recipe. This one with spinach, red pepper and salty feta is a great breakfast, brunch or even a simple evening meal if served with a crunchy salad.

The best thing about these baked omelettes  is when you have the method down pat, you can throw almost anything in to them. I knocked up this one using a red pepper that was on its last legs, an onion and a bag of spinach a week past it’s best before date.

Key to keeping it fluffy is all about the eggs. First of all, you don’t want to skimp on them, so use eight or 12. (Even if you live alone, this will keep in the fridge for two days so you can get a couple of meals out of it. You can even throw it between two pieces of bread for a tasty sandwich!)

The second is to whisk them pretty vigorously just before you add them to the pan which needs to be pretty hot.

As they are starting to set a little in the pan, give them a good whiz around with a fork – almost like you are making scrambled eggs. Then distribute any egg that is still runny into the gaps to ‘weld’ it all together.

Finally, finish under the grill pan for a great breakfast.

Ingredients

10 eggs
0.5 red pepper
0.5 onion
100g (half a supermarket block) feta cheese
0.5 bags spinach
1 tsp coconut oil

Method
  1.  Pre-heat the oven to 250C
  2. Finely chop the onion and red pepper and lightly fry in coconut oil until the onion is translucent
  3. Add the spinach and stir until it wilts
  4. Crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk; turn the hob with the frying pan on high
  5. Still whisking, add the egg mixture and leave it to set for a minute, then whirl around with a fork
  6. Push any running egg into the gaps
  7. Crumble the feta on top and put into the oven until golden brown.
  8. Enjoy!

Scrambled eggs, avocado and pancetta breakfast

Combining scrambled eggs, avocado and pancetta is a really easy way to come up with a breakfast dish that will set your morning alight.

If you’re thinking “pancetta – the fatty Italian bacon?” and looking bemused think again.

On the one hand, the biggest health and fitness myth of the last 40 years is that eating fat makes you fat. Yes, we have an obesity crisis but that owes much more to people super sizing drinks and eating foods crammed with added sugar.

Most of our cells are made up of fat, dietary fat is packed with energy, and you need fat to help transport the essential fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K around the body.

This is not a licence to chow down on lard, but the right fats in the right quantities are vital to our health. If you want to read more on the science, I can recommend these two books Eat Fat Get Thin and The Real Meal Revolution.

But enough of me banging on … back to the pancetta. Crisp it and drain the excess fat off and it adds a nice salty flavour, without it being too excessive. At the end of the day, if you don’t like it or remain unconvinced, just leave it out!

The recipe is adapted from Joe Wicks’ excellent Lean in 15.

 

Ingredients (serves three)

1 pack of pancetta cubes (I prefer the unsmoked ones)
1 ripe avocado
10-12 cherry tomatoes
6 eggs
1 spoonful of coconut oil
squeeze of lemon
sprinkle of chia seeds
6 wholemeal rye crispbreads (such as Ryvita)

Method
  1. Peel the avocado and mash with the lemon juice
  2. Fry the pancetta until crispy, drain the oil and place on a plate with kitchen roll to soak up excess fat
  3. Put the pan back on the hot hob with the temperature off, halve the cherry tomatoes and place cut sized down in the pan
  4. Whisk the eggs and add coconut oil to another pan on a high heat
  5. Once the heat is smoking, turn it down to three quarters and add the whisked eggs. Scrambled eggs is again a preference, I don’t like them too dry, but I don’t like them runny either. Once the eggs start to solidify in the pan, start to scramble them and stop cooking when done as you like
  6. Pile the eggs on top of the crackers, add the mashed avo, and top with the pancetta. Decorate with the tomatoes and sprinkle with chia seeds.
  7. Enjoy!

Boiled eggs and avocado breakfast

Try this boiled eggs and avocado dish that’s perfect for an early morning start to keep you fuelled and full.

Using spinach as a base, avocado packed with good fats, and boiled eggs bursting with protein and more good fat, it’s perfect for keeping you topped up for the morning.

The killer is it’s really simple to make too – if I can do it, anyone can.

Key to the dish is getting the eggs just right. I like the yolks of mine to still be soft, with a runny bit in the middle, but for the white to be solid – I’m not one for snotty eggs (or for snot of any kind in fact)

However you like them, it’s imperative you stop them cooking more from radiant heat when you take them off the boil. When you reach that magic time that suits you, whack them straight out of the boiling water and into a pan of cold.

After about a minute you should be able to peel them easily under a luke warm running tap.

Everything else in this dish is just chopping and drizzling. What could be easier?

Ingredients

1 handful of spinach
1/2 a ripe avocado
2 fresh eggs (at room temperature)
drizzle of olive oil
squeeze of pepper
dash of lemon juice

Method
  1. Boil the kettle
  2. Take two room temperature eggs and place them in a saucepan on a hot ring on the hob and immediately cover with boiling water.
  3. Time your eggs. For me 5.5 minutes is bang on. For runnier eggs, try around four minutes, for hard boiled push up to seven or eight.
  4. When the time is up. Stand the eggs in cold water for a minute and peel under luke warm water.
  5. Put a handful of spinach in a bowl. Half the avocado and twist to separate. If you use a desert spoon and the avo is ripe enough, you should be able to scoop one half off the peel in one move. Slice and arrange on top of the spinach.
  6. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of lemon.
  7. Half the eggs, place on top and add some cracked pepper.
  8. Enjoy!

