Spill it Sunday…on Monday! BREAKFAST!

Hi all!

Welcome to another Monday! Hope you have lots of fun things in store for the week ahead!

Today has to be the best Spill it Sunday (on Monday) topic ever and I am sooo looking forward to chatting about it with you all… drum roll please… BREAKFAST!

Linking up with the gorgeous Arman over @thebigmansworld, let’s get the breakfast party started!

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First of all, the Spill it Sunday obligatory selfie – me this weekend exploring and playing hopscotch! You are never too old!

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And now for the questions!

1.What is your classic go to breakfast of choice?

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– I think if I had to have a ‘classic’ breakfast of choice then it would have to involve a combination of eggs, meat, a healthy fat and a carbohydrate. For example I love scrambled eggs with banana and nut butter or sunnyside up eggs with sausage and root veggies.

Oh but any breakfast, any day of the week and anywhere, has to involve coffee – hot, strong, black coffee!

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2. Favourite sweet style breakfast?

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– Hmm, I think my favourite sweet style breakfast would be pumpkin pancakes or Amanda’s Banana Greek Yoghurt pancakes (subbing banana for pumpkin). But dont worry banana, I use your wonderful taste as a topping instead! We enjoyed this (below) for our breakfast on Sunday – this is a picture of Davids plate, he likes to put all his toppings on in one go – mine was very similar, I just like to top and eat one pancake at a time, very odd I know!

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I do love a banana scramble too though, with almond butter!

3. Favourite savoury style breakfast?

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– Fish! I love a fishy breakfast, especially Kippers with sweet potato hash and a sunnyside up egg. Oh it leads to one happy Jen!

I also love rollmops at breakfast, smoked salmon and smoked mackerel. Oh smoked salmon and poached eggs, is there much finer a start to the day!?

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4. Share a breakfast recipe you are a fan of- It can be your own or another bloggers!

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– I do find my zucchini patties to be a super handy breakfast option. Make them the night before, heat them up and serve with fish, eggs, cottage cheese, nut butter, meat – the list is endless. Or you can have them cold and use them as ‘buns’ to make a grab and go breakfast. Equally as good incorporated into a lunch or dinner – wonder patties!

Juli over @PaleOMG has such a good recipe for 3 ingredient protein pancakes too that I rate highly.

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5.Strangest breakfast you’ve ever eaten?

– Hmm, a strange breakfast? Nope dont think I have ever had one of those! I think it’s because I would class anything as a breakfast, lunch or dinner option, sweet or savoury. Steak and sweet potatoes – yep that’s a breakfast, sushi – yep, butternut squash, kale and cranberries with chicken – yep breakfast too! Even leftover chilli can be mixed with some scrambled eggs and made into the most delish breakfast!

6. Do you have a typical breakfast routine?

– Oh yes, David and I have a good breakfast menu for the week that we are really happy with. As we do CrossFit in the mornings, we need a good re-fuel. The days we don’t do CrossFit, well, they need to simply set us up for the day ahead! It tends to go as follows

Monday – Banana Scramble with almond butter

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Tuesday – Zucchini Patties with hard boiled eggs and fish

Wednesday – I tend to have scrambled eggs, banana and almond butter, David (at the moment) tends to go for protein pancakes (see above) with banana, blueberries and greek yoghurt.

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Thursday – Brussels Sprout, Pancetta and cranberry omelette

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Friday – Banana Oats (I can tolerate oatmeal max once a week) 

Saturday – eggs, sausage and root veggies

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Sunday – changes every week but it is usually something that takes a bit longer to make like smoked fish and sweet potato hash.

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And breakfast always involves catching up with the news – both week days and at the weekends. Monday – Saturday – breakfast TV. Sunday – Sunday newspapers.

So there we have it – breakfast, the meal of the gods! And it really is, nothing else can prepare you for the day ahead (both mind and body) better than a nutritional breakfast!

What is your favourite breakfast? Is there one breakfast item you couldn’t live without? I think mine would be eggs!

Spill it Sunday…On Monday – Protein!

Hi all,

Hope you are well and had a wonderful weekend!

