Easy Breakfast Frittata Recipe

“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”
“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?”
“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing,” he said.” 
~ A.A. Milne

It’s suddenly Winter here at the farm. There’s frost in the river paddock and mist along the river and mornings are not encouraging for leaping out of bed onto bare floorboards.

On cold days a warm breakfast is a wonderful thing, and I love the ease of making a frittata. It’s like a big no-fuss omelette that never got folded or flipped. It’s essentially an egg dish with vegetables, and perhaps some cheese and/or meat. I often whip a frittata to start the day. They are equally good for lunch or dinner, and excellent served cold and cut into wedges as a lunchbox snack.

Once you get the hang of making them I encourage you to be brave and use the foundation egg mixture as a receptacle for all of the left-overs you’ve got in the fridge. Ben’s favourite is left-over roast vegetables and meat with some fresh herbs and whatever else is in the garden. Mine is garlicky mushrooms, capsicum, tomato, feta cheese and herbs. Mmmmm – heavenly!

Ingredients to serve Four (Or Two plus Leftovers!)

  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup of milk – or use soy, cream, almond milk or whatever is your thing
  • salt and pepper
  • knob of butter or a good slurp of olive oil

With One of These Fillings:

  1. 2 cups of fresh sliced vegetables such as tomato, corn, red onion, capsicum (bell pepper), onion and herbs of your choice plus 1/4 cup of your favourite tasty cheese; OR
  2. 2 cups of cold cooked diced potato or other roasted or cooked vegetables, 1/2 to 1 cup of sliced roast meat or other cooked protein such as chicken, sausage or fish, a big handful of fresh herbs or up to a teaspoon of dried herbs
  3. 2 cups of mushrooms sliced and cooked with 1 to 2 cloves of minced garlic and a tablespoon of butter, a cup of sliced tomato and capsicum, handful of grated cheese, handful of fresh herbs
  4. 1 cup of sauteed bacon pieces, 1 cup cherry tomatoes, 1 zucchini grated, 1/4 cup chopped parsley, 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  5. 2 cups of sliced cooked potato, some smoked or tinned salmon, 1/4 cup of fresh dill, 1/4 cup of feta cheese

Method:

  1. Cut up any vegetables, meat or herbs, and grate cheese or cut into small dice.
  2. Place a 10 to 12 inch ovenproof frypan on medium heat and add a knob of butter or a slurp of olive oil making sure that you grease the bottom and sides well.
  3. Crack the eggs into a large bowl and give a gentle whisk to break the yolks. Add the milk or your milk alternative, a pinch of salt and a good grind of pepper and then beat gently to incorporate. Don’t overbeat – just gently combine.
  4. Throw in a bit more butter.  If you are using bacon, add it now and cook off until soft.  Add in your sliced mushrooms and any vegetables that will take a little longer to cook.  Swoosh them round in the butter until they soften a little then spread them out so they cover the base of your pan. Lower the heat on your pan.
  5. Gently re-whisk your eggs and pour into the frypan, and then artfully drop the rest of your vegetables into the egg mixture.  Add in your cheese and any other meats if you are using them. Sprinkle your herbs over the top, add another grind or two of cracked pepper and then give the contents a little stir with a fork.
  6. Leave to cook until the top is set. This takes about ten minutes, depending on the size and depth of your pan. (The cooking time can be hastened by putting a large lid or a piece of aluminium foil over the top of the pan – but don’t raise the heat or you’ll overcook the eggs!).  You can also place the pan under your grill or in the oven to brown off the top at the end of cooking.

Serve on its own or with some good bread or hot buttered toast. Ben loves his with a dash of Worcestershire Sauce and I like mine with a spoonful of homemade tomato relish. A mug of tea or coffee also works well on a cold morning. Enjoy!

Love, Nicole xx

Fry-Up Bowl – An Easy Meal For Anytime!

 

“If you can eat with mates or friends or family, I mean, it’s such a brilliant thing isn’t it? If you feel really rubbish and you have a nice bit of food it makes you feel good, you know?” 
~  Jamie Oliver

 

Fry-Up Bowls are a favourite easy meal in our house.