Polenta porridge

polenta_porridge

Delicious polenta porridge is a great way to start the day…

Most fitness pros will tell you you can’t beat a bowl of porridge in the morning. There’s slow-release carbs, protein and lots of fibre – the latter essential for good gut health.

Even when I’m low-carbing, I usually start my day with a bowl, getting most of my allowance for the day out of the way at breakfast.

It can become a tad staid though, so I was glad to come across this idea in Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage Light & Easy: Healthy Recipes for Every Day, a book I’d recommend to anyone looking to go gluten and/or lactose-free.

It borrows from Jamaican breakfast porridge to use polenta, or cornmeal, instead of oats.. Incidentally, cornmeal is also the main staple of the Tarahumara, the Mexican tribe with near-mythical running strength and energy who are the stars of the excellent book Born To Run: The Hidden Tribe, the Ultra-Runners, and the Greatest Race The World Has Never Seen.

It’s quick and easy to make, and while polenta can be a little on the bland side with nothing added to it, chopping a banana on top, drizzling with Greek honey and dusting with cinnamon all help to spice it up.

As a dish, there’s 4g of protein per portion, as well as 4g of fibre.

Ingredients (serves 2)

75g quick cook polenta
200ml Alpro coconut milk
1 banana
20g Rowse Greek honey
A sprinkling of cinnamon

Method

Heat the coconut milk till steaming (do not boil)
Add the polenta and whisk for about a minute until it thickens
Divide between two bowls
Top with the banana, a drizzle of honey and a dust of cinnamon.

It really is that easy!

If you want to link to the recipe on Myfitnesspal, you can do so here (you must be logged in to view)

 

James’ egg muffins

 

done pan

These egg muffins are light, healthy, protein packed and take less than 30 minutes to make.

When you’re working out and need some extra protein to aid muscle recovery, it can be hard to find something to snack on – and chowing down on chicken all the time can be a chore.

ingredients

So here’s a great alternative: egg muffins. I can rustle up a batch of these in around 30 minutes and, although they last about a week in the fridge in an air-tight box, they never last that long.

Delicious hot or cold, you can have them for breakfast, with a side salad for a light lunch or pop them in yours or the kids’ lunch box.

Each one is just 60 or so calories but contain 10 g of protein, which will help you feel fuller longer, as will the fibre in the veggies.

pan

Ingredients
8 large eggs
8-10 button mushrooms
handful of spinach leaves
1/2onion
1/2 red pepper
30g (about quarter of a block) feta cheese
12 sprays of low-cal oil

Method
Pre-heat your oven to 200C
Fine chop all the vegetables
Cut the feta into 12 equal pieces
Spray a muffin tray (make sure it’s well covered to avoid sticking)
Divide the veggies and the feta between the trays
Whisk the eggs and divide between the trays
Give each one a little stir
Bake for 20 mins or until set and golden brown

Enjoy!

done

 

Protein-packed smoked salmon breakfast idea

Protein-packed smoked salmon breakfast idea

Looking for a quick, easy breakfast? This protein-packed smoked salmon breakfast idea is so simple, any klutz could make it.

Like most people, I get a bit fed up with typically healthy breakfasts: porridge, yoghurt, fruit … and this smoked salmon option makes a nice change.

Smoked salmon is quite rich, so it’s not for every day, but it’s a delicious dish that requires zero serious cooking.

Nutritionally, it packs 16g of protein, good fats, and contains the latest superfood: bee pollen – supposedly packed with amino acids and trace minerals.

A portion is just 190 calories too.

Ingredients

2 cups spinach
120g good quality smoked salmon
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 raw beetroot
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp bee pollen (optional)

Method

Shred the spinach and divide between two bowls.
Cut up the salmon into strips and lay on top.
Peel and grate the beet and split between the dishes.
Drizzle with olive oil (1/2 tbsp each) and a squeeze of lemon.
Sprinkle with bee pollen.

And that’s it!

If you want to link to the recipe on MyFitnessPal (you need to be logged in) you can do so here

Protein-packed tricolour scrambled egg

tricolour omelette

Eggs used to get such a bad wrap but are now considered a health-conscious dream. Try this protein-packed tricolour scrambled egg for breakfast or elevenses. 

I absolutely love eggs – they’re such a great way of getting protein in your diet, which is essential for people who are exercising and want to lose weight.

Protein not only helps keep you full for longer but is also essential for rebuilding muscle that breaks down with exercise, meaning you come back fitter and stronger.

On the West Coast of the USA, it’s all about the egg white – it have most of the protein and less of the fat that’s in a yolk. But I can find whites only a little on the bland side, which is why I make this scrambled egg with four egg whites and one whole egg. There’s a whopping 12g of protein in a serving.