David and I tried to chill out as best we could and REST (see Wednesdays post) and we did a pretty good job –  getting all our ‘tasks’ done on Saturday and just letting our bodies do nothing on Sunday. Worked out well! But I also think our bodies were refusing to do anything after Open 14.3 WOD on Friday! (Anyone who has done the workout will know what I mean!).

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Anyway, on with Monday’s post! I am linking up with Arman @thebigmansworld for Spill it Sunday… on Monday as I just love his running food theme at the moment! Last week was fats and this week is protein – a subject we are talking a lot about at the moment, and for the right reasons!

Here we go, question time!

  1. What is your favourite protein source?

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– I must admit, all of these questions are quite difficult for me as I love so many sources of protein! As the question below relates to meat, I will discount it as a possible answer for this question and go for EGGS instead! I really love eggs and their versatility; I pretty much have eggs in some shape or form everyday for breakfast and never get tired of them. Sweet or savory, hot or cold there are so many ways to prepare them – and they are also an amazing, cheap source of protein and healthy fats – winner!

2. What is your favourite meat

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– Oh my goodness Arman I so torn with this question  – how can you ask a lover of meat what their favourite is!? However, right now, IF I have to make a decision it would have to be PIG! Pork is so delicious and often gets overlooked as people tend to overcook it. Pork chops, ribs, belly, bacon, shoulder – all incredible and so juicy and full of flavour.

3. Which protein receives unfair flack? 

Protein Power!

– Red meat for sure. People see it as being the ‘unhealthy choice’ but it couldn’t be further from the truth and supplies us with an abundance of vitamins, minerals and is a source of healthy fats. Make sure your meat is from a good source (grass fed) and you have nothing to fear, only gain! See my post on Meat for more information on the benefits (LINK).

4. Link up a favourite protein rich recipe (it can be your own or another bloggers!)

Simple Easy Frittata!

– Oooh so many to choose from. But seen as my ‘fats’ favourite recipe was a meat one, I will go with an egg recipe that is delish and everyone can make – my ‘Simple Easy Frittata’!

5. What is YOUR perception of this macronutrient?

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– I believe it should be a part of everyone’s diet in some shape or form and that people shouldn’t be scared about increasing the amounts they eat of it. The danger comes with eating proteins in ‘processed food’ formats, which the ‘standard diet’ tends to be based on. Just keep it simple guys!

6. What benefits does PROTEIN play in YOUR personal eating habits?

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– Just like healthy fats, I have seen such a difference since I have upped the protein in my diet. Health wise, I feel stronger, my immune system is better and I no longer have to take a daily dose of supplements. Training wise, again major gains in strength, fitness and muscle gain – something I am really pleased with. It really is a key factor in my lifestyle and I feel all the benefit from it.

New Recipe – Simple Easy Frittata!

Hi all,

Hope you are all well this fine Thursday!

First off I must apologise if anything I write today doesn’t make sense – had a killer WOD at CrossFit this morning and had to take some Ibuprofen for the pain in my shoulder and knees. Ibuprofen makes me very drowsy and pretty much ‘away with the fairies’!! So who knows what I will end up writing!

(On the plus side though, although I am in pain now, I really enjoyed the WOD! Recap tomorrow).

As promised, today’s post is a recipe, and a simple and easy one at that. A Frittata!

Simple Easy Frittata!

There is one thing you must have in order to make a frittata, a skillet/ frying pan that can go in the oven. Don’t want any melted plastic handles happening!

The picture below is the one we use and is perfect.

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Ok, so your main base for a Frittata is

–          6 eggs

–          ¼ cup of almond milk (or milk of choice)

–          Salt and pepper

–          (optional – 2 tbsp of salsa, pesto, marinara sauce, dash of fish sauce, siracha etc)

Combine together in a bowl or jug with a whisk, and whisk it up real good!

Then comes the fun part, deciding on your fillings!

You can use absolutely anything! But here are some ideas that we have used

–          Stir fry veggies

–          Broccoli, pea and stilton

–          Zucchini and spring onion

–          Cabbage, mushroom and tomato

–          Chicken (or any cooked meats) and root veggies

–          Bacon, spinach and red onion

–          Sweet potato, spinach and peppers

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Method

–          Cook your veggies/ meat in a pan with coconut oil (or fat of choice).

–          Then add your egg mixture.

