herald

Sunday 19 November 2017

The breakfast club

Starting the day with a healthy meal will boost your energy, says stuart o'keeffe, and help you eat healthily the whole day through

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and if you are going to have a few more calories in a meal, let it be breakfast because then you have a full day ahead of you to burn them off.

Eggs Benedict with asparagus and a light Hollandaise

Eggs Benedict tends to be a higher calorie breakfast food because of the Hollandaise sauce but mine has only 50 calories.

Serves 2

Ingredients

>4 asparagus spears

>1 yolk

>1 tbsp cornflour

>1 tbsp chicken stock

>3 tbsp lemon juice

>3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

>Pinch of salt and pepper

>Splash of Tabasco sauce

>4 eggs

>2 muffins, split and toasted

>2 slices ham, cut in half

Method

>Bring a pot of water to the boil, cook asparagus for 4-6 minutes until tender.

>Combine egg yolk and cornflour in a saucepan, add chicken stock and bring to a medium heat until it begins to thicken, slowly whisking all the time. Bring to the boil for about 30 seconds, remove from heat and then add lemon juice, butter, salt, pepper and Tabasco sauce. Set aside.

>Bring another pot of water to a rolling boil (bubbles are rolling) and poach 2 eggs at a time, 3-5 minutes each. Set aside.

>To assemble, place 4 pieces of English muffin on a plate, top with some ham, then asparagus, one poached egg on each piece and finally some Hollandaise sauce.

Recipe 2

Enlightened breakfast burritos

There are as many Mexican restaurants here in LA as we have pubs on the streets of Ireland. They make lots of great burritos. And now regular breakfast places are offering breakfast burritos, too.

A burrito is basically a lot of your favourite breakfast foods wrapped up in a tortilla and it's great if you're on the go.

Serves 2

Ingredients

>2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

>1/2 red onion, finely chopped

>4 slices streaky bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

>1/2 red pepper, cut into strips

>1/2 green pepper, cut into strips

>4 cherry tomatoes, halved

>1/2 tsp salt

>4 eggs

>4 egg whites

>4-8 inch tortillas

>2 tbsp goats' cheese, crumbled

Method

>In a saucepan, heat olive oil and cook onion and bacon together for about 5 minutes.

>Add peppers and cook for a further 3-4 minutes until softened.

>Add tomatoes, and salt and cook for 2 minutes. Set aside mixture.

>In a separate non-stick saucepan, heat pan and add both eggs and egg whites together. Using a heat-proof rubber spatula, scrape bottom of pan continuously until eggs are cooked.

>Lay one tortilla on a large plate, spoon a line of eggs on tortilla, top with bacon, peppers and tomatoes mixture, sprinkle lightly with goats' cheese. Fold in the sides of the tortilla, then fold the bottom of the tortilla over the filling and continue to roll until the filling is enclosed. Cut in half. Repeat.

Recipe 3

Green frittata

A frittata is an egg-based dish similar to an omelette. For a non-vegetarian version, add 4 cooked and chopped streaky bacon slices to the fried mixture at the start of the recipe.

Serves 6

Ingredients

>1 tbsp olive oil

>50g/4 tbsp butter

>12 asparagus spears, ends trimmed and half of them cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces

>150g baby spinach leaves

>1 small leek, thinly sliced and rinsed well

>3 tbsp chopped chives

>2 tbsp chopped tarragon

>12 eggs

>Salt and pepper

>100g goats' cheese, crumbled

Method

>Heat the oil and butter in a 25cm non-stick frying pan. Sauté six of the chopped asparagus spears, spinach, leek, chives and tarragon for a few minutes until the spinach has wilted.

>Whisk the eggs in a large bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and gently cook for about 5 minutes, using a heat-proof rubber spatula to shimmy around the edges to loosen the frittata from the pan as it cooks.

>Meanwhile, turn the grill on high. Once the frittata has almost cooked through but is still a little soft in the centre, arrange the remaining asparagus on top and scatter over the goat's cheese. Transfer to the grill to cook for about 1 minute until just set and lightly golden.

>Divide into portions and serve at once with toast.

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