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Mexican Baked Eggs {Vegetarian}

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I have made this recipe for Mexican baked eggs three times in the past seven days. Partly because they are so damn tasty, partly because they are seriously easy, and partly because it took me a while to get the spice levels just right. Just FYI you don’t need to add a green chilli and, a teaspoon of paprika and half a teaspoon of cayenne. You don’t even need just half a teaspoon of cayenne, those chipotle chillies are hot enough on their own. And I like my food spicy, so take that as fair warning!

On Saturday, Dan and I headed to Hyde Park for a picnic with some of his school friends and their lovely girlfriends. We camped out on blankets under a tree near the lake and shared sandwiches, sausage rolls and flapjacks. We talked of upcoming nuptials and new babies in their high school group of friends. Congratulated one of the couples on taking the plunge and moving in together. About how quickly the last 11 years has gone. Occasionally the chatter would die down, and we would just watch the world go by, and enjoying being in each others company.

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The afternoon passed too fast, and soon I was packing my favourite warn national trust blanket into my dotcomgiftshop recycled bag (from a blogger event a few weeks ago) with leftover quiche and oatmeal raisin cookies. Three of us ambled back through London, via Chinatown, Soho and Hackney until we ended up back at the flat just before sunset. I whipped up a batch of these eggs for two hungry and slightly inebriated boys before they sauntered into Dalston to enjoy a few cold beers in the warm night air.

This dish is hearty and filling, but the tang of the lime and tomatillos keeps it feeling fresh and in keeping with summer meals. If you can’t find tomatillos, you can substitute with tomatoes, though the latter are slightly sweeter so you might want to add more lime. Like my sweet potato and black bean burgers, this vegetarian dish is again Mexican themed. A strong mix of herbs and spices is an easy and healthy way to make a bowl of vegetables and beans something truly delicious. I love black beans, as well as adding healthy dose of protein to the meal, they are also rich in soluble fibre, which helps to regulate your blood sugar level and keep you full for longer. Five cloves seems like a lot of garlic, but because it is added so early in the cooking process the flavour isn’t overpowering. I am one of those people who will pick up every cold and bug going around so garlic features heavily in my cooking as it helps to strengthen your immune system. These baked eggs are a balance of tastes, tang from tomatillos, a pinch of salt, sweet red pepper and savoury beans. Each mouthful is differently balanced from the last, with different textures, flavours and sensations from one to the next.

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Previously on BAKE

One Year Ago- No Churn Vanilla Ice Cream
Two Years Ago- Stoned Fruit Galette

Social Media Links

 

Mexican Baked Eggs {Vegetarian}

serves 2 very hungry people recipe by Jennifer Brown

Ingredients

2 chipotle chillies, rehydrated and finely chopped

300g new potatoes

2 tbsp rapeseed oil (or other flavourless oil)

1 red onion, diced

5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 red pepper, diced

100g kale (about 3 leaves), destemmed and cut into fine (about 3mm) ribbons

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp coriander seeds

pinch of salt

1 tin black beans, drained and rinsed

2-4 eggs depending on how many each person wants, Dan likes 2, I prefer 1.

120g tomatillo, diced

1 ripe avocado

1 lime, cut into 1/4s

small tub of sour cream (more traditional) or natural yoghurt (my preference)