–          Let bubble on the stove until the centre is almost set.

–          Use your spatula to loosen the eggs from around the sides of the pan.

–          Add cheese on top (if you desire)

–          Place pan under grill (broiler) and let cook for around 10 minutes.

–          The result is that the eggs puff up and go crispy and brown!

–          Remove from grill and loosen eggs again from around the side of the pan.

–          Tip pan on to a chopping board (have faith, sometimes it takes a little tap on the pan to drop down!). And cut into 4 pieces!

–          Enjoy with a nice side salad!

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Notes

–          This serves 2. If you want to make it for 1 you will need a smaller pan otherwise it won’t rise in the same way.  Or just make it for 2 and have as leftovers!

–          Delicious cold too, perfect for lunch the next day.

–          Have it hot for a winter dinner and then cold in the summer for a brilliant picnic. You could also make mini ones with a muffin tin!

 

What I ate Wednesday!

Hi all,

Happy Hump Day! Hope you are well!

Time for another ‘What I ate Wednesday’ – as always thanks to Jenn over at @peasandcrayons for hosting the link up.

Breakfast – Brussels Sprout and Bacon Egg Scramble

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This is so yummy and is going to be a major addition to our breakfast menu. I love keeping the eggs loose, that way it is still slightly gooey, like the French have their eggs. And you have the crispness from the delicious combo of Brussels sprouts and bacon which have been sautéed beforehand. Also a perfect pre workout breakfast.

Snack – Cox Apple with Pumpkin Seed Butter

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Another perfect sweet seasonal British apple combined with some rich pumpkin seed butter. A match made in heaven. Also had some mixed nuts at the side (not pictured).

Lunch – Carrot and Coriander Soup with Spinach and Chicken. Greek Yoghurt and Grapes

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I love this soup! I think I am addicted! So simple to make and yet full of flavour – it was lovely and warming on a cold day. Once heated, I add a handful of spinach and stir through, it wilts almost instantly. Then I top with shredded chicken.

Snack – Dried Prunes, leftover Pepita’s and a mug of dried leaf Peppermint Tea.

(Not pictured. David came home and I wanted to chill out with him, have our snack and discuss Christmas bits and bobs – exciting planning!).

Dinner – Tuna, Cabbage, Red Onion and Baby Corn with a Mustard Sauce

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Will put the recipe up for this soon! It is so easy to make and the flavours combine so perfectly. Easy, quick, tasty and packed full of nutrients – what more could you ask for!

Snack – White Grapefruit

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I love grapefruit, that zing and tartness, yum! We alternate between white and pink grapefruit, pink tends to be a little sweeter but both tasty in their own unique way. Good doze of vitamin C too!

Eggs – Part Two!

Hi all,

Happy Hump Day!

Today comes part two of my egg post, as a way to celebrate British Egg Week.  Hope I have inspired you all to be having eggs this week and you have enjoyed some tasty dishes.

This post will focus on recipes that include eggs. I know I could spend all day telling you about my favourite recipes that include eggs, they are used in so many ways, whether as a star ingredient, a binder or to ‘set’ something, the list could go on and on. However I have decided to pick a few of my favourites where eggs play a major role and it just wouldn’t be the same without them there.

Cauliflower Crust Pizza – Eggs as ‘the binder’

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Ingredients for the crust

1 medium cauliflower

40g cottage cheese

1 egg

2 tsp oregano

How to:

1)      Make cauliflower ‘rice’

–          Chop your cauliflower into chunks and place in a food processor

–          Blitz until a rice like texture is achieved (you may need to do this in batches)

2)      Sautee the cauliflower in a non stick frying pan until it starts to get a bit of colour on it, keep it moving in the pan so it doesn’t stick or burn.

3)      Place the cauliflower in a mixing bowl and allow to cool slightly

4)      Then combine in the bowl with the cottage cheese, egg and oregano

5)      The ideal way to cook the base is on a pizza stone if you have one. If not use a baking tray but you might want to put on greaseproof paper so it doesn’t stick. Pre-heat the stone if using.

6)      Spread the mix out on your tray or stone. Press the mix down with your hands into a pizza shape and make sure the sides are intact. You want it to be about 1/3 of an inch thick.

