Tag Archives: Breakfast

Peach and Ginger Compote

Single Ingredient Simplicity 

Peach & Ginger Compote

Peach & Ginger Compote, with Sheep’s Yoghurt and Pecan nuts

An Indian Summer, and general warmer ‘Fall’ (that’s Autumn to you and me) here in California, means fresh stone fruit such as peach is still in abundance at farmers markets this time of year.   Perfectly ripe, soft, sweet, and crying out “eat me, cook me, don’t let me go to another home”.  The simplicity of devising a recipe based on a single item is the inspiration for this post.  Sometimes we worry so much about creating something so fancy and innovate we forget that using one ingredient as the star of the show is perfectly acceptable.

I had been messing around with a peach and egg scramble (trust me it works) for breakfast one day last week, but just not satisfied with the way both the stewed peaches, and the addition of ground cinnamon and ginger made the eggs look kinda brown and dull – quite frankly like something the cat brought back up.  So, to make the most of these beautiful peaches I decided to stew and then blend them, and then they could be added to a dish of choice without the whole thing looking brown and murky.  I ended up with this delicious compote.  The compote is no where near as sweet as a sugar stewed Jam but pleasantly sweet enough to serve as a wonderful topping to yoghurt or pancakes for a decadent breakfast.

The additional sweetener in this compote is entirely optional and depends on how you intend on using it, how naturally sweet your peaches are, and of course your health goals.  I suggest you give it a good taste first before decided to wang in some stevia, maple syrup or raw honey. Natural sugars – including those from fruit are still sugars, so go easy on the daily doses.  I use both fresh and ground ginger I this recipe, since fresh ginger is highly therapeutic, and ground ginger more reminiscent of the warming ginger flavour you would achieve from devouring a cookie.

Peach & Ginger Compote Breakfast Spread

Peach & Ginger Compote Breakfast Spread

I chose to serve mine for breakfast with organic Local sheep’s yoghurt and topped with a few pecan nuts. I also had a boiled egg to my spread, since I do need some extra protein with my breakfast for complete satiation.  To use up the remainder of the compote I whipped up some coconut flour & almond butter pancakes and used the compote to drizzle over them with a blob of yoghurt.  These pancakes were the best I’ve ever made if I do say so myself! If you want to see the photographic evidence you’ll have to check out my Instagram feed.

Ingredients (serves 2-3)

  • 2 medium sized ripe peaches, de-stoned, medium dice
  • 1/4 cup  /  60mls  (more as necessary) of water
  • tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • squeeze lemon juice, roughly 1/4 lemon
  • Natural sweetener to taste.  For example a couple of drops of stevia liquid, maple syrup, raw honey or palm sugar

Method

  • Place the peach in a small saucepan with the water and the fresh ginger, bring to the boil, then simmer until the peach softens.  During the simmering process you should regularly try to smash the peaches with a fork.  Add more water during cooking as necessary, you don’t want the peaches to fry or dry out.    After an initial 10 minutes add the ground ginger and cinnamon. The entire simmering and softening will take roughly 20-25 minutes depending on the ripeness of your peach.
  • Using a hand-stick blender (or other blender of choice) whizz up the peaches till smooth.  Add the rest of the ingredients and blend again.  Taste.  Decide whether additional sweetener is required.
  • Place in the refrigerator to chill before serving as desired (Though you could if you wanted eat it warm, I just have a thing against warm fruit!)

For complete Californian authenticity store in a glass mason or kilner jar.  Alternatively an old jam jar (particularly those gorgeous Bonne Mamman jars with gingham lids) will do.  Should keep for a week in the fridge.

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Kale & Yam Hash, with Sunny Side-up Eggs

Hail for Kale 

P1030220

Kale & Yam Hash with Two Sunny Side Up Eggs

Yams, kale and sunny side-up eggs? I seem to have come over all American with my lingo.  Well since I’m spending some time in California at the moment (San Francisco) to be precise I thought it would be great to blog a recipe inspired by the amazing produce over here.

There is a farmers market to be found here on nearly every day of the week – with fresh produce like I’ve never seen before.  I know we love our farmer’s markets back in London (huge fan of Borough and Brockley – but wow to the range, size, colour and quality of the organic veggies available here.  Oh to have a year round climate like this…

Yam & Cavolo Nero

Yam & Cavolo Nero

I selected yams for this recipe, because I’d not cooked or tried them them before.  However it turns out that in North America they are basically just like sweet potatoes!  The African yam is a different vegetable though (confused?)

I then chose kale for my second vegetable (always good to get at least two veggies in at breakfast time) because Californian’s (and me now clearly) seem to have an obsession with it.  Kale can be found on just about every health conscious, vegetarian, locavore, organic, grass-fed, farm-table, pasture-raised menu going.  Local’s are well aware of this obsession and joke freely about it – I even saw someone walk down the street last week with a university style t-shirt saying KALE (instead of the university YALE).  For variety I selected cavolo nero – but if you can’t find that any kale (or beet greens, chard) would work just as well.