To be honest they are not always 100% fried, and the ingredients often change, but they are always served in a bowl, so that’s something consistent I guess.

We eat this kind of food when a decent breakfast is called for. But it also works well for lunch and dinner, and is a fabulous way of using left-overs. In fact I often cook more food than can be eaten in one meal just so that I have left-overs to use at another. Don’t you?

Also, those potatoes? Totally worthy of being cooked ON THEIR OWN for immediate consumption when comfort food is called for or when the football is on!

Here are the basic ingredients:

Cold boiled potatoes or any leftover roast vegetables

Some chopped up green vegetables that I can quickly boil or fry

Salady things – chopped or ripped

Protein – This could be eggs; cold cooked meat from a previous meal; sausages, bacon, or any other meat that suits a quick fry-up.

Fermented Vegetables and a dab of butter to finish.

*Use variations of any of the above based on what you have to hand.

Method:

Squashed Crunchy Potatoes – Oh, we love these! I often boil up a heap of spuds, have some for dinner and then use others to chop into pasties or pies, to mash and add to the top of some savoury thing I’ve whipped up and some for fry-ups or as Squashed Crunchies. (Did I mention I’m the Queen of Leftovers?)

So, start with some boiled and well-drained or cold potatoes. Turn your oven up to HIGH and get out a heavy baking dish. Pour a good slug of oil into the pan and rub it around with your fingers to coat the bottom. Dump your cooked potato pieces into the oiled pan and then squash them down with your hand, the back of a spoon or a potato masher – whatever is closest. The potatoes will flatten and break up. Great! Now drizzle more oil over them and sprinkle with salt and a bit of herb (fresh or dried rosemary or oregano is good) and chuck them in the hot oven. Turn after ten minutes and cook again for another ten. You’ll end up with nice hot crispy potatoes that are still fluffy and soft in the middle.

While the spuds are baking put some hot water into a saucepan and bring to the boil (only do this if you aren’t frying everything – but know that frying everything is an option…) and get your frypan on. Add a little fat/oil to the frypan and then add any meat you are going to cook up or reheat.

Chop up any vegetables you’ll boil. I often use broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, brussel sprouts, carrots, green beans or asparagus. If you already have these as cooked vegetables from a previous meal you can reheat in the frypan. Put the hard texture vegetables in first – eg carrots and brussel sprouts (chop these dudes into halves or even quarters to speed cooking time) to give them a head-start with cooking. Add the broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini next and things like asparagus and beans just a few minutes before the rest are done. Drain when cooked and dump back into saucepan with a lid to keep warm. (Hint – I will often put an egg or two in their shells in with the vegetables if I couldn’t be bothered doing a fry up. When the vegetables are done just use a spoon to halve the eggs and scoop contents out onto your bowl of food. Three to four minutes for a soft yolk, longer for a hard yolk.)

Fry-up – your sausages, bacon or cold leftover meat will be well on its way to cooked or hot. Now you can add tomato, onion, mushroom, an egg or whatever else takes your fancy – or any vegetables that are pre-cooked and which need reheating. Turn occasionally to prevent sticking and allow even cooking.

To assemble:

Place some potato in bottom of bowl. Add some cooked vegetables and whatever you’ve fried up. Dab that butter on if you’re a butter kind of person. (Hint – pre-slicing cooked sausages or other meat makes eating it a whole lot better!) Add any salad items or chopped fresh herbs to the top, and a spoonful or two of fermented vegetables like kimchi or sauerkraut. Salt and pepper if you want. Eat!

 

Tasty Omelette Recipe

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“You can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.” ~ Anon

“You CAN make an omelette without breaking eggs. It’s just a really bad omelette.” ~ Steven Colbert

 

The humble egg has so many uses in the kitchen, and one of my favourites is a tasty filled omelette. Don’t be put off by ideas that cooking an omelette is an exact French Art. You can make one easily; all you need are a few simple ingredients and a decent frying pan.

The omelette is a versatile dish – suited to breakfast, lunch or dinner. Omelettes are never boring – there are so many flavour combinations you can try. You can make individual serves, or one larger omelette to divide after it is cooked.