7)      Bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes until the crust is crisp and golden. You may want to move the tray around during this time for an even colour.

8)      Remove from the oven and add toppings. We use a homemade tomato marinara sauce on top of ours but you can use your favourite, tomato puree or even a pesto for something a little different.  We then add broccoli, red onion and mushroom just as an idea but feel free to add what you would like. We don’t add cheese as we love the flavour of the marinara sauce but again it is up to you. If you do go for cheese, keep it grated as a thicker cheese or slices would weigh it down for cutting.

9)      Place the pizza back in the oven for 5- 10 minutes for the toppings to cook.

10)   Take the pizza out, allow to cool for a couple of minutes and then slice. NOTE – the crust will not be as hard as a normal pizza crust (you won’t be able to pick up the slice with your hands for example!). We have found that the best way to slice is to run a large knife under the base to loosen before cutting into slices.

Tomato, Zucchini and Corn Bake – Eggs as ‘the topping’

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Ingredients

2 courgettes (zucchini)

2 tomatoes

1 ear of corn

150ml yoghurt

1 egg (beaten)

Grated parmesan

How to:

1)      Slice the zucchini and tomatoes. Cut away all the kernels from the corn.

2)      Take a dish and layer the veggie – zucchini, tomatoes, and then sprinkle corn. Keep going until all the veggies are used up.

3)      Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

4)      While the veggies are cooking, mix the yoghurt with the beaten egg.

5)      After the 30 minutes are up, evenly spread the egg mix over the top. Grate the parmesan over the top (as much or as little as you would like) and place back in the oven for 15 minutes.

6)      The result? The yoghurt egg mix sets as a ‘topping’ for your bake. Delicious and nutritious!

(You could also add in some shredded chicken or other meat or fish if you wanted to make it more substantial. Would also make an excellent side dish at a BBQ, thanksgiving or Christmas).

Huevos Rancheros (Jen style!) – Eggs as ‘the jewel on the crown’

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Ingredients

150g lean mince beef

½ red onion (finely diced)

1 tsp cumin

Salt and pepper

6 tbsp of salsa (we use shop bought but great if you want to make your own!)

1 ripe avocado (peeled and sliced)

2 eggs

4 lettuce cups (we use iceberg lettuce for its crispness and large ‘bowl-like’ ability)

How to:

1)      Place beef in sauté pan with red onion, cumin salt and pepper. Cook until browned.

2)      Place 2 lettuce cups on a plate and place the other two inside them (you should have 2 bowls, each one with 2 cups inside one and other).

3)      Divide mince mix between them.

4)      Divide the salsa between the 2 plates, spreading over the mince.

5)      Divide the avocado slices and layer over the salsa

6)      Cook two eggs – sunnyside up – and place on top of the avocado

7)      Season with pepper.

Egg Avocado Dip – Eggs as ‘the thickener’

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Ingredients

2 hardboiled eggs

1  ripe avocado

½ tsp garlic powder

Salt and pepper

How to:

1)      In one bowl, mash the hardboiled eggs with a fork

2)      In another bowl, mash the avocado with the salt, pepper and garlic.

3)      Mix the two together!

4)      Serve with crudities like carrot, cucumber or celery sticks. Also good with rice crackers. Can also make a great filling for a baked sweet potato or squash. Or just with some salad leaves as a simple lunch!

(Note – all these recipes serve two people – enjoy!).

Eggs – Part One!

Hi all,

Hope you had a fab weekend and are looking forward to a great week ahead.

This week is British Egg Week and in order to celebrate, I have decided to share with you some of my favourite ways to use eggs/ recipes in order to inspire you all to get in the kitchen and use this most wonderful, versatile, delicious gem!

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First of all, let’s have a look at what makes the egg so fabulous. It really is a nutritional powerhouse – very high in protein and contains all essential amino acids. Being high in protein makes eggs the perfect food to eat for muscle recovery after exercise – so the ideal post work out fuel. In terms of vitamins, eggs have high levels of:

  • Vitamin A (for vision, high immune function, strong bones and healthy skin)
  • B2 (for cell energy production and release)
  • B6  (allows us to store energy and promotes the spread of oxygen around the body)
  • B12 (makes red blood cells and releases bodily energy)
  • Iron (also makes red blood cells and is essential in our diet)

And that is to name but a few. Wow! Add on the fact that it contains some healthy fats really does make the egg a winner in the nutrition stakes. However the main reason we all love eggs…they taste great and you can do so much with them!