Since yams – just like sweet potatoes – are high in carbohydrates this would make a great post-workout meal.  Grating them means they will cook quickly – pretty important if you’re muscles are starving after a 90 minute strenuous yoga session.

Ingredients (serves 1)

  • Coconut oil (or ghee)
  • 1/4 onion, finely diced
  • 1 medium yam, peeled and grated (roughly 1.5 cups after grating)
  • tsp cumin
  • 6 kale leaves, chiffonade (see notes)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • Parsley to dress (optional)

Method

  • Heat a tsp of coconut oil at a low heat in a pan.  Add the onion and saute until softened.  Don’t allow the onion to brown.
  • When sufficiently softened add the grated yam, and cook, for approx 4 mins.  Keep the yam moving over the pan so it doesn’t stick. Add cumin, then add the kale.  Cook for a further 2-3 mins.  Once the kale has wilted, season, remove the mix from the pan and set aside.
  • Return the pan to the hob, adding extra oil if it has dried out.  Fry the 2 eggs, till the whites are cooked, but the yolks still runny.
  • Plate up with the hash on the bottom topping with the 2 eggs and a sprinkling of parsley.

Notes: 

Chiffonade is a slicing technique used for cutting herbs and flat leaf vegetables (like kale) into thin strips or ribbons. To chiffonade the kale, carefully remove the tough stems by slicing them out, then stack around 3 leaves on top of each other.  Roll up like a cigar then slice across the cigar (at perpendicular to the cigar) with your knife to produce ribbons.

Breakfast Crepe Fiorentina

Eat the Italian Flag! 

Crepe Fiorentina

Crepe Fiorentina

There is an amazing pizza topping that goes by the name Fiorentina; a crispy pizza base, awash with spinach and a perfectly set egg.  Fiorentina  pizza immediately makes me think of a friend of mine, who orders it on each trip to a pizzeria without fail – always requesting that the egg yolk should be soft/runny rather than cooked to a solid.  I’m with him on this one – the beautiful yolk doubles up as a rich sauce!

This is my version of pizza fiorentina – except this time its on a gluten-free chestnut flour crepe AND eaten for breakfast (though you could eat it any time of day of course).  I cooked this up when I had some idle time to spare on August bank holiday Monday, having long ago mentally bookmarked a crepe & egg idea from a random food magazine (I read many,  can’t recall where I saw it).  It wasn’t particularly time-consuming or complicated – but I felt like it was a bit of a treat breakfast suitable for a bank holiday, especially as I’d been out for an hour and a half long walk BEFORE breakfast.

Whist chestnut flour is gluten-free and a perfectly clean eat (it is just ground dried chestnuts) it is quite starchy and doesn’t have the most amazing amount of nutritional benefits.  That said, I really love it and from time to time it is a great treat, plus it makes fantastic crepes (sweet or savoury) that just aren’t possible with other paleo approved flours. Considering there is no gluten in this recipe the pancake will hold together pretty easily – the whole egg in the batter acts as a binder in this instance.

I think I prefer the photo without the tomatoes on top - but not the taste!

I think I prefer the photo without the tomatoes on top – but not the taste!

Since the crepes must be cooked one by one, and each takes a good 5 mins to finish once you’ve popped the egg on, I’d suggest you indulge in this when you’re having a private breakfast for one moment.  Otherwise you might drown in your own saliva, waiting for the second one to cook whilst your breakfast companion starts on theirs.  You would serve your partner first wouldn’t you??  Other option – keep them warm in a low oven or buy 2 frying pans…

Ingredients (serves 1)

Pancake:

  • 25g Chestnut flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • Pinch salt

For the dish:

  • Handful spinach
  • coconut oil to fry the pancake
  • 1 pancake (see above)
  • 1 egg
  • fresh/dried herbs to dress (fresh oregano is superb)
  • + additional black olives or sun-dried tomatoes to dress

Method

  • First make up the crepe batter, by mixing all the ingredients together.  Ideally you want to use a whisk or even a hand blender so that the flour dissolves fully into the liquid.
  • Next sauté the fresh spinach until wilted, remove from the pan and squeeze all the moisture out (or else your crepe will end up soggy).
  • Heat up the coconut oil in the pan and pour in the chestnut batter, tilting to ensure a smooth covering all over the pan.  After 3 minutes the underside should be browned and the pancake can be flipped over.
  • Now place the spinach on top of the pancake, creating a well for you to crack in the egg.  The white may spread a little.  Fold over the sides of the crepe to hold the egg in.  It should take another 3-4 minutes for the underside of the pancake to cook and also for the egg to cook through.  If the bottom is burning and the egg isn’t cooking, turn the heat down, and cover the pan to hold the heat in and cook the white.
  • Slide off onto a plate and decorate with fresh or dried herbs, black pepper and any other extras you desire such as sun-dried tomatoes, parma ham or black olives.

If you think you might know someone who’d like this recipe too, don’t forget to share it with them!