I made this one with some garlicky mushrooms, fresh basil and a little good Nimbin goat cheese that I picked up at the Mullumbimby Farmers’ Markets.

Bon appetit!

Ingredients:

Eggs, butter or ghee, sliced fresh mushrooms, a clove or two of garlic, tasty cheese of your choice – such as a cheddar or goat cheese, fresh basil leaves, salt and pepper

Work on two to three eggs per person. The picture is of a six egg omelette that fed two hungry people. 🙂 If you’re mad on mushrooms you might want a good handful. And use enough garlic and basil to satisfy your palette.

Method:

Heat a heavy seasoned skillet or a non-stick frypan over medium heat. Drop in a knob of butter or a little ghee and swirl it round the pan. Then add in your mushrooms. Fry for a minute or two and then add your crushed or finely chopped garlic. Cook another minute until fragrant, and then add a dash of water. Keep stirring until water has evaporated.The steam will help cook and soften the mushrooms a little more. Remove from heat and place in a bowl.

Saute mushrooms with garlic

Saute mushrooms with garlic

Wipe out pan and return to a gentle to medium heat.

Break eggs into a suitable bowl. Whisk well with a fork or wire whisk. Add in a tablespoon or so of water for every two eggs. Whisk again.

Put another knob of butter or some ghee into your hot pan. When it is melted and has been swirled around to coat your pan, pour in the egg.  Leave it for a minute or two to begin to cook and then gently drag a spoon or spatula through the egg mix to bring the cooked egg to the top, allowing the liquid to move to the bottom of the pan. Do this once or twice but don’t go mad – you want an omelette, not scrambled eggs.

As the egg begins to set lay your mushrooms on one half of the pan, and cover with some thin slices of cheese.

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Tear your fresh basil leaves into pieces and sprinkle on top of the cheese. Tearing the basil stops it becoming bruised and bitter. Give a good grind of black pepper and add a little salt too.

Adding the fresh torn basil

Adding the fresh torn basil

When the egg is set, or very nearly set, gently run a spatula or palette knife under the edge of the omelette that has no filling.

Ease the omelette over on itself. Larger omelettes may break a little. That’s okay. It’s all part of the rustic charm of this simple meal.

Serve on its own, or with toast for breakfast. For a slightly more elaborate meal add in a side salad, some good bread and a glass of wine.

Omelette folded and ready to serve

Omelette folded and ready to serve

French Toast with Banana and Bacon Recipe

French toast with banana and bacon

“Oh, I just want what we all want: a comfortable couch, a nice beverage, a weekend of no distractions and a book that will stop time, lift me out of my quotidian existence and alter my thinking forever.” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert

French Toast is such weekend food! The sort of breakfast where you don’t have to rush, where you can dabble around the kitchen in your pyjamas and then demolish your meal accompanied by chatty family conversation, the weekend papers or a good book.

There are endless variations on French Toast, which is essentially bread dipped in an eggy mixture and then pan fried. It actually works better with slightly stale bread, but at a pinch I have made mountains of it with fresh bread and had no complaints.  Gluten-free bread works just fine too!

Today’s version uses fruit loaf. Feel free to substitute plain or any other favourite bread, but I must say that the flavour combination for today’s recipe works well with any bread that has fruit and a little spice.

This meal takes little skill, so it’s a great recipe for beginners, children and the domestically challenged.

INGREDIENTS:

Bacon for each person, adjusting quantity accordingly.  I have used a smoked local free-range bacon – the smokiness is brilliant with the banana and maple syrup!

Three large eggs, 1/2 a cup of milk (or your favourite milk substitute), a teaspoon of vanilla, and a dessertspoon of sugar or sweetener (eg Natvia).  The sugar is optional.  *Hint – use 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon if your bread has no spice.*  Some people like a sweeter French Toast. I usually leave it out because by the time you add maple syrup it will be sweet enough.  If you elect to make this as a dessert (swap bacon for an ice-cream or whipped cream side!) then go ahead and use the sugar if you want.  This is enough to soak 4 to six large slices of bread. (Four if they are thick, or six if they are thin.) If you’re cooking for more people, then adjust your mixture accordingly.