Part one of my egg post will focus on the main way I tend to use eggs – in scrambles and omelettes. David and I will have a scramble or an omelette at least three times a week for lunch or dinner and we are looking to incorporate more of these types of dishes into our breakfasts soon. Although an omelette tends to be savoury, we have scrambles both sweet and savoury – the sweet ones being perfect for breakfast!

The Scramble/ Omelette (basics)

The basics of a scramble or omelette always start with as many eggs as you would like whisked together with a little bit of almond milk in a bowl (you can use any type of milk you like). Then comes the fun part of adding in some flavours/ other ingredients.

The sweet scramble

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My 2 favourite ways of having a sweet scramble are a banana scramble or apple scramble. You take your scramble mix and add ½ tsp of cinnamon and ½ tsp of vanilla extract (we also add 1 tbsp of pumpkin puree for taste and texture). For a banana scramble, add 1 mashed banana, for an apple scramble, add ¼ cup of apple puree and mix. And there you have your batter! Simply cook in frying/sauté pan, moving the eggs around as you would scrambled eggs. Keep going until the eggs have coloured (they will colour naturally from the sugar coming out the fruit). Then serve in a bowl with whatever toppings you like – a big dollop of nut or seed butter is the biggest winner in our house!

The savoury scramble

The choices here really are endless. You could add any vegetables, meat, fish, herb or spice to eggs and mix through. The difference here, compared to an omelette is that they are mixed through the eggs rather than folded inside. I will share however, 2 of our favourite ways to have a savoury scramble.

Salsa scramble

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Take your scramble mix and add 1 tbsp of salsa (we like a nice spicy hot one!). Cook some veggies in your frying/sauté pan until almost there – you really can use anything! We like carrots, sugar snap peas, chopped up cooked sweet potato, shredded chicken, baby corn, manage tout (not altogether of course!). Then once the veg is almost ready pour the egg mix over the top and mix through. Cook until eggs are set. Then you can either serve hot or let it cool and box it up for a lunch the next day, it’s really tasty cold with a salad.

Cabbage, mushroom and tomato scramble

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Really is what it states above! You want to steam some sliced cabbage (1/4 of a cabbage per person as a main meal) in a pan until the tougher parts are soft (I prefer mine with a bit of a crunch to it though). Pop to the side. Chop some mushrooms and cook in a pan until cooked, then add to the cabbage. The tomatoes (you want 1 each), cut in half and scoop out inside. Then chop into chunks. Add the cabbage, mushrooms and tomatoes to the sauté pan and mix, add the egg mixture (with some seasoning) and mix through. Cook until eggs are ready. Yum! Believe me, this combo is delish!

Omelettes

Once again, the choices really are endless! We all know how to make an omelette – take your egg mix and add to a pan. When the egg is set, add fillings and fold over one side. Cook until eggs are ready. Simple! So let’s make them more often and really try to think outside the box – asian stir fry veg cooked with chillies as a filling – yes please. Asparagus (when in season) with smoked salmon – totally! Cherry tomatoes tossed in pesto, mushrooms with your favourite herbs, or keep it really simple with amazing ingredients that shine on their own like local smoked mackerel and serve with veggies at the side.

Our favourite omelette we have nicknamed ‘The Christmas Omelette’ due to its ingredients – but we have it all year round! And now Brussels are back in season I think it will feature quite a lot in our meal planning! Here is how we make it.

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The Christmas Omelette

  • Omelette mix with 1 tsp of dried sage mixed through
  • 5 shredded Brussels sprouts
  • 3 chopped mushrooms
  • Some shredded turkey or chicken

Stir fry the Brussels and mushrooms until cooked. Set aside. Cook the omelette as per usual and add the veg and meat when ready, fold over and cook until eggs are ready. Serve with a side salad and a dollop of cranberry sauce. Voila!

Why not enjoy an egg based meal over the next week – healthy, cheap and versatile – perfect! On the menu tonight for David and I, cabbage tomato and mushroom scramble!

Part two of my post later on in the week!