Plantain & Tuna Cakes

Go Bananas 

plantain paleo breakfast

Plantain & tuna cakes, topped with a poached egg

Plantain is a great alternative to potatoes when looking for a starchy veg.  Full of flavour and nutrients too – particularly magnesium & potassium (like bananas).  For these cakes I chose green plantains.  These are more starchy and therefore savoury than the yellow versions – sorta like potato.  You could use yellow plantains for this recipe too would be really delicious, but obviously sweeter.

Plantains are common ingredient for cuisines in East Africa, West and Central Africa, Central America, the Caribbean Islands and northern, coastal parts of South America so for my flavourings I choose coriander leaf, chilli flakes and allspice which are often used in these cuisines (allspice is a key ingredient in Jamaican Jerk Chicken for example).  I could have been more daring with the level of flavour and I think that a bit of spice from ground coriander or cumin would have been delicious too.

I love tuna a bit more than the responsible-aspiring-sustainability-crusader-me should.  Sorry about that.  I practically grew up on tuna.  Anyway, to ease my conscience I now try not to eat it more than once or twice a week and when buying tuna it goes without saying that Id buy one that’s been sustainably sourced and is pole&line caught.  Canned in olive oil is the best you can do.  Waitrose own brand is a superb range (I love their sardines and mackerel too).

I served these for breakfast topped with a poached egg, but since the plantain is a starchy  carb, and the tuna a good source of protein, these tuna cakes would make an excellent post workout snack (in fact the reason why I dreamt them up).  They keep well cold.

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 1 green plantain, peeled and grated
  • 1 tin (200g) of tuna in olive oil, drained
  • Pinch Himalayan salt
  • Spices and herbs of choice:  I used chopped coriander, pinch chilli flakes, and 1 tsp allspice
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1 egg white to bind
  • Coconut oil to fry
  • Fresh greens (such as rocket) and a poached egg to serve

Method

  • Place the grated plantain and tuna in a bowl and mix well.  Add a pinch of salt and flavourings of choice and mix.
  • Next add 2 Tablespoons of coconut flour and the white of an egg to bind the mixture together (Keep your yolk for making mayonnaise or for adding to your bone broth!)
  • Pull the mixture into a dough ball, divide into 4 and make 4 flat cake patties.
  • Heat the coconut oil (or butter) in a large frying pan, and when sizzling add the cakes.  Turn the heat to medium low so the cakes don’t burn and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side.
  • Meanwhile poach your egg and prepare any sides.
  • When the cakes are browned nicely on both sides plate up with your poached egg and devour!

Baked Egg in Bacon Nests

Making a Nest for my Egg 

paleo breakfast

Baked Egg in Bacon Nests

Bacon, egg, spinach – a classic breakfast combination.  You could of course just fry/grill the bacon rashers and add a fried/poached egg on top, with some wilted spinach on the side.

But – and this is the important bit – This is WAY more fun.

And if cooking, eating and life in general isn’t all about having more fun, then what have we got left.

Baked Eggs in Bacon Nests

Baked Egg in Bacon Nests

The skill to work on perfecting in this recipe is the art of making up a neat nest shape without the egg whites leaking to much out of them.  I initially panicked that when my whites leaked out the recipe would have turned into an absolute disaster.  Turns out I needn’t have worried.  Egg is pretty clever at binding to itself and other ingredients (why we use it in burgers or to help crumbs stick to our coated fish and scotch eggs).  If you leave the nest to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the silicone muffin tray it should all stay together nicely.  Silicone muffin trays are an absolute must to an easier removal.

I just ate one of these and filled up my plate with a spoon of my pro-biotic Spiced Fermented Carrot Salad and fresh rocket (greens a must with every meal) I love to get a good portion of veg in at breakfast time.  The second bacon nest is sitting beautifully in the fridge for a quick breakfast tomorrow.  You could of course add an indulgent drizzle of hollandaise sauce, and serve with extra spinach on the side for a full on weekend brunch – go on I dare you.

Ingredients (makes 2 nests.  Serves 1-2 depending on appetite)

  • 4-5 rashers of pancetta 
  • Handful of spinach
  • 2 Eggs
  • Chives

Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C.
  • If your rashers are thick cut, as mine were, place them under some film and roll with a rolling pin to flatten and increase the surface are.  Next cut the rashers in half and line 2 non-stick – silicone ideal – large muffin trays.  I found 2 short strips on the bottom with the other 2 short strips wrapped around the side worked best.
  • Next wilt the spinach in a little butter or ghee and when done spoon a little into the bottom of each bacon nest.
  • Crack an egg into each nest and carefully place the tray into the oven.  Cook for approx 10 minutes until the whites are set, and the yolks still slightly runny.  If the yolks look done but the whites aren’t then turn the oven off and leave the tray in there for a few extra minutes – this should cook the whites through. Leave the nests to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the silicone muffin tray.  They should pop out easily enough.
  • Top with chives & serve up.
paleo breakfast

Baked Egg in a Bacon Nest served with Fermented Carrot Salad and Rocket