Bread – two slices of fruit loaf/raisin loaf per person or to appetite. A good quality bread like a sourdough or brioche will give an excellent texture, and if it’s a day old the bread will also hold its shape better when you fry it.

A large banana or two small bananas per person.

1 tablespoon of butter.

Maple syrup to serve.

METHOD:

Heat a heavy bottomed frypan, add a tiny wipe of butter and toss your bacon on to cook.  This is fine to do on the barbeque hot plate too! (A super dish to make when camping.)

Bacon sizzling

While the bacon sizzles away whisk your eggs in a bowl wide enough to accommodate a slice of bread.  Add in the milk and vanilla, and the sugar and cinnamon if you’re using it. If using sugar, whisk until it is dissolved.  Hint: Transfer beaten egg mix to a shallow baking dish big enough to hold multiple slices of bread at once if you are cooking for a crowd.

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Peel and slice your bananas lengthways.

When the bacon is done remove it and place in a covered dish to keep warm.

Soak each piece of bread in your egg mixture, turning to coat each side, and then lower onto the pan. Don’t just dunk it – let the bread soak up your mixture like a sponge!  The bread should be soggy.

If there isn’t much bacon fat, add a little extra butter, wait til it foams and then place your bread in the pan.

Fry the bread over medium heat until browned on the bottom – this will take a few minutes.  Using a slide, gently lift each piece of bread and turn it over. Cook until the bread feels firm and has lost that spongy feeling in the centre. Watch your heat. If it’s too hot the egg mixture will burn before the bread is cooked through.

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French toast cooking

Place the bread on your serving plates add the remaining butter to the pan and quickly fry off your bananas, turning them so that they brown up on each side.

fry off the bananas

Add the bacon and bananas to your French Toast.

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Drizzle with Maple Syrup.  Organise yourself a beverage and a comfy place to sit. Enjoy!

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Healthy Breakfast Parfait Recipe

I love this raw food recipe as it can be assembled ahead of time, and makes a tasty breakfast, healthy dessert or a great ‘anytime’ snack. It is a simple combination of bircher muesli and fresh seasonal fruit, but the combination of flavours is a real winner!

Kids love to make and eat this dish, so get them into the kitchen for this one.

It can also be made vegan and dairy-free, by choosing an appropriate yoghurt. Use a low fat yoghurt if you are detoxing, losing weight or looking after your liver. This can also be made sugar-free by choosing sugar-free muesli or using plain rolled oats, and a yoghurt that is also sugar free.

Ingredients:

1 cup of sliced fresh strawberries, or your favourite seasonal fruit

1 cup of unsweetened apple juice – freshly pressed if possible (you could also substitute water, other juice, or any kind of milk) I used organic Pink Lady apples, and they are divine.

1 cup of yoghurt of your choice (Put some love into your yoghurt choice – it makes all the difference to the flavour and texture. I’m using a sugar-free coconut yoghurt.  For vegans, and people with dairy intolerance coconut yoghurt is the bomb! Soy yoghurt works beautifully too.)

1 cup of raw muesli or plain old raw rolled oats!

Optional – 2 tablespoons of mixed seeds such as chia, sunflower, linseed etc. I’m using Kapai Puku.

Method:

Juice your apple/s to make one cup of fresh juice. Don’t you love the pretty pink colour of this Pink Lady apple juice? It certainly lived up to its name.

Place the muesli or oats into a bowl and add the apple juice, stirring gently to combine.  Let this sit for a minute or so while you wash and drain your strawberries.

Now add your yoghurt to the oat mixture and stir through.  Dump in the seed mix if you are using it, stir again, cover and let sit for one hour so that the oats and seeds swell and absorb the extra liquid. If you live in a warm climate, place your mixture in the fridge.

Dice up your strawberries (or other seasonal fruit). Add a layer to the bottom of a glass. Stir your oat mixture, which will now be thick, and dollop a spoonful in, pressing down well.  Continue to layer the bircher muesli and fruit until you get to the top of the glass. This can now be returned to the fridge for a few hours, or overnight. It improves with a little extra time for the flavours to amalgamate, but hey, if you ate it straight away it would still be delicious.  Enjoy! ♥

PS. Variations:

A friend on facebook just prompted me to remember some sensational variations on this little parfait recipe, that I thought I’d share.

