Archive for the ‘Breakfast’ Category

Comfort Food for Winter

Author: helga

Breakfast can be super simple and exotic at the same time.

On a particular winter morning I was craving French toast, the simple version of bread dipped in eggs and fried in butter.  There is a bag of  black currents in the freezer that we picked in summer, so long ago I don’t remember where. I cooked the black currents with just a little local honey to sweeten.

This breakfast was more satisfying than expensive restaurant fare.


Eating Eggs for Easter

Author: helga

Since the first human watched an inert egg hatch into a moving, living bird, eggs have been a symbol of new life.   Decorating eggs for Easter is a tradition in many cultures and one that our family has always enjoyed.  We like to have blown out shells to decorate and that means eating a lot of eggs before Easter.  An extra egg or two can always be added to a pancake or waffle recipe to empty extra shells. But to have a plethora of egg shells,  cooking some egg dishes is required.

These will likely be an omelet, a frittata, quiche, or simply scrambled eggs. It needs to be a recipe where egg yolks and whites are cooked together, not separated, like in a soufflé.  Omelets come from the French tradition, frittata, a little thicker,  are Italian. Both are like an egg pancake cooked in a round pan. A quiche is more like a pie with a crust underneath the egg mixture.

Here is Julia Child, herself cooking an omelet. The process  seems a little complicated when I’m just in a hurry to make some eggs. However, the shaking involved is quite intriguing – I will try this later.  Epicurious has The Only Frittata Recipe You’ll Ever Need. A nice summary page that shows the various ingredients that can be added to a frittata for variety. Canadian Living has a very nice recipe for Quiche.  A little secret for a quick meal.  Almost any ingredient added to a frittata or omelet can be added to scrambled eggs when you’re in a hurry.  Stirred eggs don’t taste  significantly different from solidified eggs.

My egg recipe of choice turned out to be scrambled eggs, quick and simple stirred up with some butter and green onions.
Scrambled eggs

Now if you want to make scrambled eggs like a celebrity chef, here is Gordon Ramsey.


The eggs need to be blown out of the shells obviously, not cracked into a bowl like usual.     The smaller the hole, the nicer the egg will look but the harder it is to blow out.  One quick way is to stab each end with a small nail (like a picture hanging nail) and then blow out the egg.



 I was thinking of cooking quinoa for breakfast hoping to add more protein to my diet.  While doing a little on line research I discovered that the oatmeal we’ve been cooking for years has more protein than quinoa. Quinoa is the trendy high protein grain.  No one is talking much about oatmeal. One cup of oatmeal has 11 grams of protein compared to 8 grams in a cup of quinoa.

And guess what – we don’t need to buy instant packets.  Plain old rolled oats can be cooked in the microwave just as easily as the instant oatmeal.  Put 1/3 cup of rolled oats with 2/3 cup of water in a big bowl (it tends to boil up) and microwave for 2-3 minutes and it’s done. Half an apple and some cinnamon is enough to give it flavour .I add a cut up apple with its skin for more fibre. A pear also adds lots of sweetness and a different flavour. If you like cinnamon, feel free to throw in as much as you can stand. Cinnamon has lots of great health benefits  as well.

The only thing to remember is two parts water to one part oatmeal. The rest can be improvised.  You can cook more or less depending on your appetite.  . Any type of dried fruit, nuts or seeds can be added for extra flavour and nutrition.

The fibre in less processed oatmeal makes us feel full sooner and longer. First bonus for anyone wanting to lose weight.  Fibre also helps regulate blood sugar.   When we eat a sugar or carbohydrate with lots of fibre it is digested more slowly and the sugar enters our bloodstream slowly. The body is able to use the energy and does not require large amounts of insulin to reduce blood sugar to a healthy level. This is the reason sugar in a raw apple affects the body differently than sugar in a glass of juice.

Oatmeal has protein, high fibre and is quick to cook. At my grocery store, No Name rolled oats prices out at $2.49 per kilogram. A kilogram of oatmeal takes a long time to eat. Organic rolled oats at $6.49 /kg and name brand instant oatmeal is $10.03/kg.  Instant oatmeal in handy packages comes in a very expensive box. There are more satisfying ways to spend our money.