‘Healthy’ British Fry-Up

A healthy fry-up? Despite the apparent oxymoron for low-carbers this one works pretty well. For me it covers all the areas that a good fry-up requires. It is very satisfying and it is my ultimate savory comfort food – so much so that occasionally we have it for tea (evening meal/dinner). I guess that would almost make it a mixed grill in theory? Either way it is one of my favourites – quick and satisfying, but impressive enough to serve to non-carbing breakfast/brunch guests.

Obviously the quantities depend on how many you are feeding…

Irish sausages (Clonakilty ones are the best, but Richmond are good too)

Rashers of bacon (for a traditional English/Irish breakfast this has to be back bacon)

Chestnut mushrooms (fried in butter)

Tinned Plum Tomatoes

Fresh free range eggs (I like Duck eggs for a treat)

Gallettes (makes 4 large gallettes) – 4 heaped tablespoons of oat bran; 3 tablespoons ground linseed; 1 beaten egg; 2-3 oz grated cheddar cheese; 1-2 tablespoons cream; salt and pepper.

Mix together all the ingredients for the gallettes– you should get quite a solid looking mixture. Fry tablespoon sized dollops of the mixture in some butter or coconut oil – both work well – for about 5 minutes until lightly browned then filp them to brown the other side.

While you wait for the gallettes to brown you can start to grill the bacon. I like it cooked until it’s nice and crispy (this takes about 20 minutes – I use the grill on my combi microwave, but you could easily use a conventional grill). Then put the sausages into a baking tin (use a deep tin if you have one) and bake them in a pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes – 200°C.

Once the gallettes are lightly browned you can pop them in the oven (on a low shelf) to finish off – give them about 10 minutes so they are completely cooked in the middle. I find these can be kept in the oven until you need them as the cheese just gets crispier, but I wouldn’t leave them more than 20 minutes without turning the heat down!

Tip the tinned plum tomatoes into a saucepan and heat them up.

Quarter the mushrooms and fry in butter and oil – it is essential to combine the butter with some oil to prevent the butter burning – I use rapeseed oil for this (for an even healthier option you can simmer them in a little vegetable stock if you prefer – the result is just as good).

Once all the elements are ready it is time to fry the eggs – I like them flipped (is that ‘over-easy’ in the States?), but cook them however you like them. If you prefer you could poach or scramble them.

With the gallettes at the bottom,  to soak up all those amazing flavours, pile up all those delicious cooked ingredients and tuck in!

Variations/additions: Try adding some slices of black or white pudding; pork chops or pork loin; fillet steak; or if you are feeling adventurous try lambs kidneys.

 

 

 

 

 

Fajita Chicken

This is a really quick and tasty dish for those evenings where you just want something fast, simple and scrummy.

Fry chicken and bacon in coconut oil until cooked through and then smother with fajita seasoning. While the chicken is cooking, slice some onion and asparagus and fry in a little coconut oil. When the onion is just beginning to brown add a handful of button mushroom for the last few minutes of cooking and season. Use the last few minutes of cooking time to throw together a quick salad of iceberg lettuce, beef tomato, avocado, cucumber, red pepper and jalapeños and you’re ready to go. I like to serve it with a little houmous and some sour cream.

Spicy Chicken and Bacon Bake

2 chicken breasts (cut into bite-size pieces)

4 rashers bacon

2oz grated sharp cheddar (optional)

2 tsps. Bart’s Baharat spice blend (any Moroccan spices or even fajita spices would work well)

Salt and pepper

1 tbsp. Coconut oil

Serves 2-3

Preheat oven to 200°c

  • Brown the chicken and bacon the coconut oil. Add the Baharat spices and the garlic and fry for 1-2 minutes.
  • Once browned place in an oven proof dish and sprinkle over the grated cheese.
  • Bake for 10 minutes until the cheese is golden brown and the chicken is fully cooked.

Serve with salad or Slightly Spice Cabbage.

This is the first time I have tried the Baharat spices, which give an exotic flavour to the dish. If you are unable to buy the spices (I brought it from Waitrose) I have also made it using fajita spices and Moroccan style spices.

 

 

 

 

Burger Stacks

I’ve tried several times to make my own burgers; it has never gone well. All too often they are bland and tasteless; I’m not actually sure quite where I’m going wrong. I suppose with some practice I could master it, but why should I when Costco do it so well for me!

2 burgers per person (I like to use Costco’s Aberdeen Angus Burgers or Minted Lamb Burgers)

3-4 rashers bacon per person

2 slices of cheese (in the Burger Stack in the picture I used stilton, but a nice strong cheddar is great too)

  • Turn the oven on 180°c
  • Start off the burgers by frying them (without oil) until they are starting to brown. Transfer them to a deep baking tray and pop them in the oven while you prepare the salad. I usually give them 15 minutes in a preheated oven.
  • If you like really crispy bacon – dry-fry it (without oil) until it is cooked through and then pop it on a baking tray in the oven on a shelf below the burgers. If you prefer your bacon less crispy you can cook it straight in the oven, just fry it or grill it. I often use the grill feature of my microwave and cook it for 15-20 minutes, which saves a lot of mess!
  • Slice your cheese ready for stacking.
  • Stack the burgers, bacon and cheese and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes or until the cheese is nice and melted. I stack them in this order – burger, bacon, cheese, burger, bacon, cheese.
  • You can of course add a slice or two of beef tomato, or perhaps some fried onions and mushrooms and, of course, you can omit the cheese if you prefer or if you are avoiding dairy. The choice is yours.
  • Serve with a simple salad and enjoy!

 

No Pasta Cheesy Chicken Bake

2 chicken breasts (cut into bite-size pieces)

Small Cauliflower (cut into florets)

Small onion (finely chopped)

4 rashers bacon

1 cup double Cream

3-4oz grated sharp cheddar

Grated mozzarella

Salt and pepper

Coconut oil

 

Serves 2

Preheat oven to 180°c

  • Brown the chicken and bacon in half of the coconut oil.
  • Once browned place in an oven proof dish and leave to one side.
  • Boil or steam cauliflower florets while the sauce is prepared.
  • In the remaining coconut oil fry the onion until starting to brown.
  • Pour over the cream and add seasoning, bring to a rapid simmer for about 5 minutes or until it has reduced down and started to thicken.
  • Stir in the cheddar cheese and allow to melt gently.
  • Drain the cauliflower which should still be firm when poked with a sharp knife.
  • Tip the cauliflower and chicken into the cheesy cream sauce and mix well.
  • Pour this into the oven proof dish and sprinkle over the grated mozzarella.
  • Bake for 10 minutes until the cheese is golden brown and the chicken is fully cooked.

 

Serve with salad or simple green veg and enjoy!

 

Twisted Cabbage

½ sweetheart cabbage – thinly sliced

8-10 Brussel sprouts – peeled and halved

I red onion – chopped finely

4-6 rashers bacon – cut into strips

4-5 chestnut mushrooms – chopped into bite-size pieces

2 tsps. Coconut oil

Serves 2

  • Heat the coconut oil in a small wok.
  • Fry the onion, sprouts and bacon
  • Once starting to soften add the mushrooms and fry for a further couple of minutes
  • Finally add the cabbage and cook until softened – this only takes a few minutes depending on how you like your cabbage.

This is a great recipe for using up odd bits of veg – it is very adaptable and you can use whatever ingredients you have available. It’s also great if you add pine nuts, peanuts or toasted flaked almonds.