The addition of peppers, onions and spinach adds vital antioxidants and ups the vitamin C and A count giving more than your recommended daily allowance – and at 207 calories, it won’t be too consuming if you’re calorie counting either.

Ingredients 

5 large eggs
1 clove garlic
1/2 medium red pepper
1/2 medium yellow pepper
1 onion
1 cup spinach
1 tbsp olive oil

Method

Finely chop your onion, garlic and peppers and add to a  frying pan with the olive oil. Put on a medium heat and allow to sweat until the onions become see-through.

In the meantime, separate the yolks from four of the eggs. To do this, get two bowls,  take one of the and crack it in half. Pour the white from one half, catching the yolk in the other, allowing the white to drop into one bowl. Keep tipping the egg yolk from one half to the other until all the white has been removed. Put the egg yolk in the other bowl.

Repeat the above for four eggs and put the separated yolks to one side (they can be used in an egg custard or a carbonara).

Add the final egg to the mix along with its yolk and whisk all together.

Remove the veg mix from the pan and turn the heat up slightly. After a minute, pour in the egg mix and swirl around with a wooden spoon.

Leave until almost set, then use the wooden spoon to chop up and add in the vegetable mix and stir to mix it all up.

Add the spinach and stir in until it wilts. Serve while still hot.

If you’re using My Fitness Pal, you can link to the recipe here (you need to be logged in to view)

Lactose-free blueberry muffin-in-a-minute

blueberry muffin-in-a-minute

This simple lactose-free blueberry muffin-in-a-minute takes seconds to make and offers a delicious, easy, hot home-baked breakfast.

I discovered the idea of the muffin-in-a-minute when I went low-carb on a training diet last year. The concept has its roots in the Atkins diet – but don’t let that put you off – it simply means it’s not packed with carbs.

Taking seconds to whip up and, as the name suggests, just a minute to cook, it uses flaxseed instead of flour so is packed with fibre and Omega 3 good fats, while the blueberries give it a decent amount of Vitamin C and antioxidants.

It’s also the kind of thing you can knock up with kids to give them their first lessons in baking.

And it’s less than 250 calories too, making it a great, filling breakfast.

Ingredients
1/4 cup of ground flaxseed
1 tsp sweetner such as Canderel
0.5tsp baking powder
1 tsp of soya spread (I use Pure, if you are not lactose-free, you can use butter)
20g blueberries

Method
Combine the dry ingredients together in a regular mug
Add the egg and spread/butter
Mix into a paste
Add the blueberries
Cook in a microwave for 60 secs. If the top still looks a little runny, give it a 15 sec blast.
Turn onto a plate, slice and add a little spread if you wish to each slice.

As an alternative, replace the blueberries with cinnamon.

If you’re using My Fitness Pal, you can link to the recipe here (you need to be logged in to view)

Blueberry crumble lactose-free vegan breakfast

blueberries

You’ll love this lactose-free vegan breakfast

I don’t mind admitting that when it comes to food, I love taking other people’s ideas and tweaking them to come up with my own take on what they’ve done, depending on what ingredients I can get my hands on. This vegan, lactose-free breakfast was inspired by an Instagram post from my good friend and health coach Yasmina Cherquaoui.

As a kid, I always loved a crumble desert, cutting through layers of custard, crumble pastry and tangy fruit for a taste sensation and this breakfast reminds me of that. (Having said that, you could also serve this as desert!)

I first tried Yaz’s take on this and started tweaking it for myself last year when I did a low-carb regime ahead of a 24-hour ultramarathon. I’d been used to having porridge or homemade muesli breakfasts for so long, removing carbs left me bereft of ideas until this came along.

What’s more, as it uses soy yoghurt and almond milk, it’s not only low-carb but also ideal for vegans and those with a lactose intolerance.

It’s also packed with antioxidants thanks to blueberries, chia seeds, bee pollen (an incredible natural wonder every larder should have) and goji berries.

And at 225 calories a serving, great for anyone watching the pounds.

It’s also simple to make, 5 minutes at most … and that’s waiting for the chia seeds to soak.

Ingredients
50ml  Alpro almond milk (or similar)
1 tbsp chia seeds
100-150g Alpro unsweetened soya yoghurt (substitute low-fat Greek for a dairy version)
1.5 tbsp flax seed
5-10 goji berries
50g frozen blueberries
1tsp bee pollen

Method
Soak the chia seeds in the almond milk for 5-10 minutes. Chia seeds expand and become gelatinous in liquid so stir every minute so they don’t clump together. It will look like tapioca pudding or, if you’re being unkind, frogspawn when ready.

Defrost the blueberries for a minute in the microwave or under a warm tap.

Layer the dish in the following order:
Yoghurt
Almond milk/chia mix
Flax seed
Blueberries
Goji berries
Bee pollen

Tuck in with a spoon. Laura likes to mix it all up together, I prefer the layered effect, taking a little bit of each at a time. You get flavour from the yoghurt, sweetness and a little warmth from the blueberries, a chew from the Goji and crunch/crumble from the flax. Our kids love it too…

If you’re using My Fitness Pal, you can link to the recipe here (you need to be logged in to view)