fresh coriander to taste

Instructions

  1. Pour boiling water over the chipotle chillies to rehydrate them, leave them to one side for about 20 minutes.
  2. Put a pan of water on to boil.
  3. Cut the new potatoes into equal size chunks, mine were quite large so I cut each one into eighths.
  4. Boil for 10 minutes and drain.
  5. Put a large frying pan on a medium high heat and add the oil.
  6. Fry the onion for two minutes until slightly softened. Add the garlic and continue to fry for a further minute.
  7. Add the pepper and kale, pour over a couple of tbsp of hot water, just enough to stop the ingredients from sticking to the pan and to semi steam the kale. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  8. Preheat the oven to 180C
  9. Add the potatoes, beans, chillies and spice, stir for a minute until evenly distributed.
  10. Skin, pitt and cube the avocado.
  11. Put half of the avocado in a bowl, squeeze over ¼ of the lime, toss to make sure it’s evenly coated and place the avocado pitt in the middle. This stops the avocado from oxidising and turning brown.
  12. Place the over half of the avocado and the tomatillos in with the rest of the mix and stir through.
  13. Using a slotted spoon transfer the vegetables to a baking dish, trying to leave as much of the liquid behind as possible.
  14. Crack your eggs, and very gently pour on top. It’s surprisingly easy to break the yolks at this point.
  15. Brush the yolks with a little sour cream/yoghurt to stop them going rubbery during cooking.
  16. Bake for 15-18 minutes, checking at 15 minutes to see if the eggs whites have become opaque.
  17. Serve hot, sprinkled with coriander, with lime wedges, a bowl of sour cream/yoghurt and the extra avocado.

Notes

due to the fast addition of each ingredients I recommend chopping them before you start cooking, leaving the avocado until you need it as it will oxidise.

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Kale and Blueberry Breakfast Smoothie {Vegan}

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Whilst I have mentioned my favourite vegan breakfast smoothie on multiple occasions across this blog and social media, it wasn’t a recipe I was ever planning on blogging about. Whilst you would think (or I did at least) that mixing green, yellow and blue produce together would create a vibrant green, in fact it creates more of a swampy hue. It still tastes absolutely delicious, and is full to the brim with vitamins and antioxidants, it wasn’t at all photogenic. When I found this beautiful purple kale I knew I had the opportunity to share one of my most used recipes here.

I have been playing around recently with a couple of smoothie recipes with different aims. One was filled with peanut butter and spinach for a little extra energy after exercising. A simple mix of cocoa, bananas, and honey with almond milk can take away mid afternoon chocolate cravings. But nothing quite beats my go to smoothie for a breakfast pick me up. Now the weather is gloriously warm, I’ve taken to drinking mine standing amongst the herbs on my balcony enjoying the morning sun. As well as being convenient, packing a whopping 3 of my five recommended portions of fruit and veg into my first meal, makes me feel a lot less guilty about rushed sandwiches at my desk, and one too many sausage rolls from the picnic basket.

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It’s no secret that kale is one hell of a superfood, gram for gram it has more iron than a beef steak and more calcium than milk. It lowers cholesterol and helps to protect against various cancers and arthritis. The high levels of tryptophan in bananas get converted into seratonin ‘the happy hormone’ which helps to put you in a great mood whatever your morning throws at you. The real selling point of this smoothie, to me, is the oats. They don’t seem like a lot, but they really do keep me full until lunch, a have completely eliminated my 10am snack hunt.

If you’re new to ‘green’ smoothies (I know this one is purple but the flavour is the same!) I would recommend swapping out kale for spinach as it’s a little less bitter and easier on the palette. I try to switch between different leaves and berries from week to week to get a broader mix of nutrients, but the proportions are always the same.

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Previously on BAKE

One Year Ago- No Churn Vanilla Ice Cream
Two Years Ago- Stoned Fruit Galette

Social Media Links

 

Kale and Blueberry Breakfast Smoothie {Vegan}

serves 1 recipe by Jennifer Brown

Ingredients

1 cup almond milk

1 cup washed kale, destemmed

1 cup filter water

½ cup porridge oats

½ cup frozen or fresh berries, I used a mix of blueberries and raspberries

1 banana

1 tsp maple syrup

1 tbsp flax seeds

Instructions

  1. Start by blending the kale, almond milk and water at a high speed. Raw kale is very tough and this step helps to break it down a little more.
  2. After 30 second to a minute, add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. I find that stopping the mixer and allowing everything to settle and then pulsing it (short, quick bursts of blending) helps to get rid of the last few lumps of (usually) banana.
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Around The Web – 1

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I mentioned last week that I would be starting a second new series sharing what I have been loving around the web this week, and here it is! Dan’s sister is getting married in six days and I am so excited, I’ve been trying to stick to healthy food in preparation so lots or smoothies and salads. This meant that I finally got round to trying Deliciously Ella’s massaged kale salad. The dressing was incredible, so creamy and savoury which was a great contrast against the slightly bitter leaves.