1. Decadent Parfait (Suitable for a dinner party) – substitute cream for the yoghurt, and add a heaped spoonful of raw cacao powder and a dollop of honey or agave. This gives you a heavenly chocolate strawberry dessert! Of course you could always just throw in the cacao and honey (if needed)  and have yourself a choc-berry parfait for breakfast. Hooray!

2.  Green Parfait (Healthy as anything) To your oat mixture add a heaped spoonful of spirulina powder and a spoonful of blackstrap molasses. That will turn your bircher muesli green, but in the best of ways, and the taste is still creamy and delicious, with all the extra nutritional benefits of these superfoods.

Easy Farmhouse Frittata Recipe

It’s cold here at the farm this morning, as Australia slides towards winter.  There’s work to be done, and it’s raining and utterly miserable outside.  A warm breakfast for the workers is in order, before they go to out to rebuild the cattle yards and fence the back paddock.

With a full basket of fresh organic eggs, and a handful of vegetables and herbs a hearty breakfast will be made in a jiffy.  This is also good as a satisfying dinner when teamed with a salad, but this morning we’re eating our frittata with buttered toast and a big pot of tea!

Ingredients to serve 4 hungry workers and me:

(Modify quantities to suit yourself, or keep some of this as leftovers) 8 eggs, a knob of butter, around 2 cups of fresh vegetables, sliced or diced, some fresh herbs of your choice, or a teaspoon or so of dried herbs. Milk or water, around 1/2 a cup. Some grated or thinly sliced cheese (I used some chunks of fetta, and some grated cheddar).  Ham or bacon if you choose.  (I have also used salmon before, and that is terrific too!) My vegetables of choice this morning are mushrooms, broccoli, capsicum (bell pepper), onion, cherry tomatoes, some fresh corn kernels, spring onion, fresh parsley, salt and pepper.

Method:

Chop your vegetables and have them ready.  Then crack the eggs into a large bowl, add a good slurp of water or milk and whisk well.  Season with a little salt and cracked pepper.

I apologise that there are no ‘action’ shots of the cooking steps – I was too busy cooking, eating toast, gossiping with my husband and friends, and drinking tea…

Heat a large heavy based frypan over a medium heat, and then dump in the knob of butter and push it around the pan, making sure that you grease the bottom and sides well.

Throw in a bit more butter.  If you are using bacon, add it now and cook off until soft.  Add in your sliced mushrooms, and any vegetables that will take a little longer to cook.  Swoosh them round in the butter until they soften a little then spread them out so they cover the base of your pan. Lower the heat on your pan.

Rewhisk your eggs and pour into the frypan, and then artfully drop the rest of your vegetables into the egg mixture.  Add in your cheese and any deli meats or your salmon if you are using them. (Today I’m using organic woodsmoked Bangalow Ham) Sprinkle your herbs over the top, add another grind or two of cracked pepper and then give the contents a little stir with a fork.

Leave to cook until the top is set. This takes about ten minutes, depending on the size and depth of your pan. (The cooking time can be hastened by putting a large lid or a piece of aluminium foil over the top of the pan – but don’t raise the heat or you’ll overcook the eggs!).  You can also place the pan under your grill to brown off the top at the end of cooking.

Serve cut into wedges with some toast.  Delicious hearty food!  This slices well when cold, and I often cook enough for leftovers so I can have some with salad for lunch.

 

Lunch or Dinner Variation:  If you want something even more filling, add in some thinly sliced potato, sweet potato or pumpkin (or all of these) into a well greased deep baking dish.  Substitute the milk or water for a 1/2 cup of cream.  Layer your vegetables and cheese (and meat if you are using), pour the egg mixture over, sprinkle on your cheese and bake in a 180 degree c/350 degree f oven for 30 minutes.  Serve with salad and a good bread.

Breakfast’s over and the sun is coming out! Sending you lots of love and warm wishes from down here at my farm ♥