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I love the vegetarian recipes on A Beautiful Mess, and tried my first one this week, Southwest Baked Eggs. I deviated slightly from their instructions as it is great vehicle for any produce you have in the bottom of your fridge. I included purple kale and tomatillos in mine and they were amazing. On the topic of ABM has anyone tried their Party Party app yet? We were playing around with it outside the Royal Albert Hall last night and it was so much fun, I can’t wait to break it out at gatherings later this summer. The gif function is hilarious to watch back.

One of the best things about working for a chef is the fantastic food I get to eat, yesterday I was lucky enough to be included in this huge feast. If you’re ever in east London I cannot recommend Uyen Luu’s supper club highly enough. Her recipe for Vietnamese chicken salad is my absolute favourite and I can’t believe I haven’t made it myself yet.

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This week:

I want to do: a version of this IKEA hack by Treasure and Travels, as the built in desk at our new apartment is so high I have to balance on a pile of cushion to reach my keyboard. I also need to do something with this huge coffee table we just about managed to get home via public transport.

I want to eat: Rachel’s fantastic Provincial style dinner party menu, doesn’t it just look absolutely stunning! And all the dishes were made before the guest arrived which makes entertaining so much easier.

With this for dessert: Monet’s beautiful apple pie, I love her recipes, I’ve tried a few now and they are so wholesome and simple. Her sesame noodles are almost a weekly occurrence in our house now.

This was really interesting: Design Sponge’s take on jealousy, I loved the line ‘There is no faster or clearer tool for showing you exactly what you want’. It’s well worth a read no matter what your profession.

Next week I will be making: Reading My Tea Leaves’ tomato free panzanella, because my intolerance to one of the main ingredients means that until now I have been missing out.

Foodie fact of the week: Artichoke stems are incredibly bitter, so you need to remove them before making tea – learnt that the hard way!

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Previously on BAKE

One Year Ago- Gwyneth Paltrow’s Sweet Potato Muffins
Two Years Ago- Summer Fruit Galette

Social Media Links

Three Sandwich Ideas for Olive Bread

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Summer in the city means picnics, picnics, picnics. Okay so I may have changed the Regina Spektor lyrics slightly. Between massive storms (that are slightly more terrifying from high up in a tower block) and nipping back to Canterbury for the annual CAMRA beer festival I have been whipping out my picnic blanket as much as humanly possible. It may be a sign of my London naivety but I will take as many meals overlooking sparkling skyscrapers as I can.

Last night we hopped on a tube to Vauxhall to catch an outside cinema showing of the Big Lebowski. Sunday we rode our bikes to the Columbia Road Flower Market and stopped off for milkshakes at the Back To The Future pop up on Hackney Road. Summer in the city means text message made plans, wish lists as long as my arm and packing a blanket and sandwiches bundled in foil.

On Monday I shared a recipe for white bread speckled with black olives. I ate more than my fair share of that bread thickly covered in butter by the slice, but for the rest I had bigger plans. Here are three simple sandwiches all of three ingredients. They work easily well as open sandwiches, the ingredients layered on doorstop wedges of bread, or more traditionally between two slices, packed to be enjoyed out in the fresh air.

The Pescatarian Option

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tuna mayo – I like mine with half mayonnaise and half salad cream for a slight tangy finish
finely sliced sugar snap peas
rocket

pesc

The Vegetarian Option

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torn mozzarella
roasted peppers – toss in a little oil and roast at 180C for 15-20 minutes until slightly charred
fresh basil

veggie

The Vegan Option

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generous layer of hummus
sprinkling of seeds – I love Neals Yard Omega Sprinkle
grated carrot

vegan

Previously on BAKE

One Year Ago- Gwyneth Paltrow’s Sweet Potato Muffins
Two Years Ago- Summer Fruit Galette

Social Media Links

Black Olive Loaf

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As promised here is the first in a new monthly series all about the wonder of homemade bread. Bread has such a special place in my heart, and I love it so much more than cake. There are days when I eat it with every meal but never have the same type twice. There are an infinite amount of variations from types of shape, oven climate, flour used, this list goes on and on and on. The art of bread making is a lost one in most homes, which is slightly ridiculous when you see everyday people whipping up the most stunning dessert creations on instagram. A basic dough consists of only 5 ingredients and needs more of a heavy hand than finesse. All you need is a decent tin, and a little upper arm strength. I have already shared how to make a simple white loaf, and the softest, fluffiest burger rolls, so I thought I would start this series with something a bit special.

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I first tried olive bread I was out running errands with my Mother. A local supermarket was handing out samples, and I must have gone back at least three times to try it. The salty fruitiness of olives works so well with the yeasty wheaty flavours of the bread, and brings out the subtle flavours of the olive oil in the loaf (similar to this olive focaccia). Adding an extra ingredient to a plain loaf is such a simple idea, but it immediately elevated it. As soon as I tried it I knew I would be replicating it within days. The process couldn’t have been easier, a chopped pouch of olives to my bread recipe, and within a few hours I had my own loaf wafting mediterranean daydreams fresh from the oven.

It would be far too easy to demolish this whole loaf of bread accompanied only with a few bits from the nearest deli counter. Instead I put together a few ideas for moreish open sandwiches that I will be sharing later this week.

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Previously on BAKE

One Year Ago- Gwyneth Paltrow’s Sweet Potato Muffins
Two Years Ago- Summer Fruit Galette

Social Media Links

Black Olive Loaf

makes 1 loaf recipe by Jennifer Brown

Ingredients

560g strong white flour

5g sea salt

300ml tepid water

20ml olive oil

5g dried yeast

70g black olives

Instructions

  1. Weight the flour and salt into a bowl.
  2. Mix the water and oil in a jug, stirring in the dried yeast to activate it, leave it for a couple of minutes until it starts to froth a little.
  3. Drain and chop the olives and set aside.
  4. Create a well in the flour and add the liquid.
  5. Bring together with a wooden spoon, then knead for 15 minutes by hand or for 10 minutes using a dough hook on an electric mixer.
  6. Add the olives to the dough and knead until they are well distributed throughout the dough.
  7. Cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place to rise for an hour, or until it’s doubled in size.
  8. When the dough has risen (this is the tricky bit to explain!) stretch the dough out until you have formed a thin sheet about 1cm thick.
  9. Fold into thirds – imagine you’re folding an A4 letter to go into a standard envelope.
  10. Starting at one of the thinner ends, roll the dough towards you, using your thumbs to tightly tuck the roll so it stays taut, you don’t want any gaps in the roll.
  11. Place the loaf in to a floured tin (I like this stone one), sprinkle with flour, cover with clingfilm and leave to rise a second time, for about an hour or until it’s doubled in size again.
  12. About 30-40 minutes in, turn your oven on as high as it will go (mine was about 250C) you want it screaming hot. If you have a baking stone – I used my pizza stone – put this in the oven now too.
  13. 10 minutes before your dough is ready put a tray of water in the bottom of the oven to create steam.
  14. Remove the clingfilm and put the tin in the oven for and set a timer for 10 minutes.
  15. When your alarm goes off, remove the water tray from the oven and let some of the steam out, and turn the oven down to 210C.
  16. Cook for a further 15 minutes, you know when it is cooked because it will sound hollow when you knock on the bottom of the loaf.
  17. Leave to cool, if you can wait that long, and then enjoy!
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